Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer soup and Carrot Cake

I still haven't managed to keep up with every new and comfort standby I've put together in my kitchen but get there, I shall... I hope.

Anyway, lots going on with school starting back and adjustments are made with so many ages and stages of loved ones. We are eating a lot and I am scaling recipes to cover anywhere from around 7 to 15+  at a time. We only have five living here but three of the five need leftovers for lunches and we also gather our other loved ones frequently to share in visits and foods!

The recipe I made for today's dinner served five with two left over plates/bowls so I'll need to up it next time to offer one more left over.

We took the suggestion of the cookbook's author I got the recipe from and served this over Basmati brown rice. I cook up a batch at a time of different rices in my rice cooker and it has a steamer basket on top so I almost always fill it with vegetables to serve with the rice. Last night, we had a coconut and chicken cream dish (from a jar) added to bite sized chicken breast pieces I browned and simmered until fully cooked. This was served over the just mentioned rice and steamed broccoli.
Onto tonight's:

Summer Lovin' Curried Corn & Veggie Chowder
* My daughter was helping gather ingredients for this and we both kept mixing two of the book's recipes. As a result, I have one or two extra seasonings and messed up on the actual steps. It still turned out well liked by everyone. *

1 t. canola oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
1 c. shallots, finely chopped (I used Vidalia onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely (I used yellow bell pepper bec/ we didn't have any red)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1/2 t. red pepper flakes (also out of these delicious things so I used red cayenne pepper)
1 zucchini, sliced into small pieces (about 1/2 pound)
1 3/4 cups corn, from 3 ears of corn (reserve cobs) --- I just scraped all the corn off of the 3 cobs and used it so I don't know if it added up exactly.
1/2 t. salt
3 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth...didn't have the other)
2 t. arrowroot powder
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped carrots - author's note: "I cheat and use baby carrots, 'cause the work is half done for you".
1 heaping T. mild curry powder
3/4 c. light coconut milk (used regular)
Juice of 1/2 lime, or to taste
Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Per serving: 1/4 recipe
Calories: 180
Total fat: 5 g
Carb: 30 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 7 g
Sodium: 760 mg

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots and red bell pepper in the oil until translucent, about 4 minutes. Use a little nonstick cooking spray or brother if needed. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute. Add the zucchini and corn and sprinkle in the salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring once.
Measure 1 cup of the broth into a measuring cup. Mix in the arrowroot with a fork until dissolved. You do the s because it's just easier to get the arrowroot dissolved into smaller quantities of liquid. Add the arrowroot mixture to the pot, along with the rest of the broth.  Mix in the carrots and curry powder. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, break the corn cobs in half and add them to the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the corn cobs. Add the coconut milk and lime juice.
Use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender (get one!), then transfer about half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then add back to the pot. If the soup is still steaming hot, make sure to either keep the opening on top of your food processor open, or lift the lid often for steam to escape. If steam builds up in a  closed container it can explode the lid off. Ouch. Taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with cilantro, if you like.

This recipe uses a method that really makes corn chowder shine: Let the corn cobs stew in the pot. They hold lots of maize-y flavor, so don't let 'em go to waste. At the end, you remove the cobs and only your delicious soup knows they were ever there. I suppose you can use frozen corn instead, but only if you 're really crunched for time.

From: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Help for last night's sweet craving:

This is from my Blendtec cookbook so is set up for a high speed blender.

Carrot Cake
2 1/2 medium carrots, cut in half

Directions: Place above ingredients into blender jar and secure the lid. Be sure carrots are placed vertically in blender jar. Press the Speed Up button until blender reaches 3. Allow the cycle to run for 50 seconds. Pour carrots into a separate bowl.

Note: If batter is not blended to desired consistency, remove jar after the cycle has finished and shake until the batter removes around in the jar. Place back on the motor base and press the Pulse button 3 to 4 times.

1 medium apple, cored into eighths
1/2 medium orange peeled

Directions: Place ingredients into the blender jar and press the Pulse button 30 to 40 times. After every 10 press, remove container, shake, place back on blender and continue to press Pulse button.

1/2 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1/2 t. allspice
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/4  c. sugar
2 cups flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Add above ingredietns and carrot mixture into jar. Press the Speed Up buton until blender reaches speed 7. Press the Stop button halfway through the cycle (when the display reads 30 seconds). Pour into round 9 x 9" sprayed baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

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