Posts made in January 2012

The First Snow of 2012 with BetsaPasta Fresh Tomato Soup & The Warmth of the Suns

“Lazy day, something good to eat”…Must be soup today, ‘cos we need the heat.
What better way to keep warm than having a bowl of hot soup and anticipating the ahhhhhh…the warmth of summer…with some nice sunrise and sunset summer pictures?

First, the recipe:

Betsa Fresh Tomato Soup   

3 celery sticks (chopped coarse)
2 medium-large onions (chopped coarse)
3 oz. sweet butter
3 lbs. fresh ripe tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
4 cups demi-glace “poulet gold”chicken stock or vegetable stock (for the vegetarian). Mix 4 cups hot water with 1/4 cup of demi-glace) or any 4 cups of your *favorite stock.
Small handful of fresh basil leaves (Chiffonade)    
Kosher Salt (1/4 tsp. or to taste) and a few turns of fresh mill white pepper
Sauté the celery and onions in butter until translucent…not brown. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for about  5 minutes on medium heat. Pour in the chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes and then puree with an immersion blender.
If you don’t have an immersion blender that I have previously suggested you get as a valuable kitchen staple, then puree in a blender.
Stir in chiffonade of fresh basil…return to medium heat for about 10 minutes and serve.
Optional: top with your favorite croutons ( Home made or “Rothbury” store bought)
*Suggestion: I’m not a fan of “College Inn” stocks…”Campbell’s Healthy Request” or “Swanson” chicken broth are suggested canned brands of stock if you do not have More Than Gourmet’s products.
More Than Gourmet stocks are readily available and always preferred over canned stocks.
Suggestion: Drizzle a great Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top of the soup.
Suggestion: NOW go out and get that immersion blender!
Mangia Baby!

Next…the warmth of the suns…
Long Island
Long Island Expressway
Long Island
NYC Skyline
Long Island

Georgian Bread with Jan & Bert

My fellow food buddy Jan took me to another obscurely located food find in, where else, Brooklyn.
A couple/few years ago he introduced me to the culinary delights of Brighton Beach Blvd. and most recently
to, for lack of a better understanding as to what the writing on the awning says, Georgian Bread.
We met “Badri”, a gentle man, gentleman, and THE baker. See him above using his paddles to place and remove the bread from the oven.
He bakes in a clay oven smack in the middle of the store called a tone’…or tandoor (seen below).
A bread called shoti is placed  literally on the inside side of the oven (I still don’t get the gravity end of this) and bakes in about 8 minutes. It ‘s shaped similar to a ciabatta and comes out crispy and smelling (no surprise) delicious.

Below is the bread named  Khachapuri (Georgian: ხაჭაპურიxač’ap’uri or “cheese bread”).


It is a filled bread dish from Georgia where bread is leavened, allowed to rise, and is shaped in various ways. The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly suluguni), eggs and other ingredients.
Each Kcachapuri is $6 and, although relatively expensive (an entire pizza pie almost anywhere is $12)… you don’t get something like this anywhere else…and you certainly don’t get to smile like a loon from ear to ear or jump up and down tasting a slice of pizza as you do once you had your first bite of Kcachapuri.
It’s better than the “A” word which, beginning this year, we have decided to remove from our vocabulary…along with “my bad” and a few others.
Either way….. this “find” is worth the trip to Brooklyn.

Georgian Bread
265 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11235 


Mangia Baby!