Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 11-25-14

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

This looked too go to pass up. This is from Melissa Clark at The New York Times. 
This is not your standard broccoli soup. Instead of boiling the broccoli to cook it, the florets are seared until deeply browned on one side while remaining bright green on the other. This gives the soup a layer of caramelized flavor while also keeping the fresh green taste of the broccoli itself. It’s a technique used by Andrew Feinberg of Franny’s restaurant in Brooklyn, who also uses it for zucchini soup. In this version she   added potato for body, chile flakes for spice and lemon zest to heighten the citrus tang at the end.

Broccoli Soup

½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
2 heads broccoli (about 2 pounds), separated into small florets, stems peeled and diced
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large Spanish onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoons black pepper, more for finishing
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ pound potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
 Grated Parmesan, to finish
 Flaky sea salt, to finish

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add about a third of the broccoli, just enough so that it covers the bottom of the pan in a single layer without overcrowding. Cook broccoli without moving it for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until dark brown on 1 side only (leave the other side bright green). Transfer to a big bowl and repeat with remaining broccoli and more oil. When all the broccoli has been browned, season with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan. Add onions and garlic, black and red peppers, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook onion-garlic mixture until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add potato to the pot with 1 quart water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook until potato is just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broccoli, cover again and cook until tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.

Add lemon zest and roughly purée soup with an immersion or regular blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. Stir in lemon juice. Finish with grated Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper and flaky sea salt.




It's hard to describe something that mostly goes on the mind of a handicapped child. When Lucy and Company have their Christmas Dance Recital amazing things happen. A group of 15 handicapped kids along with 21 High School kids practice every week for this show. To the handicapped kids there's no fear, no worry about how they look in their different costumes, no stage fright about how well they can sing, only wonder and imagination and fun. One small girl in her wheelchair singing "Colors of the Wind" as her best friends in their wheelchairs circle the "May-Princess" with streams of flowing cloth all waving their hands in a graceful ballet. Smiles so big you know at any minute the stage may explode.  15 kids awkwardly waving at the audience in their Easter Bonnets and bowing to the applause.  A young girl walks up the center isle singing "Everyday" to join her partner on stage in a duet. Better than being in the Grammy's! A kid's imagination, a microphone, a stage, and an audience that loves everything you do, even if the only thing you can do well is smile. That one night, you're free, you can do anything, you're the greatest singer in the world, the greatest dancer in the world, and for some reason (a high school kid pushing your wheel chair) you float across the stage. No amount of money can buy that much joy.

God's like that: He's the audience that loves everything you do, even if all you can do well is smile. To him every minute of your life is a Kodak moment. You are graceful, talented, and beautiful.. You just need to see yourself the way God sees you.

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?  


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:00 AM