October 17, 2013

Four Fall Soups with Karina Davidson

I was lucky enough to assist Karina Davidson in the kitchen again.  I had assisted her last month for her September in Paris cooking class in the Community Food CoOp Healthy Connections classes, http://good4ugastronomy.blogspot.com/2013/09/cooking-with-karina-davidson.html

This month she taught Autumn Soups for the Body and Soul to a sold-out class.

Karina chopped and sauteed and created four soups:

Lemony Lentil and Greens Soup
Thai Chicken Soup
Southwestern Vegetable Soup

Salmon and Tomato Chowder

Starting with fresh, as local as possible and organic when she can find it ingredients:

Yellow onions chopped and 

sauteed in a soup pot

jalapeno peppers, chopped

red pepper, ginger, lemon grass

sweet potatoes in addition to yukon golds give the soup a gentle sweetness

what is more fun than teaching people how to cook?

and chop

and pick stones out of Le Puy Lentils (French Green Lentils)

and poach a salmon fillet right on top of simmering soup

and peel off salmon skin (my dog loved cooked salmon skin - make sure it's cooked though, I think my cat liked it too)

prep Swiss Chard which is, by the way, not part of the Brassica family, it is instead closely related to beets and part of the Chenopodiaceae family, a Chenopod, and subfamily to Amaranthaceae.  This question was posed during the class and I pulled out my handy dandy smarty pants phone to find out.

Chard close up, I was taken with the bright yellow stem. 

Chop, chop, chop

and chop some more

Karina's tip: zest your citrus right over the pot (or bowl if you're making dough) so that you capture the flavor volatiles that are immediately released. That's a great tip and makes so much sense to me. 

Thai Chicken Soup

Native Forest unsweetened organic coconut milk

I took this pic for the class so that we could all remember this new brand of coconut milk. 

It pours into soup as a lovely cream and not separated like some coconut milks. 

Salmon and Tomato Chowder

Salmon and Tomato Chowder

Lemony Lentil and Greens Soup

Southwestern Vegatable Soup

Optional: add lime juice to taste

Southwestern Vegetable Soup

Karina's Soup Recipes:

Southwestern Vegetable Soup

2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes (preferably organic)
8 cups water (or vegie broth)
3 Rapunzel Vegetable Cubes (omit if using broth)
1 heaping Tb. each: oregano leaves, chili powder, ground cumin
1 large yam, cut into ½ inch pieces
3-4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” pieces
1 bunch chard or kale
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
freshly ground pepper
sea salt to taste
1 bag of frozen corn (or fresh if in season)
½ cup chopped cilantro
lime juice to taste (optional)

Saute onion and red pepper in olive oil until slightly caramelized.  Add tomatoes, broth and herbs.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Add yam.  Simmer 10 more minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare chard or kale.  If using kale, cut out stalks and discard.  Chop leaves.  If using chard, chop stalks and add to soup.  Chop leaves.

Add zucchini and chard or kale leaves to soup and simmer 10 more minutes. Add garlic and corn and cook another 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Feel free to add a bit more of any herbs if you wish.  Serve with wedges of lime if you would like.
Note:  You could add potato, carrot or anything goes really.
Freezes well.
6-8 servings.

Lemony Lentil and Greens Soup

2 medium yellow onions
2 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. lentils (preferably French Green Lentils)
6-8 cups water (or vegetable broth)
3 Rapunzel vegie cubes (omit if you use broth)
1 bunch rainbow chard
1 Tb. oregano leaves
freshly ground pepper
4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on your taste)
½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
sea salt as needed

Chop onions and sauté in olive oil over med-high heat.  When onions are beginning to caramelize slightly, add water and cubes or broth.  Rinse lentils and add to soup pot.  Add oregano and 4-5 grinds of pepper.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  Meanwhile, wash chard. Chop stems of chard and add to pot after soup had simmered for 30 minutes.  Simmer for 20 more minutes Chop chard leaves and add to pot.  Continue cooking for 10 more minutes.  Add garlic and cilantro (if using) and simmer 5 more minutes.  Add lemon juice to taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. 
Note:  You could add ham or shank or sausage.
This soup freezes well.
Approximately 8 servings

Salmon and Tomato Chowder

2 medium yellow onions
2 Tb. butter
3-4 yukon gold potatoes
2 medium yams
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (preferably organic)
1 cup white vermouth or dry white wine
1 bottle clam juice
1 cup water
freshly ground black pepper
1 and ¼ lbs salmon fillet
1 cup cream
sea salt
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley (or basil)

Saute onions in butter until slightly translucent.  Add tomatoes, vermouth, clam juice and water.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add potatoes, yams and a few twists of pepper. Simmer 20 minutes or till veggies are almost tender.  Ly filet on top of simmering soup and cover.  Cook 10-12 minutes.  Remove filet to plate. Let cool for a few minutes and cut or flake salmon into bite size pieces.  Add salmon to pot.  Add parsley and cream.  Taste and  adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Does not freeze well.
Note:  You could add black kale, carrot, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
6-8 servings

Inspired by Tyler Florence's Thai Chicken Soup

Karina's is a bit different, check out her inspiration too:  http://www.tylerflorence.com/?p=1166

4 cups chicken broth
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lime
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 4 chunks
1 stalk of lemon grass—white part only.  Crack open with flat side of a knife
1 and ½ lb. chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/3 lb. crimini mushrooms, thinly
one can coconut milk
2 Tb. fish sauce (or substitute soy sauce)
1 and ½ tsp. sugar
juice of 4 limes
sea salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped cilamtro

Bring broth to boil and add peppers, garlic, lime zest, ginger and lemon grass. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the chicken, mushrooms, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.   Simmer gently until chicken is just cooked through—about 10 minutes.  Add cilantro and serve.
Note:  You could use prawns.
Serves 4-6.


October 5, 2013

Einkorn Apple Pie, Heide's Taco Soup, Leftover Apple Skins

It's October, the perfect time for harvest foods.  I invited my friends Peg and AnnMarie over for Heide's Taco Soup; Heide is my sister.  Somewhere along the way I was gifted with a pie-making lesson from  Peg who knows pie and has rolled out a few crusts in her time.   I have only ever made gluten-free pies up until now and was a little intimidated about rolling out my first wheat crust with my heirloom, non-hybridized Einkorn wheat flour.  Let's be honest, one of the reasons modern wheat has been hybridized has been to make it easier to work with in the kitchen.  But I wouldn't be alone, I'd have a seasoned pie veteran by my side.

Peg and AnnMarie provided local Bellewood Acres Jonagolds.  Peg bases her pie crust on Pie It Forward author Gesine Bullock-Prado's All-Butter Easy Pie Dough.  Of course like all experienced bakers, she alters the recipe based on feel and takes into consideration the weather, the wheat, and what will go into the pie.  That was exactly the type of expertise I was looking for.

For the apples, Peg favors America's Test Kitchen Baking Illustrated recipe for Classic Apple Pie:  cinnamon, allspice, freshly grated nutmeg, lemon zest and juice and a touch of salt and of course some flour, Einkorn.

Peg taught me tricks like using frozen butter which I had just heard from another baker, am I the only baker who didn't know to do this? and placing frozen slices of butter into the flour in the food processer.  A few short pulses do it.  If there are a few larger pieces later, she just cuts them down to size by hand with a pairing knife.  Then after rolling it out and placing it in the pie pan, placing the whole thing into the freezer.  Cool.

Keeping the butter cold and in chunky pockets is critical to creating a flakey crust in the oven.  I knew there was magic in not activating the gluten, but fully understanding the role of the butter pockets was new for me.  Where have I been?

The Einkorn wheat seemed to handle just fine and my friends could smell the sweet wheaty scent of the ancient grain.  The color too, is noticeably different.  Not quite yellow, a deeper wheat color really.

We placed the seasoned apple slices into the pie pan on top of the dough and broke a few of them to make them fit snuggly.

We rolled out and placed the second half of the dough over the top, see the butter pockets?  We cut large and plentiful vents, and placed the cutouts on top of the pie as embellishments.  Cute.

By this time, another friend, Nancy, joined us and while the pie baked, we ate Heide's Taco Soup, a recipe from my sister who lives almost as close to the Southern border as I do to the Northern border.

Heide's Taco Soup

1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, etc.), browned (I used ground grass-fed beef from Farmer Ben's)
1 bunch spring onions (or minced yellow or white onion)
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kernel corn or hominy, drained (or frozen non-GMO hominy I found at Albertsons)
1 can green chilies, mild, diced (4 oz)
Taco seasoning or make your own from the Southwest Rub below

note:  use same size can for each bean

Brown the meat and sauté the onion, if using white or yellow.  Mix all the ingredients in a slow cooker.  Allow to heat through and spices to marry.  

Gina's note: I added a quart of chicken broth and slow cooked for 4 hours because my hominy was uncooked and needed the extra moisture and time to cook.  Heide does not add moisture and serves it more like a chili which I love love love.  Try it either way.

Serve with tortilla chips, diced tomato, chopped spring onion, sour cream, shredded cheese and anything else you wish.

Southwest Rub batch (use one Tablespoon at a time from this batch, not the whole batch)

2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. ground coriander seed (I used powder)
2 Tbsp. ground cumin seed (I used powder)
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. ground cayenne pepper (red pepper)
Gina's note: use one Tablespoon at a time from this batch, not the whole batch.  I used the whole batch the first time I made this and it was not edible.  My mistake, thus this note.  It took me over a year to try it again.  The other night, it was the perfect, satisfying meal creating requests for the recipe.  Thanks, sis.

Everyone dressed their soup their own way . . .

from choices of Terre Verde Garden tomatoes, dripped Grace Harbor Farms yogurt, (by the way, Grace Harbor Farms is converting to all grass-fed cows, yay!) coastal cheddar cheese (UKs coast, not ours but so delicious) and garlic chives from my herb garden - very local and organic.  This soup is warming and the hominy gives it a nice chewy texture.  It truly is more like a chili. Delicious.

Among my guests was my canine hiking pal and good friend, Ebony.  She was happy on the floor with a frozen Kong filled with some yummies.

The pie finished at about the same time we did, but then it had to cool.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock . . . how long do we have to wait?

Look at how flakey that Einkorn crust turned out . . .

Tick Tock, Tick Tock . . .

we pulled out a couple of games, I put a few dishes away, boiled water for tea and french press coffee, got the dessert china out because they have matching coffee cups and saucers and still . . . 

we had to wait.  I set the timer for the minimum wait time - 35 minutes and finally we broke into this gorgeous Einkorn Wheat Jonagold Apple Pie.  It was heaven, flakey crust with a buttery undertone and a sweet wheat scent and flavor.  It's no wonder why American's relate to this as an icon of our culture.  It is delicious, a bit of work but we're not afraid of work, and easy as pie if you know a few tricks.  

Many thanks to my good friend Peg for her pie coaching.  I am now initiated into the wheat crust pie makers - a happy group indeed.

Then, what to do with the tasty red apple skins?  I could not throw them into the compost pile.  I saved them for the next day.

I had a few baby Brussels sprouts from Lunaria Farm, fresh ginger from Terra Verde Garden and chopped it all up and sauteed in bacon fat and butter - I know - it was cold out and I was hungry, besides, in moderation bacon fat is good for you.  The bacon was local from the new butcher in Bellingham, CARNE, on State Street.  They can tell you the origins of all of their meats.

Lovely.  This is eating from many color groups, and I added my leftover organic hominy (in the frozen section at Albertsons).

Happy Eating in the Pacific Northwest