Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fish Chowder

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 strips bacon 🥓 cut in small pieces
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 bay leaves
2 tsps dried thyme
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Old Bay
dash of cayenne (or to taste)
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
2-3 cups chicken stock
2 lbs cod, or other firm white fish cut into bite size pieces
1-1/2 cup half and half cream (5%)

Heat oil and butter in a large pot. Add the onions and bacon and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, cayenne and Old Bay spice. Sprinkle with flour and cook another few minutes. Gradually stir in 2 cups of stock and wine and bay leaves. The potatoes should be just barely covered with the liquid in the pot. If not, add water or more stock. Cook covered until the potatoes are almost done, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the fish to the pot of potatoes. Cook on low, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through. Stir in cream and heat gently till warned through. The flavors will improve if the soup sits for 30 minutes before serving or next day.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chopped Mexican Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

For the peppers and corn:
2 large orange or red bell peppers
2 ears fresh corn
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the honey-lime-cumin vinaigrette:
1 small clove garlic
Kosher salt
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1 Tbs. honey; more to taste
3/4 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-3/4 cup)
1 small jícama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 large firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-1/2 cups home-cooked black beans)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Roast the peppers and corn: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem, seed core, and ribs. Put the pepper halves on the baking sheet cut side down. Husk the corn and put the ears on the baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the peppers and corn and rub it around to coat the pepper skins and corn kernels evenly. Sprinkle the corn with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the peppers are soft and slightly shriveled and browned and the corn kernels are lightly browned in a few spots, about 20 min. (rotate the corn occasionally as it roasts).

When the vegetables are done, let them rest until cool enough to handle. Scrape away the pepper skin and cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice. Cut the corn kernels from the cob. You should have about 1-1/2 cups kernels.

Make the vinaigrette:
Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste with the lime and orange juices, shallot, honey, and toasted ground cumin. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt and honey, if you like.

Assemble the salad:
Artfully arrange the corn, tomatoes, peppers, jícama, avocado, and black beans in stripes or piles on a small platter or other wide, shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve the vinaigrette in a pitcher. Encourage guests to spoon elements of the salad onto their plates and drizzle on some of the vinaigrette. Or drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad platter just before serving.

From: Fine Cooking

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lemony, Lemon Bars

3/4 C flour
3/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, soft
2 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice (~1 lemon)
zest from 1 lemon

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the softened butter. In another bowl whisk the eggs with the lemon juice and zest. Add to the larger bowl and mix well. Pour into prepared 8X8 brownie pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. You can double the recipe and bake in a 9X13 pan for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool, then glaze.

1/2C powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice (or more to make watery glaze)
zest from 1 lemon
Mix together and pour over cooled lemon squares

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ham and Cheese Puffs

1 cup water
1/3 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1½ cups old cheese, shredded
1 cup ham, finely chopped
¼ tsp dry mustard

In heavy saucepan, combine water and butter; bring to boil. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, beating vigorously with wooden spoon until blended. Return to medium-high heat and beat until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth. Stir in cheese, ham and mustard. Drop by teaspoonful onto buttered baking sheets. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crusty. Yield: about 50. Freezes well.

Mini Ham Puffs

2.5 oz ham, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
½ cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray mini muffin pan (24) with PAM. Combine ham, onion, cheese, egg, parsley, mustard and pepper and mix well. Unroll crescent dough and press into one large rectangle. Cut dough into 24 squares using pizza cutter. Press one square into each muffin cup. Fill each with ham mixture. Bake 12-14 minutes or until puffs are light golden brown.

Phyllo Triangles with Feta Cheese and Pecan Filling

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp butter
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp dried parsley
¼ cup sour cream
Pinch pepper
½ pkg frozen spinach, chopped
½ pkg phyllo pastry (1 lb)
Melted butter

Cook onion in butter and combine all except phyllo in a bowl. Unwrap phyllo and place 1 sheet on work surface. (Cover remaining phyllo with damp cloth). Brush phyllo sheet with melted butter. Place second sheet on top and brush with melted butter. With sharp knife, cut phyllo lengthwise into 6 strips. Cut each strip in half crosswise to make 12 small strips in all. Place 1 tsp. filling about 1 inch from left end of strip. Pick up right corner of strip and fold it diagonally over filling to meet left side, forming triangle. Continue to wrap pastry around filling in triangular shape. Brush end of pastry with butter, tuck under triangle and pinch corners to seal Repeat with remaining filling and phyllo. Brush tops with melted butter.

Can be frozen at this point. Bake frozen triangles buttered side up at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. Yield ~ 48.

Spinach Cheese Dip

2 packages cream cheese
1 box frozen spinach, thawed, chopped finely
3/4 cup Alfredo sauce
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup red pepper, finely diced
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp Cajun spice
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
Grated cheddar cheese 

Soften cream cheese and blend with Alfredo sauce. Squeeze out water from spinach and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop finely. Add spinach and remaining ingredients with cream cheese mixture. Separate into small 5" diameter, air tight containers covering the bottom and filling up 1" deep. Sprinkle tops of dip with grated cheddar. Warm dip in microwave till top layer of cheese is melted (approx 30 seconds). Serve with nacho chips or warm baked pita slices (spray with Pam and bake in oven for 3-4 minutes - till toasted). Dips can be frozen, thaw at room temperature prior to heating. Yield approx 5 dips.

Just like Kelsey’s.

Arroz con Pollo

2 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 lb chicken parts, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 to 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
1 bottle beer
1 bay leaf
2 cups medium-grain rice (Goya or Bomba is good)
1/4 -1 cup water

In a deep, heavy-based pot sauté the chicken in oil. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Sauté the sausage until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the platter. Pour off and discard the excess oil, leaving about 1 Tbs. in the pan.

Sauté the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and sausage to the pot and add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric, if using, stirring to distribute the spices. Cook for 1 minute and then add the tomatoes, wine (or beer), and bay leaf. Increase the heat to medium high, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add extra water as required. Cook until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. (If the rice is done but still very soupy, remove the cover and cook very gently until the liquid evaporates, taking care not to burn the rice.) Give a toss and then let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Original recipe at Fine Cooking

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Leek & Potato Soup

4 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 leeks, washed and sliced
2 large potatoes cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 L (one carton) vegetable or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives, to garnish
Crumbled bacon, to garnish
1/3 cup light cream (optional), to serve

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onions and leeks. Lightly season with salt and pepper and saute gently for 4-5 minutes until soft but not brown. Pour in stock and potatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes til potatoes tender. Remove bay leaf.

Blend soup with an immersion blender til smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If using cream, add swirl to each bowl and garnish with chives (best with fresh chives).

4-6 servings