Obika’s Chilled Organic Tomato Soup

Today’s 5 star secret recipe comes from Obika Mozzarella Bar in Los Angeles.  Tomato soup doesn’t get any more fresh, simple or fast than this recipe.  Essentially this chilled soup consists of a purée of fresh ripe tomatoes.  The secret to this dish is using quality ingredients so make sure you select the best tomatoes and use fresh basil.

This soup pairs nicely with this tomato, cucumber and red onion salad from our forum: Go Here

Enjoy!

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Obika’s Chilled Organic Tomato Soup

2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
2 to 3 dozen croutons, for garnish
4 to 6 tablespoons stracciatella di burrata or burrata cheese, for garnish

Cut the tomatoes into large pieces. Purée the tomatoes in a blender or in a bowl using a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Strain to remove the seeds, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper (seasoning will vary depending on type and ripeness of the tomatoes).

Chill the purée over an ice bath or refrigerate just until cold. Pour into individual bowls, drizzling over a little olive oil and garnishing with fresh basil leaves. Finish each with 5 to 6 croutons and a tablespoon of stracciatella di burrata.

Serves 6

Source: LA Times

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Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,

Ron

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Valerie Confections Plum Ketchup

Today’s 5 star secret recipe is for a tasty condiment made by Valerie Confections in Los Angeles, California.  This locally owned shop specializes chocolates, pastries, teas, cakes and more.  Owner, Valerie Gordon also makes a rich and savory Santa Rosa plum ketchup which is layered with deep, smoky flavors.  This is a wonderful twist on the classic ketchup.

Enjoy!

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Valerie Confections Plum Ketchup

1 pound Roma tomatoes
4 pounds Santa Rosa plums or other black-skinned plums
3 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Marash pepper
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel the tomatoes: With a sharp paring knife, cut a small X at the base of each tomato. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then drop the tomatoes in the water. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon when the skin has just begin peeling from the X, about 20 to 30 seconds. Immediately place the tomatoes in an ice bath to stop the cooking, then peel the skin from the tomatoes when they are cooled.

Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds, then roughly chop the tomato flesh and place in a large bowl.

Slice and seed the plums. Toss the plums and brown sugar with the tomatoes, then set aside.

In a wide-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, paprika and Marash pepper and cook until aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir the plum, tomato and brown sugar mixture into the pot and increase the heat to high, stirring frequently. Continue cooking at high heat; the ketchup will bubble fast and furiously. When the major bubbles subside and the ketchup starts to thicken, reduce the heat to medium.

Stir in the salt, pepper, molasses and cinnamon and continue stirring. Taste the ketchup and adjust the seasonings and flavorings if desired, then remove from heat and cool slightly.

Using a food mill or immersion blender, puree the ketchup until all the chunks are gone and you have a smooth paste.

Refrigerate the ketchup or can according to the jar manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 10 (8-ounce) jars.

Source: LA Times

Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,

Ron

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Vertical Wine Bistro’s Israeli Couscous

Today’s 5 star secret recipe is for a delicious Israeli couscous served at the Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena, California.  This dish features large, pearly couscous flavored with chopped fresh herbs and garlic and a touch of bright tang from lemon juice and vinegar. It’s rounded out with complex notes from the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout.  Ras el hanout can generally be found at gourmet markets and many well-stocked supermarkets.

The chef at Vertical Wine Bistro recommends making this dish ahead of time to allow the flavors time to marry before serving.  This couscous pairs nicely with a piece of freshly grilled chicken.  Try this marinated grilled chicken recipe from our forum: Go Here

Enjoy!

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Vertical Wine Bistro’s Israeli Couscous

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ras el hanout
1 (8.78-ounce) package Israeli couscous
Chicken or vegetable broth (typically 2 cups broth per 1 cup couscous, or as the package directs)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 green onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add the white onion and ras el hanout and sweat until the onion is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the couscous over low heat and stir for 3 minutes, then add the broth. Raise heat to bring to a boil, and cook until the couscous is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the cooked couscous onto a shallow rimmed pan to cool, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine the red and green onions, bell pepper, tarragon, mint, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and remaining oil along with the couscous, gently mixing with your hands to separate the couscous and fold together the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to give the flavors time to marry. Remove from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving to come to room temperature, and stir once more before serving.

Serves 8

Source: LA Times
Get more secret restaurant recipes on our Secret Recipe Forum: Go Here

Or you can get our full collection of the world’s finest 5-Star Restaurant recipes: Go Here
Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,

Ron

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Fraiche’s Strawberry Sangria

Today’s 5 Star Secret Recipe comes from Fraiche in Culver City, California.  This restaurant was described at a delicious, non-pretentious slice of culinary heaven.  They offered up well prepared, seasonally fresh dishes but unfortunately they recently closed.  Fortunately for you, with today’s secret recipe you can enjoy a refreshing strawberry sangria that was served at Fraiche.

This makes slightly more sweetened lime juice than is called for in the recipe; the remainder can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

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Fraiche’s Strawberry Sangria

Juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons sugar
16 ripe strawberries, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
4 ounces Grand Marnier
4 ounces premium vodka
8 ounces California Pinot Noir

Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Divide the strawberries among 4 old-fashioned glasses. Sprinkle equal amounts of balsamic vinegar over them (it’ll be just a few drops in each, about one-eighth teaspoon). Divide the Grand Marnier among them, and muddle the ingredients in each glass.

Fill each glass about two-thirds full with ice, then pour equal amounts vodka over the ice in each. Add one-half ounce of the simmered lime juice to each glass. Pour equal amounts of the wine into each glass, then stir gently and serve.

Serves 4

Source: LA Times

Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,

Ron

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