White Bean Consomme

And so my revamped and reintroduced food blog has finally begun.  Tonight, I made a white bean consomme for dinner. (Recipe thanks to Self Magazine.) 

 

White Bean Consomme

White Bean Consomme

You Will Need 

2 (15oz) cans of cannellini beans

2 cups of almond milk

2 garlic cloves (are we sensing a trend here?)

1 cup of water

Herbs of your choosing

That’s everything in the soup! I love fresh and easy recipes, and the idea of using almond milk in a soup?  I had to try it. 

And…

So I began… I simmered the ingredients for ten minutes, then fished out the garlic cloves (as per the recipe) and pureed half of the soup before remixing it all together, adding salt, pepper, rosemary and chives.  I let it sit on the stove for a few more minutes, and then it was ready. 

Definitely one of the easier soups I’ve made.  I made myself a bowl, and sat down at my table, fully ready for this amazing soup. I took a bite, and the texture was absolutely wonderful – rich and creamy.  Perfect for dipping a slice of crusty bread right in. But then,   I was disappointed.  It was <i>way</i> bland.    Fishing out the garlic cloves was the worst thing I could have done.  In fact, next time I will probably double the garlic quotient.  (I am a serious garlic fiend.)  I also added some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little bit of zing.  

All in all, this is definitely a recipe I will be making again. I will just be making several changes.  The base soup is amazing,it just needs a little tweaking before it’s ready to serve to guests (or Luke for that matter!)  With it’s denseness, it could definitely stand up to a lot of the flavors I could throw in there.  The almond milk and cannellini beans create a wonderful foundation to build flavors into it.  But, as is, it’s vegetarian, high protein and really inexpensive to make (yes, even with the almond milk). 

 

(Other Options for It)

– blend the garlic right into the soup (do not be afraid of the garlic)

– try changing up the spices.  Use basil or oregano. 

– a squeeze of lemon juice would add a lot of brightness to the soup, and would be a great surprise for guests.

– a dollop of pesto right on top would also make a tasty addition (and a lovely presentation!)

The Rebirth of a Little Blog…

My poor little food blog has been abandoned for far too long.  But the kitchen is calling me once again… 

And so we begin anew… with so many culinary adventures still ahead.

Homemade salsa!

And it is a simple recipe that will greet my return to the grand world of food writing!

I have been fascinated by the lovely fresh flavors from the Santa Monica farmer’s market, and so I decided to venture into making my own salsa, making up my own recipe as I went along.  And I have to say, it turned out quite nicely.  Here it is for your own enjoyment!

 

You will need:

4 beefsteak tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno, roughly chopped (can be deseeded as well to cut down on heat)

1 red pepper, cored and deseeded

1 bunch fresh cilantro

a pinch of cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

 

Put all ingredients into a food processor and chop chop chop! 🙂

If you taste the salsa, and it is too spicy for you – a pinch of sugar mixed in will balance it out.  Or, if you want it spicier, you can add another half of a jalepeno or another clove of garlic.  But always add extra ingredients slowly, taste testing as you go so you can find your best flavor!

 

Serve with tortilla chips, over tacos or fajitas, or use in place of salad dressing. 

 

Pasta Sauce!

I am finally back posting here as well. I promise I will be better! 🙂

I made dinner tonight with our wonderful friends Andrew and Suzy, and thought I would share my pasta sauce recipe with you. I am all about hearty, chunky pasta sauces, and this one is one of the best. My favorite thing about this one is that you can add all sorts of fresh veggies to to clear out the crisper.

You will need: a few tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 cup roughly chopped onions, 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon crushed garlic, 3 tablespoons pesto, freshly ground black pepper and pasta of your choice
Put 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and put it over medium heat

(Fill a large pot with water for the pasta, and begin heating. Bring to a boil.)

Back in the saucepan, when the oil is hot, add 1/2 cup or so of red onion and let that saute until the onions are soft and transluscent.

Add 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes and stir so the oil and onions are mixed through

Then add 3 or so tablespoons of your favorite pesto dip, freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir well (You can always add more depending on your tastes)

Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (add your pasta to the water that should be boiling right about now and cook until done, then drain and await the Italiany goodness of the pasta sauce!)

Toss the sauce and pasta together, and you’re set to go!  (I’ve found it usually makes about 4 servings)

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Modifications/Other Options

Super Veggies! As I said earlier, one of my favorite things about this sauce is that you can add fresh veggies to it to clear out the crisper. Add about a 1/2 cup of chopped fresh veggies to the sauce when you add the diced tomatoes for an extra burst of flavor and all sorts of good-for-you vitamins! (I highly recommend fresh diced tomatoes and bell peppers)

Super Meat! Add cooked chicken, meatballs, Italian sausage or tofu (Its not meat – just let it go!) for extra protein (I highly recommend spicy Italian sausage!)

Super Soup! This sauce could be served as a soup if you add meat and the extra veggies. Though I would recommend at least doubling the recipe (or tripling it if you, like me, love leftovers or extra to freeze for later)

And that’s my basic pasta sauce! Enjoy!

Green Chili

When I was growing up, my mom would make an enormous pot of green chili in the morning before we would head out the door for school. This is my take on her recipe. Its extraordinarily simple – and perfect as a meal in itself or on top of burritos or tacos. A wonderful start to a Mexican dinner…

2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 28-oz can finely diced tomatoes

4 7-oz cans of diced green chiles

one white onion, roughly chopped

freshly ground black pepper (to your taste)

Put all the ingredients in a slow-cooker for 8-10 hours, and enjoy over rice and/or beans. You can also add shredded beef or chicken to give the chili a little added protein.

Welcome to Our Adventures

Welcome, friends family and those we have not yet met.  These are our culinary adventures – our harrowing tales of danger, suspense and mystery – as we learn to cook beyond the narrow view of Ramen noodles.  I (Lynn) look forward to cooking with you, and we would love to hear your comments.

Bon appetit! 🙂

Chocolate Rum Cake

One of the great things about being grown up is that you can decide to eat dessert first. So, in honor of that, The Culinary Adventures of Luke and Lynn will begin with a dessert. As will be true with most of my recipes, I did not create them, and so cannot take credit for the sheer brilliance behind most of them.

This one is from Marcus Samuelsson’s amazing cookbook Discovery of a Continent, a book full of unusual and wonderful African food. This was the first cake Luke and I ever made together, and it turned out beautifully! We immediately took it over to my parents’ and ate dessert with them one Sunday night. That’s when cooking becomes fun – when you can share it with others! So, I give you chocolate rum cake.

  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and set aside.

Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and stir frequently until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the coffee, rum and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Transfer to a large bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and baking soda. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix until well combined and slightly thickened.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let it cool, then top with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

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Notes from Lynn:

Most Indonesian and Latin American coffees lack the sweet florals and fruitiness of African coffees.   We used Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo for the brewed coffee, but any African coffee will add just the right amount of sweetness for this cake. I would highly recommend Starbucks’ Arabian Mocha Sanani.
Instead of the two round cake pans, we used a bundt pan out of necessity and complete lack of desire to go to Bed Bath and Beyond.  It turned out great in the bundt, plus I think it looks prettier and more festive that way.