I will confess I'm not a huge fan of soup... usually lots of effort for so so effect. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt completely changed my mind after I made his tomato soup from his comprehensive book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. I hear him on my favorite podcast, Cooking Issues and finally checked out his book. It's a great read, with lots of basic tips on upgrading the usual favorites. My first one I tackled is the tomato soup and it has made it into the weekly rotation. So much I have the Muir Glen's on my amazon subscribe and save!
I started making this in winter when I didn't have fresh herbs so I topped with homemade basil oil which complimented this perfectly.
15 Minute Pantry Tomato Soup
The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups onion, finely diced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cans 28 ounce whole tomatoes , with juice
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons whiskey, vodka, or brandy
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs - parsley, basil or chives
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and stir, scraping the flour up off the bottom of the pan. Add the milk or cream and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the spoon, until the whole thing comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Remove the soup from the heat and puree using an immersion blender. Or transfer to a standing blender, in batches if necessary, and puree, staring on low speed and gradually increasing to high, then return to the pan. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the whisky, if using, and bring to a simmer. Serve immediately topping each serving with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of herbs, and if you like a crack or two of freshly ground pepper, with grilled cheese sandwiches alongside.
Our favorite chocolate maker operates out of a pizza place in Walker's Point, Milwaukee!... Atomic Chocolate is the amazing creation of Sean Henninger of Times Square Pizza. We were lucky enough to get a lesson from him in truffles at The National.
I love chocolate... I love cream... love a well made fudge. Found it from Martha... yes it is a lot of work. But worth the effort. She breaks it down step by step so it's not so scary! Try it!...
Makes 2 pounds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups sugar
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line with parchment paper, allowing a 1-inch overhang. Butter parchment paper, and set aside. Check the calibration of the candy thermometer. Put butter into a large bowl, and set over a wire rack; set aside. Put cream, sugar, chocolate, corn syrup, and salt into a medium heavy saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and chocolate hasmelted, about 10 minutes. Raise heat to medium. Bring mixture to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Attach warm thermometer to pan; continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees (soft-ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Immediately pour mixture into bowl with butter (do not scrape out the bottom of the pan). Attach thermometer to bowl. Let mixture cool, undisturbed, until it registers 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove thermometer. Transfer bowl to a work surface. Using a wooden spoon, begin to gently stir mixture.
5. Continue to stir, gradually increasing speed until mixture thickens, lightens in color, and loses its sheen, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Pour into prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, quickly spread fudge to sides of pan, and smooth top. Let fudge cool in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate until completely set, about 8 hours. Run a sharp knife around nonparchment sides to loosen; lift fudge out. Cut into 64 pieces, each 1 inch square. Fudge can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in an airtight container up to 1 week; bring to room temperature before serving.
The magazine had this great addition that I didn't find online.
Choose any of the following ingredients to make a custom batch. To toast nuts, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees until fragrant; 5-7 minutes for walnuts, about 8 minutes for macadamia nuts and pistachios. Toast coconut on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 degree oven until just golden, about 3 minutes.
1 tablespoon whiskey
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 cup shelled macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
Follow above instructions for fudge. If using whiskey, stir it in during step 4, and proceed with recipe.
If using solid ingredients, stir them in during step 5, when the mixture begins to thicken but is still shiny, after you have been stirring for about 3 minutes. Continue to stir until incorporated and mixture loses its sheen and lightens in color, about 2 minutes more. Proceed with recipe.
On a recent stay in Brooklyn I visited several cooking stores which made me a little homesick for my kitchen... don't get me wrong, I loved my time there and found many great inspirations but I'm also reminded of the things back home I miss! I did see this iSi soda siphon everywhere I went and I put that on my shopping list (didn't want to carry that home!). In the meantime, it reminded me of my love for my iSi whip!... so fun to have fresh whipped cream on hand so easily. Like a home made reddi-wip! Here's their official recipe on the classic by Judiaann Woo.
Nothing Beats Homemade Whipped Cream - iSi Creative Whip
You’re just seconds away from clouds of pure deliciousness.
Nothing beats the flavor and freshness of real whipped cream.
Ingredients for 1 pint Creative Whip:
1 pint (2 cups) chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar*
1 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
Add sugar and vanilla extract to heavy cream and swirl or stir to dissolve completely. Screw on one iSi cream charger and shake 3 to 5 times, depending on desired consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 10 days until needed.
Note: Granulated sugar can be substituted. However, with all granular sweeteners, make sure to stir until the sweetener is completely dissolved into the cream before pouring in the whipper. Other natural sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, flavored syrups or liqueurs can used as well. Sweeten to taste.
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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