Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Read All about It! Cook's Book in the Newspaper

This past weekend, Cook’s Book and I had our first major debut! Beneath the bulk of the Sunday pages in Long Island/New York City newspaper, Newsday, I was profiled in “Who’s Cooking,” a long running column that spotlights a new home cook every week.

Reporter Linda Perney asked me a few questions about the blog, my interest in cooking, and background in the kitchen. Along with the brief Q & A, I got to provide a recipe and have my photo taken. In a whirlwind of clicks and flashes, busy Newsday photographer Kevin Coughlin dashed into my house and around my kitchen quickly snapping photo after photo. Look here! Click. Smile! Click. Look busy! Click, click. Before I could say “Vogue” he was onto the next assignment.

I wanted to provide a recipe ideal for the cool weather seasons. Hearty, simple, and full of great flavor, the answer was white bean and escarole soup with chorizo sausage and Parmigiano croutons. I took a classic and spun it my way. Meaty white cannellini beans and escarole, a slightly bitter green, always work very well together. The chorizo adds a little extra kick to the soup and even more substance to every bite. Parmigiano croutons are my complimentary “gourmet” alternative to saltine and oyster crackers.

Chorizo is a pork sausage that comes in both Mexican and Spanish varieties. Although the two share a name, a large dose of garlic, and hog ancestry, there are a number of differences that set the two apart. In the simplest terms, Mexican chorizo is made of fresh pork and chiles, while Spanish chorizo is prepared with smoked pork and seasoned with paprika. Spanish chorizo (the kind that is used in this recipe) does not need to be cooked. You will find chorizo in the Latin aisle or section of most large grocery stores; Goya makes a pretty good one.

After a few weekends of anxiously checking the paper, there I finally was, right in the center of the “life” section, smiling and holding up my soup. Very cool!

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Chorizo Sausage and Parmigiano Croutons:

Yield: 6-8 servings

- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 plum tomatoes, diced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pound escarole, chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2, 15.5 oz cans cannellini beans
- 4 oz/ 1 cup Spanish chorizo sausage (cured smoked pork sausage), remove casing, slice sausage in half length-wise and cut into half- moon shapes.
- Leaves stripped from 2 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- About ½ loaf Italian, French, or other crusty-type bread, sliced and cut into ½ inch cubes.
- ½ cup (or more as needed) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra peeled with a vegetable peeler in strips to garnish top of soup (optional).

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; add onions and cook until translucent. Next, add tomato, garlic, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant--about a minute. Add escarole and cook for about 2 minutes until wilted. Add white wine. After the wine comes to a boil, add lemon juice, chicken stock, beans, and chorizo; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add thyme leaves and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-30 minutes, allowing liquid to slightly reduce.
• Put bread cubes onto a sheet tray and toast in the oven. Keep a watchful eye. When the bread is midway to being completely toasted, remove from the oven and sprinkle each cube with grated Parmigiano cheese. Return back to oven and finish until the bread is golden and crispy, and the cheese is melted.
• To serve, ladle warm soup into bowls and garnish with croutons and Parmigiano Reggiano strips.


Pacheco Patty said...

Fabulous soup recipe, perfect for a fall comfort food. Marisa congrats on your newspaper debut how very exciting and well deserved:)

roxan said...

Awesome, congrats on being featured in the newspaper! that must be so exciting :)

I could tooooooooootally go for a bowl of that soup right now. It's cold, wet and dreary where i live today.

Lazaro Cooks! said...


I am so happy for you. What an awesome opportunity. You are a true talent. A great cook and such a witty writer.


That's why you be one of "My Peoples."

Magic of Spice said...

Great recipe...And congratulations!!! How cool is that :)

Adelina said...

How neat... I would have opened the paper and said - I know her... I know her... haha. I wish you would take a snap of the paper. That's neat. Congrats. Your recipe looks perfect right now.


How cool! Good for you! I bet lots of locals will try this!

Mother Rimmy said...

Congratulations! What an honor for you, and well deserved. Great soup. I love hearty soups like this!

Rosemary @ Sprigs of Rosemary said...

Great soup and congrats on the profile! What fun!

Koci said...

Yaaay, how cool!! Congrats on your newspaper feature! That soup sounds super yummy as well!

Lisa said...

I wouldn't mind snacking on those parmesan croutons or having a few to jazz up my salads.

Victoria K. said...

Congrats, Marisa! That's definitely exciting news :)

Evan @swEEts said...

Congrats!! So fun and awesome :) Lovely looking dish as well!

~Lisa~ said...

I love the gourmet croutons paired with the savory soup. And strike a pose Marisa. Vogue hehe Congrats on being featured.

Rich said...

I've got a cookbook called 'the Soup Bible' and spent 20 minutes going through it to find the perfect hearty, non-cream-based soup for dinner on Saturday. I couldn't find a thing.
You have just replaced that entire cookbook with this one recipe. I cannot thank you enough.

Anonymous said...

I saw this exact recipe (white bean and escarole soup with chorizo sausage) about 10 years ago in Newsday. I thought it was an original from you but I guess not? I still have the article in my collection.

Marisa said...


Thanks for visiting my blog and for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m glad you like the soup.

I know there are a lot of recipes out there for white bean and escarole soup with chorizo because it is such a great combination of flavors, but this recipe IS one of my originals. Although, I've never seen it, the recipe from 10 years ago in Newsday might be very similar, but I doubt that it is exactly the same. It would be an incredible coincidence as I did not even look at another recipe when first making this soup. If you would like to show me, please email me.

I am very excited that Newsday chose to interview me for the "Who's Cooking" column. After discussing my food blog and my culinary education, It would make no sense at all to give them give them someone else’s recipe. Plus, I would never put my name on something that wasn't my own without giving credit. Just needed to clear that up!

Marisa said...

Thanks everyone, for all of these great comments! Rich, yours especially made my day! :-)