Friday, September 26, 2014

Sausage and artichoke soup

Breakfast sausage is so versitile! I love to use it in place of other meats when I am feeling creative, or when it is the only thing in the freezer. This started out as a soup based on two things I couldn't use up in the freezer, artichokes and breakfast sausage, but turned into a soup that I love making and eating. It is super easy and serves as an uncommon twist on vegetable soup.

Start with chopping a standard soup base of celery, carrot and onion. Then cook your sausage in your soup pot. I like my sausage to get pretty brown and crispy, then add the celery, carrot and onion to saute for a bit, and then remove the excess fat. Add your stock (if using canned artichokes, you may hold them out until a little later so they don't fall apart).

Add the spices of your choice (I like basil, parsley, allspice, Cavender's and pepper) and then bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 or so minutes, add your artichokes if you left them out, check your spices, and then simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Ladle yourself up a bowl (maybe with some Fiesta cornbread!) and warm up with some awesome soup. The veggies are so tender and somehow the sausage seems to fit so much better than chicken or beef!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fresh Fig & Caramelized Onion Flatbread

April since we posted? Man, we suck. Well, shit happened, but I am back. Cooking for the first time in 2 months and I wanted some damn figs! It's fall, so I found them and I only had to go to 2 stores to get them.

About a summer ago I was at the Plaza, bopping around, wasting time and money with a friend. The sun was blazing and there is really no shade in the middle of all of those expensive-ass stores so we decided to duck into the closest restaurant, which happened to be Seasons 52. They serve stuff that is "inspired by the season" which is hippy nonsense, but the food was delicious. I had a flatbread pizza with fig and arugula and a few other things I can't remember that inspired this recipe.

Flatbread dough (I used this recipe)

Fresh fig, thinly sliced
Baby Kale
Caramelized onions

Make the flatbread dough first, this is the long part. But you can freeze some of it for later. While the dough is rising or thawing (depending on your pre-planning), caramelize your onions in some butter, and slice your figs. Don't over-cook your onions because they will continue to cook in the oven.

I didn't use exactly the ingredients called for, but whatev. It was still ok.

 I also didn't use a food processor or a mixer with a dough hook. I'm a rebel.

Preheat the oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, good for you.

Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment (on a baking sheet if no stone) for easy transfer to the oven. I actually used my hands to pat it out, it didn't really require a roller.

Then I cut thin slices of room temp brie and placed them on the crust and covered them with about 1/2 the onions. Then I piled on the fig slices and kale, alternatingly... yes, this is a word... and then finished with the rest of the onions.

Pop the whole thing in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is a lovely brown.

Awesomeness! I was worried that the crust wouldn't crisp up under the weight of the toppings, but no problem at all.

You want to eat it right now don't you? I don't blame you. It is beautiful. It could have even used more of each of the toppings piled on. This crust was a little thick, maybe a roller would have helped...