Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tomato Soup


Dicing 5 shallots is no fun for me. The flavor, of course, is essential. (And even though this recipe called for 5, I was only able to use 4, thanks to my very long finger nails getting in the way of my knife blade. Fun times.) But I really need to find me some goggles.

This recipe was kind of a pain in the butt. It took me 2 hours total. I definitely should have managed my time more wisely today, but that's certainly not the soup's fault. I would make this again in a heartbeat, though, as long as I have the time. I made 2 changes--omitted one shallot (on accident) and all of the thyme. Because I hate thyme. I will never ever use it again ever. The next time I make it, I might use less red pepper flakes. I love the spice, but everyone else might not. But considering I'm the only one eating it this time around, I'm very happy with it.

I'm not taking a photo yet, because since the soup took 2 hours, I didn't have time to make my croutons. So if I have time tomorrow to make them, I'll then take and post a photo of the soup.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention: I used my immersion blender to blend it. I did not follow the ridiculous steps below.

Tomato Soup

3 28 ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes, juices drained and reserved
2 Tbsp brown sugar
5 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken broth

Heat oven to 450

Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Open cans of tomatoes and pour them into a strainer over a bowl separating the tomatoes from the juice. Use your fingers to open the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds (you can trash them). Place tomatoes flat on the foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool.

Mince shallots. Set aside.

Heat butter in a stock pot on medium until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste and spices. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add flour to the shallots and cook until combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add reserved tomato juice, chicken broth and roasted tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and strain the soup to separate the solids and the liquids. Put the solids in a blender with 2 cups of the liquid and puree until smooth. Return the puree and the liquids to the pot and return the pot to the stove. Heat on low for 5 minutes until everything is hot and combined. Correct seasoning with salt, pepper or brown sugar.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tangy Pork Cutlets

I had high hopes for Tangy Pork Cutlets. I just KNEW they would be a big hit. But they were quite the opposite.

Obviously, this isn't my photo. I decided to blog about this dish after we were done.

I didn't mind them, especially the bite I took that was nice and tender. But I think the mistake I made was using light olive oil instead of butter. (There really is no substitute for butter, folks.) I was attempting to make this dish a little healthier--doctor's orders--and it just didn't work out like I had hoped. The mister took two bites and said, "No, thank you." 

The prep is super simple, so that was nice. If you're going to try your hand at this, definitely don't cook these as long as suggested. Pork gets tough quickly. I also wouldn't cover them. They get all moist that way, and you lose the crispiness.

The flavor was fine. I didn't really get "tangy" but maybe that's just me. If you try these, please comment and let me know!

Tangy Pork Cutlets

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 pound pork cutlets ( 1/4 inch thick)
2 cups crisp rice cereal, crushed
4 tablespoons butter

Combine the lemon juice and egg in a shallow dish.

Combine flour, salt and lemon pepper in a shallow dish.

Coat pork with flour mixture. Dip in lemon juice mixture, then coat with cereal.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork in melted butter until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, until pork is tender, about 21 minutes.