Thursday, February 25, 2010

Corn Soup with a Mexican Twist

I love corn soup. I don't love the potatoes that some people seem to feel HAVE to be in it! I realize that potatoes have potassium and other stuff, but that stuff is mostly in the skin, and the skin is NEVER in the soup! Ha! And I can do without the carbs!

So, I found a recipe in a magazine that called for all fresh stuff, and the listed prep time was 6 HOURS! I'm just not that dedicated. So, using the "spirit" of the idea, I came up with this! We all really liked it, so I'll share!

3 large poblano chiles
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles, drained and rinsed well. (Less rinsing results in more heat!)
2 tsp. sea salt
4 large garlic cloves, minced (I used 4 frozen cubes!)
2 lbs. frozen corn, thawed
2 medium zucchinis, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4" slices
4 cups water
1 tsp. oregano leaves, crushed
Sour cream

Heat the broiler. Put the poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet (with sides!) Roast 4 inches from the heat for 4-5 minutes per side or until blackened, turning once. (I did this on "low" broiler heat.) Put poblanos in a covered bowl for 30 minutes, so they can "self steam" their skins loose. Then peel, stem, and seed them. (The layer just beneath the outer skin will also be black, but it does not need to be discarded, too!) Cut them into 1/2" dice, and set them aside.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, diced green chiles, and salt. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the corn kernels and cook until the garlic is soft (or melted! Ha!). Add the zucchini and 4 cups of water. Simmer until the zucchini is cooked, between 5 and 10 minutes, or so. Add the poblano pepper pieces and the oregano, and stir. Heat for a few more minutes to blend the flavors.

Remove about 1/3 of the pieces--leave as much broth in the pan as you can!--and set them aside in a bowl. With an immersion blender (a little hand blender you can stick in things to puree them!), or in a regular blender, working in small batches (so the heat doesn't blow the lid off and make a horrific mess--voice of experience! Ha!), blend to smooth--or mostly so--the remaining broth and corn mixture. Add the removed 1/3 of the corn mix back in, stir, and either turn the heat off, and wait to eat later, or return the pan to the heat until it's as hot as you like it!

To serve, ladle into cups or bowls and top with dollops of sour cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Citrus, Spinach, Avocado, and Herb Salad

Okay, I'm having you chop the herbs before the avocado! The title sounded better with "avocado" first! Ha!

I've had some kind of flu for 5 weeks! I still have no stamina, so this is easier than it looks to fix! Ha!

1 navel orange and juice
1 red grapefruit and juice

Peel these with a paring knife, and section them by cutting alongside each membrane. Put the sections into a large bowl, so you have tossing room for more than just this! Add enough plastic wrap to press down across the sections and still reach the top of the bowl and fall over the sides.

About 1/2 5-oz. bag fresh baby spinach. (I used between 2 and 3 ozs. for the two of us.)

Place it on top of the plastic wrap.

2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
6 large leaves of basil, rolled together and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt

Add these to the spinach.

1 small to medium avocado, peeled and diced
Add this to the spinach and herbs. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate it.

A tablespoon, or 2, of olive oil
Have a lemon wedge standing by, just in case!

To serve: slide the plastic wrap from between the layers. Add the olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, if there's not much juice from the fruit. Toss to mix.

Serves 2 as a side dish, or it serves one for a meal! Either way, it's good!