I believe I owe you some soup. When the soup was promised, it was rainy, bleary, and insufficiently May-like to please me, though I doubt Deb Not Being Pleased ranks anywhere on near the top of the concerns list of whatever powers control the weather (or, for that matter, Deb’s toddler when he’s set his mind to emptying mama’s purse on the floor again), seeing as we have another week of it on order. Fortunately, this is a soup for exactly these trying spring times.
My love of hearty crocks of hearty French onion soup is well-documented (it’s the rare recipe I’ve covered twice in the archives, and you just know I had to riff on it here) because I have to insist that nothing is so loud with flavor as onions, cooked for an hour with a meaty broth and cognac, then broiled with a charred cap of strong cheese. Oof, how long must we wait until it gets cold again?
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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” So said Virginia Woolf, and we heartily concur. However, while Ms. Woolf might approve of these literary cocktails, I tend to think cold toast and stale coffee (a la Steinbeck) isn’t what she had in mind for “fine dining.” Ah well! To each his own. Enjoy a peek at 12 great writers and their go-to snacks, as illustrated by the wonderful Wendy MacNaughton.
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The Blanching Highlights
Blanching is a two-step process in which foods are plunged into boiling water, usually for only a minute or two and then put into ice water to rapidly stop the cooking process.
You can also blanch in fat, but this technique is not often called for.
Reasons to blanch:
- to loosen thin skins from fruits and vegetables
- to brighten and fix color
- to achieve “crisp-tender” texture
- to parboil vegetables for mise en place
- to prepare fruits and vegetables for long-term freezer storage
How to blanch:
- Prepare an ice bath: put water and ice into a large bowl or into a clean sink.
- Heat a large pot of water to a rolling boil, about 1 gallon per pound of food to be blanched.
- Add salt to the water; the water should be very salty.
- Immerse the food into the boiling water for the specified amount of time.
- Remove food to the ice bath to cool quickly.
- Once cool, remove food from ice bath and pat dry.
For more information
4.19 / 5 Stars | 36 Reviews
“Small meringues flavored with vanilla, coffee or chocolate.”
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This is my mother’s recipe for Cornish Pasties, made with a rough flaky pastry that uses the quick method. by fiona_maclean on Sunday, May 20, 2012
by RenBehan1 on Sunday, May 20, 2012
This recipe is low-fat, high in fiber and protein, and makes a large batch for freezing/refrigerating or feeding a crowd. by Guest on Sunday, May 20, 2012
Satisfy your peanut butter & chocolate fix with this healthier version of the original buckeyes. Less calories & fat, more fiber, protein and healthy Omega 3s! by Guest on Sunday, May 20, 2012
A tasty baked plaice recipe which is gluten free, as the crumbs that are used are crushed cornflakes. by KarenBurnsBooth on Sunday, May 20, 2012
I have made some suggestions about which flowers and herbs to use – but PLEASE do check that the flowers and herbs you choose to use are edible!! The French also use flowers in their salads, and although the title suggests this to be an English recipe, this style of herbal and floral salad will have been very common throughout Medieval Europe. by KarenBurnsBooth on Sunday, May 20, 2012