Saturday, 14 September 2013

CORN ON THE COB GRILLED WITH FRESH HERBS



Corn on the cob on the grill.  A great way to enjoy summer sweet corn! This corn was as fresh as it could be. I bought it just a few hours after it was picked, and at a really sweet price too, 4 for $1.00. I often grill corn: I love eating it hot, crunchy, and slightly charred, but with kernels that are still juicy and sweet below their crispy coat. The best way to grill corn is to wrap it in aluminium foil and toss it onto the coals; I have been cooking it this way for more years than I can count. I never considered improving on the taste, not until I came across a picture on the Food Network website of corn grilled in foil but with lots of herbs added for extra taste. Well, go figure. I grow herbs and I have a clear view of my little herb garden right from where the grill is set up. Yet, never once did I consider adding some of those herbs I stare at to the corn grilling in front of me. OK, thank you Food Network for kicking my brain into gear. 


Herb Corn with basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon, olive oil, paprika, and salt and pepper.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Broccoli Mushroom and Potato Soup


Creamy but without the addition of cream, this healthful soup is made with a base of potatoes.  Buttery-tasting Yukon gold, my favourite. Mushrooms add a woodsy, earthy flavour, and the broccoli contributes green notes.  Some broth, some herbs, a little grated cheese, and in about half an hour, soup's on! A delicious soup, a "make you happy" kind of soup.  

I pureed the ingredients until they reached a smooth consistency. Leaving them chunky would have been good too, but maybe next time.  This time I was in the mood for smooth textures. Too many sharp edges in my hurried life ... It occurred to me that unconsciously, I must have been yearning for a bowl of nourishing soup.  Warm, comforting soup to smooth life's sharp edges. I chopped, sauteed and boiled, breathed in the aroma of the broth, and anticipated my first serving of hot, thick, smooth soup.  Warm, comforting soup, my nostrum for stress! 
Eat this soup when it's really hot. That's when the flavours are at their best. And crunch on some crackers when you're between spoonfuls. Slurping is optional.





Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets 
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 bay leaf
about 10 sprigs of parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
For the garnish, to be prepared when the soup is cooking:
Save a few sliced mushrooms and some broccoli florets. Have some chives on hand.  Prepare the garnish while the soup is cooking:
The mushrooms should be sauteed and the broccoli can be boiled, but it needs to be blanched so that it can retain its green colour.


Directions:
In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the broth, water, salt, and pepper, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender puree the soup. 
Stir in half the cheese and mix well. Serve garnished with chopped chives, sliced mushrooms, tiny broccoli florets and the rest of the grated cheese.