|I've got your back. Especially if what's on your back is 100 falling-off buttons, and you need them sewn on in the single minute before your wedding starts. Just saying. #iamagoodfriend|
My darlings. I have been a negligent recipe offerer. So I'm compensating with two, which are favorites, and which I've been making again lately, what with the bitter cold and the snow and the snow falling, snow on snow on snow, and also the cold. My oldest, dearest friend is dying in a hospice in Coney Island. I have wanted not to mention that because, well, you know, she is a loyal reader, and who really wants to read that, especially about one's own self? But I think she will not be reading this. And Ben and Birdy have been sweetly teasing me that I have a kind of grieving-Tourette's right now: Hi. I'm Catherine. Nice to meet you. My best friend of 43 years is dying.
|I garnished with "reserved broccoli florets" that I forgot to mention. Texturally, butter-fried breadcrumbs is an even better choice.|
Broccoli Cheddar Chowder
Active time: 10 minutes; total time: 45 minutes
Thickened simply with potatoes, this wholesome green soup is easy, delicious, and velvety-rich. Also: broccoli!
1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound of potatoes (any kind), peeled and diced
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups whole milk
pinch of dried thyme or marjoram or mint (if you've got fresh herbs--cilantro, mint, or basil--use more, and add them just before pureeing)
1 large head broccoli (1 ½ pounds), stems peeled, stems and florets chopped
Juice and grated zest of ½ a lemon
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper
Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for five or so minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes, broth, milk, and herbs, bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Add the broccoli, and simmer another 10 minutes or so, until the broccoli is tender but still green. Puree, using a stick blender (or carefully, in batches, in a blender), then stir in the lemon juice, zest, and cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Whole-Grain Cheese Muffins
This is a recipe I adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, but I use whole-grain flour instead of white flour and buttermilk instead of milk. Also sharp cheddar instead of Colby jack. The muffins are quick and easy to put together, crunchy-edged, and outrageously savory. Heavily season any soup you eat alongside or it will taste flat by comparison.
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup spelt, and ½ cup whole-wheat)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter (I use salted)
Heat the oven to 375 and grease and flour a 12-well muffin tin.
Whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the cheese.
In a separate bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk the egg, milk, and butter together.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon just to combine.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are deeply golden and firm to the touch.