Monday, April 1, 2013

Red Russian kale soup with sausage and rice

 Ever since I started home-schooling my son, I have not looked for any time to work on this blog. I am still cooking, even cooking new things, I just haven't taken the time to write down what I am doing.

I was inspired by my neighbor to take it up again, and had posted a few soup pictures on Facebook. One of my friends wanted the recipe for this soup, and since I just made it today, I figured I could at least write down what I did with some degree of accuracy. It's soup, though, and by nature very forgiving, so the amounts aren't super-duper important.

Red Russian and Kale Soup with Sausage and Rice

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 links pre-cooked spicy Italian sausage (or other variety of your choice), sliced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
5 cups veggie broth
2 cups water
4 cups or so chopped red Russian kale
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and carrots and cook for another 5-7  minutes. Add the garlic, cook and stir for one minute. Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the kale and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes longer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mushroom Soup

I was cruising the internet for a mushroom soup recipe the other night, and came across this one based on a recipe from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. Normally I wouldn't think a fancy French soup recipe would fit the bill for an easy weeknight meal, but the poster said Bourdain said this was "the easiest recipe in the book", so I decided to give it a go. And I must say, it is nothing if not easy. Very few ingredients, hardly any prep, and a delicious soup at the end. I'd say it's a keeper!

Mushroom Soup

1 - 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 -3 Tbsp Butter, or More Olive Oil, or Earth Balance
1 Onion, thinly sliced
12 oz. Mushrooms, white, crimini, or a combination, halved
4 Cups Broth, Veggie or Chicken
1 Sprig Parsley
2 oz. Dry Sherry
Salt and Pepper to Taste (I ended up not using any, and the soup was delicious!)

Heat 2 tsp each olive oil and butter, or 4 tsp olive oil, in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until soft but not brown, 6 minutes or so. Add another tablespoon (or more) of butter, oil, or a combination, then add the mushrooms. Cook until they have released their liquid and it is starting to cook off, about 8 minutes.

Add in the broth and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for one hour. Blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth. Stir in the dry sherry and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Veggie Burgers

This is a recipe that I printed many years ago from Kathleen Daelemans. I have been in somewhat of a lunch rut recently, so dusted off this recipe. The patties are not super-cohesive, and thus a bit difficult to turn, but they are very, very tasty. Oh, and did I mention that they are good for you, too? Very little fat, high fiber and lots of protein. A winner all the way around!

1 Onion, Diced
2 Cups Veggie Broth (or Chicken)
1 Cup Bulgur
4 oz. Frozen Peas
1 - 15 oz. Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained and Rinsed
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheese (optional)

Put the diced onion and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the bulgur, frozen peas and garbanzo beans. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. If there is still liquid left in the pot, return to low heat for a few more minutes until it is gone.

Use a potato masher or large fork to mash up the mixture. The idea is to make sure all of the garbanzo beans are smashed. Add salt and pepper and cheese (if using) and give it a good stir. Just about any cheese would work. This time I used parmesan, but I have also used cheddar and mozzarella, both with excellent results. Of course, if you are looking for a vegan meal, just leave the cheese out altogether.

Form into patties and cook in a nonstick skillet with a little bit of olive oil until nicely browned on one side, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula, and cook on the second side for another 3 or 4 minutes. (My patty is square so it would fit on the bread I was using, but you can shape yours any way you like.) Serve like a sandwich or hamburger with your favorite fixings.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

White Beans with Linguica

My sweetie has discovered this great butcher/charcuterie shop in town and shops there frequently. He recently came home with some linguica without a plan. Since it is still winter and cold (even though it hasn't been raining), a nice bean dish seemed in order.

This is what I came up with, and it turned out really great! We had it with a green salad and dinner rolls. Yummy!

White Beans with Linguica

1/2 lb. Dry White Beans, such as Navy
8 Cups Water
2 Slices Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Large Onion, Diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1/2 lb. Linguica sausage, 2 links
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp Dry Oregano
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (or regular, if you don't have smoked)
Fresh Chopped Parsley, for Garnish

Soak the beans in water to cover by 2 inches 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans and place in a soup pot or dutch oven with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.

Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until brown but not crisp, about 7 minutes, add to the beans.

Cook the diced onion in the bacon grease until just starting to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute longer. Add to the beans.

Cut the linguica in half lengthwise, then slice into quarter-inch half-moons. Cook over medium heat in the frying pan until browned, about 10 minutes. Add to the beans.

Cover the beans and maintain a low simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 1/2 hours. Add the salt and pepper, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered, until the flavors have melded and most of the liquid is cooked off.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cranberry Strippers

I was looking around online at recipes to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, and saw a photo of some thumbprint cookies that someone had made using leftover cranberry sauce. Sounded like a good idea to me, and here is my version. Those of you who have been reading this blog will recognize these cookies: I have posted the recipe for them before using apple butter instead of cranberry sauce. You can really use any type of jam-like product you like. They are also delicious with raspberry or apricot jam.

I have changed the glaze for this version a little bit by using orange juice instead of lemon juice. Orange is such a nice pairing for cranberry, and I thought the added sweetness would help offset the tartness of the cranberry sauce. After the fact I thought that Cointreau or Triple Sec might make a nice glaze, too. If you try that, let me know how it works out.

Cranberry Strippers

1/3 Cup Sugar
5 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg White
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
Cooking Spray or Parchment Paper
1/3 Cup Cranberry Sauce
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 - 4 tsp Orange Juice
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat Oven to 375

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg white, beat well. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture ans stir until well blended.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in two. Roll each half into a log about 12 inches long. Place the logs about 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet or baking pan coated with cooking spray (I used parchment paper instead). Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a 1/2 inch indentation down the length of each log. Spoon the cranberry sauce into the center. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a cutting board.

Combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Stir well with a fork and drizzle over the logs. Cut each log diagonally into 12 slices, but don't pull the slices apart yet. Let rest on the cutting board for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Poached" Egg in Tomato Sauce

This one is more of a method than a recipe. Last night I made sauce with the last of the season's tomatoes. I know I need to save most of the leftover for my sweetie to enjoy with mozzarella sticks this weekend, but I have been wanting to try baking eggs in tomato sauce for a long time. However, our oven takes a really long time to heat up, and as I just wanted to cook one egg, that seemed excessive. In browsing recipes online I found this one, and decided to give this method a go.

It was a bit tricky since I was only cooking one egg, and therefore had hardly any sauce in the pot, maybe 1/2 a cup? Next time I will use a shallower pan rather than a pot. I also cooked my egg just a tad too long, but it was still very tasty. I will be trying this again.

"Poached Egg in Tomato Sauce"

Tomato or Marinara Sauce, about 1/2 cup per egg

Heat up the sauce in a pan or pot over medium-low heat. Once the sauce is simmering, crack in the egg(s). Continue cooking until the egg whites are set, but the yolk is still somewhat runny, or to your tastes, 5 minutes or so for 'medium'-ish eggs.

Serve with (or over) toasted bread.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mustard-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

I can tell the seasons are changing just by what I am wanting to cook. Last night I made meatloaf, and wanted something other than mashed potatoes as a side, so I made these yummy roasted potatoes instead.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dry Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1/2 - 3/4 inch chunks
1 - 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees

Spray an 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Whisk olive oil, mustard, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and stir to coat evenly. Spread the potatoes in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the fresh rosemary. Roast in the oven about 25 minutes until nicely brown on the outside and soft in the middle, stirring at least once during cooking.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.