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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cream of mushroom soup in Vitamix

The perfect silky smooth soup: 1 minute prep, 10 minutes cooking
Source: Improvised

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 200 g portabella or button mushrooms (45 cal)
- 50 g roasted onions (20 cal)
- 10 g roasted garlic (15 cal)
- 2 cups milk (220 cal)
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice flour or all purpose flour (60 cal)
- 2 tsp Better than Bullion Chicken base (30 cal)
- 2 sprigs of fresh dill
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Total: 390 cal, 2 generous servings, 195 cal/serving

1. Place all ingredients into Vitamix in the order listed.
2. Start Vitamix on speed 1, gradually increase to 5, blend for 5 seconds, increase to 10 and switch to High. Let run for 8-10 minutes until steam starts escaping from the cover.
3. Done!

- I could not find any cream of mushroom recipes for Vitamix, so I thought that maybe Vitamix does not do a very good job on these, given that in normal mushroom soups, you need to saute the mushrooms first. So I made a small experimental batch and it immediately exceeded all my expectations: Simply excellent soup! With the perfect mushroom aroma and silky smooth texture. And with less than 200 calories per serving you can have it with your favorite crusty bread without any guilt :-). This is the second time I am making this recipe and certainly not the last one.
- This recipe uses roasted garlic and roasted onions. I make those in large batches once a while and freeze in small portions. It's very handy to have those on hand. And because they are roasted in the oven with hardly any oil, they are mush more diet-friendly than their pan fried cousins. Here is my recipe for making roasted garlic cubes.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Potato Rye Bread

Add potatoes to your bread to help keep it fresh
Source: Tea and Scones blog (originally from Dawn's Simply Sweet blog)

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 2 (out of 5)

- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3)
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 cup tepid reserved potato water (80F to 90F)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups rye flour

1. Quarter and boil russet potatoes until fully cooked. Remove from water and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, do not peel. Reserve the water.
2. Once the water is cool to the touch, measure 1/2 cup to proof the yeast. In the meantime mash the potatoes with potato masher or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
3. Then add the flours, the creamy yeast mixture, olive oil and salt. Replace the paddle is replaced with the dough hook and start kneading. 4. At first the dough looks dry and crumbly, but after several minutes it comes together. It should take about 10-12 minutes for the dough to become smooth.
5. Cover the bowl and allow the bread to rise for 20-30 minutes.
6. Divide the ready dough in half and shape each half into an oval loaf. Or you can fill the loaves, like Dawn did. Let the bread rise for another 30 minutes, covered with a wet towel or a wet paper towel.
7. Place a broiler pan on the lower rack of the oven to be filled with water for the steam and place a pizza stone on the upper rack. Preheat to 375F.
8. Right before baking, slash the tops of the loaves. Slide the loaves onto the baking stone and pour a cup of hot water into the broiler pan. Immediately close the oven door to trap the steam and bake for 45-50 minutes until the loaves are brown. They should make a hollow sound when you tap on them.
9. Let cool to room temperature, for about 20-30 minutes, before slicing and eating. Enjoy!

- The bread was delicious! It tastes like any "normal" bread, there is no "potato taste," but somehow the addition of potato helps keep the bread fresh. But the bread might be gone before you get a chance to test this ;-).
- This post was my SRC assignment. Just in case you don't know yet, SRC, or the Secret Recipe Club is a group of over a hundred food bloggers, who are assigned a "secret" blog each months. Then they choose a recipe from that blog, make it and post it on their own blog on a given reveal day. Then there is a big party, where you hop from one blog to another and check what everyone's been cooking. Lots of fun! And terrible for your diet ;-) I want to thank Amanda, Jane and April for making it all possible!
- This month I was assign Margaret's Tea and Scones blog. It has lots of great recipes, but the potato bread immediately drew my attention. And I am very happy with my pick :-).

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