Monday, January 25, 2016

Sausage and Kale Soup

Here is a really great winter soup recipe that I had copied from a friend and have no idea of the source, but I can say for sure it was over 20 years ago so we are calling it fair game for “vintage gourmet” and anyway, it’s cold and YOU NEED SOUP!

Nothing easier – put stuff in a pot, heat, eat. I like to warm up fresh sour dough bread in the oven to serve with soup, but plain old crackers or cheese straws work nicely too.

One trick: buy nice quality sausage from the deli and squeeze it out of the casing, then brown like ground beef – it tastes much nicer than slicing a sausage and leaving the casing on. Also, if you think you don’t like kale, try this. 100% better than raw kale in a salad, let me tell you, but don’t forget to cut away the tough stems first!

Now get a big pot out and cook up some soup! This works nicely doubled.

  • ·         Saute 4 ounces crumbled sweet sausage until crisp. Pour off fat.
  • ·         Add 8 oz chicken broth, 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp tomato paste and stir.
  • ·         Add ½ tsp fennel seed and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Salt as to taste.
  • ·         Add 2 cups rinsed, torn kale and cook till kale is tender. Serve

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Original Swiss Chocolate Fondue

Things are about to get fancy...

Though I have hundreds of fondue cookbooks, I have always loved this one for its extra groovy cover art, and the name: “The Fabulous Fondue Cookbook”!  Straight out of 1970, yo. The recipes here are by William I. Kaufman, and the very stimulating intro to each section (“But then we got to dessert. I dipped a fresh strawberry into the softly simmering chocolate fondue, and offered it to him. That did it! He proposed. Chocolate fondue is so sexy.” AND I QUOTE) were penned by Ms. Carmel B. Reingold. Nice work, you swinging cats!

Groovy, baby!

If you seek a proposal (or, in my case, just a tasty dessert), here is a fondue you can whip up in a flash that will melt anyone’s heart. (Melt, get it? Haw) The fact that Toblerone is a complex chocolate bar makes it seem like you spent way more time on it than you did, and fortunately chocolate fondue isn’t terribly messy. It also makes ANYTHING taste like heaven. Heck, it’s fabulous.
cheers to fondue!

Just a couple notes: Once you’ve made the fondue in the double boiler, you pour it into a ceramic bowl which is kept warm (and melted) over candle flame. This, however, is hard to regulate, so you may find it bubbling, in which case BLOW OUT THE CANDLE or your fondue will scorch. Then light it again in a few minutes. Yes, you have to work for it, but you’ll be glad you did. Also, dipping bananas into the chocolate tastes GREAT, but is really hard. You may lose one (or more) but the ones you get will be deeeeeelish. Other things to dip are: cubes of pound cake, mandarin orange segments, mini pancakes. And if (yeah right) you end up with fondue left over, serve it as sauce for waffles! Enjoy.

Original Swiss Chocolate Fondue

4 bars (3 oz each) Toblerone chocolate
1 1/3 cups heavy cream (to taste – pour in by the tablespoon)
2 Tbsp kirsch (I use Cointreau)
Whole fresh strawberries
Apple slices
·         Break chocolate into pieces. Over hot water, combine chocolate, cream and kirsch.
·         Stir until mixture is smooth.
·         Serve with strawberries and apples for dipping

I'm MELTING.......