Tag: cooking

Soup’s On

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Courtesy of charmcitycook – Soup is the most comforting, satisfying thing to me – especially in winter. My fave in the whole world is Ina Garten’s Cheddar Corn Chowder. Cheese, corn, onions, potatoes…um, bacon…what’s not to love? Ina is not known for light cooking, so I use a little regular milk in place of the heavy cream and it’s plenty rich. I’ve made this soup about ten times over the last few years. Obsessed? Yep. Make it, you will not be disappointed.
Here are two more great winter soups, both from my favorite food blog, The Kitchn

First up, Baked potato soup with bacon, onion and cheddar. No, not the healthiest, of course, but quite tasty.  

Recipe note: it calls for two cups of bacon bits. I love me some bacon and the thought of buying bacon bits made me think, um, no. So, instead, I cooked an entire package of sliced bacon and made my own – but I didn’t end up with enough. I’d probably use bacon bits next time – Oscar Mayer makes some that seem less scary to me.

This soup is, of course, very filling. Pace yourself. 

Here is a healthier soup option: Sweet potato soup with miso and ginger. My local grocery store didn’t have the miso paste, so I went to Asia Food on York Road [thanks, Lauren] and while there, I also picked up some buckwheat noodles for a future cooking adventure. This miso paste has such bright flavor and the ginger gives the soup a nice little kick. This would be great with a salad and good crusty bread for dippage. 
Recipe note: I’d use a smidge less ginger than what the recipe suggests.
Highly recommend this soup – I’ll definitely make it again! And I’ve gotta give a shout out to my awesome Cuisinart immersion blender – they come in fabulous colors, too! No more pureeing soups in batches in the food processor. It makes life so much easier!
 
Winter + soup = comfort and warmth.

The "F" Word

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I’m not the biggest fan of the word foodie. Yes, I’m pretty sure I am what people would call a foodie [hellouuu, I write a food blog and keep chickens] but I really just think of myself to be someone who really loves good food. Eating it, preparing, sharing it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like foodie things. I shop at my local farmer’s market every Saturday. I’ve participated in a weekly CSA for years. If I had the chance to go to one of these amazing Outstanding in the Field dinners, I would go. I would run, actually.

One of my strongest food memories was made when I visited Dan Barber’s fabulous NYC restaurant Blue Hill several years ago — possibly the best meal I’ve ever had. Tons of courses, interesting and unique ingredients, amazing wine, the freshest of everthing. The folks from Blue Hill also run the Stone Barns Center, a wonderful farm in West Chester County where they raise everything from vegetables to livestock. It’s all about sustainability (ah, there’s that word…) and having the very freshest food possible. Love that. 

And…my taste in food varies — doesn’t yours? People who say they only eat this or would never eat that…that is so not me! One night, I might have a meal of local and organic stuff like roast chicken, bibb salad or maybe some homemade soup. Then, another time, I want something super simple (and greasy) like a grilled cheese sammie. And I must add, that to me, grilled cheese means just “normal” cheese, no fancy bread, with butter in the pan. Yum. 

Speaking of CSAs, did you know that Clementine has a meat CSA? Check it out! (I’m hoping to split a share with a friend.) 

Life’s short. Dig in. And don’t take yourself too seriously.

 

Maryland Fried Chicken, Grandma’s Crabcakes

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If you’ve lived here long, you’ve heard the debate — folks from New York insist that Maryland’s a Southern city, while anyone who lives below Virginia rolls their eyes and calls us Yankees.  But in terms of food, Maryland seems staunchly Southern, with an influx of influences from the many immigrant communities that have come to call Baltimore their home.

Which is why we enjoy The Baltimore Snacker‘s two-part take on distinctive Maryland foods — namely, fried chicken and crab cakes, two foods that can inspire strong feelings among cooks and eaters alike.  The Snacker quotes an old essay from a Southern cookbook:  Any attempt to prescribe the best way to prepare fried chicken is likely to start the Civil War all over again, or it may, at best, lead into a storm of prolonged arguments, widely diverse local and even neighborhood differences, not to say family bickerings.

So what makes the Maryland version of these dishes distinct?  Well, according to the Snacker, “the generic “Southern fried chicken” for example – is the shake and bake variety from the Middle South: soak it in buttermilk, put it in a flour mixture in a bag and shake it until coated, then dip it in cream and then flour again, and then fry.  Maryland fried chicken stops with the first shaking, but then gets fried in hot oil in a covered pan.  It is then served with a cream gravy.”  And it’s that gravy that makes it a true Maryland Fried Chicken (maybe we should start our own fast food chain?).

As for crab cakes, the Snacker kindly includes a recipe handwritten by his grandmother. It doesn’t get more authentic than that! Crucial ingredients include (obviously) Chesapeake crab, Old Bay, and dry mustard.

Read the discussions and look at step-by-step photos of the recipe steps here.

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