I find inspiration in your blogs, thank you! A few weeks ago, my Hungarian friend Zsuzsa prepared a very beautiful Leek and Potato soup that looked so gorgeous and creamy, I knew I wanted to make it for a dinner we had with my nephew Brian. But I was lazy because I didn’t feel like heading out to buy potatoes, so I used what I had which were parsnips (I had three left over from a chicken soup I made to help combat our persistent colds)! When ever I see leeks on sale, I buy a few bunches and slice them into thin slices and freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to a plastic baggy, that way I have leeks when ever I need them, and I needed them for this!
I was surprised at how well the parsnips replaced the potato, adding just a touch of sweetness to the soup (by oven roasting them) and not compromising the creamy texture that potatoes generally add. Parsnips have slightly fewer carbohydrates than potatoes but they also contain fibre, and potatoes do not; they are also effectively lower on the glycemic index (for a similar weights, a potato can be 56-110 where the parsnip is a lowly 10!). I think I have found my new vegetable combo for this traditional soup!
Crispy fried Chorizo and grated Parmesan add just the right amount of salt to this creamy soup.
Creamed Leek and Parsnip Soup
Makes around 1000 mL or 4 quarts, depending on how thick you want the soup.
- 200 g (about 1.5 cups) parsnips, peeled and cut into relatively equal chunks
- 100 g (about 1 cup) onions, cut into large slices
- 250 g (about 1 1/2 cups) leeks, finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- sea salt to taste
- 4-6 cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you wish to make this vegetarian)
- non-stick spray
- 2-3 tbsp crispy fried chopped chorizo (omit for vegetarian version)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 177°C or 350°F. Give a small pan a couple of squirts of non-stick spray and roast the parsnips and the onions until soft.
- In a small ramekin with 2 tbsp EVOO, add the unpeeled garlic and a good pinch of sea salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast along side of the parsnips.
- Spray a couple of squirts of non-stick spray into a good size soup pot (one that will take at least 1000 mL or 4 quarts). Cook the leeks until softened.
- When the garlic is soft enough to easily push a fork through, remove and pop out of the peel (be careful, it’s really hot). The parsnips and onions are done when they are soft enough to push a fork through as well.
- Remove the leek pot from heat and add the roasted parsnips, onion and roasted garlic (including the oil) to the leek pot. To start, add 2 cups of stock and begin blending with an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more stock until the desired thickness is achieved. Taste and salt as desired, keeping in mind that the chorizo and Parmesan will add a certain amount of saltiness to it.
- To ensure a super velvety texture, press the soup through a fine sieve. Take the bits left over in the sieve and put into the immersion blender container and add a cup or two of the strained soup. Blend again for a couple of minutes (you will be surprised at how much additional thick soup you can get out of this). Press through a fine sieve into the soup. The left over pulp can be a tasty treat if you don’t mind the texture!
- To crispy fry the Chorizo, chop into small pieces and in about 1 tsp of canola oil, fry the bits until crispy. Blot on paper towel to remove the oil.
- Warm the bowls in a low temperature oven and reheat the soup (I usually reheat in my Microwave); run the immersion blender through it one last time before serving (our chef in Lyon suggested this aerates the soup and makes it even lighter in the mouth!).
- Ladle the soup into each bowl and grate about 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese onto the centre, add about a tsp of crispy fried Chorizo. Serve while hot.
There is no cream in this soup.
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Posted in Christmas Baking, Desserts, Quinoa, Recipes, tagged celiery, chestnuts, chorizo, dried cherries, onion, quinoa, shitaki mushrooms on January 24, 2013 |
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As most of you already know, my family Christmas was cancelled due to illness, both my niece and nephew came down with the stomach bug (in the olden days, we called it the 24 hour bug). Fortunately they both recovered, but we had to postpone the festivities so they wouldn’t spread the nasty virus.
Our Do-over Christmas was Sunday, January 13 and I made a full Turkey dinner along with stuffing, celeriac and cauliflower mash, Cherry Soup, Cherry Squares and Pumpkin Brûlée mini-tarts! Needless to say, it was a grand success and everyone went home with their bellies filled and their hearts happy. We may have to make this another tradition!
Even though we had already taken down our real Christmas tree, I put up a small, artificial tree so that the kids would have their presents underneath it!
Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without the traditional crackers. No one but me wore the stupid hats.
Serves 8-10 (yes, I made way too much!)
Quinoa stuffing, trying to keep the carbs down.
- 1 cup quinoa (we had a mix of red and white)
- 100 g celery, cubed
- 50 g roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 100 g onion, finely chopped
- 100 g chorizo, finely choppedd
- 100 g shitaki mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 50 g dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Cook the quinoa according to the directions, plus add 1/2 cup more water.
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan, and cook the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft.
- Mix quinoa, onion, mushrooms, chestnuts, chorizo and dried cherries together. Add herbs and eggs and combine well.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F
- Press the stuffing mixture into a well greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Top off with the toasted, sliced almonds and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Tapas, tagged chorizo, delicious, Egg, hors d'oeuvres, mushroom, onion, potato, Spanish, tapas on November 27, 2012 |
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While in Barcelona, Spain we enjoyed many tapas that we’d never tried before and one particular tapa was the Potato Omelet. Now you know that I am not a huge potato eater, but for some reason I really wanted to try it. The starch in the potato makes for a very dense and slightly chewy omelet, which was usually served as a small cube, sometime with bread but most often not.
The potato omelet is the cube centre back.
We enjoyed this plate while dining along side of the Mediterranean Sea!
Now that we’re home, I’ve experimented with other ‘fillings’ for this simple treat and yesterday I think I hit the jackpot. I made this little hors d’œuvres with a shallot, finely diced chorizo and a sliced mushroom. What made it hit the jackpot for me was the texture and because I wasn’t using a potato in this version, I needed to add something to help thicken the egg. I remembered Sissi’s recipe for a Korean Pancake (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and she added corn starch to the egg batter to firm it up. So that’s exactly what I did. Thanks Sissi. It made eight 2.5cm squares (1″) that were tasty and incredibly easy to make. You can even make it in advance and reheat.
A lovely dense texture and a little spice from the Chorizo
Chorizo, Shallot and Mushroom Omelet Tapa
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 mushroom, sliced about 2mm thick
- 30 g finely diced chorizo (I didn’t add extra salt as I find Chorizo salty enough)
- 20 g finely chopped shallot
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Beat the egg and white together, add the corn starch and beat until all the lumps have disolved.
- Generously grease a small loaf pan 7cm x 13cm (2.75″ x 5″) or 200 mL (3/4 cup size).
- Add the chorizo, shallots and mushrooms and make sure they are distributed evenly in the pan. Pour the egg batter over it and tap a few times so that it reaches under and over all the inclusions. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until egg is entirely set. You may serve immediately or cool completely and reheat this mixture prior to serving.
And definitely don’t let my ingredient mix stop you from trying something you have on hand…for example, ham and gruyère cheese!
Ham, Gruyère cheese and a little Dijon
The possibilities are definitely endless. I do hope you enjoy this snack.
The potato and bacon omelet took a nose dive out the pan. It must have been possessed! And NO, for all the guys, the three second rule did NOT apply.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Dressing, Gluten Free, Main Courses, Recipes, Sauces, Snacks, Soy, Tapas, tagged Appetizer, chorizo, corn, Korean, lunch, pancake on July 14, 2012 |
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I was over at Sissi’s blog last week and was intrigued by her Korean Pancake with Shrimp and Scallop. It really wasn’t the recipe that intrigued me, but her description of this unusual dish: “I was literally spellbound by this extraordinary snack” and as many of you commented I was curious to see why such a simple dish could possibly spellbind a sophisticated cook, like Sissi. So I had to make it.
When I mentioned to JT that we were having this pancake for dinner, he was skeptical, but he is open minded and will try anything once. After he finished 2/3′s of the dish, he turns to me and says “I would like you to make this again”. Now THAT is success in my books.
My first attempt was Sissi’s recipe verbatim (with the exception of the sauce, to which I added a bit of fresh ginger), but sadly the pancake broke in half and was an unco-operative subject for a photo, so of course, I had to make it again, with a twist! The texture of this pancake is really nothing like a North American pancake at all, so if you are expecting light and fluffy batter, you will be disappointed. It is dense (as if you overworked a North American pancake and the gluten’s were invigorated!), slightly chewy with a nice firm texture. There is a touch of sweetness from the corn flour. The sauce is really incredible and I would recommend it for anything, not just this dish (such as scallops on a bed of greens!).
Gluten Free South Western Korean-inspired Pancake
I didn’t notice any taste difference using the chick pea flour. Even the texture was relatively similar.
Recipe adapted from Sissi’s blog With a Glass (click here for original recipe)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 stalk of green onion finely cut
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- It’s best to make the sauce first so it has a little time to blend and allow the flavours to meld together. You can even do it a day ahead, adding the green onions and sesame seeds just when you are ready to serve so they remain crisp.
- Combine all ingredients and set aside.
- 3 spring onion stalks, sliced thinly
- 1/2 medium hot green chili, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium hot red chili, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 50 g chorizo sausage, finely chopped
- 30 g fresh or frozen corn
- 40 g red pepper (capiscum)
- 40 g crimini mushrooms
- 56 g chickpea flour
- 20 g corn flour (take fine cornmeal and run it through a food processor until it resembles the texture of regular flour)
- 200 mL ice cold water
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 egg whites, beaten
A very tasty lunch, indeed
- Combine all the batter ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and lightly spray with non-stick spray or olive oil.
- Pour about 1/3 of the pancake batter onto the pan, allowing it to fill the entire diametre of the pan.
- Add the pancake ingredients, distributing everything evenly so you can get a small taste of everything in every bite.
- Pour the remainder of the batter over the the pancake and allow it to cook through. You will see the batter become quite a bit denser looking as it cooks. Carefully flip the pancake so that both sides are golden.
- Serve with the previously prepared dipping sauce.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Meat, Pork, Tapas, tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, chorizo, delicious, little plates, sausage, Spanish, tomatoes on April 26, 2012 |
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Happy Thursday everyone. By now I am sure you have read Barb (Profiteroles and Ponytails) had a Tapas dinner party on the weekend and we were kindly invited; we had such a variety of food and it was soooo good. I made Chgo John’s Cheese Bread again (how many times do I have to make this bread before EVERYONE sees that they MUST make it?) and some devil’s on horseback and the Chorizo with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar. I had a few leftover red and yellow peppers and decided to add them to the recipe, so below is the updated recipe, with photos this time. It’s such an easy tapas to make, just add what you have on hand, and you can make it in advance, as I did and just reheat in the oven or you can do it all right away. I would suggest, however, not to make it in cast iron unless it has an enamel coating as the vinegar will remove any seasoning you have diligently worked so hard on. We just served the dish in these adorable cast pans.
The martini with more in it is mine.
Chorizo with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 4 if you’re having other tapas courses
- 1 cup 1/4″ sliced and halved chorizo sausage
- 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (I prefer Mayan sweet onions or vidalia)
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped (I prefer to use my microplane)
- 1/2 cup mixed sliced yellow and red peppers
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a small pan, add chorizo and caramelize each side.
- Add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute, add the peppers and sauté for another minute.
- Add balsamic and allow balsamic to reduce slightly 3-4 minutes (this will thicken the balsamic a bit)
- If you are making this in advance, I would add the tomatoes when you reheat so they maintain some shape. If you make this to eat now, add tomatoes and sauté for another minute.
- Serve immediately or reheat (adding the quartered grape tomatoes) with that gorgeous Cheese Bread I cannot stop making and bragging about.
I wish you had smell-a-vision like I do.
I feel like Grover in the "near".... "far" episode
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