Saturday, October 30, 2010

10 Minute Cream of Tomato Soup

10 Minute Cream of Tomato Soup - ButterYum
The outside temperature has taken a dive and I spent most of the day warding off a chill with thoughts of a toasty grilled cheese sandwich and comforting bowl of steamy tomato soup for dinner.  Oh yea, that was going to fix me up!  Of course I didn't realize there was no tomato soup in the pantry.  When dinner time arrived I found diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, sun dried tomatoes... even ro-tel tomatoes, but not one single can of simple tomato soup.  So I surveyed the ingredients at hand, threw a few things together, and this is what I came up with - an incredibly delicious version which only took about 10 minutes to make.  I hope you'll give it a try.

ButterYum's Cream of Tomato Soup
Serves 2-4

28 ounce can of San Marzano crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried granulated onion or onion powder (not onion salt)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
basil oil for garnish

Combine all ingredient together in a medium saucepan and heat; stirring occasionally.  Drizzle with basil oil and serve. 

Note:  for silky smooth soup, puree in blender before serving.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Daughters are Inspiring Photogs!

Photo by Little ButterYum

Photo by ButterYum Jr

My girls will be participating in a photo contest at school.  I should mention that they took their photos without any assistance or input from anyone.  The contest doesn't begin for a while, so I don't know if these will be the photos they choose, but they were my favorite and I wanted to share them with you guys.   Way to go girls!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Garlic Oil and Sea Salt Focaccia

Garlic Oil Focaccia with Sea Salt - ButterYum
I do declare, this is the best focaccia I've ever eaten.  I have to give credit where credit is due - this recipe comes from Chef Anne Burrell (love her).  I did, however, tweak her recipe slightly by replacing 1/2 of the olive oil she calls for with garlic infused olive oil. Wow, this stuff is amazing!
Bravo, Anne!

I'm so thankful for stand mixers and dough hooks.  It's hard to believe this unassuming lump of dough is going to end up being so incredibly delish, but it is!  If your dough hasn't pulled away from the sides of the bowl like this, sprinkle with a bit of flour and knead a little more.

Place the dough into a very large, well oiled bowl; turning the dough to completely coat with oil.  Don't be alarmed by the pool of olive oil - Anne says, "This may seem excessive, but focaccia is an oily crusted bread. This is why it is so delicious!"

Now we cover the bowl with plastic and let it rise at least an hour until it doubles in size.

Happy-Happy.  Don't be tempted to punch down or deflate the dough yet, but don't worry, you'll get your hands dirty soon enough.

Now that the dough is done rising, we have to prepare our half sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil (again, I used a combo of half extra virgin olive oil and half garlic infused olive oil).  Please ignore that bottle of basil oil - we're not using it today.

Okay, back to the focaccia.  Still kinda hard to believe this is going to turn out so wonderful, but trust me.  I know, I know... you're just dying to get your hands in that dough, right?  The time has finally come - go for it!!

You can squish and smoosh and squeeze all you like.  You want to be pretty rough here - press that dough into the pan like you mean it!  See all those lumps and bumps?  We don't want them on our thighs, but we do want them on our focaccia.  Anne's tip: "stretch your fingers out and make holes all the way through the dough".  Following Anne's advice will enable the dough to retain that craggy appearance after the second rise.  Set the pan aside, uncovered, for another hour.  For some reason I didn't get a picture of the risen dough, but it was soft and billowy.  Pop it into the oven and about 30 minutes later you'll have a enough focaccia to feed an army.

Garlic Oil and Sea Salt Foccacia - ButterYum

Garlic Oil and Sea Salt Focaccia 
recipe adapted from Anne Burrell
makes one half sheet pan (13 x 18 inches)

prep time - 20 minutes
rise time - 2 hours, 15 minutes
bake time - 30 minutes
cool time - 30 minutes
total time - about 3.5 hours 

1 3/4 cups warm water (between 105-115F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt for sprinkling
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (I mixed together half EVOO an half garlic infused olive oil)

Proof the yeast by combining it with the water and sugar; stir to dissolve.  Let it sit in a warm place until bubbly and aromatic (about 15 minutes).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, yeast mixture, and half of the olive oil mixture.  Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until ingredients are combined.  Increase speed to medium and knead for 5-6 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.

Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl; turning dough until it's well coated.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place until dough has doubled in size (at least an hour).

Coat a half sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil mixture (half evoo, half garlic infused olive oil).  Remove the plastic wrap from your risen dough, but don't intentionally "punch down" or deflate the risen dough. Gently pour the risen dough onto the prepared half sheet pan.

Start pressing the dough into the pan, turn the dough over so both sides get coated with oil.  Continue pressing the dough, stretching your fingers through the dough until they touch the pan.  When the pressed into the pan completely, set the pan aside in a warm place for the dough to rise a second time, uncovered, for about an hour.  Preheat oven to 425F.

After the dough has risen a second time, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle liberally with coarse sea salt or kosher salt.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Cool before serving, and as Anne says, "Oh Baby!".

Note - feel free to reduce the recipe by half and bake it on a 9x13 quarter sheet pan.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Tart with Spider Web Topping

Pumpkin Tart with Spider Web Design - ButterYum
Before we talk Cake Tart, I'd like to thank Kathia from Pink Little Cake for asking me to participate in her 28 Days of Sweet Halloween Ideas - I'm thrilled to be included among the ranks of some truly amazing and incredibly talented guest bloggers!!  Kathia has a wonderful blog full of amazing cake creations - I highly recommend you check it out!

Sour Cream Topping with Chocolate Spider Web Design - ButterYum
This Pumpkin Tart is super simple to make - even for beginners.  The original recipe did not include the spider web design on top, but I thought it would be a nice touch for this celebration.  The web design is fun to do, so let your hair down and go for it!

Pumpkin Tart - ButterYum

Pumpkin Tart with optional Spider Web Topping
serves 8-10

1 1/2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted

15 ounces canned 100% pure pumpkin (or equal amount of fresh cooked, pureed pumpkin)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
chocolate syrup (like Hershey's)

Preheat oven to 350F, and have a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom placed on a sheet pan or cookie sheet.  No need to grease the tart pan..

To make the crust:  
Combine ginger snap cookie crumbs and melted butter together until the mixture resembles wet sand.  Press crumbs into a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Bake in a 350F oven for 10 minutes.  Prepare the filling and topping while crust cools.

To make the topping (for spider web design): 
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and sugar together with a whisk.  Set aside for now. 
To make the filling:  
Combine the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl; whisk to combine completely and pour into cooled crust.  Use an offset spatula to spread the filling into an even layer.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for an hour.  Pour sour cream/sugar mixture on top of pumpkin layer; spread evenly.  Draw several concentric circles of chocolate syrup on top of the sour cream topping, ending with a dot of syrup in the center of the tart.  Make the spider web design by pulling a toothpick from the center dot of chocolate syrup out towards the crust; repeating until the web is complete. Chill until serving.  To serve, remove the sides of the tart pan and place tart on cake plate.  For professional looking slices, clean the knife between each cut.

Note:  To make your own pumpkin puree, cut a small sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, place cut side down on a sheet pan and roast in a 350F oven for about an hour, or until the flesh is buttery soft.  Cool, scoop out flesh and puree in a food mill or food processor. 

Happy Halloween!!

Oh, here are a couple of past Halloween/Autumn themed posts you might like:
Brownie Frownies - ButterYum
Cute little guys, aren't they?  This is a fun dessert for the kids - they're nothing more than a moist cake-like brownie baked in a mini muffin pan.  A chopstick was used to make the eye and mouth holes before I sprinkled them with confectioner's sugar.  Fun.

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake ButterYum
Pumpkin Cheesecake - ButterYum
For a more elegant dessert, try this wonderful Pumpkin Cheesecake - click on the link for the recipe.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce

Pork Tenderloins with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce
Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce - ButterYum
I love Pork Tenderloins not only because they taste so darn good, but because they cook up very quickly. I can have two of them on the dinner table in less than an hour, which includes making this delectable Honey Mustard Pan Sauce.

I found the recipe on a great blog called Oui, Chef by Steve Dunn. Steve completed a 2-year professional hiatus during which time he indulged in his "long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts" and immersed himself in "all things French." He's a comical writer and a Foodie Dad who wants to teach his kids how to cook excellent food. His photography skills aren't bad either!

Okay, let's cook:
First let me ask you - do you cook with Shallots? They have the most amazing flavor that some describe as a cross between onions and garlic. I think they have a kind of smoky quality as well. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Buy some the next time you see them at the grocery store - they last for months!

The sauce is easy to make.  Simply saute the shallots and garlic together for a minute.

Then add the tomato paste and continue to saute until the paste starts to caramelize.

The last step is to add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture reaches a nice sauce consistency.

It's really good.  I hope you'll give it a try.

Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce
serves 6 - recipe based on one from The CIA's Gourmet Meals in Minutes

2 pork tenderloins, trimmed (1 to 1.25 pounds each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425F.  Trim excess fat and silver skin from tenderloins.  Dry well and season well with Kosher salt and pepper.  Note: if the small ends of your tenderloin are thin, you may want to tie it like I show in this post.  Heat a large oven-safe frying pan on high heat until very hot (really good quality cookware is a must). Sear all sides of the tenderloins in olive oil until they have a nice brown crust all over (brown equals flavor!!). Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155-160F. Remove the pan from the oven; place tenderloins on a cutting board, covered, to rest for 10 minutes while you make a sauce in the same pan.

To make the Honey Mustard Pan Sauce - return the pan to the stove top over medium heat, add the garlic and shallots and cook until the aroma dives you bonkers (about a minute).  Add tomato paste, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Saute until tomato paste starts to caramelize a bit - don't let it burn, just brown slightly.  Add mustard, honey, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth.  Be sure to scape up all the flavor from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Slice pork diagonally into medallions; serve with generous amounts of sauce.

Note - Steve's version called for only one tenderloin, but I found the recipe make enough sauce for two.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Crumble

Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Crumble - ButterYum

University of Minnesota

Have you had the opportunity to sample Honeycrisp Apples yet?  Man are they good.  A cross between Macoun and Honeygolds developed at the University of Minnesota, their flavor and texture are well balanced, aromatic, juicy, and very crisp.

Honeycrisps are an excellent eating apple, but I wondered how they would hold up to baking.  Since the variety is relatively new on the market (1991), my online research was inconclusive so I decided to do a little experiment to find out for myself.  I'm very pleased with the results of my apple crumble.  The apples softened nicely, but kept their shape, and they held most of their juices - no pools of apple soup or apple sauce in my baking dish!  Slices of room temperature crumble hold their shape nicely when plated.  I can't wait to try honeycrisps the next time I make apple pie.

Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Crumble
serves 12-16 (one 9x13 pan)

Apple Layer:
4 1/2 to 5 pounds honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes or slices
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 400F and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  

To make the apple layer: 
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sugar and the scraped vanilla bean seeds; process until the seeds are well dispersed in the sugar.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, vanilla/sugar mixture, and the remaining apple layer ingredients; mix well until apples are evenly coated before pouring into the prepared baking dish.  

To make the crumble:
In the same food processor bowl, place the sugar and the scraped vanilla bean seeds; process until the seeds are well dispersed in the sugar.  Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt; pulse a couple of times to incorporate.  Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  With your hands, squeeze small amounts of the crumb mixture together to form clumps before covering the apple layer (not all of the crumbs will clump - that's okay).  Bake uncovered on the center rack for 45 minutes.  Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened Vanilla Whipped Cream.

Recipe can be halved and baked in an 8-inch baking dish.  
Add the empty vanilla bean pods to your vanilla sugar. You all have a container of vanilla sugar, don't you?  :)
One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract can be substituted for each vanilla bean called for in the recipe.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Greek Yogurt

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Greek Yogurt - ButterYum

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Greek Yogurt and Chives
serves 6-8

2 medium butternut squash
drizzle of olive oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock (try my homemade, or store bought low-sodium)
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
Heavy cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Cut butternut squash in half and scrape out seeds. Brush cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper. Place the halves cut-side down on a rimmed sheet pan and pierce with a knife in a few spots. Roast for 45 minutes. Removed from the oven and allow to cool a bit.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the soft flesh from the shells - you should have about 4-5 cups. Place the squash in a blender with chicken stock and Greek-style yogurt; puree. Add more or less chicken stock to adjust the finished thickness of your soup. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Can be served hot or cold. Garnish with a dribble of heavy cream and chopped chives.

Note - cold temperatures mask flavor, so this soup may need additional salt and pepper when serving chilled.

Greek Yogurt can be found in most grocery stores - it's much thicker than traditional yogurt, but you can use strained traditional yogurt in a pinch.