Jenny McGruther

Recipe: Pinto Beans and Ham Hock

This recipe is courtesy of Jenny McGruther of the Nourished Kitchen. This recipe can be found in her new book, Broth and Stock, which is available now at Amazon or other online retailers.


"The most vivid memory I have of my grandmother’s kitchen is of hurriedly eating sandwiches of white bread and margarine over the sink. Despite her lack of culinary prowess, my grandmother did make one dish and one dish very well: pinto beans and ham hock. Its simple ingredients and easy approach make it perfect for a novice cook or a harried one.


The combination of ham hock’s natural sweet smokiness paired with the earthy and humble flavor of pinto beans make a satisfying, full-flavored meal."

RECIPE

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat
  • 1 white onion, peeled & chopped
  • 2 ham hocks, about 2 pounds
  • Finely ground sea salt


Pour the beans into a mixing bowl, cover with warm water by 2 inches, and stir in the baking soda. Soak for at least 8 and up to 18 hours, then drain and rinse them well.


Melt the lard in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Stir the onion into the hot fat and sauté it until fragrant and translucent, about 8 minutes. Drop the ham hocks into the pot and then stir in the beans. Pour enough water into the pot to cover its contents by 2 inches and simmer, covered,over medium-low heat until the beans are soft and the meat falls away easily from the bone, about 3 hours.


Remove the ham hock from the pot and, when it’s cool enough to handle, pull any meat that still clings to it off the bone, and stir it into the pot of beans. Season the beans with salt to taste, ladle into soup bowls, and serve hot.

Reprinted with permission from Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Recipe: Yucatán-style Lime Soup (sopa de lima)

This recipe is courtesy of Jenny McGruther of the Nourished Kitchen. This recipe can be found in her new book, Broth and Stock, which is available now at Amazon or other online retailers.


"On a visit to Mexico’s Yucatàn Peninsula, a place that offers a unique, lively cuisine steeped in both Mayan and Spanish culinary influence, my family climbed the vine-draped limestone ruins at Cobá, before our guide drove us along the winding orange-redroads through the jungle. We reached a cenote, a deep, naturally occurring limestone well filled with clean fresh water, where we swam until tired and worn. Now hungry from climbing and swimming, we headed to a small restaurant along the lake at Cobá, where they served traditional Yucatecan cooking, among the dishes they offered was a classic lime soup. Nearly every restaurant along the Yucatán Peninsula offers its own perfect version of lime soup, some with bell peppers and others touched with cinnamon and oregano. I favor the simplest approach with chicken, onion, rice, and limes. Simple foods often make the best foods, as their humble ingredients shine through without pomp or pretense."
 

Recipe

Recipe:  Yucatán-style Lime Soup (sopa de lima)
  • Lard or coconut oil, for frying
  • 1 (8-ounce) package corn tortillas, sliced into 14 by 1-inch strips
  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 3 limes
  • Jalapeños, for garnish
  • Cotija cheese, for garnish
  • Avocado slices, for garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Line a plate with a paper towel or a cotton kitchen towel.
Set a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Spoon enough lard into the skillet so that when it melts, it reaches about 12 inch up the side of the skillet, about 112 cups.


Once the fat melts completely and begins to shimmer in the skillet, test the oil by dropping a tortilla strip into the hot fat. If the tortilla sizzles immediately in the pan, crisping and turning a golden brown within about 30 seconds, the oil is ready. Working in batches, and taking care not to crowd the pan, fry the tortilla strips until crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tortilla strips to the lined plate, and allow them to cool. Turn off the heat.


Place the whole chicken in a large stock pot. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the chicken by 2 inches. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the meat shreds easily with a fork. Turn off the heat.


Carefully remove the chicken from the pot, setting it on a platter to allow it to cool until it’s comfortable enough to handle.Remove and discard the skin, pull the meat from the bone, and shred it with a fork.


Strain the broth in the pot through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or jar, discarding the solids. Wipe out the pot to remove any stray debris, and then return the strained broth and reserved chicken meat to the pot. Stir in the onion and rice and then bring to a simmer over medium heat. While the soup warms, juice one of the limes and then stir the juice into the soup pot. Continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent and the chicken is warmed. While soup is cooking, finely chop the remaining 2 limes, peel and all.


Ladle into soup bowls and serve with the chopped lime, sliced jalapeño, crumbled Cotija cheese, sliced avocado, and tortillastrips.  Serves 8.

Reprinted with permission from Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Recipe: Chicken in Wine with Mushrooms, Peas, and Herbs

This recipe is courtesy of Jenny McGruther of the Nourished Kitchen. This recipe can be found in her new book, Broth and Stock, which is available now at Amazon or other online retailers.

"Spring arrives in my garden in a fit of sweet English peas, ready for shelling, and aromatic herbs. They marry well together,balanced by cream and mild-flavored button mushrooms. This dish, decidedly one of my favorites, is one I find myself making again and again. Elegant enough for company, but simple enough for a weeknight family dinner, it starts by browning chicken and then simmering it with wine, leeks, mushrooms, and peas until the meat falls off the bone. The broth, enhanced withcrème fraîche, makes a lovely sauce, and I serve this over potatoes."
 

Recipe

  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 112 pounds English peas in their shell, or 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped

 


Warm the butter in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat. Working in batches to prevent overcrowding, add the chicken pieces to the pot and brown them, about 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and stir then stir in the leeks and mushrooms. Add the salt to the pot, cover it, and turn down the heat to medium-low. Allow the leeks and mushrooms to sweat together in the heat of the pot until tender, about 8 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and then pour in the white wine.Simmer it all together over medium-low heat until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.


If you’re using fresh peas still in their shell, shell them while the chicken cooks. Pour them into the pan and then continue simmering them all together until the peas soften and become tender, a further 20 minutes.


If you’re using frozen peas, continue cooking the chicken another 15 minutes and then pour in the peas, allowing them to warm, about 5 minutes more. Stir the parsley and chives into the pot. Turn off the heat, stir in the crème fraîche, season with sea salt, and serve hot.

Reprinted with permission from Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.