Archive for September, 2010

Chicken,Main Dishes,Soup

September 30, 2010

Pollo Tortilla Soup
Posted by Mama


This recipe is from a cookbook Jean gave me from the Eastside Cafe in Austin.

2 T. olive oil
1 C. onions, diced
3/4 C. celery, diced
1/2 C. green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
8 C. chicken stock
3 C. cooked, diced chicken
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. cilantro, minced
1 T. fresh basil, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
fried tortilla chips
1/2 C. jack cheese, grated

Heat olive oiil in a large soup pot over low heat. Saute onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic for 15 minutes. Add stock, chicken, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, basil, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Garnish with fried tortilla strips and cheese. Yield: 12 cups

Side Dishes

September 24, 2010

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes
Posted by betsyjo

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Thought I would post this one because it’s one that we’ve made multiple times, usually when Matt is grilling steaks.  They are so good.  The recipe comes from one of my very favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  If you don’t read this website, please start immediately.  I’ve made a few different recipes from her site, and I’ve never been disappointed.  About this recipe, I have used red potatoes, but more often I’ve used Russets and just cut them into wedges.  Also, I thought this recipe had red wine in it, and I’ve made them with red wine before, and I told Matt tonight that we needed to open a bottle to make the potatoes.  Then I looked and it doesn’t actually call for it.  Not sure what this says about me, but go ahead and add a splash anyway, and enjoy the rest of the bottle! 🙂

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes

From Smitten Kitchen

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick or 1/2 ounce) butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 pounds 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter mixed unpeeled red-skinned and white-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add potatoes; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat. Divide potatoes between prepared baking sheets, leaving any excess mustard mixture behind in bowl. Spread potatoes in single layer. Roast potatoes 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets and roast until potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes longer.

Transfer potatoes to serving bowl.

Do ahead: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand on baking sheets at room temperature. Rewarm potatoes in 425°F oven 10 minutes.

Beef,Main Dishes

September 23, 2010

Posted by betsyjo

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Matt said he ate goulash as a kid, and wanted me to try my hand.  I thought goulash was only eaten by people in the Minnesota, (or is that hotdish??) and didn’t really know what it was.  I came across this recipe on a blog that I follow, and I thought I’d try it.  I made a few changes.  I cooked about 4 oz (dry) of elbow noodles and added them, didn’t use the allspice and just added a touch of nutmeg (which I thought I could taste, but who knows…).  It actually turned out quite good – very simple flavors, but pretty comforting too.  Matt seems to like it!

Healthy Goulash

Courtesy of A Modern Gal

2 slices bacon, slivered
1 lb. ground meat (beef or turkey)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer fire roasted)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 t allspice
1 t sweet paprika (or half sweet, half smoked)
red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1/2 head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 T red wine vinegar

In a large deep pan or stockpot, render the fat from the bacon, then brown the ground meat in the pan.  Add onion, garlic, and carrot and continue to cook until meat is cooked through and onion is tender.  Add tomatoes, spices, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add cabbage and stir to incorporate thoroughly (this will be a relatively large volume), add the red wine vinegar.  Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat and simmer until cabbage is just tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir well, and serve immediately.

Main Dishes,Seafood

September 21, 2010

Shrimp and Grits
Posted by Chammer

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Mom and Dad took me to an excellent Denver restaurant called Venue, in the Highlands when I was home this last time.  I ordered their signature dish, Shrimp and Grits, and it was awesome!  After telling Will about it, he asked if I thought I could replicate it (coming from a good Southern family, the boy loves grits).  I told him I could sure try.  I’m proud of the outcome!  I don’t know exactly how they do their grits at Venue, so I just guessed.  However, they did tell us that they use Emmantaler cheese, which is a type of Swiss.  I found this at the Commissary.  I was reading about Emmantaler in my ingredients book and it said Gruyere is similar, so I imagine that could work too.  Also, at Venue, you get Black Tiger Shrimp. The Commissary here, however, thinks it’s a good idea not to have a fish monger, even though I can see the ocean from the Commissary parking lot (okay, not quite, but almost).  So, I had to get jumbo shrimp which were frozen, so they were not as good as other not-frozen shrimp might have been, however, the dish was still great!  Here’s what I did (I made it up as I went along):

For Grits:

1clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup minced sweet yellow onion

2 TBSP Olive Oil (2 turns of the pan)

1 cup Old Fashioned white grits

1/2 cup chicken broth

1  1/2 cups milk


1/3 cup Emmantaler cheese, finely grated


Sriracha chili sauce

For Shrimp:

1 TBSP olive oil

1 lb Jumbo or Black Tiger Shrimp

1 clove garlic

pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan of medium heat.  Saute onions and garlic until they are softened and have a tiny bit of color (you don’t want them too dark or they will stand out in the grits).  Add broth and 1 cup of milk. Bring to a boil.  Add grits and salt to taste, stirring to combine.  Reduce heat to low and cook grits for 5-7 minutes, then stir in last 1/2 cup of milk.  Cook another 10-15 minutes, until the grits are soft and creamy in texture. 

Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute.  When garlic is browned and has flavored the oil, remove from pan. Add shrimp to pan and saute 5-7 minutes, or until pink on the outside and opaque in the center. 

Once grits are soften and creamy, stir in Emmantaler.  If grits are too thick, add a splash more milk. 

Serve grits garnished with cilantro on top and Sriracha sauce spread on the plate beside the grits, place shrimp on top of grits. 

This was soooo good and so much fun to try to replicate a recipe.  Of course, Venue does it best, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment!!!