Monday, November 24, 2014

Broccoli + Cheddar Soup

It was dreadfully cold, rainy, and windy yesterday.  I was also busy as hell.  One of those Sundays where you are trying to snag a workout, go to church, shop/prep for Thanksgiving week, and also get prepared for a trip that I'll be taking to Abu Dhabi in less than 10 days.  More on that later.

Anywho - I decided that I needed a good ole bowl of comforting soup - but I didn't have hours to make gumbo.  Instead, I whipped up this comforting Broccoli + Cheddar Soup in no time flat.  Damn was it ever good - and not that bad for you either.

I threw it up on Instagram (@mattmooremusic - I need to change my account name) and immediately my phone got about a dozen texts asking for the recipe.  Not that many likes on the picture though?  Oh well.  I need to work on my "social media".

No - this recipe will not be in the new book - so I'll oblige and share it with you.  Got 15 - 20 minutes?  Good, you can make this soup.

B+C Soup

1 Tbsp. EVOO
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill (optional)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 cups 2% milk
1 dash hot sauce (optional)
10 oz. frozen cut broccoli
4 cups grated reduced fat cheddar cheese

1.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil.   Next, add onions and carrots and saute until tender - about 5 minutes.

2.  Add garlic, followed by the next four ingredients.  Sprinkle in flour and cook for a minute or so, while stirring, to cook out the flour taste and incorporate with the softened vegetables.

3.  While whisking, stir in the milk and a dash of hot sauce, reduce heat to medium and add broccoli.  Allow the mixture to come to a slow simmer, while stirring, until the broccoli is tender and the mixture has actually reached a simmer (full thickening power from the flour).  Reduce heat to medium low.

4.  Use an immersion blender, or work in batches with a standard blender, and puree mixture until smooth and consistent.  Fold in cheese until melted, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

*You can heft up this dish with 2 cups milk and 2 cups heavy cream.  Or you could sub chicken stock for 2 cups of the milk, and finish with 2 cups cream/milk.  Your choice since it all gets blended together.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent

Hi guys -

Hey, hey, hey - it's been a while.  I trust all is well.

Truth be told, it's been a crazy year.  I might have been lacking in my posts this year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working my ass off in the kitchen.  As relayed last fall, I signed on board to write a new book - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen - Adventures in Cooking, Living, and Eating in the New South.  Well, that venture proved to be a worthy one to say the very least!

After traveling the South for over a year - eating, drinking, and writing, I turned in the manuscript back in the spring.  From there, I took a bit of a break, traveled to France, and developed what you see at the top of the page.  Yes, that's right.  My buddies and I at EastWest Bottlers have finally released the follow up to MOONSHINE, a gentleman's cologne in the form of Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent.  We're incredibly proud of the result (I can't stop wearing the fragrance).  Moreover - the package pays homage to weathered fences and old blue Mason 13 jars. 

If you are looking for a great gift this holiday season - consider picking up a bottle or two.

Ok, back to edits, reviews, and taking a final pass or two on the new book.  Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how well this book is coming together!  So excited to start this next journey.

Stay tuned - lots more ahead down the road and then some.