Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On the Stove Top Now

This is a simple vegetable and bean soup I will leave on the stove top to simmer. I had some beet greens I needed to use, and two carrots a day or two away from terminal softness and the garbage pail. I can afford to waste nothing, so into a soup they went, along with two fifteen ounce cans of cannelloni beans, 3 cups of water, one 15 ounce can of chicken broth, 15 ounces of Muir Glen Fire roasted diced tomatoes, five cloves of garlic, sea salt to taste, and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I sprinkled in some Herbs de Provence as well, and a tablespoon of olive oil. This kind of soup is good with warm bread, even if it is the 2 day old butt end of a loaf of Cuban bread revived by 30 seconds in the microwave.

The carrots I diced. The garlic I crushed up in a press. The beet greens were from three beets. I cut off the purple stalk-y part and tore the leaves with my hands. Cooked through, the colors of this soup will not be as bright as they are in the photo, but the soup will still be good.

And here is last night's dinner- Creamed Chicken Livers in Puff Pastry Shells( Pepperidge Farm, out of the freezer case.) and beets and carrots roasted with a glaze of olive oil, sea salt, pomegranate molasses, and a dusting of cinnamon.

The roast vegetables are easy. Peel and cut up 3 beets and 2 or 3 carrots. In a bowl mix 4 or 5 tablespoons of olive oil with a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses. Grate a stick of cinnamon over the glaze and blend. Taste and adjust. Be generous with the sea salt. Then toss the vegetables into the bowl and coat well with the glaze. Line a Pyrex dish with enough aluminum foil to wrap the vegetables in a packet. Dust on a little more cinnamon before you seal it. Bake at 350 for an hour. This should serve three or four.

Creamed Chicken Livers-

1 pound of chicken livers

1/3 stick butter

2 Shallots, peeled and diced.

1 tablespoon of capers

4 or 5 tablespoons of heavy cream,more if you want the livers creamier.

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Sea salt- a sprinkling on the shallots to sweat them as they saute.

2 sage leaves, chopped up.

Juice from one orange.

Put half the butter in a saute pan, and saute the chopped shallots (sprinkled with sea salt )until they are translucent. Add the capers then add the chicken livers. As they cook over medium heat stir them and break them up with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped sage leaves and the vinegar and mix well. You want the chicken livers to achieve the consistency of ground beef. Add the rest of the butter, the cream, and the orange juice, and mix well. Keep the livers warm while baking your puff pastry shells according to package directions. When the shells are baked, spoon in the warm chicken livers. If each person eats one shell this should feed four to six.

Had I done the usual with this recipe I would have added sherry or marsala to the livers. A fortified wine would have made this good, and it would have tasted like the tried and true and familiar. The orange juice takes it in another direction- away from the conventional.

These are my own recipes. I hope you try them. And if there are any livers left over, add them to an omelet or make a condiment for pasta.

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