© Quentin Bacon
It has been so long since I started writing up this recipe from my brother’s engagement party that he is now married. Inexcusable, no?
Well I’m not sorry! With the warm weather and the actual paying writing jobs, something had to give, and this was it. (I actually am sorry, though. This recipe nonsense is considerably easier and more fun to write about than FAA grants, and this audience is loyal as hell, so please forgive me.)
Anyway, we – and by “we” I mean “The Chef” – made a huge batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day engagement party and served it up in shot glasses. In my world, Soup + Shots + Bacon = Phenom. Seriously – peas are usually beyond lame, but the toppings on this make it delectable.
This is actually Daniel Boulud‘s super schmancy pea soup recipe, but it has been classed-down by Food & Wine for an easier preparation. It’s served cold so it’s a cinch for a party. Make a bunch and sip all summer.
8 slices of bacon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 rosemary sprigs
salt & freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 10-oz boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
- In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate; reserve the fat in a bowl in case you need to add it at the end for more bacon flavor.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain.
- Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture.
- Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
- Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. (Use a squirt bottle to make pretty designs out of the cream. It’s absurdly cheffy, but so freaking fun.) Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.
We at Nummy love nothing more than a good sauce. Specifically, a cream sauce. More specifically, a cream sauce that can be slathered atop any variety of meat on a Sister Schubert bun.
I thought The Chef had topped himself a few weeks ago with the Horseradish Cream Sauce, but he says this is the tots on beef tenderloin rolls, and I’m sure he is correct. I am planning a full investigation and will report back post-haste.
1 cup heavy cream, divided in half
4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
4 tbsp of cream cheese
- Mix 1/2 cup heavy cream, blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese in a mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- Whip 1/2 cup heavy cream until light and stiff. Then gently fold in blue cheese mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is Ina Garten‘s, that sweet wonderful lady who spends her time having cocktail hour in The Hamptons with the gays and putting cream in everything.
Anyway, The Chef suggested I post this earlier today when the world was dark and gray and dreary, but lately Memphis weather has decided to be a rancid, sobbing manic depressive mess, so now it’s freaking beautiful outside. Whatever. We are not to be deterred. Soup was suggested, and soup you shall have.
And if you’re gonna have one, this should be it. This is perfection even if you don’t have a borderline shameful obsession with mushroom. (I literally just googled “disorder: people who marry vegetables” because I thought there might be a hilariously awesome word for crazyfolk who try to do stuff like this somewhere, but alas, I must be the first.) My problems aside, this is creamy, comforting goodness, so go get your Ina on, girl.
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
5 oz portobello mushrooms
5 oz cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 pound + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme + 1 tsp minced thyme, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
- Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Make the stock:
- Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Strain, reserving the liquid. (You should have about 4.5 cups of stock. If not, add some water.)
- Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
- Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through (do not boil).
If you have never had the pleasure of anything Boar’s Head, I must suggest you get your butt up to (preferably the new awesome) Kroger (by the Racquet Club) and purchase something immediately. All of their stuff is good, but their Horseradish Cheddar is simply to die.
It makes a great sandwich, but the Thanksgiving I decided to unnecessarily carbo-load my family with 3 different kinds of mac n cheese, it also made for a great cheese sauce. You could actually even add bacon to this and make it the main attraction. Nobody’d be mad. Just sayin’.
1 box spiral pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cream
1.5 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 block Boar’s Head Horseradish Cheddar, shredded
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Cavendar’s to taste
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a saute pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and stir constantly until it makes a blonde roux.
- Add cream. Cook until it reaches a simmer, whisking constantly.
- Add milk. Bring to a simmer.
- Add cheddar cheese and mix until melted.
- Toss pasta in sauce, add tomatoes and place in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 25 minutes.
I already have 3 problems with this post: 1) I hate beans; 2) It’s officially 71 degrees outside and therefore way too conventionally “warm” to post a soup recipe; and 3) Every idiot I’ve run across recently cannot pronounce the word “Chipotle.” Let’s take these one by one, shall we?
First of all, I think beans are kind of pointless. Refry them and cover them in cheese and maybe we can talk, but for the most-part, I’ll pass.
That is, AHEM, until I had this soup. The Chef brought this home from work for me months ago, and I don’t know if it was my intense love of getting anything for free or the Chipotle Cream on top, but it was GREAT. As for my second point, I have pointed out that soup knows no season on several occasions, so you can take it down the street to another blog if you don’t like it.
And finally, the word is pronounced “Chi-poht-lay.” Yeah, I’m looking at you, Paula Deen, I love your wacky behind more than anyone, but “Chi-POLT-ay” just “ain’t rite,” to use your vernacular. You’re on the Food Network for goodness’ sakes. Get it together girl.
Black Bean Soup:
4 cups of dry black beans
2 yellow onions, diced
1 poblano pepper. diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
6 quarts of water
salt and black pepper to taste
- Rinse black beans in cold water.
- In a large pot, cook onions and peppers in olive oil until they become soft. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until the onions are well coated.
- Add the beans and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour and a half. (While this is cooking, make the Chipotle Cream.)
- Puree beans in their liquid until smooth. Thin down with additional water, if necessary.
- Season to taste and top each bowl of soup with Chipotle Cream.
4 Chipotles in Adobo sauce
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/3 cup of mayo
juice of one lime
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp of cilantro
- Place all ingredients in a blender or processor and puree until smooth. (I like to refrigerate this for the cold-hot dynamic you get when you top the soup with it, but it’s your prerogative lady, so do what you will.)
The Chef loves his squash. And I love my bisque. So this is a happy meeting place. The addition of cinnamon is a great little toasty surprise, and finishing this with the roasted walnuts gives it a really interesting texture.
As always, the roasting is the most important part. It takes the squash from good to great, so don’t skip it!
2 whole butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1/2 cup of heavy cream
dash of cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
tablespoon of butter
tablespoon on olive oil
splash of vegetable stock
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Toss squash with oil, salt,and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes or until very soft.
- Melt butter in a medium pot. Add, onions and celery. Add a good pinch of salt . and saute until tender.
- Puree squash , celery, and onions. Put back in a pot on medium heat.
- Add stock, cream, and taste for seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes and done.
- Garnish with chopped roasted walnuts and a dollop of sour cream.
Head to the store, pick up produce that looks good and create a recipe. That was my plan for last night, and since spring is in the air (70 degrees in NYC today you better believe I am inappropriately showing leg at work!) and the veggies are looking fine, it was an easy task. I grabbed some swiss chard, onions, herbs, and boomers; mix it with cheese, cream, egg, and bacon and dinner is served! I am calling this a “tart” because that sounds much more modern than quiche even though it basically is a quiche. I served this with a Kale Salad. This recipe is pretty close to Liz’s but with some extra nummy-ness.–ts
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful rosemary chopped
4-6 ounces bacon (about 8 slices) chopped
1 bundle Swiss chard chopped ribs removed
Large handful mushrooms
1 large onion chopped
1 heaping cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to season
4-6 ounces gruyère cheese, grated (I filled a bowls worth of grated cheese)
1 deep tart shell, pre-baked in a 9-inch pan
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Cook bacon in large pan, remove from pan and set aside, also reserve bacon grease.
- In same pan add some bacon grease, sauté and fry the shallots until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Then add a little more bacon grease and sauté onions and rosemary on low-medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Then add mushrooms and sauté for another 8 minutes or so. Add swiss chard and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Season everything with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile beat the eggs together with the cream. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine sautéed veggies with almost all of the cheese.
- Add a little shredded cheese to bottom of the tart shell, then fill it with all the vegetable mixture, and pour over the cream mixture. Bake until the tart has set, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve at room temperature.