Monday, December 03, 2012

Total immersion doesn't work with this soup recipe :(

I tried the WINTER SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP (pareve) recipe mentioned here, roasting the veggies before pureeing them.  Boy, was I surprised when I went to puree them in my giant soup pot with my immersion blender and the ingredients proved so tough to puree that I had to force the blender right down into them to do the job.  After a couple minutes of this nonsense, I checked the recipe to see whether I'd missed something, and found that I had--this recipe doesn't say anything about using an immersion blender.  !#$%^&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My whole point in buying an an immersion blender/blender stick/hand blender (whatever) was that I don't want to have to transfer cooked food from pan or pot to food processor and then (back) to pot.  Forget it!  I'm going back to simmering the veggies directly in the pot and using the immersion blender to "cream" them.  The roasting method takes 3-4 times longer, and the darned soup came out edible but grainy. :(  My previous version was much easier to make and tasted much better.

But here's some better news.

From a comment to the last linked post:

Miami Al said...

. . .

Home Depot had a Black Friday special of $19.99 for a 5 Qt Crockpot. Even if the veges fill 1 Qt, that's still 4 Qts of stock that you could let simmer on its own for 24 hours or so.

Your food will taste 1000% better.

Mon Nov 26, 05:52:00 PM 2012"  

I happened to be in Home Depot recently to stock up on refill filters for our water pitchers, and thought I'd check the small-appliance aisle, just in case.  Much to my pleasant surprise, not only did they still have 5-qt. crockpots, they had been reduced to $14.98!  Such a metziah (bargain)!  As they used to say on Star Trek:  Voyager, "Resistance is futile."  :)  Thanks for the tip, Miami Al!  Guess I'll have to stock up on crockpot recipes.  But first, we have to decide whether this'll be a meat/b'sari/fleishig pot or a parve/b'li chalav-o-basar/neither-dairy-nor-meat-nor-poultry pot.  (Yes, we could get a second one, for that price, but our kitchen is so small that I don't know where we'd put it!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 update:

It turns out that our bargain crockpot will shut off automatically after 10 hours. So it's probably not good for cholent for Shabbat lunch, a habit we're not into yet but might be interested in trying. We'll probably return it, since we don't have room for that one and a longer-cooking one. Any recommendations for a crockpot that's designed for longer-than-overnight cooking would be appreciated.

Chulent recipes would also be nice. I haven't decided yet whether we'll keep our cholent vegan (for the sake of our vegan friends), but we'll certainly keep it gluten-free (substituting kasha/roasted buckwheat for barley), and please keep in mind that I can't eat much cooked tomato or more than the equivalent of one tiny "boiling" potato without my gout acting up. Thanks!

In better news, I betook myself to Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday after work with an expires-at-midnight coupon and picked up a Misto refillable olive oil spray can, an 8-inch Farberware chef's knife, and the first knife sharpener I saw, each item for $12 or less, plus tax but minus $5 from the coupon.  Thus far, it appears that I'll have to leave the knife on a counter, still in its now-opened packaging, because it won't fit into my parve drawer.  I used the sharpener on the paring knife that I bought last May, tried out the newly-resharpened knife on a bell pepper, and immediately remembered why that knife had scared the heck out of me when I first bought--it's dangerously sharp again.  I'll probably have time to fill the Misto tomorrow night or Thursday night, when I'm neither going to a shiur (Jewish-sacred-studies lecture, for lack of a better description) or folk dancing.  Then I can cut up a whole head of fresh cauliflower with our new chef's knife, mist it with olive oil, and try roasting it with red onions, as TOTJ Steve recommended (in the comments to the first linked post).  Yum!

Thursday, December 6, 2012 update:
Courtesy of TOTJ Steve, here's a link to instructions showing an easier and less messy way to cut cauliflower.


Anonymous Totjsteve said...

I'm not sure what you were expecting, but I often have to "capture" the solids with my stick blender to puree the contents. It's possible that you undercooked the veggies in the oven. Even at 450, which is my standard veggie roasting temp, a full sheet of squash, onions and/or cauliflower will take 45 minutes. It's simple but true, good food can't be rushed.

Mon Dec 03, 10:09:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

TOTJ Steve, my recipe said 400, so that's what I used, and I kept everything in the oven for at least 50 minutes. I'll keep your 450 recommendation in mind for the future.

Tue Dec 04, 12:59:00 PM 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

450, 45 minutes, salt the vegetables first. The goal of roasting is to dehydrate them, salting will help.

Regarding multiple ones... When there is a deeply discounted sale like this, I'll sometimes pick up two, and either store the second base or throw it away, and have separate inserts/lids for meat/dairy, while keeping on device on my counter top and the other unit stored away.

I mostly slow cook parve and meat things, but I do slow cook to have with dairy meals, and the occasionally neat dairy recipe comes my way (or dish that can use yogurt after completion to temper a spicy dish).

Tue Dec 04, 05:40:00 PM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Miami Al, I think we might keep the crockpot just because it's so cheap that it might not be worth hauling that heavy thing back to Bed Bath & Beyond via subway. I'm hesitant to buy another one, though, despite the nice price, until I figure out what I'm going to do with *this* one. I'm still not sure how long a cooking cycle one needs for, for example, starting to cook cholent before the beginning of Shabbat for Shabbat lunch, but I assume that 10 hours would not be enough.

Re salting the veggies, I'm concerned that using salt would contribute to our kidney-stone collection. :(

Wed Dec 05, 01:48:00 PM 2012  

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