Sunday, January 31, 2010

Clam Chowder

6-7 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 med. onion, chopped
2 (5oz) cans clams with juice reserved
6-7 potatoes, cubed
2 (10.5oz) cans cream of celery soup
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1 T. butter

1. Add bacon to sauce pan and cook until crispy
2. Add onion and cook until translucent (if there's lots of bacon grease, I get rid of it)
3. Add clam juice from both cans
4. Add potatoes
5. Cover and cook until potatoes are fork tender, stir occasionally
6. Stir in clams, soup, cream and milk
7. Add butter and let melt into chowder
8. Cook 30-45 min or until thickened, stir occasionally

If we don't plan on eating right away, I put in a crock pot to keep warm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken Veggie Soup

2 White Chicken Breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 small Yellow Onion, finely diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 c. Carrots, mini carrots or chopped
1 c. Celery, chopped
1 Yellow Zucchini, sliced
1 Green Zucchini, sliced
3 c. Cabbage, shredded
4 Red Potatoes, diced (or 3 c. cooked brown rice)
6 c. Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp. Oregano
4 Basil Leaves
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/8 c. Chives

Combine all ingredients in large stockpot and slow cook for several hours or until all vegetables are soft. Feel free to add whatever other garden veggies you have in surplus.

Serve warm.

For freezer: Remove from heat when vegetables are not quite cooked. Divide into smaller portions and store in freezer containers. I use toss-away tupperware or ziploc freezer bags. When you reheat the soup, the vegetables will finish cooking without becoming over saturated. I double the recipe when I make it to freeze. It's a great use of your fall garden vegetables and nothing hits the spot like warm soup during the cold winter.

Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 c. Soymilk, unflavored
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp. Ginger, ground
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, ground

Preheat oven to 400. Clean sweet potatoes and pierce them in several places with a fork. Roast them in the oven for 50-60 minutes until very tender. Remove and allow to cool.

Reduce temperature to 375. Coat 1-quart baking dish with olive oil.

Scoop "meat" of potatoes out of skin. Mash in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon entire mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve warm. Great side dish for chicken recipes.

For a treat or an appetizer, you can scoop the mixture into individual pastry shells and bake.

Lemon Red Potatoes

10-20 small Red Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Chives
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 c. Butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Steam potatoes until soft. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over steamed potatoes.

Serve warm.

Scottage Cream

1 carton Fat-free Cottage Cheese
1/4 c. Milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Sea salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Serve over steamed asparagus or use as a substitute for sour cream.

Coconut Curry

4-6 c. cooked Jasmine Rice (Add a pinch of saffron to the water for extra flavor and color)
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 English Cucumber, chopped
2 Lemons, sliced
2 c. Plain Yogurt
1 med. Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 c. Milk
2 cans Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas
4 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Curry (Sambar is my preference)
1 c. Coconut (I prefer sweetened, but non-sweetened will work)

In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, and olive oil. When the onions start to brown, add milk, garbanzo beans, taco seasoning, curry, and coconut. Simmer in skillet 15-20 minutes or until most of the milk is cooked out and the garbanzo beans are soft.

To serve, spoon the saute over a bed of jasmine rice. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over saute, then sprinkle with tomatoes and cucumbers. Top with several spoonfulls of yogurt.

Yield: 4-6 Servings

This is one of my most requested recipes and seems to please even those eaters who usually won't try ethnic or interesting foods. It's a great potluck meal as the saute can be prepared early and stashed in a crock pot.

Corn Salsa

1 15 oz. can Black-eyed Peas, drained
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, drained
4 large Tomatoes, diced
2-3 Avocadoes, diced
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
1 c. Yellow Corn
1 c. White Corn
1 c. Italian Dressing

Mix it all up and serve with tortilla chips. I like using blue corn chips. Mom likes to eat it as a salad or over chili.

Super Spinach Smoothie (Blended Salad)

4 oz. Water
1 c. Red Grapes
4 c. Fresh Spinach Leaves
3/4 c. Frozen Berries

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Serve cold and drink immediately. Drink will separate if left standing.

Daily Nutrients
Total fiber 50%
Vitamin A 75%
Vitamin C 100%
Vitamin E 25%
Thiamin 20%
Riboflavin 30%
Folate 60%
Vitamin B6 30%
Calcium 17%
Phosphorus 15%
Iron 25%
Potassium 30%


1 15oz. can Chick Peas/Garbonzo Beans (drained, but reserve juice)
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Tehini
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
2 cloves Garlic
2 tsp. Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients until thick and smooth. Add additional liquid if necessary (use the reserved bean juice).

Chill 2 hours. Serve cold as a dip or garnish. Traditionally served with olive oil. It's also great with za'atar, hyssop, sage, or similar herb sprinkled on top.

Yummy things to serve with it:
Pita bread
Pita chips
Veggie chips
Snap peas
Bell pepper spears
Red beats

Pita Bread

After being spoiled with fresh pita bread every day in Israel, I thought I'd try my hand at making it myself. Turns out it is super easy and works pretty well. You start by following mom's basic bread recipe but I cut it in half to make it a little easier to work with (and I usually cook with olive oil).

1 1/4 c. Lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. Active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
3 c. Flour (I've tried it with partial wheat and partial ryle. Both were delish.)
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 Tbsp. Olive oil

Mix it all up and beat for a few minutes until dough is thoroughly kneaded but still soft. Rub dough ball with oil and leave in bowl to rise until double in size (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 450. Move rack to lowest position and remove other racks. You also need to preheat your cooking surface. Use a cooking stone or a large pizza pan.

Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead 15 or 20 turns. Roll into roap and divide into 8 to 10 pieces. Roll pieces into balls and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Roll balls into flat rounds about 1/4 inch thick (you know, pita-looking). Place on cooking surface and bake for 2-3 minutes. (I can usually only fit 3 or 4 on the pan at a time.) Pieces will puff up after you put them in the oven. I remove them at the first sign of a brown spot. If left in too long they turn crispy.

Set them on a baking rack and let cool slightly, then store in plastic bag to retain moisture.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Okay girls. Anyone want to try this out? I heard these people on Wisconsin Public Radio this morning. You spend time making the master dough... flour, yeast, salt, water. It is a very wet dough; you let it rise for 2 hrs, then you can refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. You just pull off enough for a loaf whenever you want it; shape it and let it rise for 20 min. or so and bake. They have a lot of variations for artisan breads. I see they have Naan. I'm still thinking it's easier to just bake 4 loaves of bread and freeze the bread, but perhaps the "artisan" breads with different herbs is appealing. Here's a website with the basic information:
If you try it out, post your comments. Dad really likes artisan breads, so he may give this a try. Here's the basic recipe. It's pretty much my bread recipe sans the honey and oil. I'd use 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 bread flour:

The Master Recipe: Boule

(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grilled Lemon Salmon

* 2 teaspoons fresh dill
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 chicken bouillon cube, mixed with
* 3 tablespoons water
* 3 tablespoons oil
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
* 1 lemon, thinly sliced

1. Sprinkle dill, pepper, salt and garlic powder over salmon.
2. Place in shallow glass pan.
3. Mix sugar, chicken bouillon, oil, soy sauce, and green onions.
4. Pour over salmon.
5. Cover and chill for 1 hour, turn once.
6. Drain and discard marinade.
7. Put on grill on med heat, place lemon.
8. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until fish is done.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Someone made these for a party recently and they were a big hit. If you need a fun, winter appetizer for a party, here you go.

recipe image

18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot
1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

White Chicken Chili (a-Ward winning)

I searched on line until I found what looked to be the best white chicken chili recipe. I probably used Pepper Jack cheese because we seem to have a lot of that in the freezer, then you could probably cut down on the green chilies.
White Chicken Chili
(As cooked by Karen)

This is a recipe that's so good that I never bother to try any other white chicken chili recipes. This is the one. The end all, be all recipe. I got it off the web, and it's attributed to "The Kitchen for Exploring Foods." I have altered it slightly, I cook the chicken in spices, I add an extra onion, and they called for dried beans and I use canned. Also, I rarely actually do any measuring.

16 oz or so of canned white beans
2 large onions, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I put in more)
two 4-oz cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
5 boneless, skinless chiken breasts (about 2 pounds)
some extra butter and oil to cook them in
1 1/2 c grated Monterey Jack
1/2 c sour cream
1. Heat a large skillet (I like cast-iron) over moderately high heat and put in some butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt and pepper and maybe some chili powder. Throw them in the skillet and resist the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes, or until nicely browned, then flip them. Leave it there until browned and then flip them every few minutes until they are done (which you can tell by poking a knife into the thickest part and seeing if it's white instead of pink).
2. Remove the chicken from the pan. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.
3. While waiting for chicken to cool, cook the onion in the same pan with 2 Tbs of butter until softened.
4. In a heavy pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients, melt remaining 6 Tbs of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for three minutes. Stir in the oinoin and gradually add the broth and half and half, whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.) Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beans, chilies, chicken and cheese, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add sour cream. May be served immediately -- though like all chilis this tastes awesome the next day.
5. Serve with the usual chili garnishes--cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc. 

For a crockpot version, check this link:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Three-Cheese Calzones

1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (I just use homemade)
1 c. fresh ricotta
1 c. grated mozzarella
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and roughly chopped (I use closer to a small handfull chopped)
Black pepper
1/4 pound thinly sliced salami
2 T. olive oil
1 c. jarred marinara sauce, warmed (I use jarred pizza sauce)

Heat oven to 400° F. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll and stretch them into 8-inch rounds.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Layer the salami on one side of each round of dough and top with the cheese mixture. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal.

Brush the tops of the calzones with the oil. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

-- everyone loved these and the kids each made their own variation depending on what they like to eat.