Foolish Fevers Need Bullion

chicken broth

When You Have The Flu

The flu is the horror that everyone is trying to avoid.  Even though Alison and I already caught a bout of this flu, we hadn’t expected to be sick again so soon.  Scrubbing our hands every time we walk through the front door, we try not to touch our faces.  The usual tactics of avoiding the flu so, it’s hard to even say where we got these germs but once again we were stuck in bed with fevers.  The usual upside of being sick is that there is someone not sick who can give you good food. 

Only this time we found ourselves standing in the kitchen wondering how we were going to make chicken soup from scratch.  Traditional chicken soup is not in our repertoire.  We just tend to make anything but soup when we cook with chicken.  So, we had some vague idea about soup.  On the counter are aromatics and chicken thighs.  We didn’t have any other parts of chicken, but that should be enough. 

Grocery Shop Before You Get Sick

With desperation, we asked a friend to give us some suggestions only to realize we were out of crucial ingredients like soy sauce.  This is almost unheard of as we purchase our soy sauce by the quart.  Apparently we were not going to make hot and sour soup.  So, we stood around thinking about what goes in soup only to be tired and easily distracted.  After we cobbled together what went into most of a recipe we found in an Alton Brown cookbook.  Put everything into a pot and cover it with a steamer basket and simmer for up to 8 hours.  Simple enough, right?

Every ten minutes, the top needs a skim.  That first hour of skimming felt like an eternity.  The pain of getting out of bed when you ache and are cold is enough to pass back and forth the responsibility.  Staring at your sister because you are pathetic does not work when she is equally weak and unmotivated.  So you get up and take your turn because you know that you have to or the system breaks and then all the turns would be yours. 

Being The Less Sick Caretaker

There is nothing worse than being the sibling that broke the system and bearing the entire burden on your own.  Sibling justice certainly hasn’t changed no matter how many years pass.  There are no sick passes either when you are both trying to distract yourself by watching Imposters.  A drama that is a perfect watch if you have the flu, as you know that the goal is to find the cons and if you miss an episode by napping you won’t be horribly lost. 

So after a final simmer, we take out all the pieces to toss.  Pull out the chicken thighs to shred and to our surprise find no bones inside.  Yes, that is right I chose the only boneless chicken thighs in the freezer.  So our soup stock is really hours of stirring warm broth. Broth is made without bones while stock always uses bones.  The secret is using bones and meat for flavorful stock.  So if anyone offers you vegetable stock, then you know that they are a liar.  Thankfully even people with fevers know how to use bullion.  We highly recommend making your stocks when you are not sick to avoid making mistakes.  Fevers do not mean you have to miss out on flavor, so use your stored stock or bullion to start your soups. 

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Perry’s Steak House: Perfect Menu Pairings

There are so many reasons to celebrate in the month of February. You could either be celebrating Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, or Black History Month. No matter what you are celebrating Perry’s Steak House has a team of professional Sommeliers to help you pick the perfect wines to pair with your meals. If you’re anything like me and don’t know much about wines but, want to impress the people you are with you can always call ahead and speak to a sommelier. They can help you with the basics of wine so that when you get to the restaurant you can blow your guests away with your new found knowledge of wines as you order your meals.

Photo Credit: Kurman

Photo Credit: Kurman

I was fortunate to interview Susi, Perry’s Head Sommelier based in Texas. Keep reading to see what her responses were to my questions on wines.

Josephine: Which wines are the most popular dessert wines?
Susi: Our most popular dessert wines are the Tawny Port or the Madeira which goes
very well with our Banana Foster dessert or the Nutty De Angelo.

Photo Credit: Kurman

Photo Credit: Kurman

J: How do you determine which dessert wines to recommend to your guests?
S: It depends on the type of dessert the guests chooses. If they choose a crème brûlée or ice cream we tend to recommend our Tawny Port which is aged in a barrel for 10 to 20 yrs. The grapes for these wines are late harvest. However Tawny Port wines are never a match for chocolate desserts. If our guest are having chocolate for dessert we recommend a Ruby Port which is a late vintage wine.

J: What’s the difference between table wine and a dessert wine?
S: The difference between a table wine and a dessert wine is the length the grapes stay on the vines. For example, the Berringer Nightngale, the grapes stay on the vine longer. This process allows the grapes to create a distinct flavor in the wine and has a freshness on the finish.

J: Which wines would you pair with the different dishes on the menu?

S: For seafood dishes I would recommend a Chardonnay. With Oysters a Sauvignon Blanc, Chicken- a Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay, NY strip heavy Merlot or Chianti, Filet Mignon, Rib eye- Boudreaux or a Cabernet, and for a Chop a Pinot or a Zinfandel.

Photo Credit: Kurman

Photo Credit: Kurman

J: Would you suggest wines for each course?

S: If the guest is interested in having a different wine pairing for each course I would recommend a Sparkling or white wine with appetizers like our Perry Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Red wines for steaks and then either a Tokay or Madeira wine for dessert.

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