Cooking Class 101

Oct 25, 2010 by Kristi Rimkus

Lesson Number 1

Never use your blender to blend hot liquids without thinking about the consequences first.

I want to remind all of Travelin’ Local’s readership that I’m an experienced cook – not a chef.

So, therefore, over the past thirty years I’ve attended cooking classes, read article after article on cooking methods, and purchased more than my share of cookbooks.

Based on all that, you would think I would know how to blend hot liquids in a blender, wouldn’t you?

In fact, when I set out to blend my soup, I knew the consequences of blending hot liquids in my blender without following certain precautions. And, if you aren’t careful, you’ll have your culinary creations explode all over your kitchen.

So with all of my esteemed knowledge, I recently put my simmering soup into the blender’s jar, filling it half full.

Then I lightly replaced the lid, leaving room for the steam to escape. Then I pressed the high button and . . .

Explosion!

Cooking Class 101 – Lesson Number 1

1. The proper way to blend hot liquids in a blender is to allow your ingredients to cool for several minutes.

You shouldn’t see any bubbling, especially when you pour soup into the jar.

2. Fill the jar half full.

3. Loosen the lid substantially to allow steam to escape.

4. Most importantly, pulse on low!

Class dismissed.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Fresh Basil

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups butternut squash, cut in 1" pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup basil, thinly sliced

Servings: Makes 12 main dish servings.

Directions:

1. Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Then add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes to soften.

2. Add butternut squash, vegetable broth, water, ginger and curry. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 – 30 minutes until squash is very tender.

3. Turn off heat and allow soup to cool for 5 minutes.

4. Add soup in batches the blender. Fill blender jar half full, leaving lid loose and blend on low. Remove blended soup to a bowl. Repeat until you’ve blended all the soup.

5. Add soup back to the pan with coconut milk and heat through over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes.

6. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and top with basil.

What’s good for me in this dish?

Squash is loaded with vitamins C and A – both are powerful antioxidants helpful for warding off chronic illnesses. Some squashes contain more sugar than others. Butternut squash is one of those squashes higher in natural sugars. Others, like acorn and spaghetti squash, contain less sugar.

Basil is a great source of vitamin K, a vitamin that aids liver function and bone formation. It also contains iron, calcium, and fiber. The flavonoids in basil provide powerful cellular protection. The volatile oils in this herb have anti-bacterial properties, as well as anti-inflammatory effects.

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88, Total Fat: 14.02g, Cholesterol: –, Sodium: 192mg, Total Carbs: 10.99g, Dietary Fiber: 1.71g, Sugars: 2.49g, Protein: 1.32g

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com.

Currently, Kristi Rimkus authors her own blog over at Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right.

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One Response to “Cooking Class 101”

  1. Phyllis Krueger says:

    Oh, Kristi, this makes me laugh! I did the very same thing the other day when I made your Tomato Basil Bisque again. I’m still finding tomato and basil in strange places.

    This soup recipe sounds yummy. I’ll be certain to follow your Cooking 101 instructions!

    Phyllis K.

    [Reply]

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