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Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Hello, hello! We are back in the saddle and hope you had a fantastic Holidays and a fresh start to 2017. We have been on a rollercoaster of change and highly focused on our book. Besides some adversities with Miss. Mildred (our stove), we are working on her retirement and the stove transition to make it happen. We are extremely grateful for all the great people who have supported us during this time, whether if it has been a word of encouragement, an e-mail, a phone call, or a donation funding for the new stove to come. To all of you, THANK YOU so much! On the other hand, It is taking a little longer than we expected, with permits and responses, but as soon we have the stove we will shout it out loud and proud!, and of course we will send you a photo.

In the meantime, dealing with our bi-polar weather and stove, soups have been my ultimate effort to save our dinners. One coil burner and a quick prep and 20-25 minutes in the kitchen, can yield the coziest, warmest, and most rewarding bowl of goodness to your table on any given dinner night. This classic velvety soup of leeks, potatoes, and cream has the flavor force of 1,000 horses. It always amazes me how so few ingredients treated with care can yield some of the best soups. Despite the classic version of this soup being one of my favorites, I’m giving this classic velvety soup a rustic and hearty twist. I find this soup much more comforting when its not blended all the way. So I reserved some sautéed leeks, and when it comes the time to pure, I used my immersion blender just a few times, enough to give the desired creaminess from the classic version, and leaving about half of the potato bites. These slight changes give great texture and hearty body to the soup. My irreverence, the addition of charred poblanos, I think is the best thing that could happen to this soup

Chiles Poblanos, as you know, when charred take on a smoky, and pleasant heat that when added to the soup create a spectacular synergy of flavors. Creamy texture small potato bites, soft buttery leeks with a smoky mildly spicy accent, a dollop of Greek yogurt, some sea salt, and a crusty bread on the side is all you need to make your dinner memorable.
Best 25 minutes invested in your kitchen. Hell yeah!

Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Serves 1 Mama bear, 1 Papa Bear, 2 cubs

3  large leeks washed, use just bright lime and white parts, sliced.
1  pound Maris piper or yellow wax potatoes, peeled and medium diced.
3  tablespoons butter
1  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3  cups chicken stock
1  cup heavy cream*
1/4  teaspoon dry dill
3/4  teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2  poblano peppers, charred, skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips.

Garnish with:
Greek yogurt, dry or fresh dill, serve with toasted cheese crostinis or rustic bread.

* For vegan or non-dairy soup version, use about 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk and add just one clove of garlic when sweating the leeks, to tame the coconut flavor…it makes a delicious version!

Preparation:

1. Rinse and wash leeks. The best method I have find is to cut the green parts just above when the bright lime and white leek color starts. Cut the top hairs of the leeks and slice in half length wise. Rinse under running water holding from white tops to greenish ends. This will
prevent the sand and dirt getting into the white parts. Make sure you use a clean board to slice the leeks after washing them. Sand particles are very sneaky and they can ruin your soup, be alert. On a separate note, Save deep green parts, wash them, and cut into 3″ pieces, you can make a marvelous stock for feature soups.


2. Over medium heat, warm up a medium large pot, melt butter and oil, add leeks a pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of chicken stock. Toss well, cover pot with a lid, lower the heat and let them sweat for about 4-5 minutes.
3. When the leeks start softening, and still bright green, reserve about 4 tablespoons in a little ramekin set aside.
4.Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, black pepper and salt, bring it to a high simmer, cover pot and reduce heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are soft but still retain their shape.

5. Meantime charr the popblanos on the direct flame of your stove, use tonges in order to rotate and char them evenly.Set aside cover them with a plate and let them rest for 3-4 minutes. Te plate will create steam and will help when its time to remove the skins. With a spoon, gently scrape the skin, cut the top of the Chile, then slice and open. scrape all the seeds with the spoon and remove the veins. process to think slice or dice what ever you prefer. If you do not own a gas stove… As we do not…use a torch or rub the chiles with a tinny drop of oil, and use the oven broiler. watch them at all times because they can get from char to burnt on a blink of an eye!… Then proceed with the same method to de-vein and de-seed them.
6.Once potatoes are cooked to your desired consistency, add dill, and heavy cream. Stir, and lower the temperature about medium low. with the help of an immersion blender just pulse 2-3 times into the soup to add some creaminess. I leave about 1/2 of the potato diced and half pureed. If you do not have an immersion blender, grab a potato masher, or puree 1 cup of the soup in the blender, until smooth, then add to the soup and stir until well incorporated. At last add the poblanos, cut into strips or diced, and save some to garnish the soup when served. Let the soup warm up, do not let it boil. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and extra slices of charred poblanos. Enjoy!

Music Pairing:  Segundo, Pink Maritini – Je dis Oui!

 

 

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Leek Potato Charred Poblano Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine wholesome
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks washed, use just bright lime and white parts, sliced.
  • 1 pound Maris piper or yellow wax potatoes peeled and medium diced.
  • 3 tablespoons un salted, butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cup heavy cream* * For vegan or non-dairy soup version, use about 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk and add just one clove of garlic when sweating the leeks, to tame the coconut flavor...it makes a delicious version!
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium Poblano Peppers, charred, skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips.

Instructions

  1. 1. Rinse and wash leeks. The best method I have find is to cut the green parts just above when the bright lime and white leek color starts. Cut the top hairs of the leeks and slice in half length wise. Rinse under running water holding from white tops to greenish ends. This will

    prevent the sand and dirt getting into the white parts. Make sure you use a clean board to slice the leeks after washing them. Sand particles are very sneaky and they can ruin your soup, be alert. On a separate note, Save deep green parts, wash them, and cut into 3" pieces, you can make a marvelous stock for feature soups. 

  2. 2. Over medium heat, warm up a medium large pot, melt butter and oil, add leeks a pinch of salt and 4 tablespoons of chicken stock. Toss well, cover pot with a lid, lower the heat and let them sweat for about 4-5 minutes.

  3. 3. When the leeks start softening, and still bright green, reserve about 4 tablespoons in a little ramekin set aside.

    4.Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, black pepper and salt, bring it to a high simmer, cover pot and reduce heat. Cook for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are soft but still retain their shape.

  4. 5.Once potatoes are cooked to your desired consistency, add dill, and heavy cream. Stir, and lower the temperature about medium low. with the help of an immersion blender just pulse 2-3 times into the soup to add some creaminess. I leave about 1/2 of the potato diced and half pureed. If you do not have an immersion blender, grab a potato masher, or puree 1 cup of the soup in the blender, until smooth, then add to the soup and stir until well incorporated. At last add the poblanos, cut into strips or diced, and save some to garnish the soup when served. Let the soup warm up, do not let it boil. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and extra slices of charred poblanos. Enjoy!

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Leek+Potato+ Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin

Leek-potato-goat-cheese-Tarte-tatin~Yes,-more-please!
What is a Tarte tatin anyway?.. Basically its an upside down pie. Why would you want to make an upside down pie?..In a word, caramelization. It’s not only the easiest pie-tart you will make, it’s also one of the tastiest. Leeks, green onions, and potatoes are in season. Inspired by the classic of classics Vichyssoise soup, I gave my little spin using the same ingredients I transformed them in to a leek and potato tarte tine that it tastes equally delicious warm or at room temperature.

I used a mix of whole wheat and white flour, to give the crust a nutty flavor and added some thyme, to flavor the crust. Super easy to prepare. The flavors of the leeks, and potatoes shine together,the leeks mellow out the onion flavor and became buttery complementing the potatoes. the little addition of honey adds a little sweet note, fresh cracked pepper , salt and butter is all this tart needs.
Top it all off with the king of fresh cheeses: goat cheese and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

I made it for dinner with a great green salad and orange slices on the side… The next day we had leftovers for breakfast with a sunny side up egg on the side… Choose your weapon, this is a killer recipe..enjoy!

Leek-Tarte-tatin_ingredients

Leek+Potato+ Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin

Makes 1- 10” round tarte tine

3-4 Leeks upon diameter and length.
4- 6 Small red potatoes or yellow wax potatoes thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon honey
1 glug extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
Salt + Pepper to taste

1 dough recipe follow  below

Garnish with:

Liberally amounts of Goat Cheese (until you yodel-adle-eedle-idle-odle!)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Thyme
Adjust Salt and Pepper

Preparation Method:

How to wash your Leeks, a leeky matter…

Leek-Tarte-tartin_how-to-wash-them

Leeks are bulbs like onions, the part we are eating is the bulb that is under the soil and believe it on not, this is the cleanest. The part of the plant that sprouts out of the soil that’s were the trouble is. That’s where all the sand sneaks in and there is nothing worse than when you are eating a leek, than to crunch those little particles of sand. Until I understood the anatomy of this vegetable, I couldn’t make sense of how to clean it.
Infinite inner layers, like an onion in a tube form is where the sand goes. Depending on how are you cut them there are different washing methods.
In this case, I removed almost all the green leafy part. As my friend Arin said, “Don’t get greedy!’ The greener parts look pretty but they tend to be more fibrous. Leave those parts to make vegetable stock. Slice in 1”-2” rounds removing the tops.(see picture below)
The parts that are closer to the leafy greens are the ones that needed the most care and to wash the rest are fine. I just submerge the greenest slices and press a little under the running water. I slice them and place them in paper towels that absorb the extra water. Once this procedure is out of your way the fun part begins. Preparing the dough!

For the Dough:

Makes 1- 10″ round  crust

¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2-3 thyme sprigs
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick = 4 oz unsalted butter, cold and cut into small squares.
4 to 6 tablespoons iced water

How to make the crust:

Measure all your ingredients, and place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Place bowl in the freezer. Meantime cut your cold butter, and iced water ready to measure. Remove the bowl of dry ingredients from freezer and add the butter. Add the thyme. With a pastry Blender incorporate the butter and flour until the mixture resembles to a coarse meal, and the butter pieces are small like the size of a pea. Slowly add the cold water and carefully with your hands form a dough that just holds together. Do not over work the dough. Once that the dough barely holds together cut a piece of plastic wrap and place your dough. Wrap it and shape it into a disk.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or 15-20 minutes on the freezer. If you plan ahead you can make the dough the night before.

Leek-Tarte-tartin_making-the-dough

Assembling the tart:

1. In a 9-10” skillet with rounded edges, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, add a glug of extra virgin olive oil, drizzle the honey, sprinkle the sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. Place an even and tight layer of leeks, and top this with a layer of the thinly slices of potato.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

Leek,-potatoe-goatcheese-Assambling-tarte-tartin
3. Once your dough is chilled, roll it out into a 10” circle 1/4” inch thick.

Leek,-potatoe-goatcheese-roll-the-dough
4. Cover the inside of the skillet with the dough, and tuck the edges.(see picture)
5. With a small pairing knife make 4 incisions. Bake at 425F/ 220C for about 25-30 minutes on the first 1/3 of the oven rack. until the top is golden brown.

Leek-tarte-tartin_how-to-place-the-dough
6. Remove from the oven, and cool the tarte tine for about 10-15 minutes.
7. With the help of a round plater, cover the skillet and wrap it with a kitchen towel. Flip.
Flip it with conviction, As Julia Childs said! (you can try to make the voice, some times this works best…)

Leek-Tarte-tatin_how-to-flip!

Leek-potato-goat-cheese-Tarte-tatin_Yes,-more-please!

Leek-potato-goat-cheese-Tarte-tatin_slice,-ready-to-eat

The leeks should be perfectly cooked, but not mushy, they hold their shape, they have this beautiful yellowish green color, the butter has done it’s magic. It should glisten…
Sprinkle some kosher salt, pepper, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, and fresh thyme.

Enjoy!

Leek-potato-goat-cheese-Tarte-tatin_slice-Yes,-more-please!

 

 

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Betsy’s Scottish Potato Scones

Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_ingredients~Yes,-more-please!

Scottish Potato Scones, or Potato Tatties are simply delicious clouds of light and fluffy potatoes baked in a griddle. They are especially popular in Scotland and the Isle of Man as a breakfast staple.

Ian introduced me to this simply delicious Scottish scones. The recipe has been in his family for a long time. His grandma passed the recipe onto his mother and his mother used to make them when he was a little child. Ian remembers dearly how Betsy used to make this Potato Scones for him and his siblings. Eating them with butter and strawberry jam was a delicious treat!

Based on this childhood memory we were determined to find the recipe and make them…Of course with no luck on our side, we could not find any trace of recipe, so we had to start by scratch. I think I made about 11 batches of these puppies before Ian said” that’s it”, these are the ones, these taste like the ones she used to make!…Hurray!!! I was thrilled that based on a memory of flavor, taste and texture we were able to found the recipe. We felt so happy, that  from now on we will embrace this as our Christmas breakfast.

There are many, many ways to make a Scottish Potato Scone, believe me, we tried every single ratio of potato-flour-butter. Until  Ian said: this it it! they taste just like the one’s Betsy made! (Im sure they are not as good as the ones she made, moms have their special touch, but I will keep practicing!) In this recipe case, they are a little thinner than the average ones, they have soft and light consistency, its like a pillowy thicker potato-flour tortilla, not salty, nor sweet, which makes it the ideal breakfast scone.

To make them as a whole breakfast, we decided to serve them with Ian’s fantastic creamy eggs and smoked salmon. We put a  little twist on one of our favorite breakfast recipes from Gordon Ramsey, he makes this similar creamy eggs and serve them on a toasted croissant topped with smoked salmon. what’s not to like right?… well, wait until you try this scones, I think it is a great and dainty pairing.

What we wanted to achieve with this recipe is to recreate a hearted memory. We both come from small families and sometimes is hard to get together; people are far away, work can distract.  And when it comes this time of the year, there’s always the need to create our own memories and make things that remind us that no matter what, the people we love will always be with us in memory and heart.

Every Christmas we try to make something special to remember Ian’s mother, Betsy, who left us on a Christmas Eve. She absolutely adored Christmas time, she used to find us thrifty quirky funny  presents that will make us laugh or need the un-needable! she also loved decorating and cooking for the family.  Since then, we have been making a special dish, decoration and playing music to commemorate her. We love and miss you Betsy!

This year this is our tribute to her, and we proudly wanted to share the recipe with you.
Merry Christmas!, Happy Holidays!

May this season be filled with love and great memories.
Ian and Mariana

Betsy's-Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_with-strawberry-Jam-~Yes,-more-please!

Betsy’s Scottish Potato Scones

Makes about 16 triangles, serves 4 or 2 Celtic creatures

2 medium size potato (Equivalent to 2 cups when mashed) like Maris Piper, King Edward or Yellow potato.
1 cup all purpose flour + more to dust and roll
4 oz good irish butter I used Kerrygold, or Organic Valley
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 healthy kosher salt pinches

Method:

1. Steam the potato, skin it, cut in cubes and with the help of a strainer or a ricer puree the potato into a medium size bowl.
2. Add Butter and mix with your hand until incorporated
3. Add Salt and Flour and mix with a wooden spatula until you feel you need to use your hands in order to get all the flour incorporated to the dough.

Scottish-Potato-Scones_Step-by-step~-Yes,-more-please!

Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_the-dough~Yes,-more-please!
4. In a lightly flour dusted surface, softly Knead the Dough in folded movements for about 2 minutes. Shape it into a ball and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece about 6” diameter and 1/8-1/4 inch thick disk. With a pizza or ravioli cutter, gently cut the disk into four pieces.

Scottish-Potato-Scones_kneading-the-dough~Yes,-more-please!
4. Warm a cast Iron Griddle using medium-low heat. Oil a paper towel and lightly grease the griddle. Place the 4 triangle Scones and cook them about 3-4 minutes per side. The way to know when to flip them is when they start forming air pockets, watch your heat, they cook better in medium low, some cast iron pans can hold a lot of heat so you might have to adjust for a lower setting during the cooking. Is kind of like Pancakes, The first batch is not so good, and after that everything cooks beautifully!
5. Serve warm.

Scottish-Potato-Scones_on-the-gridle

“Betsy’s scones where soft , light and pillowed, with a bit of chewy like a  flour tortilla”

That’s how Ian describe them.

Scottish-Potato-Scones_texture~Yes,-more-please!

Ian’s Creamy Eggs:

Serves 2

When it comes to eggs it really does makes the difference to use the best quality you can.
Organic free range , thats what we use, Smith & Smith farms, Boggy Creek Farm if you are in Austin this are ones of the best!

4 large Eggs
1-2 Tablespoons butter
A splash ah-roo of heavy cream.
Salt and fresh cracker pepper to taste.

These eggs are really easy to make, but they require all your attention, its all about stirring slowly at all times until they start to curdle. Be sure to start the eggs at last. Once you have your table set up, the scones made, plates warm, smoked salmon in the table, chives ready, coffee on the table. Yes it is this crucial you have everything ready, so you can enjoy the eggs as creamy and warm as possible, since they change their consistency as you eat them. The consistency of these eggs is like a creamy custard with small curdles of egg, soft and tender, they just melt in your mouth. Salt and pepper is added at last to prevent though egg whites.

So, -ready-; set …GO!

Method:

In a small-medium non-stick pot, over a low heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter very gently.
Add the 4 eggs and whisk gently until well incorporated.
With a wood or rubber spatula, start stirring the eggs in circles, at all times.( As if you where gently whisking)
Until they start to curdle, add the second tablespoon of butter keep stirring, remove from heat and add a small splash of the heavy cream ( keep stirring) place them back into the heat, for about 6-8 seconds, and transfer them into a warm ramekin or ceramic dish. Serve immediately Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scottish-Potato-Scones_creamy-eggs~Yes,-more-please!

Serve: Over 2 or 3 scones, a couple of tablespoons of egg and top it with the smoked salmon and chives. Enjoy!

Betsy's-Scottish-Potato-Scones_plating-~-Yes-more,-please

Betsy's_Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_withIan's-Creamy-eggs-~Yes,-more-please!

Betsy's_Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_Creamy-Eggs,-smoked-salmon-and-strawberry-Jam~Yes,-more-please!

Betsy's_Scottish-Potatoe-Scones_with-strawberry-Jam~Yes,-more-please!

Merry Christmas!!!

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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs & Almonds

Roasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic-herbs-&almonds_ingredientsRoasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic-herbs-&almonds_ready-to-roast

Hands down.. (heheh and fingers also) this kind of potatoes are in my top recipes list. Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grown much smaller than conventional potatoes. You will find them in season for Fall and they can also be grown at home, in temperate climates.
They have an elongated and a slightly knobbly shape, that resembles fingers. These little potatoes are extremely flavorful, they are waxy , starchy and colorful, from creamy white, orange to rich purple. They can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.

What makes them so special is their texture; they are creamy and starchy but waxy and have a rich earthiness, especially the purple ones. I love the skin when you roast them, it becomes crispy and the inside creamy and tender. This recipe, combines the roasted potato, the herbed garlic butter with the toasted almonds that give an extra crunch. For me is all about the texture and flavor contrast, creamy-roasted potato skin, salty, buttery and lemony, herb-garlic and the nutty crunch, that makes this potatoes the bomb!

They cook pretty fast and they can be a show stopper for your Thanksgiving dinner… or any other special meal. Because of their shape I frequently serve them as an appetizer. They taste good warm or at room temperature… you will be licking your fingers after tasting this recipe!

Roasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic-herbs-&almonds_serve-warm

Roasted Fingerling potatoes with garlic, herbs & almonds

Serves 6 … or many more if served as an appetizer.

2 pound bag fingerling potatoes (organic preferable)
1 small bunch of parsley finely chopped
3 rosemary sprigs remove leaves from sprig and roughly chop.
4 thyme sprigs remove leaves from sprig and roughly chop.
1 teaspoon dry dill
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 or 2 drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-6 tablespoons of butter
the zest of one lemon and the juice of half.
¼ cup toasted almonds.
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste.

Directions:

In a medium size pot, parboil the potatoes for about 5 minutes.
Drain them, and cut the bigger potatoes on a bias.
Preheat the oven at 400F /200C
In a separate small pot, melt the butter add the garlic and heat for about 1 minute. Add chopped herbs and let stand at room temperature.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them for about 20-25 minute. Check for doneness.
Once they are fork tender and show some color from roasting, remove from oven and drizzle the butter and herb mixture. Toss well and pop them back in the oven for about 3-4 more minutes.
Pull them out of the oven and sprinkle the chopped almonds, zest and drizzle with lemon.
Serve warm. Enjoy!

Roasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic,-herbs-and-aldmonds

Roasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic,-herbs-and-aldmonds_toss-and-broilRoasted-fingerling-Potatoes_yes-more-pleaseRoasted-fingerlings-potatoes-with-garlic,-herbs-and-almonds_you-know-you-want-to-make-it...

you know you want them…

 

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