Posts Tagged ‘immersion blender’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Blender Replacement

April 21, 2015

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Today’s tip is such a no-brainer, that when I saw it on one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, I literally felt dumb. I mean, why didn’t I think of this? I have extolled the virtures of the immersion blender on these pages before, and my cupboard is well stocked in mason jars.

So what is this fabulous tip?

Instead of using a big bulky blender, try using a hand held immersion blender in a large mason jar. It’s easy to do, easy to clean and storing whatever you just blended is as simple as adding a lid to the jar.

Its genius, right? You may never use your blender again!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Blending Hot Liquids

November 26, 2013

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If you have ever tried blending hot liquids and had the top of the blender fly off, spewing scalding hot soup everywhere, this tip is for you!

Here are a few tips to avoid this volcano-like eruption:

Blend in small batches, so there is less volume in the blender.

Hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender, to keep the lid from blowing off.

Start the blender on the lowest possible setting and gradually work up to the puree setting. You can also turn it on for a couple of seconds, and then open the top a little, to allow the steam to escape.

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OR invest in an immersion blender. If you are a regular to this site, you will know I am a big fan of this little appliance. You simply insert the blender into the food, rather than placing the food in the blender. You can puree the food right in the pot. No transferring, no washing another container or two, and no hot mess!

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Soup

November 20, 2013

The weather is changing and winter is in the air. For me, that spells the beginning of soup season. I used to start Thanksgiving dinner with pumpkin or butternut squash soup. As the crowd grew, and the accompanying extra dishes grew, I pulled back. This year, I am craving a warm start to the meal, and this soup fills the bill. I will serve it in teacups, to prevent everyone from filling up before the main event!

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Although the “unrecipe” calls for butternut squash, feel free to substitute fresh pumpkin.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

Savory Butternut Squash Soup:

Finely chop the white and light green part of one leek, and saute it in butter or olive oil, until softened but not browned. Add 3-4 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed*,  1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and  2 tablespoon of cumin, and continue to stir for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to merge. Season with salt and black pepper. Add a few tablespoons of Sherry, and cook long enough for it to evaporate into the mixture.

Add about 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, (enough to fully cover the squash), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the squash is soft.

Puree the soup in a blender, or use an immersion blender until smooth. Add more stock if the soup is getting too thick. Taste, and correct seasonings if necessary. Stir in a little more Sherry if desired, when ready to serve.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and enjoy!

* many specialty food markets, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have already peeled and cubed butternut squash, which makes this much easier to make!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week

October 1, 2012

Often the simplest preparations are the best. That was certainly the case with Friday night’s squash soup.

It was a rainy evening in New York City and my vegetable basket was filled with random goodies; the perfect scenario for a warm, comforting soup.

I cut a butternut squash into large pieces, drizzled them with olive oil so they didn’t dry out, and roasted them in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes, until they were soft and caramelized.

In the meantime, I sautéed an onion in a little olive oil and added the chunks of peeled and seeded pattypan squash.

I covered the vegetables with broth, (chicken or vegetable broth will do) and simmered it until the squash was soft.
I removed and discarded the skin from roasted butternut squash and added it to the pan.
After simmering it for another 10 minutes or so, I pureed it, using an immersion blender. Adding a little more broth to smooth out the consistency, and seasoning it with salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper for a bit of heat and my soup was ready.

It was creamy, rich and flavorful without any cream, or butter. The taste was all about fresh, seasonal foods, prepared in a simple manner. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and enjoy!

Inspector Gadget

July 11, 2011

The aisles of retail stores are filled with a plethora of kitchen gadgets that are supposed to make our time in the kitchen easier. The truth is, most of them are just making our wallets lighter, and our landfills full of useless plastic. Once you have a well stocked kitchen with the critical appliances (food processor and stand mixer) and tools,( great knives, tongs etc.) not much else is necessary.

There are however, a few things that have become my “go-to“ kitchen tools of choice, enabling me to do things more effortlessly.

Immersion Blender:

This  hand-held stick blender can be inserted right into the pot to blend sauces, puree soups or mash potatoes. It is easy to clean, and eliminates the need to transfer heavy pots of hot liquid into the blender to puree. Simple vegetable soups can be whipped up in no time, with very little mess.

Microplane Graters:

These long narrow graters are hand-held and easy to navigate around the curves of fruits and vegetables. Zesting citrus has never been simpler!

Levered Citrus Juicer:

This hand-held tool allows you to easily squeeze ½ a lemon, lime or orange right into the pan or bowl, while straining out the pulp and seeds. Great for simple salad dressings and sauces! It’s simple, low tech and “easy ,peazy lemon squeezy“ to clean.

Spring Loaded Scoops:

These scoops are for lots more than ice cream! Use a small one for dropping uniform dollops of cookie dough, and a larger one for filling muffin or cupcake tins.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tools that you can’t live without?

Photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Images


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