Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tomato Bisque

My niece was home this weekend and mentioned how she was hungry for Tomato Bisque and would love to have some while she was away at college.  I thought I would surprise her by sending some back with her.  I sampled a bowl as soon as it was done. This is some mighty tasty soup!  It would go great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

4 TBS butter
2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil

5 cups (1-28 oz can and 1-15 oz can) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock or broth (2 cans)

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

4 tsp honey
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half and half

In a large pot, melt 4 TBS butter.  Sauté garlic and herbs on medium low for about 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic is lightly browned.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth.  Heat to a simmer.

In a separate small saucepan, make a roux with the flour and remaining 2 TBS butter, whisking constantly over medium heat for 3 minutes, without browning.

Add roux to soup, whisking to blend.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. 

Add honey, cream and half and half.  If you prefer a smoother soup, you may use an immersion blender for several minutes.

Makes approx. 11 cups



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

The recipe comes from The White Gull Inn located in Door County, Wisconsin.  This is one of our favorite restaurants.
Serve this hearty soup with a piece of rustic bread and you have a complete meal. 
This makes a big batch of soup.  It did not all fit in my 5 quart Dutch oven.  I had to use two different pots to cook this in and then combined both pots together when the soup was finished cooking.  I'm glad I did not cut the recipe in half.  I shared some of the soup and froze some for later!         

4 TBS (1/2 stick) butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced red peppers
2 1/2 - 3 lbs beef round stew meat
1 lb sliced mushrooms (my addition)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp white pepper
1 bay leaf
4 quarts beef stock
1 3/4 cups barley
In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper.  Brown the meat in the stockpot in small batches.  You do not want to over-crowd your pot or your meat will steam instead of sear.  Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
Add garlic, onions, celery, carrots and peppers to the pot.  Sauté until the onions are tender.  Add the meat back to the stockpot with the vegetables.  Add the mushrooms, thyme, onion powder, white pepper, bay leaf and beef stock.  Bring to a boil.
Cover pot.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Meat should be tender.
Stir in barley and continue to simmer (covered) for 30-45 minutes or until barley is tender.

If soup is too thick, you may add more beef stock or water.

Serves: 10-12
Source:  The White Gull Inn - More Favorite Recipes from Our Kitchen  

Sausage Meatballs

I have been so hungry for Spaghetti and Meatballs lately.  I wanted to make my own meatballs so I thought I would try using sausage rather than making the usual beef meatballs.  These were really delicious.  I am not fond of the taste of fennel so I left that out of my recipe. 

1 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp water
12 ounces ground pork
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large egg yolks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground (use a spice grinder or crush using the bottom of a heavy skillet)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, and broken into 1 inch pieces

Adjust the oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.  Place wire rack in a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray wire rack with vegetable oil spray.

Dissolve salt, baking soda and water in a large bowl.  Add ground pork and fold gently to combine.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Place the following ingredients in a food processor: bread, cream, Parmesan, egg yolks, garlic, ground fennel seeds, oregano, pepper and pepper flakes.  Pulse until just combined, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Add ground pork (do not wash out bowl) and pulse until mixture is well combined, about 5 pulses.

Transfer half of the pork mixture in the food processor to the now-empty large bowl.  Add sausage to the pork mixture in the food processor and pulse until just combined, about 4 pulses.  Transfer sausage-pork mixture to a large bowl with pork mixture.  Using hands, gently fold together until mixture is just combined.

Lightly shape mixture into 1 3/4 inch round meatballs (about 1 ounce).  Use a light touch when rolling the meatballs to prevent them from being dense.  You should have about 24 meatballs.  Arrange meatballs, evenly spaced, on prepared rack and bake until browned, about 15 minutes, turn each meatball over about halfway through baking.

If you are making spaghetti and sauce, place your prepared spaghetti sauce in a large pot and simmer until hot.  Add meatballs to sauce and gently simmer, turning them occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Cover and keep warm over a low flame.

Make pasta and transfer pasta to a large serving platter. Top with meatballs and sauce. 

Serves 4 to 6

Source:  Cook's Illustrated Magazine