Goodness! I'm behind in posting pictures of recipes I've made! I am cooking, but I'm too tired to blog on work nights. I'm also taking a night class on Digital Photography, so I have been extra tired. You won't be seeing anything new and exciting with my photography...yet... but, I will tell you that I've discovered bells and whistles on my camera that I never knew existed! What a concept... read the manual!
All of my photos are taken in auto mode, using the macro feature. My goal is to learn more about depth of field and to learn Photo Shop (which I don't have loaded on this old laptop). I've taken photo shop classes, but I've forgotten much of it! It's a powerful and complicated program, in my opinion. It's also a memory hog!
I digress. Back to broccoli. In my C.S.A. (Consumer supported agriculture) box, I received a lot of fresh broccoli. We love broccoli-- roasted, steamed, raw. I haven't made broccoli salad in ages, so I decided to go for it. Since I had a lot of broccoli stalks, I also decided to make cream of broccoli soup.
I didn't measure, so I will do my best to help those of you who like to follow recipes to the "letter". I thought I'd admit to all of you that, when trying a brand new recipe, I tend to follow it precisely. I rarely improvise, unless it's something I feel really safe with. I make notes, and the second time around I'll improvise.
That's what I did with my broccoli salad. I checked around for recipes, and I decided that I wanted to use dried cranberries, instead of raisins. I also wanted to use rice vinegar (unseasoned) so that I could use less sugar. I decided to use sliced almonds and so I got busy:
My florets are a little on the chunky side. You can cut them teeny tiny, but I like shortcuts...
In boiling water, I blanched the broccoli for 2 minutes.
Using one of my favorite kitchen gadgets (my "spider") the broccoli was immersed into an ice water bath.
I had cooked bacon from a previous recipe that I re-heated in the microwave. I'd say it was about a cup of bacon...maybe a little less. I used about handful of sliced onion, about 1/2 cup of red onion (be careful, or it can overpower your salad, about 1 cup of dried cranberries, a handful of sliced almonds and I was ready to add the dressing...
I used approximated one cup of mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar and whisked it as my dressing. Adjust seasonings to suit your taste.
This is about the time that my boys show up. How do they know when something is almost ready?
My son, who has usually been skeptical of broccoli took a taste. He loved it!
Personally, I think this salad tastes best fresh. The next day, I find that it can become soggy. But, that's me...
What do I do with the leftover broccoli stalks? Soup! My soup was a total "throw what I've got" and I didn't measure a thing.
I had a pot of hot water, from branching the broccoli florets. I decided to toss the broccoli stalks into the water and to cook them for about 10 minutes; then they were drained.
I looked at the water and wondered if there would be enough flavor to make a vegetarian soup. No, I decided and I dumped it.
The cooked broccoli was added to the last of my homemade turkey stock (about 1 1/2 cups...and I emptied the rest of some chicken stock (about 1 cup). Would it taste weird, I wondered? (My fears were put to rest. It worked out just fine.)
In my garden, I cut fresh parsley, oregano, thyme and marjoram. In my fridge, I found one green onion that looked like it was getting old. I'm a huge fan of bouquet garni... I think they're fun to make. So I tied all of these with some kitchen twine. (I'm out of cheese cloth and I keep forgetting to buy some.) This was put into the pot and the soup simmered for about 30 minutes.
My immersion blender made the soup nice and smooth. About 1/2 cup of heavy cream was added, and just a little bit of fresh lemon juice.
So, there you have it. Broccoli salad and broccoli soup!
I have quite a few more recipes I've made that I need to organize and upload. Today, I've enjoyed one hour of swimming. I have so many recipes that I've bookmarked, from so many fellow food bloggers. It's so hard to decide what to make!
Today, I'm leaning towards meatballs, since I thawed some ground pork and beef. I've had a hankering for Chicken Cordon Bleu...where did that come from? I've been seeing recipes for Hummingbird Cake (using bananas and pineapple) and a few thousand others.
But, first... I have some house cleaning to do. Then, I can play in the kitchen.