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Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

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3 tablespoons good olive oil

3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 ½ lbs roasted San Marzano or Roma tomatoes

Large pinch of saffron threads

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup orzo

1/2 cup heavy cream

Grilled Cheese Croutons (see below)

In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.

Grilled Cheese Croutons

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile cheddar on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the cheese, buttered sides up.

Grill the sandwiches on a grill pan or griddle for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.

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Red Curry with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash

We love the balance of sweet and spicy in this seasonal curry. It’s a great recipe to start with if you’re looking to incorporate new spices into your dishes.

Red Curry with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash

Serves 6 -8

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Ingredients

CURRY

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 small jalapeno pepper, stem + seeds removed, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise

3 Tbsp red Thai curry paste

3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash

2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground turmeric

Healthy pinch sea salt

1 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 cup chopped, fresh broccoli

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup roasted cashews or peanuts

 

FOR SERVING optional:  Fresh basil or cilantro, Lemon juice & Jasmine rice, Brown rice, Quinoa, or Cauliflower Rice

 

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallot, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add bell pepper and curry paste and stir. Cook for 2 minutes more. Then add pumpkin/butternut squash and stir. Cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add coconut milk, sugar, turmeric, sea salt, and coconut aminos/soy sauce and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Once simmering, slightly reduce heat to low and cover. You want a simmer, not a boil, which should be around low to medium-low heat.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften the pumpkin and infuse it with curry flavor.
  6. At this time, also taste and adjust the flavor of the sauce/broth as needed. Don’t be shy with seasonings – this curry should be very flavorful.
  7. Once the broth is well seasoned and the pumpkin is tender, add broccoli, lemon juice, and cashews and cover. Simmer for 3-4 minutes more over low to medium-low heat.
  8. Optional: Scoop out half of the broth/sauce and half of the pumpkin (try to exclude the broccoli) and blend until creamy and smooth in a blender for a thicker, creamier curry. Return to pot and warm for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Serve as is or over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. This dish gets elevated with the addition of fresh lemon juice and Thai or regular basil or cilantro for serving.
  10. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.
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One Pot Minestrone

Reasons why we love this soup:

  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • It’s a one pot dish
  • A perfect recipe to use up leftover fresh veggies
  • It’s delicious!

One Pot Minestrone Soup

Serves 8

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp All Purpose Seasoning

sea salt & black pepper + more to taste

1 small zucchini diced into 1” pieces

1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

6 + cups  vegetable broth

2 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh)

2 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp Parmesan + more for serving

½ Tbsp (or more) Pizza Seasoning

1 Tbsp sugar or honey

1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed + drained

2 cups pasta noodles, like penne, macaroni, or rotini

1 cup baby kale or spinach, roughly chopped

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and then add your oil.
  2. Add carrots and green beans and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened slightly and have some color.
  3. Next, add onion, and garlic and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add zucchini, fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, pizza seasoning, sugar, and beans. Stir to coat.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a strong simmer. Then reduce heat slightly to medium-low until the soup is simmering but not boiling. Add pasta and stir. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing heat if needed to keep the soup at a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste soup and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Add kale or spinach and stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to wilt the kale and allow the flavors to meld together. Turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  8. To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese (optional).
  9. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or the freezer up to 1 month.
  10. Be careful not to overheat the soup when warming leftovers, as the pasta is tender once cooked and will get mushy if overcooked.
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Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Peppery Croutons

Summer is the longest season in Central Texas. Lucky for us, that means we can still find some of summer’s vegetable bounty at our local farmers market in October.

This soup is a great way to make the most out of your late summer vegetables. Feel free to add in some diced tomatoes, leafy greens or your favorite protein.

Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Peppery Croutons  

8 Servings

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3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced

3 teaspoons fresh thyme

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite size pieces

1 zucchini, cut into bite size pieces

1 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces

1 ear of fresh corn, kernels removed

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

pinch of cayenne pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Heat the oil in a 6 quart stockpot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots, red bell pepper, garlic and carrot. Saute for 4 minutes. Next, add the herbs and season with salt. Finally, add in the green beans, zucchini, squash and corn. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Season again with salt and a pinch of cayenne. Finally, add in the broth. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and serve with peppery croutons and Parmesan cheese.

 

Croutons

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

3 cups 1/2-inch cubes crust-less sourdough bread (about 8 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

 

Heat the butter in pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add the bread and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve atop vegetable soup.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

We love the natural, creamy flavor and texture of this spectacular squash. With the addition of spices such as Madras Curry and Tandoori, the soup is light but bold in flavor. Try it and let us know what you think!

 

Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Soup

3 – 4 servings

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2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Sandy Oaks Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

3 cups roasted butternut squash *recipe follows

2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon Tandoori Spice Blend

1 Tablespoon Madras Curry

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Sriracha, optional

 

Heat butter and oil in a 4 quart stockpot. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 min, stirring occasionally. Add the squash, broth, spices and season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Carefully pour the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (This can also be done with an immersion blender.) Pour the blended soup back into the stockpot. Add the coconut milk and reheat if necessary. Serve with optional Sriracha sauce.

 

*Roasted Butternut Squash:

1  2 -3 lb butternut squash

4 tablespoons olive oil or butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel the squash. Carefully cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash into 1” cubes and scatter them out onto a large USA Half Sheet Baking Pan. Pour the olive oil over the squash and toss to coat. Season with the salt and pepper and toss once more. Bake for 45 minutes or until the squash just begins to caramelize and turn brown on the edges.

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Farmers Market

The Waco Downtown Farmers Market offers FREE cooking demonstrations using farm fresh ingredients from their vendors. Enjoy these recipes from our demonstration on March 4th using many ingredients available early spring.

Waco Downtown Farmers Market Logo
Waco Downtown Farmers Market Saturdays 9 am – 1pm

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

  • half a loaf of pumpkin bread or zucchini bread, sliced thickly (about 6 pieces), The Wine Maker’s Pantry
  • 3 eggs, Various Vendors
  • ½ cup whole milk, Richardson Farms
  • a splash of Nielsen Massey vanilla **
  • Cinnamon honey syrup, recipe follows
  1. Whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together. Heat a nonstick or oiled skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Dip each piece of pumpkin bread in the mixture and soak for about 20 seconds. Let excess drip off, then transfer to the hot skillet and fry for a few minutes on each side (and repeat if needed) until both sides are golden brown and almost crispy (but the insides will still be soft).
  3. Serve with Cinnamon Honey Syrup.

Cinnamon Honey Syrup

  • 3⁄4 cup honey, Round Rock Honey
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon**

Heat all ingredients in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm.

Herbed Pecan Pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, Various Vendors
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans , Pecan Shop
  • 4 cloves garlic, Various Vendors
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, Texas Hill Country Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 pinch ground black pepper to taste **

Blend the basil, pecans, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a food processor until the mixture becomes a slightly chunky paste.

Bowl of Vegetable Soup and a slice of bread topped with Pesto
Farmers Market Soup

Farmer’s Market Italian Soup

  1. In a heavy bottom pot, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the sausage and brown , about 5 minutes. Put the sausage aside on a plate.
  2. Add more oil, the carrots, celery, leeks and onions. Add in 2 tsp salt and 21 tsp pepper. Cook over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits from the sausage on the bottom of the pot, and stirring occasionally. Cook until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. When the onions have turned translucent, and the vegetables have cooked through, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add in the can of diced tomatoes, bone broth, sausage, and thyme. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add in the spinach (or other leafy green).
  4. Add in pasta. Stir and continue cooking until pasta is cooked, 5 – 10 minutes depending on type of pasta.
  5. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
  6. Serve it topped with herbed pesto and warm bread.
  7. Will keep in an air tight container for 1 week in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to 6 months.

** Ingredients available at Gourmet Gallery

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Flat Irons and Red Cabooses

Fall Favorites – Flat Irons and Red Cabooses
Gourmet Gallery is offering our first Flavors of Fall cooking class for 2010 on Saturday, September 18 Soups, Stews, and Chilies Class. Check out our website for more information at www.GourmetGalleryWaco.com.

It takes so little for me to get excited about Autumn. The slightest change in weather stirs that expectant waiting of warming comfort foods, colorful leaves, football, fall picnics, red wine. To celebrate the harbingers of Fall, Jo Ann, Caryl, Molly, and I went to the Red Caboose Winery in Meridian, TX. Whether or not you are a wine drinker, this is a beautiful place to visit. The facility is GREEN; the people are warm and inviting; the wines are enticing and delicious.

We tasted a few wines, but my favorite, especially for Fall, was a Syrah-Malbec that will knock your socks off, or, as winemaker Evan McKibben phrased it, “It really hits you in the face.” He meant it in a good way, and he’s right. It’s a hearty, earthy wine that is rich enough to stand up to any steak or Texas bar-b-que yet mellow enough to complement a piece of dark chocolate. My family and I shared two bottles of it on Labor Day with a medium-rare flat iron steak. (Recipe to follow.) The steak was fantastic, but the wine really set it off.

Red Caboose winery has a Cork and Fork the last Friday of the month. They sell wine by the glass and by the bottle. You can take your own picnic and enjoy the lovely scenery. The folks at the winery suggested we bring our own lawn chairs to ensure a seat. You can find out more at www.redcaboosewinery.com. If you go, please tell them you found out about us from the girls at Gourmet Gallery. Maybe they will come to Waco to do a tasting for us! In the meantime, pack up a picnic and get ready for a beautiful Autumn. To me, it’s the best time of the year to experience the feelings, tastes, and smells of the outdoors.

Grilled Flat Iron Steak*

This recipe is modified from one my mom found on Allrecipes.com. Theirs was cooked in a nonstick skillet. Truth be known, I simply didn’t want to spend the money to feed my whole family. When Mom said she had some of these “new, trendy”steaks in her freezer, it was a lucky day. The steaks were fantastic thanks to a good recipe and Caryl’s grilling expertise. The few remaining leftovers made a wonderful steak salad.

2 lbs flat iron steak*
2 ½ T unfiltered olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 T shallot, minced
¼ cup hearty red wine (don’t waste your Red Caboose on this, though! Any nice red will do.)
½ t salt
¾ t fresh-ground black pepper
1 t dry mustard powder
1 T meat tenderizer, such as Adolph’s

Sprinkle tenderizer on both sides of steaks. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, shallots, salt, pepper, wine, and mustard powder. Pour over steaks. Cover tightly and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Grill over medium-hot coals for about 3-4 minutes per side. Let rest for five minutes, then slice across the grain into thin slices.

Serve with jasmine rice and a colorful green salad, or use on rolls for a delicious sandwich to take to
Red Caboose Winery. Don’t forget the deviled eggs and a hunk of dark chocolate to go with the Syrah-Malbec.

*Flat iron steaks are a fairly-recently “discovered” a thin cut that is surprisingly lean and tender. Scientists were trying to find a way to minimize the wasted cut from the shoulder of the cow. According to About.com, these “friendly scientists” found a way to take out the thick connective tissue that made the cut undesirable. Like other thin cuts, flat iron steaks, also known as “top blade steaks,” benefit from marinating and from cooking no more than medium-rare. This cut also makes a wonderful chili or beef stew.

Happing cooking and eating!

Please see our website at www.GourmetGallery.com for a complete listing of our cooking classes.
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Cold Weather Warm Soup

Once in awhile I run across a dish or a recipe that creates calm out of chaos. I guess this is what “comfort food” really is. Our chef, Rachel Solano, introduced me to Thai Cocanut Chicken Soup, a fabulous soup recipe that may rival Grandmom’s Chicken Soup. Here it is. Thanks, Rachel!

Check out our website at www.GourmetGalleryWaco.com. We post new recipes regularly.

Happy Cooking!

Karyn Miller
Gourmet Gallery

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

This Thai soup is so delicious and unique, you may find yourself replacing your old chicken noodle soup!

Serves: 6 -8 Time: 40 – 45 minutes

2 T Vegetable oil
2 T Grated Fresh Ginger (or Gourmet Garden’s her b blend in 4 oz tube)
2 T Fresh Lemongrass (or Gourmet Garden’s herb blend in 4 oz tube)
3 T Red Curry Paste
1 ½ T Fish Sauce
1 ½ T Soy Sauce
2 T Sriracha Chili Sauce
6 c Chicken Broth
1 T Light Brown Sugar
2 14 oz Cans Coconut Milk
1 lb Chicken Breasts, cut in 1 inch cubes
¼ – ½ lb Sliced White Mushrooms
4 T Fresh Lime Juice
Salt to taste
Large Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add ginger, lemongrass, chili sauce, and curry; cook for 1 minute.
Add about a cup of chicken broth to dissolve curry mixture.
Add the remaining broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar and simmer for 10 min.
Add the coconut milk, chicken, and mushrooms and simmer 5 – 10 min to cook the chicken.
Finally, stir in the lime juice and add salt if necessary.
Serve over steamed white rice and a few tablespoons of the cilantro.