Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

Melissa Clark of the New York Times is one of my go-to favorites when experimenting with new recipes. While not all of her recipes are “winners,” she has the good sense to use vegetables in season.

I recently came across Melissa’s recipe for Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup. While this recipe does have a somewhat “sweetish” taste, it did make a colorful combination when paired with a Nigella Lawson’s delicious broccoli and stilton soup.


If you are in the mood for something special do give Ms. Clark’s recipe a go.

Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup by Melissa Clark

INGREDIENTS  (Serves 4, preparation time 40 minutes)

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for serving
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 small (or half of a large) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
  • Smoky chile powder, for serving
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving


  1. In a large, dry pot over medium heat, toast coriander seeds until fragrant and dark golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and coarsely crush.
  2. Return the pot to medium heat. Add the oil and heat until warm. Stir in onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots, crushed coriander, salt and 6 cups water to the pot. Stir in the miso until it dissolves. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can let soup cool slightly then purée it in batches in a food processor or blender.) If necessary, return the puréed soup to the heat to warm through. Stir in the lemon zest and juice just before serving. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chile, sea salt and cilantro leaves.

Enjoy this wonderful soup.

If you are looking for more great soup recipes, consider these:

Tuscan Bean Soup with Pancetta

White Bean Soup with Duck Confit

Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil and Black Sea Salt



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Monday, February 12, 2018

April Bloomfield Tackles Oatmeal or Porridge

Sicilian Style Citrus Salad from New York Times

During the long and dreary winter days, one’s day can be brightened up considerably with a citrus salad.  I recently came across this Sicilian-style citrus salad from David Tanis of the New York Times.

Citrus Salad with Pink Radicchio

I am not too particular about the citrus fruit I add to a salad other than the fruits must be brimming in color.  Mr. Tanis’s recipe features three colorful varieties of oranges, including the blood red orange, and a small grapefruit.

These bright and cheerful fruits must be God’s way of helping us cope through a long a dreary winter.  Whatever the reason, this delightful citrus salad from Sicily will lift the gloom from any one.

Sicilian-Style Citrus Salad 

INGREDIENTS  (Yields 6 Servings)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2 Cara Cara oranges
  • 1 small grapefruit
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, enough to make 1 cup
  • 2 or 3 tender inside celery stalks, thinly sliced at an angle
  • Handful of olives, black oil cured type or green Castelvetrano type, pitted
  • Winter salad leaves, such as radicchio or escarole, optional
    Large pinch of flaky sea salt

Toss the ingredients and you are off to the races.  For more great salad recipe ideas from Gourmet Living, consider the salad recipes below:

Lulu’s West Indies Salad Recipe

Chicken Cabbage Summer Salad Recipe

White Balsamic Vinegar Jicama Slaw Salad

Chicken and Walnut Salad Recipe

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Seared Salmon with Fennel and Balsamic Lentils

We recently came across this wonderful recipe for salmon with roasted fennel and balsamic lentils from the New York Times.

Salmon and Lentils Recipe

It is a superb recipe to add a culinary high-note to the Mediterranean diet.  More importantly, it features olive oil and balsamic vinegar and provides us with an opportunity to highlight Gourmet Living’s exceptional food products.

Salmon and Lentils Recipe

Salmon with Roasted Fennel and Balsamic Lentils

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4, Preparation time 90 minutes)

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 1 cup French lentils or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, very thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Gourmet Living, off course!)
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets


  1. Preheat broiler with rack placed 6 inches under the heat source. Place the bell peppers on a pan in the broiler. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skin is blackened on all sides. Remove from heat, and cool.
  2. Lower oven heat to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain the cooked lentils, rinse with cool water and reserve. While lentils are cooking, prepare the fennel salad: in a medium mixing bowl, combine the fennel, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the mixture in a shallow oven-proof dish, and roast until the fennel is lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Remove fennel from oven, add lemon juice and reserve until serving time.
  3. Skin and seed the cooled bell peppers and cut into small dice. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and shallots. Saute until shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add lentils and diced peppers. Saute another minute, and remove from heat. In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer the balsamic vinegar until reduced by a third, about 2 minutes. Cool, add to the lentil mixture and toss gently. Set aside until serving time.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste. In a well-seasoned or nonstick skillet over high heat, place 1 tablespoon olive oil. Quickly sear the fillets so they are well browned on the surface, and remove from heat. Transfer to an oiled baking dish, and bake about 5 minutes or to taste.
  5. To serve, spread half of each plate with balsamic lentils, and half with roasted fennel salad. Top with a salmon fillet, and garnish with a sprig of fennel frond. Serve immediately.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili from Martha Stewart

I have never been a big fan of Martha Stewart since I watched her butcher an “authentic” Spanish paella on national TV. The finished product looked more like fish and rice soup than paella and it was evident that Martha had never had the real deal.

Martha Stewart Tex-Mex ChiliMartha’s culinary skills (most likely those of her staff) seem to have matured with this delightful recipe for turkey chili from one of her “Everyday Cookbooks”. We use the recipe frequently to accommodate the many non-beef eaters in our family. Frankly, I can’t tell whether it is beef or turkey because the flavor profile is so rich. If you are looking for a hearty chili this winter, look no further than Martha Stewart’s Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili.

(Editor’s Note: Order your Benton’s Bacon early since it takes about 3 weeks to arrive! This is a decision you will never regret.)

Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 4 slices bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Please order Benton’s bacon now! Benton’s bacon is great for this type of recipe.
  • 3 pounds ground dark-meat (at least 7% fat) turkey
  • 4 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (essential ingredient for dark rich chili)
  • 4 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
  • 2 tablespoons of unsulphured molasses
  • 1 cup of water
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • Assorted toppings: Cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapeño slices and fresh cilantro


  1. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Raise heat to high; add turkey. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add onions, garlic and jalapeños; cook until soft, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cocoa, and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Break up tomatoes with kitchen shears or with your hands, and add them to the pot along with the puree. Add molasses, the water and 4 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, partially covered for 30 minutes more. Serve hot with assorted toppings as desired.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Saveur’s White Bean Soup with Duck Confit

This delightful recipe from a 2013 Saveur magazine for GARBURE GERSOISE is more of a stew than a soup, but simply delicious.   A filling meal during the winter with some great root vegetables.

saveur Cabbage-and-White-Bean-Soup-with-Duck-Confit


I am always a bit suspect of the fat content when I see duck and bacon, but most of the fat content from the duck is rendered before cooking the soup.  When shredding the confit after rendering the fat, I managed to get rid of most of the fat.

This is simply a sensational “soup” or “stew” that is great to sip around a warm fire on a snowy winter’s day.

Saveur’s White Bean Soup with Duck Confit

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8)

  • 3 legs duck confit, homemade or store-bought
  • 6 oz. slab bacon, sliced into 1⁄4″ matchsticks
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1⁄2″ thick
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small leek, trimmed and sliced crosswise 1⁄2″ thick
  • 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1⁄2 cups dried white beans, such as cannellini, Great Northern, or navy, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. dried juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Cheesecloth, for herbs
– 1 small head Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
– 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2″ pieces
– 1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 1⁄2″ pieces
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Country bread, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat duck legs in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, flipping once, until fat is rendered and meat is tender, 10–12 minutes. Transfer legs to a cutting board; let cool, then shred meat, discarding skin and bones.
  2. Add bacon to pan; cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl. Add garlic, carrots, onion, and leek; cook until golden, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add wine; boil. Cook until reduced by half, 2–3 minutes. Add stock and beans; return to a boil. Place peppercorns, juniper, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight package and add to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, slightly covered, until beans are very tender, 1–1 1⁄2 hours.
  4. Uncover and stir in cabbage, potato, turnip, salt, and pepper; cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in reserved duck and bacon; cook 5 minutes more. Discard herbs, and ladle soup into bowls; serve with bread, if you like.

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