Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Green Soup

This is a recipe that highlights flexibility and resourcefulness. It's also simple, comforting, and delicious with cheese and crackers, similar to tomato soup.

I usually make green soup in tandem with poached chicken, using the broth from the chicken for the soup.

If you don't have broth, just make it with seasoned water and it'll come out fine. If you don't have potatoes, use lentils, chick peas or white beans to thicken it up.


 
Ingredients 

4-5 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1 - 2 bay leaves (optional)
1 tsp thyme

1 cup chopped celery
2-3 cubed potatoes, or 1 can lentils, or white beans (1.5 - 2 cups cooked beans)
1.5-2 lbs various chopped fresh or frozen greens and herbs (parsley, escarole, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc)
Lemon zest and juice from one lemon, or 1/4 diced preserved lemon
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
Tsp of white pepper (optional)
Hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Salt to taste (less salt if using preserved lemon - they are very salty)
Lots of black pepper
Olive oil and/or Romano cheese to serve (optional)


In a large pot heat the broth/water on high until boiling and add the potatoes or beans, celery, lemon zest, herbs and spices. Lower the heat to medium and cook until tender (or heated through for the already cooked beans).

Add the greens and lemon juice (or optional white wine) and lower the temperature to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. It might take longer for tougher greens like kale. yet less time for baby spinach. The greens should be just wilted.

Once the greens are wilted, remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves, and (carefully) use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with nutmeg, white pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. 

Serve hot in bowls with a drizzle of nice grassy olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Romano cheese. Pesto is also good with this soup. I have been known to drink it straight out of mason jars like a smoothie in a pinch. It is even good at room temp or just slightly warm.

This soup keeps in the fridge for about a week if using vegetarian broth, freeze leftovers within 4 or 5 days if using chicken broth.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Xocolatl Fried Plantain Pfannkuchen


Ingredients:

For Fried Plantain Filling
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 large black ripe plantain
Splash of rum (white, dark, or spiced)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne to taste

For Xocolatl Pfannkuchen
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (used special dark cocoa powder)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional) 
2 tbsp vanilla sugar  (or normal sugar, brown sugar, or even molasses)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
dash cloves
dash cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup black coffee
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Extra coconut oil, if necessary, to grease the pan
Powdered sugar and cinnamon for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On the stovetop, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dice the plantain by peeling it, cutting it into thirds, cutting each third into quarter spears lengthwise and then dicing the spears into 1/4 inch chunks. When the oil is hot, toss the plantains in the pan, coating them evenly with the oil, and let them caramelize for a couple minutes. Once they have turned a golden yellow, add a splash of rum to deglaze the pan and stir the plantains around a bit while it boils off. Turn the heat to low and let the plantains cook down.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, spices, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the yogurt, coffee, eggs, and extract until smooth. Add more coffee if the batter is too thick. It should be pourable like pancake batter.

Remove the skillet with the plantains from the heat, adding another tbsp of coconut oil if the pan looks dried out. Dust the plantains with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. Pour the Xocolatl batter into the skillet over the fried plantains, distributing it evenly around the pan.

Put the skillet in the oven and bake 20 - 30 minutes or until the pfannkuchen puffs up and is set in the middle.

Once out of the oven, pfannkuchen will collapse as it cools. Run a knife around the edge, carefully lift it with a large spatula, and turn it out onto a plate for serving. Dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar, cut it into wedges or squares, and serve at room temperature.

You could also replace the vanilla with orange liquor/juice and zest or use bananas in place of the plantain.