Bean Soup- Tuscany Style

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Bean Soup in the Style of Tuscany
Tuscan Style Bean Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
Ingredients
Tuscan Style Bean Soup
Instructions
  1. Place the presoaked cannellini beans in a medium stockpot. Add water to just cover the beans and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
  2. In a 12-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, leek, carrot, celery, sliced garlic, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the black and white cabbages and cook until the cabbage has softened and the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf. Add the tomato paste, and stir until the tomato paste is well distributed throughout the vegetable mixture.
  3. Preheat the grill or broiler.
  4. Add the vegetable mixture to the pot with beans and water and let simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes more. When the soup is close to being done, toast or grill the bread until both sides are browned. Cut the remaining garlic clove in half, and rub the toasted bread with the cut end of the garlic. Discard the garlic.
  5. Serve the soup hot in 4 warmed bowls with the garlic bruschetta on the side. Garnish with a sprinkling of Parmigiano, to taste.
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Food Corner- Black Garlic

black-garlic

Never heard of black garlic? Now you have.

It is nothing more than garden-variety garlic, Allium sativum, that is fermented with heat for 30 days and packaged to sell for twice the price, but the taste is entirely different. You can eat it raw or cooked without experiencing heartburn or garlic breath.

First imported from South Korea by a California-based company, BlackGarlic.com, in 2008, black garlic is slowly gaining popularity, not just for its tastes, but also for its nutritional benefits. It is almost twice as high in antioxidants as compared to raw garlic.

Just as kimchi is fermented cabbage, black garlic is garlic that has been fermented with heat. When you add heat to start the fermentation process, the sugar is pulled out, leaving a dark tan to black garlic bulb.

One secret to using black garlic is to steep the garlic in warm water for several days, then puree it before adding to recipes. The steeping process lessens the pungent flavor. Since the flavor is more pungent than raw garlic, lees is needed. It is great is soups, white sauces, mashed potatoes, and pizza to name a few. Be careful substituting this in Italian dishing, as the fermentation process is Asian in nature, so Asian dishes are the place to experiment.

You can find this gem at selected high-end retailers, and Asian stores. it will most likely come, and black garlic puree in a jar, peeled black garlic in a jar, or if you are lucky enough to find it, fresh! Bon Appétit.

 

Food Tip of the Week- Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

brussle_sproutsThis one may not be at the top of everyone’s list, but once you get over your hang ups from those childhood memories of being force to eat your veggies, Brussels Sprouts come out on top with flavor & nutrition.

Brussels Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and are cultivated like cabbage. The plant was first developed in Belgium (Brussels being the capital) and may its way to France, England and then to Louisiana along with the French settlers.

Brussels Sprouts are available year round but are most plentiful from late August through March. They are grown along the California coast in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties where the weather is usually cool and foggy. 90% of all commercial production for the entire United States is from this area.

Nutritionally Brussels Sprouts area a powerhouse! They contain enough vitamin C to cover 142% of your recommended daily allowance. They are also low in calories, total fat and are a good source of dietary fiber.

So get over the hang-ups and try Brussels Sprouts again for the very first time.

Valentines Day

valentines day heartAre you one of the 6 million couples that will get engaged on Valentines Day?

Yes, statistics show that over 6 million couples will soon be headed to the wedding chapel to tie the knot! It was toward the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as the day to honor the soft-hearted St Valentine. In 1840 the first valentine day card appeared in stark contrast today over one billion cards are sent, over 35 million boxes of chocolate are purchased and 220 million roses are used. America spends over 20 billion dollars a year on this holiday and 4 billion of that is spent on the purchase of jewelry!

Who says love and romance is dead? The staff at La Fontaine Bleue would like to thank you for keeping the tradition alive and we wish you all a most heartfelt congratulations!

There’s so much to do! Don’t do it alone, call us and let Maryland’s top catering company help you plan the perfect wedding ceremony and reception that is as unique as you are.