Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup

Today the weatherman used the "s" word more than once in reference to the weather forecast.  Whew, takes the wind out of my sails when he uses the "s" word. That said, it's time for some recipe inspiration from a television favorite,  Weekend Today in Central New York on NBC3  with Laura Hand.  Laura comes into my home via television on Saturday mornings for my wake up coffee most weekends.  Shout out to Laura as thanks for the yummy soup recipe inspiration and for her generous sharing of the recipe!  A couple of minor modifications and eureka...a fabulous warm me head to toe, forget the "s" blues,  soup to make many more times this season!  Deep breath, okay brace yourself we are approaching the snow season in CNY.  Much more bearable now thanks to Laura Hand.

 Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup

Chicken stock or Bouillon, 28oz   (quick:  2 14oz cans)
Onion,           1 large diced
Garlic            1 small clove
Cauliflower     approx 1 lb or medium head (florets only)
White wine     ½ cup
Cream (1/2 and 1/2)  1 cup  (lower cal, use milk)
Blue Cheese   ½ lb, crumbled
Bacon   8-10 cooked slices, crumbled
Green Onion  4-5 onions chopped fine, with some of the green
With a small amount of olive oil  in pan, saute onions and garlic.
Chop cauliflower florets into small pieces, add to onions.  
Continue to saute cauliflower and onions, garlic.
Add chicken stock and continue to simmer until cauliflower is tender.  Approximately 1/2 hour.
Puree cauliflower stock mix.
Return to stock pan.
Now for the "makes me smile" ingredients.
Add wine, room temperature 1/2 and 1/2 cream, blue cheese and continue to simmer until smooth.

Garnish soup bowls of steamy and creamy Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup with diced green onions and bacon crumbles.
Mmmmm...I'm not afraid of a little snow with this to warm up the toes : )
You're Welcome

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beef Barley Soup and Fresh Baked Roadhouse Rolls

 The Fall weather has slammed the brakes on my outdoor projects the last few days.  Rain.  Drizzle.  And downpours.  A crackling fire in the fireplace to take the chill off us and warming up from the inside out with Beef Barley Soup and Roadhouse Rolls for dinner tonight is the plan.
Let's start with the Roadhouse Rolls so they are going through the rising process as the soup simmers.
1 packet rapid rise instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water (120 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
 2 tablespoons melted butter
 1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups AP (all purpose) flour
Stir the yeast, water, milk, sugar, butter, egg, and salt until combined. Gradually add the flour and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Let the dough rest for 5-8 minutes. I mix the bread by hand and a giant hand whisk.  Use a mixer with a dough hook if you prefer.  Put the dough into a large greased bowl, turn so the top is coated with grease also.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a warm, wet clean dish towel.  Let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares. A pizza cutter works well for this.  Move the squares to a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.   Let rise until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Butter the tops of baked rolls with butter.
Let's get a stockpot of Beef Barley Soup simmering on the stove.
Ingredients and Directions:
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in pot and add 1 large onion chopped, 1 stalk of celery diced small, 1 green pepper diced small. Saute until onions a light golden color.  Add thin sliced steak cut into small pieces.  I had sirloin steak sandwich slices today, so that is what I used.  I have used pot roast leftovers, and even frozen steak slices from a package.  Continue saute until meat is browned.  Add 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots, 2 large potatoes cut into small chunks, 6 cups beef stock ( I made mine using water and beef bouillon cubes)  a package of brown gravy mix, 1 cup frozen peas and 1 cup barley to the simmering soup.  Season with 1 bunch fresh parsley chopped fine, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until all ingredients are cooked.  I simmered the Beef Barley soup a couple of hours while the Roadhouse Rolls were rising.
Mmm...chasing the chill away : )