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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Curried Carrot Soup

As I do most years, I recently bought 10 pound bags of potatoes, carrots, onions and beets at the local market. Here’s one of the recipes I’m making and freezing for later consumption. It has a very mild curry taste, but for those of you who don’t care for curry, you can just leave it out, and sprinkle each serving with black pepper and a bit of celery salt instead.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup chopped onion
8 cups coined carrots
8 cups beef bouillon*

In a frying pan over medium heat stir together oil and curry powder. Add onions and cook until they start to soften. Transfer contents to a large crock pot (you can do it in a large pot on the stove, but you’ll have to stir periodically). Add carrots and bouillon. Start with crock pot on high, but turn it down once it’s simmering well. Cook until carrots are soft (will take several hours). Cool.

Once the soup is cool, purée it. It can be served hot or cold. A dollop of yoghurt or sour cream in each bowl is a nice addition.

*You can substitute vegetable bouillon if you’re looking for a vegetarian dish. Check the label—many “beef” bouillon mixes actually get their flavour from yeast and have no meat in them.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pickled Snow Peas with Dill

Came across some fresh dill at the local market so dug out this recipe from my files and made a few jars of pickled snow peas—with the addition of baby carrots sliced in half lengthwise. Pint jars work best for this.

I first tasted these at a gourmet food store. The sample was delicious, but the pickles were over $9 for a small jar. So I took a recipe for regular dill pickles from a government pamphlet on canning (unfortunately I don’t still have it, so I can’t give credit) and adapted it to my needs. This is the result.

8 cups snow peas
3 ounces pickling salt
1 1/2 cups vinegar
4 1/2 cups water
fresh dill

Sterilize jars. Wash and trim snow peas. Mix salt, vinegar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place a sprig of dill and a split and peeled clove of garlic in the bottom of each jar. Pack with snow peas. Pour the hot brine over the peas to the brim of the jar. Seal the jars. Leave for at least a month before sampling. Refrigerate once opened.

Makes 7-8 pint jars

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creamy Old-Fashioned Buttermilk (not from scratch)

I enjoy drinking buttermilk, finding its creamy tart flavour refreshing. Until recently that is, when my grocery store stopped carrying anything but a version with 0.25% butterfat. While that might be okay for baking (after all, a cup of ordinary milk with a spoonful of vinegar will work in most recipes calling for buttermilk), it’s thin and watery and not at all satisfactory as a beverage. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

1 litre 0.25% buttermilk
250 ml 10% cream

Combine the two in a large pitcher and let sit in the fridge overnight to give the bacterial culture in the buttermilk time to work. The result is thick and creamy, as it should be, while the fat content is just over that of two percent milk.