Recipe: Tomato Basil Soup

As I write this, I am wearing my winter coat in the office and it is freezing outside. It’s exactly the kind of weather we expect and (somewhat) enjoy in January, but damn, it’s cold

 

I am wishing that we still had some of this soup that I’m about to tell you about. It went fast, which is saying a lot for our little office, but it was so perfect for cold weather that we ate it like it was the only thing to eat. That’s partly true because we don’t keep a lot of food in the studio, but we’ll just pretend like it bested all the other tupperware containers for best lunch of the day.

 

Homemade tomato soup is a fairly foreign concept to me. I grew up in a household of chicken noodle soup-lovers. My mom would make it from scratch with fresh, crisp veggies and tender, roasted chicken. Tomato soup for me, at the time, was a strong smelling mixture that came from a soup can, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I (literally) eat my words now because homemade tomato soup is nothing like what you find on the shelves.

TomatoBasilSoup1

This all started when Jeff and I were chatting about tomato soup, and he swore that his recipe was the best (THE BEST) and that he would make it for the office sometime. Of course, this means that I’m going to make it. So I jotted down Jeff’s recipe, making extra notes for the grilled cheese sandwiches that would go with the soup. Because you can’t have one without the other. I mean, you can, but you’re not going to have a good time while doing it.

TomatoBasilSoup2

The creaminess of the tomato basil soup comes from the olive oil that is drizzled in during the blending stage. Use the good stuff. If you want a grilled cheese sandwich that will rock your mouth, coat it in butter and salt for a crisp, golden outside. The combination of creamy tomato basil soup and the crispy, generously gooey grilled cheese sandwiches is so awesome that we made a video about it.

 

So I’ll stop babbling and let you watch the video, because it deserves your full attention.

 

Tomato Basil Soup

 

1 cup shredded carrots

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 package of fresh basil

1 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, makes 3

 

6 slices of sourdough bread

8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

5 ounces fontina cheese, sliced

Salt

 

Saute onion and carrots in olive oil with salt & pepper until translucent.

Adjust heat to medium and add garlic, cooking for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves.

Simmer on medium low heat for 45 minutes. Once done, let cool for a few minutes.

In two batches, blend ½ of the soup on high with ½ a package of basil and ½ cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put soup back in pot and let simmer while you make the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thoroughly butter both sides of two slices of sourdough bread.

Layer a few slices of fontina cheese between the bread, I used 5 slices per sandwich.

Place in a heated skillet and sprinkle with salt. Let cook until golden brown, flip and sprinkle other side with salt. Remove from skillet when both sides are browned.

Repeat with other sandwiches. Serve with warm tomato soup and enjoy.

Recipe: Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

As temperatures start dropping, we start craving warm and cozy breakfast options that will entice us out of bed in the morning. That’s where the frittata comes in. A thick and hearty egg bake that you can fill with your favorite ingredients. A frittata is essentially an omelette in a cake pan.

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

For this version, we use sautéed kale, roasted butternut squash and Italian sausage but you can throw in anything you want. Start digging through your fridge and you’ll be able to find frittata mix-in’s in no time. Throw in that baked potato you made for lunch earlier in the week, toss in some crumbled bacon leftover from breakfast, there’s even a place in the frittata for those green onions you nearly forgot about. Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

This frittata features 9 eggs with a bit of heavy cream to get it to that perfect fluffy texture. We recommend baking it in a springform pan to achieve frittata perfection. The frittata will come out perfectly cooked and golden brown. Don’t want to spend time in the morning throwing this together? Not a problem! Make it the night before and wake up knowing you’ve got a delicious frittata waiting for you. While you’re at it, have a slice for lunch or serve it for dinner. Frittata knows no boundaries.

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

 

 

Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage Frittata

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned, stemmed, loosely chopped
  • 8 ounces cooked mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash, chopped
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

To make the frittata: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and chopped kale. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is soft and the kale has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash and crumbled sausage, and cook for two more minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream, then season with salt and pepper. Add the sautéed mixture and cheese to the bowl, mix well and pour into a 7-inch springform pan that’s been lined with parchment paper and greased with butter, olive oil, or cooking spray.

Cook the frittata, uncovered, in the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 55 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

To serve: Allow the frittata to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. We suggest serving with a chive creme fraiche.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

When you’re in the middle of the season of butter, gravy, and pie, there’s something refreshing about a fall salad. When you need something green that isn’t covered in cream sauce, this fall salad is there for you. And this salad comes together so easily, you’ll be wondering why you even considered making that chicken pot pie for dinner. (I mean, we know why you wanted to make it: pie crust.) The hardest part of this recipe is preparing the butternut squash, forever the bane of my existence.

Butternut squash is delicious and oh-so seasonal but dear god, is it hard to prepare. I have to grease up my butternut squash skills every fall because I know I’ll be tasked with dealing with it at least once. It’s been three times so far this season and I can feel myself getting slightly better. This is probably the point in the blog post where I’m supposed to offer you some nifty trick for easier prep but no, you don’t want any tips from me. Just do your best not to chop off your fingers. And peel as quickly as you can, because the faster you peel, the less time you have to spend cursing this seasonal gourd.

Once you have the squash chopped and roasted, it’s just a matter of assembly. Add those squash pieces and shallots to the arugula, along with the toasted walnuts. Crumble up some feta and sprinkle over the salad. Pour a small amount (I say ¼ cup) of dressing onto the salad mixture and toss to combine. The balsamic dressing is slightly thicker than a vinaigrette so a little goes a long way. And boom! You’ve got a salad. Pat yourself on the back for cooking and dig in.

Feed Me Creative | Butternut Squash Salad

 

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 large shallots, peeled and quartered

2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted

5 ounces of baby arugula

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Start by preparing a baking sheet with parchment paper and spreading out the walnut pieces in a single layer. Toast at 375°F for 5-10 minutes. Let cool and raise oven temperature to 400°F.

Toss butternut squash and shallots with olive oil and roast in 400°F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Let cool.

Add balsamic vinegar, minced garlic clove, olive oil, and dijon mustard to a bowl or cup of your choice and whisk until combined. I think a liquid measuring cup is super helpful. Transfer to a storage container to keep in the fridge.

Prepare salad by mixing together squash, shallots, walnuts, and feta on a bed of arugula. Top with ¼ cup of dressing and toss to mix.

 

The Old Sage: A Thanksgiving Cocktail

posted in: Cocktails, Cocktails, Recipes, Video | 0

the old sage thanksgiving cocktail recipe whiskey

I’ve created probably a hundred catchy cocktails for MadeMan.com, but this one, a Thanksgiving-themed tipple, is one of my all-time favorites.

The Old Sage has a hint and scent of sage, thanks to a super-easy sage simple syrup. It’s mixed with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, lemon juice, and Peychaud’s Bitters — which very subtly mimics some of the spices associated with the holiday.

the old sage thanksgiving cocktail recipe whiskey

The Old Sage
2 ounces Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ½ ounces sage simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon slice for garnish
Sage leaf or sprig for garnish

To make the sage simple syrup, combine 1 cup white granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and ½ cup of loosely-packed fresh sage leaves in a saucepan over high heat. Mix well, and as soon as the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out the sage leaves and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To assemble the cocktail, add the Old Overholt, lemon juice, sage simple syrup, and bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into a double rocks glass filled with a handful of ice cubes or one large cube. Garnish with the lemon and sage, and enjoy!

We Made The New York Times’ Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

The famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is nothing new to the culinary world; it first hit the web in 2009 but has had an increase in interest among internet “foodies” (as much as Emily doesn’t want me to use that word) and stay-at-home bloggers. This is partly due to how much hype it has behind it, repeatedly billed as “the best chocolate chip recipe in the world.” It only took one mention of it in the studio for me to want to make the recipe. Jeff brought it up early one Monday morning and once I finished drooling over the photos on the Times’ website, I set out on my cookie-making task.

These aren’t just any chocolate chip cookies. You won’t find this recipe on the back of a package and you definitely won’t find it tucked away in family recipe cards. The first unique thing you’ll notice is that the recipe uses both bread flour and cake flour, not just that basic all-purpose stuff. This combo gives the cookies the perfect consistency — not too cakey, not too crispy. You also need some (read: a lot of) dark chocolate discs. The recipe does in fact list discs instead of chips (I don’t understand it either but it makes for good cookies; we get them from our client French Market). You will also need sea salt to sprinkle on top. This is not optional, it is highly necessary.

This all sounds great right about now. You might be digging through your pantry to see if you miraculously have bread flour and cake flour. But hold up just a minute if you’re dreaming of eating these cookies tonight. Another kicker to this recipe is that the cookie dough has to (HAS TO) chill in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours. Chilling the dough helps the ingredients really get used to each other and essentially marinate in the goodness. It helps to make a thicker cookie, which makes us very happy. There are forums full of people who say they waited 48 hours and even 72 hours to let this dough chill. That’s great for them. You don’t have to wait that long. The New York Times recommends 36 hours but we caved and baked them after 24 hours, and we don’t regret it one bit. 

Whenever you do get these cookies into your life (and in turn your mouth), whether it be in 24 hours or much, much longer, you will understand why they’re so popular. They’re as big as your hand and full of chocolate-y, sea salty goodness. It’s necessary to eat them while they’re still toasty warm because that’s how you get the full cookie experience. The recipe even suggests eating them with a big napkin, which is also necessary if you put in the right amount of chocolate. Have we convinced you yet? Check out the New York Times recipe for yourself and watch our video of the delicious process down below.

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