Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Hate Rain.

It is POURING rain outside! And the City of San Diego, and the people who live here are NOT a group prepared for rain- our streets turn into rivers, palm fronds fall on sidewalks, traffic slows to a crawl... and then there's me- my dog refuses to go outside to go to the bathroom, I honestly don't even own an umbrella and to top it off last night our bedroom FLOODED.  Ugh... that was a fun to clean up as you can imagine :)
We did feel a little better after I made some DELICIOUS Tomato Fennel Bisque from one of my favorite restaurants, Beaumont's.  It's not the healthiest (and I wasn't in the mood for modification last night) but was SO warm, comforting and impressive to serve (I'm a big fan of that- if you're going to cook, you might as well get credit for it!). If you are stuck at home because of weather this weekend, I highly recommend making it and paring it with a grilled cheese sandwich for the ultimate rainy day meal. However- this recipe was a little "higher level" than most I usually follow and it took a lot of translation for me to get it right! I've included my notes in blue below.
Beaumont's Tomato & Fennel Bisque

1 each fennel bulb sliced Fennel is also known as Sweet Anis (and smells like liquorish) When it calls for the bulb- like in this recipe, you do not need to use the stalks. Maybe a "duh" thing but I had to Google it :)
1 each large yellow onion sliced
1 T fennel seed When cooking, a lower case "t" stands for teaspoon and an upper case "T" stands for tablespoon.
3 garlic cloves (whole)
½ cup olive oil
2 cans plum tomatoes (whole)
1 can filled with water
1 small carrot sliced
½ cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
½ cup red wine
3 large basil leaves
In large pot sauté fennel, onion, garlic, carrot, bay leaf, and fennel seed until well caramelized. (Carmelization is when the onions start to brown. Do not be afraid to leave them in there for a while- this is how their sweet flavor develops.  This should take 10-20 minutes over a medium heat stirring frequently). Deglaze with red wine and let reduce by half. (According to (fancy pants!) deglazing is: After food has been sautéed and the food and excess fat removed from the pan, deglazing is done by heating a small amount of liquid in the pan and stirring to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom.) Add tomatoes, water, and cream, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove bay leaf and let soup cool before you puree. Puree in blender with basil leaves until smooth. I then poured it back into the original soup pot & reheated. If soup is too thick, add more water.
SO good! I added fresh ground pepper at the end- perfect finish!

OMG. Just checked on my Vegas flight and it's CANCELLED!! Oh no! I hate this weather!! And the Southwest help line has a freaking BUSY signal... OH no!!  Wish me luck!!!

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