2011, Recipe 12: Seviche

I used a seviche recipe in my newest Rick Bayless acquisition that's very close to this one.
  • 1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeƱos), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • Salt
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving 
  1. In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cilantro and chiles. Stir in the fish and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.
 Results: AWESOME!!  And so easy!  I'm never paying $10 for seviche again!!!!  I used tilapia and took this to a brunch.  It was a hit!  I did a duo of seviche.  One had roasted jalapeno, roasted tomatillo & roasted poblano.  The other followed this recipe.  The recipe one was a bigger hit at the party (who can resist avocado?) but Rashan & I loved both.  The 4 hour time is not necessary.  You can really serve it immediately if you like Peruvian-style seviche but an hour is plenty for your fish to have a bit of a bite and still be tasty.  I served this with tortilla chips.


Recipe 11: Chicken Burgers

I combined two recipes again... One from Food Network, the other from Allrecipes.com
  • 3 tablespoons grated sweet onion (or finely, finely minced)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 1 cup coarse to fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse grained salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
Saute the onion with the garlic first, then the bell pepper, then the mushrooms, tomatoes and carrots, all to desired tenderness. Set aside and allow all vegetables to cool completely. 

Place chicken in a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold bread crumbs, veggies, cayenne, salt and pepper. Divide chicken meat into 4 or 5 piles (you decide which portion size is best for you) and using your hands, shape into patties. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and fry patties until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Results: I also added a bit of dry mustard.  These... these right here??  AWESOME!! The veggies give it great flavor and moisture and really make 1 lb. of meat STREEEETCH!  Do the carrot!  You could also add some peppers.  Man I could talk about these burgers ALL.DAY!  So so good!  I put leftover blue cheese dressing, feta, baby spinach leaves on them and served with a side of hand curled previously frozen but really delicious curly fries.  YUMMYYYYY!!


2011, Recipe 10: Veal Chops and Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing & Mint

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, split in half through the equator
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch of fresh chives, minced

4 thick veal or pork chops, about 3 pounds of total
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 1 bunch  of fresh mint
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup of oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan, cut side down, so the cut layer gets super crispy like a French fry.  Roast for 30 minutes, or until crispy.
Next, start on the dressing.  Put the cheese, buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and stir together with a fork, mashing a little to break up the cheese.  Season with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chives.

When the potatoes have cooked for 20 minutes, season the chops with salt and pepper.  Put a large saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, and heat until it begins to smoke.  Add the veal and saute until golden brown on the outside and just barely pink inside, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
To serve, put a chop on each of 4 plates.  Put the potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing.  Add the arugula and mint and toss.  Set one portion of the potatoes on top of each chop.  Dust with black pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Results: I think it's clear I'm not a huge fan of chops.  Lamb, veal or otherwise I'm always underwhelmed.  It was just okay.  The potatoes though?  Scene stealer!  Delicious!!!  Though the mint worked nicely, I'm not a fan of mint either.  Mint gets a permanent pass with me.  Yes, that also means I do not like candy canes or peppermints!


2011, Recipe 9: Potato & Pancetta Frittata

I had pancetta and frozen hash browns that I wanted to put to use so I combined two different recipes.  This pancetta frittatta and this hash brown casserole.
  •  pancetta, cut into small lardons
  • 1 tsp leaves thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 large eggs, beaten 
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • crushed red pepper flake 
  • parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp chopped sage
  • 1 cup mozzarella 
1. Fry the pancetta with garlic & thyme. When crispy, remove it from pan.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently so the onions do not stick or brown. They will need about 30 minutes in total to caramelize. Add the hash browns and break apart. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. *Note: You can really shorten this step by doing onion for 10 minutes or so before adding the hash browns.  I promise you're not compromising that much flavor.

2. Stir in the pancetta, thyme and garlic. Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes. Season generously.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sage, salt, black & red pepper and mustard, briskly to blend.

4. Preheat the broiler. Add the eggs, Parmesan and sage to the onion & potato mixture mixture and stir well to combine. Heat the remaining oil in an ovenproof heavy-based pan. Swirl to coat the sides of the pan evenly, then pour in the egg mixture and cook for 6-8 minutes over a low heat to set the bottom and sides.

5. Top with mozzarella.  Transfer the pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes until the frittata is just set, puffed up and lightly golden.  

6. Loosen the sides with a palette knife and cut the frittata into wedges. Serve warm or cold, straight from the pan.

Results: I cooked it a few seconds longer than I wanted to on accident but it still wasn't too dark to enjoy!  Make sure you season every layer well so there's plenty of flavor.  This was missing a bit of salt but it was still delicious.  Also, combining these recipes for this site?  Unnecessarily tedious.  You're welcome.


2011, Recipe 8: Blue Cheese Bacon Burger

This Bobby Flay recipe is from his Burgers, Fries and Shakes book (Christmas gift!).  A.ma.zing.  I couldn't find the recipe online but here are the basic things you need to know: use ground chuck, MAKE THIS BLUE CHEESE SAUCE-- DO IT!!!!, and do nothing to the meat other than salt & pepper each side of the burger...

Say what?

*scratches head*

I was so skeptical.  I was like, how on earth do you get a tasty burger by just doing that.  Y'all.  So, SO incredibly delicious.  For no reason!

Results: AMAZING!  I was so proud to call myself a cook with this one!  I used his fries and seasoning recipe, too but decided not to count it since it was very close to how I have done oven fries for a while.  Delicious, though!


2011, Bonus Recipe: Pork Tacos with Avocado Mash

The day after I made my pork loin, I knew I wanted to try another incarnation of it.  This year is already the year of the 2nd usage.  My leftovers are automatically ripe ground for remixing in ways they never have been before!  Hence the pork taco.

1 tortilla
1/4 of one onion, finely diced (white or red)
1/2 of a small avocado
juice of half of a small lime
cooked, sliced pork loin
feta cheese
one lime wedge

Mash together avocado & onion.  Add salt, a scant amount of pepper and lime juice.  Use as the bottom layer of the taco.  Top with pork loin, feta,  and salsa.  Squeeze with a wedge of lime.  Delicious!!  Rashan & I both loved this!  Great use of leftovers!


Manga! Manga!

Let me start by thanking Jameil a MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLION times for what may be my favorite Christmas gift, Claire Robi.nson's 5 Ingredi.ent Fix cookbook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! As i've told you before, too many ingredients make my eyes glaze over! I love the show, its premise, the host, everything! And what makes my book even more special is that it wasn't on my wishlist but my BFF knows me and my heart. *faux tear* Awwwwwwww!

So I started the 5 ingredient party with Claire's Carbonara. I've always wanted to try carbonara since I got Ty.Flo's* ultimate cookbook, but I just never got around to it. Last night was the perfect time!

salt for the pot
1/2 pound slab of bacon cut into 1/2 in. chunks
1 lbs of fresh or dried fettuccine
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese plus more for garnish
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper (or to taste)
2 cups spinach leaves

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously.

Put the bacon in a large high-sided skillet and cook over med-high heat until crisp, about 10 mins. Remove skillet from heat.

When bacon is halfway cooked, drop pasta into boiling water and cook according to package. Remove about a cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg, egg yolks, 1 cup of cheese, and pepper together in a small bowl.

Return the bacon skillet to medium heat and carefully pour in 1/2 cup of pasta water. When it is very hot, remove it from the heat and add the hot pasta, tossing with tongs to coat. While tossing continually, slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the pasta until it is completely coated. If the pasta is not still steaming hot, return the skillet to low heat while tossing. Add more pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Toss the pasta with the spinach leaves until evenly distributed. Serve immediately with more sprinkled cheese on top.

Note: the key to perfect carbonara is working while everything is piping hot; this assures the egg will cook and produce a silky, creamy sauce that sticks to the pasta.


It tasted AWESOME! I think EVERY dish should come with bacon as an ingredient cause you can never go wrong with bacon flavor! My one qualm was how dry the dish became as it cooled. It almost got pasty and that's never good. My recommendation is to use more pasta water than it calls for and perhaps add a splash of milk or heavy cream to the egg mixture before drizzling it into the pasta. Manga! manga!

*that's the nickname Tyler Flore.nce said I can call him. Yeah, I got it like that.


Copper Necklace DIY

I like DIY stuff and find it easy to create things but sometimes I forget I know how to do stuff!  LOL!  And other times I need people to tell me hey! Look how easy this is! Do this!  So Tania (What Would a Nerd Wear) posted this cute simple DIY she found on P.S. I Made This and I was like YES! DONE!  I went to the hardware store and fretted over whether to get the 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch piping.  It was so cheap that I bought both!  I ended up liking the larger 3/4 inch much better!  So my style!  I'm taking the smaller ones back tho I considered making a bracelet.  I think it works better as a statement piece.  I wore the necklace to a screening at my mom's church and it was a hit!  People were amazed I made it!  :)
 How cute is my cousin's son??  He's the best!  He saw a camera & immediately posed!  And he knew my necklace was no. 1!
Listen and learn, kiddos! LOL


Friend Friday

I decided to join other style bloggers with this Modly Chic q&a this week because I actually liked the questions... is that wrong of me to say?

1. How do you determine what you will wear that day? Sometimes my clothes yell at me to wear them.  Like the cardigan I'm wearing today.  It's been a while, it wasn't in the remix so I was yearning to wear it for oh about 29 days and I haven't adequately recovered.  But it's one of those pieces that's memorable so you can't wear it regularly.  I might wear it daily this weekend just because I feel like it.  #andsowhat  But usually when I get dressed, I think about where I'm going, what other people will be wearing and what I haven't worn in awhile that needs some daylight.

2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month,
weekend? I can rarely plan outfits in advance because I really like the experience of selecting my clothes in the morning.  It has to be a really special event for me to do that.  Sometimes I get irritated with myself for not buying things on etsy that would've been perfect for an event.  So my self-imposed Etsy frugality is sometimes the bain of my existence!

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already
worn so you don't repeat?
Ha! Does my memory count?  I often try writing down outfits for oh about 3 days but then I forget.  I'm teaching once a week this semester so I think I'm going to try to not wear any similar outfits the entire time.  Let's see how that goes!

4. How do you discover new combination's of items in your closet? (Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?) Accident.  It was never any other way until I started reading style bloggers.  Now I sometimes try to recreate the best outfits I see with stuff in my closet.  I don't run out and buy stuff I see but I often have similar enough pieces to give things a try.  Sometimes I take them off if they don't feel like me.  But sometimes it gives me a new perspective that does feel more like me than anything else I've been doing.

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time? Uhhh... I can't say I really much care about this. LOL I think there are many other things I need to do more efficiently in the morning other than dressing myself!


2011, Recipes 5, 6 & 7: Roasted Pork Loin, Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Creamy Parmesan Orzo

Roasted Pork Loin
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Crush garlic with rosemary, salt and pepper, making a paste. Pierce meat with a sharp knife in several places and press the garlic paste into the openings. Rub the meat with the remaining garlic mixture and olive oil.
  3. Place pork loin into oven, turning and basting with pan liquids. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Remove roast to a platter. Heat the wine in the pan and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Serve with pan juices. 
Results: YUMMY!!!! If you're not against pork, you should DEFINITELY make this!  I used my Le Creuset and a meat thermometer for the first time and I felt so chef-y!  :)  It only took about an hour 15 to make these per the recommendations.  I put the wine in about halfway through the cooking time.  I also added mushrooms to the sauce per another reviewer.  YUMMY SAUCE!!  I wish I had more and more and more of it!  I used to hate gravy.  I think because I always had terrible-tasting gravy that was either flavorless or had a skin on it.  YUCK!!  But I've made some delicious gravies! 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.
Results: This was my first time making brussels sprouts.  I tasted them raw and actually liked them better than all brown like that.  I am willing to try them in a different recipe, though.  I'm going to use these in another recipe later in the week!  I'm loving all this leftover transformation!
Creamy Parmesan Orzo
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  cup  orzo
  • 1 1/4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4  cups  water
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 4  teaspoons  pine nuts, toasted
Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and orzo is done (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Results: This was the first time I'd ever had orzo, too.  I didn't really like this preparation.  It was kind of sticky in an unpleasant way.  I definitely didn't use pine nuts since they're about $18/lb. everywhere I've seen them.  Yeah. Right.  I used the basil butter from a previous recipe.  You should definitely add salt.  The parm doesn't add enough salt to make this recipe as flavorful as it should be.


2011, Recipe 4: Black Bean Breakfast Burrito

Recipe courtesy of Good Life Eats
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • salsa, your choice of heat
  • 6 soft taco sized flour tortillas, warmed
Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Hand beat the eggs using a whisk or fork until yolk and white are evenly mixed and the eggs are frothy, about 1-2 minutes.
Grease a nonstick saute pan and set it over medium-high heat. Add eggs to the pan. After the eggs begin to set, gently move them around in the pan with a spatula or wooded spoon. Move the eggs to the center while tilting your pan to redistribute the unset parts.
Break apart large pieces with your spoon or spatula. Turn the eggs as needed until the are cooked through. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
To assemble the burrito: divide the egg and black bean evenly among the tortillas. Garnish each burrito with feta, avocado, and salsa. Top with additional cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

Results: I used my leftover black beans for this. YUMMY if you add some lime.  It definitely needs the acid.  I enjoyed it and so did Rashan!  I've made something similar before but usually with my eggs over medium.  I think I prefer them over medium.


2011, Recipes 2 & 3: Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops with Seasoned Rice

vegetable oil 
1 cups white rice, preferably medium-grain
1 white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme


1.   Heat the broth.   Turn on the oven to 350°.  Measure the broth into a large (4-quart) saucepan.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt , if you are using salted broth, 2 tablespoons if you’re using unsalted broth.  Cover and set over medium-low heat.
2.   Fry the rice.   Set up a large strainer over a metal bowl; set beside the stove on a heat-resistant surface. With the pan of oil still over the heat, raise the heat to high and add the rice.  Stir regularly until the rice has turned from translucent to milky white (but not begun to brown), about 10 minutes.  Immediately (and carefully) pour the rice and oil into the strainer, making sure to get all the rice out of the pan.  Clean off any drips on the outside of the pan.
 3.   Cook the rice.   Without washing the pan, set it over medium heat.  If there isn’t a generous coating of oil on the bottom, spoon a little of the strained oil back into the pot.  Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Add the rice and broth.  Stir several times through all parts of the pan, making sure to scrape down any rice grains that are clinging to the sides above the liquid.  Drop the thyme sprigs on top of the rice.  Cover and place in the oven.  After 30 minutes uncover and test a grain of rice:  if it’s still a little chalky in the center and it’s clear that all the liquid has been absorbed, drizzle about 1/4 cup of water over the rice, re-cover and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
 4.   Serve the rice.   When the rice is ready, sprinkle the fried plantains and chopped parsley over the top and gently fold them in—if you’re careful and stir all the way to the bottom, you’ll release a lot of steam, which will stop the rice from overcooking.

Results: This was some of the tastiest rice ever!  MMMM!

Pork Chops
vegetable oil
1 serrano pepper (ribbed & seeded)

Results: This marinade is supposed to be good for any meat.  I didn't really like it on the chops.  It decimated them in 2 hours and made the pork way too porky.  Not delicious.  Rashan liked it.  I couldn't stop tasting dead animal.  I PROMISE I'm not turning into a vegetarian!  Proof next week!  :)

As far as the black beans, I drained two cans, added chicken broth and a little lime juice, cumin and salt.  So yummy!  Black beans must be doctored!  And they will be delicious as a result!  And don't forget to garnish with cilantro.

For the guac, I just mixed avocado, lime juice, salt, minced garlic and finely chopped onion.  Yummy!!

For the margaritas, I tried a new mix from World Market called Powell and Mahoney.  One of the most delish mixes I've ever tasted.  A real sneaker.  Went down smooth.


2011, Recipe 2: Tyler's Ultimate Grilled Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
  • Oil
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 lemons, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 large head-on jumbo shrimp in the shell, shells split down the back
Put a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill and get it very hot. If you're using an outdoor grill, take a few paper towels and fold them over several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel, then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick grilling surface.

Meanwhile, add the butter into a food processor with the basil leaves (reserve a few for garnish), the juice of 1 of the lemons, and salt and pepper. Puree. Stuff about half of the butter under the shells of the shrimp (about 1/2 tablespoon per shrimp). Lay the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for 3 minutes on each side, brushing with the remaining basil butter a few times as they cook.

To serve, put the shrimp on plates and dot with the remaining basil butter. Squeeze the remaining lemon over the shrimp and garnish the plates with basil leaves.

Results: Beautiful!  (Rashan disagreed. He found them scary.)  Head-on shrimp were $2.99/lb. at my grocery store so YEP! I'll be using those!  I liked it but I could've used more salt and pepper.  Rashan wasn't impressed.  His response?  Basil-y.  Um.. gee... thanks.

You should definitely split these pretty deep, almost butterflied for them to be able to hold the butter like you need them to.  I might sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

I served this with polenta sprinkled with pancetta (also on sale).  So... fancy shrimp and grits.  I mixed basil butter into the pancetta and I'll mix the leftover basil butter into some orzo later in the week.  It's about to be on!


2011, Recipe 1: Parsley, Capers & Lemon Tuna Sandwiches

 Recipe courtesy of Real Simple
  •  2 6-ounce cans of tuna packed in water (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 8 slices sandwich bread
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, oil, pepper, parsley, capers, and lemon zest and juice.
  2. Form sandwiches with the bread.
Results: I wanted to try a new, lighter tuna sandwich... I didn't love this one.  Tuna really benefits from my fave recipe (boiled egg, SWEET relish, mayo, a touch of mustard).  The lack of mayo was not good look.  I only made half of this recipe in case I didn't like it.  Good call.  It was a little too salty so if you use this, don't use the brine from the capers.  I'm going to see if mixing mayo into the leftovers will improve the result.


Rosemary White Bean Soup

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans
  • 4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches) (I used dried but fresh is better)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

Results: DELICIOUS!!  I've been on a roll again lately!  This came from the Ina book I got for Christmas!  Thanks P!  This soup needs surprisingly little salt to be awesome.  Oh and you don't need to use dry beans if you can't find them.  Canned white kidney beans, white northern beans, cannellini beans, whatever.  Any old white bean will do!  I put them in a bit later in the cooking process (in the last 20 minutes) since they were already fully cooked.  I used an immersion blender instead of a food mill or processor.  The beans make this soup nice and creamy and delicious.  Rashan was very surprised to be satisfied with soup and bread for lunch.  I now work in a soup kitchen.  LOL  I would've liked a little bit more color but ah well!