Friday, November 18, 2011

Carrot Ginger Soup

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine 

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (about a 2 inch piece of ginger)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp course sea salt
5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
4 tbsp orange juice
1-3/4 lb. carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup thick yogurt, preferably Greek
Ground black or white pepper, to taste
Juice from 1/2 medium lime
1/3 cup chives or green onions, thinly sliced


In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions, leeks, celery, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir well, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp salt. Add the carrots, vegetable broth, and orange juice, stir well, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is full-flavored, 7 to 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the soup cool for 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (fill the jar no more than half full and vent the lid, topping it with a folded kitchen towel to prevent hot splashes). Wipe the pan clean and put the soup back into the pan. Add the yogurt and lime juice. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with more salt, pepper, or lime juice as needed. Ladle into 8 soup bowls and garnish each serving with 1 to 2 tsp. chopped chives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chile Lime Kale Chips

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The kale legacy continues. My friend, Mina introduced me to home made kale chips a few weeks ago that had only olive oil and salt and they were delicious. Eating her creation inspired me to create a recipe of my own. I hope you like these. They are a healthy, tasty treat. Using 1 bunch of kale makes about 2-3 cups of chips and serves about 2 people. Enjoy!

1 bunch of lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale (refer to my All hail, kale! post for a photo), torn into chip size pieces, stems removed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2-3/4 tsp mild chile powder (I used the Chile 3000 mix from Penzey's)
1/2-3/4 tsp dried lemon salt, or gray sea salt
Zest of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash kale pieces and dry thoroughly. The drying step is really important because if the kale is not completely dry, it will steam and not crisp properly.  Toss kale with olive oil and 1/2 tsp each chile powder and salt in a large bowl. It's fine to do this in batches if you need more room in the bowl. Mix until kale is well coated and glistening. Place kale pieces in a single layer on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 12-16 minutes until leaves are crispy. Remove from oven and allow to rest until room temperature, about 5-7 minutes. Toss with lime zest. Add remaining chile powder and salt, if desired. Consume without guilt!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Compote

I made these for breakfast this morning, and they are one of my new favorite things! The pancakes themselves are delicious, moist, and lemony! The compote is easy to throw together and involves minimal cooking which can all happen in the microwave. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

4 eggs, separated
12 oz. good quality ricotta cheese, whole milk or part skim
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar (granulated cane sugar is fine too)
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons), or 1 1/4 tsp lemon peel powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp gray sea salt
Butter to grease pan

1. Beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, and lemon zest. Add flour and salt, stir to combine.
3. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk ricotta mixture until smooth. The batter will be much thicker than regular pancake batter.
4. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add butter to melt, then spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake into the pan. Cook 3 minutes per side until lightly browned. Enjoy!
Makes 8-10, 4 inch pancakes

Berry Compote

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp candied orange sugar or powdered sugar, or to taste
1 tsp lemon zest, or 1/4 tsp lemon peel powder

1. Thaw raspberries in microwave in a medium size bowl on defrost setting until thawed (about 1 minute).
2. Remove from microwave and mix in orange juice, sugar, and lemon zest or powder. Stir to combine.
3. Thaw strawberries in microwave in small bowl on defrost setting until thawed (about 1 1/2 minutes). Remove from microwave and slice. Add to raspberry mixture. Add additional sugar if necessary.
4. Serve 1/4 cup compote on each pancake.