All posts filed under: Soups

Caramelized Onion Panade

It’s criminal what some restaurants consider onion soup. I’ve had my fill of instant broth, blanched onions, burnt cheese, and broth with dehydrated bits in it. Honestly – if you can’t make the effort to do it properly – don’t bother. Perfect onion soup isn’t hard. To do it right, you really only need 3 components – caramelized onions, broth, and a cheesy crouton. Although the onion soup below is a panade, it can easily become a standard by negating most of the bread layers Caramelized Onion Panade Serves 4 Ingredients 2 Red Onions – Peeled and Sliced into Rings 2 Vidalia (or Texas Sweet) Onions – Peeled and Sliced into Rings 2 White Onions – Peeled and sliced into Rings 2 Cloves Garlic – Crushed 2 Teaspoons Smoked Salt 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper 1 Clove 1 Bayleaf 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 4 Cups Chicken Stock 16 Slices of Stale Bread 12 Slices Extra Sharp White Cheddar or Dubliner 4 Soup Crocks Spatula 1 Large Sauce Pan Preheat the Oven to 350 Heat …

Acorn Squash Panade

I truly despise pumpkin. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing it’s good for is cutting faces in… and shooting out of those huge cannons. There’s nothing you can do to mask that gourd-y, poot-y smell. So… you’ll never see a pumpkin recipe here. I say that, because… I guess… if you had to…. you could use pumpkin if you wanted to make a Large one of these. Although, I suggest that you use a turban squash, or a large delicata. The squash broth and nutmeg transforms this panade into a near pudding that is perfect on a cold winter evening. Acorn Squash Panade Serves 4 Ingredients 4 Acorn Squas 3 Cups stale bread – cubed 1 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan 3 Cups Chicken Stock 2 Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg 1 Teaspoon Smoked Salt 1 Shallot – Minced 1 Medium Sauce Pan 1 Immersion Blender 1 Baking Sheet Preheat the oven to 350 Cut the tops off of the squash and remove the seeds and strings With a spoon, hull out the interior pulp, leaving …

A Visit to the weekly BHA meeting…

I was late getting to the meeting. “Anytime of the day…” doesn’t really take into account that I had to pass by a doughnut shop and a bakery to get to the church basement. They were just beginning as I came in so I looked over the plate of provided carrot curls,  grabbed a cup of coffee and took my seat….  Would anyone like to share something today?“ I raised my hand and made my way to the podium. Hello, I’m Toby, and I am a Bread Hoarder.“ Hi, Toby!“ The enthusiastic greeting propels me forward… It’s been 12 weeks and 5 days since I bought my last loaf of artisan bread.“ …polite claps ruffled through the group. I look out over the body of like-minded folk and size up the attendees. They’re the same at every meeting. There’s the stoic, self-righteous members…proudly displaying their 100 Loaf buttons… almost militant in the fact that they haven’t bought anything more than pre-sliced loaf bread in 10 years. There are the “good” BHA’ers. The ones that have …

Corn Chowder and the Blustery Day

The wind has howled around the bluff for most of the week. This morning we woke to temps in the high 30’s, very dark clouds and the threat of cold rain and sleet. Ah!… fall in the North Georgia Mountains. I sat at my desk this morning watching the sleet bounce off the pavement outside and thought.. “What today needs is soup… really hearty soup….  Chowder.“ … and just to set things in concrete – a friend of mine was saying how she felt like making corn chowder today. It was an omen…. and you don’t mess with omens.   Fresh Corn  and Roasted Poblano Chowder Serves 8 Ingredients 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 1 Large Onion – Diced 1 Clove Garlic – Crushed 1 Cup Salt Pork (or Panchetta) – diced into 1/4″cubes 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 1 Large Box (48 Ounces) Chicken Stock 3 Cups Milk 1 Cup Water 2 Large (or 3 small) Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 1/2″ dubes 5 Ears of Corn (mixed white …

Curb Market Crawl – Turnips

Pack up the babies and grab the old lady – we’re hittin’ the road! It’s been a rough week for me. My day usually begins at 8:00 with a big cup of coffee.I then plant myself at the desk and for the next 5 hours I scan the job boards; researching companies, sending out resumes and answering requests for information. The afternoons are typically reserved for phone interviews and marking off prospects that have sent rejection letters. This week I have a plethora of rejection letters. It’s discouraging. In all fairness, it has been a while since I physically ran a food operation… but 15 years of consulting, and 30 years of management ought to count for something… don’t you think? At any rate… I needed a break. So I headed out to make the curb market rounds. Here in North Georgia, and this late in the season, I didn’t really expect to find much: Some Purple Striped Eggplant (meh – I did eggplant last time) Pumpkins… everyone and their brother is doing pumpkin recipes…. …

Pride & Prejudice

Growing up, my mom had a pantry that would make any off-the-grid survivalist proud. She and my dad had converted the entire southern wall of the kitchen  and adjoining breakfast room into a never-ending wall of torturous louvered doors (I’m not kidding… it was our punishment to  clean them) that concealed…well… every canned good available at the market…. three of each, in fact. It’s odd to think about it now, but any “good” home cook always had a well stocked canned goods pantry – just in case… you know. The beef stew you made looks a tad shy? Dump a couple of cans of kidney beans into it.. Voila! Food for an army… or for the Corn Clan. We were hungry little buggers… I’m pretty much a snob when it comes to encased, packaged, processed foods in recipes. If a recipe that begins with “2 cans of…” or has more than one ingredient that requires a mechanical device to open it, I toss it into the shredder. I know, I’m a bad person…. Be that …

Getting a tad crabby in River City

I lived on the Georgia Coast for a while back in the early 80’s and fell in love with Savannah. I’d prowl the city, poking around in the old cotton warehouses down by the river; heading out to Thunderbolt and watching the shrimp boats leave in the early morning and return in the evenings with their holds full of fresh cargo, then picking my way under the Thunderbolt Bridge to sit on tattered red vinyl banquettes and gorge on steamed clams  at Desposito’s. Savannah then, had a casual elegance to it. People dressed proudly in their khakis and madras. Families on the marsh islands threw impromptu oyster roasts, and you could usually wiggle in on an invite … if you brought along a 6-pack of cold beer. You’d see small dinner parties being thrown in any of the numerous walled gardens in the Historic District. I loved  getting off the usual “tourist” treks and away from the historical tours; walking down alleys and ending up in areas of the city that time and commerce had …