Suzi’s Blog

Carrot Soup with Brown Butter, Pecans and Yogurt from The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson

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Carrots. What to do with carrots. Too often with our veggies we go simple. A little roasting or pan frying. Some sugar, salt, or vinegar and the veggies appear on our plate.

In The Broad Fork, author Hugh Acheson suggest that you can employ veggies in vibrantly distinct recipes. Carrots, for example, are appearing now in our famers markets and we have months of color, and flavor, before us.

This soup is not a five-minute knockoff. It’s a serious recipe that will take some time and has a number of ingredients. Here, the sweetness of carrots marries the acidity of yogurt plus the tang of jalapeno and gloss of maple syrup. This is a recipe that you can use year round, but I think summer, with the carrots rich from the sun, is the perfect time to enjoy this recipe.

And, of course, you can play with this recipe, toying with relative proportions or adding ingredients that you find enchanting.


Carrot Soup with Brown Butter, Pecans and Yogurt

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots 4
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 red jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds (not tahini—pulse them in a food processor or spice grinder)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup crushed pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrot tops
  • Maple syrup, to taste

Preparation:

Peel the carrots and cut 1 carrot into very thin rounds. Cut the rest of the carrots into ½‑inch pieces.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs, jalapeno, sesame, and ½-inch cut carrots. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the stock and kosher salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the thyme sprigs.

Puree the carrot mixture in a blender, taking care to secure the lid. Pour the soup back into the saucepan, stir in the ½ cup yogurt, adjust the seasoning with salt, and place the lid on it to keep it warm.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, and cook until the solids begin to brown. Add the pecans. Toss and toast for about 1 minute, and then remove from the heat and add the vinegar.

Serve the soup in bowls. Dollop each serving with the remaining yogurt and the pecan brown butter, sprinkle with the carrot tops and coins, and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup.


Source: The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson [Clarkson Potter, 2015]

 

Poblano Corn Chowder from The Daily Soup

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The Daily Soup was a New York institution, one of those soup chains that start, soar, and then sadly crash. There is only one Daily Soup shop in Manhattan these days. But the cookbook, published in 1999, survives and is a tribute to those original soup pioneers.

Corn seems to have a natural mate in chilies. This soup, made with both poblano and chipotle, does have some heat, but no extravagant fire. It’s a lovely soup that can make your summer meals a delight. Actually, this soup has enough character to be a main dish. Just pair off with a salad and perhaps some biscuits and you have a wonderful supper spread.

There’s a surprise soup ingredient here: feta cheese. And, if you go the biscuit route, you can add something extra in them too: green chiles, bacon, ham bits, or … Well, let your imagination soar.

The authors do have one major variation for you. Leave the poblanos out and put in a pound of lump crab [after pureeing one quarter of the chowder in step 6].


Poblano Corn Chowder

Yield: 12 cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced from the cob and cobs reserved, about 4 cups
  • 10 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 poblano chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, minced
  • chipotle chile in adobo with ½ teaspoon sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican or regular dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2cups grated Queso Blanco or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

1.         Combine the corn cobs and vegetable stock in a large stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cobs with a slotted spoon and discard. Reserve 6 cups of the stock and set aside until ready to use.

2.         Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, 2 of the garlic cloves, and poblano chilies and sweat for 4 minutes, until tender.

3.         Add the dried chipotle, chipotle in adobo with sauce, oregano, bay leaves, and salt and stir to coat the vegetables.

4.         Add the corn stock, corn, and potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

5.         Add the cheeses and heavy cream and simmer until the cheese melts.

6.         Remove the bay leaves and puree about one quarter of the chowder in a blender or food processor until smooth.

7.         Return the puree to the pot and mix well.

8.         Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining garlic clove and chopped cilantro.

9.         To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Source: The Daily Soup Cookbook by Leslie Kaut et al [Hyperion 1999]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/30th second at ISO‑500

 

Cookbook Review: The Slider Effect by Johathan Melendez

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The first time I saw a slider, I thought it was a cute idea. And then I took the bite, the one big bite that got it all in my mouth at once, and I instantly knew what sliders were really all about. Rather than “fight” with your burger, unable to get it all in your mouth as the buns shift around and that slice of tomato shoots out and attacks your tablemate, rather than that struggle with gooey fingers, you just ingest the entire slider in one oversized bite. You immediately sample all the flavors at once, just as they were meant to be: the bun, the meat, pickles and tomatoes and other veggies, the sauce or sauces.

Sliders are the perfect marriage of American burgers with that wonderful tapas-bite-sized food concept. Now, the slider community is expanding. It ain’t just burgers anymore.

In The Slider Effect author Jonathan Melendez travels around the world, down almost every possible pathway, to offer you slider ideas with impact and promise. About the only ingredient not put into sliders here is Mac and Cheese. But this book, so filled with ideas, may inspire you to craft your own Mac and Cheese slider, or maybe Volume 2 by Jonathan is already being written with a new round of even more outrageous combinations.

There are two major portions to this book. First, recipes for sliders using meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian cores. Second, chapters for Buns, Rolls and Biscuits and for Sauces, Spreads and Condiments.

I actually think you should begin with those last two chapters, to get a survey of the key packaging and flavoring that will frame your slider.

Yes, a “slider” is made with a tiny hamburger bun except when it isn’t. Except when that outside is:

  • Everything Bagel
  • Braided Challah Buns
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • Waffle Buns
  • Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuit
  • Pretzel Buns
  • Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia Buns
  • Crusty French Bread Rolls
  • Sweet Pineapple Hawaiian Rolls
  • Classic Potato Rolls
  • Baked Potato Buttermilk Biscuits

And while a standard sauce could be mayo or mustard or ketchup, what if you used:

  • Homemade Aioli: Roasted Garlic, Siracha, or Cilantro and Lime and Green Onion
  • Hummus
  • Spicy Pumpkin Chutney, Cajun Remoulade
  • Arugula Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  • Chimichurri
  • Buttermilk Ranch
  • Sweet and Spicy Strawberry-Rhubarb Tomato Ketchup
  • Thai Peanut Sauce

Now, imagine you are having a party. Imagine pitchers of sangria and margaritas and beer surrounding a few trays of different buns and different sauces. It’s a slider party and it’s a sure success whatever fillings you desire.

Oh, fillings. Those meat and poultry and seafood and veggie fillings? Here’s a sample of what Jonathan suggests for you:

  • Chicken Fried Steak
  • Grilled Steak and Potato
  • Mediterranean Lamb
  • Vietnamese Banh Mi
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • Turkey Meatloaf
  • Roast Chicken Salad
  • Grilled Fish Taco
  • Salmon Cake
  • Shrimp Fajita
  • Roasted Beet
  • Fried Zucchini
  • Vegetable Tempura

Now, in some case Jonathan does have a specific combination of bun and sauce in mind but he does list alternatives and you are completely encouraged to mix and match. There are literally thousands of combinations available to you here in The Slider Effect, enough for a hundred slider parties to be sure.

The subtitle of this book is a phrase you know: You Can’t Eat Just One. That’s sure the truth. You won’t want to stop with just one. And you won’t want to stop with just one kind. This is a book to open, meander and experiment with. Don’t worry how you start cooking. Just, just slide into it. One very open mouthful at a time.