Governator Burger Pizza: Revolutionary Pizza Review

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I love pizza. Whether its thin and crispy, thick and doughy, Chicago-style, Tuscan-style, round, square, rectangle you name it, if it’s pizza, I usually like it.

There’s just something about having dinner on a crust. Pizza is fun to make, fun to eat, and a great way to entertain friends. 

Governator Burger Pizza

I should probably clarify that even though I like different types of dough, I’m usually pretty particular (in other words, boring) when it comes to the toppings I enjoy on my pizza.

So when I was asked to join the blog tour to introduce a new pizza book, called Revolutionary Pizza, I thought, “What could be new about pizza?” Then I took a look at some of the sample recipes and exclaimed, “Wow! Those are some crazy combinations!”

With combos like Smack 'n' Cheese, Jalapeño Pop n Lock, Reuben, BBQ Porkabella and Governator Burger Pizza to choose from, I had to get out of my pizza box. You know, sometimes you just gotta do it.

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Welcome to the alternate pizzaverse, as the author calls it.

Revolutionary Pizza provides a glimpse into how Dimo’s Pizza (based in Chicago) approaches their craft, and craft it is. I agree with their analogy that “… pizza crust is the canvas for creating and enjoying favorite meals in new and unthinkable ways.”

Get ready to shake up your taste buds and step out of your pizza comfort zone because there’s a new pizza in town. It’s called Revolutionary Pizza. And, I’m here to tell you that you DO want to try it, you’ll like it!

With so many interesting and out-of-the-ordinary combinations to choose from, it was a difficult decision, but I went with the Governator Burger Pizza because it seemed to have more flavor than fire. I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to fire, however, some of the other participants were bolder.  I’ve included links to their posts at the end of my review so you can see some of the other unique pies that are presented in this book.

  Governator Burger Pizza

 

The Governator Burger Pizza was fabulous!  I am so glad I chose it.  It’s the perfect combination of meat and veggies.  I really wasn’t sure about the simple sauce (made of sour cream and heavy cream), but it brings all of the flavors together to wow your mouth. 

I’ve never been to Dimo’s Pizza, but after reading about their distinctive pies and tasting this one, the next time I’m in Chicago, I will definitely pay them a visit.

By the way, I showed this book and several of the ‘za combinations (as the author affectionately refers to his pizzas) to my son and his girlfriend and they were all over it.  They were particularly interested in the ones that included jalapeños.

It’s a whole new pizza world out there.  You need to check it out!

 

THE GOVERNATOR BURGER PIZZA

A California-inspired burger jacked up with the meaty muscle of ground beef and pancetta. It even has a few delicious veggies on there. Just don’t tell Arnold.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Revolutionary Pizza, by Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau

 

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:

  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp./252 mL cold water
  • 2 tsp./10 g salt
  • 2 tbsp/25 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp/15 mL extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp./6 g instant dried yeast
  • 3 1/2 cup/420 g high-gluten flour (I used all-purpose flour)
  • Cornmeal and flour for rolling

For the toppings:

  • 1 lb/454 g ground beef
  • 3 tbsp/44 mL olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup/30 g shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup/118 mL Simple Cream sauce (made with sour cream, heavy cream and an egg whisked together)
  • ¼ cup/40 g tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup/33 g raw red onions, sliced
  • ¼ lb/113 g pancetta arrotolata, cut in thinly sliced rounds and browned slightly for texture
  • 6 oz/170 g goat cheese
  • ¼ cup/15 g microgreens

 

Dough Instructions:

  1. In a mixer combine the water, salt, sugar and oil. Whisk together by hand. Add in the yeast and quickly whisk, then immediately add the flour. Mix a medium speed using a dough hook for 10 min. until dough ball forms.
  2. Add a small amount of additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Cut the dough into two equal sized portions and knead with your hands about 10 times to get out any air bubbles. Shape into a ball as you knead, the surface should be smooth.
  3. Set aside and cover it with a moist towel. Repeat with the other portion. Let rise for a minimum of 2 hours. They should rise to twice their original size. Use one of the portions to make the pizza and refrigerate, freeze or make another pizza with the remaining dough.
  4. Shape and stretch dough into a 12-14 inch round and place on a pizza peel lined with parchment. Preheat your oven with a pizza stone at 500 degrees, while making the toppings.

 

 

Pizza Instructions:

  1. Place goat cheese in freezer before starting preparation of the pizza. This will make assembling the pizza easier later.
  2. Heat pan on medium and add ground beef, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne. Brown the meat thoroughly, stirring frequently. Let cool.
  3. Evenly distribute shredded mozzarella. Apply rings of Simple Cream sauce, starting at the outside closest to the crust and working toward the center. Distribute ground beef.
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 500°F/260°C for 10–12 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  5. Top with chopped tomatoes, red onions and pancetta. Remove the goat cheese from the freezer, shred and distribute over the pie. Finish with microgreens. Slice and serve.

Governator Burger Pizza

 

Now that I’ve stepped into a new pizza zone, I don’t intend to stop here. I plan on trying some of the other pies, like:

  • The Broccoli Bacon Masher – with broccoli, cheddar, parmesan, Yukon gold potatoes, bacon, and garlic.
  • Thanksgiving Leftovers Pie – I’m sure you can imagine what’s on this one.
  • Pumpkin Pie – Oh my! with roasted pumpkin, marshmallows, pecans, spices, eggs, and sugar. 
  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken – the list of ingredients goes on forever.

And so on and so on.  There are just too many wonderful combinations to choose from.

If you want to learn even more unique ideas for topping pizzas, check out some of the reviews from the other participants in the blog tour. 

 

About the author: Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau is the owner of Dimo's Pizza, which has two locations in Chicago: Wrigleyville and Wicker Park. Dimo's pies are known for their outlandish ingredients and addictive tastes. They have been enjoyed by CM Punk, Andy Dick, hordes of Cubs fans, the entire improv scene in Chicago and many a folk just a few drinks in. Dimitri hopes to change the world fo rthe better using the most delicious weapon he knows: pizza - the food of the people. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

More info about Dimo’s pizza: website | facebook | twitter | instagram

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Revolutionary Pizza from the folks at Page Street Publishing. Any links to purchase the book on Amazon are affiliate links.

Farewell Enrico, You will be missed

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It’s been a couple of months since I visited Le Casacce, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

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Majestic Tuscan sunsets,

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and beautiful roses

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that frame the charming stone architecture with color and splendor.

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I spent a couple of weeks in this paradise attending a conference and basking in the Tuscan countryside.

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This post was supposed to be a review of the awesome experience I had at Le Casacce discovering more about writing and photography at the Plated Stories Workshop, and learning about Italian cooking  from Enrico Casini, a renowned Italian Chef.

However, sadly, Enrico passed away in his sleep this past Sunday. So this is my humble tribute to him.

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Enrico was a funny, dynamic person who loved to cook and share his villa and his creations with everyone.

This was his domain whether he was in the kitchen preparing a masterpiece or mingling with guests.

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Everything he and his staff made turned to gold or at least tasted like it was made from some precious substance. He took great pains to make sure his creations delighted everyone.

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At dinner every night, he would introduce each course as it was being served. He was proud of his land and especially his olive oil. He would enter the dining room with a smile on his face and say, “Excuse me!” and when everyone was silent, he would tell us in his broken English what each dish was made of.

He would say “… this dish is made with the meat (or cheese) from these lands (as he opened his arms to signify the land around him) and my olive oil … and my love … sokay! Thank you!”

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One of the dishes we made in the cooking class is this ricotta gnocchi with creamed spinach and chard.  It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I hope to decipher my notes one day and recreate it.

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Enrico reminded me of a flower child from the 70s. I didn’t really know him; I just observed his manner in the kitchen and around the villa.  He usually had Barry White or Sade playing in the background. 

He had a simple, yet captivating collection of paintings and photographs which hung in the dining room and patio area.  The art provided a glimpse into his life and memories and made mealtime a precious experience.

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Another endearing character at Le Casacce, was Enrico’s loyal sidekick, Socrates. Socrates is a friendly and woeful donkey. He would sing a song when he saw his master coming and sometimes the rest of us would hear it too.

Sweet Socrates, won’t you sing your song one more time? 

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Enrico, thank you for enriching our lives and our palates with your Roman traditions and welcoming us into your villa and your lands.  We’ll cherish these memories forever.

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Here’s to your olive groves, your lands and your lovely villa. May they forever hold your memory and your love deep within.

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Farewell Enrico, you will be missed …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Whole Wheat Bread on Saturday, just because

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When you hear the term “artisan bread,” do you automatically think preferment, overnight sponge or sourdough (aka wild yeast)?

Usually when I make an artisan loaf, I like to add some sort of preferment or at least let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight to help develop the flavor.

Whole Grain Saturday Bread

However, this past Saturday, I decided to answer the question: Can you make a whole wheat artisan loaf in one day and will it taste good?   

I started the effort late morning. I chose a multi-grain bread which utilizes the straight dough method. Straight dough means it doesn’t include any preferment such as an overnight poolish or a sponge or sourdough. It’s just a straight dough.

This bread is based on the method for the 75% Whole Wheat Saturday Bread from Flour, Water, Salt & Yeast by Ken Forkish.  The total amount of whole grain flour used (375 grams) is seventy-five percent of the total flour used (500 grams). I used a combination of hard red spring wheat, Durum wheat and rye flour for the whole grain portion.

Whole Grain Saturday Bread

I’m happy to report that you can make a whole wheat artisan loaf in one day and it does taste pretty good, especially with peanut butter, which is my litmus test to see if I like a bread.  It also tastes great with butter or  cheese. I haven’t tried it other ways because I ran out of it.

 

75% Whole Grain Saturday Bread

Adapted from: Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish

Makes: One loaf (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Ingredients:

  • 125 grams (~ 7/8 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 35 grams (scant 1/3 cup) coarse rye flour
  • 200 grams (scant 1 1/3 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 140 grams (scant 7/8 cup) Durum wheat flour
  • 360 grams (~ 1 3/4 cup) warm water (90 degrees F. to 95 degrees F.)
  • 10 grams coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant dried yeast
Directions:

1) Mix the flour and water

Combine the all-purpose, whole wheat, Durum and rye flours and water and mix by hand using a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk until thoroughly incorporated.

2) Autolyse (rest the dough)

Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

3) Mix in the Salt and Yeast

After the dough has rested, sprinkle the salt and yeast over the top of the dough. Mix by hand until the salt and yeast are fully incorporated into the dough. Using wet hands for this part makes it really easy. Continue to wet your hands as necessary throughout the mixing process.

 

4) Fold and Turn the Dough

Instead of kneading the dough, Mr. Forkish uses the pincer method.  I love the name of his method, but I’m more proficient with the fold-and-turn method from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread so that’s the method I usually use for mixing dough.

With the fold-and-turn method, you basically do a series of turns and folds in the bowl to develop the gluten structure.

Refer to my Tartine Bread post for a photo tutorial on performing the fold-and-turn method.

    whole-grain-saturday-bread-5-1

5) Bulk Fermentation

Cover the dough and let it rise. Do two folds during the first 1 1/2 after mixing. The first fold should be done about 10 minutes after mixing and the 2nd fold should be done within the next hour.  When you see the dough spread out in the bowl, you’ll know it’s ready to be folded 

You can fold the dough a little later if necessary, but be sure to let the dough rest during the last hour of rising. The dough should be triple it’s size in volume after about 5 hours after mixing. I started this process at Noon and the dough was ready to be shaped at 5 pm.

 

6) Shape the Loaf

I only made one loaf so I didn’t need to divide the dough. I just shaped it into a ball and placed it in a well-floured banneton basket. A mixture of all-purpose and rice flour works really well for this purpose.

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7) Final Proof

Lightly flour the top of the dough. Cover the basket with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let the loaf proof for an hour to an hour and a half. If your kitchen is warm, it will only take about an hour.

Use the finger dent test to see when the loaf is fully proofed and ready to be baked.  Watch a demonstration by Ken Forkish of the finger-proof test.

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8) Prepare the Oven for Baking

45 minutes to an hour before baking the loaf, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Remove the middle rack from the oven and place a Dutch oven on the bottom rack. I used the Dutch oven combo baker for this bread but you can use any Dutch oven.

 

9) Transfer the Loaf to the Dutch Oven

When the loaf is fully proofed and the oven is sufficiently preheated, carefully remove the Dutch oven using heavy oven mitts. Be careful not to burn your arms or hands on the sides of the oven or the pot. Gently invert the loaf from the proofing basket onto the bottom of the Dutch oven combo baker or into the large part of a regular Dutch oven.  I sprinkled the bottom of the combo baker with cornmeal before inverting the loaf onto it.

 I didn’t score this loaf, but you can if you like.

 

10) Bake and Enjoy!

Place the Dutch Oven on the bottom rack of the oven and cover it with the lid. Turn the oven down to 450 degrees F. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes with the lid on.

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Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the loaf is a medium dark brown.  Just be careful not to burn the bottom of the loaf. 

Remove the loaf from the Dutch oven to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

  Whole Grain Saturday Bread

 

I’m sending these loaves to be Yeastspotted and to Bake Your Own Bread.

Happy Baking!

Cathy

Panmarino – Italian Rosemary Bread

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Using herbs in loaves of bread provides an earthy characteristic and an intoxicating fragrance. When you add olive oil to the mix, it blends the elements together to form the perfect environment for a savory meal.

I particularly enjoy making breads with rosemary.  As the bread is baking, the aroma of the herbs drifts out of the kitchen and follows me around the house until I succumb to it’s invitation.

It was this experience I was thinking about when I selected the monthly bread for the Bread Baking Babes. I’m the host kitchen so I wanted to present a bread that was simple, yet full of flavor and one would go well with a variety of foods.

I chose an Italian Rosemary Bread called Panmarino.

 Panmarino Italian Rosemary Loaves

 

Panmarino is unique in it’s simplicity, but also in it’s history. Legend has it that it originated in the area called Ferrara, near Venice and was created by a baker named Luciano Pancalde.

The idea for Panmarino came about as Luciano was reading the chronicles of the d'Este family who once ruled Ferrara. When he learned about the magnificent court banquets where they served rosemary bread with a crust that "sparkled with diamonds," it gave him the idea to create his own loaf. He experimented and baked and tested some more until finally, he had the bread he was aiming for, an aromatic, dome-shaped bread that is scored in the pattern of a star and sprinkled with salt crystals.

Panmarino is a delightful loaf. If you are looking for a fragrant loaf that utilizes the freshest of ingredients, this is the loaf for you.

Don’t confuse simplicity with lack of taste or method. This is a fairly easy bread to make, but it takes about 20 hours from start-to-finish. Most of that time is spent on the overnight biga so the hands on time is minimal.

 

Panmarino – Italian Rosemary Bread

Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute. 

The source of the story about the origins of Panmarino is found here

These loaves are charmingly small and make great companions for an evening meal. I made two loaves and gave one away. If you look closely, you can just barely see the diamonds (sprinkles of salt) in the slashes.

Panmarino Italian Rosemary Loaves

 

The original formula made four loaves. I reduced it two loaves. I did the calculations based on baker's percentages, but you can halve everything and it should be fine.

I used sifted white whole wheat flour instead of bread flour in the final dough because I’m experimenting with home-milled flours, but feel free to use bread flour or regular all-purpose or spelt flour to make this bread.

Adapted Formula (makes 2 loaves)

Biga

  • 71g (~1/2 cup) bread flour
  • 60g (scant 1/4 cup) water
  • pinch instant yeast

Final Dough:
  • 442g (~3 1/2 cups) bread flour *
  • 240g (1 cup) water
  • 22g (2 T) milk
  • pinch instant yeast
  • 44g (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 4g (2 T) rosemary
  • Biga, all
  • 11.5g (~ 3 tsp.) salt **

* I started with 568g of whole wheat. After I sifted out the bran, I ended up with 472g so I had a little extra for sprinkling, if necessary.

** Some of the other bakers thought this was too much salt. Feel free to reduce the amount of salt to suit your tastes.

 

Original formula (makes  4 Loaves)
Biga:
  • Bread flour 143 grams/5 ounces
  • Water 122 grams/4 1/4 ounces
  • Pinch of instant yeast

Final Dough:
  • Bread flour 884 grams/1 pound 15 ounces
  • Water 477 grams/1 pound 1 ounce
  • Milk 44 grams/1 1/2 ounces
  • Biga 265 grams/9 1/3 ounces
  • Salt 23 grams/3/4 ounce
  • Pinch of instant yeast
  • Olive oil 88 grams/3 ounces
  • Chopped fresh rosemary 9 grams/1/3 ounce


Prepare the Biga:

Combine the flour, water and yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk until well blended.  Scrape down the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at 75 degrees F. for 14 to 16 hours.

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Making the Final Dough:

Combine the flour, water, milk, and biga in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until blended.

Add the salt and yeast and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 7 more minutes, or until the dough is smooth.  When the gluten is fully developed, mix in the olive oil and rosemary on low speed.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.

Remove the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and divide it into four (or two if you halved the recipe) 450-gram /16-ounce pieces. Shape the dough pieces into rounds. Cover with plastic wrap and let them bench rest for 15 minutes.

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Place two couches on a separate work surface or bread board and dust them with flour.

Uncover the dough and, if necessary, lightly flour the work surface. Gently press on the dough to degas and carefully shape each piece into a tight and neat rounds.  Place one loaf on one side of the couche, fold the couche up to make a double layer of cloth to serve as a divider between the loaves, and place a second loaf next to the fold.  Repeat the process with the remaining two loaves and the second couche.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof for 1 hour.

I proofed the loaves on cornmeal-dusted parchment paper instead of a baker's couche. I baked the loaves on the parchment paper on a preheated baking stone and used a cast iron skillet on the top shelf as the steam pan.  You can proof the loaves in a proofing basket if you prefer.

About an hour before you plan to bake the loaves, place a baking stone (or tiles) into the oven along with a steam pan (underneath) or iron skillet (on the top rack) and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Uncover the dough and score the top of each loaf in a star pattern using a lame or sharp knife.

Optional: sprinkle sea salt into the crevices as the original baker did to make it "sparkle with diamonds."

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Carefully transfer the loaves (on the parchment paper) to the preheated baking stone using a peel or the back of a baking sheet. To make the steam, add 1 cup of ice to the iron skillet or steam pan. 

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is light brown and crisp and the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Panmarino Italian Rosemary Loaves

I’m sending these loaves to be yeastspotted.

These are easy and pleasant loaves for summer baking.  I think you’ll enjoy them.

 

Check out how the other creative Babes handled this bread:

The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:

 

Would you like to be a Bread Baking Buddy?

I’m the host kitchen this month and I’d love for you to bake along with us. 

Here’s how:

Just make the Panmarino, then email me your link (or email your photo and a bit about your experience if you don't have a blog). My email address is breadexperience (at) gmail (dot) comSubmissions are due by July 29th.  Once you've posted, you'll receive a Buddy badge for baking along, then watch for a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions.

I hope you'll join us this month!

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7/25/2014: Slight change in the process this month

The roundup will be delayed this month.  The good news is if you need a bit more time, you can link up your post through the 5th of August. 

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Please enter the urls to your blog posts in the link up tool below. 

Happy Baking!

Cathy

 

Creamy, Curried Zucchini Soup

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Zucchinis, zucchinis everywhere. The two plants in my community garden plot have been producing more zucchini than I can shake a stick at. However, the ones in my raised bed garden at home haven’t produced anything. That’s the way it works with gardening. I divided up my plants between the two gardens in hopes I would get some bounty from at least one if not both of them. So far, it’s worked pretty well this season.

Since I’ve had a surplus of zucchinis, I’ve made a bunch of zucchini bread, but one can only make and give away so much at a time so I’ve been trying to come up with other ways to use the squash.

I had soup on my mind the other day and decided this would be a good way to use some of them. I didn’t want a cold soup even though that’s what you usually think about for summer soups. I wanted a warm and creamy comfort food-type soup that melts in your mouth and soothes your soul.

Curried Zucchini Soup

I ran across several zucchini soup recipes as I was thumbing through my recipe books, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for.  So I decided to make my own. I took what I liked from each recipe and used the ingredients I had on hand to create this smooth and creamy curried zucchini soup. It was just what I needed for a lazy Sunday afternoon meal. 

Instead of using sour cream or another type cream to thicken the soup, I used a classic method, called beurre manié.  It’s made with equal parts butter and flour. I loved the rich, buttery flavor it imparted to the creamy soup.

This soup tasted so good I made it again and doubled the recipe to use up the rest of my zucchini.

 

Creamy, Curried Zucchini Soup

Serves: 4

Adapted from: Soup: An inspiring collection of soups, broths, and chowders by Love Food and Soups by Marguerite Patten

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs. zucchini, unpeeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or stock)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Beurre Manié

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

 

Directions:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add in the zucchini, chicken or vegetable broth, and curry powder and a pinch or two of salt, if you are using unsalted broth.  Bring the soup to a bowl, then reduce the heat and cover. Let it cook gently for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer in batches to the blender or food processor. Process just until the soup is smooth. It should still have some green flecks from the unpeeled zucchini. If you’re using a food processor, strain off some of the liquid, then reserve it. Just process the soup solids (cooked vegetables) with enough liquid to moisten them, then mix it with the remaining liquid.  If you’re using a blender, process the soup solids and the liquid together.

Return the pureed soup to a clean (rinsed out) saucepan and reheat gently over low heat until hot. Do not let it boil.

In the meantime, make the beurre manié by mixing the butter and flour together in a pan and cooking on low heat until it is thoroughly incorporated.

Make sure the soup is hot, then drop small amounts – about the size of a large pea – into the soup. Wait until it is completely absorbed into the soup before you add anymore. Continue adding it until the soup is the consistency you want. You may not need all of the beurre manié. If you have any left over, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

Try the soup and adjust the seasoning, if desired.  Then ladle it into soup bowls and enjoy.  I added some cracked black pepper as a garnish. 

 

Enjoy!

Cathy

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