I am currently enamored with Florida (for obvious reasons).
However, I do realize that Florida, and especially Gainesville, is not perfect.
Especially in their food scene.
I am pretty sure that they haven’t considered the concept of seasoning their food.
Everything is cooked perfectly well. Just no seasoning. Not even a trace. A colleague of mine suggested it was because they are especially heart-conscious of the large elderly population living in Florida. Perhaps.
So I took matters into my own hands over the weekend and made one of my favorite winter soups – Sweet potato and chorizo. Followed by an extremely decadent flourless chocolate cake.
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup
********** 1 pound chorizo sausage 2 medium onions, diced 3 large sweet potatoes 2 large russet potatoes 4 cups chicken stock 1 bag baby spinach **********
Start with the chorizo sausage. Scott bought this fresh from the meat counter and I decided to remove the casings to brown it in some olive oil. Be warned – this will smell amazing!
While the sausage is cooking chop some:
Sweet potatoes and regular old russet potatoes
and some onions.
Once the sausage is finished cooking, remove with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the gorgeous orange oil.
To the oil add:
and the potatoes.
Add some chicken stock.
Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Maybe about 20-30 minutes?
Now for the ultra-messy part. I like my soups to have a stew-like quality to them, so I took a couple of cups and pureed them in Scott’s super-duper tiny food processor.
And returned to the soup pot.
Along with the cooked chorizo,
and some baby spinach.
Cook on low until heated through and the spinach is slightly wilted.
I like mine with a dollop of sour cream.
This soup has the potential to be amazing. Unfortunately, this being Florida, the chorizo had absolutely no spice to it. How this is possible, I don’t know…
Flourless Chocolate Cake
This is one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes. I distinctly remember that this was on the cover of the very first Bon Appetit magazine I ever received in the mail and I immediately made it and knew it would forever be in my recipe book. As this was just for Scott and myself, I decided that the full 9-inch cake was overkill. Instead I made 1/3 of the recipe and split it among 2 small springform pans (3-inch diameter). The full recipe can be found here.
Start by dissolving 1/4 cup sugar in 1/3 cup water. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.
Add about half a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips
(I used the Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chips).
Whisk until smooth.
Add sugar syrup,
and 2 eggs, one at a time. Continue to whisk until smooth.
Split among 2, 3-inch buttered springform pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Once baked you will want to top the already decadent chocolate cake with some equally decadent chocolate ganache.
Heat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream over low heat.
Take off the heat and add about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.
And once again, whisk until smooth. (My arms definitely got a workout with this meal)
Pour over the top of the cooled cakes. Chill until ganache sets.
Now, take a knife and cut around the edges before removing from the springform pan.
Cut in half and top with some homemade whipped cream (which also involves a lot of whipping).
Maybe I should open my own restaurant once I make it down to Gainesville…