Saturday, March 27, 2010
adapted from Mark Bittman via Serious Eats
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound broccoli, preferably twice as many stems as florets, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/2 to 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and/or Romano and/or Asiago, whatever is on hand
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, broccoli, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional minute, then add the stock. Simmer until the broccoli is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
2. Purée the soup using a stick or regular blender, or let it cool somewhat and pass it through a food mill.
3. Stir in the cheese (or you can puree it in the soup in the step above), season to taste, and serve.
The original version was a "creamy" broccoli soup, with sour cream stirred in at the end. However, the first time I made it, I didn't have sour cream in the house. I figured "what the heck" and went for it anyway, thickening it at the end with the tiny remains of three shredded Italian cheeses I had on hand (about half a cup total). It worked beautifully. I ended up with a soup that was earthy yet somehow tangy, and it didn't even need additional salt. And I was even happier because I made the recipe my own.
I know most people love the heftier versions, but I think this recipe is perfect because when I crave broccoli soup what I am really craving is the broccoli itself. So in the end, I don't need cream, milk, sour cream or handfuls of cheese. I just want to taste the pure vegetable, with supporting flavors, and that's what this gives me.
One note - the white wine really makes a difference here. I made it once without it and it was definitely missing it.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
with major thanks to my wonder twin
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled (about 2 pounds)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
1 apple, peeled (any kind I've used is good)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Oil (canola or other neutral) for frying
Line a colander with paper towels or cheesecloth. Peel and grate potatoes, onion, and apple on a coarse grater. Mix together and place into lined colander. Let stand for 5 minutes, then squeeze out remaining liquid.
Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Add grated potatoes, onion, and apple and blend well. Add salt, flour, baking powder and mix thoroughly.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drop mix by heaping tablespoons into hot oil, being sure to drain any liquid off each cake before placing in pan. Lightly press flat. Fry until brown on both sides, then remove to a wire rack over paper towels or baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Repeat with the remaining mixture, adding more oil as needed. Serve warm with sour cream or applesauce.
Makes about 20.
Seriously, I got nuthin. These are everything I wanted my potato pancakes to be. We loved them. Thank you so much Krysta!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
inspired by the good old days...
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1/3 pound of pancetta, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound Russet potatoes (2 large), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small bunch kale (or Swiss chard), torn or chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings and saute in the oil, using a wooden spoon to break up into small chunks. Drain excess fat and set aside.
2. In the same pot, saute pancetta, onions and garlic over medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Pour in heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in the sausage and kale. Top with fresh ground pepper, if desired.
Looooove this. This is the end result of a couple of years' worth of adjustments to a rather popular soup from Olive Garden. It was one of Steve's favorite dishes when we were kids and I modified it more and more to suit our changing ingredient preferences (i.e., homemade stock instead of water and bouillon, pancetta instead of bacon, minced garlic instead of puree, chard instead of kale). It's so simple, yet so indulgent, and makes a wonderful meal all on its own, served with crusty bread, or with a salad. It's also still one of Steve's favorites, and mine!