Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

Borscht

September 9, 2009

Beer. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

And now? BORSCHT.

I have no interesting stories of beet-related trauma. I don’t believe my lips even touched a beet until June this last year, in Rome of all places. My boyfriend’s brother took us to Trastevere for apéritif and at a little bar with a buffet table full of various salads, breads, and other such appetizer food, I tried some beets that were pickled and in a sort of mayonnaise dressing. They were quite delicious. My boyfriend was particularly taken, though. We returned home on a Saturday, and after fighting sleep long enough to avoid jet lag, we crashed in the early evening and woke up early enough on Sunday to hit the local farmer’s market where, among our first purchases, was a handful of fresh beets.

Top with sour cream and fresh parsley.

Top with sour cream and fresh parsley.

For weeks I only did two things with the beets: (1) roasted the roots in olive oil, peeled and sliced them, and marinaded them in red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper; and (2) sauteed the beet root tops in olive oil, salt, and pepper (simple is best). I wasn’t as keen on the roasted beets as my boyfriend was, though, so after a while I began trolling for new recipes.

Because I’ve become quite obsessive about food, I talk about it a lot. I talk about it at home. I talk about it at work. And so I of course talked to one of my coworkers about it, and she happened to have studied abroad in St. Petersburg back in her undergraduate days, and so borscht came up and stuck in my head on my “to cook” list.

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Restaurant Review: 1789

September 3, 2009

I first went to 1789 when my now husband proposed. It was a magical evening. The fireplace was roaring in the main room. Love was in the air. The food was *amazing*. You can imagine why we decided to come back.

It’s a cozy restaurant that’s good for birthdays and other celebrations.  As adventurous as we are most of the time, we’ve been three times and gotten the same entree three times. Both of us. Normally, I’d say, “BOOOORRRRING.” But their lamb is that good.

We went to 1789 for their “sizzling summer special,” a $40, 3-course dinner (lamb and steak are an extra $8). We invited another couple to join us, and of course they were sharers. Nothing is worse than going to a good restaurant and people won’t share. We even got a small taste of another dinner! One of them ordered something different.

After we ordered, we got an amuse bouche. Delicious! The bite had a sort of a ceviche of rockfish with herbs on a mini tomato on a slice of French bread.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.

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Salmon Chowder

August 31, 2009

I try my best not to waste food. However, one cannot make everything into a quiche, which is generally my favorite “clean out the fridge” meal. This is because I try to avoid casseroles. Maybe it has something to do with growing up in Wisconsin and spying those trays of blankity-blank casserole with fried onion and cornflake topping that has made me wary, but I’m not a casserole kind of girl, at least not yet.

Save your wild salmon for regular eatin', but instead use farm raised, sustainable salmon for this chowder.

Save your wild salmon for regular eatin', but instead use farm raised, sustainable salmon for this chowder.

This last weekend I had an abundance of dairy-fresh 2% milk. My boyfriend and I go to the farmer’s market each week and get ourselves a half gallon, but somehow this week we hadn’t managed to finish a good deal of it. I had even baked a tray of blondies with the intention of downing them with some milk, but there was still a couple of cups left, and so, thinking of the frozen farm-raised salmon I had in the fridge, I thought: CHOWDA. I’ve never made a salmon chowder before, but I’ve done many with cod, so I figured I could apply the same methods and come out with something edible.

And if I may pat myself on the back, it turned out pretty good.

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Late Summer Tomato Soup

January 13, 2009

I love a good summer soup. I realize, this is a bit mistimed, but a good recipe can’t wait. This Epicurious recipe is best made in season, but push comes to shove, you can do this mostly frozen and off peak. I originally made this at the end of the summer, when La Grande Supermercado had Roma tomatoes for 49 cents per pound. Yes, you read that correctly.  We were eating them like apples.

I’m a notorious substituter, so my notes are below. If you want the real recipe, filled with Romano and fava beans, large tomatoes, parsley, and fresh squid, please visit the original recipe. I only had canned squid, which is a very poor substitution. Frankly, this made an amazing vegetarian soup and would go beautifully with or without fresh squid.

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