Archive for January, 2011

Main Dishes,Soup

January 20, 2011

Black Bean Tomato Soup
Posted by betsyjo

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This was so good that I wanted to post it right away!  I’ve made at least two other black bean soups, and this blows them both out of the water.  It’s from The Kitchen Sink Recipes, which I started reading a few months ago, and her recipes always look delicious!

I used my immersion blender (thanks, Mom!) to blend this, but I didn’t totally puree it.  Yummy!  (By the way, the chipotle powder makes this spicy.  Remember, you can always add more! :))

Black Bean Tomato Soup

2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 small)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (or homemade)
Garnishes: sour cream, slivered scallions, lime wedges, cilantro leaves, tortilla chips

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside.

Add onion and celery to pan; cook 5 minutes or until celery is tender. Stir in 2 teaspoons cumin, chile powder, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in bacon, pepper, beans, tomatoes, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Place half of bean mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining bean mixture; process until smooth.

Serve with the garnishes.

Side Dishes

January 18, 2011

Posted by Mama


This is from the Amana cookbook that was Mom’s. Jean gave it to me for Christmas!

1 C. milk
2 1/2 C. flour
2 eggs
1 t. salt
6 C. simmering water
1 t. salt
4 T. butter
1/2 C. dry bread crumbs

Add milk to flour slowly, stirring constantly to keep mixture smooth. (It wasn’t really smooth, more like pie crust, but when the egg is added it smooths out.) Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add salt and mix well. Bring water in pot to a simmer. Pour batter into shallow bowl, tilt it over pot and with a sharp knife slice batter into boiling water, being sure to dip knife into water before each slice to prevent batter from sticking to knife. (Just dip the knife into the pot each time.) Let boil for five minutes, then drain in colander. Put in serving dish and top with crumbs which have been browned in butter. Serve hot, with applesauce. (I served them without applesauce. They certainly could be served with gravy or cut into chicken cooked for chicken and dumplings. It was hard not to get them too big. They need to be skinny to work the best.)

Chicken,Main Dishes,Soup

January 17, 2011

White Chicken Chili
Posted by betsyjo


This was our favorite from last week!  It has half and half in it (but not much!).  Use milk if you must…but please don’t! 🙂 I’m adding a jalapeno or two in with the onion next time!

White Chicken Chili

Serves 4

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 medium onion, small diced

1 T vegetable oil

2 cans cannellini beans

14.5 ounces chicken broth

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp cayenne

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup half & half

8 ounce reduced fat sour cream

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and chopped onion and saute for about six minutes, or until the chicken is seared and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another three minutes.

Add the beans, spices, chicken broth and green chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the sour cream and half & half. Serve with cheddar cheese and additional sour cream to top.

Main Dishes,Pork,Soup

Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup
Posted by betsyjo


I’ve decided to pick our favorite meal from each week and post it, and I’m already a week behind, so I have a couple recipes to post, and they’re both soups!  I love soups…they’re usually quick to make and they’re great to take to work the next morning!

This is one I found while reading one of the 800 food blogs I follow, and it was surprisingly good!  It’s from Nigella Lawson, who may love food even more than I do, so even though the recipe seemed a little weird, I gave it a try.  You should too!  Matt spiced this up with his favorite, chile garlic sauce.

Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

Serves 2-4, depending how hungry you are

  • 10 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into thin discs and then fine strips
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 8 ounces ramen noodles
  • 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil
  • 6 thin or 3 fat scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh (or frozen) gingerroot
  • 1 quart chicken broth (good-quality carton, can or cube is fine), preferably organic
  • 3 cups (10 ounces) bean sprouts
  • 2 small baby bok choy, torn into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chopped red or green chiles

Put the strips of pork tenderloin into a bowl and add the lime juice, soy sauce, paprika and fish sauce, but don’t let this stand for more than 15 minutes.

Cook the noodles following the package instructions and then refresh in cold water. Heat the chicken broth until almost boiling.

Heat a wok or a deep, heavy-based frying pan, then add the garlic flavored oil and fry the scallions and ginger for a minute or so. Add the pork and its liquid to the wok, stirring as you go.

Cook the meat in the pan for another 2 minutes, then add the hot chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
Check that the pork is cooked through, then add the bean sprouts and baby bok choy. Add water if the soupy base has evaporated too much – about ½ cup of freshly boiled water should do the trick, but you may not need it.

Arrange the drained noodles equally in 2 large or 4 small warmed bowls, ladle over them the pork and vegetables, and finally the soupy stock. Scatter the chopped chiles on top and serve.

Main Dishes,Soup,Vegetarian

January 10, 2011

White Bean and Chard Stew
Posted by Chammer

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Stolen 100% from Smitten Kitchen.  This dish is fantastic and vegetarian.  I made bread last week, so we toasted it up in the oven with some garlic and had poached eggs on top.  So good.

1 pound Swiss chard (can also swap kale, spinach or another green), ribs and stems removed and cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup (5 1/4 ounces) chopped carrots
1 cup (5 ounces) chopped celery
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) chopped shallots, about 4 medium
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 15-ounce cans (or about 3 3/4 cups) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (or more to taste) vegetable broth
1 cup pureed tomatoes (from a can/carton/your jarred summer supply)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Toasted bread slices, poached eggs (tutorial), chopped herbs such as tarragon, parsley or chives or grated Parmesan or Romano to serve (optional)

Bring medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook chard (or any heavier green; no need to precook baby spinach) for one minute, then drain and squeeze out as much extra water as possible. Coarsely chop chard.

Wipe out medium pot to dry it, and heat olive oil over medium. Add carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. Barber warns not to brown them but I didn’t mind a light golden color on them. Add wine (scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot) and cook it until it reduced by three-fourths. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as is drizzled with sherry vinegar. Or you can ladle the stew over thick piece of toasted country bread or baguette that has been rubbed lightly with half a clove of garlic, top that with a poached egg and a few drops of sherry vinegar and/or some grated cheese.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

January 5, 2011

Enchiladas Suizas
Posted by betsyjo

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I made these a couple weeks ago and they are good!  The green sauce is the keeper here.  I think it would go great on chicken enchiladas.  (So much for my foray into vegetarian cooking…)  I should note that we made these lasagna-style, and didn’t bother with microwaving and rolling the tortillas. 

I just looked up “suiza” and apparently it means “Swiss.”  I didn’t know the Swiss had enchiladas, but if Rick Bayless says it, I’ll buy it. 

Enchiladas Suizas

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 serranos, stemmed
  • 3 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ cup Mexican crema (or creme fraiche)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeds scooped out, flesh cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • ? cup chihuahua cheese (or other Mexican melting cheese)

For Garnish

  • ¼ White onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  1. Adjust oven racks to lower middle and upper middle positions and preheat broiler. Toss tomatillos, onion, garlic, and serranos on large baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for four to five minutes, or until tomatillos soften and start to turn black. Flip everything over with pair of 12-inch tongs. Return to oven and cook for another four to five minutes. Some black is okay, but adjust vegetables if they simply start to burn. Remove and let cool. Adjust heat in oven to 400 degrees.  
  2. Transfer all contents on baking sheet to a blender. Process until smooth. 
  3. Pour 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil into large dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When hot, dump contents of blender in. It should immediately start to sizzle and bubble. Cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until darker, about three minutes. Pour in broth and crema, turn heat to medium-low, and stir until mixture is smooth. Partially cover dutch oven, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.  
  4. Toss carrots, red onion, mushrooms, and butternut squash with one tablespoon oil on a baking sheet. Season with a pinch of salt Place on the lower-middle rack in oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Toss with pair of 12-inch tongs after 10 minutes, and after 20. Vegetables, and especially carrots, should be tender. Return to oven for another five minutes if they are not.
  5. Pour remaining tablespoon of oil into a bowl. Using a brush, coat both sides of each tortilla with oil. Stack them up, and then place in a large plastic ziplock bag. Do not close bag. Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute.  
  6. Pour one cup of sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Scoop about two tablespoons of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam-side down in the sauce on the baking dish. Repeat 11 times. Pour remaining sauce over them, and then sprinkle cheese evenly on top.  
  7. Place baking dish in oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until warm. Remove from oven, and using a spatula, transfer three enchiladas to each dish. Garnish with onion rings and cilantro. Eat immediately.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cake
Posted by Chammer

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Oh Chocolate Decadence!  Is there a more perfect food marriage than chocolate and peanut butter?

Mom made molten chocolate cake in September when I was home and since she showed me the recipe, I’ve probably made it half a dozen times…yes, in four short months!  I’ve never tried to make it with peanut butter, but I was craving something chocolatey with peanut butter, so tonight I experimented!  Here’s the recipe, adapted from The Pioneer Woman.


  • 4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray 4 custard cups liberally with cooking spray; place on cookie sheet.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, stir until butter and chocolate are melted and well mixed.

Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.

Mix peanut butter and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar together. Melt slightly in the microwave, 20 seconds at 50%.

Divide half of chocolate batter between custard cups.  Dallop peanut butter mixture in each cup. Cover with remaining batter.

Bake 12-13 minutes until sides are firm, top is cracked, and center is soft (still jiggly). Let stand 1 minute.

Carefully invert onto plates, top with powdered sugar or whipped cream.

Beef,Main Dishes

January 4, 2011

Chinese Broccoli Beef
Posted by Chammer

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Made this tonight in my new wok.  Recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

1 lb (460 g) top sirloin or flank steak, sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thin strips

For the marinade
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cooking oil

For the Stir-fry Sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons black vinegar

For the Broccoli
1½ lb (700 g) broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Marinate the beef in soy sauce, cornstarch and the ½ teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix together the stir-fry sauce ingredients (I added 1 teaspoon of chile garlic sauce for some kick!).

In a wok or large frying pan, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Heat the pan over high heat and when hot, add the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.

Pour in the stir-fry sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.