Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and Ramen Burger, we decided to beat the winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in order to come up with THE most-indulgent comfort food. Together with Food Network, we’ve mashed up some classic comfort foods in unique — and dare we say, mind-blowing — ways. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Cooking Channel and the other on Food Network.
When we think of comfort food, the first things that come to mind are soup, cheese and pasta. It’s even better when a dish combines the filling, warming bounty into one awesome dish. Thus mac and cheese — the ultimate high-brow/low-brow craveable pasta — and French onion soup (those cheesy crouton-topped crocks) form this week’s melty mash-up.
Continue Reading Comfort Food Mash-Ups, Remixed: Mac ‘n’ Cheese + French Onion Soup
In the wintertime, no food satisfies quite like a bowl of steaming, creamy soup. But the problem with a lot of soup recipes is that they have so much cream! Is there a way to get the creaminess of a bisque with the healthfulness/nutrition and calorie count of your favorite vegetable soup? You betcha! The secret lies with an immersion blender — the hand-held tool that saves you from hot soup exploding out of the blender and the massive cleanup that ensues. Follow this easy formula and you can whip up a creamy but creamless soup in less than 30 minutes.
1: Soften the aromatics. In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion (or a similar quantity of shallots), maybe a little minced garlic and some diced celery if you have it on hand.
Continue Reading How to Make Creamy, Creamless Vegetable Soup Without a Recipe
I remember being a kid and revering Halloween like it was the holiest possible day of the year. Sure the pumpkins and hay bales and fallen leaves were charming, but let’s get to it and bring on the candy, yo! Nothing says fall to a fourth-grader like the hazy sugar-coma afterglow of a well-guarded trick-or-treat haul (there’s just no WAY anyone will find this under my bed).
I also remember the 90 minutes or so before trick-or-treating commenced: complete pandemonium. Mom’s just getting home from work. Costumes need last-minute tailoring. Those darling but equally annoying toddlers dressed as insects or vegetables are getting the jump on the crowd with a 4:57pm door knock, and we know we’re supposed to have dinner but are just too freakin’ excited to get on with the candy hauling. Enter the old soup-and-sandwich standby. It’s simple, satisfying and lets everyone in the house just get on with what’s really important about October 31st: knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding free sugar.
Of course, growing up in Northern New York, it was mostly for naught anyway. I can count on two fingers the number of Halloween evenings that weren’t blanketed with snow. The impact and mystique of being a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger (the red one, duh) is somehow lost underneath a winter jacket so thick that you can’t put your arms down.
Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese with Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
Not unlike the rest of the free world, I haven’t been feeling so hot this last week. Congestion, light coughing and a perpetual need for multiple layers of blanketing – who loves flu season! So, in an edible effort to get myself back on the right track, I whipped up some of my favorite sick time comfort food: wonton soup.
When I’m feeling down, nothing brings me back like a big bowl of soup. I live in a curious little black hole where all of the Asian restaurants around me have nailed most Americanized Chinese delicacies with the exception of wonton soup – it’s just not very tasty in my neck of the woods. Needless to say, I’ve gotten pretty decent at making it at home.
Whenever going at wonton soup on my own, I save a boatload of time by using frozen pot stickers for the wontons. I start with a XXL dose of ginger to make a nice spicy base, and then simmer the pot stickers in the infused broth just until they’re tender. It’s a delicious meal for those ailing and healthy alike that’s done before the delivery man could even make it to your door.
Carrot-Ginger Wonton Soup
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Carrot-Ginger Wonton Soup
Did you know that January is actually National Soup Month? I’m just guessing, but perhaps there is some correlation between National Soup Month and the cold and flu season. Don’t underestimate the comforting and healing powers of a steaming broth, or how such a simple, hot meal can be so welcoming after rich holiday foods. The bitterly cold month of January is optimal for enjoying vegetable-laden, creamy-pureed or hearty meat soups.
Just pair your soup or stew with a light salad and good, crusty “mopping” bread for a warm, curative meal. This month cook your way through broths, bisques, ramen and ribollita, because they may just be the best medicines for a cold winter.
Here are 5 soups for inspiration:
Continue Reading Restorative Winter-Warming Soups and Stews
I married into a Dutch family (and no, it’s not entirely like spending every holiday meal at the table with Goldmember). Decades here since immigrating over have certainly tempered the “American” side of their personalities, though the delft and tulips are still quite strong in their customs. Especially when it comes to food.
One of the really amazing things about Dutch cooking is how fluidly it marries European cooking techniques with Asian flavors. Surely a walk down the memory lane of high school world history recalls that, at the height of the colonial era, the Dutch inhabited many Southeast Asian countries. The flavor profiles of areas now called Taiwan and Indonesia are quite popular with the Dutch today (in layman’s terms, they put peanut sauce and curry on everything).
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Curry-Spiced Minestrone Soup
David Rocco purees pumpkin, squash & potato for a thick and flavorful soup.
More Fall Soups:
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
There’s a new farmers’ market in my neighborhood and I was so excited for my first visit that I bought way too much of everything: 8 bunches of basil, 2 pounds of goat cheese, a giant loaf of bread and 6 zucchini. I had a plan for the basil: I made pesto and froze it; it’ll last me through the fall. But the zucchini was an impulse buy. I can’t get enough of it, even though I do get enough of it. My mom grows zucchini in her garden and shares it with me, I get loads of it in my weekly CSA and yet I buy several pieces every time I visit the farmers’ market.
When I’m flush with zucchini in the summer months, I eat a raw zucchini salad every day (no joke) — shredded zucchini, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and a few crumbles of goat cheese. I make zucchini frittata, stuffed zucchini and pasta with zucchini. That stuff is all great now, but I wanted a recipe that I could make during zucchini season and freeze it for when I can’t get them anymore.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Spicy Zucchini, Pepper and Potato Soup
This was my favorite soup growing up. It was very brothy and meaty, despite the fact that it was often made with vegetable stock. Porcini mushrooms, prized in Russian cooking for their immense flavor, take center stage here.
I’ve taken my family recipe and swapped out some onions for shallots’ more mellow taste. I added some thyme to highlight the mushroom flavor even further and, finally, to give this already complex-tasting soup even more depth, I cooked some sherry into the mushrooms, letting the alcohol evaporate before adding other soup ingredients. It was my best version yet, one that I will share with my family and friends and be making for years to come. After some tweaks, my favorite soup is even better than before.
Continue Reading Porcini Barley Soup With Sherry