All images © Dina Avila
I may have gone a little crazy this weekend. Poking through cookbooks and looking for recipes to share, and well, I just couldn’t stop at just one. Originally, I was just looking for another nice soup for Adam and I to nurse for a few days when I spied the caramelized Shallot Soup in the October issue of Martha Stewart and just couldn’t pass it up. I changed a bit, resting chunks of toasted bread on the bottom of the bowl to make it a heartier soup, but the soul of the soup is the same. The beet salad from the Moro East cookbook (a book that I cherish even more since the commons that were photographed and written about in the book have, very unfortunately and sadly, since been demolished for the London Olympics) offered a vibrancy that jumped out at me. I mean, look at that pistachio sauce! Lastly, an English style apple pudding, which is more like an incredibly decadent unbelievably moist and airy cake. Need I say more? Adam and I went to an Apple Fest here in Portland and picked up fifteen pounds of apples. Yep. I suspect you’ll be seeing a few more apple type recipes on leek soup in the near future quite possibly including Adam’s quest for making hard apple cider. The pudding takes some effort and time and if you have a traditional pudding mold definitely use it. I do not have a pudding mold so I used vintage jam jars and a few ramekins which worked perfectly.
The other reason why I offer you a post with three recipes is that next week or two look be especially busy with photo shoots and I fear my blog may be pushed to the side, as usual. Hopefully these recipes will give you plenty to chew on for a while.
And yes, that is an evil looking black pig with the pudding. Just ’cause :)
Caramelized Shallot Soup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 lbs shallots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 dry sherry or dry white wine
2 bay leaves
7 cups beef broth, preferably home-made
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chestnuts , roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
About 1 cup comte or Gruyère, shredded
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Thick slices of peasant bread for each bowl, lightly toasted and cut in half.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the shallots and salt.
Let cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are browned and caramelized. About 30 minutes.
Add the sherry and cook until it evaporates.
Pour in the beef broth and add the bay leaves.
Bring soup to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the soup is reduced by about a third.
Warm the olive oil in a small sauté pan and add the nuts.
Saute until crisp.
Ladle the soup into deep bowls lined with a chunk of toasted peasant bread.
Top generously with nuts, cheese and parsley.
Beet Salad with Pistachio Sauce
Adapted from Moro East Cookbook by Sam & Sam Clark
For the Salad:
About 1/2 pound beets, cooked, peeled, and thinly sliced
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Sauce:
About 2 ounces shelled pistachios, finely chopped
1 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Scant 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon powdered sugar
3.5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional
Place the salad ingredients on a serving dish.
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and spread over the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Caramel Apple Steamed Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Julie Richardson
3 large apples, 1 1/2 cored and thinly sliced, the other 1/2 cored and grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Caramel:
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Pudding:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup buttermilk
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 teaspoons Marsala, optional
Melt the butter in a large skillet and lay the apple slices in the pan.
Let cook until browned and caramelized, flipping to brown the other side.
To Make the Caramel:
Put the water and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Bring the sugar to a boil, but don’t stir.
Use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to brush down the sides of the pan.
Remove from heat when the sugar is just turning amber.
Pour the caramel in your pudding pan or jelly cups and swirl until all the surfaces are covered and the caramel is cool. Don’t burn yourself!
Arrange the apple slices on the bottom of the molds.
To Make the Pudding:
Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl, using a handheld mixer, cream the butter, sugar and molasses until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Stir in the flour mixture in thirds. Stir in one-third, then stir in half the buttermilk. Stir in a second third, then stir in the rest of the buttermilk. Stir in the final third.
Fold in the grated apples.
Spoon the batter in the molds and tap down to pop any bubbles.
Cover the molds tightly with foil and set in a saucepan with about an inch between the sides of the pan and the molds.
Pour boiling water into the saucepan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the molds.
Bring water to a gently simmer and cover the pan.
Let steam for 90 minutes.
Once cooked (insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean), use your tongs to place the molds, foil side down, on to a cooling rack.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the pudding from the mold. I used a toothpick gently inserted into the side to help loosen the pudding.
Serve warm drizzled with vanilla sauce.
Store wrapped in plastic at room temperature for up to five days.
To Make the Vanilla Sauce:
Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium low heat until just warm.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and sale until just thickened.
Gently pour half of the milk into the mixture whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Stir constantly.
Place a bowl over an ice bath and strain the cream through a sieve over the bowl.
Add the vanilla and stir until cool.
Add the marsala and refrigerate until completely chilled. About two hours.