Friday, March 22, 2013

Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque

I am collector of cookbooks and have been collecting for many years. I often read them like novels and put them aside but I have been thinking that I really need to cut back on my cookbook purchases unless it is a "MUST HAVE" and really start using some of the wonderful books that I have collected over the years. I began thumbing through some of those that I had thought to be excellent. I found this book, Come On In, recipes from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi to be a book that I can cook from. This book happens to be an excellent book and I believe that the Junior League of Jackson has published three very good books and I have two of them.

I remembered when I first got this book several years ago that I had bookmarked this recipe, Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque. After looking through this book recently I decided to prepare some of those recipes that I had originally bookmarked. This was the first and I have to say it is quiet simply DELICIOUS!!!!

Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque
Serves 6-8

3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 lb fresh broccoli, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
8 oz Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, shredded

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter, add flour, and cook several minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and gradually blend in stock, then bring mixture to a boil while stirring. Add broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 8 minutes. Blend cream and egg. Gradually blend several tablespoons of soup into egg mixture, then add egg mixture to soup and cook, stirring until thickened. Blend in cheese. Can be served hot or cold.

It was an easy soup to make and I used a 6-quart dutch oven. A comfort food soup on a chilly night. Actually I would eat this soup any time of year.

This is a soup that you would want to use the best ingredients you have available. If you love the ingredients you will love this soup.

It is basically a Broccoli Cheese Soup turned up a notch. I did have to add a little more salt and pepper to taste and I shared it with my daughter and son in law. My daughter loved it so much that she didn't even share with her husband, oops. She thought it was amazing.

It is not a soup that I will make often because of the cream but it was only 1/2 pint so on occasion how bad can that be I ask you? I have also identified numerous recipes from this book that I thought would be delicious and will be preparing them soon. All in an effort to justify my out of control collection. Does anyone out there share in that obsession? This book has been a pleasant surprise and I am now wondering, "Why haven't I really utilized this book before?" It's a keeper for sure.

I am sharing this recipe for Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm. You can see other wonderful recipes shared by clicking HERE.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Recently I was going through some of the mountains of copies of recipes that I have collected from other blogger's over the years. One day I plan to organize them but this particular day I was looking for a recipe using blueberries. I came upon this recipe that I got from a fellow blogger, Martha at Lines from Linderhof. If you have visited Martha's blog you know that she shares excellent recipes, teaches cooking classes in her hometown and often posts recipes that she enjoys while having tea. She often calls them a "nosh", I now love that word.

I was also looking for a recipe that was quick, easy, using blueberries but also a great "nosh" for afternoon tea.

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon zest or more, zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

~ I didn't use all of the blueberries called for, maybe 2/3rds or so. I think some blueberry cakes tend to get too mushy with too much fruit so I scaled back a bit, it was the perfect amount, for us anyway.


I had all of the ingredients on hand and it was a snap to prep. Who doesn't love a cake using buttermilk but better yet using blueberries? This little cake is made even better with the addition of lemon zest, the more flavorful part of a lemon. I love that little bit of freshness added to the batter.

It is a thick batter but comes out a very moist little cake.

I wanted to let the cake brown a little longer but resisted and took it out and checked it with a cake tester. I am glad I did because it was perfectly done. I think I could have cooked it for less time, variation in ovens surely.

It keeps for several days and I enjoyed every morsel. Perfect as a breakfast cake but also perfect for an afternoon tea "nosh".

I am linking this post to Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee West at Rattlebridge Farm. To see other wonderful recipes shared click HERE, you won't be disappointed. Also take a look at some of the recipes that Martha shares at Lines from Linderhof and you can click HERE. I think Martha has posted this recipe on her blog but it's a great little cake and worthy of sharing again.