Creamy Roasted Poblano Soup
- 4-5 poblano peppers – roasted, peeled and seeded
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, rough chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water (I used water)
- 1 cup milk or cream
- salt and pepper
- shredded sharp cheddar or Crema Mexicana
This is so easy. I had frozen, roasted poblano chiles, so all I had to do was thaw, skin and seed them. But if you have fresh chiles, heat them under the broiler for 5 minutes (watch carefully and turn as needed) until the skins are blackened on all sides. Cool and then slip off the skins. Slice open and use the knife to remove seeds and ribs (usually just be scraping with the knife). Rough chop.
In a saucepan, heat butter and add chopped onions. Saute until they are translucent, add chopped garlic and heat through before adding the chiles. Stir for a moment until everything is coated in butter. Remove from heat and add to blender, along with water or stock. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add back to saucepan, along with milk, and bring to a very low boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Just before serving add the juice of 1/2 lime (more to taste). Garnish each bowl with cilantro and cheese.
Rodin Museum at sunset
Paris in the fall can be quite chilly at times, although I wouldn’t actually call it cold. Still, a café au lait with a croissant in the afternoon was always welcome. And boy, did I enjoy the coffee. Even in our hotel.
So much so, I came home, not with expensive souvenirs, but with a determination to recreate the coffee from Paris – at least what we had in our hotel room. It was almost as good as any we had in any cafe. Luckily, I found a newer version of the machine we had in our room:
It’s a DeLonghi Nespresso machine and I love it. It came with 16 sample pods from Nespresso (re: very expensive) but I went on a hunt to find local, less expensive pods I would like (I also brought home our favorite box from the neighborhood Franprix). They are different than K-cups, so selection is limited. Thankfully, after testing out three small boxes, I found the one pictured above and we all agree, it is pretty near perfect.
A little bit of Paris whenever I want.
One more Paris picture – there will be more of the Père Lachaise Cemetery later:
I have so many photos from the trip, but very few are of iconic images – I tried to look for the unusual and eye catching. Or the occasional T-Rex.
So the food. Much to tell. Most of it good. I loved how fresh everything was, milk, cheese, bread. Oh, the cheeses! Oh, the breads! Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the breads there. Breakfast was the basic Le petit déjeuner en Français and it made me very happy (and full) each morning :
Photo courtesy of Larilyn, as I took no pictures of food on the trip. 😦
The croissants varied by location, but when they were fresh, they were absolutely delicious. And I had two chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat) that were fabulous. By far my favorite pastries were the raspberry tart (tarte aux franboises) and the lemon tart (tarte au citron), both of which I want to recreate this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.
There were some fun things we tried. One was of course, the Nutella crêpes, the other was a great hot dog from a street vendor, served in a toasted baguette with cheese. One of the best meals we had was in our hotel on Sunday (after a very, very long day we didn’t have it in us to go anywhere else). They have a garden in the courtyard (just beneath our window, btw) and used those fresh ingedients in their kitchen. Magnifique!
The most interesting and surprising thing about the food was how little sugar was involved, even in the pastries. And the ketchup. And the chocolate. You’d be surprised how much more flavorful food is without the over-sweetness we are accustomed to – much more complex flavors are allowed to blossom. I actually brought home 2 boxes (oh, how I wish I’d bought a dozen) of St. Michel’ Galette Salted Butter cookies because they were so perfect with a cup of coffee after dinner.
Walking the Seine
And the coffee…well that’s a post all its own because I came home determined to make the terrific coffee we had there. Even in our hotel room. Yum. I have succeeded.
Walking the Seine, continued..
That’s about it. Nothing in any of the bistros or other restaurants really stood out. We were warned that outside the pastries, cheeses and breads, the food might be disappointing. So we were prepared. We did sample a little bit of everything, so I think overall it was a terrific experience.
I have a few more pictures to share, so probably have one more wrap-up post. Until then….
This was my very first (!) pie attempt.
Blueberry pie is a must at my house for Thanksgiving. This recipe is my go-to. The key is to add fresh blueberries to the cooked blueberries for the most blueberry flavor. From 2012:
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on your sweetness preference, I used 1/2 cup)
- 2-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
In a saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch, water and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, add 3 cups of blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest, fold in completely. Cool in refrigerator until time to put the pie together. I also chilled the bowl I mixed everything in, as well.
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup butter, very cold
- 1/2 cup ice water
Cut butter into small pieces (I actually cut frozen butter, it was easier) and place in the freezer to chill it completely. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until it is crumbly. Drizzle in the water and mix together until it forms a loose ball (do not over mix, you want visible butter pieces). Turn out onto a floured surface, knead gently, divide into two equal pieces (I weighed them), form each into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. While I was at it, I refrigerated my marble rolling pin and marble pastry board.
To assemble pie: roll out one of the balls until it’s about 12-13 inches (depending on your pie plate size) and about 3/16” thick. To move to your pie plate, flour your rolling pin again and fold the dough over it, transfer to the plate and it should fall into place. Gently form it to the plate and let excess dough overhang the edge – you can brush the edge with water before adding the top pastry. With all the butter, this step really isn’t necessary, it quickly seals itself. Add blueberry filling. Roll out second ball to the same size and thickness. Move to the plate and adjust over the pie plate. Now you can trim the excess dough, or you can tuck it under and then pinch to flute it. Next time I’m sure I’ll experience one of those, but this time, it was pretty skimpy for me to flute.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and continue until golden brown (I had to bake another 40 minutes). You’ll probably have to tent the edges with foil to keep them from burning. I did that at the 25 minute mark. Let cool until just warm to touch for the blueberries to set if you want to serve warm.
As is her way, Emma has taken it upon herself to take care of Bixby and me. Here she is keeping the big guy company in the afternoon sun. Bixby still spends a lot of time looking out the window and sighing. Loudly. I wish I was kidding.
Today he began to brighten up, wanting to play non-stop with Bad Horse, so we are making progress.
Lots of cooking going on here. Bad Horse has felt like taking on some new recipes. This one was a winner:
It’s a Pear Crisp. Using the Perfect Apple Crisp recipe, found here, and substituting pears for the apples. It also uses gluten free flour quite successfully in the crisp.
We had an abundance of pears because my local grocer is selling “misfit” fruits and veggies – or what I like to call, “ugly fruit and veggies”. They are misshapen, bruised or otherwise not “A” quality. But I will let you in on a little secret, most of them are much tastier. Especially the lemons – thin skinned and full of juice – which makes them bruise easily. Ugly, but yummy.
That’s it for now…I’ll try to get back to regular blogging soon. Until then…