Monthly Archives: August 2014

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Carrot and Ginger Soup 

Gluttons. That’s the word that best describes Roger and me as we chewed our way through the south during the twins college move-in. There is nothing quite like a southern comfort food induced “food coma.” We scarfed down buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, ribs, more ribs, banana pudding, finger-licking fried chicken, cheesy grits with bacon, cornbread, tons of okra, and enough pimiento cheese to sink a battleship. Thankfully for us (and not so much for our waistlines) Greg chose The Citadel in Charleston, SC, which is teeming with noteworthy eating establishments (I’m SO looking forward to parents weekend)! Needless to say, we had to recalibrate our caloric intake when we arrived back in Laguna. And I ask you, what better way to do that than with soup?

Ginger is a well-known home remedy for upset tummies and this is exactly what we needed. I had some Trader Joe’s miso ginger broth hanging around and decided to use that as my soup base. Here’s what you’ll need. 

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1 med. (or two small) sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 med. yellow onion, chopped

2 thyme sprigs

1-32 oz. container of TJ’s Miso Ginger broth

5 peeled and diced carrots

1 inch of freshly peeled and minced ginger

1 tbsp. of honey

1 tbsp. of maple syrup

1 tbsp. of ghee or flavorless oil

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Add your ghee, or oil, to the bottom of a 2qt. saucepan and sauté your onion until translucent. Add your ginger and sauté until fragrant.

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Pour in the broth and other ingredients. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes and carrots are soft. Remove the thyme sprigs. Slowly add the soup, in batches, to a Vita-Mix (or other quality blender) and blend until pureed.

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This soup can be served warm, or cold. Roger and I each had a decent sized portion and he took the rest for lunch the next day. The recipe serves 3-4 depending upon your appetites.

I topped our warm soup off with a little Fage Greek yogurt, which is loaded with active/healthy probiotics. A must after our eating extravaganza!

We are headed up to Napa and will be visiting a friend’s winery. They’ve been busy harvesting and there are over 100 tons of grapes fermenting. I’ve been told there are heady smells wafting through the air. We’ll also get to take a peak at any earthquake damage; they’ve been evaluating all of their buildings, etc., for the past few days. I’ll report on anything of interest next week. Excited. 

Eat well! 

April

 

The New Yorker - 2002

The New Yorker – 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Relish + Poached Salmon

Citrus flatters the blushing salmon and the flavor of orange is my favorite complement. I’m cooking for two now that we have an empty nest and that’s how many this recipe will serve.

 Relish-

1 orange

¼ cup basil chiffonade (basil leaves rolled and cut into thin strips)

½ cup minced red onion. Rinse with cold water to remove some of the bite.

1 tbsp. EVOO

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ minced red chili pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

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 Use a micro planer to zest the orange (try to avoid getting too much bitter white pith), or use a citrus peel tool to remove the peel in small strips. Use a paring knife to remove the orange segments. 

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 Mix the above ingredients, except for ½ tsp. of orange peel, in a bowl and set aside.

 Poaching Liquid-

 1 cup of orange juice

½ cup of dry white wine

½ tsp. of reserved orange peel

½ tsp of minced shallot

Salmon for two 

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Feel for bones in your salmon and remove with tweezers. Remove the skin.

 Add the orange juice, wine, reserved orange peel, and minced shallot to a pan large enough for the salmon, but small enough that the liquid almost covers the top of your fish. Bring the liquid up to a low simmer (medium low) Carefully lower the salmon into the pan and bring the heat down to low. Continually spoon the liquid over the top of the fish and check for doneness in about 7-10 minutes.

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I served the salmon over quinoa and spooned the relish on top of the salmon. In addition I added a few slices of avocado. It’s a perfect dinner for a warm evening when you’re tired of grilled food.

Eat well!

April

 “I think health is the outcome of eating well.” – Alice Waters

 

Chimichurri

Chimichurri

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We hosted a small college “farewell party” for the twins. I marinated and grilled enough flank steak for ten people and wanted to serve a bright, fresh sauce that would go a long way. The Argentinian green condiment known as chimichurri, traditionally served with grilled meat, definitely fit the bill. You can double the recipe and use ½ as a marinade and the other half to serve with your grilled meat.

 Here’s what you’ll need.

1 1/2 cups fresh parsley

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tbsp. oregano (I substituted oregano for marjoram because that’s all I had)

1 tsp. red-chili flakes

3 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

½ of a red bell pepper diced very small (not traditional, but I wanted to add color and texture)

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup of EVOO

If you have a shallot on hand you can throw that in, too, but peel it, remove the root, and rough chop it before adding it to the processor.

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Take all of the ingredients, minus the small-diced red-bell pepper, EVOO, and salt and pepper, and combine them in a food processor. Process until you have the consistency of pesto.

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Add EVOO. Process again.

Add diced red pepper to processor and mix with spoon.  

Add salt and pepper to taste. 

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 I was so busy getting everything to the table hot that I neglected to take a photo of a composed plate (I served roasted garlic basmati rice and haricot vert as sides) and by the time I realized my oversight, there was only one piece of lonely flank steak draped in chimichurri lingering on the cutting board. It went fast!

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 Eat well!

 April

 “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

-James Beard