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Potato Chowder, My Way {CtBF} #Everyday Dorie

After the sugar overload of December, I promised healthier eating in the new year.  For me, that usually starts with soup.  I love soup, especially soups that fill you up for lunch.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for a smooth one made with beans or vegetables and then pureed – no cream required.  Other times, I crave a brothy bowl filled with vegetables or beans.

So far in 2019, brothy soups have been the star.  I started the year with a wonderful onion soup made with sweet red onions offset by the tang of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.  It was easy and delicious.  Cheesy toasts on top made this a perfect lunch.

Cook the Book Fridays’ first recipe from Everyday Dorie this year is another hearty brothy soup: Potato Chowder, Lots of Ways.  Dorie Greenspan gives a basic formula along with suggestions on tweaking the ingredients depending on the season as well as other ideas for giving the soup your own flair.  Though called potato chowder, the soup includes an almost equal (or maybe greater) amount of alliums.  There are onions, leeks, shallots AND garlic.  I even used leeks I grew in my garden last summer (they’re storing well in the fridge).

I didn’t have any bacon on hand, but I did have a jar of bacon fat, so that’s what I used to sauté the alliums.  Once they’re soft, broth and the requisite potatoes are added to the pot.  I had some containers of corn stock in the freezer, made this summer from corn cobs.  I thought that would be nice with the bacon undertones.  I also added a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning to evoke memories of childhood summers in Maryland.  Once the potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes), they are mashed in the pot to give the soup some body.  You could optionally add some cream, but it didn’t seem necessary.  And I’m focusing on less decadent eating for January.

It’s cold outside, but this soup warms you from the inside.  The stock was sweet, and the flavor of corn was distinct, more than I expected.  It complemented the bacon and Old Bay perfectly.  The soup is rather beige, but sliced scallions and chopped parsley added the needed color to the bowl.

This is a perfect recipe to have in your back pocket.  The basic ingredients are always on hand, at least at my house, and the ways to vary the pot to use other things in your pantry are limitless.  I’m looking forward to having fun with other combinations as the seasons evolve.

To see how others in Cook the Book Fridays dressed up their chowder, check out there links here.  And to try it yourself, you can find the recipe in page 63 of Dorie Greenspan’s newest book, Everyday Dorie.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Squash Hummus {CtBF} #EverydayDorie

 

Today we have another installment from Dorie Greenspan’s newest book Everyday Dorie.  As the Cook the Book Fridays group continues to finish up David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, with the publication of Dorie’s latest in October, we plan to work in parallel and add one recipe from Dorie’s book each month until we can switch our full attention over.

Last week, Dorie visited the Boston area on her book tour.  Lucky for me, I met up with Tricia and Lisa at the Harvard Book Store to hear Dorie interviewed by food writer (and long-time friend of Dorie’s) Corby Kummer, followed by a book signing and the requisite photos.  It was a delight to meet Dorie again, and I’m always surprised and flattered that she recognizes and remembers me.

Dorie and Me

 

Tricia, Dorie and Me

This week’s recipe choice from Everyday Dorie is the Roasted Squash Hummus.  I love traditional hummus made with chickpeas.  I’m intrigued by variations that incorporate other vegetables.  I’ve made a beet hummus, which was way to sweet.  Winter squash is a favorite here, so I was interested to try Dorie’s version.

First, you roast an acorn squash, not too big, not too small.  I liked the technique of quartering the squash and brushing it with olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper, and a touch of cayenne before roasting flesh side down, then briefly broiling, flesh side up to slight char the squash.  Once tender, the flesh is scooped out and mashed to make a purée.  The base itself was quite delicious.

There are no chickpeas in this hummus, but the typical add-ins, tahini and lemon juice, are added along with a few Mediterranean surprises, za’atar (a sumac, thyme, sesame seed mixture) and pomegranate molasses.

I like all the ingredients, so I wish I could say I liked this version of hummus.  Alas, I did not. Howard didn’t either.  To begin with the color was off-putting, but the kicker was that the taste was weird.  I’m not sure why but we just didn’t find it appealing.  Oh well.  I won’t hold it against Dorie or her new book.  I know there are more delicious dishes in store.  Onward to the next recipe!

Maybe my Cook the Book Fridays friends liked it better.  You can find out by following their links here.