Ginger carrot soup

Sometimes I just need to eat something simple and light. Maybe after a couple of weeks of frequent dinner parties and eating out, or maybe after a spell of daring cooking that saw me cooking complicated dishes, my tummy wants something easy to digest and uncomplicated. And then I turn to soups. As simple as possible soups, with very little fat and plenty of good vegetables. This time it was carrot and ginger soup.

Ingredients

  • 1lb carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 spoon ginger
  • EVOO
  • salt

Directions

  1. First I warmed up a bit of oil and when it was fragrant I added about a spoon of ginger powder. I know fresh ginger is better, but I only use ginger rarely and always end up having to throw away the fresh one, so I stick to powder. I let the ginger toast a bit and then added 1 small diced onion. When the onion was all wilted and soft, I added the carrots diced coarsely. Again I let the carrot roast up a bit in the oil and absorb the taste from the onion and the ginger. I added water little by little, but without submerging the carrots. The idea is to roast them rather than boil them. About 20 minutes in, when the carrots were nice and soft, I put them in the blender with enough water to make a smooth soup. Finally, I return the soup to the pot to warm it back up.
  2. Eat as much as you like and get your extra dose of vegetables!

Fennel seeds bread

This bread is really no more complicated to bake than a lot of other brads I have been baking, nor the preparation follows a specific process, but it turned out so well I decided to post it anyway.

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 spoon dry yeast
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • 1/2 spoon fennel seed (do not exaggerate, they have a pretty strong flavor!)
  • salt

Directions

  1. First I dissolved my yeast in warm water and added a bit of sugar to facilitate yeast activation.
  2. Second I added in my flour, salt and fennel seed.
  3. Third I mixed the bread until flour and water were well combined and kneaded briefly the dough into a smooth ball (about 1 minute).
  4. Left everything to rest for about 8 hours.
  5. Finally I formed the bread into a baguette kind of shape, turned on the oven at 450F and cooked for about 30 minutes.
  6. It turned out awesome with all the little holes and everything!

Springy frittata recipe

Frittata is a very versatile dish and can be made with any number of thing and eaten in a variety of occasions: brunch, lunch, in a sandwich, appetizer, light dinner, cold, hot… you choose. I often make some frittata when I need too cook an appetizer that can be shared at a potluck or at a dinner. It is super easy to make and, at least in Minneapolis, it makes an impression!

For Easter I decided to make some fava bean frittata, but of course I couldn’t find fava beans, so fava beans became lima beans. Fava beans and other springy vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, spinach are often eaten for Easter in Italy because they kind of symbolize rebirth (and of course because Easter happens to be in Spring). To balance out the sweetness of the beans I added in some salty cheese and for a fresh, springy touch I added mint. I guess it turned out all right, because I had a couple of people asking me for the recipe….

Ingredients

  • 1 can lima beans
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 spoons mint
  • 1 cup diced salty cheese
  • EVOO
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. First I took a small onion and wilted it in a bit of olive oil. When the onion was soft, I added in my drained lima beans and warmed them up. I also added a couple of spoons of minced mint.
  2. While the lima beans were cooking, I beat the eggs with a splash of milk, salt and pepper. The milk helps making the frittata soft and fluffy. You shouldn’t add that much, just a splash is enough to make the frittata rise and puff up during cooking. Finally, I added in a diced salty cheese from Mexico (feta should work as well) and mixed everything well.
  3. I poured the egg and cheese mixture in the pan where I was cooking my fava beans and placed my pan in a 385F oven. The frittata should cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until puffy and golden. After you take the frittata out be very careful with the pan: every time I cook frittata in the oven I end up burning myself because I touch the sering hot handle of the pan…. this time was not an exception 🙁
  4. You can serve it hot or cold, as a main dish or as a starter.

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

So another month has gone by and I am playing again with the fabulous recipes proposed by Christianna for her recipe swap at Burwell general Store. This month we were playing with Ozarkian Taffy Apples. As you can see below the recipe is a version of caramelized apples.

At first I thought about playing with apples ad caramel and make something like a tarte tatin. But then I thought it was not that original, plus there are good tarte tatin recipes everywhere, so I decided to play with the shape. Carmelized apples are apples that are left whole and encased in something, so I thought about baking apples and encase them in puff pastry. And puff pastry plus apples remind me of strudel, so I added a little something to make it more strudel-y.

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

Recipe swap: deconstructed strudel

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • 1 spoon raisin
  • 1 spoon pine nuts
  • 2 cinnamon cookies
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • marsala for soaking raisins
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • cinnamon for decoration

Directions

  1. Frst I soaked the raisin in marsala and hot water. I washed and cored the apples (easier said than done when you don’t have an apple corer). I blended the raisin with pine nuts and 2 cinnamon cookies and used the mixture to stuff the apples.
  2. Then I took the puff pastry and cut it into stripes that I wrapped around the apples and used the leftover pastry to cut a couple of leaves to decorate the apple. Finally, I brushed the puff pastry with egg wash and sprinkled some cinnamon for decoration.
  3. I baked the apples for about 40 minutes in a 380F oven.
  4. The apples turned out good, but one of the two “unwrapped’ during cooking. I suspect I should have refrigerated the wrapped apples before putting them in the oven so that the puff pastry wouldn’t “melt” down. Here a pic of both apples.
  5. Remember to check out what my fellow blogger did. You can find links to their recipes at Burwell general Store.

Pork en mole recipe

The other weekend I wandered in a very nice mexican Supermercado where they sold, among other things, homemade (well store made) mole poblano. I would never have the patience (or the time) to study the recipe for mole poblano, pick out all the ingredients, measure them and cook them for the time required to make some good mole, so I picked some of that mole poblano up.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices pork loin
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 spoon mole poblano
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First I warmed a bit of oil and seared the pork in it on both sides. I then added the diced onion and the diced sweet potato. After a quick stir, I added the mole and about 2 cups of water. I stirred until the mole was well dissolved in the water and let everything cook. I cooked the dish for about 20 minutes, basically until the mole was of a nice thick consistency.
  2. The mole turned out to be very good: slightly spicy with the sweet undertones of chocolate and the heartiness of the nuts. It was very difficult for me not to lick the plate.