Corned beef hash with chipotle chiles and Irish bacon by Homesick Texan
In an attempt to get eat more healthy, but still retaining the comforting nature of a cream-based soup. This winter, I came up with a broccoli soup recipe that primarily used steamed cauliflower to make the soup more sumptious.
I steamed a “bunch” of broccoli (two or three heads in the package from Publix) and a half a head of cauliflower. I did a rough separation of the florets and placed in a covered bowl in the microwave for five minutes with a couple tablespoons of water.
While those were steaming, I sauteed a vidalia onion in a tablespoon of oil until translucent and then added a couple small cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. I then added salt and pepper and a sprinkling of flour (which can be omitted if you wanted to have a gluten free/paleo recipe). I cooked the flour for a minute while stirring and then added a quart of chicken stock (there is a great new product by Swanson’s). You could use homemade stock or even use water with chicken boullion, depending what you have on hand. Bring to a light bubble.
I added the steamed veggies to the liquid and let it cook down for about 10 minutes. I wanted everything to be super tender. After the simmering, I got out my stick blender and blended to a nice creamy consistency without making it a puree. This makes a pretty thick soup, so you could add more stock depending on your taste. Make sure to salt and pepper along the way…makes a big difference.
To finish, I added juice from a half a lemon and some lemon zest. (You could also use a splash of white wine vinegar or sherry.) This adds a nice zing to balance the creaminess.
Options: Depending on how healthy you want to make it, you can add a glug of cream or garnish with cheddar cheese, but it tastes good without it. We also used some gourmet Crispy Onions from Fresh Market once and that was delicious.
Let me know if you try this out. But I ended up eating this in a couple different variations for a couple weeks. Also an especially great lunch option at the office.
As a burger fan, I would generally rank actual “fast food” burgers:
1. Whataburger (good burger plus good fries)
2. Wendy’s (decent burger plus ok fries)
3. McDonalds (eh burger, good fries)
4. Burger King (nope)
Honorable mention: Five Guys (good burger and fries, but disqualified due to no drive-thru, so not really “fast food.”)
Unfortunately, we do not have some other national chains that come highly recommended in Florida – most notable In-N-Out.
Recently, I was going to be traveling to Los Angeles for work, and immediately began trying to figure out when I could work in a field trip to In and Out. Woot!
Of course, I researched the chain thoroughly…the sacrifices I make! And found the not so “secret” menu. I love this. The idea of the secret menu makes everyone going there feel like an insider. Great marketing.
To be thorough…I got a regular In-N-Out cheesburger and an “Animal-Style” cheeseburger, described as “burger of your choice with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread with grilled onions.” I also got my fries “well-done” – another secret menu option where they cook the fries to a crispier level. (No, I did not finish all of this…and it was for research!)
The regular cheeseburger was a solid entry, the beef tasted solidly beefy and bun was nice – soft without being too mushy. Good ratios and beautiful tomatoes.
But the “Animal-Style” Burger? Heaven. I know I was hungry, but this burger had so much flavor and really knocked my socks off. I generally don’t get mustard or pickles on a burger, but the combination of all the toppings, especially the sauce and grilled onions, was delicious.
The well-done fries were the best fries I have had from a drive-thru – crispy, fresh, well-seasoned…ridiculous. And I would say that one serving feeds two – a great deal.
The service was really well-executed, with cars lined up down the side street. The window person were unfailingly polite, even though the driver in front of me stalled the entire process by playing on her phone and not paying attention. Loved this place and hope they come to Florida soon.