Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Asparagus and Roasted Pepper Bisque

I don't like to waste food, so I try to incorporate everything I can into my cooking, including things such as the tough ends of asparagus stalks, and brocoli stalks. I made several dishes recently with asparagus, so I needed to use the stalks. Thus, the following recipe.

1-1/2 Asparagus stalks
1 ripe bell pepper
1 Tbs.Onion flakes
3 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic crushed
6 drops hot sauce
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1 32 oz. chicken stock
olive oil

Place oil for sauteing in pan, cut bell pepper half and seed, then place over burner to roast, until you have black bubbles formed on skin. Set aside to cool. When cool dice into 1" pieces. Cut the stalks of celery lengthwise, and then dice. Add the onion flakes, and garlic to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Now add the celery, and bell peppers to the saute. Don't worry about the black pieces from the peppers, they provide that extra "roasted" flavor. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes, now add the asparagus, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the hot sauce, and curry powder. Now add the stock, and bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn pan off, and cover. Let the pan sit for 1/2 hour. This will tenderize the vegetables, without making them soggy, so that you'll get a fresh vegetable taste. If you prefer, you can simply cook everything for 20 minutes, and the veggies will be tender.

Cool for 1/2 hour, now place in a blender, food processor, or food mill, and process until everything is liquified. Since the stems are likely a little woody, sieve the liquid, and you'll have liquid silk. If you used a food mill, you can skip this step.

This was made without milk, but if you want it creamy, you can add milk, half and half, plain yogurt, or sour cream as an addition. It would also be good with cheese sprinkled on top. Always add the milk to it when it is cooled a little, to avoid curdling. Enjoy.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Carrot Raisin Salad

12 carrots grated
1/2 to 1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 can pineapple tidbits in juice only
3 Tbs. Mayonnaise
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. freeze dried raspberries, or
1/4 cup fresh
juice contents of pineapple tidbits

Soak raspberries in cold water for 20 minutes. I part raspberries, to 3 parts water. Combine carrots, raisins, walnuts, and drained pineapple. Now place balsamic vinegar, and raspberries in small bowls, and use a whip to mash berries and combine with vinegar, now add mayonnaise, and combine until thoroughly mixed. Now mix in with salad mixture. If you need more liquid, use the juice, until you have the right consistency.

I used organic carrots, so did not peel, as that is where much of the nutrition is located. You could get by without the raspberries if you used raspberry vinegar. A nice variation would be to add a drained can of diced beets.