Being the forward minded techie thinker that I am (yeah, right, I’m just now upgrading my 10+ year old Power Mac to a 3 year old Apple Laptop!), I recently encouraged those on our “Holm Family Cookbook” email list to subscribe to the RSS Feed (most commonly expanded as “Really Simple Syndication”) for this Cowgirl’s Foodie Blog. This morning I thought to myself, “I wouldn’t be able to answer anyone’s questions on the RSS Feed if I don’t have at least one myself.” So, it’s time to move into the 21st century now that it’s 2010, and I’m off to subscribe to my first RSS Feed.
Oops, found out that I needed a RSS Reader to subscribe to a feed. Now off to Google to find a RSS Reader. Fortunately, Google has their own reader, and I knew it would be simple and free, so I set up a Google account, went to their RSS Reader page, and they had a video tutorial on the subject. Well, low and behold, the tutorial sample was for recipes! Uh oh, my weakness, recipes. But they are free for crying out loud, and they come automatically, and don’t take up any space physically, so I think I’m safe. So now I’m on the prowl for the perfect recipe RSS feed, or two, or maybe even three!
I started a search for a recipe subscription, and boy oh boy, there are tons, some familiar, some unfamiliar: Recipezaar, Epicurious (an old familiar favorite), Tech-Recipes (afraid to even look?!), Banana Bread Recipe (really, how many do you need? 10,861 subscribers, I guess there’s a need!), Good Morning America recipe feed, Perfect Popcorn (hmmm), Cupcake Recipes (mmm mmm), Potato Patch Recipes (only 15 subscribers?), Cooking for Engineers (oh my), and the list went on, and on, and on, and on.
So I went the safe and familiar route, Epicurious (267,590 subscribers, must be good). Immediately upon subscribing, up popped three recipes:
2) Rustic Tomato Soup with Toasted Cumin and Mini Rajas Recipe from Bon Appétit;
3) Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Orange Frosting Recipe from Bon Appétit.
Hey, those all sound pretty good, but realistically, the only one I would probably attempt this week would be the Tomato Soup, it includes cumin seeds, one of my favorite ingredients, and especially soup because there are 5 days of rain on the way to Northern California. Here’s the recipe below:
Rustic Tomato Soup with Toasted Cumin and Mini Rajas Soup
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chopped onions (about 2 large)
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 teaspoons achiote paste*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes with basil in juice, tomatoes diced, all juice reserved
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 3-to 4-inch dried guajillo chile,** stemmed, seeded, coarsely torn
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Coarse kosher salt
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 4 4-inch corn tortilla squares (cut from round tortillas), halved, cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips
- 1 5-ounce package mini bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into thin strip
Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until starting to smoke and pop, about 4 minutes. Pour seeds onto plate; cool. Grind finely in spice mill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Chill in airtight container.
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions. Cover and cook until tender but not brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Using garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Add achiote and allspice. Stir over low heat 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, and guajillo chile. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Working in 2-cup batches, blend soup in processor to coarse puree (some texture should remain). Return to same pot. Mix in 11/2 teaspoons toasted cumin; season with cayenne, if desired, and coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
Pour enough oil into heavy medium saucepan to reach depth of 3/4 inch. Heat oil over medium heat 4 minutes. Fry half of tortilla strips until just golden. Using slotted spoon, transfer strips to paper towels to drain (color will darken slightly). Repeat with remaining strips.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons tortilla-frying oil from saucepan in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mini peppers. Toss until tender, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: All rajas can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Reheat soup over medium heat. Ladle into bowls. Top with tortilla and pepper rajas and sprinkle with toasted cumin. Serve, passing additional cumin separately.
* A paste made from achiote seeds; sold at Latin markets.
** A maroon-colored, fairly hot dried chile up to 6 inches long and about 11/2 inches wide; available at some supermarkets and at Latin markets.
So, if you’re feeling adventurous, or hungry, get on out there and sign up for a RSS Feed for recipes. Or, of course, The Cowgirl’s Foodie Blog RSS Feed, the link is right at the bottom of this page!
As Julia Child would say, Bon Appétit!