Archive | September, 2009

Potato Leek Soup

30 Sep

Potato Leek Soup

Thick and creamy, but not too heavy.  Since the potatoes will be pureed, the starch level doesn’t matter too much, but you may need to adjust the liquid if you use high- or low-starch varieties.   If you don’t want to puree the soup completely, choose a low-starch kind like Red Bliss.  They’ll hold their shape better after cooking.
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 lb potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 c chicken stock
  • 3 c water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c heavy cream

Trim the leeks, keeping only the white and light green parts.  Slice lengthwise, then crosswise into slices, and soak in a bowl of cold water.  Swish the leeks around to rinse off any sand.   Heat 3 T butter in a soup pot over medium heat until foam subsides.  Carefully lift the leeks from the water, drain, pat dry, and add to butter.  Saute gently 10-15 minutes, until leeks are soft but not browned.

Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ cubes.  Add to pot, along with water, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer, covered, for about an hour.

Carefully transfer about 2 c of the soup to a blender, and puree until smooth.  Pour into a clean container.  Repeat until all soup is pureed, or leave some chunky if you wish.

Add cream and stir to blend.  Add additional salt and pepper if needed.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate.  When reheating, be careful not to boil.

Bread Pudding Update

29 Sep

The bread pudding is even better the next day!

Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding

28 Sep

bread puddingI am not normally a huge fan of bread pudding.  I also don’t believe in putting bread or crackers in soup – who wants soggy crackers?  However, this recipe is decadent – the bread is not dry, but not soggy, the coffee adds depth of flavor, and the bourbon sauce is rich and gooey and delicious.   This is a great recipe for company, because you can make it the day ahead, and pop it in the oven right before you serve dinner.

I made homemade Challah to use in the bread pudding.  If you’re going to bother with the recipe, don’t skimp on good, rich bread.  Brioche would work well also. 

I have had a can of sweetened condensed milk in my cupboard since last Christmas.  It has been driving me crazy.  I realize the shelf life is nearly infinite, but I just have this thing about ingredients sitting around without a plan or purpose for nearly a year.  Anyway, I substituted the Christmas can for the milk and sugar.   I like sweet, but my bread pudding bordered on too sweet, so feel free to cut back on the sugar.   Next time, assuming no rogue cans of SCM are available, I’ll use 3/4 c sugar. 

The sauce looks best as soon as its finished.  I made it a day ahead, and it turns grainy in the refrigerator.  You need to heat it up slowly and stir frequently to get the silky texture back. 

I based my recipe on this one from Food Network.

Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding

Italian Stir Fry

25 Sep

italian stir fryI’ve decided to start eating more seafood, so I stuck the handy Seafood Watch Pocket Guide in my coupon holder so I could choose environmentally friendly seafood.  Turns out its hard to find affordable, environmentally friendly seafood.  I don’t know if they’re Italian, but bay scallops were on sale last week, and they’re on the “best” list, so they made it into the recipe.

This is a 100% original recipe.  I’m sure there are others like it out there – I just haven’t seen them.  It was a big hit with the kids.  Bella and Shawn even liked the scallops!   It made just enough for one adult and three kids, but could easily be doubled.

You could substitute shrimp or chicken, and just about any vegetable – just make sure to add veggies that cook longest first.  

Italian Stir Fry

22 Sep

I’m experimenting with different header photographs until I find one I really like, so you may see a new photo at the top when you visit the site.  I’d be happy to hear opinions.

Seckel Pears

20 Sep

seckel pearsseckel pears II

Seckel pears from Blue Faerie Farm at the Middletown Farmer’s Market

19 Sep

I don’t make a habit of posting links, but I think the following articles are worth passing along.  We really are what we eat, and if we have a greater sense of what goes into the foods we eat – a connection more than a grocery store receipt – maybe we can shift the balance away from the hate side of the love/hate relationship we Americans have with food. 

On Urban Farms, A Sense of Place  We connect to a place through the food we eat and eventually through what eats us. Eating (also defecating, dying, and decomposing) confirms that we are a part of a biological system, that we are community members in an ecosystem. But in the city we obscure this story. Food seems to come from nowhere (and shit and corpses disappear to nowhere, eerily, almost magically). We lose the opportunity to realize that we are someplace. “

Disease Driven Earnings: Is it Time for a New Prescription for Generation Rx? “…while Kraft, Coca Cola, and WalMart formulate their products differently for children overseas (with reduced fat, salt, and synthetic ingredient content), our National School Lunch Program continues to be a dumping ground for the remnants of the agrichemical corporations.”

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