Broccoli Leek Soup

Today you get something special: a peek into what Taste Buddies would be like if GC wrote this blog. Last week GC made a delicious broccoli leek soup (Williams-Sonoma – March 5) because I didn’t have time to during the week. As you will see, GC is much more deligent about his cooking and blogging – he photographed every step of the process.

IMG_5601This soup was delicious. The soup retains the texture of the broccoli florets and has subtle undertones of leek. Leeks are a great alternative to onion as they have the same onion flavour, but are sweeter and fresher, a nice mix between green onion and yellow onion.

The garlic croutons add a nice crunch but quickly dissolve into the soup. The sour cream and chives taste fresh and cool, tasting and reminding you of spring. This is the perfect soup to usher in the start of spring and I want to thank GC for doing such an amazing and delicious job!

Recipe and photos are below the cut – happy munching!

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Soup Round Up II

Another cold day, tadalafil another round up of the soups I have made in the past few weeks. 4 recipes are from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day cookbook, pilule the other is from Chef Michael Smith.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – January 23 – why eat broccoli soup when you can eat soup with cheese in it? Exactly. This soup still had a strong garden flavour from the broccoli but had tons of creaminess from the cheese. This will likely not become a staple in our house but when I am craving broccoli I will turn to this recipe.

photo 1(2)

Cauliflower Roasted Garlic Soup – January 3- this soup was delicious but looked like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, which is why I did not bother to take a picture of it. Coworkers thought I was eating oatmeal. It was gray and sludgy but you need to look past this and enjoy! The strong cauliflower flavour is accented by the rich roasted garlic flavour. The garlic is slightly caramelized and sweet. By roasting the garlic for 45 minutes in the oven, all of the deep-rooted flavours ooze out. My kitchen smelt amazing after this  and could ward off vampires for days to come.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup – January 10 – why ever use canned chicken noodle soup again when this is so easy? I baked the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes until it was juicy and cooked through. Then slightly brown the vegetables, toss in the chicken, broth and noodles and wait. It is that easy. The noodles will continue to absorb the broth so you will need to add more the longer the soup 4(2)

photo 5French Onion Soup – January 2 – I finally used my 25th birthday gift from GC: French onion soup bowls from Crate & Barrel. This recipe also made me realize something I desperately need for my kitchen: a scale. This recipe calls for 2 ½ lbs of onion but I had to guess and use all the remaining onions I had. A scale would also be good for all the cookbooks I have bought over the years that turn out to be British and use weights as opposed to measurements.

photo 3(2)The most time consuming part of this soup is caramelizing the onions but it is worth it. The onions are sweet and tender delicately floating beneath a sturdy bed of crusty bed and mounds of stringy, Swiss cheese. This soup is my idea of comfort food: warm, flavourful and cheese.

Michael Smith’s Old Fashioned Beef Stew – I like this recipe better than any of the beef stews I have made from my trusty Williams-Sonoma cookbook. The stew is thicker and has a huge range of flavours from the combinations of vegetables (parsnips, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions and peas) seasonings (rosemary, and bay leaf) and of course, red wine. This stew is substantial and filling, the perfect lunch on a cold, February day.

Recipes for the first 4 soups are below the cut. Happy munching and slurping!

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GC’s First Taste of Home of the Brave

A couple of weeks ago GC and I had a date night (first referenced here) in which we went to Home of the Brave for dinner.

We received the worst service I have possibly ever received at a restaurant. I would have love to chalked this up to it was a Friday night and busy but three tables were seated after us and received drinks and food before our cocktails even came. We were seated quickly but then it took 15 minutes before someone came over to give us water and take drink orders. Once our drink order was taken, it took 15 minutes to get our cocktails. It took 10 minutes from there to take our dinner order. It should never take close to 45 minutes to order food at a restaurant.

But enough negativity. Let’s talk about the food. We each started with a cocktail: GC with the Police Gazette and me with the Bourbon and Beer. The Polic Gazette is rye, maraschino, dry vermouth, and curacao. This is a good cocktail, but not worth the price given how little drink there actually is: two sips and you can drain the glass. The Bourbon and Beer is bourbon, vanilla, fernet and root beer. This drink is good for tasting the homemade root beer but you should just order the root beer. My cocktail was primarily ice cubes with slight hints of bourbon.

Once the food came, things got better. We started with the Buffalo Cauliflower.

IMG_9492Photo Credit: Food Junkie Chronicles

Buffalo Cauliflower: beer battered cauliflower, with Louisiana hot sauce, and Ranch Dressing.

These are amazing. They reminded me of an appetizer GC’s Ninni (grandmother) makes at Christmas. The batter is light and crunchy and the cauliflower is warm but cooked through. I loved the hot sauce that was used for dipping, it gave the cauliflower the perfect kick and the ranch sauced cooled your mouth off with the second dip. These are a great way to start a Friday night.

I ordered the Kentucky Fried Handshake Sandwich.

IMG_9469Photo Credit: Food Junkie Chronicles

Kentucky Fried Handsake Sandwich: Fried chicken, with mayo, iceberg lettuce, and Louisiana hot sauce.

This is a decent fried chicken sandwich. The chicken was a little too crispy and burnt but the inside was juicy and moist. The hot sauce is key as there isn’t enough of the toppings on the sandwich to make it feel cohesive.

The presentation is something onto itself but it is presentation without purpose. When they bring your the sandwich, they tell you to cut off the foot of the chicken and attack your sandwich. You could eat the crispiness off the foot but it will be more work then it’s worth. Presentation can add to the flavour and experience to a meal, but this did not successfully do so.

GC ordered the Ribwich.

photoThe Ribwich with beef short ribs, rib honey jus, pickles, and acidulated onion on a smoked milk bun.

This was a very juicy, beefy sandwich but there is absolutely no reason it needs to be so small! This was borderline slider size, that’s how small it was. If you are hungry for a dinner-sized portion, do not order this sandwich. GC enjoyed it but he was hungry a few hours later.

Overall, this was one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had. The service was completely terrible, the drinks were overpriced and the portions were too small. The price tag for the evening was far more than I would have liked to pay for the experience we got. Ultimately, Home of the Brave falls victim to the hipster curse – fancy on the outside without much substance or quality on the inside.

Happy munching!