26 October 2008

soup, it's what's for dinner

so, i was originally planning on making a big pot of spicy vegetable curry or else a sweeter pumpkin / sweet potato curry this week, but i changed my mind.

to follow up on last week's heartier meals (french onion soup with cognac and hearty beef stew), i decided to slightly tweak a recipe from 101 cookbooks for a couscous soup with vegetables.

i have a good amount of leftover broth in my freezer from when i made tom yum soup this winter with sj, that i'm going to defrost to use as the base for this super simple soup. the broth has quite a kick, with a thai bird chili and lemongrass flavor.

the basics for this soup are as follows:

- start with a great tasting stock (veggie, usually. i'm switching it up with the aforementioned broth). heat the broth with a few Tb. of good extra virgin olive oil, and a few crushed red pepper flakes (i'm leaving this out since my broth is already kicked up a few notches)
- bring the broth to a boil, then remove from the heat, and add a box of couscous. wait about 2 minutes.
- after those 2 minutes, stir in broccoli and cauliflower (cut into bite sized pieces, about 1.5 cups of each for a 6-7 gallon batch, but more the merrier). then wait another 2 minutes.
- after that, ready to ladle into soup bowls, topping with some finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and a few crumbles of goat cheese and green onions. voila!

heidi @ 101 cookbooks offers some wonderful variations for the broth -- adding curry paste, harissa, or like i'm trying, using a different stock altogether.

i can't believe i haven't thought of this sort of concoction before. my curries are going to have to wait a few days ... ;)

24 September 2008

picnic for 2 -- photos

(( pictured above, sauteed green chard - which i slightly tweaked, instead sauteeing in evoo, a dash of red wine vinegar and a few red pepper flakes; grilled goat cheese, fig and honey sandwiches; and the unREAL steak sandwiches. recipes below ))

the picnic was a smash success, eaten on my deck out of sheer exhaustion on both our ends. fall came a bit early, so it was also a bit chilly.

my apologies for not getting a photo of the dessert. to be honest, the dumplings were consumed before i could grab my point and shoot.

all in all, a romantic, delicious night for two. and a memorable one, as well.

mission, accomplished.

11 September 2008

a little gourmet picnic

i've always wanted to go on a picnic, sit down by the harbor or on the banks of the charles and nosh with a friend / loved one. so i finally put my money where my mouth is, and put together a little gourmet picnic (aka not your average pb&j sandwiches and soda) for my special someone for tonight.

before i forget and lose the links, here's what's on the docket for tonight. all he knows is that i'm cooking and that we're not eating at the house. let's hope he enjoys it!

to start, a sampling of two sandwiches, one sweet, one savory --
... the sweet: a grilled goat cheese, fig and honey sandwich on cinammon raisin bread, dusted with confectioner's sugar.
... the savory: grilled flank steak, sauteed onions and a blue cheese sauce on grilled ciabatta loaf. the steak, marinated in soy sauce, dijon mustard, and a bit of lemon juice. the onions, mixed with a dash of red wine vinegar after sweating, and the blue cheese sauce made with blue cheese crumbles, lemon juice and greek yogurt.

next, a take on horta, with poached green swiss chard, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and s & p.

followed, possibly, by a dry nutty cheddar.

with the last item being homemade baked apple dumplings with vanilla icing, made with puff pastry. mine slightly opened, so they look more like apple turnovers, but delicious nevertheless.

grilled goat cheese, fig and honey sandwiches

grilled flank steak, onions and blue cheese sandwiches

baked apple dumplings


drink wise, i'm bringing a bottle of sparkling water and a nice bottle of red from the wine rack ... not sure just which one yet. here goes nothing!

why a blog?

so, why a blog, you ask? well, because recording this stuff by hand is arduous and would be a disastrous mess should a candle tip over, or should my apartment flood.


all kidding aside, i wanted a way to stitch together the countless recipe emails i send and forward, the photos taken on flickr and my semi-regular experiments in my teensy back bay kitchen. much of this is for my own benefit, allowing me to record not only the recipes and slight tweaks i may make, but the images, the stories etc. think of it as my own digital cookbook -- documenting my successes and failures, great meals created, and great meals purchased. cooking and food in general are passions of mine ... and after being encouraged to blog for my day job and while on the road, this is more of a personal blog detailing my passion -- food.


- kay