Monthly Archives: February 2009

Corn Chowder

Midsummer Corn Chowder

Midsummer Corn Chowder

I love soup. I especially love it when it’s chunky and hearty and full of herbs. Although, I hear that if it’s chunky, it should be called stew, but that’s neither here nor there. My family and I are on a budget, as is most of the country, so when I see something that’s relatively inexpensive, plus it makes enough for us to eat for a couple days, well, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

This soup was incredibly easy to make. I’m pretty sure that even the people who claim they ‘can’t even boil water’ can make this soup. All it entails is a bunch of chopping, then sauteeing, then boiling. I took the recipe from Veganomicon (and made minor changes) which is slowly but surely becoming my most-used cookbook. It really is a page-turner people! You should check it out. It encompasses every type of recipe you’d want, with only a few you might not. (Um, borscht? Yuk.)

Midsummer Corn Chowder with Basil, Tomato, and Fennel (p144)

6 ears fresh corn, husked, silk removed, and de-kerneled(or a 16 oz. bag of frozen works nicely, too)

3 tbsp olive oil (I often wish recipe authors would stop telling me how much olive oil to use, because I always end up using three times what they tell me to)

3 cloves garlic (remember me? the gal who loves garlic? I used 6 cloves)

1 large onion, diced fine (i used sweet onion)

1 small bulb fennel, diced fine

1 stalk celery, diced fine

1 large carrot, diced

1 lb potatoes, diced (I used Yukon gold. No, I did not peel them, I just washed them really well)

2 tsp dried thyme

2 qts corn stock, or veggie broth (I used veggie broth)

For when the soup is done cooking:

1 lb tomatoes, seeded then chopped (I used plum tomatoes)

1/3 cup fresh basil leave, cut into thin strips

salt and pepper to taste

So, I’m a lotta Giada in that I salt and pepper every layer of what I’m cooking. Time for carrots? Toss in some salt. Now it’s time for potatoes? A little more salt please. She’s got the right idea on this and I’m a gal who doesn’t usually like salt, salty items, nor do I use salt in my cooking if I can avoid it. Usually. Certainly not for health reasons mind you, I just never really liked things that were salty. My husband, on the other hand, will put salt on pizza. He’s kind of gross, in my opinion. However, things like casseroles, stews, and of course chowders that are full of fresh veggies, definitely need salt.

Heat up that olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot. Why heavy bottomed? Who knows. Maybe our author has a fondness for heavy bottoms. Anyways, for this recipe, you pretty much go down the list of items, starting with the garlic, and throw them in the hot oil to sautee. Now, the garlic only needs to be sauteed alone for about 30 seconds. Everything after will take about five minutes per item. And remember: a little salt and pepper  to taste after each addition never hurt anybody.

Once it’s all done sauteeing, you pour in your vegetable stock. Bring it all to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and let sit for about five minutes to take the edge off the boil. Next, take your immersion blender and put it in the middle, then blend here or there for a minute or so. You still want this soup chunky, so not too much immersion blending, okay?

When you are finished, toss in the tomatoes and basil, then reheat for about 5 or 10 minutes. Gorgeous AND delicious! I would serve this with grilled cheeze or a nice little sala maybe, although I’d rather have the grilled cheeze.

Next time, I may experiment with Mimcreme, just to see how it tastes and thickens. At the end, you could also finish this off with big plap of Earth Balance if you wanted, just for a little extra flavor and creaminess.

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Potato Kale Enchiladas

010Dang, you guys. I’m sorry. School has taken over my life. In fact, I should be studying right now but I’m giving myself a much deserved break in order to tell you about the fabulousness of these Potato Kale Enchiladas I made from a recipe in Veganomicon.

When I first heard someone talk about cooking with kale, I almost gagged. Why would I want to make a meal out of the tough, woody green stuff that takes up space on my plate when I order food at the local Greek joint? The nice thing about kale is that it has an uncanny ability to soak up flavors nicely and hold onto them without too much fuss.¬† I once made ‘kale chips’ by just roasting some torn up pieces of kale, sprinkling them with salt, oil, and vinegar, and they accompanied my next sandwich, taking the place of the usual salty, fatty potato chips! (Much thanks to Melisser for this idea!)

In this recipe, the kale is chopped up fine and allowed to wilt down with some garlic and oil while on medium flame. Don’t be scared about cooking with it, I promise it won’t disappoint! Plus, there’s another great way to get some dark green, leafy veggies into your diet.

009

Above is a close-up shot after I took out a couple scoops. You can probably still see the filling steaming like mad!

008This is right before it went into the oven. Those little green guys are pepitas, or the meat of the pumpkin seed. They were toasted and used for garnish.

Things I did different from the original recipe: I only had ten tortillas and the recipe called for 12 to 14. I will definitely use more tortillas next time. I like to be able to taste the corn, as gross as that may sound. Also, I used canned chiles because my grocery store didn’t have them fresh. Oh well!

If you want the recipe, leave a comment with your email address!

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Apple Crisp Cupcakes

So, you know how some people are like, “Oh, hey, I meant to call you but I’ve been busy…”? Well, I am probably one of the only people you’ll ever meet in your life who IS genuinely busy. And uh, yeah, I meant to call you, he he.

But seriously, I just started school full time, I work part time, and I have one toddler and two teenagers who I have to drive here, there, and everywhere, otherwise I’m made to feel like an a-hole. This is the reason I all but stopped my side baking business with an exception now and again- like today.

It’s Superbowl Sunday! I have to work and I’m bringing in these delicious apple crisp cupcakes. The recipe is pretty basic- take the vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and cross it with the Apple Crisp Cupcake from Julie Hasson’s 125 Best Cupcake Recipes. Totally vegan and totally delicious! Simply add 1 cup of peeled, chopped apple to the batter of the vegan vanilla cupcake. Then make this streusel…

Streusel:

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 Tbsp Earth Balance

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch salt

Mix together until you have coarse, wet crumbs. Fill your lined muffin cups half way with the batter. Place a dollop of the streusel mixture in the center then fill to the top with more batter. Bake at 350 for about 26 minutes, possibly more, if your oven sucks. Let cool completely. Yes, they will be very sticky and gooey but seriously, if anyone actually complains about this, remove the cupcake from their hand, toss it in the trash and say “There. Not so sticky now, is it!?”

Apple Crisp Cupcakes

Oh and I tried to download the cupcake toppers my friend Natalie posted in her blog but I have this new-ish printer that apparently doesn’t have magenta ink, thus being the reason why it was given to me, i guess. Alas, no toppers.

Enjoy these!!

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