green beans

Charred & Chilled

ImageI dropped the ball.

I meant to post the entirety of my menu project on subsequent days without pause. Obviously that didn’t happen. I got distracted. There was a storm–you might’ve heard of it–then there was another storm. I was one of the lucky ones. I never lost power, I never lost cable. In fact, I sat through most of the event, watching the happenings from my six-story window until K decided we should close the blinds over concerns of safety. With no trees immediately imminent out of our window, I thought it safer to leave the blinds up, thus in view of the branches hurtling at us rather than being surprised when shards of window were met with the disappointment that we would now need to replace our newly broken blinds….but I digress.

We made it through the week and then on Sunday there was bustle and talk at the farmer’s market. How had families fared? When do you think transit will resume? What did you spend your time making in the kitchen!?

You’d think that I would have spent time testing recipes. Making some dish that takes too long to even consider making on a regular day. But, I did not. I mostly made simple recipes & I didn’t take pictures of any of them. And I’m okay with that. You don’t need to be party to everything that I eat.

I will, however, say that the caramelized onion and fernet steamed mussels were amazing. As was the chicken-sausage and purple cauliflower fried rice. And the bluefish sandwiches. And the cheddar-bacon shortbread cookies, And the baked pumpkin yeast doughnuts. And the puff-pastry with mustard green pesto, blue cheese and concord grape reduction drizzle. Though not so much the homemade tootsie rolls…

One thing I didn’t make was soup. And that’s because even in this time of lost power and cold nights, I’m forced to live with windows open and fans running on high because my apartment is so unbelievably hot–first world problems, y’all. Although, I guess I could have made this soup because it’s chilled. Technically it’s charred and chilled. You can read about why it’s charred and chilled here. Otherwise, make the soup to enjoy in your sweltering apartment (although it’s also good served warm). Either way, it’s delicious.
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Charred & Chilled Green Bean Soup
Yield: 8 Servings

1 medium Vidalia onion, ciseler
2 lbs. Italian green beans, cleaned
2 quarts green vegetable stock
S+P
Neutral oil, for sautéing
Micro-greens, for garnish
Olive oil, for drizzling

For the Cornbread Croutons
1 cup White Lily Self-Rising Buttermilk Cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of sugar
½ t baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup neutral oil
1 ½ cups milk
1 egg
50 g Melted Butter

For the Green Vegetable Stock
100 g onions, mirepoix
200 g celery, mirepoix
200 g white mushrooms, gills removed, halved
1 leek, mirepoix
150 g broccoli stems
1 green garlic stem
100 g carrot greens
Bouquet Garni
4 allspice berries

For the Stock

  1. Sweat each of the vegetables separately, without achieving any color. Too much color in the stock will lend the soup an unappealing color when finished.
  2. Return all veg to the pot along with carrot greens, bouquet and allspice and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim as needed. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 additional minutes. Strain & chill.

For the Soup

  1. Using a cast iron pan, sweat the onions in a bit of neutral oil until they are translucent and just starting to color.
  2. Add the green beans and briefly sauté until starting to soften.
  3. Add vegetable stock just to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and beans are very soft (add more stock or water if necessary).
  4. Once the liquid has completely evaporated, stir often, allowing them to scorch slightly.
  5. Place in a blender and add enough vegetable stock to make a puree. Add more stock bit by bit until the desired thickness is achieved, keeping in mind that the soup will be served chilled.
  6. Return to the pot and to the heat and bring just to the boil to meld all the flavors. Adjust seasoning
  7. Push through a fine chinois and then chill.

For the CroutonsImage

  1. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar & salt.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan and place in an oven preheated to 425º.
  4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Remove cornbread from pan and slice into ½” squares.
  6. Place on a sheet pan and drizzle with melted butter. Toss lightly and place back in the oven til crisp and golden.

For Service

  1. Ladle soup into bowls & top with cornbread croutons, micro-greens and a drizzle of olive oil.

Drink Pairing
Broadbent Vinho Verde – 2011