I'm going down the rabbit hole this coming week so I can get my NaNo goal - up until last night, I was convinced I wouldn't reach 50K as I was sitting at 28K. Uh... My life gets busy and there's no writing! So. Today, though, different story. Put in over 10,000 words to be hovering just under 40K, and I'm feeling confident now. Those of you working on similar goals, YOU CAN DO EET! [/Cajun]
Today is a day of putting up Santa-mas decorations (we're not Christian, we just like their holidays) and eating comfort food as the temp hasn't gotten above 39 (which is FREEZING for us in Texas.) On the menu, pumpkin spice bundt cake with nutmeg-infused creme fraiche, fudge (I make the worlds best fudge, I am not even going to act modest) and tomato-basil soup with provolone toasts. There might be something left over, if you hurry.
TOMATO BASIL SOUP (Like the La Madeline's recipe)
Because fresh tomato season is over, I used canned. If you have fresh tomatoes, you want to use 8 really big ones (like heirloom toms) and omit the tsp. of sugar. (That's to help the tinniness of the canned tomatoes.)
2 28oz. cans of diced tomatoes, with the juice
1 C. broth (I used chicken, veggie would be perfect. You could maybe use tomato juice, if you wanted)
1 TBSP double concentrated tomato paste (the kind in the tube. Double if you use the kind in a can.)
In a large pot, simmer these ingredients for a min. of 30 minutes. (An hour if you use fresh.) Pour 2/3 into a blender or food processor with 15 whole basil leaves. (Big ones. If they're small, double the number. Basil is KEY.) Blend it until it's nice and pureed, then put back into the large pot and add a tsp. of sugar. Add 1/2 stick of butter (dude, the original recipe called for a POUND. Waaaay too much and leaves a film - blech) and 3/4 of a pint of heavy cream. (You could use half and half to save some fat and calories.) Do not let boil, just simmer for a couple of minutes to meld the flavor, then stir in 5 more basil leaves that have been julienned, a few cranks of fresh black pepper, and the TEENIEST of squeezes of lemon. I used half of a wedge, and it was perfect. Too much and it over powers everything else.
SO EASY. SO DELICIOUS. SO... fattening. But hey, it's not like you eat this every day. Or um... Yeah. Delicious.
Tomorrow night is tortilla soup with the leftover turkey. I just make this from eyeballing ingredients. All measurements are approximate for a Texan's palate. You may want to cut back on some things. :)
In a large stock pot, I simmer a crushed clove of garlic and half of a sweet onion (yellow) that's diced in a little chicken broth. Season with cumin and chili powder to taste (several TBSPs of each in my kitchen) Get them nice and tender, then add in some peeled, cored, and quartered tomatoes (I use 2 or 3) diced zucchini, diced yellow squash (we use more zucchini than yellow squash for my kids preference) and diced chicken or turkey. Mince a jalapeño that's been seeded (do not touch your eyes until you've washed twice, for serious) and toss that in. Cover all the ingredients with more broth until it's the thickness/thinness that you like broth-y soup. :)
I like to add a dash of tobasco with chipotles or ancho chiles towards the end for more kick and flavor, but you be the judge. To make it nice and restaurant style, scoop out two ladles of broth into a blender. Add two handfuls of tortilla chips, and pulse until thick and soupy. Add that back to the pot. Let the flavors meld for a few minutes, adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: ladle into bowls, on top add a few slices of avocado, tortilla chips, and queso fresco or jack cheese, if you can't easily get the Mexican queso fresco.
Ay yi yi, magnifico. ¡Muy sencillo de hacer y muy delicioso!
For those around, have a great night! *smooches you all on the neck meat* Come over and eat some of this fudge so I'm not compelled to! :D