DDD #123 – Halloween Special & Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I offered another vegan Corn Chowder a while back.  That recipe is Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime.

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I also posted this Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder.

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OK – so – this recipe makes a lot of soup and it is absolutely entry-level easy.  It would feed six easily, especially if you served it with crusty bread & a salad.  Also – like so many of my recipes, it is extremely forgiving & customizable.  I would have added carrots but I had none.  You can add other veggies you might have or lose some I used if you don’t have them or do not like them.

The photos below are explained in the video.

Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

6 TBS cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 small onion – diced

2 Russett (or other) potatoes – peeled & diced

1-3 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

3 stalks celery – chopped

3 cobs of fresh corn – corn cut from the cob

2 (15 oz) cans of cream-style corn

6 cups non-dairy milk

1 TBS sriracha (optional)

5 sprigs fresh thyme

S&P to taste (at least a tsp each)

 

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the onions, celery & jalapeno.  Saute about 5 minutes, stirring & taking care not to brown the onions.

Stir in the flour.  This should create a thick paste pretty quickly.  Increase heat to high.  SLOWLY – as in – a cup or less at a time – add the milk.  Let each portion heat through & thicken a bit.  This isn’t brain surgery & the soup will thicken as it heats anyway but this going slow stuff hastens that process.

When all the milk has been added, bring it to a boil & then reduce heat to medium.  Add all the other ingredients.

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Add the thyme sprigs whole.  Cook over medium or low heat until the potatoes & corn soften.  Twenty minutes or so – depending how large the bits of potato are.

Remove the thyme sprigs & serve with cracked pepper and/or its of fresh thyme.

 

Vegan White Chicken Chili (Chowder)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

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OK – first of all – I have to admit I am home.  Alone.  A LOT.  And sometimes a gal has to amuse herself any way she can.  A few months ago – I found this HILARIOUS thong on Ebay:

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They come from China & cost about $5 including shipping.  I sent one to the badass, Miles Miller & one to my stepdad – anonymously.  I wonder if they can even figure out what it is.  I bet my stepdad is using it as a headband while he does cardio at the gym.  I will never know but still I laughed & laughed!

I crack myself up!

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Now – onto this chili.  I have never had real white chicken chili.  I gave up chicken 25 years ago or so – so I had no idea what to expect with this stuff.  Having made it the other day – I can tell you this is just a glorified & very thick chowder.  I love chowder – so that is cool – but come on.  It is not a very summery meal – that’s all I am saying.  But it sure tasted good & is REALLY EASY!   I made this vegetarian but it can easily be vegan – or – if you are a sissy – you can put dead birds in it.  I recommend the faux chicken.  It is cruelty-free & you can confidently engage in staring matches with chickens without flinching from the weight of your guilt.

I used real cream cheese but they make a vegan one – so don’t get your panties in a bunch.  If you are vegan – use the vegan version.  Wasn’t that easy?  🙂

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Vegan White Chicken Chili (Chowder)

Serves a lot – like – 6?

INGREDIENTS

1/2 – 1 lb faux chicken (depending on how dense you like it) – chopped into cubes

5 (15 oz) cans white beans

1 onion – diced

4 celery stalks – diced

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob

1-2 TBS olive oil

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup vegetable stock (or more – depending on how thick you want the chili)

4 oz can diced green chiles (hotness of your desire – double it for more flavor) – I used HOT

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper

8 oz cream cheese (or vegan alternative)

S&P to taste

Potential garnishes: Lime wedges, chopped fresh jalapenos, chopped cilantro, avocado, grated jack cheese (or, you got it!  Vegan alternative)

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DIRECTIONS

If you want a creamier base for the chili – puree two of the five cans of beans.  Drain first for thicker chili – or not if you like it more chowdery.  Set the puree aside.  If you want thick chili, add the stock in small increments (when that time comes) or not at all.  Depending on the consistency you want – you can use lots of stock or none at all.  Drain the beans for thick chili, do not if you want a chowder.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the onions, celery & faux chicken.  If you use real chicken – cut it small & brown it.

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Once the vegetables are soft & the chicken begins to brown a bit add the garlic FOR THIRTY SECONDS.  Garlic burns fast & you do not want burnt garlic.

Add 1/2 of the cup of stock (or less – if you want a very thick chili), chiles & spices & bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.

Add the cream cheese, corn, whole beans (drained & rinsed for thick chili – or with the water for a chowder) & the pureed beans.  DO NOT FREAK OUT when the cream cheese starts to look curdled.

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That looks fucking nasty but, trust, the cheese WILL melt & become creamy.  In twenty minutes of so – it should all come together nicely.  If it is too thick, add more stock.  If it is too thin, raise the heat & cook it down.

Season with S&P & garnish as you please.  MMMMM!   Now get on Ebay & buy your man some hilarious panties!

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Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Chowder

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I don’t know how many of you are hip to unsweetened almond milk but it is genius!  Between the vegan milk options available now & coconut milk – there are increasingly fewer excuses not to cut dairy out completely.  I’m still a bit hooked on cheese, though.   I was a pescatarian for 25 years but just this year gave up seafood.  I am still adjusting to that reality but, I have to admit, I aspire to a vegan diet & am making baby steps all the time.  Chowders like this one make that so much easier!  Creamy & thick & vegan!  MMMMMM!

Say – have you heard?  I am an actress & used to be known – primarily – for my role as Emily Valentine on the original 90210.  Remember her?

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But now I am a published AUTHOR & now I look like this & here is the book I wrote!

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The reviews om Amazon are VERY encouraging so I hope you all will give it a read!

That said – let’s get on with the chowdah!  There are lots of ingredients but they are all simple & easy to find.  You can add corn or other veggies if you like or – if you are still eating meat or fish – add a couple of cans of clams or some cooked (or vegan) chicken pieces.  But I promise – this is very satisfying as it is!

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Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Chowder

INGREDIENTS

1 small head cauliflower – cut into small pieces

1 large onion – diced

4 carrots – diced

5 celery stalks – diced

1 potato – cubed

Corn – either a can or the kernels cut from a few cobs (optional)

3 bay leaves

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS vegan butter (or real butter – if you are not vegan)

1-2 vegetarian bouillon cubes

1/4 cup flour

1 13 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (I used lite)

4 cups almond milk (unsweetened)

1 tsp pepper

Salt to taste

2 TBS fresh thyme

1 generous pinch dry thyme

1 TBS dry parsley

1-3 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

1 large handful chopped fresh parsley

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil & butter & bay leaves over medium heat in a large stock pot.  Add the onion & saute until soft – about 5 minutes.

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Add the bouillon cubes, carrots, celery, potato, cauliflower & corn (if using) and saute another 5 minutes or so – stirring often.  Then stir in the flour.

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Incorporate the flour & then add the coconut & almond milks.  Stir in the pepper, fresh & dry thyme, dry parsley & sriracha (if using).

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Simmer for about 20 minutes – stirring often – and cook until the vegetables are tender.  If the chowder gets too thick – add more almond milk.  This works when reheating leftovers, too.  If it is too thin, add a TBS of flour or just simmer it until it reaches the desired consistency.

Add salt to taste & add the fresh chopped parsley.  Garnish with more sriracha – if you like a little heat in your comfort food!   Eat it up, you crazy vegan sonofabitches!

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Spicy New England Clam & Corn Chowder (with Vegetarian & Vegan alternatives)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This post is a huge bummer for me because I fear it is the last time I will make anything using seafood.  Seafood specifically – meaning – from the sea.  For now, I am still allowing myself catfish & other fresh water fish but I don’t eat that sort of thing with any frequency so it hardly matters.  I am hereby giving up sushi & shrimp & tuna & salmon & mussels and, yes, clams.  Why?  Because of this map.

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And the article HERE.

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The map above comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center.  It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated.  As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States.  Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean.  That means that the total amouont of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.  Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin.  They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation.  We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse.  The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…

1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores

Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.

The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

2. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline…

At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.   It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”

3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low.  Many are blaming Fukushima.

4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canadato bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that isapproximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.

6. It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.

7. Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.

8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.

9. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…

• 73 percent of mackerel tested

• 91 percent of the halibut

• 92 percent of the sardines

• 93 percent of the tuna and eel

• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies

• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish

10. Canadian authorities are finding extremely high levels of nuclear radiation in certain fish samples…

Some fish samples tested to date have had very high levels of radiation: one sea bass sample collected in July, for example, had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium.

11. Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish

“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”

12. BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.

13. An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.

14. Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.

15. At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

16. A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.

17. According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritiumhave gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.

18. According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.

19. It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.

20. One recent study concluded that a very large plume of cesium-137 from the Fukushima disaster will start flowing into U.S. coastal waters early next year

Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

21. It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.

22. It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.

23. The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning

“Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.”

24. The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time.  Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…

Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.

Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles.

Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.

25. According to a recent Planet Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”…

The California coastline is becoming like a dead zone.

If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.

There are also days when I am hard-pressed to find even a half dozen seagulls and/or terns on the county beach.

You can still find a few gulls trolling the picnic areas and some of the restaurants (with outdoor seating areas) for food, of course, but, when I think back to 10 – 15 years ago, the skies and ALL the beaches were literally filled with seagulls and the haunting sound of their cries both day and night…

NOW it’s unnaturally quiet.

26. A study conducted last year came to the conclusion that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could negatively affect human life along the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska “for decades”.

27. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.

28. Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years“…

“Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”

Are you starting to understand why so many people are so deeply concerned about what is going on at Fukushima?

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I like sushi.  I like it a lot.  You know what else I like?  NOT having cancer.  So – there you have it.  I had this huge can of clams in my cupboard and it has been there for a while.  I am pretending it was processed before the shit hit the fan.  I used it.  But it is the last ocean food recipe I will be posting.  It s pretty freaking delicious.  But – if you are wise – you will make this recipe as it is posted but replace the clams with corn cut fresh from the cob.  I used a fuckload of canned clams.  Look at the can.

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That quantity of clams makes for a very dense & satisfying chowder.  As you can see here, the chowder broth itself is on the thinner side.  I prefer that to the glutenous paste some serve.  I don’t want to be able to stand my spoon up in the bowl.  I don’t think soup should have the consistency of sour cream or cottage cheese.  This recipe is also pretty spicy but you can adjust that by limiting the jalapeno or sriracha recommended.

Again – if you are vegetarian or, like me, cutting seafood from your diet in the interest of avoiding the consumption of radiation, cut the clams and add corn cut off the cob (4 cups) or add a few cans of creamed corn – or a combination of both.  Canned creamed corn, FYI, has no dairy in it.  Check the label to verify.

If you are vegan – I offered a vegan Corn Chowder a while back.  That recipe is Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime.

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I also posted this Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder.

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OK – so – this recipe makes a lot of soup and it is absolutely entry-level easy.  It would feed six easily, especially if you served it with crusty bread & a salad.  Also – like so many of my recipes, it is extremely forgiving & customizable.  I would have added carrots but I had none.  You can add other veggies you might have or lose some I used if you don’t have them or do not like them.  But whatever you do – SERIOUSLY consider taking all ocean foods OFF your family’s menu.

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Spicy New England Clam & Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 onion – diced

8 red (or other) potatoes – diced

3 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

3 stalks celery – chopped

1 (51 oz) can chopped clams OR 4 cups fresh corn cut from the cob

1 (15 oz) can corn – drained (or more fresh)

6 cups milk

1 TBS sriracha (optional)

5 sprigs fresh thyme

S&P to taste (at least a tsp each)

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DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the onions, celery & jalapeno.  Saute about 5 minutes, stirring & taking care not to brown the onions.

Whisk in the flour.  This should create a thick paste pretty quickly.  Increase heat to high.  SLOWLY – as in – a cup or less at a time – add the milk.  Let each portion heat through & thicken a bit.  This isn’t brain surgery & the soup will thicken as it heats anyway but this going slow stuff hastens that process.  Ironic – no?

When all the milk has been added, bring it to a boil & then reduce heat to medium.  Add all the other ingredients.

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Add the thyme sprigs whole.  Cook over medium or low heat until the potatoes & corn soften.  Twenty minutes or so – depending how large the bits of potato are.

Remove the thyme sprigs & serve with cracked pepper and/or its of fresh thyme.

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Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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At the risk of sounding like a repetitive dullard – this chowder was born of ingredients that needed using.  I am a fan of spicy food & I made this chowder very spicy.  It is really easy to make & really yummy!  It makes a lot of soup, too, so don’t be freaked out by the coconut milk – if the calorie content of coconut milk freaks you out.  There is nothing else bad for you in this soup & you are only eating a tiny fraction of the coconut milk in each bowl…so indulge in its faux decadence!

That said – today is Valentine’s Day.  For the first time in a really long time – I have a serious boyfriend on this day & hence – for the first time in a really long time – I got a surprise delivery of flowers!!!!  YAY!!!  Look at these guys!  JUST GARGANTUAN!

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So pretty!!!

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Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS olive oil

2 large onions – diced

4 leeks – white part cut into rings

2 fennel bulbs – sliced thinly – dilly tops saved for garnish

3 corn cobs – kernels cut off – a handful of kernels set aside for garnish

3 (or less) serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – seeded & diced

4 garlic cloves – diced

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 13.5 oz coconut milk (lite – if you prefer)

6 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp (or more) crushed red pepper

1 cup – fresh cilantro – chopped – and extra for garnish

Sriracha – as garnish (optional)

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil & saute the onion, leeks, fennel & garlic until they soften – about 5 minutes.

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Just as they begin to brown a touch – add the vegetable stock, serranos, lemon zest & corn.  Bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk & crushed red pepper.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Add some chopped cilantro and &P to taste.

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In batches in a blender, puree the soup.  I left about 1-2 cups of it as is (chunky) – to add some texture to the chowder.

Serve with cilantro, raw corn & the dilly parts of the fennel & plenty of cracked pepper.   Drizzle with sriracha – if using.

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Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado & Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata

5 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This recipe makes a lot  A LOT – of soup.  Be prepared to freeze some.  I had a 3 pound bag of broccoli from Costco & it had to be used & used fast.  I find freezing fresh vegetables renders them a yucky, mushy, unappetizing mess – but freezing dishes MADE with vegetables works out just fine.  I suppose you could cut this recipe in half easily – so maybe consider doing that.

This soup would be amazing with a homemade vegetable stock (there is a recipe at the bottom of the post HERE) but it works out just great using bouillon, too.

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This soup can be served with all sorts of little garnishes from the avocado-jalapeno combo to the basil oil drizzle I show here to the gremolata that I also show here of with crispy bacon crumbles or some blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese.  Use your imagination!  Add some corn or steamed broccoli or tortilla strips.  Go nuts!  I found these red jalapenos at an Asian market & I love them because they are so PRETTY!  But green ones work just as well.

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Vegan Broccoli Soup with Avocado-Jalapeno or Basil oil or Gremolata

INGREDIENTS

2 large heads of broccoli (or two pounds florets)

2 large onions – chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1 large potato – cubed

8-10 cups of vegetable stock – depending on how thin or thick you like your soup

S&P to taste

2 TBS olive oil

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GREMOLATA

1/2 cup parsley – chopped very fine

4-5 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup lemon zest

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OR BASIL OIL

1 packed cup of fresh basil

3/4 cup high quality olive oil

Salt to taste

JALAPENO -AVOCADO

Sliced avocado

diced jalapeno

cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Cook the onions until they are soft & translucent.  Add broccoli, potato, parsley and the stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & simmer.  Once the broccoli & potato are tender – puree in batches or use an immersion blender.  Blend until very smooth.  If the soup is too thick – add a bit of water.  If it is too thin, cook it over med-low heat until it reduces to the thickness you prefer.

Zest the lemon, chop the garlic & parsley.   Blend them in a small bowl.

OR

BASIL OIL –

Blanch the basil in boiling water for 10-20 seconds than plunge into ice water.  Squeeze out the water & puree in a food processor with olive oil & salt to taste.  Go light on the salt.  Set aside.

Serve the soup with either the avocado/jalapeno combo or a drizzle of basil oil or a hefty portion of the gremolata.  MMMMM!

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Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime

8 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

I apologize for posting so many straight recipes & no adventures lately.  Year end expenses etc have kept me pretty much at home and alone nearly every day & night for at least the last month.   If I blow off the gym, as I did in the week between Christmas & New Years, I can go days & days without ever seeing another human, outside of Ed, my early morning donut dealer.  As fascinating as I’d like to consider myself – a month of watching Maury reveal paternity results & MSNBC squawk on & on about fake crises like the fiscal cliff & the debt ceiling has left me with something akin to a test pattern humming in my head & my jaw slack.  And weekends are worse. I fucking hate “Caught on Camera” which is MSNBC’s new weekend wall-to-waller for injury fetishists.  And SOMEHOW it got DVR’ed – so the fucking series is getting recorded every time it plays and I cannot figure out how to cancel it.  And Lock Up?  Seriously.  They run Lock Up marathons on MSNBC sometimes from Friday night at 7 through Sunday evening, only breaking for the insufferable Meet the Press.  Who watches six hours of prison inmates with tattooed faces & then thinks to themselves, “You know what I am in the mood for now?  Another hour of prison inmates with tattooed faces, bitchez!”   Ugh.

So – I sit in my kitchen & stare blankly at my TV and simultaneously play the 40 million Scrabble & Words with Friends games I have running – 30 million of which are with my mother who is the best GD word game player ever – in real life.  But on the iphone apps – she mostly just phones it in (get it?) – and I feel like I am doing endless homework way beneath my intellectual ability.  I am a hamster stuck in a Habitrail repeating the same limited and mindless actions ad infinitum just waiting for death or for someone to get close enough so I can bite them.

So – I drink wine so that I at least have an excuse for the stupid look on my face and I cook.  And cook.  And I eat some and freeze more & then I cook.  I wish I had more mouths to feed here & more money to do it with because the cooking is the best part of my days but I can’t just endlessly cook food in quantities I cannot possibly consume just so I can be distracted & then take some pretty pictures.

Aren’t you glad NOW that I have been keeping to myself?

OK – so – yesterday I had a bunch of fresh corn to use.  Again – I challenged myself to make a dish that didn’t require a grocery store run.  I wanted to make a corn chowder but I had no dairy or soy milk or anything like that in the house.  But I DID have cans of both coconut milk & coconut cream.  Not knowing the difference (having never yet used coconut cream) – I opted to use the cream version.  I still don’t know what the difference is.  Once I broke up & blended the solid chunk of whatever at the top of the can – it looked & tasted like coconut milk to me.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. The difference is mainly consistency. It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid. Coconut cream is used as an ingredient in cooking, having a mild non-sweet taste.

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Anyway – coconut cream/milk is a perfect substitute for the dairy in  this chowder.  The fresh corn is the real key here so try to use fresh corn rather than canned or frozen.  The fresh corn is far sweeter than the coconut cream & overpowers the coconut almost completely.  In fact – my boyfriend says he hates coconut but I bet if I served him this chowder – he would never guess what it was made from.

This is easy as pie.  And really good!  If you do not like spicy food, omit the jalapenos & hot sauce.  If you cannot find red jalapenos (or are eschewing them entirely) add some diced carrots or diced red bell pepper – just for color.

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Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream & Cilantro

INGREDIENTS

8 ears fresh corn on the cob

1 13.5 oz can of coconut cream or coconut milk (light version if you prefer)

1 large potato – peeled & diced

1 large onion – diced

2 (or more) jalapenos (red if possible) – seeded & diced (use a red bell pepper here if you do not like spice)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

1 lime

fresh cilantro

olive oil

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cut the corn from the cobs.  Take the dull side of a large knife & run it down all sides of each corn cob with a bit of pressure – over a bowl.  This is called “milking the corn.”  Reserve this corn milk.

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Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a stock pot.  Add the onion & jalapenos & saute until the onions are soft & translucent.  Add potato & corn & stir.  Add the stock, hot sauce, corn milk & the coconut milk.  Stir.  Add about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low & simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potato & corn are tender.

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See the corn “milk” mush on the top??

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With a slotted spoon, scoop out some (maybe a cup or two) of the solid veggies & reserve in a bowl.  You will use this later to garnish the soup when you serve it.

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With a blender or food processor or immersion blender – puree the remaining soup.  Add S&P to taste.  At this point – you can squeeze in the juice of half a lime – or you can opt to serve the soup with lime wedges & let folks control the amount of citrus in their chowder.

To serve – ladle some puree into bowls.  Top with a spoonful of the solid veggies & some more chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley) and a wedge of lime.  Fresh cracked pepper – more hot sauce?  Your call.

Some crispy fried shallots would be pretty nice on this – as would a good drizzle of basil oil.

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