Lettuce & Asparagus Soup

Lettuce Soup

I adopted this recipe from the French “Soupe verte a la creme” version.

Ingredients:

1 large head lettuce or a bag of mixed lettuce greens
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions

Rinse your lettuce and, if you are using a head of lettuce, chop the lettuce.

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add lettuce and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally.

Add asparagus, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. At this point, it looks like unappetizing seaweed, but stick with it.

Purée soup in batches in a blender with dill and cream. (Note: I initially tried blending the soup with my immersion blender as this tends to be a little less messy for me since I am a total klutz. Unfortunately, because I used mixed lettuce that had small stems, I ended up with a stringy tangle of lettuce around the blade. Use the blender and save yourself from having to de-string your immersion blade.)

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Klim Tart

Klim is a brand of powdered milk sold by Nestlé. Klim is sold worldwide.

I never heard of Klim, I will have to try this one for my next dinner party, as dessert.
Klim was developed as a dehydrated whole-milk powder for use in the tropics, where ordinary milk tended to spoil quickly. Turn it around and what do you get? KLIM = MILK

EsmeSalon

Klim Fridge Tart
Klim is a brand of powdered milk sold by Nestlé. Klim is sold worldwide. Klim was developed as a dehydrated whole-milk powder for use in the tropics, where ordinary milk tended to spoil quickly.  Turn it around and
what do you get?  KLIM = MILK

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Late Valentine’s Dinner

Valentine's Day Dinner
table

February 18, 2018, 7pm

Menu Item 1

Shrimp with Louisiana-Style Remoulade Sauce

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

 

Menu Item 2

 Beet Borscht with Backerbsen and Eierstich (Grandma’s recipe).

Valentines Beetroot-Soup-

Menu Item 3

Louise Bourgeois’s French Cucumber Salad

Menu Item 4

Swordfish Fillets in Salt Crust an alteration of this Sea Bass Recipe with Lemon Capers Sauce 

swordfish

swordfish in salt crust

swordfish finished

Menu Item 5

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce 

Menu Item 6

Chocolate-Cheese Truffle and Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Bacon.

Torte

 

 

 

 

Lemon Caper Sauce

Ingredients:

2 teaspoon capers
4 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Directions:

Drain and rinse the capers, cut large capers into smalle pieces.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and capers. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over low heat for about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped fresh parsley; stir and remove from the heat.
Drizzle the warm sauce over cooked fish, chicken, or turkey cutlets, and serve immediately.
The recipe makes about 1/3 cup, enough sauce to drizzle over four tuna steaks, chicken breasts, or salmon fillets.
Tips and Variations

Saute 1 tablespoon of minced shallots in the butter until they are translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue with the recipe.
To double the recipe, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of capers, 6 tablespoons of butter, 1 large clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

Ingredients:

Makes about 3 cups

7 egg yolks
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, if needed (or more)
8 ounces very soft unsalted butter
1 dash cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

Directions:

Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale.
Over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at a reasonable speed, remember eggs tend to overcook.
To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in the bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue).
As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat.
By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want.
Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed. Serve lukewarm.

Louisiana-Style Remoulade Sauce

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise.
1/4 cup mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
1 Tbsp sweet paprika.
1-2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning.
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish.
1 teaspoon pickle juice (dill or sweet, your preference) substitute with little lemon juice or vinegar if pickle juice isn’t available
1 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)
1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed.

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. preferable a few hours before serving. The remoulade is better if left for a few hours to let the flavors meld. Keep refrigerated.

Whole 30 Chocolate Mousse

chocolate mousseIngredients:

4 servings

1 can (400 ml) creamy coconut milk
5 Tb (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
1 cup (tightly packed) soft dried dates (18 in this case)
a few drops of vanilla extract

Directions:

Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight to solidify and separate. Carefully turn it upside down, open and discard the transparent liquid.

If the dates aren’t soft enough to pit and halve cut in half, place them for a few minutes in warm water until they start to soften, then drain and chop. Place them in a the blender, add 2 rounded Tb coconut milk and blend on high.

For a smooth texture you need to strain the paste and then mix in the rest. You need a large strainer with very small holes to trap those bits of date skin. Mixed the date paste with only half of the coconut milk, strained, then added the rest. This will make it go faster.

If you don’t mind those tiny bits of date skin, you can just add the remaining coconut milk and cocoa powder and blend together until smooth, then finally add the vanilla (or your preferred flavouring).  Taste and adjust the flavouring, if needed. Divide the mousse between the 4 ramekins and refrigerate for a couple of hours. You can even make is a day ahead the mouse will mousse tasted more chocolatey

You can also whisk or make this in a food processor or even in the chopper from a hand blender set, that will help to trap air inside the paste and make it lighter and even more mousse-like.

 

Fish Baken in a Salt Crust

Ingredients:

Lemon slices, several sprigs of flat leaf parsley; however you can use other herbs as well depending on the type of fish you choose.
1 sea bass or other suitable whole fish, about 1.5 pounds, cleaned and scaled.  If you prefer you can use fish fillet as well.
4 cups sea salt or kosher salt
3 egg whites
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tuck the lemon slices and parsley sprigs into the cavity of the fish. If you use fish fillets place them on top and below the fillets.

Combine the salt, egg whites, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl, mixing well until the salt has the consistency of damp sand. (If the mixture feels too wet, add more salt; if too dry, stir in a bit more water).

Line a large rimmed baking sheet (or any other baking dish) with foil or parchment paper. Using half of the damp salt, form a bed for the fish. Place the fish on top, and pack the remaining salt over it to form a covering.

Bake the fish to an internal temperature of 135 – 140 degrees, about 25 minutes. (You can just poke an instant read thermometer right through the salt, into the fish). Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

With the back of a wooden spoon, crack and remove the hard, pale brown crust of salt. Remove the skin and fillet the fish. Serve with your best olive oil and lemon wedges.

 

You can also cook a whole chicken in a salt crust but I haven’t tried it.

 

Beet Borscht

Beet Brosch

Beet Borscht and why you should eat more of it.
Total prep time is less than 45 min.
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced
1,5 cups of parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubs (buy about a pound of them). You can substitute with 1.5 cups of potatoes or .75 cups of carrots and 0.75 cups or potatoes.
1.5 cups of beets, peeled and also cut into 2-inch cubes (buy about three large beets)
6 cups
1 large bunch dill, about 1½ cups (75g) loosely packed, plus some for garnish 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup (80ml) canned coconut milk (the creamy kind) or Greek yogurt or sour cream
If you want to add some tartness to your broscht add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Greek yogurt and dill for garnishment

Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions look translucent. Add parsnips, beets, and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. If there is some foam, happens most often if you add potatoes, skim off the foam.
Add the dill, salt, and white pepper, and reduce heat to low; simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
For tartness, add the apple cider vinegar but this is optional. Puree the mixture for a full 5 minutes using an immersion blender, or puree in batches in a food processor. Add more salt and white pepper to taste.
Serve the soup hot with a dollop of creamy coconut milk or Greek yogurt or sour cream and a sprig of dill.

Can be made 3 days in advance or freeze it for later, plus check out the benefits of beets. 

Don’t throw away your beet greens. They are loaded with vitamines and make a great side dish.