Aug 8, 2012

Carrot Velouté-Chilled Carrot and Orange soup

One of my all time favorite restaurants in Hawaii is Chef Mavro. Since it's such a splurge to go to Chef Mavro, I try to get my dose of him through his website, twitter, and his blog!! When I found out he was doing a cooking demonstration at Macy's, I jumped at the opportunity. If nothing else, just to bask in his glory!!

He was gracious enough to share two recipes during that cooking demonstration, a recipe for Carrot Velouté, a chilled carrot and orange soup and a scallop escabeche. We also got to taste what he made and it was sooo good!!

On top of everything else, he shared some great tips for making great food. Just from listening to him, you can see how passionate he is about food. He takes such great care to making everything delicious, even the very minute details. Here are some tips I learned from Chef.
  • *When using garlic in a recipe, remove the little stem in the middle of the clove. According to Chef Mavro, that is the part that gives you garlic breath. I have been doing that since then and I notice that the garlic no longer takes over the entire dish. The dishes no longer have that harsh, pungent garlic taste.
  • *To make sure your diced onions are all the same size and in turn cook evenly, cut the onion at an angle. It's hard to explain, so I found this for you at the Kitchn.
  • *Good food takes time to cook. If you don't have time to cook, you shouldn't, just go to his restaurant! =)
  • *Use good salt when cooking! His favorite salt is the salt of Hanapepe in the Island of Kauai. Apparently you can't buy it anywhere, you just have to know someone. He goes to Kauai once in awhile to get salt for his restaurant. His second choice is La Baleine sea salt. I haven't been able to find it in Hawaii yet. He said the ones in the blue round carton is only good for salting the floor after a spill. haha =)
  • *Last but not least, life is too short to eat bad food!!
For a recent get together, I made his Carrot Velouté. I absolutely loved it. I think the ladies loved it too, but the men did not seem to care for it. I have no idea why. I thought the texture was smooth and divine, the taste was very fresh. It's a great soup for the summer!

I did make some small changes to the recipe. The recipe called for coconut foam made with coconut milk. Chef Mavro had this fancy whipped cream maker that's able to make coconut foam from just coconut milk. I only had my stand mixer and try as I may, no foam came from the milk. I used whipped cream instead. His recipe was also very simple and hid some of the steps that he did while in person. I added a bit more details so you can replicate it at home.

Here's the recipe.

Carrot Velouté
adapted from Chef Mavro

2 lbs carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 of a medium sized onion, finely diced
1 small potato, peeled and finely sliced, reserved in water
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig Italian parsley
1 dried bay leave
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup whipping cream (see note)
1 tsp Madras curry powder
sea salt
white peppercorn, freshly ground

1. In a stock pot, saute the onions, carrots and sugar in 2 tbsp of butter. Cook until carrots and onions are slightly soft. Put enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Allow the water to come to a boil. Lower the temperature and allow it to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

2. Tie the thyme, parsley and bay leave together with some kitchen twine and put it in with the vegetables. Add the orange juice and potatoes into the carrot mixture and simmer for another 12 minutes.

3. Remove the herb bouquet from the soup. Blend the soup with the remaining butter in a blender until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill the soup until the soup is icy cold.

4. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks. Save half of the whipped cream for the topping. Fold the whipping cream into the soup. Serve in chilled soup bowls or plates, garnish on top with whipped cream sprinkled with curry. Enjoy!!

  • *If you happen to have one of those fancy whipped cream maker, by all means, use coconut milk. I think it tastes better with the coconut foam. I only used regular whipped cream.
  • *The printed recipe has 1 tbsp of cumin seeds. There aren't any instructions on when to use the cumin seeds in the procedures, and I don't remember seeing him use it in the demonstration. hm....

Aug 1, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made this pumpkin bread for a potluck we had at work the other day. I originally made some Old World Butter Horns from Cook's Country, but they came out so ugly (cannot post such ugly cookies, even though they are delicious!) that I had to scramble to make something else!!! This came together in no time so it was perfect!

This recipe comes from Extreme Dinner Makeover. This recipe is supposedly a copycat recipe for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread at Great Harvest. I haven't had their pumpkin bread in a long time, so I can't say for sure if it's a good copycat recipe or not. I can tell you that it's a good recipe for Pumpkin Bread.

I made them into muffins instead of the original loaf because I was pressed for time. It made about 30 muffins!!! I also decreased the amount of sugar and thought the muffins didn't suffer from it. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from Extreme Dinner Makeover

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar (see note)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz cooked or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (see note)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 12 count muffin tins. (see note)

2. Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.

3. Mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, and 2/3 cup water together. Stir into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. Place batter in prepared pans.

4. Bake 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • *Original recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar. I only used 2 cups and I thought it was sweet enough.
  • *I used Ghiradelli's semi-sweet chocolate chips, but they are a little larger than normal chocolate chips so it wasn't as evenly dispersed as I would have liked. I would suggest using smaller chocolate chips so you get a bit of chocolate in every bite!! =)
  • *I made about 30 muffins, I baked the first batch with two 12 count muffin tins. The second batch I filled six of the muffin tins with the batter
    and filled the rest with water so that they would bake evenly.

Template by Best Web Hosting