Entries tagged with “sour cream”.
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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.
Fri 13 May 2011
Posted by Dana under Sweet
This is not just a vanilla ice cream.
The freckling of real vanilla suggests a familial relation between vanilla ice cream and this ice cream, but this one is far more grown up than her little sister. Vanilla ice cream would peak into this older sister’s make up drawer, mystified by the distance a few years separation would put between them.
Where vanilla ice cream is pure and simple, sweet frozen vanilla custard, this ice cream is more complex, with almost a cheesecake quality, a cultured flavor that fills the mouth. The vanilla is still there, this flavor is a fair bit more grown up.
What’s the secret ingredient? Sour cream. The addictively good, creamy sour cultured taste makes this ice cream special. Mostly you get the extra creaminess, a more rounded out flavor, but at the end of each spoonful you can feel that infinitely small sour cream pucker around the edges of your mouth. A hint of lemon lends to the puckering effect and also acts as a foil to the gorgeously fragrant vanilla. I’ll be making this again toute suite.
Sour Cream Ice Cream
4 egg yolks
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup milk
1 Cup coffee cream
½ a vanilla bean
juice of ½ a lemon
16 oz sour cream
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the milk and coffee cream, whisking until the liquid is uniform.
- Scrape out the contents of the vanilla bean with a knife and whisk the vanilla into the cream mixture.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and sour cream until combined.
- Chill the ice cream batter thoroughly and then run it through your ice cream maker.
This ice cream stays reasonably scoopable after having spent time in the freezer, which is always a plus for a home made ice cream. Also, as home made ice cream goes, this recipe is really awesome because it is no cook and comes together in a matter of minutes. It was especially tasty with strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar.
Mister’s rating: “There is definitely a sour cream tone to the ice cream. It is rich and creamy like a custard. The real vanilla bean is essential, you can taste the difference between it and vanilla extract.”
Sun 13 Jun 2010
Posted by Dana under Savory
Late one night, not too long ago, I developed a craving for potato wedges. Crispy on the outside, soft and floury on the inside and perfect for dipping into some concoction of sauce. Isn’t dipping fun? The issues I faced were time and cooking method.
As I mentioned above, it was late, so my normal oven roasting method would not do. Half an hour, or there abouts, to attain my desired level of crispy was too long to wait. Frying, or deep frying, would cut down on the time required but it would add undesired fat to the mix. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have worked well as a method, for it would have, but at that particular time I didn’t want to go that way.
How could I make quick crispy potato wedges without getting out a big ol’ pot of oil?
The answer: egg wash.
When you’re baking bread and use an egg wash on your yet to be baked loaf, the egg wash will contribute a distinctive finish as well as a crispier crust. If it can make bread crispier, I didn’t see why it wouldn’t do the same thing to a potato wedge. As an added bonus, the egg wash gives the flavoring elements of choice something to stick to, so that they stay on the potato.
It was as easy as pie. Separate an egg, whisk the white until frothy. Add some spices. Coat your wedges and bake. How frothy should the egg white be? This frothy:
Fifteen minutes later, you have some crispy on the outside, soft and floury on the inside potato wedges. Dipped into a creamy-spicy sour cream and sriracha dip, they were a great (and quick) midnight snack. Craving fulfilled.
Quick Potato Wedges in the Oven
2 potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 egg white
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
- Crank the heat all the way up to 500° F to preheat the oven.
- Cut both potatoes into 6-8 wedges (depending on how big your potato is) lengthwise.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.
- Add the salt, paprika and pepper to the bowl, and mix.
- Toss the potato wedges with the egg white, draining off excess liquid.
- Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer, with some space in between.
- Bake until browned, turning halfway through for even browning. (~15 minutes total, or 7-8 minutes per side).
- Serve with condiment of choice to hungry midnight snackers.
For the dip we ate our wedges with: just combine a tablespoon or two of sour cream with some sriracha (how ever much you want, it depends how spicy you like it). It’s so easy, but so very very tasty to dip potato wedges in.