Aug 30, 2008

Fruity Corn Chowder & Quesadilla

In my all-time favorite category ‘what to do with two cans of corn‘, this has been a real winner. Warned you about the unorthodox recipes I sometimes use, this is one of them. I love soups. Soup is healthy, soup is comfort food, soup is easy and tasty. It can be hearty and heavy but also light and refreshing. It can be lunch, dinner or even a snack. Basically it can be anything you want. I wish I had a guy like that :)

This chowder is somewhere in between in all that. It’s simple and easy, with pure ingredients. It has a really surprising flavor – you taste something in there you just don’t expect. Aside from the fact I absolutely love the look of it, it always amuses me to see people take their first bite, taste, wait, think and then ask “what did you put in there?”

Ingredients:

Chowder:

2 cans corn, drained
1 green bell pepper
1 red chili pepper
1/3 onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup pineapple
1 1/2 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 heaping tbsp sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper

Quesadillas:

Cheese
Spring onions
Tomatoes

Optional: chicken

This is (part of) what I’m putting in there. Can you imagine my life and kitchen without colorful food? I can’t. As much as I like meat, poultry and fish, I just can’t live without my vegetables.

Now we won’t be needing the seeds, but I also don’t want to have to pick the seeds out after slicing. Such a hassle. Here’s a good way to quickly remove the seeds while keeping the pepper in tact. Simply cut the tip off and roll it between both hands. The seeds will come out in no time.

Cut the bell pepper in thin strips, the chili pepper in thin slices, and mince the onion. Coarsely chop the pineapple. You can use fresh but canned fruit will do just fine. When using canned make sure to rinse the syrup off first.

We’re gonna puree the corn. I used roughly 2/3 of the corn.

I love my rod mixer. It works so fast and efficiently, I don’t know how I’ve lived without it so long! But you can also use your blender or food processor, of course.

Now blitz.

Blitz a little more. Sorry, I’ll knock it off now :)

After the corn is mashed, add about 1/4 cup pineapple and pulsate. Take a bite, really taste it. It’s supposed to have a vague sweetness and freshness, a tiny hint of pineapple amongst the creaminess of the corn. You want to taste something is there, but not be able to immediately discern what it is. Add a little more when necessary and turn it all into a smooth puree. Almost a milkshake like consistency.

I still had some shredded chicken leftover and precisely 1 1/2 cup chicken broth from the night before, but you can also do this with vegetable broth, or even plain water.

Chop the spring onions and slice the tomato.

Heat your oven to 400 (200C)

Grab two flour tortillas en mobilize your victim extra pair of hands. While you’re busy with serious and important photography, have them grate cheese while you give instructions! You can be stubborn of course, and use pre-grated cheese or even worse; choose to do it yourself, but you’ll miss out on the whole ‘coaching’ experience! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Top the cheese with shredded chicken, tomatoes and spring onions. Add whatever you feel like. You can put practically anything in a quesadilla. As long as you put cheese in it, because well, it’s no quesadilla without the queso, you know?

Top with a little more cheese. Come on, I’m in Gouda! I use divine, real, spicy Gouda cheese. Cut me some slack, ok :)

Heat 1 to 2 tbsp oil and lightly sautee the onions. Don’t let them brown. After a few minutes, add the bell pepper and chili pepper. Sautee them for 3 minutes as well. This is also a good time to put your quesadilla in the oven – give it about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the corn puree, stir well and add the broth. Taste to see if it needs a little more seasoning. I went for 1/4 tsp salt and a good pinch of black pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil and cook, over medium heat, for about 4 minutes. Add a heaping tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream, blend in with the soup, add the leftover corn and cook for an additional minute.

Ladle the soup in pretty bowls or platters, top with a little more sour cream and garnish with thinly sliced bell pepper, a little parsley and a tiny bit grated cheese. Cut the quesadilla in quarters.

Don’t you just love how this looks. Having friends over? Throw in a few ice-cold corona’s and you’re the star of the evening. If that doesn’t work, serve tequila. Lots and lots of it. You might not be the star of the evening, but after that much tequila, you could care less :)

Aug 28, 2008

Freezing Roasted Garlic

Filed under: Tips & Tricks,Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Kay @ 1:29 pm

You’ve probably noticed by now I really, really like to use garlic. If you like garlic as well, chances are you’re also fond of roasted garlic. What’s not to love, right? What the flavor does to certain dishes is nothing short of amazing. Try replacing raw garlic with roasted garlic next time you make a pasta sauce and see what happens. Or put some in a mac & cheese. Spread a…

Aug 27, 2008

Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia

Let’s get decadent! Ok, so maybe not really decadent. It’s just simply bread with a foreign sound to it. I do notice that a lot of people get intimidated when it comes to cooking outside their normal repertoire, especially when it’s something in a foreign language. There’s really no need for that, it’s so incredibly simple. I do it all the time, I even write this blog in my second…

Aug 24, 2008

Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup

Beautiful and delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. Not at all. I like a soup that has such a variety of aromatic flavors, that with each spoonful I’m wondering just what precisely they put in there to make it taste like this. This is one of those soups. It contains only a few simple and natural ingredients -chances are you’re even working with things you already have in your fridge and…

Farfalle Al Pesto Rosso

Or to put it simpler; bow tie pasta with red pesto. Somehow that just sounds less good, doesn’t it? Earlier this week I whipped up some pesto rosso, and now I’m gonna turn it into a creamy pasta sauce. Cremosa in rosso. Served with fresh vegetables, fragrant basil leaves, olive slices and topped with Parmesan curls, this is a cheerful looking dish. By far my favorite pasta sauce. It’s a creamy and…

Aug 22, 2008

Pesto Rosso

Filed under: Italian Food,condiments,Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Kay @ 5:53 pm

No real fancy photos this time, but I truly believe this is one of my better recipes. A simple and fast red pesto -very basic really- but with such an intense flavor. Having this in your fridge literally opens up a world of possibilities. Add it to steaming hot pasta, toss around and you instantly have a simple side-dish. It turns sauces and soups into something special. Spread on top…

Aug 21, 2008

Sweet Pea & Spinach Soup

Filed under: Appetizers,soups,Recipes,soup — Tags: , , , , , — Kay @ 8:12 am

Bowl of happiness. That’s what it is. It’s slowly turning autumn here without it having been summer yet. I was robbed of my summer! But in all honesty, summer heat never did much for me. I just never cared a whole lot. Autumn has always been my favorite season. Golden leaves twirling down, hearing the wind howl around the house, rain vigorously hitting the window pane while I’m curled up…