Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Women's Health Moroccan Soup

I came across this recipe in my Women's Health magazine and thought it was a keeper. It turned out fantastic, and was a really quick and healthy meal.

4 cups chicken broth (or use vegetable)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 small jar artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t cayenne
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice to taste
couple handfuls fresh baby spinach

Bring everything (except spinach) to a simmer in large soup pot over medium low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook another 5 minutes or so.

I served the soup with homemade feta pita bread.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d655/d232/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Slow Cooker BBQ Whole Chicken

My sister Robin sent me this recipe and it was immediately added to the menu. I loved the hint of curry the rub added.

BBQ Rub
3 T paprika (I used smoked)
3 T brown sugar
2 T salt
1 T mustard powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 t curry powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 whole chicken

Mix rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub chicken with about 1/3 of mixture, reserving remainder for later use. Add chicken to a large ziploc bag or large container with a tightly fitting lid and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Sauce
1 cup beer
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 small red onion, chopped
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1 T hot sauce
splash liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste
remaining rub mixture

Add rubbed chicken and sauce ingredients to slow cooker and cover. Cook chicken on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours or til chicken is cooked through and pretty much falls apart.

I served the chicken with a little sauce and alongside some homemade macaroni and cheese.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d983/d230/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

The Kitchen Bible's Spanish Tortilla

I wasn't really expecting much from this dish, thinking it would be rather bland. I was surprised however, it was very tasty. The only thing missing was a garnish of diced fresh tomato.

½ cup frozen peas
1 cup small frozen broccoli florets
olive oil, divided
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup minced red onion
6 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and boil for 5 minutes, or til just tender. Rinse under cold water. Drain on paper towel. Return the same pan to a boil; add broccoli and boil for 4 minutes, or til just tender. Rinse with cold water. Add to peas to drain and cool.

Heat a little oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion and cook another 5 minutes, or til veggies are tender. Cool slightly.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and season generously with salt and pepper.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potato mixture to the eggs. Stir in pea mixture and mix gently.

Heat the pan over high heat. Pour in egg mixture; reduce heat to low. Cook gently for about 20 minutes or til the eggs begin to set and the underside is golden brown.

Carefully, slide the tortilla on to a plate. Invert the tortilla back into the pan (top side down) and cook for another 5 minutes, or til the underside is golden brown and tortilla is cooked through.

Let tortilla stand for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

I served the tortilla with buttered toast.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d813/d225/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Red Bean Soup with Ground Beef and Chorizo

I created this soup to use up ground beef and chorizo I had left from last night's dip, and 1/2 a green pepper I had. I also usually have plenty of dried beans on hand.

I just threw in a little of this and a little of that.

oil
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
1 small (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried red beans, cooked til tender
salt and pepper to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup ground beef/chorizo blend (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and green pepper til softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute or so.

Stir in remaining ingredients (except potato and meat mixture) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 10-20 minutes.

Stir in potatoes and meat mixture and simmer another 15 minutes or so, or til potatoes are tender.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d714/d223/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Food Now's Hot Nacho Dip

I was SO looking forward to this dip for dinner!

This turned out awesome! I can't wait to make it again. Next time, however, I will be adding more queso dip. One cup just wasn't enough.

1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo
1/2 onion, minced
2 cups refried pinto beans (I used homemade)
1 cup salsa con queso (I used homemade)
1 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup pickled sliced jalapenos, well drained
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine spices and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add ground beef and chorizo and brown. Drain. Return to pan. Add onion, seasoning mixture and a little water and cook til onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread beans in the bottom of an 8" square glass baking dish or 1 1/2 quart dish. Spread salsa con queso over the beans. Dollop meat mixture over the top; spread evenly. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and layer with olives, jalapenos and cheese. Return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes or til cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d541/d221/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg
Let rest for several minutes before serving with chips.


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Easy Sausage and Cranberry Bean Soup

I can't remember the last time I had cranberry beans, so I bought a big bag of them on my last grocery shopping trip.

I made a small batch of soup this time, just enough for one meal for two people.

1/2 lb smoked sausage, sliced
about 2 cups beef broth
1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
seasoned salt (homemade) and pepper to taste

Add everything to a large soup pot and simmer, covered, about 2 hours, or til beans are tender. Taste and adjust as desired.

Remove bay leaf and serve.

I served the soup with homemade buttermilk biscuits.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d472/d218/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Making The Kitchen Bible's Buttermilk Biscuits

This is my adaptation of The Kitchen Bible's recipe. I reduced the original amount of salt called for, and baked the biscuits in a muffin tin.

These turned out to be very good biscuits, and the buttermilk brushed atop made them nice and crispy.

2 1/3 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
6 T cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup plus 2 T buttermilk, plus extra for brushing atop

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Quickly fold dry ingredients into buttermilk with your hands til a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead one or two times. Roll dough out to a 1" thick rectangle. Cut into rounds with a 2" biscuit cutter (or something similar. I used a small glass). Repeat with any remaining dough scraps. Transfer dough rounds to a baking pan. Brush tops with buttermilk.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or til golden brown.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d471/d218/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Food Network's Adobo Pork Loin with Veggie Stir Fry

The original recipe calls for making a gravy and serving that with the roast. I didn't like the idea of having gravy with stir fried veggies, so I omitted that step. I also added some frozen broccoli and additional adobo seasoning in with the green pepper and onion, although the original didn't call for it.

1 small boneless pork loin
1 T adobo seasoning (I used homemade)
1 t liquid smoke
olive oil
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh cilantro to serve

Rub the loin with seasoning and liquid smoke. Place fat side down on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Roast the pork, fat side down, for about 45 minutes. Turn and roast another 30 minutes. Remove roast from the oven and set aside, covered loosely, to rest. Slice.

Heat a little oil in a large frying over medium high heat; add veggies. Stir fry til tender crisp and season to taste with Adobo seasoning and salt and pepper.

I served the sliced pork alongside the veggies sprinkled with cilantro.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d833/d216/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Martha Stewart's Texas Chili

This was excellent chili! Matt and I both agreed. I didn't even miss the beans.

vegetable oil
1 small beef roast, trimmed and cut into small pieces
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seed if desired)
1 whole dried ancho chile, ground
2 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t oregano, rubbed
3-4 cups beef broth (depending on how thick you want it)
1 small can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
2 to 3 t vinegar, or to taste

Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat. Add a little oil. Season beef with salt and pepper. Brown beef well.

Stir in onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook over medium heat til onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices and cook another minute or so.

Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer til meat is very tender  about 1 1/2-2 hours.

Stir in vinegar. Taste and adjust as desired.

I served the chili with homemade buttermilk cornbread.
http://media-files.gather.com/images/d437/d215/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Turkish Style Ground Beef and Chickpea Stew

My sisters and I were discussing Turkish food the other day, and that discussion evolved into this dish. It was excellent!

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 t cumin
2 cups dried chickpeas (soaked overnight), cooked and drained
1 small (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
fresh lemon juice to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
dried mint, to serve

In a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain. Add onion and cook til onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust as desired.

I served this dish with a pinch of dried mint.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d254/d214/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rachael Ray's Puerto Rican Chicken with Spaghetti

This recipe came in my Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, and I just knew I had to add it to my menu! It was excellent and SO simple!

olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
small handful chopped cilantro
hot cooked spaghetti

In a large frying pan, add a little olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and add to the pan. Pan fry til golden brown on both sides.

Add the bell pepper and onion and cook til softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute or so.

Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer about 25 minutes, or til chicken is cooked through. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the cilantro.

I served the chicken and sauce atop the spaghetti and alongside cheesy Texas toast.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d741/d210/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Rachael Ray's Palomilla Burgers with Mustard Potato Salad

I wasn't sure what to expect with these burgers, but the flavor was AWESOME. They reminded me of a really flavorful beef taco.

1 lb ground beef
small handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped
3 T grated onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t oregano
1/2 t ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 slices your favorite cheese (I used pepper jack)
hamburger buns (I used homemade), toasted
lettuce, tomato

Preheat broiler or grill.

Combine meat with herbs, onion, garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Form into 3-4 patties.

Broil or grill burger til cooked as desired. Top with cheese and cook just til cheese is melted.

Serve burgers atop buns with lettuce and tomato alongside potato salad.

Mustard Potato Salad
6 potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup dill relish
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
splash of milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl with a tight fitting cover, toss potatoes with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Straight from the package of chocolate chips. Awesome!

I used my stand mixer for the dough, it was pretty thick.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Mix in eggs one by one, beating well after each.

Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake about 25 minutes or til golden brown. Cool and slice.

The kids (and you) will love these!http://media-files.gather.com/images/d870/d196/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Del Monte Oatmeal n Peaches

I have to admit, I love canned peaches. And I love oatmeal. So when I got the Del Monte ideas cookbook, I knew right away I was going to try the oatmeal and peaches recipe. It was one of those recipe ideas where you go: "Why didn't I ever think of putting those things together before"?

This was a yummy breakfast. Peach rating: 4 out of 5 spoons. Nothing will replace good old brown sugar and milk on my oatmeal.

My adaptation of the Del Monte recipe:

1 serving old fashioned oatmeal, cooked according to package
several slices peaches
generous splash milk

Top oatmeal with peaches and milk and serve.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d580/d195/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Rachael Ray's Ancho Mole Chicken with Cilantro Rice

Last summer, I rough ground several ancho chiles and keep that on hand. It is not the same as ancho chili powder.

The amounts of all the seasonings and cocoa powder are "to taste" as everyone likes different levels of heat.

2 cups chicken broth
1 T olive oil
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 small (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
unsweetened cocoa powder
ground ancho chile
ancho chili powder
ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

Bring broth and oil to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in rice and cover; reduce heat to a medium low. Cook rice til tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

While rice cooks, combine tomatoes, broth, cocoa powder and seasonings in a large saucepan and simmer til thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat and add a little oil. Pan fry chicken breast til golden brown and cooked through.

Serve chicken topped with ancho sauce alongside cilantro rice.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d427/d195/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Bisquick's Philly Beef Squares

This ended up being much tastier than I had thought it would be. I even ate my green peppers!

Good thing I checked this at the 35 minute mark. It would have been WAY overbaked had I followed the original recipe, which called for baking it 40-45 minutes.

I think this would be even better using provolone in place of the Velveeta cheese.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Velveeta cheese melted with a splash or two of half and half (or use cheez whiz)
2 cups baking mix (I made it from scratch)
1 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray an 8" square baking pan or dish or 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, brown beef; drain and return to pan. Reduce heat to medium; add veggies and cook another 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in cheese mixture, stirring til smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix baking mix, milk and egg til blended. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. 

Top with beef mixture. Dollop remaining batter evenly over top.

Bake 35 minutes or til top is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.



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Kraft's Easy Potato Corn Chowder

Not normally a chowder eater, this one was quite good.

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
about 10 slices turkey bacon, chopped
about 2-2 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
salt and pepper to taste

Add potatoes to a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; simmer on medium low heat 10 minutes or til potatoes are just tender. Drain well.

Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large frying pan til crisp. Drain.

Add corn, half and half, bacon and salt and pepper to pot. Simmer about 5 minutes or til soup is heated through.

I served the chowder with homemade buttermilk cornbread.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d306/d187/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Food Network's Chicken and Chile Posole

You can simmer the soup for as little as 20 minutes, or even cook it in a slow cooker all day.

vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 small (15 oz) can hominy, drained
1 small (6 oz) can diced green chiles
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves or to taste
pinch dried thyme
salt and ground black pepper to taste
crushed tortilla chips, for serving

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute til pieces are golden brown. Stir in onion and jalapeno and and cook til veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.

Add remaining ingredients (except chips). Cover and simmer over medium low 1 hour.

I served the soup topped with tortilla chips.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d183/d185/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg

Food Network's Kung Pao Pork

I pretty much followed this recipe as is, but adding peanuts as a garnish rather than cooking them in the sauce and increasing the amounts of soy sauce and cornstarch slurry. I like a lot of sauce.

Marinade
1 T rice wine
1 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t salt
1 T cornstarch
1 small pork loin, diced

In a medium bowl, mix together marinade ingredients. Stir in pork and marinate 30 minutes. Remove pork and drain. Discard marinade.

sesame oil for stir frying
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1" piece ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 T rice wine
3 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
2 T hoisin sauce
2 T sesame oil
1/4 t hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup water plus 1 T cornstarch
roasted peanuts
cooked white rice

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

In a wok over medium high heat, heat oil til hot. Stir fry pork. Remove and set aside. Stir fry onion, ginger and garlic.

Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer til sauce is thickened.

I served the pork and sauce over the rice garnished with peanuts and drizzled with "Rooster" sauce.
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Woman's Day Meatball Souvlakis

The original recipe calls for serving the souvlakis with a yogurt sauce but I didn't have any plain yogurt on hand.

Meatballs
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1 T minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t ground cumin
1/4 t each: salt and pepper
1 lb ground beef
fresh pita bread

Tomato-Mint Salsa
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 T fresh onion, minced
1 t dried mint, rubbed
sea salt to taste
fresh lemon juice to taste
garnish: shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, egg, minced onion, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper. Add beef and mix til well blended. Scoop by a tablespoon, then roll into balls; place on a baking pan.

Bake 20 minutes. Turn. Bake 5 minutes more or til cooked through.

While meatballs bake, mix salsa ingredients. Set aside.

Serve balls on pitas topped with salsa and lettuce.http://media-files.gather.com/images/d281/d176/d746/d224/d96/f3/full.jpg