I haven’t been able to find the time to write more than one blog post a week lately, for that I apologize. The biggest reason for this is that I’m about to put my condo up for sale and I’ve been running around taking care of last minute things to get the place showing ready. My real estate gave me a list of things to do, she said there wasn’t that much, yet it seems to be taking all my time. I can’t imagine what having a lot to do would be like.
This weekend I removed all the caulking from my bathtub and redid it. Caulking is not as much fun as it sounds. Removing it is long and tedious work, and applying it is a lot harder than the youtube videos make it seem. Thankfully I had a nice bowl of soup waiting for me when I was done with the silicone-ey mess.
I had seen this recipe on Tartlette a year ago and it stayed in the back of my mind all this time. This weekend’s deep freeze seemed like the perfect setting for it. The soup is thick and creamy, even though there is no cream. Roasting the vegetables gives them a great almost caramelized flavour. It was a wonderfully soothing meal.
I also made the polenta croutons she recommends from Lisa’s Kitchen. I generally don’t like polenta, but a corn flavoured crunch really appealed to me. I followed the recipe and used cayenne, but I think these would also be great with rosemary or thyme. The croutons lost their crunchiness after a day, so if you make them, eat them all fast!
Roasted White Vegetable Soup
- 1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 celery root, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 L low sodium vegetable stock
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place the vegetables, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast vegetables for 40 minutes.
- Transfer roasted vegetables to a large soup pot. Cover with stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender puree soup, or allow to cool and pour into a regular blender to puree (may have to be done in batches)
- Serve with polenta croutons.
It’s December! How did this happen? I didn’t even notice November passing by, and now all of sudden I’m in the middle of the holiday rush. I told myself that this year I’d be prepared, get things done in advance. I even set up a series of reminders in my calendar, but I ignored them because I thought I had lots of time. Sigh.
This recipe is great for those of us who are pressed for time. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, and a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples. If you’ve got shrimp in the freezer you could probably make it right now. The recipe is based one from Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That?
Roasted Shrimp with Goat Cheese
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cups puréed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 pinch fennel seeds
- 1 1/4 pound shrimp
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Heat half of the oil in a large oven proof pan over medium heat. Sautée the onion till softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and cook till reduced by half, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomato puree, oregano, and fennel seeds, as well as salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the tomato is simmering, mix the bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 2 tbsp of oil together. Season with salt and pepper.
- After 10 minutes, place the shrimp in a single layer over the sauce, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and goat cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.
Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is the morning after brunch. My aunt and uncle make us a wonderful dinner, and the following morning the guests contribute to breakfast. The last two years I’ve brought a Sweet Potato Hash.
The first time I tried this dish was at an office breakfast. My friend JB brought it, and I loved it. I asked him for the recipe numerous times, and he eventually shared it with me. Turns out I could have just Googled it. What makes this hash great is the bacon, and the fact that everything else is cooked in bacon fat. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving.
The hash is really easy to make. The longest part is the prep work, having a good knife to cut the sweet potato is key. Once the chopping is done, the dish comes together very quickly. It’s a great make ahead dish as the flavours meld together well overnight. I’ve always had this dish as part of a brunch, but it would make a great side dish for a dinner.
Sweet Potato Hash
From the Oct 2007 issue of Gourmet
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Cook the bacon in a large non stick skillet. Once cooked, remove the bacon pieces from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Drain off some of the fat, leaving at least 2 tbsp behind. Add the onions, bell peppers, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables have softened. Add the sweet potato to the skillet, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes, until sweet potato is softened. Stir in reserved bacon and thyme.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.