Spring Pea Soup With Fromage Blanc Cream

The following text and images are courtesy of Etsy. See the article in full here

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Adrianna Adarme

Story by Adrianna Adarme

Published on Apr 11, 2013 in Eatsy

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I went through my entire childhood being a pea-hater. My poor mother put peas in all sorts of dishes, only to be met with me sitting in my corner, picking every single one out. I was sending a very clear message to her (and anyone else that would notice) about my pea-intolerence.

Even as I became a more adventurous eater, I steered clear of peas. It wasn’t until a few springs ago when I warmed up to the idea of them being on my plate. I mean, they’re so adorable in their little pods. A few dishes later featuring perfectly cooked peas, I realized that I don’t hate peas; I actually just dislike the starchy, overcooked peas of my youth.

This soup celebrates the sweet and deliciousness of peas. The spring onion bulb and shallot are roasted, adding a wonderful hint of onion that works so nicely with the sweet peas. A few dollops of fromage blanc cream adds a touch of decadent creaminess. I can’t think of a better way to consume the season of spring.

Spring Pea Soup With Fromage Blanc Cream
Serves 4

1 shallot, peeled
1 spring onion bulb
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 pound peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
4 ounces fromage blanc
1/2 cup whipping cream

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the shallot, spring onion bulb and 1 tablespoon of butter in the center of a sheet of parchment paper, folding it over like a business letter and sealing it on the sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes and until the shallots are translucent and soft. Allow the shallot and onion to cool enough to touch. Using a small knife, cut off the outer layer of crispy skin around the spring onion and discard. Set the spring onion bulb and shallot aside.

2. To a medium saucepan, add the peas and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the peas are slightly softened. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, until melted. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, and add the shallot and spring onion bulb; purée until smooth. Add the salt and adjust according to taste. Pour the puréed soup back into the saucepan and heat over medium-low to keep warm.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the fromage blanc and whipping cream. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Salt to taste. To serve, divide the soup between bowls and top each soup with a dollop of the fromage blanc cream.

All photos by Adrianna Adarme.

Homemade Gnocchi

The following text and photos are courtesy of Etsy and the article can be seen in full here.

Eatsy: How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goodsacozykitchen

Photo by Adrianna Adarme

Story by Adrianna Adarme

Published on May 14, 2013 in Eatsy

As a person who adores comforting and cozy food, gnocchi is high on my list. It makes for a delicious meal that’s hearty, filling and super inexpensive.

Gnocchi is far from difficult to make, but it is very touch and feel. Knead it too little and it won’t hold together; knead it too much, and you’ll end up with very gummy gnocchi. If you’ve never conquered gnocchi-making, seeing a step-by-step how-to might bring you and a delicious bowl of pillowy gnocchi a little closer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pounds (about 2-3) Russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

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Gnocchi begins by roasting starchy potatoes. In this instance, I used good ol’ Russet potatoes. They take about an hour to cook all the way through; a little slice in the top releases some of their steam so you can handle them.

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I used to make mashed potatoes by mashing them with one of those hand mashers, but ever since I started using a potato ricer, I’ll never, ever go back. A potato ricer is a dreamy kitchen tool.

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All of the potato gets scooped out and put through the ricer. It’ll come out in pretty little strings that are so very fluffy.

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Half of the flour is added to your kitchen counter or cutting board and the riced potato is poured out.

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The next step is kneading the potato and flour together. This is when it’s very much by touch. If it’s not kneaded enough, the dough won’t stick together; if it’s kneaded too much, the potato will turn into a gummy mess. I go little by little until everything starts to come together.

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After it’s kneaded a few times, the rest of the flour is added.

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A bit more kneading…

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And then the test! A small piece of gnocchi is rolled out, cut and dropped into a pot of simmering hot water.

If the gnocchi falls apart, it wasn’t kneaded enough, which is totally fine because you have the rest of the dough to correct. You know the gnocchi is perfectly kneaded when it rises to the top of the pot after a minute or so and comes out only slightly ragged around the edges. A little bit of raggedness is fine.

Then the rolling and cutting of the rest of the dough happens.

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Roll…

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…repeat…

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And cut.

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After the gnocchi is cut, you could make it right away, or you could freeze it for later. If you’d like to freeze it, transfer it to a floured, parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, until the gnocchi is firm. Transfer the gnocchi to a freezer-safe plastic bag and boil when you’re ready!

Gnocchi
Serves 6

2 pounds (about 2-3) Russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until they’re tender when poked with a fork. This should take about one hour. When the potatoes are done, immediately slice them open to let the steam out.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add a few pinches of salt. Scoop out the potato flesh and transfer it to a potato ricer or food mill. Push the potato ricer down and repeat until you’ve passed all of the potato through the ricer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt and adjust according to your liking.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour onto your clean counter or cutting board. Knead the potatoes with it, sprinkling in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, until the dough just comes together. If it’s still pretty shaggy, add more flour one tablespoon at a time.

4. Now for the test! Pinch off a piece of dough and roll out into a tube. Cut it into a few pieces and boil it to make sure it holds its shape. If it falls apart in the water, this means you’ll knead the dough a bit more. When right, the gnocchi will float to the top and look a little ragged but hold together when ready.|

5. Roll the rest of the dough into ropes that are about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the ropes into 1/2-inch lengths. Transfer the gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure the gnocchi don’t touch each other.

6. Add the gnocchi to a boiling water a few at a time. Adjust the heat so the mixture doesn’t boil too vigorously–it should be more like an aggressive simmer. When the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, they’re done. Remove them with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer and transfer them to your sauce or to a paper towel.

All photos by Adrianna Adarme. 

Adrianna Adarme is a recipe blogger and content producer living in Los Angeles. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, easy, everyday recipes from her kitchen.

Cucumber Salsa

Saw this delicious recipe on Facebook courtesy of 45 Minute Skinny.

Crisp Cucumber Salsa:
Note: 1/4 cup is only 16 calories

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Tortilla chips

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips.