Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘Detroit

Chicken Noodle Soup –Not my Grandmother’s recipe

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soup 1

     I remember when I was young, and I was not feeling well, my mother would always come to my room with a hot cup of chicken noodle soup. This is a practice handed down to her by her mother. The idea behind this gesture was that chicken soup had some magical and medicinal quality that would not only comfort you it would make you feel better. I think probably most everyone has had this experience. It is a tradition that has been passed down from mother to child for generations. As it turns out chicken noodle soup, while rich in vitamins and minerals also contains anti inflammatory properties that reduce congestion in the upper respiratory system.

     My wife was feeling under the weather recently and I thought “what could I do to make her feel better?”. The answer was that I would make Chicken noodle soup for her. While I didn’t have an age old recipe to fall back on ( my mother always just heated up a can of Campbell’s) I had made chicken noodle soup enough to be comfortable taking a shot at it without falling back on someone else’s recipe. The soup turned out so well that I had to make a fresh batch the very next day because we had eaten it all. This recipe is very quick and easy and only take about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.

I present to you now my version of chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup


1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
64 oz low sodium chicken broth
1/2 packet of unflavored gelatin (available in every supermarket)
6 oz dry egg noodles, cook these in some boiling water and then cool under cold water. These will go into the soup last



Sauté the Onion, Carrot and celery in a large pot. Add garlic and Italian seasoning after 3 minutes. sauté for 1 minute longer.
Add the Chicken broth, reserving 1/2 cup, and simmer for 1 hour.
Sprinkle gelatin on reserved chicken broth. let sit for 5 minute to “bloom”.
Add Chicken meat and reserved broth/gelatin mix.First bring soup to a boil and the reduce it to a simmer for 15 minutes more.
During the last 5 minutes add the cooked egg noodles.


Could I have made my own stock for this? Well, yes I could have, but the process would have been much longer. I wanted something quick, easy and satisfying. Also I just wanted white meat chicken in my soup.

Why did I use unflavored gelatin in this recipe? Gelatin occurs naturally in stock .   It is created when the cartilage in the chicken melts. Anyone who has looked on the bottom of the pan a roast chicken is in after it has been refrigerated has seen the gelatin that forms on the bottom of the pan.It is highly desirable because it gives the stock a rich texture and flavor. Commercial broth doesn’t have gelatin. I just add it back through the use of unflavored gelatin

What does “bloom” mean? It is when the gelatin crystals absorb moisture. If you just sprinkled powder gelatin on your soup it could clump.

Do I have to use egg noodles? No. Use any noodle you want or have. The first batch of this soup I made was with stars.



Written by Ed Schenk

February 10, 2010 at 12:51 am

Honeybee Market

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Honeybee meat counter (2)    

Every community has anchors. These are businesses that, in spite of economic difficulties stay the course due to the ties they have to their communities. In Mexicantown Honeybee market is one such anchor.

     Started by Geraldo Alfaro in 1956 and passed on to third generation family,  Honeybee  is also call “La Colmena” which means “the hive where the bees gather”.

    In a city devoid of major supermarket chains Honeybee has quietly grown from a neighborhood grocery and bodega to become a major food destination, not only for local residents, but for suburbanites, too. In addition to a fully stocked meat and seafood counter Honeybee has a hot foods counter with Mexican specialties. Honeybee also has a great produce section carrying the freshest produce in the city. In addition to the basics Honeybee carries the freshest chilies(I counted 7 varieties), Cactus, Tomatillos, Chayote, Guava…well I could go on and on.

     When you enter Honeybee you are greeted by samples. Freshly made salsas and guacamole are offered along with crisp tortilla chips to entice you. Ever wonder about that fruit and if its really ripe?  No problem! I found many produce items with a sample cut open so you could see what was inside the skin. Freshness never seemed better!

     In the seafood counter was shrimp, fresh fish and octopus for the asking and all cuts of meat, as well as, regional specialties such as tripe and tongue. The prices were on par, if not better than, any supermarket in the suburbs.

     I mentioned the hot foods counter earlier. When I stopped by there was quite a line. Tacos, Tamales, Barbacoa (BBQ) were on the menu. On Saturday and Sunday the have a specialty that I think is unique to Honeybee. Although it is a Latin American specialty I don’t believe steamed cow’s head is offered any place else in Detroit. If you don’t believe me watch the travel channel to hear how good the meat from the head can be. Anthony (Bourdain) and Andrew (Zimmern) will tell you!!

Honeybee Market is open Monday through Saturday (8 AM – 8 PM) and Sunday (8AM-6 PM)

Honeybee Market – La Colmena

2443 Bagley

Detroit, Mi 48216


Honeybee Market Website

Written by Ed Schenk

January 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Stock for Chinese Soups

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    This recipe is provided by Jill McKeever. Jill is a fellow foodie I read online and Author of Simple Daily Recipes

Stock for Chinese Soups

This stock is very good as a basis for light Chinese soups. My particular favorite, wonton soup.


1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs

1 1/2 pounds pork spareribs

16 cups water

3-4 pieces fresh ginger root, unpeeled and crushed

3-4 green onions

3-4 tablespoons Chinese rice wine

Trim off any excess fat from the chicken and spareribs and chop them into large pieces. Place chicken and sparerib pieces in a large stockpot with the water. Add the ginger and green onions.

Bring to a boil and skim off the froth. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered fro 2 to 3 hours.

Strain the stock, discarding chicken, pork, ginger and onions. Add the rice wine and return to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Store the stock in the refrigerator when it has cooled down. It will keep for up to 5 days. It can be frozen in small containers and thawed when you need it.

Recipe and photo by Jill McKeever at Simple Daily


The next post will be my recipe for the wontons to go with this soup. They can also be used as steamed dumplings with a dipping sauce.

Stop back in 3 days for the dumpling post!

Written by Ed Schenk

January 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

Hot Tamale in Detroit

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     It has been said that in order to be successful you need to do one thing,and do it very well. This is the mission statement at Tamaleria Nuevo Leon in Detroit. This is a place the suburbanites pass, but less often stop, on their way to Mexicantown destinations. In spite of the off the beaten path location (on Vernor just south and under the bridge from the old Michigan train depot)  Tamaleria Nuevo Leon succeeds at what they do best – making tamales.

     Tamaleria Nuevo Leon has been in business since 1967 and at its present locale since 1970 but owner Maria Villarreal has been making tamales in Mexicantown since 1956. With her daughter Suzie they make approximately 130 dozen tamales a day! Varieties can include pork, chicken, beef or a sweet dessert tamale with pineapple,brown sugar, coconut and raisins. Fans have included Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young.They even did a special order for former President Jimmy Carter. Tamales at Nuevo Leon are well regarded and also well traveled.The Tamaleria  will freeze the tamales for the customer to ship. Customers have shared their enthusiasm for Nuevo Leon’s tamales by shipping them to far off location like Paris, Hawaii, Switzerland and South Korea.

     What is the busiest time of year for tamales I asked. “Christmas” I was told.” There is a tradition in the Mexican community of giving tamales at Christmas”. “We have people come in and order 20 dozen just to give” Suzie told me. “ We also get busy at Cinco De  Mayo.”

Tamaleria Nuevo Leon is open 7 days.

Tamaleria Nuevo Leon

2669 W. Vernor

Detroit, Mi. 48216


Written by Ed Schenk

January 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Comfort Food for a Cold Winter’s Night

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         Winter is certainly here and now that I’ve put the grill away it’s time to crank up the oven and fill the house with the smell of one of my favorite meals, Pot Roast. There are about as many versions of this classic recipe as there are cooks in the United States (and probably the world). Although the ingredients might vary there some things that all cooks should know about. The first has to do with the cut of meat. Any cut of meat can be made into a Pot Roast. The most popular cuts (rib, tenderloin and sirloin) are a waste of good money and anyone who tries to make Pot Roast with this should be arrested by the Meat Police and held indefinitely. These cuts should only be served medium rare. Anything further along the temperature chart and the get tough and dry out. A second possibility are the round cuts Top round, eye round, and bottom round (and also brisket) can be used for Pot Roast also have a tendency to also dry out. This leaves us with the chuck and shoulder.  Several supermarket names for chuck and shoulder are English Roast, Blade Roast, 7 Bone Roast or Chuck Eye Roast. These cut have the proper amount of fat to give you a flavorful Pot Roast. The down side is that they also have a fair amount of connective tissue (collagen) that must be broken down for.

         This brings us to our second point: temperature. In order for the connective tissue (collagen) in your meat to break down it need to melt. When it melts it creates gelatin. This is what gives you that silky feeling in your mouth. This begins at 160 degrees. If your cooking temperature is too high the the connective tissue (collagen) will just tighten up and the meat will give up it’s moisture too quickly. When cooking a Pot Roast the “low and slow” rule applies. Depending on the size of your roast it will take about 3 -4 hours to cook (at 325 Degrees).

         So you get your roast and you know to cook it “low and slow”. What now? I will follow with my version of Pot Roast. It’s pretty basic but has a few tips and tricks.

    Chef Ed’s Pot Roast (Serves 3 to 4)

    2-tablespoon vegetable oil

    2 # Chuck Roast (English Roast)

    1 1/2 cups onion diced

    2 teaspoons of garlic

    1/2 cup celery diced

    1-teaspoon thyme

    1-cup fresh fennel bulb diced

    1 cup of red wine

    1 cup of beef broth

    2 tablespoon of tomato paste

    1/4 packet of unflavored gelatin

    1/4-cup cold water

    2 teaspoons cornstarch

    1/4 cup cold water

    For Gremolata*( optional):

    · 1/4  cup finely chopped fennel bulb

    · 2  teapoons finely chopped fennel fronds

    · 2 teaspoons  grated orange or lemon rind

    * Gremolata can be made at any point during the cooking process

  • Salt and pepper your roast lightly
  • Heat your on the stovetop in an ovenproof pan (large sauté pan or Dutch oven) until smoking
  • Sear your roast on both sides until well browned (about 3-4 minutes a side)
  • Remove roast from pan and add onion, fennel, celery and garlic. Stir until vegetable begins to brown.
  • Remove from flame and add red wine. Simmer for 2 minutes
  • Add beef broth, tomato paste and thyme
  • Return roast to the pan
  • Place lid on pan, bring to a boil, The place in the oven (325 degrees) and braise in a 325 degrees oven for 3-4 hour or until tender remove from oven.
  • When tender sprinkle the unflavored gelatin into to cold water and let sit for 1 minute. Pour into braising liquid.
  • Bring to a boil on the stovetop.
  • Add, to the sauce, an 2 teaspoons of cornstarch (stirred into 1/4 cup of cold water). Bring to boil
  • Turn off flame. Stir in Gremolata. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes
  • Serve over buttered Egg Noodles


  • Many recipes call for the roast to be coated in flour before searing. The flour has a tendency to burn before the roast can sear. This is why I will thicken at the end of the cooking.
  • The addition for unflavored gelatin is an attempt to replace the some of the natural gelatin that exists in a properly made stock but is lacking in a commercial beef broth.
  • A Gremolata is a condiment that is traditionally made of flat leaf parsley, minced garlic and lemon zest. It is very easy to make and it make a huge difference in this dish

Written by Ed Schenk

January 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

Posted in Food

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