All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Friday, May 30, 2014

fresh carrot soup with turmeric and ginger

The chilly weather has continued all of this month of May - the last several days have been chilly AND rainy - that joyful May weather we usually get has been non-existant this year.  Still, it's kept the onslaught of black flies to a minimum, for which we are all grateful - and it's extended soup season for a little while.

This is a new version of my carrot and ginger soup, with the addition of turmeric and a shorter cooking time to keep the taste fresh, and the color vibrant.

Carrot soup with ginger and turmeric

1 cup water
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups peeled and sliced fresh carrots (do not use baby carrots - they are too dry)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 medium peeled and sliced onion
1 heaping tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
1/2 teaspoon turmeric spice

Place the stock, water, onion, thyme, ginger root , turmeric, and carrots in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until the carrots are just barely tender when poked with a fork (about 15 or 20 minutes).

Remove from heat and let cool briefly, then place in a food processor or blender (I use a blender) and puree until smooth.  If it's too thick, add just a little more water.

Taste and correct the seasonings, then sprinkle with sliced scallions just before serving.

Only one more day til JUNE!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

saying goodbye

Never in a million years could I have imagined this day, when I held my sister's hand and said goodbye.

A week ago my older sister died of cancer.  She had been shockingly diagnosed a year and a half ago, went on a new medication that seemed to be working, but then, suddenly, stopped being effective.  She went back to her beloved home, surrounded by friends, family, and the very caring Hospice staff just after Easter - only a few weeks ago.  Everything happened so quickly, so quickly.

She is part of my entire life, every nook and cranny, snapshots scattered across the bed, from my first baby pictures to her last week.  And after she died, we went into her garden, her beautiful Spring garden, bursting with beauty and life and color, to try to fathom a life without her phone calls and visits, her grace, and her love.   Blessings to her husband, her three sons and their families, and her two grandchildren.  Until we meet again.

Monday, May 12, 2014

chopped salad with garlicky buttermilk, goat cheese and fresh dill dressing

I am not sure how this dressing evolved, but I do know it's a winner.  When I made a going-away dinner for my daughter a week and a half ago, she asked if I wanted more salad, and then exchanged her plate for the salad bowl.  I've been known to spoon out a little dressing from the jar in the fridge a few times a day. But when a seven and a half year old boy yells "oh, this is so GOOD!" and has a second helping, I know this is a keeper.

It's an herby, creamy sauce with just a hint of garlic, which goes beautifully with a cold, crunchy lettuce like romaine or iceberg, and I'm thinking it would make a nice potato salad as well.  And as a sauce for roasted chicken, or spread on a roast beef sandwich.  At this point, I'm thinking it goes with pretty much anything, except fruit.

Garlicky buttermilk, goat cheese, and fresh dill salad dressing:

Place in blender (mine is an ancient one, but it still works):

1/2 clove peeled garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons mayonnaise  (I use Hellmann's olive oil mayo)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh dill, stems removed, loosely packed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons sliced scallions

Puree and serve in a pitcher or small bowl.

Serve with a big bowl of chopped romaine lettuce and a fresh loaf of good bread for sopping up the dressing.  Store leftover dressing in the fridge in a glass jar.

How's Spring in your neck of the woods?  My sorrel is up, violets are blooming, the lilacs are budding, and my chives made it through the very cold winter.  The lemon balm also made it through, but lost the tarragon and thyme.  All the more reason to visit the local garden center!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

juicy turkey burgers with salmoriglio sauce

I have had this scrap of paper taped to the side of the fridge for at least a year.  I think I was in a doctor's office when it caught my eye in one of the magazines in the waiting room.  You'd be proud of me - I did NOT slide the magazine into my bag, but I neglected to write down where it was from.  This recipe seems to come close when I googled it today.  It's really a sauce for fish, but as I was cooking up fresh ground turkey burgers this morning, it flashed into my sleepy morning brain that a sauce of fresh parsley, a little garlic, lemon zest and juice, and oregano just might be the perfect topping for those somewhat bland but juicy burgers.  And oh, so it was.

I usually would stir everything together in a big bowl, as I do for turkey meatballs, but this time I spooned the pan juices over the burgers, then added a teaspoon of the salmoriglio sauce on top.  It is a very bright but pungent sauce, so a teaspoon seemed just right.  I can see this sauce in so many other dishes besides fish and turkey:  pasta for sure, whether hot or cold pasta salads or sides.  It's perfect with avocado, ramping up the buttery avocado with a little excitement.  How about stuffed broiled mushrooms?  Absolutely.  And a spoonful stirred in to any number of soups would had a zing.   I know the name is somewhat of a mouthful, but I haven't found any Italian to English translation, so we're stuck with it.

Salmoriglio Sauce

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled
about 1 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley, not packed down

2 heaping teaspoons grated lemon zest
a few pinches of kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano ( I had no fresh)
3 tablespoons good olive oil

Place the garlic and parsley in a food processor and whizz until fairly fine.
Stop the processor and add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and oregano .  Process briefly and scrape into a bowl, then drizzle on the olive oil and stir.

Taste test to see if it needs more salt, then use sparingly in desired dishes - a little goes a long way.  If you plan to use this on fish or meats, chicken or turkey, just use your clean fingers to coat before baking.

Spring is coming here in New Hampshire- I planted my Italian parsley seedlings yesterday!