He's a funny dog because he's unusually calm. Like a very old dog, though he's only about 3 years old, the vet thinks. He's never hyper, but he's always looking for a snuggle. He tries to hug like people. All the time. He won't jump on anyone, or lick anyone, just gentle hugs. Much as I love Chevy, he won't ever snuggle. He's always working.
First Baker went with the hip hug. He sits upright and wraps one leg around your leg. The way a timid 3 year old might hold on to his parents.
So I sat with him at the doorstep.
And he reached out and put his paw on my knee.
Then he went to the top step.
Yeah, Baker's my dog. Chevy is Ben's.
Anyway. Downton Abbey is back! Which called for roasted tomato bisque with garlic cheese toast beside the fire. Did you watch? I thought it was a little dull, but maybe I'm just getting back in the swing of it. Can't wait for next Sunday night!
For anyone interested in the recipe, here you go!
Tabella Roasted Tomato Bisque by Robert St. John
10 lbs. of Roma tomatoes (OR use 4 large 28 oz. cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes)
vegetable oil, as needed
3 cups diced onions
1/4 cup bacon fat
1/4 cup fresh minced garlic (get out your garlic press—jarred garlic won't ever do!)
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 quart chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
The recipe says to toss the Roma tomatoes in vegetable oil, then roast in the oven at 400* for 45 minutes, turning 3 times, then let them cool just enough to handle and peel them. Discard the skins. This took FOREVER and I think using fire roasted crushed tomatoes would be just as good. Not sure, but that's my hunch. Anyway, set the tomatoes aside.
In a HUGE pot, put your bacon fat on medium-high heat and cook your onions until tender, stirring frequently. Next, add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste and stir constantly for 5-6 minutes, until paste is caramelized. Don't let it burn!
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and bay leaf and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, stir in the cream and vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes more. Puree until smooth with a stick blender (I made a ginormous mess by just pouring it in batches into my regular blender because I don't own a stick blender. Wouldn't recommend that.)
Seems to make about 2 gallons, maybe?
This is what I order every single time we go to his restaurant. It's especially good with focaccia bread, which I have no idea how to make.