A few weeks ago in Paris I sampled a delicious leek and potato soup at a Left Bank restaurant called Les Sellae. Although potato soup cooked with leeks is a classic winter offering in France, the inventive chefs had enhanced their version with contemporary touches by finishing the potage with swirls of Taleggio cream plus sprinkles of crispy speck (an Italian deli meat similar to prosciutto) and fresh dill. I tried recreating the soup with good results in Paris, and once home in New England prepared it again with a few tweaks. As I took sips of this hearty, warming soup, I had a Eureka moment when I realized that it would be perfect to serve for The Super Bowl this coming Sunday!
The soup takes about 45 minutes start to finish, and can be prepared a day ahead. I replaced the speck with prosciutto and sautéed the julienned slices several hours ahead. For the Taleggio cream, I simply melted bits of the tangy Italian cheese in simmering cream at serving time.
To round out the menu, add a salad of mixed greens tossed in a lemon and shallot dressing, a warm crispy baguette, and a bowl of pears, grapes, or apples served with your favorite homemade cookies.
Here in New England, everyone is gearing up for Super Bowl XLIX, cheering for the Pats (and hoping that Deflategate will soon be resolved!) Like many, I’m planning on making a big pot of chili this Sunday to stave off the frigid temperatures of the last few days, but I’m far more excited about the scrumptious Lime and Ginger Cream Cheese Bars that will end the menu.
Simple, quick, and addictive, they are prepared with a crust of ground ginger snaps, sugar, and melted butter, all combined and packed onto the bottom of a baking pan. The creamy filling is made with a cheesecake-style batter enhanced with bits of crystallized ginger and a robust accent of lime. The batter is baked until set, then cooled and chilled before it is cut into bars, so you can definitely prepare this dessert in advance. I created this recipe quite a few years ago, but recently updated it for my blog.
These slim bars are only about an inch high, but are packed with flavor. You can garnish Continue reading
My grown son, Mike, makes fun of me because I am not “au courant” when it comes to sports, and in particular when the subject is pro football. While he can name every team in the NFC and the AFC, their wins and losses for the past season, and most of their players, I’m still trying to figure out who’s going to the Super Bowl!
What I do have, though, is a stash of recipes perfect for when my offspring wants to cook for his pals on Super Bowl Sunday. This year I’ve suggested a spicy chili with big robust flavors that easily and inexpensively will feed a crowd. Continue reading