Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

4 T butter
7 to 10 C diced tomatoes (peeled and cored)
1 sweet onion - chopped fine
4 T brown sugar
2 T tomato paste
2 T flour
2 C chicken broth
1/2 C heavy cream
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Fresh basil

Peel and core tomatoes. Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, onion, brown sugar, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Puree soup leaving some tomato chunks.

Return the soup to the pot and sir in cream. Simmer briefly, then remove from the heat. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne if desired. Add fresh chopped basil to each serving of soup. Yields 8 servings.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Creme Brulee

2 C heavy cream
4 slightly beaten eggs yolks
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
extra sugar for the top layer

In a heavy small saucepan heat the cream over medium-low heat just till bubbly. Remove from heat; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl combine egg yolks, 1/2 C sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater just till combined. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture.

Place six custard cups or souffle dishes in a 3 quart rectangular glass baking pan. Set pan on oven rack. Pour custard mixture evenly into the dishes or cups. Pour enough hot water in the baking pan around the dishes to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes. The water should be very hot.

Bake the custards in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till a knife inserted near the center of each custard comes out clean. Remove custards from the water bath; cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Before serving, remove custards from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. One at a time, sprinkle the top of each custard with sugar and then using a small kitchen torch, heat the sugar until it caramelizes. We like to let our guests continue to reapply the sugar layer as they eat the custard. This is a great dessert for company - you can make it ahead of time and everyone loves making the hard crunchy sugar layer.


6 pounds (about 15 medium-size) ripe tomatoes
Boiling water
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 large onions
3-4 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil or salad oil
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves or 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves or 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4-1 teaspoon pepper

Immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, in boiling water to cover for about 1 minute. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. Peel off and discard skins. Coursely chop tomatoes to get 11-12 cups. In a 5-qt or larger kettle, cook the garlic, onion, and carrots in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and peopper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer rapidly uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is very thick and reduced by about half, about 1 1/2 hours.

Use sauce hot, or let it cool, then cover and chill up to three days or freeze. You can divide it into 1,2,3, or 4 cup portions for freezing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seven Minute Frosting

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, water in top of double boiler. Beat on high speed one minute with electric hand mixer. Place over boiling water (water should not touch bottom of pan). Beat on high speed about seven minutes (usually longer) until stiff peaks formed. Remove pan from boiling water; add vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer on high.

Sun Tan Icing

4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat about 2 minutes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Chili Verde

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cubed
5 (7 ounce) cans green salsa
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant. Add the cubed pork, and cook until browned on the outside. Transfer the pork, onions, and garlic to a slow cooker, and stir in the green salsa, jalapeno peppers, and tomatoes.

Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours. Reduce the setting to Low, and cook for 4 to 5 more hours.

Replace the diced tomatoes with stewed tomatillos and adding the following ingredients: corriander, cumin, lime juice, black beans, corn, & cilantro. Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yummiest Salsa Ever

2 cans (7 oz) Herdez brand green salsa
1 can (7 3/4 oz) El Pato tomato sauce
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 or 3 avocados, chopped
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp chili powder

Blend, mix, whatever... just put it all together and enjoy!

Super Yummy Additions:
3-4 tomatillos, 2 jalepenos, 1 lime (juice squeezed from), lots of cilantro. We also chose to eliminate the avacodos so it would last longer, but added them as we were eating it, good with and without.