Southern Made Fresh

9780848742942_p0_v1_s192x300I feel like I’ve been in a cooking rut lately.  For Christmas I got the Pioneer Woman’s latest book – Dinners, and am looking forward to trying some of those recipes.  Last night I tried her take on the classic cobb salad – and it was delicious.  For Christmas I also got Southern Made Fresh – which had been on my wish list for a while.  I also recently bought Rachael Ray’s new book Everyone Is Italian on Sunday, which I can’t wait to try.

Southern Made Fresh offers some new takes on Southern favorites: “vibrant dishes rooted in homegrown flavor”.  There are great, colorful pictures, that make all recipes look delicious.  Of course that’s probably the case with most great cookbooks – this one inspires me to cook!  Written by Tasia Malakasis, from Alabama, a seasoned Southern cook, and owner of Belle Chevre Creamery in Elkmont, Alabama.  So, she knows a thing or too about Southern dishes.  She also blogs at Tasia’s Table, sharing more delicious recipes there.

Some of the recipes include egg and chorizo quesadillas, which I made right away – my husband loves Mexican chorizo, and we both loved this recipe.  There are also recipes for buttermilk pecan pancakes (it’s the addition of the pecans I think that give these pancakes the “Southern” label), celery-apple salad, corn and crab fritters, yellow squash and zucchini gratin, buttermilk granola muffins (a basic muffin recipe with a bit of granola mixed into the batter, and a little more sprinkled on top).  My daughter loved helping me make these muffins – and we were able to use our own homemade granola.

One of the first recipes we tried was the Classic Tomato Soup.  It was the perfect thing for chilly weather, paired with a gooey, buttery grilled cheese.  I was also able to use the new immersion blender I got for Christmas.  For the picky eaters in this house, it was a great way to make it nice and smooth!

unnamedClassic Tomato Soup

2 T butter

2 C finely chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

5 ¼ C canned reduced sodium fat free chicken broth

1 t dried oregano

3 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes

½ C half and half

½ t table salt

½ t freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes: small fresh basil leaves, croutons

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 6 minutes until tender.
  2. Add broth and next 2 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Slow stir in half and half, salt, and pepper.

If you were buried in snow over the weekend like we were (ok, so we just got an inch – but around here that’s a big deal!), this is the perfect remedy!  Stay warm and enjoy!!

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