Saturday, October 27, 2012

Potage Cultivateur

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Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get to the next recipe. Between school and work, I don’t have a ton of time for posting these days! I’ll do my best to make more regular updates, but this is kind of the nature of the beast right now.

Anyway, Potage Cultivateur is a hearty vegetable soup and would normally not exactly belong on a site called Screw Your Diet. It’s actually quite good, and good for you. It’s not an especially difficult soup to make either, though it can be time consuming due to the type of knife cut it calls for. The cut is called paysanne, and basically that means you’re looking for relatively flat squares, about ½” x ½”. While you don’t have to cut your vegetables in this way, it certainly makes for a nice presentation and helps to ensure that they’ll all be cooked evenly - it’s worth the extra bit of effort.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Consommé Macédoine

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For the 3rd soup in what I’ve dubbed “Soup Madness 2012”, I made a consommé macédoine (or as a friend of mine referred to it, Minecraft Soup). Consommé means “completed” or “concentrated” in French, which is a pretty accurate way to describe this one. The flavor of it is very rich and concentrated in a remarkably clear broth. Macédoine refers to the cut of the garnish vegetables that go into the soup – leek, carrot, and celery, all cut into 4mm x 4mm x 4mm cubes (or in the leek’s case, just 4mm x 4mm).

There are a lot of elements to work with in this soup, but if you’re careful and patient, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

French Onion Soup

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After a very successful New England clam chowder, I decided it was time to make a French onion soup. It’s flavorful and extremely popular, though I found my first couple of attempts to be lacking. I initially tried to make it earlier in the week, and was not pleased with my results. When I made it in class later in the week, I was still not entirely pleased with how it turned out. Not satisfied with my results so far, I gave it another shot - the third time proved to be the charm, as this batch came out pretty close to perfect. The key is simple: take your time. Don’t rush it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New England Clam Chowder

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The start of the fall season also happens to be the start of soup season. After all, what’s better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold or rainy day? It’s just as well then that my schooling has taken a turn toward soups in the past week, and there are a number of fantastic recipes I’m excited to share with my readers here. So over the next week or so, I’ll be posting all soup, all the time.

First up is a creamy, flavorful, New England clam chowder. It’s always been one of my favorite soups, and I was surprised to learn how easy it is to make.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Pudding


Chocolate pudding used to be a childhood favorite of mine. As I got older, my love for pudding gave way to more, “sophisticated” chocolate offerings, but I knew a small part of me would always love it. That part of me took control of me this past weekend and demanded that I produce something rich and chocolatey, the likes of which I had not tasted in a long time. And so I did!

This was my first time making pudding, but I found the process to be a lot easier than I expected. Granted, there is a stretch of about 10 – 15 minutes where you’ll be stirring and whisking constantly, but aside from that, it’s really not too much of a hassle to make.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pepper and Herb Crusted Pork Roast


I love the other white meat. More flavorful on its own than chicken, and with just as wide a variety of ways to prepare it, pork shows up in my diet fairly regularly. Some of you may remember he last pork roast I posted here was a stuffed pork loin, and kind of tricky to prepare. This roast, by contrast, requires very little effort or prep time and is quite delicious. Try it for yourselves and see!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Caramel Cake


This past week has not left me with a lot of time for cooking or baking at home, a fact you’ve no doubt noticed since I went 7 days without updating Screw Your Diet. Well, Saturday’s veal chops were the first step to getting things back on track here, and now I have something sweeter for your baking pleasure – caramel cake.

This is not an especially difficult recipe, and it isn’t as overpoweringly sweet as it looks. You will, however, be making caramel from scratch and that can be a tricky process. Just be sure you have a candy thermometer and that you use a small or medium sized sauce pan instead of a large one like I did. Kind of defeats the purpose of the thermometer if the liquid is too shallow to measure! I eyeballed it and got lucky, but I wouldn’t advise you take that risk yourselves.