A Soup to Celebrate Spring

You can’t deny the crocus, daffodils, Bradford pears, rain and robins. Spring is here. And with spring comes a new season in the kitchen. As your cravings begin to seek out new seasonal flavors, this soup, Carrot Orange topped with cranberry mint crema, may be just the thing to celebrate these early days of spring.

Mahasti presented the recipe on WBIR this morning, but if you missed the show, now worries. We’ll be serving it at both restaurants today. Enjoy!

Tomato Head’s Carrot Orange Soup topped with Cranberry Mint Crema

For the Soup:
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
½ cup onion, diced
4 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 -3 inch strip of orange zest
3.25 cups water
½ cup orange juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
½ cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream

Heat the oil in a medium sauce over medium heat. Add ginger, carrots, orange zest, water and orange juice to pan. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 15 – 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients.

If using an immersion blender – blend soup till smooth. Serve immediately topped with cranberry mint crema. If using an upright blender – allow soup to cool (see note). Blend soup in 2 batches – heat before serving.

Note: blending hot ingredients in a traditional upright blender can cause severe burns. Make sure your soup is at room temperature before blending.

For the Cranberry Mint Crema:
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Tomato Head’s Chocolate Pudding

Mahasti will be on WBIR this morning, around 8:15ish, showing how she makes (and how you can make) Tomato Head’s chocolate pudding. It’s another one of those comfort food sweets that made with the right ingredients and love can become a decadent little treat.

Both restaurants will be serving this special dessert today, atop a heated chocolate chip cookie and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream – topped with chocolate pudding and whipped cream.

Get your spoons ready!

Tomato Head’s Chocolate Pudding
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

Place milk and ½ cup heavy cream in a medium stainless steel sauce pan, over low heat. Melt chocolate by placing it in a small bowl over a pot of boiling water. When chocolate has melted completely, remove from heat and add it to the milk and heavy cream mixture.

Sift cocoa powder and mix with cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add ½ cup heavy cream and eggs yolks – whisk well. Temper the eggs by adding a little of the chocolate milk to the egg mixture and whisking constantly. Gradually add the egg mixture into the milk on the stove, whisking constantly. Keep the heat on low and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture gets thick and coats the back of the spoon.

Remove the pudding from the heat and pass through a sieve into a medium metal or glass bowl. Serve warm or cover the surface of the pudding directly with saran wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Serve with chocolate chip cookies and whipping cream.

The Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Chicken Taquitos

In preparation for the big game tomorrow, Mahasti presented the recipe and method for making The Tomato Head’s Chicken Taquitos on WBIR this morning. What is a taquito? It’s basically a fried burrito, and they are basically delicious.

If you know you’re going to be in a rush you can shave some time by purchasing a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself. Mahasti also discovered that Frontera brand  enchilada sauce was a good match for this recipe, which can be another time saver. For salsa, buy your store favorite, make your favorite from scratch or purchase some of Tomato Head’s salsa to go.

Both restaurants will be serving these special taquitos today and a vegetarian version will also be available.

Remember last year’s recipe for Super Bowl Sunday 7-Layer Dip? It’s another classic addition to any super-snacking event. No time to cook and want something really special to serve? Check out the Tomato Head’s Super Bowl Snacks to-go.

The Tomato Head’s Chicken Taquitos

4 cups of cooked chicken, diced or shredded
3/4 cup Frontera brand enchilada sauce, or enchilada sauce of your choice
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
10 – 12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix cooked chicken, enchilada sauce and sour cream together well. Place one flour tortilla on your
work surface – fill with 1/3 cup of chicken mixture and ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Roll tortilla up while
tucking in the ends and secure the tortilla with toothpicks. Repeat this process until all tortillas are
filled.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat ¼ inch of oil. Dip one tortilla into the oil, if it sizzles you are ready to fry. Using tongs, place the taquitos seam side down in the oil and fry, turning them
periodically, until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain cooked taquitos on paper towel and
place in oven while you continue frying the rest of the tquitos.

Remove the toothpicks and serve hot with your favorite salsa.

Yields 10 – 12 taquitos

Mahasti on WBIR: The Best Biscuits

Several weeks ago, Mahasti put out a call for biscuit recipes, and ever since she’s been testing and refining batch after batch of biscuits. This morning she’s presenting “The Best Biscuits” on WBIR, around 8:15am, and promises to share more info (in the next few days) about the entire process.

The Best Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup chilled buttermilk

Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Add chilled butter and work into flour with fingertips or a pastry cutter until the butter resembles small beads. Add buttermilk and work flour into buttermilk until you have a soft dough. Turn dough no more than 10 times. Gather into a ball. flatten the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1 inch. Either trim the edges and use a knife cut the biscuits into squares or use a traditional round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Gather up any remaining dough into a ball and repeat flattening and cutting the biscuits. Place the cut biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet (placing the biscuits in the freezer at this point for 30 mintues will yield a fluffier biscuit). Bake in a 425 degree oven for 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Makes 6-8 biscuits depending on the size of your cutter.

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