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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Librarians and Green Chile Chicken Stew

Name a group of people that seem to have all the answers and if they don't know the answer they always know where to go to get the answer. Librarians. Total info junkies and always interestingly unique individuals. (i.e., Amanda Brewer one of our county librarians who aspires to be a country music singer). Somehow in every locale I've lived in there's been a librarian or two engaged in my life. This stew recipe is straight from the reference desk of the Interim Head Librarian, Instructional Support Services at our local technical college (TCL) and was submitted during 2005 for the school's Favorite Happy Holidays recipes (a staff enrichment exercise generated by the PR office that year). This is definitely a go-to-dish for pot luck or day after new year's eve dining. Needless to say librarians always deliver!

1 chicken cooked & de-boned (use chicken broth for stew, add water to make 2 qts liquid)
3-4 large potatoes cut into 8ths
1 roll frozen creamed corn (or 1 can creamed corn)
3 cans chopped green chiles
Salt & Pepper to taste
Flour for thickening

Boil whole chicken, de-bone and chop meat. Add remaining ingredients to broth and bring to boil. Make a roux using 1/4c flour stirred into 2 tbsp melted butter, then add boiling liquid. Cook until potatoes are tender. Garnish with cheese and greens of choice.

Roux (pronounced /ˈruː/) is a cooked mixture of wheat flour and fat, traditionally clarified butter. It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce béchamel, sauce velouté and sauce espagnole. Butter, vegetable oils, or lard are commonly used fats. It is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat by weight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cumquat Duck with Chile Citrus Sauce

Had I known how easy duck is to prepare I might have attempted it far earlier than post 40 years of age (ok, way past 40). My all-time favorite duck dish to date was a breakfast dish of Duck Confit French Toast that was served at Maxies Supper Club in Ithaca, NY (I don't believe they continue to serve breakfast nor that this dish continues on the menu almost ten years later). That love of dish was accentuated by the atmosphere of the restaurant and my fondness for the owners and their staff. I'm rather over enthusiastic about duck at the moment so the holiday meal I've planned has two duck options. The Cumquat version comes from Alastair Hendy and the Crispy Duck recipe hails from Nigella Lawson (for the better part of a year I've idolized everything Nigella and though that admiration will continue I have shifted a great deal of attention to Mr. Hendy). Just saying the gentleman's name "Alastair" heralds the trumpets, much like the affection Elizabeth Gilbert has for saying "Attraversiamo." I know corny, but I like it and would name my first born as such were that not already well past capability, so it likely will be bestowed on a future cat I own. Back to cumquats. (Cumquats with a "c" is the British spelling). I relish citrus essence for its awakening quality. Grapefruit bath soaps, candied lemon peel, limeade koolaid, beaumont citrus room deodorizer, navel oranges pierced with peppermint sticks, all bring out the inner smile. Why cumquat? Nature's sweet tart. A sweet rind with a zesty tart center. You eat them as you would grapes, discarding the seeds (though I suspect some eat the seeds too just like some Lowcountry folks eat shrimp tails). Back to the why of cumquats. Truth be told, a friend who resides near Dade City, Florida sent cumquats from Kumquat Growers as a holiday gift and it seemed appropriate to translate the gift into a holiday food offering. Alastair sites them as the snowpea of the citrus world. His duck recipe was featured in a 2001 article in SeattlePI Soak up some sun with in-season citrus fruits along with an assortment of other citrus recipes. It is also contained in the 2000 text Cooking for Friends that resides in my small but holistically abundant cookbook library. There you have it plenty of reasons why, but simply the opportunity to indulge the 12+ gathered at The Duck Blind to spend Christmas eve together is reason enough for me.
Note: The Kumquat Refrigerator Pie recipe found on the carton lid from Dade City has been reserved for some future occasion.

May any and all JOY find its way to you and yours during the season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Puerto Rican Coquito

Here's an alternative recipe for the eggnog lovers out there. Blender + ingredients + frothing = lovely. Happy Nogging!

1 15-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 13.5-ounce can light coconut milk
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup white rum
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy. Pour into a glass pitcher and refrigerate. Serve chilled with a pinch of cinnamon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprout Salad

You either love Brussels sprouts or you don't. I happen to like them, most especially as I uncover preparation options (warm and cold) that go beyond steaming, adding butter and seasoning to taste (though I enjoy them this way too). First I had to tackle the origin of its spelling, was it brussel or Brussels? Just because I'm geared that way as an info junkie. A quick search with Wikipedia delivered the answer to that question. Forerunners to modern Brussels sprouts were likely cultivated in ancient Rome, sprouts as we now know them were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium. Even more interesting is the connection to our beloved state of Louisiana as production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began around 1800, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana. Coring brussels is easy with a vegetable peeler tip and tossing the shreds in a pan with olive oil and a few simple ingredients is a real snap. What I most enjoy about this particular preparation is the vibrant green, crisp and sweet combination of the ingredients (served warm). Next preparation option to try is a cold salad with bacon and a creamy-style dressing. One can not overlook that Brussels sprouts come with an aromatic essence that some find distasteful, sad but true these divine morsels of goodness do pack a lingering pungent aftermath. From my perspective one has several options at this juncture to continue to enjoy these lovelies...light a match, spring for some smelly candles or pop some buttery popcorn in the microwave.

Thank you Sunny Anderson for this easy recipe:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dad's two favorite things at Christmas

My dad's two most favorite food products to receive and consume at the holiday times are fruitcake and eggnog. We are talking obsession, has to be bought, has to be consumed, has to be enjoyed. Though our household went many years without celebrating Christmas (my mother essentially suffered a massive heart attack on Christmas eve 2001 and died 2 days later) we both have learned over time to embrace our sorrow, but not let our enjoyment of the season suffer in the process. Most especially the food components of the holiday. It is fair to say that neither of these particular holiday foods capture my full attention, but that has not stopped my dad from ordering fruitcake made by the monks at Gethsemani Farms and insisting that Pet Dairy eggnog be stocked in my refrigerator. This year I'm taking the plunge to make the eggnog from scratch. This Martha Stewart version has enough adult beverage in it to warrant a disclaimer for my beloved nondrinkers, but worth sharing with those that won't shy away from a bit of jolly juice. Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happiness Soup

Simply show me the color yellow, send me a bouquet of sunflowers or smack me in the face with a broad smile and it invokes my utter happiness. Same holds true for yellow spices, freshly picked ears of corn, butter, and sun beams. One's level of happiness varies by the moment but the bright sunny disposition of this golden broth will signal its arrival through aroma, taste and comfort. And that state of bliss is exactly why many of us hold memories of food experiences indefinitely. (Thank you Nigella!)

2 large yellow courgettes
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 litre chicken broth
100g basmati rice
Maldon salt and pepper

I had to look up two words in this recipe, because they were new to my vocabulary.

Maldon Salt: Sea salt which comes from the Maldon area of Essex, UK.
Courgettes: Zucchini: marrow squash plant whose fruit are eaten when small

For the complete recipe simply go to:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best Bread Pudding

Left over mania at our house! The sweet potato cake was plentiful (everyone gobbled up the apple crisp and Baby Cakes cheesecakes) and to be fair I tried to make the cake with Splenda instead of sugar this year so it wasn't the same moist goodness I've made in the past...just not skilled in the substitution of sugar, there really is a science to replacement therapy. However, slight mistakes can be fabricated into something with just as much ooey goodness called bread pudding. So rather than Italian bread cubed, the cake has been cubed and prepared according to the recipe instructions. I like my bread pudding served warm and this recipe has a sauce that just sweetens it even further.
A Paul Deen 2007 recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Salmon Cheesecake

Anyone who knows me knows that I loved living and working in Ithaca,NY. If you ask me why I provide these reasons: Finger Lakes wine, a great live music scene, 19 spectacular libraries at Cornell University, the rich and colorful people and Wegmans grocery store. Seriously, a grocery store. I was known for spending Sundays, most 1/2 the day at the store, I would arrive mid morning for coffee and read the local paper, NY Times and Wall Street Journal cover to cover, along the way I'd have great conversations with friends who came in to shop, then proceed to order lunch as I would have sat there long enough to witness the switch from morning to noon hour. Comical when I think about it, but everyone (store employees and friends) knew my routine and would even remark if I happened to miss a Sunday or arrive off schedule. Funny how one's quirkiness and eccentric nature touches the lives of others. Needless to say, no one was surprised when my graduation party from graduate school was held at the grocery store in its cooking school. I took as many classes at the "Wegmans School of Culinary Arts" that I possibly could afford to take [I still have all my red folders with recipes]. Cindy Groman was one of my fav instructors and conducted a class October 30,1999 called "gifts from the kitchen." This class was filled with wonderful recipes for the holidays: snack foods, apps, desserts and Salmon Cheesecake. Simply stated, Salmon Cheesecake is a crowd pleaser and very simple to make.

1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
3 Tbs melted butter
16 oz cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 lb can salmon, drained and flaked
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs grated onion
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
fresh dill, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Mix crackers, butter and press into 9 inch sprinform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temp to 325. Beat the cream cheese, eggs and 1/4 cup sour cream. Add the salmon, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour in the crust. Bake for 45- 50 minutes until set in the middle. Remove from the oven, loosen the sides of the pan with a sharp knife and cool. Combine the 1/2 cup sour cream and the mayo and spread on the cooked cake. Garnish with fresh dill and serve with crackers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Velvet Rope

(courtesy of a tweet from Domino Sugar
2 oz. - vodka
1-1/2 oz. - 100% cranberry juice
1 oz. - orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz. - vanilla infused syrup (see below)
3 dashes - peach bitters
top with a splash of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)
long orange twist or 2 skewered cranberries as a garnish

Vanilla-Infused Syrup:
2 cups - Domino Granulated Sugar
1 cup - water
1 - vanilla bean

Credit: Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Philpot, bartender at Waterbar, San Francisco.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Homemade Orange Marshmallows

Fall heralds a time of year when an assortment of beverages not enjoyed during any other period become a routine offering until the next change of season transpires. The crisp cool air, camp fires, and comfy sweaters are made for wrapping one's hands around a steaming hot mug. For me, it's hot chocolate made from rich dark cocoa, not the convenient packaged versions, rather the prepared from scratch topped with marshmallows rendition. Visualize the same spicy Mayan delicacy Vianne poured in the movie Chocolat and that's my preferred version, but I also like an assortment of other preparations. Chocolate changes lives no matter the version you are consuming (so would say my friend Karen Hawkins the romance novelist). I personally rank marshmallows high on the pleasure list of self indulgence, right up there with creme fraiche and whipped cream. Perhaps these delicate white clouds are the yang to the yin of chocolate. I could happily eat them singularly all day long as well as on whatever they were actually prepared to be served with. Made from scratch hot chocolate, homemade marshmallows, there's a great deal of love in my mug right now. This marshmallow recipe is from Giada DeLaurentis (Giada at Home, Sugar Rush episode)


* Butter, for greasing the pan
* Powdered sugar, for dusting
* 1/2 cup water, plus 1/4 cup
* 3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
* 2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup evaporated milk
* 1 large orange, zested
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* Orange decorating sugar*
* *Can be found at cake decorating stores
* Special equipment: a candy thermometer

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chickpea Fries

Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite places to visit. Not only does Portland explode with restaurants, food shops and markets but it also has made a unique contribution to American independent music, with a strong indie music scene in its backyard. It's been quite some time since I visited, but one location, one chef struck a cord with me, Scott Dolich @ The Park Kitchen ( and though I'm not sure this particular item, Chickpea Fries, still makes an appearance on the menu I thought I'd try to duplicate the indulgent twist on "french fries." These crisp on the outside, tender on the inside jumbo fries are superb paired with pumpkin ketchup but can definitely stand on their own as a palate pleaser [so implies the bar food guide where I found the recipe, Food & Wine Cocktails 2007] The only ingredients I'm lacking in my kitchen: the sambai oelek to spike up the fries (will check in one of our local Asian markets) and the chick pea flour (which I can grab locally on Lady's Island at Its Only Natural). Pick up food, that's what this is and as the proverbial blog tag line implies forks and spoons need not apply.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons sambai oelek
4 cups water
2 cups chickpea flour
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
All purpose flour for dusting

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My mother made the best chicken and dumplings ever, primarily because she made them and knew they were my favorite (along with white coconut layered cake). This recipe hails from my Grandmother Adams' The Lilly Wallace New American Cookbook. My grandmother and mother passed away some time ago and lovingly I retain this cook book in my small collection of such texts (there are pages falling out and there are a multitude of inserted recipes stashed inside the cover). 1944,editor in chief Lily Haxworth Wallace, Home Economics Lecturer and Writer, Instructor, Household Arts Department, The Ballard School, New York City~assisted by fifty-four leading authorities on Domestic Science and the art of modern cooking. Is there really an inappropriate time for easy comfort food? Not ever and most especially when memories of mom are the course for the day.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk

Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Rub in shortening with knife or finger tips. Add milk to make a soft dough. Drop dough a tablespoon at a time, on chicken or meat stews the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. Kettle must be covered closely and cover must not be removed during cooking.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Celery and Pear Bisque

Cooler temperatures, scarves, hot soups, and warm beverages. Fall has arrived. I welcome this climate with open arms each year in the Lowcountry. It does not dampen the spirit of our coastal lifestyle. It gives rise to a great many more reasons to invite guests to our home, to clean out the wardrobe closet, to enjoy a bounty of produce previously not available at the farmers market and to explore our own back yards. My only regret is the limited daylight hours that this half of the year invokes. We still enjoy the beach, albeit not always in a bathing suit, accompanied by a chair, a great book, girlfriends and a thermos! Bon Appetit Magazine tweeted this recipe earlier this week and I immediately thought to pull out that vintage thermos and share it with the girls during our weekly beach ritual. Note rain does not make for a great beach day, so the ritual shifts to a toasty warm home environment, just in case you were wondering.


* 4 1/2 tablespoons butter
* 6 cups thinly sliced celery with leaves (preferably organic; about 12 stalks) plus chopped leaves (for garnish)
* 18 ounces unpeeled ripe Bartlett pears, cored, diced (generous 3 cups) plus 1/2 cup finely diced (for garnish)
* 1 1/2 cups chopped dark green leek tops
* 3 small Turkish bay leaves
* 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
* 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
* 3 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth

Read More

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sweet Potato Butter Cheesecake

If you have never savored sweet potato butter then you are missing out on one of life's simplest but tastiest treasures. I've actually tried two local versions of this same great product (Southern Gardens/Carolina Cherry Co in Yemasee and Lowcountry Produce in Lobeco) and enjoyed both tremendously. This is a must for Thanksgiving celebrations either solo or transformed into another scrumptious delight (such as the cheesecake below).

Guilt-Free Sweet Potato Cheesecake (Lowcountry Produce)

You will need an 8-by-3-inch springform pan and a larger pan to use for a water bath. This cheesecake is best made a day in advance to chill properly.

1 cup Lowcountry Produce Sweet Potato Butter 2 pounds (4, 8-ounce packages) low-fat cream cheese, completely softened and at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 teaspoons ground ginger 1 1/2 cups Splenda 4 extra large eggs 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8-by-3-inch springform pan. Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs and 1 teaspoon ginger into a microwaveable container. Heat for 45 seconds in the microwave. Press mixture uniformly into the bottom of springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.


Cream softened cream cheese in mixer. Add Splenda very slowly while you are smoothing your cream cheese. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger, vanilla, Lowcountry Produce Sweet Potato Butter and four eggs, one at a time. As soon as the last egg is blended, turn off the mixer. Using a spatula, pour the mixture into the pan. Place springform pan into the larger pan. Add water to larger pan to create water bath. Bake for 2 hours, or until it is an even golden brown with small cracks forming.

Variation: For just a little guilt, add 7 ounces of goat cheese and 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the cheesecake mixture.

From Lowcountry Produce

Read more:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Honey Glazed Baked Beans

I'm always the one in the neighborhood that has a tendency to bring covered-dish items that fall out of the ordinary cookout fare. Sometimes my selections meet with rave reviews, other times they sit with slight spoonfuls removed. Opting to go with something more classic for the occasion I chose a recipe from The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking for baked beans. I used canned beans (pintos and great northern) rather than rinse, soak and simmer the beans from a dried state. Definitely repeating this recipe, but won't give up on introducing creative selections to the local gatherings.

Drain the beans from cooking liquid and combine in a casserole with:
2 medium onions, chopped
8 ounces bacon diced
2 gloves garlic, minced

Stir into the cooking liquid
1 cup honey or pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons groung ginger
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pour liquid over the beans. Cover and bake. I baked for 2 hours @ 300 F, uncovering the last 1/2 hour.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grapefruit Fluff

Always one for an "era gone by story" that hales from New York City, this NYT article on a recipe from the Park Lane ( actually featured recipes 1940 and 2010) struck me as the next experience in the kitchen. A bit daunting to try a panna cotta, but why shy away from a challenge. That's the beauty of cooking you can always do it over to get it right (as many times as necessary or as long as you have the chutzpah to face failure with hope).

For the vanilla-bean panna cotta:

2½ teaspoons powdered gelatin

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup sugar

½ vanilla bean

For the meringue:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon grapefruit zest

For the brandied caramel sauce:

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ cup corn syrup

1¼ cups sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup brandy

For serving:

2 pink grapefruits.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Israeli Couscous (Salad)

A unique Mediterranean toasted pasta. Found several cold serving recipes that will make this food product a great picnic item to share with the girls at the beach. I love this pasta served hot with sauteed onions, chopped parsley and spices so shifting the experience to cold might not be such a stretch.

1 cup cooked couscous
1 tablespoon butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup creamy salad dressing
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Place 1 teaspoon butter in a saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup couscous and stir until coated in butter. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, set aside to cool.

In a salad bowl, combine the couscous, red onion, bell pepper, parsley, raisins, almonds and chick peas. Stir and mix well. Whisk together the salad dressing, yogurt, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over salad; stir until well blended, chill and serve.

Recipe Location:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumnal Birthday Cake

Stay tuned, Sunday's kitchen experience is my personal birthday cake and true to my love of Nigella everything I'm going to attempt her Autumnal Birthday Cake found on her website, which is perfect for my approaching birthday week. First, however, I have to figure out what golden caster sugar is, totally clueless as I write this but will have that resolved by Sunday. "-)


  • 175g butter, softened
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 350ml maple syrup
  • 500g self-raising flour
  • 175ml hot water
  • 2 x 21cm sandwich tins, buttered and lined


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract, optional
  • 125g pecans

Top Beers voted by Public @ HHI Seafood Jazz & Brew

Though we all know the public vote in any endeavor provides a great barometer on the heartbeat of a market, at times we like to caution that they sometimes reflect a trendy intent and I enjoyed each of the craft beer selections that found fondness from the public point of view. However, I will initially mention a few selections that were new or inspiring to my palate and suggest they be included in your next craft beer purchase....(no particular order here, just recall out of sequence)

Bell's Oberon
Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter
Full Sail's Session Black
Dogfish Head's Punkin
Bison Brewery's Honey Basil
Charleston Brewings's Half Moon Hefe (another 2009 fav)
Terrapin's Big Hoppy Monster

September 18, 2010 Seafood Jazz & Brew Festival "Brews on the Harbour"
1 RJ Rockers Rock Hopper
2 Woodchuck Pear Cider
3 Southern Tier Creme Brulee
4 (tied) Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale and New Belgium Hoptober and New Belgium Fat Tire
5 Hilton Head Brewing Raspberry Wheat

The Sunset Rotary Club annually hosts the Oyster Shucking contest in conjunction with this festival and the following amateurs rocked the crowds with their skillfulness:
Doug Hoover
Jacqueliine Barbour (a visitor from PA that comes to the festival every year)
Andy Cook

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Best of Show HHI Int'l Wine Judging & Competition

Best of Show Bubbly: Royal Cuvee Brut 2002, Gloria Ferrer, USA, California
Best of Show White: Roussanne 2007, Zaca Mesa, USA, California
Best of Show Red: Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alexander Valley Vineyards, USA, California

Best of Show Nominees
Italy Ripasso, 2006 San Giuseppe
USA, California, Voigneir 2008 Zaca Mesa
USA, California, Z Cuvee 2007 Zaca Mesa
USA, California, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Judd's Hill Winery
USA, Illinois, Gewurztraminer NV, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
USA, New Mexico, Malvasia Bianca NV, Santa Fe Vineyards

Best Value Selections
Best Value White: Seyval 2008, Knapp Winery, USA, New York
Best Value Red: Vinho d Mesa Tinto NV, Lost Vineyards, Portugal

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seafood Mulligatawny

No cooking this past Sunday as I participated as a judge in Hilton Head Island's Soup Challenge produced by the local Volunteers in Medicine. I love to judge soups and chilis the only shame is once judging is complete I'm too full to try a healthy serving of what I really liked. I typically rank my top 6 tasted products and interesting to note that I found enjoyment in a wide range of soups (not leaning in the cream or in broth based versions). Rather I enjoyed a subtle twist or some complex combination of ingredients that worked really well.

My top six fav soups included: Seafood Mulligatawny; Curried Tomato Crab & Leek Bisque with shaved Manchego Cheese; Butternut Squash Soup wtih Candied Pecan Dust and Vanilla Bean oil; Minestrone Soup; Reuben Soup wiht Rye & Swiss Toast

Like I said, I tasted some really great soups, but my number one stood out specifically in preparation and composition of ingredients....Chef Brad Blake from Marleys on Hilton Head (an institution for those not familar with Hilton Head) delivered to perfection a Seafood soup that I will attempt to prepare at home on another Sunday.

2 cups onions diced small

2 cups celery, diced small
1/2 cup green and red pepper, diced small
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 tsp curry powder
8 cups fish stock
1/2 cup apples, peeled and diced small
8 cups seafood (scallops, shrimp, crab meat, etc) diced small
1 cup coconut milk

Saute onions, celery and green peppers for 15 minutes. Add flour and curry powder and mix well. cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not brown. Let cool.

Add hot fish stock, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil.

Add apples. Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Add seafood and cream. Simmer for a few minutes then serve.

Yields 8 servings
Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life