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April 28, 2011

Paella Soup

2      Tbl    Olive Oil
1      Cup   Chopped onion
½     Cup   Chopped celery
1/3    Cup   Long-grain white rice
¼     Tsp   Saffron threads, crushed
½     Cup   Dry White wine
4      Cups Chicken tock
1      Tsp   Kosher salt, plus more if needed
½     Cup   Heavy cream
1      Lb     Large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
3      Oz    Chorizo, cut into think rounds
1      Cup   Fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
½     Cup   Diced cooked chicken
2      Tsp   Chopped fresh chives


Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat.  When hot, add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until softened—3 to 4 minutes.  Add rice, saffron, wine and stock and bring to a simmer.  Season with 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat.  Cover and cook at a simmer until vegetables and rice are soft, for about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender and return it to the pot.  Stir in the cream.  Set soup over low heat and, when mixture comes to a simmer, add shrimp, chorizo, peas, and, if desired, chicken.  Cook until shrimp have turned pink and curled, for about 3 minutes.  Do not overcook or shrimp will become tough.  Taste soup and season with salt, as needed.  Garnish with a sprinkle of chives.

April 26, 2011

Fruit and Chocolate Squares

Heat oven to 325F. 

1      Cup   Boiling Hot Water
1      Cup   Dried cranberries (5oz)
1      Cup   Dried tart cherries (5oz)
1      Cup   Golden raisins (5oz)
2 ½   Cups All purpose flour
1 ½   Tsp   Baking soda
1      Tsp   Salt
¾     Tsp   Cinnamon
1      Cup   Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2      Cups Sugar
3      Large eggs
1 ½   Tsp   Vanilla
1      Cup   Almond slivers
8      Oz    Chocolate chips

Butter and flour 17 x 12 inch baking pan, knocking out excess flour.  Pour boiling hot water over dried fruit in a small bowl and soak 20 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.  Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.  Beat together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Mix in dried fruit, almonds and chocolate.  Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool completely in pan on a rack.  Run a thin knife around edges of pan to loosen, then cut into roughly 3-inch squares.   Yield:  24 squares