Cheesy Egg Drop Soup

Sometimes I end up with extra Parmesan cheese, and I almost always have eggs and chicken broth on hand. I use homemade chicken broth, but store-bought works just as well. The saltiness of the Parmesan cheese is a nice addition to traditional egg drop soup.

Begin with about 6 cups of broth and bring it to a low simmer.

In a measuring cup with a spout, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper and 1/4 cup of finely minced parsley. Add to this egg mixture 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan. With the broth continuing to simmer, slowly stream this mixture into the broth in a slight serpentine pattern. This way, your eggs cook in ribbons instead of one big clump.

Consider adding some chicken or finely shredded carrots for extra flavor. Garnish with additional cheese or croutons.

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Irish Stew

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Pair with cream cheese gnocchi in lieu of mashed potatoes for a twist.

In a heavy skillet cook 4 slices of diced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a stewpot, reserving the bacon fat. Do not put the stewpot over heat just yet. Season 2 1/2 pounds cubed boneless beef chuck with salt and pepper, then sear in the bacon fat over high heat, approximately 5 minutes each side. Place beef in stew pot with bacon.

Turn skillet heat down to medium, cook and stir 2 diced onions until lightly browned, or about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add 15 ounce can of Guinness or other dark beer into the skillet and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour cooking liquid from skillet into stew pot. Stir in 6 ounce can of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons thyme, 3 shredded carrots, 3 stalks finely chopped celery, 3 small bay leaves, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper and enough chicken broth to cover everything.

Bring stew to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer until beef is fork-tender, about two hours.

Remove cover and bring to medium-high heat. Remove bay leaves. Bring stew to a low oil and cook about 15 minutes, or until stew has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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