Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coriander Cauliflower Chickpea Soup

Anyone who knows me knows I love soup.   Whether I am making a classic recipe, or throwing together ingredients I have on hand to create something completely new, when it comes to putting together a quick, healthy meal, soups are usually my go to.


I came up with this recipe while looking for something light to serve with steamed tilapia.  Coriander has an amazingly fresh flavor that compliments vegetable soups wonderfully.  The addition adds a lovely almost citrus flavor to the broth which is set off further with a squeeze of fresh lime.

Ingredients

One large cauliflower
15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
Two shallots
Two celery stalks
1 large fennel bulb
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp dried basil
Juice from one lime
4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeds removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pot; saute the shallots and celery stalks until tender, slice and add the fennel and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and allow everything to cook down for about 3 minutes.  Remove the stalk from cauliflower and break off into florets, add to the pot tossing with the sauteed vegetables.  Next, add the stock, season with salt, pepper, coriander, dried basil and parsley, and let simmer until tender about twenty minutes.  Finish the soup by stirring in the chickpeas, adding the juice of one lime, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  A spirnkling of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese adds a subtle creamy, salty bite which also compliments the flavors very well.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Orange Scented Angel Food Cake

If you've never tried making angel food cake from scratch, I highly recommend giving it a whirl (literally).  This angel food cake has an incredibly light texture, enhanced with citrus that is the perfect pairing with fresh berries.  This is my adaptation of several angel food cake recipes I've tried over the years.

Ingredients

12 egg whites
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract
zest of an orange

After separating the egg whites, allow them to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.  This will help develop the right consistency, creating an airy light meringue.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, salt and extracts until soft peaks begin to develop, slowly add the granulated sugar a 1/4 cup at a time until fully incorporated, and continue beating until the meringue develops stiff peaks.  

Sift the flour and confectioner's sugar three times, and then lightly fold into the meringue until fully mixed.  

*It's important to make sure the dry ingredients are evenly distributed into the meringue but, it is important not to over mix as this will change the texture of the cake.

Pour the batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden, remove from the oven, then turn upside down either on the feet of your angel food cake pan or by inverting it onto a wine bottle, and allow the cake to cool completely before serving.