Entries tagged with “roasting”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Sun 11 Sep 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
Sometimes things start to stack up in life, you know?
Summer days stack up; they fill themselves with events and people to see, and suddenly it is September and you wonder where the month went.
Obligations stack up; and I find myself using the majority of my free time trying to keep up with all of the projects.
Dirty dishes stack up; you’ve got to eat, but when you’re circling like a Tasmanian devil it is too easy to say, “I’ll do those tomorrow” until it is suddenly the weekend.
When all of these things stack up, I tend to get kind of anxious and lost. The tide of things to do, the pile of proverbial paperwork on the desk, gets a little overwhelming and though I know that I need to get it all done, I can’t fathom how it is I am to do it.
Baby steps, right? Baby steps.
You tackle things one at a time, and eventually the pile gets smaller. You can get it all done, but as a person who rarely says no to a project, it sometimes feels as though it is too much to do in the time available.
Despite my negative feelings associated with things stacking up, stacking can be a good thing. Like roasted beets; deep red medallions stacked into towers, adhered together with blue cheese mousse. The fun part is cutting into the stack, stabbing into it with a fork, mousse oozing out from between the layers. Magnificent.
Beet Towers with Blue Cheese Mousse
2 large beets
2 oz blue cheese
1/4 Cup sour cream
1/4 Cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp reduced balsamic vinegar
a few sprigs of thyme
Roast the beets, greens removed, by placing them in a 375° oven in a roasting dish until they are easily pierced with a fork (this will depend on the size of your beets, mine took approximately 45 minutes). Allow the beets to cool. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice and whip them together, with a whisk or a beater, until the mixture becomes stiff, achieving a mousse-like texture. Crumble in the blue cheese and continue to mix until the mousse is mostly smooth, but try to retain a little bit of texture from the cheese. Chill the mousse. Remove the skins from the roasted beets, and cut them into 1/4 inch medallions. Stack the roasted beet slices three high, piping mousse between each layer. Top with a small peak of mouse, a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a few fresh thyme leaves. Serve and enjoy.
Mister devours anything that involves balsamic vinegar, but he was a little bit unsure about the mousse because he isn’t the biggest fan of blue cheese. He called the beet towers “both creamy and tangy.” He enjoyed the concept, but asked that next time we use a cheese he enjoys more.
This time last year: Groovy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sun 12 Jun 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
Please excuse my Lady Macbeth hands, there has been no regicide here. I’ve just been making borscht, which gives a spectacular “Out damned spot” effect. Does anybody have any tips on getting beet stains off of your fingers?
Anyway, what makes this borscht special is that the beets, prior to being added to the soup pot, are roasted. Why would you take the time to roast beets that are going into a soup? I’m glad you asked. Roasting makes things taste better, or as Michael Ruhlman writes more eloquently in his book, The Elements of Cooking, roasting is “a ‘dry-heat’ method of cooking, usually done in a hot to very hot oven and usually uncovered (to avoid steaming the item), resulting in so-called ‘brown’ flavors, the deep rich flavors of browned meats and caramelized vegetables.” Though a borscht with beets that have not been roasted is good, there is an extra depth of flavor you get from roasting. And luckily, roasting is a pretty low intensity extra step to take, all you do is pop the beets into an oven for a spell before you get to the real business of making soup.
Peeling a roasted beet is also a good deal easier than peeling a raw one!
This recipe came to me highly recommended from one of Mister’s Uncles, and he certainly did not lead us astray. I know that borscht is traditionally a winter soup, but it is quite tasty cold during the summer months, and also a really good way for Mister and I to find a reason to add even more sour cream to our diet. Something about soup making is so soothing for me, so if you have some beets kicking around, don’t wait until winter to make this soup!
Roasted Beet Borscht
(recipe adapted from Roasted Beet Soup with Creme Fraiche)
1/2 pound red beets (3 medium)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 leek (pale parts only), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Cups water
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 Cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp (or more) sour cream or creme fraiche, for garnish
- Place the beets in a roasting tray and roast until tender in a 350° oven (~1 hour).
- Allow the beets to cool enough that you can handle them, so that you can peel and dice them.
- Get your soup pot hot and melt the butter.
- Add the leek, onion and celery, stirring frequently until they go translucent and begin to brown.
- Sprinkle in the ginger, allspice, pepper, nutmeg and salt, stirring so that they do not stick to the hot pan.
- When a burst of fragrance emanates from the pot from the previous addition, tumble in the beet pieces. Continue stirring until the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the water and additional herbs and bring everything to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook slowly until the vegetables are very tender.
- Remove from heat and fish out the bay leaf.
- Puree the soup with the cream using an immersion blender, or wait for it to cool enough to puree in a standard blender.
- Gently rewarm the soup, ladle it into bowls and garnish with sour cream or creme fraiche.
The borscht I am used to eating tends not to be pureed, and where this borscht was spot on for flavor, I think next time I’ll skip the puree step. It certainly is pretty though.
Mister says: It certainly isn’t his Babcia’s borscht, and agrees that next time pureeing isn’t the way to go. He suggests grating the roasted beets, so that you would get little ribbons of them through the soup. Also, he believes that the recipe should call for much more sour cream.
Mon 21 Feb 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
The return of the -30° C weather has me roasting up the storm. Our drafty 102 year old house warms considerably when the oven is on for long periods, so I have been all too happy to roast often. Food that warms the home as well as the tummy is the theme of this winter. I did my first solo roast (feeling quite grown up about that) and roasted a chicken as well, but what I’m here to talk about is balsamic roasted vegetables. Because really, what could be better?
The roasted vegetables release all kinds of sugars that brown and are so luscious, the balsamic vinegar reduces away into syrup and absorbs into the aforementioned vegetables. Thyme lends woodsiness to the earthy vegetables, and black pepper some notes of pungency to round it all out.
It’s a side dish that takes center stage (and keeps the kitchen warm while I do dishes). If I were a vegetable, I’d like to spend some time getting cozy with balsamic vinegar in a nice warm oven.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and roughly chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small onion, also roughly chopped
12-15 baby carrots (2-3 regular sized) cut into ~2 inch long sticks
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
- Put all of the vegetables together in a bowl.
- Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat.
- Sprinkle on the pepper, thyme and salt, tossing to distribute evenly.
- Pour the contents of the bowl into a glass or nonreactive metal roasting dish, and pop it into a 375° F oven until all of the vegetables are cooked through (~45 minutes, depending on how roughly you chop), the squash will take the longest to cook, so use it to check for doneness.
- Serve hot from the oven.
Next time I’m thinking I’ll include a clove of garlic or two to roast with it, or maybe some mushrooms. We’ve addressed balsamic vinegar before on The Funky Kitchen, so if you are a balsamophile like myself, be sure to check out: balsamic vinaigrette, summer tomatoes, caramelized onion marmalade, or this super cool pavlova!
Mister says that he liked the way the acid counterpointed the caramelized sweetness of the vegetables and that there should have been more red pepper because they were the best part.
…And! Happy day! Photo quality will be returning to The Funky Kitchen as soon as I get through my backlog of pictures and recipes. Somehow my camera battery charger became a casualty of the move, but the new one off of ebay got here today! Hurray for no more phone pictures!