Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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It's cold outside. And I live in Austin--a place I moved to in an attempt to get AWAY from the cold. On the upside, I have already overloaded myself with cold weather recipes--starting with this amaaaaze-balls soup!


I threw this together one night because I seem to hoard red peppers whenever they're on sale, and my recipe-to-red-pepper ratio seems to be off, meaning my fridge is always full of them. Not that I'm complaining...


Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable if you'd like to go vegetarian)
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 2+ tbs olive oil
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper

-Prick holes in peppers and rub with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Cut off the top of the garlic so that tops of cloves are exposed but still hold together. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and cover with tin foil and place on baking sheet. Place baking sheet in an oven heated to 400 degrees F and bake for about 20 minutes, turning peppers halfway, or until peppers begin to blister.

-Meanwhile, over medium heat, heat 2 tbs olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and vinegar.

-When peppers are fully cooked, let cool until safe to touch and peel off skin and discard seeds. Add to the pot, along with the garlic (which you can get out simply by squeezing it). Add the chicken broth and let simmer for about five minutes.

-Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a standing blender. Cook a few more minutes over medium heat, then serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Post-Holiday Things - Balsamic Cherry Pork

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Does anyone else feel like they need a week off to recuperate from the holidays? After two weeks of back and forth travel and the stress of the holiday season, piled on with other various stressors, I am beat.

It's been unseasonably cold in Austin and I've been a grumpy stress ball for most of it. But, with the new year begins new things, and the warmer air is already setting in again, so hopefully things will settle back to some sort of normal soon.


Cooking, for the past few years, has always been my "me time"--a time to relax and experiment with flavors and make something amazing while letting my brain just chill. Lately, it's been a chore I've needed to push around my schedule for, and I've succumbed to short cuts and quick fixes. Instead of using it as my own personal therapy, I've avoided that. I need to get back.


Travel means lots of meals on the road. While I'm not complaining, I do miss my kitchen. This week I am committing to three home-cooked meals. So, I'm pulling out this recipe--formerly published on my last blog--because you can't get much more unique than cocoa balsamic vinegar. The savory and sweet combination is just perfect. Reduced with some wine you have a delicious topping for any sort of pork.




Grilled Pork Sirloin with Cherry Cocoa Balsamic Compote

  • 2 pork sirloin steaks
  • 1 cup golden cherries, pitted and halved
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup Boyajian Cocoa Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup moscato wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2+ tbs Boyajian garlic oil, optional

-To begin, I rubbed the pork sirloin steaks with the garlic oil and salt and pepper and let them sit while my grill pan heated. Season pork steaks as you'd like, and grill until cooked through.

-While pork is cooking, combine all remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook over high heat, until cherries burst and release their juices. Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half. Taste, and add more or less liquid if desired.

-Serve compote over pork.