Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Creamy Leek Soup

Adapted from Sister's Cafe

As a rule, I try to buy what is on sale (ie: in season) at the grocery store. It's generally cheaper and tastes better too so it's a win-win situation. And last week these long, green leeks were calling my name. I've never really cooked with leeks before, but when I saw this recipe on the blogs everything fell into place. This soup was warm and creamy and the flavor was wonderful.

Serves 4

1 Tbsp butter
6 potatoes, diced
2 leeks, washed and sliced, including the white and green parts
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook leeks, onion, celery, salt and pepper in 1 tbsp butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until soft. Add potatoes along with wine, stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and simmer 5 additional minutes. Add cream and stir until smooth. Top with cheese or chives as a garnish.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

adapted from Fake Ginger

I make snickerdoodles often because they are distinctly American and I always seem to have all of the ingredients in my fridge. I made these for a church party and they were snapped up right away. They aren't too different from the cookie version, except they can be baked all at once in a pan like a sheet of brownies, so it is a little bit quicker to make. I ended up cutting them out with cookie cutters after they had cooled to make them look a little more interesting.

2 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (250 grams)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
cinnamon and sugar mixture for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 (176 C). In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth, then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add in the vanilla and set aside. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet one, stirring until batter is smooth and consistent. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish and sprinkles cinnamon sugar on the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is turning golden brown and you can stick a toothpick in it and it comes out clean. Wait for them to cool before cutting into them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Greek Burgers

adapted from Food-o del Mundo

I love Greek food. The flavors manage to balance sharp and creamy, salty and sweet in a way that is marvelous. So when I saw this recipe for Greek style hamburgers, I just had to try it. They were wonderful, needing very little garnish except for a slice of tomato and Tzatziki sauce.

Hamburger patties
17 oz ground pork (500 mg)
1 egg
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (or oats)
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup minced Kalamata olives
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Tzatziki sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 finely chopped cucumber
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp dill

Hamburger buns
Tomato slices (for garnish)

Mix hamburger ingredients together well. Gently form 1/2 inch thick patties (1.25 cm), trying not to overwork the meat. Using a grill is optimal, but if that isn't available, just use a frying pan on the stove. Heat the stove very hot. Place the patty on the pan and let it sit. Do not push down on the burger, it lets all of the juices out. Fry on a hot stove, 7-9 minutes each side. Take off the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Prepare the Tzatziki sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Put the patty on a bun, with a layer of sauce and a tomato and enjoy!