Friday, June 12, 2009

Soup for summer

Ahhh book group. It has been a while since I posted about book group--I think I spaced out on bringing my camera a couple of times, but this past Wednesday I found myself at Meagan's with my camera and a hearty appetite. I wasn't terribly thorough in the photography department so missed out on taking pics of appetizers (fig-goat cheese tapenade) and dessert (fresh strawberries and alfajores) but I got the food that was served in the middle!

Ami adapted a vichyssoise recipe to make this gorgeous cold potato garlic soup. It was velvety and rich, but also refreshing--not an easy juxtaposition to pull off (recipe below).
For dinner, Meagan made grilled trout stuffed with herbs and butter--both delicate and full of flavor. And there was a salad with strawberries and chive blossoms, watermelon feta salad, sauteed garlicky greens and bread. Ooof.
Oh yea, and there was a book! I confess I didn't re-read Monsters of Templeton despite enjoying it a great deal the first time I read it. So my contribution to the conversation was pretty minimal. After some intelligent sounding discussion of the different "historical" artifacts in the book and an agreement that the stories of the past were more compelling than the life of the main character in the present, I commandeered a copy of the book and forced everyone to sit quietly while I read the monster's epilogue out loud (I'd had a few glasses of wine which, as you can see, makes me a bit of a bore.) The sweet people in my book group tollerated my behavior and perhaps looked on a with a little amusement as I got all choked up when I read about the monster giving birth and dying--so beautiful.

Ami's Cold and Creamy Potato Garlic Soup
adapted from Vichyssoise

2 C finely diced raw potatoes

4 tablespoons butter
5 T minced garlic
3 C chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a dash of nutmeg
1 C heavy cream
3/4 C sour cream
1 C of milk
Chopped chives

Cook the potatoes in salted water to cover until just tender. Drain. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes to the broth and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Put this mixture in the blender (you will need to blend it in lots) and blend for 1 minute, or until smooth. Chill. When ready to serve, whisk in heavy cream, sour cream and milk. Garnish with chopped chives.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tantre farm share, week 3

It has been perfect spinach growing weather here in Michigan as evidenced by this week's farm share:
In the front row: garlic scapes, peppermint, strawberries, and radishes
In the back row: 3 heads of lettuce, green onions, spicy greens mix, turnips with greens and 6 (yes 6!) big bunches of spinach

My book group is meeting tonight, so I quickly snagged the peppermint and used it in this watermelon feta salad:
And I'm also taking along the turnip greens, radish greens and spicy greens mix to saute with garlic and olive oil as a side dish.

So that doesn't actually leave me with an overwhelming amount of stuff to deal with this week. Here are the plans:
  • If you think I'm sick of goma ae you'd be wrong. I really think that Brian and I could eat our body weight of goma ae so I expect at least half of the spinach to be devoted to having some perpetually on hand.
  • The other half of the spinach will probably go into Indian spinach with yogurt sauce since I haven't made Indian food in a while.
  • I'll make some garlic scape and almond pesto.
  • I want to use some of the lettuce (and the scallions) in minced chicken lettuce wraps, probably something like this recipe but without the ham.
  • I'm using my cheapo Japanese mandoline to cut the radishes paper-thin and then use them in one of three ways: either on baguette with butter and some chopped chives, topping some of that sweet lettuce in salads or tossed with paper-thin cut carrots and a little vinaigrette dressing. I love having marinated vegetable salads available for snacking in the fridge.
  • For the turnips I'm thinking braised as an accompaniment to mustard pork tenderloin.
  • And the strawberries? I love them simply accompanied by sour cream and brown sugar.