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Archive for February, 2012

Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

What’s up with the weather in Virginia Beach? So far, winter has been unusually mild and the most snow we have gotten is a few flurries which literally melted within a couple of hours. It never ceases to amaze me how the weather here changes all the time. It’s been fluctuating between 70 degrees and close to freezing. But despite the temperatures bouncing around I feel like there is still a bit of winter left in the air, even though I saw daffodils in full bloom while driving home from work (the poor little things are confused too). So I say, there is still time for a delicious warm soothing soup.

One of my favorite types of lunch food is home-made soup. I make a big batch, divide it up and stick it in the freezer. Then just take it out as I need it, easy! This is my version of carrot soup, of course I had to add some tomatoes in there just to make sure I meet my daily tomato quota.  I didn’t want any dairy products in this particular soup but still got a wonderful creamy consistency by blending the vegetables. I choose to leave it a little on the thick side but it can certainly be thinned out by adding more stock. Please note: do not blend hot liquids or there is a good chance that you and your white kitchen cabinets will be wearing it. I speak from experience 🙂

Ingredients:

28 ounces canned whole plum tomatoes

5 large carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 large white onion

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon pesto

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Dice carrots, celery and onions. Place butter and oil in a pan over medium heat, add diced vegetables and cook until tender. Run canned tomatoes through a food mill to break up tomatoes and remove any seeds/skin. (If you don’t have a food mill, the same effect can be achieved with a food processor  and then pressing tomatoes through a sieve.) Place tomatoes into a cooking pot over medium heat. Place cooked vegetables in food processor (or blender) and process until desired coarseness. Add vegetables into tomatoes. Add chicken stock and pesto and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper in small increments to taste. Continue to simmer for 1 hour. Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy!

Hardy Carrot Soup With Tomatoes

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Shrimp And Lime Cocktail

Guess what time it is? It’s Secret Recipe time!

This months assignment for the Secret Recipe Club was for me to go sneak around A Spoonful of Thyme’s food blog. The site belongs to Kate who is a seasoned traveler (I’m a little jealous here) and her lovely food blog is filled with many, many delicious savory and sweet recipes. Usually I am tempted to go for the sweet recipes but Kate has numerous wonderful shrimp dishes and shrimp is what was on my mind that particular day. And so I pondered for a while over the shrimp dishes and finally settled on this Shrimp and Lime Cocktail.

This shrimp cocktail is a zesty little dish and it’s quick and very easy to prepare. The combination of the tangy lime, sweet ketchup with a little heat from the hot sauce is delicious. The only thing I did differently was to serve it on a bed of baby spinach or even better you could also use finely shredded lettuce. Thanks Kate for sharing your wonderful recipe with all of us 🙂

Ingredients:

1 lb large peeled and deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup ketchup

a dash of hot sauce (optional)

baby spinach or shredded lettuce

Directions:

Cook peeled and deveined shrimp for 3 minutes or until pink, careful not to over-cook. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Using a microplane, grate the green outer layer of the lime and place in a small bowl. Juice the lime and pour juice over the grated peel. Add wine, ketchup and hot sauce (if desired) to lime juice/peel, stir to combine. Pour liquid over shrimp and stir to cover shrimp. Place shrimp back into refrigerator and marinate for at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight. Serve shrimp cold on a bed of baby spinach or shredded lettuce. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

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Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavn (Shrovetide) is right around the corner in Denmark and so this time of year you see these wonderful fresh-baked filled rolls everywhere. I have posted about the Danish Fastelavn tradition before but I think the Fastelavnsboller is totally worth revisiting, especially since they are one of my favorite Danish treats. 🙂 If your curious to learn more about this fun tradition for the children check out my previous post on Fastelavnsboller here.

Fastelavnsboller

These particular Fastelavnsboller are lighter in texture than my previous recipe. The dough is soft and elastic and very easy to work with. Also there is no rolling out the dough. Simply just divide the dough into smaller portions, roll in your hands, then flatten and fill. Easy peasy!  I choose to do several different fillings. I made a delicious kagecreme (custard) and I also used seedless raspberry jam and Nutella.

Ingredients:

For Fastelavnsboller dough:

2 deciliter milk (7 ounces)

4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast)

50 grams sugar (1.7 or 1  3/4 ounce)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

1 deciliter heavy whipping cream (3.3 ounces)

125 grams butter, melted (4.4 or 4 3/8 ounces) or (8.4 tablespoons)

500 grams all-purpose flour (1 pound + 2 ounces) or (4 cups + 2 tablespoons)

1 beaten egg for brushing

seedless raspberry jam, for filling, if using

Nutella, for filling, if using

For Kagecreme (custard), for filling, if using:

1 deciliter heavy whipping creme (3.3 ounces) or (0.4 cup)

1 1/2 deciliter milk (5 ounces) or (0.6 cup)

50 grams sugar (1.7 or 1 3/4 ounce)

2 whole eggs

1 vanilla bean

2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

warm water

food color, if desired

Directions:

Heat the milk to between 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C) and sprinkle active dry yeast over the warm milk, let sit for 10 minutes. I do this in the bowl of my stand mixer. Melt butter and add cream to butter, set aside. To the yeast mixture add sugar, salt, cardamom, vanilla sugar and butter/cream mixture. With the dough hook in place start mixing on medium-low adding the flour in increments. Mix until a ball of dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and place bowl in a warm draft free area. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour or until double in size.

Meanwhile make the Kagecreme (custard), if using. Mix together the creme and milk, pour into a saucepan, holding back 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the cornstarch to the 1/4 cup liquid and stir to combine, set aside. Add sugar, eggs, seeds from vanilla bean + vanilla bean pods. Over medium low heat, whisking frequently, add the remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch liquid mixture. Continue to whisk until liquid starts to thicken and simmer. Remove from heat, discard vanilla bean pods and place in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent skin from forming. Place in refrigerator to cool

Back to the dough. Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Beat egg for the egg wash and set aside. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Briefly knead the dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions. Using your hands, roll first piece of dough into a ball, place on work surface and flatten with the palm of your hand spreading it into a 5 inch (13 centimeter) circle. Place filling of your choice onto circle of dough. Brush the edge of circle with egg wash to act as a glue. Fold four edges up to the center and press to seal all edges, letting the air inside escape. Brush a little more egg wash over the seam, turn the dough ball over, tuck under all edges and place on baking sheet with seam side down. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Allow filled dough balls to rise on the baking sheets, covered with clean tea towels, for 30 minutes. Right before baking, brush dough balls with remaining egg wash. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the icing, mix together confectioners sugar with a little warm water at the time, stirring until smooth. Glaze should be somewhat thick but spreadable. Add food color if desired. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Maden I Mit Liv

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Cornflakes Tops with Strawberries and Nougat

I don’t get into the hype of Valentine’s Day but for those of you looking for a quick and easy little treat to serve for your loved ones, these Cornflakes Tops are just that. I realize of course that nougat is not readily available in the grocery stores in the States, so I purchase it online and to me it’s well worth the effort. But if you don’t want the trouble of having to purchase something online, simply just leave the Nougat out of the recipe and add a little more chocolate instead. The Nougat adds a slightly nutty flavor to the chocolate and the freeze-dried strawberries gives it a sweet yet tangy sensation.  I love how every bite of these Cornflakes Tops stay crunchy. The cornflakes are perfect for holding its crispness even after they have been smothered with chocolate. I hope you enjoy these lovely little bites as much as we did. 🙂

Cornflakes Tops with Strawberries and Nougat

Ingredients:

7 oz semi-sweet chocolate (200 grams)

3.5 oz nougat (100 grams)

2 oz cornflakes, original (60 grams)

5/8 oz freeze-dried strawberries (15 grams), plus more for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Give dried strawberries a rough chop and place in a bowl with cornflakes. Over a warm water bath, melt nougat and chocolate. Remove bowl from water bath and pour chocolate over cornflakes and chopped strawberries. Stir gently but thoroughly to ensure dry ingredients are completely covered with chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of cornflakes into little haystack shapes. Top with additional finely chopped strawberries and place in refrigerator for two hours to cool and set. To store, keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

Nougat

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