Tag Archives: Soups

On the Table: The Farm Stands of Long Island’s South Fork

This is the companion post to On the Road: Farm Stands of Long Island’s South Fork. It is best viewed at the blog site. If you are not viewing it there, click on the title above.

Nearly every year for more than a decade, I cook for my brother’s birthday. This usually occurs over Labor Day weekend as his birthday is September 3rd.

My brother Fred is four years my senior. Fred lives in Tribeca with Nancy, his wife and my sister-in-law. They have a summer home in Remsenberg. Remsenberg is near Westhampton, the closest of the Hamptons to New York. One year, as the house was undergoing renovation, guest accommodations were trailers on the lawn with little in the way of kitchen. Noah and his friend slept in the cabin of the boat docked adjacent to the house. I grilled a lot that year. We enjoyed dinner on a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood over saw horses. Usually at Fred and Nancy’s I have a great kitchen to work in and lots of slicing and dicing help provided. I always arrive to a generous bowl filled with chopped garlic. Generally, Nancy “procures” from food lists provided — often with the help of my nephew Jake.

Given this summer’s farm stand journeys, it made sense to incorporate a visit to the neighboring South Fork of Long Island for my shopping. Earlier in the summer I visited Fred and Nancy’s Long Island home with my friend Pascal and his daughter Maelle. On that occasion I visited the North Fork. There are On the Road and On the Table posts on that visit.

The North Fork had a very different character than the South Fork. Clearly, there are fewer affluent shoppers on the North Fork — it is not the chic summer paradise of the South Fork. The land is less valuable and the farms bigger — relying less on just selling at the farm stand and more on hitting the road to metropolitan farmers’ markets. With land less expensive, there are many more wineries on the North Fork than South.

While the focus of Fred’s birthday is a birthday dinner, inevitably there are other meals to be prepared for the gathered family and occasional friends. Typically the “arrival” dinner is cooked lobsters — supplemented with grilled shrimp, corn-on-the-cob and sliced tomatoes. Dessert is a low-fat yogurt “ice cream” cake — always plenty of fresh sliced fruit and berries and a selection of cookies from Olish’s. My role in this meal is modest with responsibilities pretty much limited to enjoying my lobster.

Friday’s Lunch

Ginger & mint lemonade
Mafaldine (pasta) with lobster, shrimp and fresh tomato sauce
Garlic-grilled ciabatta

I made a simple pasta sauce from a load of farm stand plum tomatoes and thin-sliced garlic — into which I folded left-over lobster — yes, there was left-over lobster! — and shrimp. This was tossed with my favorite pasta shape – Mafaldine — a wide crenellated noodle.

To make the Ginger-Mint Lemonade, I made a simple syrup flavored with lots of fresh mint. I combined this with fresh lemon juice, a fresh concentrated ginger tea sold at several South Fork farm stands, water and ice. There are recipes in At Home for Four Seasons of Lemonade including Minted Lemonade and another recipe for Ginger Syrup. You can combine these to make your own Ginger-Mint Lemonade. As my mother would always say, the key to making lemonade is to balance the sweet and sour – plenty of both without either overwhelming.

Saturday’s Lunch

Chicken tacos with sweet peppers
Heirloom tomato salsa
Arugula
Roasted “peanut” potatoes
Pickled cucumbers

The chicken was left-over from our previous dinner with salsa from the larder of ingredients I purchase from farm stands. I love tacos — the soft variety. They are easy to make, fun to eat and very under-used by the home entertainer. Arugula was incorporated into the taco.

The potatoes were the hit of lunch. I found these peppers toward the end of my South Fork tour at Balsam Farm. When I say I found them, it’s not like I was looking for them. Such are the pleasures of shopping at farm stands — sans shopping list. I had never before seen such tiny potatoes — Yukon golds. They are not officially named “peanut” potatoes, but guests mistook them for peanuts. They were simply cooked with lots of chopped garlic, a light coating of olive and a finish of sea salt – lots of sea salt. Crisp of the outside and creamy on the inside.

Saturday’s Birthday Dinner
As guests gathered we served Bellinis with local peach nectar

Hors d’ouvres on the Kitchen Counter


Montauk tuna tartare – spoons make for an elegant platform for an hors d’oeuvres. Here the tuna is diced with a little red onion with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. On top is unsweetened whipped cream accented with a little wasabi and topped with chives.


Pickled okra — I used the basic “Quick Pickles” recipe that is featured in the At Home blog athomebysteveposes.wordpress.com/recipes/.


Roasted tomatoes with fresh mozzarella & basil on crostini


Radishes and cherry tomatoes with sea salt.  Fresh, cold, crisp radishes are the perfect light summer hors d’oeuvres. It helps if the radishes are slightly moist so the salt can adhere. Recently at a wonderful dinner in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Christina and I were served a pair of elegant radish wedges with a little “line” of pink sea salt at the peak of the wedge as a little amuse bouche meal starter. I have incorporated plattered wedges into my hors d’oeuvres repertoire.

Hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen were followed by a seated dinner in the dining room served on incredible “China.”

The first course was my translation of the soup prepared the previous weekend at Blooming Hill Farm by David Gould of Roman’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. Look for a coming post about Blooming Hill Farm.

Squash Soup
Red rice, corn & zucchini
Squash blossoms & Padron peppers

Our entree
Grilled Montauk swordfish with roasted garlic aioli and tomato relish
Grilled peppers & eggplant
Corn cakes with jalapeno

I loved the plates though, in general, I like food against a simple, patternless background. In retrospect I should have gathered the food closer together.

And dessert.

Blackberry sorbet
Honey-grilled doughnut peaches & raspberries
Farm stand zucchini bread & chocolate chip cookies

Behind the Scenes

Making Corn Cakes See Corn Cake Recipe on At Home blog Recipe Library

Sweet red peppers and scallions add color to the blanched and shaved corn and diced jalapeno add a little kick.

The vegetables were combined with a basic pancake batter of all-purpose flour, eggs, milk and baking powder.

I used a 1/4 cup measure and cooked pancakes in olive oil.

You need to regulate the heat so the pancakes brown evenly. Too much heat causes the edges to darken too much before the interior surface browns. Once the batter is set on top, you can flip the pancakes.

Brown the second side.

As the pancakes will be re-heated in the oven, they may darken a bit more. The pancakes went from the pan to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb residue grease.  I re-heated the pancakes uncovered — after removing the paper towels — for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven just before serving. Pancakes can also be held in a 200 degree oven once they are hot for another 20-30 minutes — lightly covered — but not sealed in — with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent from drying out. If you seal the pancakes in foil they will steam and lose their outer layer of slight crispness.

Grilling Peppers
By Labor Day Weekend, farm stands and bursting with a rainbow of peppers of various shapes, sizes and degrees of sweetness and heat. As with the rest of the Labor Day menu, the choice of grilled peppers grew out of what looked most appealing at the stands.

These were some of the peppers at Green Thumb.

Grilling peppers is very simple. Start by slitting peppers lengthwise and removing stem, seeds and membrane. Lightly coat with olive oil. Here I also added some chopped garlic. Your goal is to lightly char the peppers while getting them soft and pliable. If you cook them at too high a heat they char too much on the exterior without softening on the inside. Conversely, if you cook them too slowly — at too low a heat — they will soften without charring. I start the peppers with the skin side up. This allows the peppers to begin softening without risking over-charring the showy side of the pepper.

Once peppers start softening and the edges in contact with the grill char, turn the peppers. Continue cooking as the skin blisters and chars and peppers continue to soften. Not all varieties of peppers cook at the same rate so you need to pay attention.

One of the joys of grilling peppers — and the adjacent eggplant — is simply being outdoors in the cool Labor Day breeze and lengthening shadows of late afternoon with nothing to do but nurture your grilling peppers along.

The soup was one of those “complicated-but-worth-the-effort” affairs. Here are the components ready to go. The squash soup in the large pot — made from a long “stewing” of three kinds of yellow squash, onion and a corn stock. Added to each soup bowl just before serving is a saute of corn, zucchini and a cooked red rice. The recipe for this soup will follow the upcoming post about Blooming Hill Farm and the farm dinner.

Here the bowls are laid out on the kitchen island. Turning out the soup quickly takes a second pair of hands.  The mix of corn, zucchini and red rice goes into the bowl first. The soup is next. On top goes the squash blossoms and satueed Padron pepper. The soup is “finished” with a drizzle of very good olive oil. In the background are the dinner plates with the roasted garlic aioli, lemon wedges and grilled peppers and eggplant ready.

Making Blackberry Sorbet

There were luscious and plumb blackberries at the farm stands and sorbet seemed like the right light note to finish Saturday night’s dinner. Sorbet is simple to make. A lightly cooked the blackberries in a syrup. The hardest part is getting rid of the seeds by passing the cooked berries through a fine strainer.

At my home in Philadelphia I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker that has a built-in compressor. Here, Fred and Nancy happened to have two never-used Cuisinart ice cream makers that require overnight freezing of the chamber that provides the chilling of the sorbet as it turns. I was surprised how effectively these worked — actually making sorbet much more quickly than the one that I use at home. They are quite reasonably priced — less than $50 — and would make a very good holiday gift  — along with At Home with its large section on ice creams and sorbets including a Mastering Ice Creams recipe.

So that was this Labor Day Weekend. Cooking is an act of love. Giving the gift of cooking is unlike any other gift that you can give.

The Farm Stand Series — Coming to the end of the Road
This series about farm stands and farmers’ markets is coming to the end of the road with just a few more posts in the pipeline.

Two Nova Scotia Farmers’ Markets — Lunenburg and Halifax
Christina and spent a wonderful late September week in Nova Scotia that included visits to two very different farmers’ markets. The first was Lunenburg, a small town near where we stayed for the week. The second was the very large urban market of Halifax — the oldest continuous functioning farmers’ market, dating from 1750. Lunenburg, in particular, provided not just a warm and welcoming experience, but food for thought about farmers’ markets that I will share in the final post of the series.

Blooming Hill Farm
Blooming Hill Farm was the best farm stand visit of the entire summer. This post will focus on that visit the the farm stand dinner that I attended.

Reflections on a Summer’s Journey
This post will be a combination “Best of” as well as thoughts on how farm stands and farmers’ markets might be even better.

The Thanksgiving Series
Beginning in the next few days will be a series of posts sharing with you my process of planning for and hosting this year’s family Thanksgiving.

Happy Halloween!


Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertaining at Home, Family and Friends, On the Table

Cold Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Dill

Cold Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Dill

Some crops are so prolific that their yield outstrips their uses. Late summer zucchini comes to mind. Cucumbers are another. Make sure to check out the end of this recipe for more things to do with cucumbers. (On the other hand, you can never have too many tomatoes.) This easy recipe uses the classic combination of cucumbers, yogurt and dill as a basis for a cold, chunky and refreshing warm weather soup. We made an even simpler version of this soup in the early days of Frog that used only cucumbers, yogurt, water, dill, salt and pepper. Here I have added an undercurrent of red wine vinegar and a little olive oil. For a small variation, don’t mix the olive oil into the soup — as the recipe instructs, but instead drizzle a very fine olive oil on top of each serving as a nice added garnishing touch.

Do ahead You can make soup two to three days in advance and store in refrigerator.

6 medium to large whole cucumbers, about 3 pounds
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill plus about 1/4 cup larger torn dill leaves for garnish
2 cups whole milk plain yogurt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon quality red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 thinly sliced radishes, optional garnish
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 . Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scape out seeds and discard. Cut half cucumbers into a few pieces each. Place in work bowl of food processor. Process until smooth puree.
2 . Cut balance of cucumbers into long, thin strips. Line into piles and cut across into cubes. Dice into small cubes — 1/4 to 1/8th inch.
3 . In a large bowl, combine yogurt, vinegar, olive oil and mix well. Add pureed cucumber, diced cucumber, garlic, red onion, 1/2 cup dill, salt and pepper.
4 . Adjusting consistency: Soup should have consistency of half and half. The chunks of cucumber should be prevalent, but this is a soup and not a salsa. Gradually add a little water until it reaches right consistency.  It will thicken as it chills and you can always add a touch more water if it seems too thick after it chills. But once you add the water, it’s impossible to go back and you will have to serve a thin soup.
5 . Chill until very cold, at least two hours. Check for salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with feathery sprigs of dill in spread on the top. For optional garnish, place 5-6 overlapping radish slices in center.

Yield 6-7 cups serving 6

Simple to make with relatively few ingredients. Use plain whole milk yogurt. I used Greek yogurt, but that is not necessary. In fact, the next time I make this I will not use Greek yogurt.

Regardless of how you use them, cucumbers are always better if you scrape out the seeds – — except for whole pickled cucumbers. Cut peeled cucumbers in half lengthwise and with a spoon and scrape out the seeds as seen on the “upper” cucumber.

To cut cucumbers or other vegetables into small cubes, start by cutting long, thin strips. Then cut across the strips to make cubes.

Here are cubes that I felt were a bit too large.

So I diced the cucumbers more until they were fairly uniform and the size I wanted.

I chopped all my cucumbers and then divided them into equal piles and pureed one pile. But then I decided it made more sense to take half the cucumbers before chopping and cut them into “food processor-friendly” chunks. Since I was going to puree half the cucumbers, there was no reason to dice this half — extra work. This re-think is reflected in the recipe above. Please note the dough scrapper that I consider an essential “prep tool.” For more on how to make your prep work easier, see At Home Page 21 –  Setting Up for Prep and Cooking.

A Note about the chopped garlic: Chop the garlic very fine. I love garlic. When I made this soup Christina expressed the concern that maybe it had too much garlic for a dinner party so I backed off the garlic a little in the recipe. Regardless of your garlic preferences, this is raw garlic and you don’t want your guest biting into a big piece. So don’t skimp on the garlic but especially don’t skimp on the chopping. See At Home Page 39 for tips on making chopping garlic  easy.

Here’s the finished soup. Make sure it spends at least two hours in the refrigerator before serving. It will thicken more as it chills so adjust with a touch of cold water if needed. Also, the colder something is, the more salt it needs so check for salt.

And here it is ready to be served. Note the over-lapping slices of radish and the feathery leaves of dill.

Some other things to do with cucumbers:
Cucumbers with Lime Salt  See At Home Page 67
Cucumber red onion salad  See At Home Page 255
Asian Cucumber Salsa  See At Home Page 210
Sauteed cucumbers with garlic and mint – peel and seed cucumbers and cut into “batons”
Vietnamese pickled cucumber slices  See At Home Page 219  Substite sliced cucumbers for dikon
Pickles with Kirby cucumbers  See At Home Note on Pickling on Page 220
Pimm’s #1 Cup Cocktail  – a wonderful summer cocktail that we are serving at a party on July 17th
Cucumber Vodka  — vodka infused with cucumber — and Cucumber Cooler  See At Home Page 52

Maple Acres Pickling Demonstration
Speaking of what to do with cucumbers, Maple Acres is holding a “Pickling Demonstration” on Saturday, July 3rd at 11:00 AM. I love pickling and think it is very underused by home entertainers. (I always keep a container of Vietnamese pickled carrots and daikon in my refrigerator.) So, this Saturday is a good day to visit Maple Acres.

New Blog Recipe Index
If you are not reading the blog on the blog site you are missing out on lots of features including a better looking blog. It’s easy to get to the blog site by just clicking on the blog title. We have recently added tags that enable you to search blogs that might interest you. And today we added a Recipe Index that provides an easy way to locate the nearly 80 recipes that have been featured in the blog since it started about a year ago. Use the Recipe Index to check-out the Cold Corn Soup and other recipes from last summer. This July 4th Weekend there should be lots of fresh local corn around.

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

3 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Tips

On the Road: Maple Acres Farm, Plymouth Meeting, PA

“Cooking that’s sensitive to seasonal changes is a way of staying connected to your particular place in the world.”
From At Home’s Foods by Season — Page 9

This is the first of my summertime Farm Stand series. Each week this summer — time permitting, I will take you along on my trips to area farm stands and help you look at them through my eyes. Each week I will also publish a recipe based upon my visit. These recipes may either accompany the blog about my visit or be posted the following day or so if I feel the blog about the visit is too long.

My goal is to inspire you to visit and support area farmers and to share what you find with friends and family…At Home! If you know of others who might enjoy following me on my travels and collect a summertime’s worth of recipes, I hope you will pass along information about my blog and encourage friends and family to sign up. Who knows? Maybe, in return, you’ll get an invitation to their homes to enjoy a farm stand lunch or dinner?

Note: I am still looking for recommendations for farm stands and farmer’s markets to visit within about 50 miles from Philadelphia. Please share your recommendation via the Comments button at the bottom of the blog.

Maple Acres Farm, Plymouth Meeting

For years my go-to farm stand has been Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. On occasion I personally handle smaller Frog Commissary events in area homes. These customers give me wide latitude in menu planning so I am able to make for them what I think they would enjoy and I would enjoy making. During the summer this frequently means a trip to Maple Acres where what’s been “just picked” guides my plan. Located on Narcissa Road in Plymouth Meeting, Maple Acres is a working farm just northwest of Philadelphia — and to the best of my knowledge, the closest working farm to the city. It is about five minutes from the Plymouth Meeting Mall.

I last visited Maple Acres in mid-Spring and the cupboards were nearly bare. What a difference a blazingly hot spring makes. Today Maple Acres benches are filled with a mix of home-grown and neighborhood grown produce with the promise of more to come.

In addition to providing wonderful fresh produce, Maple Acres’ wide expanse of fields provides a welcome respite of open space in an area crowded with suburban homes and shopping malls.

My quest was for the unusual variety of eggplant I find each summer at Maple Acres — all manner of color and shape from the traditional plump purple to long and thin green and white to peach-sized orange eggplant. My plan was to do a blog recipe for these grilled eggplant – a summertime staple. Upon arrival I discovered that I was just a bit early for my eggplant. In a few weeks the eggplant will be available along with the sweet and hot peppers I love so much that line an entire bench each year — the mild peppers usually in green baskets and the hot peppers in red.  Home-grown produce like zucchini and summer squash occasionally shares space with commercially grown produce — especially prior to July 4th — such as these sweet red and yellow peppers, provided as a convenience to shoppers, while Maple Acres own sweet peppers mature in the neighboring fields under the bright summer sun.

Undaunted by my missing eggplant, I wandered the aisles while I mulled my recipe possibilities. Just then I heard one of the dedicated Maple Acres workers say, with a touch of dismay, that they had more cucumbers than they knew what to do with. Cucumbers trail badly in the glamor vegetable race — lost in the shadow of the tomato, corn and the aforementioned eggplant. An early arriver on the farm stand benches, cucumbers have a lovely flavor and crunch. My farm stand recipe from Maple Acres will be a Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup with Dill. Look for this recipe tomorrow.

A plastic bag of these quickly blanched green and yellow beans sits in our refrigerator for a healthy and delicious snack. In the middle are broad Romano beans, another favorite. A regular summertime salad of mine is a simple mix of  yellow and green beans that I dress with lime juice, olive oil, just the slightest touch of sesame oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Also, check out At Home’s simple recipe for Grilled Green Beans on Page 307 – an unusual way to treat beans.

As with most farm stands, Maple Acres supplements what it grows with other locally sourced produce. Here are first of the season Jersey peaches — sweet, juicy and delicious. They were still hard when I bought them, but after two days in a brown paper bag on my kitchen counter, they were ready to eat.

Maple Acres now sells Jersey tomatoes. In a few weeks Maple Acres will offer several varieties of their own tomatoes — including big, fat beefsteak, plum and several heirloom types including a green striped and fuzzy yellow. I am a big fan of fried green tomatoes — available at Frog Burger — and, on request, you might get them to go out and pick a few for you. (See At Home Page 360 for my recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes.) As the season progresses, prices come down and you can often find bargain baskets of over-ripe tomatoes — perfect for gazpacho or making batches of fresh tomato sauce and freezing.

This year a neighbor will be providing baked vegetable tarts. Pop them in the oven to re-fresh and you have the perfect at home lunch or dinner first course.

Over the past several years Maple Acres has greatly expanded its “product line” including meat. They raise their own beef and pork. Sold frozen, I can vouch for how good it is. Use the pork shoulder for my Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Infused with Lime, Garlic & Thyme on Page 168. My lunchtime break from writing this blog was two olive-oil fried Maple Acres eggs  with diced Jersey tomatoes, fresh basil, salt and pepper. The eggs were still warm when I bought them.

And fresh lamb from a local farm has been added. See At Home’s  Grilled Boneless Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Honey & Lemon on Page 196.

In addition to produce, Maple Acres sells flowering plants and big, healthy pots of herbs. Many a year Maple Acres was my source for lavender — the essential ingredient for At Home’s great lavender ice cream — the ice cream I made for Christina the first time I cooked diner for her. See Page 414.

Several fields of flowers supplements meat and produce sales. In addition, Maple Acres has its own line of jarred products such as Tomato Butter and its own ketchup.

A bargain is the “cut your own” 10 for $1.50 zinnias. They provide the scissors and a field of zinnias and you provide the labor. Zinnias make for the perfect summer flower arrangement. If you are a novice flower arranger, check our “Simplified Flower Arranging” on pages 28 and 29 of At Home.

If you prefer, you can purchase cut zinnias along with a beautiful variety of other field-grown flowers including enormous sunflowers.

Beyond the field of zinnias is one of several large fields of corn. Even though my eggplants and the peppers are not quite ready, our hot spring has resulted in fresh corn’s arrival several weeks prior to its traditional July 4th entry.

Corn is picked four times  a day. Right now there is white, but as the season moves along you can select from bi-color or white. My preference is for bi-color, part a flavor preference and part a color preference as bi-color looks better in the many fresh corn salads I make over the summer. (Note: Frog Burger at The Franklin Institute sells a wonderful fresh corn and sweet pepper salad.)

So, this is the first of my summer’s worth of farm stand visits. Despite what feels like already unrelenting heat, new crops await at Maple Acres and other area farm stands.

I encourage you to take a trip to Maple Acres Farm, 2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA  19426  (610) 828.7395. You can also visit and become a Fan on their Facebook site.

Look for Cold Cucumber-Yogurt Soup with Dill tomorrow.

Buy At Home Today
At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining is bursting with farm stand inspired recipes perfect for summertime entertaining. At Home is only available online at Athomebysteveposes.com. Books come with a key code that provides digital access to all of At Home’s contents plus lots of classic recipes from The Frog Commissary Cookbook. You can also click on the Buy the Book button on the At Home blog.

Chestnut Hill Book Festival

I will be appearing at Laurel Hill Gardens on Saturday, July 10th at 2 PM in conjunction with the second annual Chestnut Hill Book Festival. I lived for many years in Chestnut Hill and always looked forward to my many visits to Laurel Hill. Most the herbs from my herb garden came from Laurel Hill along with many years worth of annuals and perennials. So, I am especially pleased to be there. As At Home is not available in book stores, this will be an excellent opportunity to get your signed copy and hear me discuss planting an herb garden. Laurel Hill is located at 8125 Germantown Avenue.

Thank you for visiting.

Steve
Your Home Entertaining Coach

3 Comments

Filed under Entertaining at Home

Turkey Chowder Recipe

The perfect day-after Thanksgiving solution to leftovers (after your Dagwood sandwich, of course), this comforting soup swirls turkey and corn in a creamy herbed broth.

do ahead Stock can be made up to one month ahead and frozen. Chowder can be made up to three days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove before serving.

Turkey Stock
4 ears corn, husked and cleaned (or 17-ounce can corn, drained)
2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise
2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 small onions, quartered
1 head garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh parsley
6 peppercorns
1 roasted turkey carcass
Chowder
1⁄2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4-6 cups cubed turkey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

1 Make stock: Bring 21⁄2 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add corn and cook for 3 minutes. Remove corn and run under cold water. Working over a bowl, scrape cobs with a knife to remove kernels and any residual milk. Reserve corn and residue.
2 Return cobs to the pot with celery, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns and turkey carcass. If needed, break up the carcass to submerge it. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower heat and simmer for at least 3 hours. Strain and discard solids.
3 Make chowder by melting butter in a large stockpot. When foaming subsides, add chopped celery, carrot, onion and garlic to pot and cook over moderately high heat until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
4 Add flour to pot and stir to form a paste. Cook for a few minutes. Gradually add 8 cups turkey stock and heavy cream to pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in turkey, corn and milky residue. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque Recipe

A bit of fresh ginger and five-spice powder enhance the natural sweetness of that hourglass shaped fall staple, butternut squash. Serve in an acorn squash bowl for a stunning presentation.

do ahead Soup can be made up to four days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated.

2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
11⁄2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
3⁄4 cup finely chopped carrot
1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons five-spice powder
11⁄2 quarts vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1 Preheat oven to 350º.
2 Place squash on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 tablespoons oil and the five-spice powder. Rub squash with spice mixture. Roast squash in oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3 In a large skillet, heat remaining oil. Add onion, celery, carrot and remaining ginger and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
4 Scrape squash from skin and transfer flesh to blender jar. Working in batches, combine with cooked vegetables and vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a large soup pot.
5 Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Over a moderate flame, bring soup to a simmer, then stir in cream. Serve in warmed bowls.
serves 6-8

1 Comment

Filed under Recipes

Chapter 4 — Soups

We’re down to 14 days until At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining ships from Kentucky. That means 14 of 19 chapters still to preview.

Section 2 is all about Getting the Meal Started. It includes three chapters. Chapter 4 — Soups offers thirteen delicious soup recipes plus a spread about Mastering Soup Purees. Chapter 5 is Tossed Salads & Dressings. Chapter 6 features Composed First Courses — cold and room temperature recipes meant to be arranged, ideally on individual plates.

You may have noticed that our recipes are presented in a somewhat unconventional way. I always objected to the standard presentation of listing recipes in the order of the recipe steps when you have to do things to ingredients before you even get to the steps. In a kitchen we do all of the chopping, dicing, etc. in advance of starting the actual cooking or assembly and I think that way makes the most sense. So, our ingredient list always starts with those ingredients that have implicit steps like chopping, etc. In addition, the ingredient is presented in boldface so that it is easy to scan an ingredient list. Finally, in the recipe steps the first time you use and ingredient, the ingredient is presented in boldface. I think it’s just a smarter way to present a recipe.

So, what follows is a recipe, note — today it’s a bottom note. Bottom notes are occur occasionally throughout the book and are autobiographical. Then, of course, there’s a Pascal Lemaitre illustration.

Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque
A bit of fresh ginger and five-spice powder enhance the natural sweetness of that hourglass shaped fall staple, butternut squash. Serve in an acorn squash bowl for a stunning presentation.
do ahead Soup can be made up to four days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated.
2 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
11⁄2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
3⁄4 cup finely chopped carrot
1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons five-spice powder
11⁄2 quarts vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1 Preheat oven to 350º.
2 Place squash on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 tablespoons oil and the five-spice powder. Rub squash with spice mixture. Roast squash in oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3 In a large skillet, heat remaining oil. Add onion, celery, carrot and remaining ginger and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
4 Scrape squash from skin and transfer flesh to blender jar. Working in batches, combine with cooked vegetables and vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer blended mixture to a large soup pot.
5 Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Over a moderate flame, bring soup to a simmer, then stir in cream. Serve in warmed bowls.
serves 6-8

View more recipes from At Home.

A Frog Is Born
On the evening of April 4, 1973, my little Frog was born. It would be years before I’d actually place a sign on the building. Instead, we were “the place on 16th Street with all the plants in the front window.” Highlights of Frog’s opening-night menu included onion soup, calf’s liver with mustard sauce and rack of lamb lifted from La Panetière. Our paella and canneloni recipes came from a Time-Life cookbook. My mother made a batch of her stuffed cabbage. The wine list included bottles of Mateus and Mouton Cadet, plus several selections by the glass—a Philadelphia first. On other nights we offered quiche, brochette of beef and Thai chicken curry, a blend of spices and French béchamel. It was the birth of what became known as fusion. By today’s standards, it wasn’t much. But served by energetic kids anxious to please, the food at Frog, and the restaurant itself, was something new, a soldier on the front lines of a restaurant revolution. Versions of Frog would appear in cities across America.

Picture 4

This is Pascal’s illustration for Mexican Clam Chowder.

Tomorrow: I am going to skip ahead to Chapter 10Braises, Casserole & One-Dish Entrees — so that I can share my recipe for Holiday-Ready Brisket in plenty of time to plan for your Rosh Hashana.

Looking ahead – Sunday we will pick-up our countdown order with Chapter 5 – Tossed Salads and feature our recipe for Fatoush – our chopped version of the traditional Middle Eastern tomato and cucumber salad with a wonderful dressing of lemon, mint and olive oil.

If you purchase a book between now and the end of the month you will receive a signed, numbered first edition. Books will never be available in bookstores. You can buy it now in our online shop. Who knows, one day that may be a collector’s item and you’ll be able to sell it on eBay for big bucks! When you buy the book, you will receive access to our At Home Online. And just wait until you see that!

If you are enjoying these posts, please pass them along to friends and family. If you are visiting the blog site each day, you can sign-up and have posts delivered to you via email. You can sign up at www.athomebysteveposes.com or on the blog site.

Thank you.

Steve

Leave a comment

Filed under Memories, Recipes

My Handmade Gazpacho for a Crowd

Labor Day is the ideal day to make this tomato-ful summer classic. Farm stands and backyard gardens are bursting with red, ripe tomatoes and for this soup, the riper the better including those “over-ripes” on the farm stand’s “discount” shelf.

There are easier ways to make gazpacho if you are in a hurry. Same list of ingredients, but skip the peeling of the tomatoes. Cut vegetables into “food processor friendly sizes” and pulse — one vegetable at a time — to make a coarse to fine chop. Then combine all the ingredients. I’m not in so much of a rush. My preference is a “handmade” gazpacho in which I chop all of the vegetables by hand. I have more control of the sizes of the vegetables and I’m pretty particular about my vegetable sizes.

My Handmade Gazpacho for a Crowd

The optional jalapeno is quite mild and if you really would like a kick to your gazpacho, double the jalapeno or add some hot sauce to taste. This recipe will yield about 4 quarts of a thick gazpacho — plenty for 10-12 guests. Feel free to halve the recipe. Since I plan to use cilantro in my upcoming couscous and corn salad, I opted to use basil — though cilantro is my prefernce with this soup.

Do ahead Gazpacho is actually best made a day or two ahead as the flavors blend. You could make it up to four days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator.

3 1/2 pounds excellent ripe tomatoes, small dice
Preferably peeled and seeded – see yesterday’s blog
3 medium sweet peppers, ideally green and at least one other color, small cubes
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes (see below)
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 medium jalapeno, stem, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced*
1 bunch scallions–green and all, finely diced
4 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
6 cups tomato juice
3/4 cup good quality red wine or sherry vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons chopped basil or cilantro, optional

Optional croutons
4 cups small bread cubes–use a good quality country-style bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1. Once all of the vegetable are chopped, combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Taste for vinegar. The gazpacho should have a definite edge of vinegar without tasting sour.

Yields 4 quarts Serves 8-10

A quick lesson in cutting small cubes with photo below:

1. Cut whatever vegetable you are using into long, uniform stripes. If it’s peppers and you are really compulsive you can trim the ends and cube them separately, but that level of compulsiveness is not recommended.

IMG_4721

2. Line up the strips and cut across into small cubes.

IMG_4722

If the cubes seem too large, you can dice them–not as perfectly cubed, but perfectly fine.

Optional croutons
1. Allow bread cubes to dry out at least overnight. The drying prevents bread from absorbing too much oil.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place dried cubes in bowl. Pour oil down and around edge of bowl and toss croutons to distribute oil. Transfer oiled cubes to rimmed baking sheet. Bake on middle shelf of oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Allow to cool. Add 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt and toss.

IMG_4732

Gazpacho with optional croutons and a few torn leaves for garnish.

Pass croutons on the side in a bowl with a soup spoon for your guests to add to their soup.

Here’s the rest of your do ahead Labor Day recipes:

Thursday –Couscous & Corn Salad
Friday – Green & Yellow Bean Salad
Saturday – Grilled Eggplant & Assorted Sweet & Hot Peppers
Sunday – A Lemonade Alternative: Lime Rickey

This week’s blog is filled with great recipes to share with friends and family. It’s a good time to suggest they subscribe to the blog to save you the trouble of constantly emailing recipes. In the spirit of Labor Day — less labor for you!

We are about four weeks from having books in hand and starting to ship. If you buy your book(s) now, you will receive a signed, limited first edition.

Steve

3 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Menus, Recipes