Recipe Recap

Kaki, my word, I’ve done so much cooking lately!

And then no cooking.  And then a ton of cooking.  It has been a serious season of hustle and bustle, in the kitchen, out of the kitchen, all over the place.

Cooper got me a Cooking Light subscription for Christmas, and I’ve been really enjoying reading through each new magazine.  Far and away the winners have been a phenomenal gin punch and this salmon with an orange glaze and an orange and arugula salad.  Oh my word.  Also, apparently neither of these have been posted to Cooking Light’s website yet.  Huh.  Well, that’s not cool.  Check them out!

I’ve made a fair number of misses lately, alas.  There was a shrimp dish with peppers and potatoes and kidney beans and a Cajun barbecue sauce that was really tasty at the grocery store sample station, and only meh when I made it.  There was a kale and meatball soup that tasted fine, but also, very iron-y.  Maybe too iron-y.  There was a decent stab at making my own savory crust for this spinach pie, but even so, I’ll be sticking with puff pastry going forward.

And I’ve re-made a lot of old favorites, as well.  I subbed baked tofu for the grains in this hearty greens salad with tahini dressing, and it was a very welcome taste of spring.  Cooper and I roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes, made up a great miso-dressing, and ate it all on top of savory green-onion-and-parmesan pancakes one evening.  And I had a hilarious muffin-loaf moment when I tried to make this great pear-and-ginger quickbread that I’ve made several times before, and didn’t let it bake long enough BY A LONG SHOT.  Like the whole center of the dish was basically still batter.  And you know what, Kaki?  Never have my co-workers raved over something I’ve brought to the office the way they raved over that disastrous quickbread.

And last week I made this lovely veggie and sausage tomato sauce to go over some pasta.  Only I didn’t have any pasta in my house.  None.  So I cooked up the tiny amounts of quinoa and brown rice I did have in my pantry, and just plated the sauce over the grains.  It was… Well, it was good, but I bet it would have been better over pasta!

The one discovery I must, must, MUST share with you, though, are these chocolate-cherry date balls from Oh She Glows.  I know you’re already an OSG devotee, and I know that you, as a runner, love you some dried cherries.  Well, whip out your food processor, girl, because these could not be easier or tastier.  Or healthier.  Pretty much.  Unless you took out the chocolate.  Which you wouldn’t do, surely.

See you sometime soon I hope? Choir is busy as all get out right now, but I’d love to squeeze in a visit with you!

Until then, sending warm wishes from my kitchen to yours,
Caitlin

Curried Carrot Soup

Dear Kaki,

This is just a post to say
I have eaten
the carrots
that were in
my fridge

and which
you would probably
have
in a salad

Forgive me
they were delicious
so spicy
and so warm

(POETRY!!!!!)

Curried Carrot Soup

adapted from Cook Without A Book: Meatless Meals* by Pam Anderson

Serves… quite a few?  Shoot, I don’t remember how many servings I got.  6?  8?  6-8?

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder**
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  In an extra-large mixing bowl combine the carrots, 1 tablespoon olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Toss the carrots until evenly coated.  Pour the carrots out onto the lined baking sheet and set in a cold oven on the lowest rack.

Heat the oven to 425*F and roast the carrots for 30-40 minutes.  Stir them occasionally to make sure they cook evenly.  (But don’t stir too much; you want the bottoms to really caramelize on the hot baking sheet.)  Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, 5-10 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until very fragrant, another minute or two.  Add the curry powder and stir for a minute until very fragrant.

Add the carrots to the pot and stir to coat in the onion/garlic/curry mixture.  Add the white wine and simmer for a minute.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Once boiling turn heat down to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  The carrots should be easily pierced with a fork.

Using your immersion blender, puree the soup until very smooth.  Add the evaporated milk and stir until fully incorporated.  Thin with water if soup is too thick.  Serve with cheese toast or the leftover croissants from the office breakfast tray.

Shown is a half serving.  Other half was already eaten!

Shown is a half serving. Other half was already eaten!

Yes, I ate this sitting on the floor.  We’re casual around here.

Here’s to a great week, my dear,

Caitlin

 

*The schtick of this book is that you mostly use formulas in the kitchen, not strict recipes.  So, for example, in this recipe Pam suggests you use two pounds of any root vegetable or hard squash (or even cauliflower!), and two tablespoons of any seasoning that you think would go with the vegetable.  I think I’ll try butternut squash and maybe cinnamon and some cayenne next.

**Preferably one you’ve used before, so you can tell if it’ll be spicy enough on its own.  The carrots roast up rather sweet, but the medium heat (in my case, ha) of the curry powder plays against that sweetness nicely. Add cayenne or a few dashes of our favorite hot sauce at the end if it’s not spicy enough for ya.