104 degrees weather, let’s cook!

It’s the third day in a row of super hot weather here in Northern California. The house easily reaches 94 Degrees and last night was brutal as it never cooled off.

I used my Sous Vide to make a Pork Tenderloin that got grilled. Some veggies from my little garden and we were set.

I wanted burgers tonight but Himself was not in the mood. He was however interested in a cold soup. So the idea of Gazpacho formed in my mind. If you want to not use the stove at all a 32 ounce can of stewed tomatoes works just as good.
Recipe is from Alton Brown. The only thing I did not add was Worchester Sauce because it has gluten.

Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Tomato juice

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lime, juiced

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
  3. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with strips of basil.

I grilled large shrimp that were marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/3 Jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
Once cooked I cooled them down by putting them in a Ziploc bag and putting the closed bag in an icebath.
I cut the shrimp in half and added them to the soup.

You can see Alton in action here:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gazpacho-recipe-1937573

It’s starting to feel like Fall finally!

I love soup and Split Pea is comfort food for me.

It’s a slow simmer in the crock pot so once you done the prep it’s a straight shot all by itself for hours.
This recipe is how my mom used to make it, there are variations where leeks and carrots are used but it comes out too heavy for me.

Oma’s Split Pea Soup

This recipe is for 4 people with enough left over for another meal. Reduce the peas and water by half if making it for 2 people or if you want no left overs.

2 bags green split peas (or 2 pounds)
1 medium sized celery root
1 pound beef shank
1 package salted pork
1 smoked sausage

Rinse peas, place in crock pot ( I have a 6 quart one)
Clean celery root by peeling it,cut celery root and salted pork in chunks
Add celery root, salted pork and beef shank to the crock pot
Cover with water, stirring a few times to get the peas wet.
Cook on low until peas fall apart, 6 hours depending on your crock pot.Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom or sides.
Remove bone and salted pork.
Using a stick blender or food processor blend the soup until smooth.
Cut up smoked sausage and add to soup.
You can cut up the salt pork in small pieces and add it to the soup. Be aware you need to let it sit for a little bit before you add salt in order not to oversalt it.
The soup will thicken if refrigerated, when reheating add some chicken stock to it and heat it slowly.

Enjoy!

Sweet potato soup

Curried Sweet Potato soup with crab.

4 sweet potatoes (or butternut squash)
4 tbs butter
4 cups vegetable broth
1tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1tsp curry powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2-4 ounces crab per person
Sliced almonds (optional)

Cut sweet potatoes in half and lay on roasting dish with the cut sides down
Add a little water and butter to the pan, about 1 tbs butter and 3 tbs water.
On 225 f in the oven cook the sweet potatoes until a fork can pierce them
Let cool and spoon ‘meat’ out of the shell
Stir-fry the cut-up tofu in a tbs of olive oil with salt and pepper, add sliced almonds if wanted.(set aside)
In a blender or food processor mix sweet potatoes with 4 cups broth, all the spices, butter and blend until smooth.
Soup should have the consistency of a chowder
Add crab and heavy cream on low heat and let it get warm enough for the crab to be heated.
Taste again and add salt, pepper or a little curry to the soup
This soup does get better when it’s a left over, but sure to store it no more than 2 days in a good closed container.
Enjoy!

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Asparagus soup

My fridge is weird. It freezes things at random in the drawers.
I had bought Asparagus for dinner and forgot about the “super powers” my fridge had until it was time to use the vegetables.
Not one to waste food I decided to use the asparagus for the base of a soup.

For the soup base:
cut up asparagus
chicken breast cut in chunks

For the roux:
4tbs butter
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup light cream or heavy cream

In a slow cooker cover asparagus and chicken with enough water.
Cook for 4 hours.
Take out chicken and asparagus

Ion a separate pan on low heat melt butter
slowly add flour using a whisk, the mixture will look lumpy
cook the flour/butter on low heat for 4 minutes
whisk in chicken broth in little batches and mix until smooth

Add chicken and cut up asparagus
Salt and pepper to taste

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Coconut Lime Thai Chicken Soup

I love Thai food, and Coconut soup by far is my favorite dish.
But I never tried to make it from scratch..
After my friend Amy posted this recipe on Facebook I only had this soup on the brain.
This recipe resulted in enough for 4 bowls, I added red pepper flakes and mushrooms for color.
The mushrooms came out of a can and I won’t repeat that ever, so if you can find fresh Asian mushrooms?
The juice of the lime gives it that tangy taste and the turmeric colors it a pretty yellow.
Store it in a good container for no more than 3 days, that is *if* you have left-overs.

Ingredients
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Cut chicken into thin strips and saute in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white.
In a pot, bring coconut milk and water to a boil. Reduce heat.
Add ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne powder and turmeric.
Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes.

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enjoy!

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