Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orange Coriander Sangria

This is a sure-fire crowd pleaser adapted from "Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean"
by Ana Sortun; Chef/owner of Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge via The Recipe Files. This is seriously addictive and a tad bit stronger than your average sangria.
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange jucie (use the best oranges you can find)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups dry, floral white wine like a Verdejo or a  Chenin Blanc from the Loire (should be a fairly decent wine but doesn't have to be pricey)
  • 1 cup cognac or extremely good brandy
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • A splash or two of Cointreau (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or turbinado sugar, for rimming the glass
  • 1 or 2 oranges for slicing
Toast the coriander seeds over medium-high heat in a saute pan until fragrant. Remove one teaspoon of the seeds and set aside.

Add the orange juice and sugar to the remaining seeds and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and throw mixture in a blender pitcher and cover. Infuse the syrup for fifteen minutes to a half hour.
Buzz the syrup in the blender and strain into a pitcher. Add the rest of the ingredients, orange slices and ice. Add more orange juice and/ or sugar to taste if it's too strong.

For rimming the glasses: Finely grind reserved seeds in a spice grinder and mix them with the two tablespoons of  brown or turbinado sugar or a combination of the two sugars together.

servings: 8

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bacon and Cabbage Soup

In Ireland, boiled bacon and cabbage is a domestic staple. The bacon is usually a "collar" or shoulder, a moderately marbled cut with less fat than American bacon but a bit more than Canadian. The ingredients are boiled together and served with potatoes and a parsley cream sauce.
  • 1 (1/3-pound) piece Irish bacon (available at specialty foods shops) or Canadian bacon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Additions: white beans, carrot, celery, fresh thyme or rosemary
In small saucepan, combine bacon and cold water to cover. Cover, bring to boil over moderate heat, and skim foam from surface. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

In 6-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer 5 additional minutes. Discard bay leaves. Working in 3 batches, in blender purée soup until smooth (using caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot, stir in bacon, and rewarm if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

From Epicurious, adapted from chef Paul Flynn of The Tannery in Dungarvan, Ireland.