As we have known for ages, soups and stews are endlessly various Essay

As we have known for ages, soups and stews are endlessly various In the world’s cuisines, soups and stews are probably asancient as they are widespread. Economical, they use everything–bones, vegetable trimmings, and juices–and can absorb the oddleftover very nicely. Nourishing, they are great pick-me-ups. Almostendlessly various, they range from delicate to sturdy. This month, two chefs devise their own adaptations of well-knownethnic stews. Another ladles forth a simple-sounding but richly complexmushroom soup. To the young, Menudo signifies a Puerto Rican rock group.

Elderswith any experience below the border will recall it as a thick stewbased on tripe, posole (a kind of dried corn), and chilies. Said to bea sure cure for the effects of overindulgence, it is a New Year’sDay tradition for certain inhabitants of northern Mexico and theSouthwest. Our tasters felt that anyone who could handle menudo for breakfasthad a stomach that didn’t need coddling. The dish, they alsoassured us, is more treat than treatment. Gringo Menudo 3 pounds tripe 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pigs’ feet, pork neck bones, or pork tails 1 1/2 cups dry posole or 1 large can (1 lb. 13 oz.) yellow hominy,drained 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 can (about 1 lb.

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) tomatoes 1 bay leaf 3 to 4 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons dry oregano leaves 1 can (12 oz.) beer 3 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) regular-strength chicken broth Salt Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves Thoroughly rinse tripe (trim off fat), pigs’ feet, and posole(if using hominy, add later). Cut tripe into 1-inch pieces. In an 8-to 10-quart pan, combine tripe, pigs’ feet, posole, onion, garlic,tomatoes and their liquid (break up tomatoes with a spoon), bay, 3teaspoons of the chili powder, oregano, beer, and broth. Cover andbring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer untiltripe and posole are very tender to bite, 6 to 7 hours.

Skim off anddiscard fat. (If made ahead, cover and chill as long as 2 days; tocontinue preparation, lift off solidified fat and reheat.) If using canned hominy, add it and simmer until hot, about 10minutes. Season to taste with salt and remaining chili powder, ifdesired.

Spoon into bowls to serve. Offer cilantro to add toindividual servings. Makes about 4 quarts, or 8 to 10 main-dishservings. Ben B. Eastman, Jr. Denver The esteemed chanterelle is to the common mushroom what brioche isto a hamburger bun.

Its very name sings of Paris, spring, romance.Chanterelles do grow in the West and have been available in somespecialty markets during the rainy season the past few years. Butcanned chanterelles serve very well here. In fact, many of the cannedchanterelles with foreign labels were harvested here and sent abroad forprocessing–a migration that’s confusing even to the gastronome. Eric Davenport has always gathered his own chanterelles; we suggestthat you do so only under the guidance of a trained mycologist. If thisperson will take you to where they grow, you have a true friend; fewsuch experts divulge their hunting grounds.

This recipe’s name alludes, without any culinary point, toChantilly lace. Chantrelly Lake 1/4 to 1/3 pound chanterelle mushrooms or 1 can (8 oz.) chanterellemushrooms 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme leaves 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) regular-strength chicken broth 1 tablespoon madeira or dry sherry 1 cup whipping cream 1/4 teaspoon liquid hot pepper seasoning Salt Rinse fresh mushrooms; if using canned mushrooms, drain, reservingthe liquid. Let mushrooms drain well on paper towels, then cut intovery thin slivers. Melt butter in a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat; add mushroomsand thyme and cook, stirring, just until fresh mushrooms are limp, about2 minutes, or canned ones are hot. Add flour to pan and cook stirring, until bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Gradually stir in the broth and reserved mushroom liquid (if used).Cook, stirring, until bubbly and thickened. Blend in madeira, cream,and liquid hot pepper seasoning. Season to taste with salt and simmer,stirring occasionally, until hot through and flavors are blended, about10 minutes. Makes 4 cups, or 4 or 5 first-course servings. Erir Davenport Juneau, Alaska Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but no one said that too manyingredients spoil a stew–especially the Mediteranean masterpiece knownas bouillabaisse.

With this dish, more is better; any fish or shellfishadorns the final melange. Nevertheless, shopping for the classic ingredients takes time andconsiderable cash. And if you live far from a big city market, youmight have trouble finding some items. Ralph Look has simplified the recipe and the shopping: you find agood white fish, and catch the rest at the store.

Hook a bag ofpotatoes, dig a can of clams and another of oysters, and net someshrimp– fresh, frozen, or canned. Diners needn’t know youdidn’t spend a day at the wharf. Supermarket Bouillabaisse 1 can (15 oz.) spaghetti sauce with mushrooms 1 pound thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes 1 1/2 pounds rockfish fillets (such as red snapper) or lingcod, cutinto 2-inch pieces 1 medium-size onion, chopped 1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped 2 stalks celery, diced 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 teaspoon each dry thyme and dry oregano leaves, dry basil, anddry rosemary 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies 1 can (about 6 oz.) chopped clams 1 jar ( 10 oz.) fresh-shucked small Pacific oysters 1 can (12 oz.

) beer 1 cup water 3/4 cup (1/4 lb.) or 1 can (4 1/4 oz.) small whole cooked shrimp Salt and pepper Lemon wedges Pour about 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce into a 4- to 5-quart kettle,tilting to coat bottom. Evenly layer potatoes, fish, then about halfthe onion, green pepper, celery, and parsley. Add half the remainingspaghetti sauce, all of the garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, andcrushed chilies. Top with remaining onion, green pepper, celery, andparsley. Add clams and oysters and their liquids. Pour over theremaining spaghetti sauce, beer, and water.

Cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat,and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 30 minutes.Stir in shrimp (drain and rinse if canned and season to taste with saltand pepper.

Ladle into soup plates to serve. Offer lemon wedges tosqueeze over individual portions. Makes about 3 quarts, or 6 to 8main-dish servings. Ralph G. Look Ventura, Calif.

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