Monday, October 24, 2011

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Wonderful roasted vegetable soup with a Thai twist.
Veggies ready for roasting

Spice Blend

Carmelized goodness

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup Recipe:

1 Bunch Carrots peeled and chopped
1 Medium Sweet Potato peeled and sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1/2 medium Red Onion, Sliced
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Yellow Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Red Curry Powder
Olive oil
1 Clove Garlic, Sliced
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 can Coconut Milk
3 cups Chicken Broth

Arrange chopped veggies on a large baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over them and bake and 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. 

In a large soup pot, combine 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, garlic and ginger. Saute for a couple of minutes.

Add your roasted veggies, spice blend and chicken broth. Puree in a blender, food processor or break out the boat motor (hand held blender). Blend until smooth.

Stir in your coconut milk. Serve with a wedge of lime and cilantro. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Uchi Experience: Review

I'm always a bit skeptical when I read numerous of positive reviews on a restaurant. My first thought is, "Can it really be that good?". Especially when it comes to a sushi restaurant. How many times can you reinvent a sushi roll? Well, Uchi in Austin, TX lives up to the hype. It really is that good. It is a sushi restaurant, but so much more. It is actually described as,"Contemporary Japanese dining and sushi restaurant". The play on textures, hot vs. cold elements and sweet and spicy components is like a symphony in your mouth. 

My husband and I got really lucky and were able to score a "coveted table" on Thursday night. Mind you, this is a college town where Thursday night has been deemed "date night". Good luck finding a table with no reservations. Somehow the planets aligned and not only did we walk in and get a table, we also found a primo parking spot. Ok, truth be known, we were probably there a little early for the college crowd. 

The atmosphere is typical Austin style, mixing old with funky and new. The seating is cramped, but I'm sure that they are trying to squeeze as many people in the place as possible, rightfully so, because the place was packed. 

The waitress informed us that the menu was geared towards small plates, tapas style, if you will. These small bites encourages the patrons to try varied dishes without getting full. We started with the standard edamame and sake. Next, we tried the macho cure, which highlights smoked yellowtail. The dish is presented with cooked to perfection yucca chips. These root chips serve as a vehicle to get the yellowtail into your mouth. The smoked fish is somewhat salty and is a wonderful contrast to the sweet asian pear. Now my taste buds are humming. Sweet, salty and a textural element, oh my!! Next we had the spicy tuna roll. Time to pause for an observation here. There was no wasabi in sight. I'm thinking that this overpowering condiment takes away from everything that the chef is trying to accomplish. The fish here is the star of the show. Why mask it with subpar flavors. 

Needless to say, in the words of the now disgraced Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I'll be back". Next time I'll try to take pictures before I hurriedly shove all that glorious food into my mouth. Here is the link if you would like to check out the menu: Uchi.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paging Matt Lauer

Attention Matt Lauer, I made your favorite chicken dish. Have to admit this dish has become a favorite of mine as well. When I first heard the ingredients in this recipe, my initial reaction was Yuck!! I think it was the dried prunes that elicited the response. Once I tasted the dish, my reaction changed to YUM!! The sweet prunes nicely off set the vinegar and complimented the salty olives. This is one of those go-to dishes if you are having company for dinner. Just make sure to give it enough time to marinate.

 P.S. Matt I have leftovers in the fridge if you want to stop by.

I used the  Silver Palate's Recipe or you can try Matt's Recipe I don't think there is much difference in the two.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kale Chips

Kale Chips are a healthy easy to make snack. All you need is some Kale (I like to use the dinosaur kale variety), olive oil, salt & pepper and parmesan cheese to garnish. That is it!! First, wash the kale and dry it very well. I usually put mine in a salad spinner to get the excess water off or you could pat it dry with a towel. Then rub your kale down with olive oil. Give it a nice little massage, making sure to get the olive oil into the kale. Season with salt & pepper and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Garnish with parmesan cheese.