Fine cooking from the warehouse

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In every issue, of Fine Cooking magazine they have a "Big Buy" column, featuring recipes from an item purchased at the warehouse store. And now they've collected these recipes in a book, "Big Buy Cooking: The Food Lover's Guide to Buying in Bulk and Using It All Up" (Taunton Press, 2010).

One of my warehouse Waterloos is the giant jar of roasted red peppers.



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and cut into 12-inch dice (1-12 cups)

kosher salt

1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

14 teaspoon chipotle powder

14 teaspoon cinnamon

2-12 jarred roasted red peppers, diced (1-14 cups)

1-12 cups chicken broth

1-12 cups couscous

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, sprinkle with 34 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the fennel starts to brown and soften, about four minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the cumin, chipotle powder and cinnamon; cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the red peppers and broth; bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous; remove from heat, cover, and let sit until the liquid is absorbed (five to seven minutes). Fluff with a fork, and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve. Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 seedless English cucumber, peeled

3 jarred roasted red peppers, diced (11⁄2 cups)

3 cups tomato juice

2 slices baguette, toasted and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

1⁄2 cup (8 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sherry or cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, peeled, minced and mashed to paste

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3⁄4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Cut 3⁄4 of the cucumber into 1-inch pieces and -- working in batches if necessary -- puree in a blender with the red peppers, tomato juice, toasted bread, 6 tablespoons of the oil, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, the garlic, cumin and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and refrigerate until cold, at least one hour and up to 24.

Before serving, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook, tossing until they start browning and lose their raw color, about two minutes. Stir in the thyme, 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about one minute. Transfer to a plate to cool

Cut the remainder of the cucumber into 14-inch dice, and toss with the remaining tablespoon oil, the remaining teaspoon vinegar and 12 teaspoon salt. Serve soup in bowls, garnished with the cucumber and shrimp.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings


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