in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ginger Carrot Chowder, Ginger Honey Lime Dressing.

Have you ever awakened in the morning and thought "I need more ginger in my life"? How about rosemary? Or basil? Maybe chocolate? There are five forms of ginger in my kitchen. There are three sources of rosemary, I planted four varieties of basil in my garden this year and I have five different types of chocolate chips in my pantry. Wow. Here are two different recipes that utilize ginger, which is apparently one of my favorite flavors.
Root, candied, blended, powdered and jarred.
Carrot Chowder with Ginger and Curried Rice Crackers
Carrot Chowder with Ginger
2 cups finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
Place carrots,onions, ginger, salt and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are soft. Meanwhile, make a bechamel sauce with the butter, flour and milk. (Melt butter, stir in flour, cook for a minute. Stir in milk and cook until thickened.) Puree carrot mixture with a hand held blender in the pan. Then mix bechamel with carrots. Stir until well blended. Add 2 
tablespoons raw sugar. Add salt and butter to taste just before serving. Optional: top with chopped fresh parsley to serve.

Hints: This soup is great the next day, too. The flavors meld beautifully overnight. Chop the carrots and onion in a food processor if you can--that makes it go very fast. I began freezing ginger root to preserve it, it is easy to grate directly into dishes when it is frozen, although it is not easy to peel but I don't bother to peel it for this soup anyway. Skim or 2% milk will work fine for this chowder. The raw sugar has an earthier flavor than regular granulated sugar and I have made this recipe with honey as well. The butter at the end melts into the chowder and makes it really silky; I usually use another tablespoon or two.

Ginger, Honey and Lime Dressing (for fresh fruit salads)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3/4 to 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
Zest one lime and then squeeze juice into a small bowl. Whisk in honey and ginger. Toss with fresh fruit. The best combo is blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe. But you can't go wrong with pomegranate, kiwi and banana. Cherries, clementine sections and halved grapes are fabulous as well. Then there is pear and raspberry---oh my!---my mouth is watering, I have got to stop. Choose whatever is fresh. Just imagine the colors in combination and do a monochromatic or complementary scheme.

Hints: Any citrus fruit can be used instead of the lime-- orange or clementine, lemon, grapefruit all work very well. The more tart ones might require you to use a bit more honey in the dressing. A micro planer is the best tool for zesting citrus. It also works super for the ginger root-no need to peel the root even. I use my micro planer several times a week and have loved it. Best $5 I spent in 2007. I sometimes use the ginger in the jar or tube for this recipe because it is so finely minced and mixes so well. Ginger is supposed to be good for digestion and immune systems.

Compliments come every time I serve fruit with Ginger Honey Lime dressing. It is one of my most requested recipes. This is my very favorite soup from San Francisco. It is served at the "Unicorn --Pan Asian Cuisine" on Pine Street in the financial district. I have it there every time I am in town and have tried to copy the taste in my own kitchen. This recipe comes close but the ambiance is just not the same. If you get there, try the coconut black rice as well--- I am working on that recipe now. (*Here it is!) Oh, and the sea scallops in wasabi cream or the fillet with green beans, then end with the mango panecotta. Ouch!

No comments:

Post a Comment