Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Souperman Affair

This week we had a special new chef, Dan! He’s been to a few soup nights, but he has never taken on the responsibility of hosting. I’m calling this event The Souperman Affair, which is playing off the name of his band, The Singleman Affair. Check them out at the Hideout (1354 West Wabansia Avenue, Chicago IL) on February 11th. We also had some post soup entertainment, the self made documentary Corey Haim, Me, Myself, and I…

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
Vegetable Barley Soup
Hand Pies

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 18
*adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 ounce dried tomatoes (about 5, not packed in oil)

2 tablespoons olive oil

18 white mushrooms, stems pulled out and chopped fine and caps reserved

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl soak tomatoes in hot water to cover 5 minutes. Reserving 1 tablespoon soaking liquid, drain tomatoes well and chop fine.

Lay mushroom caps, stems removed, face down on baking sheet either lightly sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper. Bake them approximately 10 minutes, or until their liquid puddles underneath. Remove from the oven. Carefully pour off liquid that has gathered in the bottom of the pan, and then again, carefully, turn mushroom caps over so they are ready to be filled.

In a small skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook chopped mushrooms stems, shallots and garlic, stirring until shallots are softened. In a bowl stir together mushrooms mixture, bread crumbs, tomatoes, reserved soaking liquid, yolk, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mound stuffing in reserved mushroom caps and arrange caps in a lightly greased shallow baking dish, or the same parchment-lined pan you’ve roasted your mushrooms in. Sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes.

Vegetable Barley Soup
Serves 8
*adapted from All Recipes
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked barley
2 Idaho Potatoes
1 Bushel of Kale
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 zucchini, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans with juice
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with juice
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup dry red wine

Saute' onion, garlic and kale until slightly browned. Add vegetable broth, barley, potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and bay leaves. Season with garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper, parsley, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and paprika. Add red wine. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. Wait to add zucchini until after 60 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t lose its texture. The soup will be very thick. You may adjust by adding more broth or less barley if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Hand Pies
*adapted from Smitten Kitchen
makes about 14 pies
We made 4 different kinds of pies.
1. Peach Bourbon
2. Apple
3. Peach Blackberry
4. Peach Blueberry

For the pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into

1/2 cup sour cream

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup ice water

To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.

Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut seven circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough. (I used a 4-inch cutter–if you can call a “cutter” the tin edge of the container that holds my smaller round cutters–and managed to get 12 from each dough half, after re-rolling the scraps.)

For the Peach Bourbon filling
2 pounds of peaches

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp bourbon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)

Coarse sanding sugar, for decoration

Peel and chop the peaches into small bits (approx. 1/2-inch dice), much smaller than you’d use for a regular-sized pie. Mix them with the flour, sugar and pinch of salt, and add the bourbon and vanilla, if you wish.

For the Apple filling
Sautéed apples in butter and cinnamon sugar/brown sugar

For the Peach Blackberry filling
Same as bourbon peach only I added a whole thing of blackberries that I juiced through a wire mesh (around 3-4 tablespoons)

For the Peach Blueberry filling
Same as peach bourbon only I crushed blueberries in there. I also added 1/4 cup brown sugar

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough. Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. 

Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle sanding sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, about 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Beer and Wine served

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