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Discussion Starter #1
I love to cook. I love to cook good food. I love to invent and try new things. In her book "French Women Don't Get Fat", Mireille Guiliano maintains that one of the reasons Americans put on weight is because we eat out all the time and never cook. She argues that putting the loving effort into producing a simple but fantastic meal is worth it. I agree.

I don't mean for this to become a weight loss thread although that is likely to occur if we focus on healthy eating and cooking.

My impression of MTF is that posters are truly international. So I'm hoping that we will end up with recipes from all over the world.

So if you have an epicurean inclination -- or even if you don't -- join me in sharing recipes, tips, ideas, and even suggestions for great restaurants you've met in your travels. Oh, and a hint of wine won't hurt either!
Celia
 

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Here's a recipe to warm you up in the cold weather...brrrrr....

MARTHA STEWART'S VEGETABLE SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice (e.g., carrots, corn, green beans peas, potatoes, and broccoli; cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Add vegetables to pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool before storing.

Pour remaining soup in small batches into bowl of a food processor; carefully puree until smooth, and return to saucepan.

Stir in cream; season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the reserved mushrooms, and serve hot.

Yield: 8 servings
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nigella's Coconut-Flavored Prawn Soup

1 onion
1 tbs fresh ginger
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp vegetable oil
800 ml fish stock
1 can (ca. 165 ml) coconut milk
300 grams prawn (shrimp)
1 small pak-choi (bok choy) or ½ Chinese cabbage (celery cabbage, pe-tsai)
2 tbs lime juice
fresh red chilies, to taste
125 rice or egg noodles

1. Chop the onion and grate the ginger. Heat the oil in a kettle and add the turmeric and the onion and ginger. Let them soften on low heat.
2. Add the fish stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
3. Slice the pak-choi or Chinese cabbage into thin slices and add them, along with the lime juice and chopped chilies, into the soup. Let the soup boil for a couple of minutes. Just before serving, add the prawn.
4. Prepare the noodles according to their packet's instructions and put into serving bowls with the soup. Sprinkle some fresh coriander on the soup.
 
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