Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cabin Menu

I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog on fashion and/or interiors, but I was so happy with the recipes I used this past weekend at the cabin, I couldn't keep them a secret from my readers! The one I'd really like to share with you is Roasted Tomato Soup with Pesto Mozzarella Dippers.

5 lb tomatoes, stemmed and quartered 
(I know, they are so gross this time of year. I've been boycotting them until summer, but I can only last so long)
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups water
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
(I put in way too much and it was spicy. Huz loved it, but my mouth was on fire.)
l/2 cup heavy cream
Sprigs of fresh basil
(this is only for garnishment. If you could care less about its appearance, do not buy an entire thing of basil like yours truly.)

1. Preheat oven to 450.

 Toss tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to toss. This way you can feel them to coat evenly:

 Transfer to a casserole dish and roast about 40 minutes, or until very soft:

 Meanwhile, saute onions in 2 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat, 5-7 minutes:

Stir in water, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and roasted tomato mixture. Include all the juice from the roasted tomatoes when adding to the onions - it provides tons of flavor. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, 10 minutes:

Meanwhile, make your pesto-mozzarella dippers. You will need:

Crusty Italian bread, 1/2" thick
4 T. unsalted butter, softened, divided
8 T. Basil Pesto 
(I cheated and used jarred. Hey I was still on vacation)
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced, divided

Makes 4 sandwiches

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread; spread 1 teaspoon pesto on the other side.

 On 4 of the bread slices, arrange the cheese with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

 Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium for 2 minutes. Grill the sandwiches 2-3 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn the sandwiches, press firmly with a spatula, and cook 2-3 minutes more, or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Turn once more, press, and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes so cutting is easier.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. This makes the soup smooth, rich, and creamy. Do not fill more than halfway. Start on low speed, then gradually increase speed one increment at a time.

 Finish soup with cream:

 And walah! A delicious soup that tastes like it's from a fancy cafe. So easy. It makes about 10 cups, approximately 4 bowls like this one:

And here's my pom Luigi, waiting for some to spill to the floor:

I also made berry crostada, crepes, Beef Bourguignon, and a Bolognese Sauce (omg is all I have to say about that one) I highly recommend planning a getaway with a delicious menu. The weekend could not have been anymore perfect :)
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