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Tag Archives: Vegetables

Seasonal notes and a strawberry sorbet recipe

May is an exciting month for we are well into Spring, and signs that the bountiful months of Summer are around the corner pop up everywhere. English peas, asparagus, strawberries, flowers, have already returned to our tasting
menu. Many more summery delights are soon to be seen on our plates. Last Thursday was the opening day at the Los Altos Farmer’s Market. I was
delighted to see a portion of Second Street turn into this bright, joyous food celebration, and to talk to the farmers one on one. Strolling through a place like this is one of the best ways to connect with the people that grow our food, to carefully select and taste some of the best local produce, and to be inspired. I was reminded how lucky I am to live and cook in a place like this.

Each fruit and vegetable comes in numerous varieties, each of which has its own flavorful nuances. Strawberries for example are grown by more than 700 producers in California, and come in some 600 varieties. Larger, smaller, firmer, softer, juicier, drier, sweeter, tangier, darker or brighter are just some of the characteristics that you can look for while picking your strawberries. Don’t hesitate to talk to the farmers, they are usually very keen to talk about their crops and help you make the best selection for your culinary adventures.

Here is the recipe of a strawberry sorbet that can be easily done at home, and that will allow you to experiment with all the luscious fruits the markets have to offer.

You will need :
- 3 cups of pureed strawberries
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of spring water

Steps :
Pour water and sugar into a sauce pan and quickly boil the sugar to obtain a syrup. Remove from the stove.
Once the syrup has cooled, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Mix the sugar syrup, strawberry puree and lemon juice and pour into an ice-cream maker.
Freeze the sorbet for one to two hours in freezer, then serve.

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Infused and fresh vegetables for a flavorful, light soup

Bright flavors… are the first words that come to mind when I think of the soup that I want to tell you about today.

This soup is a layered trio of fresh, dried and pureed ingredients. It combines:

- seasonal baby vegetables,

- dried vegetables and herbs infused like tea in a vegetable broth,

- and a creamy “pistou” (basil, garlic and olive oil sauce, the French version of pesto).

It is meant to be a firework of colors and scents, a light seasonal soup that leaves you with a fresh taste and a clear mind – perfect for lunch or supper.

It is also a soup that can be prepared fairly easily at home with a few tweaks to the restaurant’s recipe.

If you are preparing this soup for a party of 4 or more, I would recommend dicing larger vegetables – for example rainbow carrots, celery, chioggia beets, fennel, leeks.

You can blanch them in either a vegetable broth or salted water for a few minutes. The thinner the julienne – the shorter the boiling time – the better for preserving the vitamins and each vegetable’s distinct taste.

Using a mortar and a pestle, puree a large bouquet of basil leaves (after separating the leaves from the stem and washing them) with 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Salt to taste. It would probably be faster to make pistou using a food processor, but the contact of the sharp blades on the basil leaves makes them taste bitter.

To serve, spread one teaspoon of pistou on the bottom of a bowl then pour the soup.

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