Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer Corn Soup with Salsa

Ended up at home today with an allergy attack and needed something warm for dinner.  Casual Cooking to the rescue:

3 fresh ears of corn
4 cups water
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 or 2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup heavy cream
Gray sea salt

Remove the corn kernels from the cobs and place the cobs in the water with the onion, celery, and bay leaf.  Bring the water to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the cobs and discard.  Add the kernels and simmer for 5 minutes.  Transfer in batches to a blender and blend thoroughly (I blended twice).   Strain through a sieve placed over a clean saucepan.  Push on the solids to extract all the liquid.

Add the cream to the soup and heat gently.  Garnish with snipped chives and Salsa.  Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a first course.

Amazing Strawberries

From Casual Cooking these strawberries are amazing!  You will read the recipe and think it is crazy - trust me and try it.

Strawberries - rinsed and hulled (cut into large slices if necessary)
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Gray sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cream cheese, softened

Mix the sugar, vinegar, and a pinch each of the sea salt and pepper.  Stir well and pour over the strawberries.  Let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of the cream cheese.

Michael's recipe called for using mascarpone cheese, but I didn't have any.  It also suggested serving the strawberries with a biscotti, but I didn't have one.

This recipe made enough for 3.  DH didn't think it was a good idea to use balsamic vinegar with strawberries - silly man - so I had to eat all of them!  It was fantastic!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Cookbook

It has been awhile since I wrote.  Guess I was waiting for inspiration. . .and I found it!  While at a friend's house I started looking through  Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking.  The more I looked the more intrigued I became.  Now I want to make most of the recipes in there and talk about them.  No, this is not going to be another Julie and Julia.  It will be more like my take on Casual Cooking.  Here is my first attempt - but I forgot to take a picture!

Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Salt

3 chicken quarters
1 teaspoon (or a little more) grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon (or a little more) chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon gray sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or 425 if you are using a convection oven).

Rub the chicken down inside the skin and out with olive oil.  Cut the lemon just zested into rounds.  Oil a roasting pan and lay the lemon slices on the bottom of the pan.

Mix the zest, rosemary and sea salt together.  Rub on the chicken under the skin and on the outside of the skin.  Place on top of the lemon slices.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 425 (or 400 if convection) and continue roasting until the juices run clear.  (Check after 15 minutes, then adjust time accordingly).

This was amazing.  The recipe called for a whole chicken but I didn't have one.  That is why these recipes will continue to be my take on Michael's ideas!