Not too little, not too much

Cheesy Squash Soup 12/27/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Squash,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 18:02
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Christmas is over. I hope everyone had a wonderful time and receive plenty of gifts.

Our Christmas was white as I wished for, plenty of laughs and lots of good food. The only sad part is that my camera broke down and we don’t have any pictures 😦

Until I get my dream camera (Easter Bunny, I’ve been really really good) is going to be a while   😛 . I can’t stay that long without a camera so meanwhile I have to improvise. I was looking at a cheaper Canon, something to hold me over for 3-4 months but still haven’t decided yet. If you have any suggestions, I’d be more than happy to take them into consideration.

Lucky me, I still have some recipes I haven’t shared with you yet. Today I’m going to post a delicious creamy soup made from one on my decorative Halloween squashes :)). I still have 2 peanut squashes waiting to be cooked. Yummy.

For this soup I used an Australian heirloom Blue squash, correct me if I’m wrong.

The idea of this soup came from Maya‘s  Creamy Patisson Squash Soup with Reblochon Cheese but I just couldn’t find a Patisson squash anywhere so I took matter into my own hands and came up with Creamy Blue Squash Soup with Comté Cheese or Cheesy Squash Soup 😛

Ingredients

2 lbs winter squash (mine was bigger, the rest was baked and mashed)

2 carrots

2 leeks

2 celery ribs

3 tbsp butter

6 oz Comté Cheese

stock

salt, pepper, nutmeg

Directions

Melt the butter and add the chopped carrots, leeks and celery ribs . Pour 1/2 cup stock over them.

Cook until soft.

Meanwhile clean the squash

When the vegetables are soft, add the chopped squash and cover with stock

Simmer until the squash is cooked. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

Puree the soup

Return the soup to the pan, add the shredded Comte cheese and heat gently.

Serve hot sprinkled with more cheese (optional).

closer view

 

Few days before Christmas I submitted my blog to AllTop and they already listed it, yeeee

 

 

This recipe goes to

hearthandsoulgirlichef

Thanks for reading, appreciate your support,

Roxana.

 

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin and Green Vegetable Soup 12/11/2010

As much as I love green, no, I didn’t cook both today, just the soup.  The Brussels sprouts au gratin I baked the other day just didn’t have the time to resize the photos and post it.

I like Brussels sprouts, mostly roasted sprinkled with a pinch of nutmeg but lately that’s the only way I had them so I decided to make a gratin. Sounded good and tasted way better than I imagined. I know lots of people who don’t like these tiny cabbages and I don’t understand why. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and are a good source of folate and vitamin A (beta-carotene). They are cruciferous vegetables and contain phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer.

 

Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

 

Ingredients

lit over 1 pound Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

few garlic cloves

1 oz grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

 

Directions

Mix the milk, heavy cream, Parmesan, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Slice the Brussels sprouts

Butter 2 casseroles, divide the sliced Brussels sprouts between them and pour over the milk/cream mixture.

Bake in preheated oven (350 F) for about 45-50 minutes or until they are soft and start to brown on top.

 

 

Now, the soup.

 

I have a problem with my fridge. If  the vegetables are left outside the fridge drawers they freeze although the thermostat is set as low as it can be. The same goes for eggs if I don’t place them on one of the door’ shelves.

Last night my husband decided to make himself a salad and trying to get everything out of the drawers he put some vegetables on the fridge shelves and forgot them there. This morning when I opened the fridge to make breakfast, surprise, I had 3 frozen zucchini and 2 frozen broccoli crowns. Well, what was I supposed to say, nothing would make them fresh again. While we were enjoying our breakfast I remembered a broccoli-zucchini soup I had once and since we were out of soup the memory came in handy.

I melted some butter and sauté 2 chopped leeks and 2 celery ribs.

 

Meanwhile I chopped the zucchini, broccoli and 5 Brussels sprouts. Added them to the pot and covered with stock.

When the vegetables were cooked I let them cool slightly and purée the soup. Returned it to the pot and added 1 cup Greek yogurt.

Serve warm to hot with more yogurt.

Linking this to

 

hearthandsoulgirlichef

 

(Sort of) Jambalaya 12/08/2010

It’s starting to get colder and colder and I don’t like, not at all. We even had out first snow, well, just few flakes that melted immediately but it counts, right?

I like this time of the year, I like a white Christmas but that’s it, don’t like snow or cold the rest of the year. They are saying is going to get even colder 😦 .  All I want is just a cup of tea and relax in front of a fireplace, watching the fire crack and sparkle and feeling its warmth.

 

Tonight I’m going to share with you a rice dish. I’m pretty sure that everyone heard about Jambalaya and Paella.

Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron-colored paella found in Spanish culture

Cajun cooking is a regional cuisine native to South Louisiana. Traditional Cajun cooking developed in a diverse and abundant natural environment and a  multiethnic though predominantly French Catholic social environment. In the narrowest sense the word “Cajun” refers to descendants of eighteenth-century Acadian settlers expelled from Canada who eventually settled in South Louisiana among a multiethnic French-speaking population, including people of French, African, Spanish, German, Native American, and other descent. Eventually the Cajuns (short for Acadians) dominated twenty-two parishes of South Louisiana, now called Acadiana. They lived in relative isolation until the twentieth century, when the outside world came to Cajuns in the form of compulsory English education, the oil industry, World War II, mass media, and an influx of outsiders bearing a standard American mass culture. Like immigrants from foreign shores, Cajuns found themselves in a new world of change. Cajun culture was a source of scorn by outsiders and an embarrassment for many insiders, and French speaking declined.
However, a revival of Cajun culture gained steam in the 1970s with the creation of French programs in the schools, a general attention to cultural expressions (music, food, and so forth), and a rise in pride in being Cajun. Part of this pride of identity is as a people who are highly sociable, who know how to enjoy life (joie de
vivre), including the enjoyment of food, and who know how to prepare food that is exceptionally good. It is fitting that Cajun cooking has become a major cultural export and Cajun chefs have become high-profile media personalities.

The aesthetics of traditional Cajun cooking demand that foods have strong, intense flavors. Strong flavoring comes from the use of seasoning vegetables (onion, bell pepper, garlic, celery) and from the careful browning of ingredients. Gumbo and other sauce-based dishes begin with a flour-based roux that is slowly browned to a dark color. Seasoning vegetables are browned. Coffee is dark roasted. The use of cayenne and other hot peppers intensifies flavor. The proportion of hot pepper varies throughout the region and among cooks. Cajuns say good food takes time, and many dishes require long simmering that follows slow browning. For example, gumbo, a soup, or stew that will be served over rice, is simmered for hours until the ingredients soften and break down. Major dishes reflect the practice of combining a flavorful multi-ingredient item with a bland staple, usually rice. Gumbo (of many varieties), étouffée, sauce piquant, and fricassee are served over rice. Jambalaya and rice dressing contain rice. The pattern occurs in less obvious forms, such as rice-containing boudin sausage (the “Cajun fast food”), corn bread dressing, boulettes (rice and meat or seafood balls), vegetables stuffed with seasoned meat and corn bread, and crawfish bisque, which contains cleaned crawfish heads stuffed with a dressing mixture.

Encyclopedia of Food and Culture

Ingredients

2 onions

few garlic cloves

1 habanero chili pepper

1 1/2 cup mixed rice

few celery ribs

1 carrot

2 tomatoes

1 bell pepper

(frozen) cooked shrimps

fresh dill

juice from 1 can of diced tomatoes

3 cups stock

cayenne pepper

oregano

salt and pepper

few tbsp vegetable oil

 

Directions

Heat the oil and add the chopped onions, garlic and chili pepper.

 

Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook for another 1 minute.

Add the shredded carrot, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper and celery.

Add the stock and tomato juice, cover well and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed and rice is cooked.

 

Season to taste. If using uncooked shrimps now is the time to add them. Put the lid back on and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.

 

Add the end add the shrimps and chopped dill, stir well and leave few minutes for the shrimps to warm up.

 

Serve warm

 

Closer view

 

 

 

Asparagus and Pea Soup 11/03/2010

Filed under: Cheese,Lunch,Soups,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 19:57
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The weather is such a funny thing. If yesterday I could have sworn spring is coming, today I take my words back. The bloomed flowers call your name but the wind makes you stay inside and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows or/and a bowl of soup.  I’m happy at least on Halloween it was sunny, I even saw a butterfly on the side of the house

 

I can’t say I like winter, last year was the ugliest of all, it snowed up to 26 inches in less than 24 hours, and to top it, the power went out. All the hotels were jam-packed that weekend. The next day we went out for brunch and enjoyed a warm bowl of soup. I know you rarely eat soup for brunch but I felt i just need something to warm me up and give me strength to go on despite the cold weather. Don’t you agree that a warm bowl of soup  may brighten your day ? I do think so.

Back to my today’ soup, Asparagus and Pea soup with shavings of Asiago cheese

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 pound asparagus

lit less than 1/2 pound frozen peas

2 onions

2 carrots

2 tbsp butter

parsley

~ 1/2 cup heavy cream

Asiago cheese

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

 

 

Directions

 

Cut the wooden parts of the asparagus and chop them roughly. Chop the carrots and 1 1/2 onions. Add them to a pot, add the bay leaf, pour over 6 cups of water, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

 

Melt the butter in another pan. Add the remaining chopped onion and cook over low heat 2-3 minutes.

 

Add the chopped asparagus stems (reserve some tips for garnish if you want), peas and asparagus stock.

Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. When almost done, add the parsley.

 

Cook for further 3-4 minutes and let in cool slightly. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Return to pan, add the heavy cream and heat it gently; do not boil.

 

Serve hot with blanched asparagus tips and shavings of Asiago cheese.

 

 

 
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