AND NEW KITCHEN GADGETS:
While in Laramie, Wyoming I happened upon several great finds in Mimi’s consignment shop – the most exciting of which is this fantastic fish cast iron muffin pan! It’s made by the company Lodge from the U.S. I’m a big fan of cast iron cookware, and have quite a few pieces I use often, including heart shaped and cornstick muffin pans, various sizes of fry pans and a heavy Dutch oven, perfect for stews and gumbo.
I vowed upon purchase to make use of it just as soon as I could.
So after a long grateful day back home in the garden…
I switched the swamp cooler on to full blast and sat down in the kitchen to contemplate…
Well, there was LOTS of broccoli….What is remarkable about the broccoli plant is the continuous flowerettes which offer themselves up for months after the large center stalk is harvested. I had such a quantity of these when I came back from my trip that I decided to make a simple, luscious soup for dinner. So many flowerettes are still coming I will likely make it again and freeze.
Broccoli, Sharp Cheddar and Five Herb Soup
Recipe flexible and unmeasured (I’m eyeing it out for you) – as usual with most things in my kitchen…
- 5-6 cups chopped fresh broccoli
- 1/4 – 1/3 c. chopped fresh chives
- 2-3 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 c. minced fresh herbs – I used basil, rosemary, oregano, sage
- 4 – 5 c. milk – dairy or unsweetened almond or soy
- about 2 c. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
- a big dollop organic sour cream – 1/2 c. or so
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt butter in soup pot over low heat, add broccoli and and chives, and saute, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is bright green and chives are fragrant. Pour in milk. Raise heat to medium, add rest of herbs and let gently boil until broccoli is just tender. Stir in sour cream and grated cheddar, blending as cheese melds with the liquid. Taste, then salt and pepper as desired. Puree about half the soup in a food processor or blender, then blend back into the soup pot. Wonderful re-heated, and – great frozen then thawed in the middle of winter.
Meanwhile, it’s time to make the cornbread –
Peppered Cornbread makes about 15 muffins We’re talking gluten free here! To make with wheat or spelt flour, simply replace the 1 cup gluten free blend with your flour of choice, and omit the xanthun gum.
- 1 c. gluten free flour blend ( 1/3 brown rice flour, 1/3 sorghum flour, 1/3 tapioca flour – I blend 1 lb. of each together to have on hand)
- 1 c. finely ground yellow (or blue) cornmeal
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground pepper, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. xanthun gum (binder)
- 1 egg
- 1 c. milk ( I like unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/4 c. quality oil
- 1 tbsp. honey, or sugar
Preheat oven to 425. Whisk together dry ingredients. Make well in center and add rest of ingredients. Stir until just blended. Pour into buttered muffin pans. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, until cornbread is lightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out.
With the soup blended and simmering on low heat, turn the muffins out of their pans:
My light dinner – the soup is rich with cheddary, sour creamy herb flavor, and I’m entranced with the fish muffins! I’m not sure any recipe would allow the full detail of the molds to be seen after baking, but I’m thinking with a fish dinner some evening with friends they would be excellent!
Thanks for traveling along this sweet kitchen garden journey with me. Happy eating!