Archive for ‘Salads & Soups’
June 07, 2017
As summer’s rain cascades against my kitchen window, tomato soup and garlic parmesan crostini’s are the perfect pick for dinner tonight. My nieces Blaine and Brittany say this is one of their favorite soups we make at Bailey’s. It takes no time to make – and you’ll love the rich flavor.
While my mom (who was from Boston) was an expert chowder maker, I don’t think she ever made us kids homemade tomato soup. Her tomato soup of choice was always a can of Campbell’s made with milk – and it always tasted good to us – especially with a grilled cheese sandwich. But if you want a soup that is so much better – homemade is definitely the way to go.
TOMATO SOUP VARIATIONS
Know too that I make a lot of different kinds of tomato soups and bisques but the recipe below is a really good one that can be made quick. Below are some variations to make my original soup recipe more complex overall – but for you soup lovers, begin with this recipe and play around later with what might tempt your taste buds.
- Add one cup each chopped celery (including the leaves) and carrots to the onion and shallot mixture – it gives it an extra dimension that is always good
- Start with a couple slices of chopped Applewood smoked bacon to begin the onion (vegetable) saute process is great as well
- Instead of using canned tomatoes, toss quartered whole tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a hot 450 oven for about 15 to 20 minutes
TOMATO SOUP RECIPE
- 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (Vidalia is perfect – but whatever you have in your pantry)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 stick salted butter
- 2 large 28 ounce cans crushed Hunts tomatoes
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Melt butter in heavy bottom pot. Add onions, shallots, and red pepper flakes and sauté on medium low heat until very soft and mushy. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar, and bring to a hot simmer on medium heat and cook down covered for 30 to 45 minutes – stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick on bottom. After soup is cooked put small batches in Cuisinart (food processor), or blender and blend until smooth. An immersion hand-held blender is perfect for blending this soup. Know too, that if you want texture in your soup – no blending is necessary.
Add heavy cream. Ladle hot soup into bowl(s) and top with 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil and parmesan garlic crostini.
GARLIC PARMESAN CROSTINI
You will find these crostini’s a “go-to” for many dishes. In addition to wonderful crostini’s, this mixture makes awesome garlic bread for just about any dish you can think of – especially Italian. Perfect on any type of bread like Cuban – just cut bread baguette in half and liberally spread mixture on top – broil or bake until golden brown.
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) room temperature salted butter
- 1 cup freshly grated fine Parmesan OR Romano cheese
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- A good French baguette (sliced ¼” thick on the bias)
Combine all ingredients (except for the bread) in a mixer and whip until well combined – about a minute or two. Liberally spread on baguette slices. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until golden brown.
June 25, 2015
This wonderful salad is both light and refreshing and with the addition of our goat cheese medallions, it can easily be turned into an incredible summer entrée.
INGREDIENTS FOR WARM GOAT CHEESE
- 1 – 11 ounce log of plain or peppered Montrachet
- 2 egg whites beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups plain panko bread crumbs with 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Slice the goat cheese in 12 – 1/2” inch slices. Dip each round in beaten egg white, then, in panko bread crumbs, making sure the goat cheese is completely coated. Place the slices on a rack and chill for about a half hour.
Melt salted butter and olive oil in non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Cook goat cheese round until nicely browned on all sides. They should be warm, but not melted.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD
- Equal amount of arugula and mixed field greens
- Dried cranberries
- Toasted pine nuts (toasted on a flat baking sheet in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until nutty brown)
- Warm Montrachet medallions (2 to 3 pieces placed on top of each salad)
- Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
INGREDIENTS FOR FRESH LEMON VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
Whisk all ingredients (except for the oil) in a medium size mixing bowl until well blended and the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil a quarter cup at a time until emulsified.
ASSEMBLING THE SALAD
Toss arugula, mixed field greens, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, with desired amount of fresh lemon vinaigrette. Place salad on chilled plate, top with 2 to 3 slices of warm goat cheese…serve.
September 11, 2014
This week we have two very different and delicious salads. Both are really simple to prepare, and are perfect for serving at either lunch or dinner. Rosemary’s Kale Salad was inspired by my good friend Rosemary Henderson where she was served it when on a ski trip in Colorado. This was one of our most requested salads at Bailey’s Restaurant. The Lemon Vinaigrette I created specifically for this salad (and it is to-die-for), goes well with almost any salad, and especially a Cobb Salad.
Add the amounts you desire in a large mixing bowl.
- Fresh Kale (I like to wash and chop my own, but you can use the bag kind as well)
- Toasted Pine Nuts
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese (save with potato peeler for it makes a nice presentation)
- Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
Wisk together (with a wisk, not in a blender)
1 cup Fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
Wisk until completely smooth
OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS, HEIRLOOM TOMATO, & BLUE CHEESE SALAD
Preset oven to 450 degrees
Fresh Asparagus with ends cut off
Place on a sheet pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil freshly cracked pepper and Kosher salt. Toss to coat evenly. Bake for exactly 5 minutes – no longer.
- Thick Slice Heirloom tomatoes
(I like Heirlooms for they are typically full flavor and taste the way a tomato should taste, you can also use a mixture of yellow and red, and a mixture of cherry and grape tomatoes in various colors, always cut in half)
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Maytag Bleu Cheese, or any kind of bleu cheese you enjoy (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton)
On individual white plates, or a large white platter, layer sliced tomato with oven roasted asparagus, top with bleu cheese, squeeze with a bit of fresh lemon juice, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a fine balsamic vinegar, dust with desired amount of fresh cracked pepper and salt