Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicken Vegetable Soup

4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Med. Onion – Finely Diced
2 Celery Stalks – Finely Diced
2 Large Carrots – Finely Diced
Green Beans – Large handful, tops and tails removed, chopped about ½ inch
4 Garlic Cloves- Minced
4 oz. Crimini Mushrooms – Finely diced
1 tbsp Salt
¾ tbsp Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Coriander
4 tbsp Flour
1 Cup White Wine
5 oz. Kale – Stems removed and chopped
4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
4 Cups Water
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – Small dice
1 Zucchini – Small Dice
1 Cup Frozen Corn
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese

Over med/high heat, add EVOO, once hot, add in onion, celery, carrots and green beans.  Sautee about 7 minutes.  Add in mushrooms and garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander and flour.  Mix well and cook about 3 minutes.

Add wine and stir to deglaze the pot, about 2 minutes.  Add kale, chicken stock, water, chicken, zucchini and corn.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese and adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve with a big chunk of crusty bread and enjoy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2  6 oz containers of Plain Greek Yogurt
2  6 oz containers of fresh blueberries
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon zest and juice and whisk.  Add the melted butter and whisk. Add the yogurt and whisk to combine.
Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture in 3 batches mixing to combine each batch.  Add in the blueberries and fold with a rubber spatula until the berries are evenly distributed. The batter will be very thick (don’t worry). Do not over mix.

Using a large spoon or a ice cream scoop divide the batter into the muffin cups. Lightly sprinkle the muffins with the brown sugar (or you could use sugar in the raw).  Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes.

Bean & Bacon Soup w/ Smoked Turkey Sausage

2 lbs Dried Navy Beans

6 Slices Bacon – Crumbled
2 Med. Onions – Finely Diced
2 Large Carrots – Peeled, Finely Diced
2 Celery Stalks – Finely Diced
4 Garlic Cloves – Finely Diced
½ Green Pepper – Finely Diced
2 tbsp Bacon Fat
¾ lb Ground Beef
1 Large Link Turkey Sausage – Cut into medallions and then into ¼
4 tbsp Flour
2 Cups Beef Stock
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 14 oz can Stewed Diced Tomatoes
½ Cup Ketchup
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper

Prepare the beans according to the package, either overnight or the quick soak method.  In a large pot over low heat, crisp up the bacon and save out 2 tbsp of the bacon fat (save the rest for other recipes).  Remove bacon.  Increase heat to med/high and add in the ground beef and cook until crisp.  Remove beef and all but about 4 tbsp of the fat.  Add in the diced turkey sausage and cook until crisp.  Remove and set aside leaving about 4 tbsp of the fat.

Add in the carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 7-9 minutes.  Add in the garlic and the pepper.  Cook another 3 minutes.  Add in the flour and stir to coat.  Cook about 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.

Add in the beans, bacon, ground beef, turkey sausage, tomatoes, beef stock, chicken stock, ketchup, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 1 hour with a lid slightly cracked, stirring occasionally.  After about an hour do the 5 bean test:  Test 5 beans to see if they are cooked all the way through.  Once all 5 are cooked you know the rest are too.  Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with a big crusty bread.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

French Onion Soup

8 Onions – Sliced about ¼ to ½ inch thick
4 oz Crimini Mushrooms – Chopped
4 tbsp Butter
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
5 Cloves of Garlic – Chopped
1 tsp Rosemary – Finely chopped
1 tsp Thyme – Finely chopped
4 tbsp Flour
¼ Cup Marsala Wine
½ Cup Red Wine
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
6 Cups Beef Stock
1 Garlic Clove
½ lb Smoked Gouda - Shredded
½ lb Smoked Provolone - Shredded

Melt butter and evoo in a pot over low/med heat.  Add onions and stir occasionally w/ lid slightly cracked.  Cook the onions until they are soft and have some color on them.  Usually takes about 30-40 minutes.  Add in mushrooms, rosemary and thyme.  Spoon in the flour and mix thoroughly.  Cook about 2-3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.  Add marsala wine (if you don’t have it, just bump up the red wine), red wine, salt and pepper.  Cook until almost all of the alcohol has been evaporated.  Add beef stock and simmer about 30 minutes w/ lid slightly cracked.  Season to taste.

Slice baguette on an angle about 1 inch thick.  Drizzle w/ evoo and place in oven at about 500 degrees for about 5 minutes or until golden.  Remove and scrape the garlic clove over the bread (similar to grating it).

Ladle the soup into oven proof bowls or cups, place a baguette slice on top and then top w/ the shredded cheese.  Place back in oven and cook for another 5 or so minutes or until the cheese is all browned and bubbly.

Fougasse (Bread)


Put the flour in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/4-cup/60 ml warm water. Stir 1/4-cup/60 g flour from the large bowl into the yeast to make a paste. Let sit until it starts to foam, about 10 minutes.

Make a well in the flour. Crack in the eggs, and add the salt, oil, and chopped rosemary. Pour in 1/4-cup/60 ml water and mix. Finally, add the yeast starter to combine, and gradually draw in the flour to make dough. Add the olives and knead into smooth dough. Place in a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and roll into a thin rectangle, using a rolling pin. Place on a baking sheet. Cook's Note: You can scatter cornmeal underneath if you like.
Cut three slits down each side, to give the bread a leaf look. Separate the slits with your fingers to make long holes. Let the bread rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg and water, if using. Brush the top of the bread with the egg wash, then bake until risen and golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool 10 minutes at least before serving.

Recipe via:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Roasted Radishes

3 Bunches of Radishes - Leaves & Root cut off
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
1 tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 tbsp Garlic Powder

Mix all ingredients together and place on a baking sheet.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for 1 hour.  Radishes will have a snap to the outer layer and a creamy and peppery inside.

Fun facts:
Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium. One cup of sliced red radish bulbs provides approximately 20 calories, largely from carbohydrates.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roast Chicken Corn Chowder

2 Chicken Breasts – Bone in, skin on
2 lb bag of Frozen Corn
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Green Pepper – Finely diced
1 Med. Onion – Finely diced
2 Large Carrots – Peeled and finely diced
2 Celery Stalks – Finely diced
4 oz. Crimini Mushrooms – Diced
10 Slices of Bacon
2 Med. Potatoes – Peeled and finely diced
5 Dried Porchini Mushrooms
4 Cups Water
1 Roasted Red Pepper – Finely diced
2 Tbsp Mascarpone Cheese
Garlic Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Drizzle chicken breasts with EVOO, ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  When done, tent with foil and let cool.  Then remove skin and bones and finely shred chicken.

Combine corn, ¼ cup chicken stock, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp pepper and 1 tbsp garlic powder w/ 4 tbsp EVOO.  Mix well to coat and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring about every 15 minutes.

Line the bottom of the pot you’re going to make the chowder in w/ the bacon strips.  *You’re not actually going to use all 10 strips but you’ll need the bacon fat from all of them and snack on the rest or use them in another recipe.  Turn the stove on low, maybe a notch above the lowest setting.  The goal is to cook the bacon low and slow and extract the fat and eventually crisp up the bacon.  This may take up to an hour depending on your stove.

When the bacon is crisp, remove from pot and leave the bacon fat behind.  You should have about ¼ cup.  Turn the heat up to med/high and add in the onions, carrots, celery, crimini mushrooms.  Cook about 7 minutes or until they have some color on them.

Steep 5 (or so) dried porchini mushrooms in 4 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes.  Remove mushrooms and finely dice.  Add chicken stock, mushroom stock, porchini mushrooms, potatoes, red pepper, roasted corn and chicken to pot.  Simmer 1 hour w/ lid slightly cracked and scrape off excess fat that rises to the surface.

Take 4 cups of chowder and puree.  Add back into pot w/ 4 slices of bacon that’s been finely crumbled and 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese.  Simmer another ½ hour w/ lid cracked.  Season to taste w/ salt and pepper and Enjoy.