Archive | August, 2013

Carrot Soup With Ginger

27 Aug Carrot Soup with Ginger

Carrot Soup with GingerAdapted from a recipe on foodnetwork.com, this is a nice light summer soup. We made it with low-fat milk, and it was fine, but it would probably be better made with cream. We had some left over and served it the next day cold, which was also good. If you don’t like a strong ginger flavor, use a little less ginger.

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. butter
2 onions, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and white pepper
Sour cream and parsley for garnish

Directions:

In a 6-quart pan, over medium high heat, melt butter, add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft.

Add broth, carrots and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add the cream and stir over medium heat until the soup is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 6

Massaged Kale Salad

20 Aug

Kale Salad 1We finally had enough kale in the garden to actually make something. I’ve eaten some good kale salads but never actually made one, so I hit the ‘net in search of good recipes. This one was posted by Aarti Sequeira on the Food Network website in 2010. It was easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale, stalks removed, leaves thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
Kosher salt
2 tsp. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
2 Tbs. toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts

Directions:

Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Add half the lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and “massage” the salad with your hands until the kale starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the ¼ cup of olive oil while whisking.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. Toss and serve.

Serves 4

Tuesday Tip: I love my Misto!

13 Aug

MistoA couple of years ago, my kids gave me a great gift — I can’t remember whether it was for Mother’s Day or my birthday. It’s a Misto olive oil spritzer. You fill the container with olive oil, and then you just give it a spritz when you need a small amount of oil to grease a pan or to drizzle on top of a dish before roasting or serving it. You use a lot less oil than if you attempt to drizzle the oil out of your big olive oil bottle, and it costs a lot less than PAM and other no-stick sprays.

I only have one, and I use it for olive oil. I still have a big can of Costco’s Kirkland brand no-stick spray that I use when I need a spritz of vegetable oil. But my daughter Miriam has a couple of Mistos, one for olive oil and one for canola oil, labeled in different colors so she can tell them apart. Smart!

You can buy a Misto online at Amazon or at a lot of retailers, including Bed, Bath and Beyond, for about $10. You’ll easily save that much pretty quickly on the cost of olive oil .

Here’s an example of where a Misto comes in handy — making pita chips! If you have some leftover or stale pita, cut it into pie-shaped wedges, and then separate the two halves of each wedge. Place on a baking pan as close together as possible. Spray all the pieces with olive oil from your Misto (or with non-stick spray if you aren’t lucky enough to own a Misto). Sprinkle the pita with garlic powder, onion salt, zaatar or some other seasoning, and bake in a hot oven (425 degrees) for just a few minutes until the pita starts to brown. Watch it carefully, because it doesn’t take long to go from brown to burnt! Remove from the oven and cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

Summer Berry Pudding

6 Aug

Berry pudding

With summer berries so plentiful and relatively inexpensive right now, here is a great recipe for a summer dessert.

Two things surprised me when I made this recipe. The first was that it was from the New York Times, where recipes tend to be complex or made with hard-to-find ingredients, and this one was very simple. Then I realized, as I purchased the loaf of super-puffy supermarket white bread that it calls for, that I hadn’t made such a purchase in many, many years. Even before we (meaning my husband, Joe) started baking almost all our bread, we would buy bread from local bakeries, not from the supermarket. On the rare occasions that we bought packaged bread from the grocery store, it would be something with lots of whole grains and seeds in it. So I was surprised at just how soft and spongy supermarket white bread is.

Like me, you may be tempted to sneer at this kind of bread, but it’s what you need for this recipe. You can use up any leftovers in French toast or cinnamon toast.

Ingredients:

1¾ lb. mixed berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries and strawberries) – about 6 cups
½ cup sugar, or a little more to taste
1 Tbs. lemon juice, or a little more to taste
A few drops of rosewater (optional)
10 to 12 slices soft white bread, crusts removed

Directions:

Combine the berries, sugar and ⅓ cup water in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved and the berries release their juices, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. The sauce should be sweet with a hint of tartness. Add more sugar or lemon to your taste. Stir in the rosewater if you use it.

Spoon an even layer of berry syrup (not the berries themselves) over the bottom of an 8-inch loaf pan or a medium-sized bowl. Line the bottom of the pan or bowl with a single layer of bread; cut the slices into smaller pieces as necessary to make them fit.

Berry pudding with ice creamSpoon a third of the fruit on top of the bread, making sure the bread is completely covered; top with another layer of bread. Repeat twice, alternating layers of fruit and bread and ending with bread on the top (so you’ll have four layers of bread and three layers of fruit).

Let the mixture cool completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap; the wrap should rest on the top of the pudding. Place a light weight on top of the pudding (e.g. a couple of ceramic mugs or small cans if you’re using a loaf pan, or a small plate if you’re using a bowl). Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the sides of the pudding, cover it with the serving plate and then turn it over to unmold. It should slip right out of the pan or bowl. Serve in slices with cream, whipped cream or ice cream on top.

Serves 8