Christopher Kimball of Milk Street TV announced that this chilled tomato soup was superior in both taste and ease of preparation to my beloved summer gazpacho. I had to try it!
This puréed velvety soup is more elegant, creamy, and filling than gazpacho. We ate it as a complete meal with a green salad. It can be made year round with Campari tomatoes, which I used, or made with peak-season summer tomatoes, of course.
This recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Diane Unger. The bread is undetectable in the finished soup but creates the desirable consistency. The sherry vinegar is an essential ingredient as well. I loved all of the garnishes. Lovely.
Yield: Serves 4
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored (I used Campari tomatoes)
2 1/2 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)(I used fresh sourdough)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 T sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
4 thin slices of prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces
3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered, optional
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
In a blender, combine the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skins remain, about 1 minute. (I used a Vitamix.)
With the blender running, gradually add 3/4 cup olive oil.
Transfer to a large bowl of lidded container, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
While the soup chills, make the hard-cooked eggs, if using. Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain. Place eggs in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter or slice. Set aside.
While the eggs cool, place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering.
Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; set aside.
Taste the soupand season again with salt and pepper. (Chilling the soup blunts the flavor and additional seasoning may be required.)
Ladle the soup into (preferably chilled) bowls. Top with the prosciutto, hard-cooked egg (if using) and chopped parsley or cilantro.
Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar, as desired. (I omitted this addition.)
Happy Belated Easter! I made this elegant citrus twist bread for breakfast over Easter weekend. My daughter described it as similar to panettone but without the dried fruit. My son agreed but stated that this was much better. 🙂 It was very moist and tender.
This recipe was adapted from Food 52.com, contributed by Samantha Seneviratne. I used Meyer lemon zest and omitted the grapefruit zest. I also modified the method.
Because of the rise times, I prepared the dough through the first rise two days in advance and completed the second rise and baked it one day prior to serving. We ate it reheated- which was essential. The original recipe suggests sprinkling the top with confectioners’ sugar or drizzling it with glaze. I opted for the simple sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar but know it would also be delicious with the glaze. Lovely.
Yield: 8 servings
For the Dough:
1/3 cup warm whole milk (110°F) (I used whole milk)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten, at room temperature
4 tablespoons(1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
For the Filling and to Finish the Bread:
freshly grated orange zest from 3 to 4 oranges (about 3 tablespoons)
freshly grated zest from 3 Meyer lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
1 pinch kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
To Make the Dough:
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, or a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt.
With the mixer on low, add the yeast mixture, the egg, and the egg yolk, and mix until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, knead this mixture by hand on a clean work surface.)
Add the butter, a bit at a time, and continue to mix or knead the dough until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, another 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky. If you’re doing this by hand, you can use a bench scraper to help scoop the dough up as you knead it. It may look like it’s never going to incorporate, but keep kneading and it will.
Once the dough is fully incorporated, gather it into a neat ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 2 hours. (I used a proofing oven.) After the dough has doubled, you can punch it down, wrap it well and refrigerate for up to 2 to 3 days. (I refrigerated it overnight.)
To Make the Filling and to Finish the Bread:
In a small bowl, combine the citrus zest, sugar, and salt together using your fingers to release some of the citrus oils. Add the butter and mix until well combined. (I reserved the soft room-temperature butter and spread it over the rolled out dough instead.)
Tip the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it once or twice to expel the air. Roll it out into an 8-inch by 17-inch rectangle.
Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the bread.
Starting from one of the long ends, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Pinch the ends to seal the roll.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise.
Transfer the two pieces of dough to a piece of parchment paper, cut sides up. Pinch the two pieces together at one end and then carefully twist the two pieces of dough together. Take care not to stretch the dough and to keep the cut sides up.
Coil the twist around to make a wreath and connect the ends, making sure to continue the twisting pattern.
Transfer the wreath, on the parchment, to a rimmed baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise. (I used a proofing oven.) It could take up to 2 hours for the wreath to puff so it’s better to keep an eye on the dough rather than the clock. You’ll know it’s ready when it looks puffed and and it rises back slowly when you gently press it with your finger.
Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
Carefully brush the wreath with the egg wash.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, 18 minutes, on convection, or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bread should register between 190°F and 200°F.
Transfer the wreath to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
The twist bread can also be drizzled with a simple glaze of room temperature cream cheese mixed with some warm milk and confectioners’ sugar.
The bread can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
This deliciousness was dangerously easy to throw together.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I used a popover pan and modified the baking time for a convection oven. We ate them with rocket soup and green salad but they would also be incredible for breakfast- maybe even with jam.
Instructions for sweet and savory variations are below the recipe.
Yield: 6 popovers
In the microwave or in a small saucepan, warm the milk until it feels just slightly warm to the touch.
Combine the warm milk with the eggs, sourdough starter and salt, then mix in the flour. Don’t over-mix; a few small lumps are OK. The batter should be thinner than a pancake batter, about the consistency of heavy cream.
Heat a muffin or popover pan in the oven while it’s preheating to 450°F, preferably on convection.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, and spray it thoroughly with non-stick pan spray, or brush it generously with oil or melted butter. (To use melted butter: Melt 2 T butter and then distribute 1/2 tsp to the base of each popover cup before adding batter.)
Quickly pour the batter into the cups, filling them almost to the top. If you’re using a muffin tin, fill cups all the way to the top. Space the popovers around so there are empty cups among the full ones; this leaves more room for expansion.
Bake the popovers for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 10 (in a convection oven) or up to 20 minutes in a standard oven, until popovers are golden brown.
Remove the popovers from the oven and serve immediately.
For sweet, cinnamon-sugar popovers: Prepare and bake the popovers as instructed. When the popovers come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter (about 1/4 cup per batch), and roll them in cinnamon-sugar (about 1/4 cup per batch).
For savory, cheddar-herb popovers: Mix 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence and 1/4 cup shredded Vermont cheese or cheese powder to the flour before stirring it into the sourdough-egg mixture. Finish the popovers according to the recipe instructions.
Happy Easter! I made this sweet and tender orange-scented bread to serve for breakfast with our hard-boiled Easter eggs. The texture was similar to panettone without the dried fruit.
As an aside, I have to share a photo of my Easter cat with his catnip carrot. ❤ We are all very festive in my house!
Because I live in fear of overbaking my sweets, I was disappointed that this loaf was slightly overdone after I had already significantly reduced the baking time in the original recipe. Don’t worry! We still gobbled it up, but, I modified the recipe below. The sweet orange glaze made it a crowd-pleaser.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I weighed all of the dry ingredients and used vanilla and orange extract instead of Fiori di Sicilia. I also reduced the baking time and tented the loaf during baking. Pretty.
Yield: One 10-inch round loaf
For the Starter:
120 g (1 cup) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (113 g) cool water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
For the Dough:
269 g (2 1/4 cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
67 g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + 1/4 teaspoon orangeextract or orange oil
1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed, optional (I omitted it)
grated peel of 1 large orange
For the Glaze:
113 g (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
sprinkles or nonpareils, for decorating
To make the bread: Mix together the starter ingredients, cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature overnight, or for up to 15 hours.
Next day, combine the bubbly starter with all the remaining dough ingredients. Mix and knead, using a mixer or bread machine, until the dough is elastic and satiny. We don’t recommend preparing this dough by hand, as it’s quite sticky and challenging to bring together. (I used the beater until the dough came together and the dough hook for about 7 minutes on medium speed to knead the dough.)
Grease a large bowl and let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours, until it’s noticeably puffy. (I used a proofing oven.)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it into three pieces, and shape each piece into an 18″-long rope. Braid the ropes together, and connect the two ends to form a wreath.
Cover the wreath and allow it to rise until puffy, about 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
Bake the wreath for 10-15 minutes, then tent the loaf with aluminum foil and reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 8-15 minutes. The finished loaf will be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register at least 190°F. (I baked it at 375°F for 15 minutes, and 350°F for 10 minutes and the internal temperature of the loaf was 205°F.)
Remove the wreath from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.
To make the glaze: Stir together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk or orange juice. Add more liquid 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is thin and pourable.
Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled braid, then decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
I was so proud of myself because I learned how to make a four-strand braid to make this special loaf. 🙂 The challenge in the original recipe was to learn how to make a six-strand braid, but a four-strand seemed like enough of a challenge at the time. 😉 I loved how it looked too.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I modified the braid and used a proofing oven. I learned the four-strand braiding technique from Tori Avey.com. This link actually has very useful steps for several challah braiding techniques.
Challah is best eaten the day it is made. Because I made the challah the day before Easter, we ate it toasted with butter and jam. I thought it was a perfect holiday breakfast along with our colored Easter eggs. Lovely!
For the Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
6 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
17 ounces (4 cups) unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 T instant yeast
cooking oil spray, for coating the bowl
For the Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 T water
To Prepare the Dough:
Weigh out 17 ounces of flour; or measure 4 cups of flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. The more accurately you measure your flour, the better your bread will be; too much flour will yield a dry, heavy loaf.
Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cooking oil spray, and mix to make a rough dough.
Knead the dough — by hand, using a stand mixer, or in a bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough. It’ll still have a slightly rough surface; that’s fine. (I kneaded the dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook for about 5 minutes.)
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours. (I placed the bowl in a proofing oven.) It won’t necessarily double in bulk, but should become noticeably (if not dramatically) puffy.
Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
You may braid the challah the traditional way, into a three-strand braid. I chose a four-strand braid. (Instructions for these and a six-strand are in the link above.)
Divide the dough into four pieces, or into equal pieces for desired braiding techniques. A scale is a big help in dividing the dough evenly.
Shape each piece into a rough log.
Cover the logs with plastic wrap, and let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Roll each piece into a long rope. Your goal is ropes about 20″ long; if the dough starts to shrink back as you roll, cover it and let it rest again for about 10 minutes, then resume rolling. The short rest gives the gluten a chance to relax.
To Make a Four-Strand Braid:
Pinch together the ends of the strands so that all six strands are joined at one end.
Take the strand furthest to the right and weave it towards the left through the other strands using this pattern: over, under, over.
Take the strand furthest to the right and repeat the weaving pattern again: over, under, over. Repeat this pattern, always starting with the strand furthest to the right, until the whole loaf is braided.
Pinch the ends of the loose strands together and tuck them under on both ends of the challah loaf to create a nice shape.
Gently pick up the braided loaf, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover the braided loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise until it’s very puffy, 90 minutes to 2 hours at room temperature or in a proofing oven.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
Whisk together the large egg and 1 tablespoon water to create the egg wash. Brush this glaze over the risen loaf.
Nest the challah on its baking sheet into another baking sheet, if you have one. This double layering of pans will help prevent the challah’s bottom crust from browning too quickly.
Put the challah into the lower third of the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes. If it’s a deep golden brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. If it’s not as brown as you like, check it again at 30 minutes.
Once you’ve tented the challah, bake it for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the loaf looks and feels set and its interior registers at least 190°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the bread from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.
Note: Store any leftover bread, well wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. While challah does tend to dry out after a day or so, it’s always good toasted or made into grilled sandwiches or French toast.
This is a quick and tasty comfort food dish. It is from a century-old dim sum restaurant in New York City. I think we’re going to have to dine there soon! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, adapted from Jonathan Wu of Nom Wah Tea Parlor in New York, contributed by Wilson Tang. I increased the amount of shrimp to convert this side dish into a main dish. Perfect.
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed and drained (I used white Basmati rice)
7 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I used canola oil)
24 raw medium (21-25 count per pound) shrimp (1 pound), peeled, deveined, and cut into thirds
5 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and a generous pinch of salt, and return to a boil. Stir once; cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let steam for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and spread on a large baking sheet to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In a very large skillet or wok (I used a 14-inch skillet), heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering.
Add the shrimp, and stir-fry over moderately high heat until nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining 5 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the eggs, and stir-fry over moderately high heat until small curds form and the eggs are nearly cooked, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice, sugar, pepper, and a generous pinch of salt, and stir-fry until the rice is hot, about 3 minutes.
Add the shrimp, peas, and soy sauce, and stir-fry until the shrimp are cooked through and the peas are hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
My family is happy to eat soup and salad for dinner with a bribe like a warm, eggy popover. This version was earthy and delicious. I had to make them a couple of times to get the baking temperature and cooking times just right. (No worries, we ate the less than perfect ones too. 😉 )
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. We enjoyed them with Spiced Red Lentil Soup, but they would also be wonderful for breakfast with butter and jam.
Yield: 6 Popovers
1 cup/236 milliliters whole milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter, plus more for pans (or use cooking spray)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup/90 grams all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
Brush cups of a popover pan (or muffin tin) with butter or coat with cooking spray. (I have had more success with cooking spray.)
In a large measuring pitcher with a spout (this makes pouring easier later), or in a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, sugar and salt until frothy.
Add flours and whisk until mostly smooth, though a few clumps may remain in batter, which is fine. (If you prefer you can mix everything together in a blender instead of a bowl.)
Pour batter into prepared cups. Bake 15 minutes.
Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 10 minutes until popovers are golden brown and puffed. (Reduce baking time by 5 minutes if using a muffin tin.) Keep tabs on their progress by looking through the window in the oven door. Do not open the oven door until the last 5 minutes of baking or they won’t puff.