Archive for April 10th, 2010

April 10, 2010

Zucchini and White Bean Soup

UPDATE: I put the rest of this soup in the blender and puree’d it and it was so much better!

After my casino food lunch with my friend I was feeling really yuck so I wanted some wholesome food. I made this soup and a salad and then sat down to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and felt much better about my “real” food dinner!

This is a nice light flavored soup and I served it with a Wedge salad. I left this soup chunky but it would be really good as a puree too, topped with a toasted baguette slice for dipping.

White Bean and Zucchini Soup

1 T. each olive oil and butter
2 zucchinis, diced
1/2 white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 – 14oz can white beans, well drained
1 sprig thyme
2 sage leaves whole
2 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 slices crispy chopped bacon
1 T. butter

Dice the onion and zucchini, and mince the garlic. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse.

Heat oil and butter in soup pot on medium-low. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the fragrant. Add the zucchini and continue to cook until zucchini is soft (keeping the heat on low won’t burn your onion or garlic but will cook the onion and zucchini through).

Next add the chicken or vegetable broth, sage leaves, and thyme sprig. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and heavy cream and bring back to a simmer and heat the soup through. Remove sage leaves and thyme sprig. Add pat of butter and stir until melted.

Serve in bowl and top with chopped bacon pieces.

April 10, 2010

Wedge Salad

This salad is just so good whenever I see it on a menu I have a hard time NOT ordering it. You definitely need a knife and fork!

Wedge Salad

1/4 of a head of iceberg lettuce (a wedge)
3 slices bacon, chopped
blue cheese
pine nuts
1 small roma tomato, de-seeded, diced (or sundried tomato strips)
Croutons
kosher salt and pepper
Ranch or blue cheese dressing

Cut a wedge out of a head of iceburg lettuce and don’t separate the leaves.

Top with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle with ranch dressing. Serve with a knife.

Easy as that!

April 10, 2010

Spicy Pastrami

I am not a big fan of just plain sanwiches, they are sometimes a little boring to me. But Paninis are a whole other story! They are my favorite of all sandwiches, gooey cheese, warm toasty bread and warm inside. I’m playing around a bit with some combinations – part of creating “the Menu.” Here is a really good one.

Spicy Pastrami Panini

 I made this sandwich with the 12-grain bread I had, but I’m going to make a batch of ciabatta and try it with that bread (you could also buy some ciabatta)

2 slices bread (preferrable artisan type – ciabatta or foccacia)
generous portion of thin sliced pastrami
handful of sliced pepperocinis
handful of sliced roasted red peppers*
2 slices of cheddar cheese
2T. Sundried tomato spread (see recipe below)

Take one slice of bread and place the cheese, pastrami and the peppers.

Now to make the Tomato Spread!

The grocery store near me has an olive bar which consists of really good sundried tomatoes in oil (the ones in oil are soft and easier to use than in a dry package). Or you could take 3-4 roma tomatoes, slice them in half and roast them in your oven @ 450 for 30 minutes or until they are shriveled a bit.

Mix half a stick of cream cheese (4 oz.) and enough sundried tomatoes to equal about 3-4 small roma tomatoes.

spread should look like this

Now place the spread on the remaining slice of bread and place it on top of the pastrami side. Now I don’t have a fancy panini grill but if you do, heat it up. Instead I use the small George Foreman grill I have and it comes out just the same. You could also cook the panini in a skillet or cast iron skillet and use a brick wrapped in foil to place on top of your sandwich, part way through flip the sandwich so both sides are toasty and everything is melty. Notice I don’t use oil or butter but you can if you’d like.

And now you can dig in!!!

*I like to roast peppers slice them and put them in the fridge for a week or freezer if I won’t use them right away, this way I always have fresh roasted peppers.