Thursday, April 8, 2010

Team Kimball

This week Team Kimball rocked our soup night. Named team Kimball for the street they live on. The team consisted of Jeff, Holly, and Anand. However, they had special help from Andrew and Michelle. Andrew, because he is a helpful guy, and Michelle, because she can't stand not having her hands in soup night. Just kidding, she's the best, and they could not of done it without her.

Spinach Soup with Rosemary Croutons and Parmesan Crisps
Cake Popsicles with Ice Cream


6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 cup roasted red pepper (about 2 peppers), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups prosciutto

Set the oven to broiler. Combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper, in a large bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Cut the baguette into slices. 

On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.

Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese and prosciutto if desired. Broil for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Spinach Soup with Rosemary Croutons and Parmesan Crisps

2 cups sourdough bread, cut into cubes
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary

Parmesan crisps
coarsely grated parmesan cheese (use the large holes on a cheese grater)

1 tbs butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups diced peeled yellow potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
6 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
diced ham for garnish

To prepare croutons: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Toss bread cubes, oil, garlic and rosemary in a large bowl until well combined. Lay out on a large baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes.

To prepare parmesan crisps: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Evenly space small piles of parmesan on a large nonstick cookie sheet. Spread out parmesan mounds so that they become 3 inch wide circles. Bake for five minutes or until the cheese is completely melted, bubbling and a light golden brown color. Overcooking cheese will lead to a bitter taste. Let the crisps cool, and transfer to a cooling rack, using a thin spatula.

To prepare soup:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.

Add spinach and continue to simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender, leaving it a little chunky if desired.

Serve the soup garnished with ham, if desired, and topped with croutons and parmesan crisps.

Cake Popsicles with Ice Cream

Cake Ball Mix
What you need

1 batch Dark Chocolate Cake 
(*see recipe below)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners sugar

4 tbs butter

1 tbs milk (or more, if necessary)

Bake the cake* and let it cool completely on a rack. It's best to let it cool overnight. When it is completely cool, break the cake into a large bowl. Crumble it with your fingers until it is a fine crumb.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and milk together until smooth, using a hand blender. Pour the mixture into the cake crumbs and mix with a spoon. Then continue mixing with your fingers, kneading and mixing until fully distributed into the cake. Start forming it into balls, rolling small amounts of the mixture in your hands to form one inch balls. If it needs a little extra moisture, add milk a spoonful at a time. Insert popsicle stick into each ball.

To Decorate
Dark chocolate
White chocolate

Using a double boiler, melt the dark or white chocolate. Holding the popsicle by the stick coat the cake in either dark or white chocolate. You can also roll the cake in coconut.

Serve with ice cream.

*Dark Chocolate Cake

makes two 9-inch round cakes or three 8-inch round cakes
2 cups white sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes. Mix in boiling water, and stir. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then tap the cakes out of the pans.

Wine Served

Beer Served

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