Cannellini Bean Soup

Pretty healthy. Can be made vegetarian. Pretty delicious. Easy-peas-y.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1 russet potato roughly chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 celery stalks roughly chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 carrots chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans 
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1, 5 inch piece of fresh rosemary 
  • 2, 4 inch pieces of fresh thyme 
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste 
  1. In a 6 quart dutch oven or large, 3 inch deep saucepan, saute garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute potato, celery, carrots until translucent.
  3. Add beans to the pan, then broth, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Continue to cook the mixture on medium heat for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Serve with crusty breads, saltines, or biscuits!

Risotto

Lovers of this hearty, creamy, rice dish, fear not! As with everything, if someone else has done it, you can too.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 minced clove garlic or 1 minced shallot (or both)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3-ish cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. BUTTER/GARLIC: In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic or shallots and saute for a minute or two, until soft and fragrant.
  2. RICE: Add the arborio rice, stir to coat with butter. Add the white wine and enjoy the sizzles.
  3. SLOW & STEADY: Add the broth, 1/4 cup at a time, and simmer/stir after each addition until the rice is soft and creamy. Slow addition of liquid will yield better results for this recipe. I err on the side of more liquid to get a creamier texture. I took a sip of wine after each addition of liquid. In all, after you’ve had 2 glasses of wine, your risotto should be at its saturation point.
  4. PARM: Add the parmesan and stir until incorporated. Salt + pepp to taste.
  5. ADDITIONS: I paired my risotto with mushrooms and kale sautéed in butter. (My partner told me recently he is not the person who orders the pizza with all the different mushrooms. I replied: That IS ME) Scallops could be another sassy addition to this creamy dish.

Illustrations are my own. Copy-write 2021.

Fizzy no-alci-hol bevie

Hi guys!

Anyone else continue celebrating the holidays way beyond New Year’s? ME TOO. Winter boredom and new political stress of 2021 has sent me into a buzzed tizzy.

I have a solution: create non-alcoholic beverage recipes; reaching beyond tea, coffee, and juices. This one is completely new to me, but seems close to dressing left at the bottom of the salad bowl that I often find myself sipping. SLLLLLLLUURRRRRRP!

It’s called SHRUB. It’s a mixture of fruit, sugar, and vinegar that creates its own effervescence. This should appeal to the semi-committed homesteader who prescribes to the medicinal benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar shots. Y’all are missing out on flavor if you’re not adding fruits & sugars.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fruit, cleaned, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
  1. STERILIZE: Wash the canning jar in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Submerge in a pot of warm water to cover by 1 to 2 inches, bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. For the lid or cap, wash it in hot, soapy water; rinse well; and scald in boiling water.
  2. ADD FRUIT: Carefully remove the jar from the water using canning jar lifters or tongs and place on the counter. Transfer the prepared fruit in the container. I used a mixture of berries: blackberries, blueberries, cherries.
  3. ADD VINEGAR: Place the vinegar in a saucepan and heat to just below the boiling point, or at least 190°F. Pour the vinegar over the fruit, leaving at least 1/4-inch headspace in the jar. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp cloth, and cap tightly.
  4. LEAVE IT ALONE: Let the vinegar cool completely and then store the jar in a cool, dark place. Let it stand at least 24 hours and up to 4 weeks until the desired flavor is reached.
  5. STRAIN: Strain the fruit from the vinegar through a damp cheesecloth or coffee filter. Do this at least once, or repeat as desired until the vinegar shows no cloudiness.
  6. SUGAR!!: Place the fruit-infused vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a clean, sterilized container (use the original mason jar or other bottles; see step 1 for sterilization procedure) and cap tightly.
  7. STORE: Store the shrub syrup in the refrigerator. Tightly sealed, it can last for up to 6 months. Taste before using to make sure the flavor is still good. Discard immediately if it has mold or any signs of fermentation, such as bubbling, cloudiness, or sliminess.
  8. DRINK IT UP, BABY: To serve, mix 1 tablespoon shrub syrup into a glass of still or sparkling water. Taste and add more syrup, if desired. Use your delicious shrub syrups in salad dressings! When your Dry-Janu-Febru-Mar-Sober-Octo is up, add that yummy syrup to your favorite Kentucky bourbon.

Illustrations are my own. Copy-write 2021.

I’m giving credit for this wonderful recipe to Ms. Emily Han @https://www.thekitchn.com/

Gazpacho: drink or soup?

It’s August, so snatch up some tomatoes while the gettin’ is good. I loosely followed a recipe from New York Times Cooking, “Best Gazpacho Recipe” and added lime juice, because it fo’ sho’ needs acid. The following is my version of this chilly soup:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
  •  Salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling
  • Juice from two limes

Don’t think about it! Throw it in the blender. Serve chilled in a bowl or drinking glass, your choice. Drizzle your favorite olive oil on top.