Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cabbage Soup

Last night, a friend of mine called from the Florida panhandle and told me about the tornado warnings and this morning I saw pictures on the news with torn up houses, overturned cars, and fallen trees.  The storm was on the way to the east coast but veered to the north following the Beltway and the Interstate 95.

After a trace of rain, I went out to the garden and picked out the largest head of cabbage.  I told my husband that I was going to make cabbage soup.  His response was a screwed up face.  Let's see!

I actually made chicken broth by cooking two legs of chicken with onions, carrots, and parsley that was going to be used for the cabbage soup.

I sauteed half an onion with store bought minced garlic and set it aside while thinly slicing some of the cabbage and added it to the soup pot with the chicken broth.

From the freezer, I had removed one of my whole tomatoes that I harvested last summer.  I cut that up and also added it to the soup.

I let the soup come to a boil and turned it down to simmer until the cabbage was soft.

In addition, I had also added some cut up carrots and I am thinking that some green peas or green beans would add greenery to the soup.  For spice, I used ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

I served the soup to my husband and he said it looked good and he also said that it tasted pretty good.

Keep a watchful eye on your weather and stay safe.
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Friday, February 12, 2016

Drop (Dead) Homemade Biscuits

It was a cold morning so I thought that it would be a good time to turn the oven on and make homemade biscuits.  There are a few requirements for this undertaking.  Because this was baking powder biscuits, the first requirement is to know the difference between baking powder and baking soda.  At least, making a distinction of the looks of the boxes is imperative.

A second requirement is greasing the baking sheet.  There is absolutely no need to pour a lot of oil onto the baking sheet and swish it around.  The biscuits need not swim in the grease.  Grease lightly means just that:  grease lightly.

So, grease the baking sheet lightly and preheat oven to 425 degrees F (about 220 degrees C).

Now, let's make the biscuits using 2 cups of white flour, 1 tbs baking powder, 1 scant tbs of sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 cup of shortening.  I used Crisco but margarine or oil will also do.

I blended the Crisco and the flour mixture (the dry ingredients) with my hands and added the milk.  The consistency should not be runny.  Using a spoon and the help of another, I dropped the biscuit dough onto the greased sheet and popped it into the oven for about 16 - 18 minutes.  Watch them turn golden brown or golden blond.  My dough yielded 12 biscuits (not fit for a photo).

I do hope that we don't have any more cold mornings:  I will leave the biscuit making to other people.  It is time for me to get out of the kitchen.

Do you make biscuits?  How did they turn out?

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Oven Baked Potatoes a la Hasselbacken

No, I have not misspelled the quarterback's name; I am referring to a dish served at the historic, elegant, and expensive  restaurant on Djurgarden in Stockholm, Sweden.  Their tables are dressed in crisp linens and fancily folded napkins.  I have never been to Hasselbacken but I was reminded about it while reading about Magnus Nilsson, a Swedish chef and author, in a "Food and Wine" magazine.

The magazine had a recipe by Nilsson about Hasselbacken oven baked potatoes that I had only heard about.  Interestingly, this is a simple and delicious recipe and it does not take long to create.

Hasselbacken Restaurant
I love Yukon potatoes and they lend themselves very well to this kind of recipe, but so does the Russet potatoes.  Swedes like small and evenly shaped potatoes whereas we may use any kind of potatoes that we have available.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (about 220 C), grease an oven proved dish that will hold four medium sized potatoes, and peel the potatoes.

Here is the most difficult part:  thinly slice the potatoes without cutting all the way through.  The potato will look like a fan when you gently part the slices.

If you like, insert thinly sliced slivers of garlic between some of the potato slices.

I added plenty of margarine in the dish and also dabbed margarine on top of the potatoes.  I then put the potato dish into the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes, checking now and then and brushing additional margarine on the potatoes.

In the meantime, I mixed finely grated dry bread (crumbs) with powdered garlic and some (Kosher) salt.  When the potatoes were soft and ready, I generously sprinkled them with the bread crumb mixture and put the dish back into the oven for another 10 minutes.  (Parmesan cheese will also do fine for garnish.)

The potatoes actually tasted pretty good: crisp on the outside with a hint of garlic and soft on the inside.

(The Hasselbacken picture comes from their Image page.  The potato picture is by yours truly.)

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Your comments are welcome.