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Deliciously Organic: February 2009

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Recently I decided to do a cleansing diet for a while and have found it most restrictive. Not restrictive in the sense that I can't eat whatever I want at any given time, but that I cannot create new recipes! I am three weeks into this and have found that since I can't create in the kitchen, all of the sudden, I can't stop think about redecorating my house. I told my husband last night that this diet can't last to long or it is going to end up costing us a lot of money.

So, if I could eat anything I wanted today, I would probably reach for this tried and true potato soup recipe. This soup is rich, buttery and creamy and is perfect for a winter day.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Serves 6

2 cups celery chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
½ cup butter, divided in half
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
4 cups Yukon potatoes, cut into 1 ½”-pieces
1 cup raw cream
1 t. sea salt
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sour cream or creme fraiche
½ cup raw cheddar cheese, grated
3 green onions, chopped

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in Dutch over. Add celery, carrots, onions, and cover and turn to lowest heat setting to sweat the vegetables for about 30 minutes. When vegetables are tender add potatoes and chicken stock and simmer 30 minutes until tender. Add cream and sea salt and heat through.

In a small saucepan melt 4 Tbs. butter and add 1/2 cup of flour (whisking while incorporating to avoid clumping). Let the butter and flour mixture cook for a couple of minutes while constantly stirring then add the mixture to the vegetables and broth. If you have a hand immersion blender, use it to blend all of the soup until smooth and creamy. If you don't have this appliance you can blend the soup in a blender in small batches until it's all is smooth. Adjust spices to taste. Garnish with cheese and sour cream and green onions.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Simple Sides

I don't know how you are, but I am one of those who will find a new recipe, get very excited and cook it for dinner and then realize at the last minute I forgot to make some sides. I am always trying to find and create new, fast side dishes that can be thrown together in minutes. Today I am going to share with you two of my favorites. Really, it almost seems funny to say that they are "recipes" because they are so simple.

The first recipe is Grilled Halloumi with Oregano. I don't know if you are familiar with halloumi, and if you have never tried it, please, pick some up at the market the next time you go. This cheese was introduced by a dear friend of mine whom I met when she and her husband were here on exchange from the UK. We were living in CA at the time at an air force base in the middle of no where (literally) and every few weeks Sue and I would pack up our kids and drive into L.A. and spend our day talking about organic cooking and visit the markets. I can't tell you how many hours we spent roaming the isles of Whole Foods seeing what new items we could find. One day we came to the cheese section and she asked if I had ever tried halloumi. I hadn't, so she bought me some and showed told me how to cook it. This cheese is a firm and salty and can be eaten straight out of the package but I love eating it warm. My kids call it "squeaky" cheese because it squeaks when you chew it.

The second recipe is Sauteed Broccoli. It is a simple and easy way to cook broccoli and literally it takes less then five minutes.

Grilled Halloumi with Oregano
serves 4

1 package halloumi
1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil
olive oil to drizzle
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and pepper

Slice halloumi in thick 1/4-inch slices and place on a dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat your grill on medium heat and coat cooking grate with coconut oil so the cheese won't stick. (you can do this by taking a wad of paper towels and sipping them in oil and then rubbing them on the grate). Grill the halloumi for a minute or two per side, until golden brown. Take off the heat and drizzle with olive oil, spritz with lemon juice and sprinkle with oregano.

Quick Sauteed Broccoli
serves 4

2 crowns broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
sea salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon

In a large saute pan heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add broccoli and stir continuously for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and immediately cover the pan. After 30 seconds take the lid off and stir until all of the water has evaporated. Pour broccoli into a bowl and spritz with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.