Are any of you hooked on The Canal House? Have Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer (no relation) reeled you into their culinary world? Each weekday I receive an e-mail, accompanied by the most gorgeously enticing photograph, describing these ladies’ lunches.
Absolutely not. Check out Canal House Cooks Lunch and get back to me on that.
This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe choice, Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup, presented the perfect opportunity for me to play house like Melissa and Christopher. I returned to Nevada last weekend, after spending the week in Colorado organizing my March move. So, for the next month, most of my days are revolving around sorting and tossing and donating and selling and packing and not having any fun at all. (Okay, that last part is a fib.)
So, for Lent, instead of giving up something, I’ve promised myself I will stop each day and make a nice, nutritious lunch. Nothing fancy. Nothing difficult. Just lunch. A catch-up-with-yourself moment. And, thanks to Dorie, Thursday’s lunch was quickly created and delicious.
“The soup, made in about 15 minutes, is the liquid version of a classic French dish, peas with lettuce and onions,” Dorie explains.
Everything in this soup was already in my cupboard and fridge – no last-minute trips to the grocery store. The bag of frozen peas, found at the back of my freezer, were just begging for attention. I melted some butter to soften the coarsely chopped onion. After seasoning, I poured in the chicken broth, bringing it to a boil. Then I added the peas and the trimmed, sliced romaine lettuce to the broth, asking it all to simmer while I made corn bread.
Don’t you think corn bread slathered with honey goes well with just about anything? I decided to go all Pioneer Woman and make it in my cast iron skillet. Just loved smelling the aroma while I pureed the soup in my blender. Because I wanted a smooth, silky texture, I then strained it. Rather than garnish my pea soup, I browned and added some pancetta bits before adding a dash more of pepper. A civilized, tasty meal break during a busy day.
PART TWO: COEUR À LA CRÈME
The End of the Story: For last week’s FFWD recipe dessert, we made Coeur à la Crème, and I used Dorie’s recipe as well as the Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten) for my two Coeurs. Both desserts were admired and willingly devoured, calories be damned. Because Dorie’s Coeur was refrigerated for three days, Ina’s, only 24 hours, it was firmer. I preferred that. Otherwise, the two complemented each other and we noticed little difference.
To see what’s cooking with the other Dorista’s, go to our French Fridays with Dorie link. .