Tuesday, June 22, 2010
For my base, I used a recipe by Alice Waters. Cooking a seasonal soup with just a few ingredients screamed of her style to me, and this recipe really delivered. I added my own little twist, garnishing the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and chives, and a handful of sauteed chanterelles. The result was like summer in a bowl.
Sweet Corn and Chanterelle Soup (adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)
2 tablespoons butter
4 ears of fresh shucked corn
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
1 quart (4 cups) of water
Two large handfuls of chanterelle mushrooms
Splash of olive oil
3-4 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Salt to taste
1. Melt the butter and cook the onion over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot for about 15 minutes. Do not allow the onions to brown. Season with a healthy pinch of salt.
2. Meanwhile, in a prep bowl, hold a shucked ear of corn upright and remove the kernels with a small, serrated knife. Repeat with the remaining ears of corn.
3. Add the corn kernels to the onion/butter mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cover with 1 quart of water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
4. While the soup is cooking, clean and slice the chanterelles. Heat up a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the chanterelles with a pinch of kosher salt for about 3-4 minutes, or until they are soft.
5. Puree the soup in batches. Waters suggests passing the puree through a mesh strainer, but this step is a little too "restaurant-y" for my style, so I left it as is. Salt to taste. I added about three more pinches of salt.
TO SERVE: Place five or six mushrooms in the bottom of a bowl and spoon over about a cup of soup. Then add a generous dollop of creme fraiche and scatter some chives over the top. Some fresh cracked black pepper is excellent here.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Green Garlic and White Bean Bruschetta
1 15 oz. can or jar of good quality cannellini beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk green garlic (Note: if green garlic is not in season, you can substitute 1 fat clove of garlic)
Pinch of sea salt
½ ounce of bottarga (optional) or 1 cup grated pecorino cheese
8-10 leaves of basil
Large batard or similar loaf of bread
1. Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices and place the slices in a grill pan over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes a side. You can do this dry, or you can brush olive oil on each side, depending on your preference. You will need somewhere between 6-8 slices for 1 can of beans.
2. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic. Mince the bulb and stem finely. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the green garlic for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, until it is soft and fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.
3. Add the cannellini beans and warm through. Blend the cannellini/garlic mixture in a food processor or blender, adding a pinch or two of salt to taste. I left the consistency a little chunky.
4. Chiffonade the basil by rolling all the leaves into a fairly tight roll and cutting them into thin strips. Wikipedia has a helpful visual.
5. To assemble the bruschetta, spread a couple of tablespoons of the white bean puree on the toasted bread. Then sprinkle on a few ribbons of basil. Lastly, grate a generous amount of bottarga or pecorino cheese over the top.