Fresh Pea Soup with Ham

pea soup

Recipe & Photo Credit: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-pea-soup-with-ham

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small fennel bulb—thick stalk discarded, bulb thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen peas (1 pound), thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced smoked ham hock (from one 11-ounce ham hock) or smoky ham
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Pea tendrils or baby arugula, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Step 2

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Strain it through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Season with salt.

Step 3

In a small bowl, combine the ham with the shallot, chives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Spoon the ham salad into the center of 4 bowls. Ladle the warm soup into the bowls, garnish with the pea tendrils and serve immediately.

Blueberry-Cinnamon Muffins

Recipe and Photo by: Southern Living

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup regular oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Vegetable cooking spray

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.

Step 2

Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Step 3

Combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

MARINATED SALUMI SANDWICH by Giada De Laurentiis

SERVING SIZE:

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS:

For the pesto:

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 small garlic clove

1 1/2 cup basil leaves

1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon

1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

for the sandwich:

1 large loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half horizonally

1/4 pound thinly sliced hot coppa or other spicy salumi

1/4 pound thinly sliced finochiona

3/4 pound ball lightly salted fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn

2 cups baby arugula

1 small fennel, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, from half of a lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


INSTRUCTIONS:

As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 10. Bocce Ball Picnic.

For the pesto, place the almonds and garlic in the bowl of a food processer. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add the basil, lemon zest and cheese and pulse to combine. Add the olive oil and salt and puree until a smooth paste forms.

Open the loaf of bread and pull out some of the excess bread from the inside leaving a slightly hollowed out loaf of bread. Spread the pesto evenly over the inside of both sides of bread. Layer the coppa, finochiona and mozzarella on the bottom of the bread. In a small bowl toss together the arugula, fennel, lemon juice and olive oil. Top meats and cheese with the salad. Top with the remaining half of the bread and press together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to over night before slicing and serving.

*Cooks note- The inside of the bread can be dried and made into breadcrumbs for a later use.

Recipe and Photo credit: https://giadzy.com/posts/recipes/436473/marinated-salumi-sandwich

Panzanella (Tuscan tomato & bread salad) by Jamie Oliver

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/panzanella-tuscan-tomato-bread-salad/

Panzanella

Ingredients

  • 200 g stale ciabatta loaf
  • 600 g ripe mixed tomatoes, , roughly chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful small capers , drained
  • 1 small red onion , peeled and very finely sliced
  • 280 g jarred red peppers , drained and roughly chopped
  • 8 anchovy fillets in oil , drained and finely sliced (optional)
  • red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a bunch of fresh basil

Method

1. Tear the ciabatta into rough 3cm pieces and place on a tray. Leave aside in a warm place for around 30 minutes – this helps to dry it out.

2. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Rinse the capers, squeezing out any excess liquid and add to the bowl, along with the onion, peppers, ciabatta and anchovies, if using. Toss the mixture together with your hands, then stir in 2 tablespoons of vinegar and about 3 times as much extra virgin olive oil. Taste and add a little more salt, pepper, vinegar or oil, if needed.

3. Tear in the basil leaves, stir together and serve. Delicious with barbecued meats or roast chicken.

 

Foods in Season: April

april produce

Some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season for April include:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Chicory
  • Chives
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fava Beans
  • Fiddlehead Fern
  • Horseradish
  • Leeks (end of season)
  • Lettuce (leaf and head)
  • Limes
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peas
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Shallots
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Onions
  • Turnips
  • Watercress

Vietnamese Beet & Pork Soup

Try Cathy Ha‘s easy to make Vietnamese Beet & Pork soup.

beet soup

RECIPE for 6 servings.

1 lb of red beets, cut into 1×1 cubes
1 carrots, cut into 1×1 cubes
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1.5 lb pork bones, should already be cut to 3-inch pieces by the butcher
1 lb pork ribs, cut into 2×2 pieces
8 cups of water
1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Wash pork pieces with salt and cold water, until water runs clear. Drain.
Toss in minced garlic to the pork.
Set on high heat, add 1 tbs of cooking oil to pot. Add in pork pieces.
Sear for 5-7 mins until the outer edges of the pork rib has a slight golden color. The pork bones can stay put without tossing them.
Add in the beets and carrots. Add salt, sugar and black pepper. Then the water.
Cook on med-high heat for 25-30 mins, or until vegetables are tender.
Taste the soup and add more salt to your liking. Add in chopped cilantro at the very end and turn off heat.

Serve by itself as a hearty soup or with steamed rice for a more Vietnamese-style meal.

Best Tomato Soup Ever

Try this recipe for what the Food Network calls the best tomato soup ever!

tomato soup

Ingredients
1 medium white or yellow onion
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
One 46-ounce bottle or can tomato juice
3 to 6 tablespoons sugar
1 or 2 tablespoons chicken base, or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sherry, optional
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

To begin, dice the onion. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Throw in the onion and cook until translucent.

Now dump in the diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the tomato juice.

Next – and this is important – in order to combat the acidity of the tomatoes add 3 to 6 tablespoons of sugar. Now, you’ll want to start on the low side, then taste and add more as needed. Some tomatoes and juice have more of an acidic bite than others. (For what it’s worth, and I realize it’s not worth much, I use 6 tablespoons of sugar.)

Next, add 1 or 2 tablespoons chicken base to the pot. I added 3, and it wound up being a little too much.

Now you can add lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, then heat almost to a boil. Then turn off the heat.

Add in the sherry if desired. Stir in the cream. Add the basil and parsley and stir.

Serve the soup warm!

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Grapefruit Basics

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Martha Stewart tells us just how to pick and store grapefruits to get the best we can out of them!

Seasonal Foods: October

Photo via IStockPhoto

Photo via IStockPhoto

Woman’s Day shows us which foods to eat in the month of October.

Grocery shopping is already a pretty time consuming task, but not knowing what to buy when you get there can be overwhelming and pricey. However, purchasing seasonal foods is a healthy and cost effective way to approach food shopping. Grocery stores tend to stock up on these items in bulk because they are plentiful, making them less expensive for you—especially when they go on sale. So at the beginning of each month, WomansDay.com will let you know which seasonal foods should be on your grocery list—making your weekly trip to the store easier on you (and your wallet).

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables for October:

Apples
Beets
Blackberries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Butter lettuce
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chicory
Collard greens
Corn
Cranberries
Cucumbers
Dates
Eggplant
Figs
Grapes
Kale
Melon
Peaches
Pears
Peppers
Persimmons
Plums
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Sweet potatoes
Tangerines
Tomatillos
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Winter squash

Home Garden: edition 3

Plants3

 

Chives

Chives are a beginner gardener’s best friend. These hardy perennials are tasty and very easy to grow. Impress your guests in the spring and summer by using the chives’ flowers as edible garnish. Besides bringing bold flavor to various dishes, they also contain vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants.

Though you can add chives to any of your favorite dishes, give this Scallops Beurre Blanc recipe a try.

Spinach

Another super easy plant to grow because it is forgiving and it matures rather quickly. Fresh spinach’s taste cannot compare to store bought. By now, you should know spinach is a super food and offers various health benefits. Here are some health benefits you may not have heard before:

  1. Cooking spinach increases its health benefits.
  2. Juicing spinach is the best way to get the most nutrients from the plant.
  3. Always buy organic spinach because the leaf tends to be sprayed heavily with pesticides that don’t come off with normal washing (or grow your own)!
  4. Spinach is great for curing digestion issues.
  5. Spinach is great for your skin and can offer relief from dry or itchy skin.

Give this Banana, Chia, and Spinach smoothie a try using your tasty fresh spinach.

Dill

Though dill may be more tricky to grow at home than the previous two plants, it is worth the effort because of the wide array of uses for fresh dill. From pickling to soups to salads and breads to party dips and fish dishes, the opportunities are endless with access to fresh dill. The health benefits of dill are underplayed and quiet surprising. Dill has the ability to support digestive health, oral care, bone health, immunity health, and relieve insomnia, hiccups, diarrhea, dysentery, menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders. Incorporate dill into your spring/summer diet for an overall healthier lifestyle.

This Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Cucumbers, Lemon, Dill, & Feta is the perfect lunch for a warm spring day.

Happy gardening!