Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sopa de Ajo - Spanish Garlic Soup

This recipe is based on Savoring Spain & Portugal from Williams-Sonoma...

6 tbsp olive oil - the best you have
12 cloves garlic - thickly sliced
12 thinly sliced course country bread cut into 1 1/2" chunks (When Pigs Fly Tuscan Wheat)
2 tea sweet paprika
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 eggs
 chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the garlic cloves and saute until golden and fragrant 3 - 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and set aside for later.  Add the bread pieces into the olive oil, stir occasionally until golden brown.  Set the bread pieces aside, evenly distributed among 6 large soup bowls.  In the same pan, add the paprika, the reserved garlic, and the stock.  Bring to a simmer & cook for 10 or 15 minutes until very fragrant & the garlic pieces are soft.  

In another large shallow pan, bring 2" of salted water to a simmer.  Gently crack the eggs one at a time into a shallow bowl.  Swirl the simmering water with a slotted spoon, turn off the heat.  Gently drop each egg into the water.  Swirling the water gently after adding each egg.  Cover when you've added them all.  Let sit covered for 4 minutes. You want the eggs to be gently set, since they will cook a bit  more in the broth.

Ladle the soup over the bread.  Don't be shy about the garlic pieces, that's the whole point!  Gently remove the eggs and top each bowl with one.  Sprinkle with the parsley.  


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grillades and Grits with Turkey

Traditionally, this is a brunch dish served in the South.  It's usually made with veal, but turkey cutlets are easier (and less expensive) to find.  I've lightened it up with lots of vegetables and very little fat.  It's great for supper.

Grillades and Grits with Turkey

1 lb turkey cutlets 
1 tea Cajun Seasoning Mix, divided 
Approx 1 ½ c each:  diced onion, red pepper, celery
½ tea thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice (low sodium) or 3 diced tomatoes
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups chicken broth (homemade or low sodium canned)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbs white whole wheat flour (or any mixture of all purpose and whole wheat flour)
4 scallions, sliced

Heat a Dutch oven or other large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Dry the turkey cutlets on paper towels.  Sprinkle one side with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Add 1 tbs olive oil to the Dutch oven.  Add in several cutlets, seasoned side down.  Don’t crowd the pan.  Season the other side with salt & pepper.  Turn when nicely browned, remove to a plate and cover.  Continue browning the rest of the cutlets & set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium low.  Add in the remaining 2 tbs olive oil.  Scrap the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits (the Fond), add in the white whole wheat flour.  Stir the roux for about 15 minutes until it is the color of peanut butter.  It will be a very dry roux, so don’t worry, just keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn.

Then add the onions, turning up the heat to medium high.  Cook for several minutes, then add the red pepper, celery and garlic.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened. 

Add the thyme and bay leaves, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Stir in the tomatoes and the chicken broth.  Slide in the turkey, any accumulated juices, and the remaining Cajun seasoning.  Stir gently to mix.  Turn down the heat to low and cover. 

Simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes until the meat is nice and tender and the gravy is thickened. 

For the grits:
Follow package directions for the grits!  Make enough for 6 people.

Serves 4 - 6 people