thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
I failed to get to the grocery store yesterday (or today) so I couldn't make the scheduled slow-cooker meal for dinner. I made this casserole from ingredients I had sitting around the house. My husband and our friend who happened to be over at dinnertime were very unhelpful with naming it: they came up with "Delicious Casserole" and "Nom Nom Nom." <shakes head & grins> So anyway, even though it doesn't have a name, I am sharing it with you. This recipe is all about "whatever you've got on hand."

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes (+ 30 minutes bake time)

Ingredients
  • 1 pound package pasta of your choice (I used wide egg noodles)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), divided

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or other oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or diced (your preference) - it won't be a tragedy if you use canned mushrooms ;^)

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 3 cups chicken broth (canned, made from bouillon cubes, or homemade, whatever you've got!)

  • 2 cups milk (if you want to be decadent, use half-and-half or even heavy cream for some or all of this)

  • seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, thyme, and "perfect seasoning")

  • 5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

  • 1/2 cup Panko or other breadcrumbs


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 2 tablespoons of butter (and salt as directed on package). Decrease cooking time a bit - you want them just slightly firmer than al dente. Drain and toss with another 2 tablespoons of butter while still hot. Set aside.

  3. Heat bacon grease in skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and stir to break up and prevent sticking.

  4. When turkey begins to brown, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers to the skillet. Continue to stir occasionally and cook until turkey is done and vegetables are tender-crisp.

  5. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour over the top of the turkey mixture in the skillet and stir in. Repeat with remaining two-thirds. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring after each addition until smooth.

  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring often (and being sure to scrape the bottom to prevent any spots sticking), until thickened. During this cooking time, season the sauce. I like to season a bit, simmer, taste, and then season again.

  8. Lower heat and stir half of the Parmesan into sauce until melted. Stir cooked noodles into sauce (or vice versa) and spread the mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish.

  9. Top the casserole with the Panko and the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, with golden brown cheese on top. (A few minutes under the broiler will help to brown the cheese and will also brown the breadcrumbs.)

  10. Serve and listen to the muffled noises of happiness from your family/friends.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Spicy Romaka Chicken

This is the maka version of the Spicy Romano Chicken i had at Johnny Carino's the other night.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 pound pasta of your choice (i've used bow-ties and whole-wheat penne)

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 green onions, white and green tops

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, dry packed, cut into strips

  • 1 can artichokes packed in water, chopped

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup shredded romano cheese

  • salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste


Directions

Heat the broiler and broil salted and peppered chicken breasts 4-6 inches from heat for 6-7 minutes, then turn and broil another 8 minutes or so until internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Meanwhile heat a pot of salted water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done, drain and toss with 2 tablespoons butter.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet and sauté mushrooms, garlic, and bell pepper.

When chicken is done, slice thinly or dice and add to skillet.

Add green onions, sun dried tomatoes, and artichokes to skillet. Continue to sauté until everything is heated through and onions have wilted.

Add heavy cream to skillet and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by almost half, about 7 minutes. Add romano and stir until melted. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
thesoupfairy: (chopping)
Enchilada Lasagna

This was a huge hit! We mixed up a batch of guacamole to serve on the side. You can use ricotta instead of the cottage cheese if you like. It's my preference, but a couple of my family members have a strong dislike for ricotta.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: about 1 hour
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients
  • 32 ounces small-curd cottage cheese

  • 1 pound sausage (I used turkey breakfast sausage because I had it on hand. Chorizo would be great.)

  • 2-4 jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • 1 pound cooked diced or shredded chicken

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

  • 3-4 (10 oz) cans enchilada sauce

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles


Directions

Empty container of cottage cheese into a strainer. Rinse with cool water and allow to drain.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in large skillet. Add jalapeños just before sausage is done and continue cooking until sausage has no remaining pink. Add corn and chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Continue stirring occasionally over medium heat until heated through.

Combine eggs and drained cottage cheese in food processor. Pulse. Curds should be broken up and eggs should be mixed well with cheese.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Begin layering:
  1. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over bottom of 9" x 13" casserole dish.

  2. Place 4 lasagna noodles on top of sauce.

  3. Spread one-third of cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  4. Spread one-half of meat mixture on top of cottage cheese mixture.

  5. Top with 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese.

  6. Pour 1 cup enchilada sauce over cheese.

  7. Top with 4 lasagna noodles.

  8. Spread half of remaining cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  9. Top with remaining meat mixture.

  10. Add half of remaining grated cheese.

  11. Pour remaining sauce over cheese.

  12. Place last 4 lasagna noodles on top of sauce.

  13. Spread remaining cottage cheese mixture on top of noodles.

  14. Top with remaining Monterey Jack.


Bake 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The raita and naan recipes are over here.

Curry Paste

Store this paste in your fridge. It gives an amazingly rich flavor. If you can't find the curry leaves in a local store, you can get them here.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: about 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole fenugreek seeds

  • 2 dried red chiles

  • 2-3 curry leaves

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Directions

Grind whole spices (seeds, chiles, leaves) into a powder. Transfer to a bowl and add the ground spices, use a fork to mix the spices together. Add the wine vinegar and stir to a thick paste. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water and stir to form a paste.

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a small skillet or a wok and stir-fry the spice paste for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before spooning into airtight jars.

Smooth the top of the curry paste, then heat another 2 tablespoons oil in a clean pan and carefully pour on top of the paste in the jar to help prevent mold while refrigerated.


Saffron Rice

This delicious rice will make everybody happy. My whole-grain-resistant husband loved it!

Prep: 5 minutes
Soak: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Stand: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups brown rice (basmati if you can find it)

  • 3 cups water

  • 3 green cardamom pods

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron


Directions

Wash rice in cold water. Soak in fresh cold water for 20 minutes.

Drain soaked rice and place in a saucepan. Pour in the water. Add the cardamom, cloves, and salt. Stir, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the milk and saffron in a microwave-safe container. Heat for 1 minute on low heat.

Add the saffron milk to the rice and stir. Cover again and continue cooking over a low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat without lifting the lid. Leave the rice to stand for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork just before serving.


Chicken Jahlfrezi

Um... I really don't know what to say. This is one of the most complexly-flavored dishes I've made in a while. There is so much going on with the spices here, from the handmade curry paste to the fried whole cumin seeds to the blend of spices added during cooking. And note that you have cilantro in three forms here: whole seeds (coriander = cilantro), ground seeds, and fresh leaves. This dish is traditionally quite hot, too, so feel free to use any type of chile pepper you like, with as much heat as you want.

Sometimes I cheat and chop the veggies, etc. as I go - you do not want to do that with this recipe. You won't have time. Chop it all up-front. I even found it helpful to have the spices measured and prepared beforehand on this one.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I use red; my husband can't eat green bell peppers)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4-inch piece of ginger root, minced

  • 1 tablespoon curry paste (see above)

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided


Directions

Heat oil in wok and fry cumin seeds for 30-40 seconds until they begin to splutter. Add onion, peppers, garlic and ginger and fry for 6-8 minutes.

Add curry paste to the pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin and salt. Add 1 Tbsp water. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes.

Add chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of fresh cilantro. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes until the chicken is tender. Sprinkle remaining fresh cilantro on top.
thesoupfairy: (desserts)
I had a big delicious meal planned for tonight, but my husband's grandmother needed to go to the ER (fortunately she is okay) so dinner sort of got scrapped. I ended up eating leftovers from last night while my son made dinner for himself and his girlfriend.

However, I could NOT let this dessert go undone!

Creamy Peach Crisp Pie

This is so delicious... my mouth is very, very happy right now!

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cool: 3 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • pie crust to fit 9-inch pie pan (make your own or buy one)

  • 4 cups sliced, peeled peaches

  • 2 tablespoons peach preserves

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup flour

Topping:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup cold butter, sliced thinly


Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place the crust in your pie plate. Trim the edges. Combine the peaches and preserves, set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, sour cream, egg yolks, and vanilla. When well-combined, whisk in flour a little at a time. Transfer peach mixture to pie crust, then pour batter over the peaches.

Bake for 30 minutes. While baking, combine topping ingredients except butter in the mixing bowl of a food processor with the "S" blade attached. When well-mixed, add butter piece by piece with processor running, allowing to process until the mixture resembles damp sand.

Sprinkle topping over pie. Shield edges of crust with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pie completely on a wire rack for 3 hours before serving. Store the pie in the refrigerator (if there is any left!)
thesoupfairy: (garlic)
Sesame Ginger Chicken

Soooo easy! And soooo delicious, too. ;)

Prep: 10 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour to overnight
Cook: varies
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger root

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup (untoasted) sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup tamari (soy sauce)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into "chicken tender" sized pieces


Directions

Combine all ingredients except the chicken. Pour marinade over chicken in container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Stovetop: Using tongs, remove chicken to skillet. Pour marinade over chicken in skillet. Cook on medium-high, covered, for 15-20 minutes, turning chicken once or twice. Remove cover and simmer on medium to medium-low until most of marinade has reduced to about half the original volume, turning chicken pieces often.


Garlic Rice

This is delicious all by itself, and is a perfect side dish for this chicken.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40-50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 cups water


Directions

Rinse rice several times. Place in saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until water has evaporated and rice just begins to smell warm and nutty. Add garlic and water. Stir and bring to a boil, immediately lower heat to the lowest simmer you can get on your stove, and cover the pan. Do not remove the cover! When your timer goes off you may lift the cover slightly to see if the water seems to be completely absorbed, and remove a few grains to check for doneness. Try to be as quick as possible so you don't let out any extra steam. If done, remove from heat, leave covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. If not done, let cook another few minutes and check again. You will eventually figure out exactly how long your particular stove takes!

You can do this with white rice, too; cooking time will be 15-20 minutes.


Tonight's Salad

Play with the ingredients to suit you!

Prep: 7 minutes
Servings: 4 very generous servings, probably 6-8 regular servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2-1/4 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons tamari (soy sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 clove garlic, grated

  • 3/4 teaspoon Huy Fong Chili-Garlic Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2-1/4 teaspoons salad oil

  • 1 teaspoon lightly toasted sesame seeds

  • 5 ounces mixed salad greens - I prefer a half-and-half baby spinach/spring mix

  • 4 white mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 thin slices of red onion

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Directions

Combine first 9 ingredients in a jar. Shake well. Heating the honey slightly can help it mix better. Toss with remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
My kitchen smells SO good right now, y'all. Seriously. I took one shortcut on this one: I used my bread machine for the mixing, kneading, and first rise on the naan. Remember that the naan is going to take a while, so start it early in the day.

Lamb Biryani with Peas

Deliciously spiced, tender ground lamb with brown basmati rice and crisp green peas.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: about 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated

  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

  • 1-1/2 lb ground lamb

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Directions

Begin by cooking your rice. Place the rice in a colander with small enough holes that the rice won't fall through. Wash and rinse the rice several (3-4) times - this will ensure that it doesn't stick together. Put rice into a bowl and cover with 2-1/2 cups water. Let soak 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Bring 3-1/2 cups water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil and stir in the rice. Immediately lower the heat to a very low simmer, cover the pot with the lid, and set your timer for 25 minutes. Do not uncover the pot at all during the cooking time!! At the end of 25 minutes, remove pot from heat but leave the cover in place. Let rest for 10 minutes.

While rice is cooking, heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeños; cook another 3 minutes. Add lamb and sauté over high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up meat.

Stir in spices and salt with 1-1/2 cups water. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and lemon juice. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered.



Raita

This cooling yogurt-based condiment is excellent served on the side with spicy Indian dishes.

Prep: 3 minutes
Chill: at least 2 hours
Yield: 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, diced finely

  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


Directions

Place diced cucumber in large mixing bowl. Beat yogurt with a fork until smooth, then stir in cucumbers. Add salt and cumin, stir to mix well. Cover and chill before serving.


Cilantro-Onion Naan

This is my super-simple bread machine version of naan. Don't yell at me - I know it's not traditional, but it's delicious and easy, so there! ;)

Prep: 2 minutes
In Machine: 1 hour 10 minutes (your machine might vary!)
2nd Rise: 30 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 naan

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp dry active yeast

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp ghee, melted (if you don't know anything about ghee, see below!)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro


Directions

Put all ingredients into your bread machine in the order recommended in your user's manual. (I have a Hitachi HB-C103; mine starts with the water, then flour, then yeast, then other ingredients.)

Remove dough from machine after first rise finishes. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal-sized pieces, roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil a baking sheet. Roll out each dough ball to 1/4" thick and place on baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes, turning twice, brushing with melted ghee before turning each time. Naan should be golden brown and puffy.

If you'd like, you can turn on the broiler and briefly toast your naan under it, turning once.

GHEE!! Ghee is clarified butter. You can buy it at the store, or you can do it yourself. Place butter (as many sticks as you like) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat on medium-low. When all the butter is melted, keep the heat on low and let the butter boil. What is happening here is the water is being evaporated out of the butter. A white foam will form on top of the melted butter. You can blow gently on the cooking butter to move the foam out of the way so you can see the color of the liquid. About the time that it stops boiling, the liquid should be a light amber color. Remove from heat immediately or it will burn! Let stand 30 minutes, then line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour through into a sterilized jar (or several, depending on how much you made and the size of your jars!). Ghee will keep in the fridge for several months.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Meatball Noodle Soup

Kinda not the right time of year for this one, but my family is thrilled because it's a favorite.

A friend of mine told me today that I "cheat" because I occasionally use things like frozen meatballs and bouillon cubes. LOL Hey, I love cooking with 100% fresh and pure ingredients... but it's not always going to happen. I live in the real world where what I eat is important but not the most important thing. I'm a full-time student, a full-time wife, and a full-time mother.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups carrots, chopped (however you like; I dice mine)

  • 2 cups celery, chopped

  • 2 cups onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 12 cups beef stock (or 12 beef bouillon cubes in 12 cups of water)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 package frozen homestyle egg noodles

  • 2 lb package frozen meatballs

  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes


Directions

Sauté veggies in oil until they begin to soften.

Add beef stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil and keep at a low boil for 10 minutes or so.

Add noodles and return to a boil. Boil 20 minutes or until noodles are done.

Add meatballs and tomatoes. Return to a boil and simmer until meatballs are heated through.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Jerk Seasoned Chicken Wraps

This went over BIG with my family tonight! If you've got a grill, by all means cook the chicken on the grill. I buy my "Jamaican Jerk" seasoning blend in bulk at a local health food store. There are quite a few recipes online if you want to mix your own.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

  • 2 cups broccoli coleslaw mix (or your preferred coleslaw veggie mixture)

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Caribbean/Jamaican jerk seasoning

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 4 flour tortillas


Directions

Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl. Toss with coleslaw mix, tomato, and jalapeño. Set aside.

Rub chicken with jerk seasoning.

If grilling, apply some oil to your grill rack with a brush or paper towel and grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.

If broiling, apply oil to a baking sheet and broil, 4 inches from heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.

With either cooking method, let meat stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly.

Warm tortillas and place one-quarter of sliced chicken in the center of each tortilla. Top with one-quarter of coleslaw and roll up.

Peach Lassi

A lovely cooling drink, excellent on the side of these somewhat spicy wraps.

Prep: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peaches

  • 3 cups cold water

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • pinch salt

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • dash ground cardamom

  • dash black pepper

  • dash cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions

Combine ingredients in blender and process until smooth and frothy.
thesoupfairy: (ice cream)
Peach Ice Cream

So I really ought to wait until I have fresh local peaches for this, but I couldn't wait! LOL

If you aren't sure of the safety of your eggs, you may want to do a cooked-custard type recipe. I get fresh eggs from healthy, free chickens and don't really worry about salmonella.

Prep: 5 minutes
Freeze: 20 minutes
Makes: 1 quart

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 cups mashed, chopped, or puréed peaches


Directions

Using an electric mixer, combine egg and sugar until thick and cream-colored. Add cream, vanilla, and peaches. Mix well. Add to your ice cream maker and process according to directions. If you're using chunks of peaches, you may want to add them once the ice cream starts to thicken so they don't just settle to the bottom.

Soooooo yummy.
thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
Turkey-Avocado-Cream Cheese Wraps

I was supposed to make Mongolian Beef tonight, but it's hot (still 95° at 7pm, with a heat index of 104.1°!) and I do not feel like being anywhere near the stove, especially not as hot as it gets cooking in a cast iron wok!!

So I ran to the store for the few ingredients I needed to make up the difference for these easy-peasy wraps. I like to serve them with tortilla chips and salsa on the side.

Please note that technically this should make four servings - 2 ounces of meat is a serving, after all. However, if you let your family build their own, they'll probably put in way more meat than that! ;)

Prep: 10 minutes (but plan ahead to soften your cream cheese on the countertop)
Cook: ZERO!!
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  1. 2 medium ripe avocados, seeds removed, flesh scraped out of the skins and mashed in a small bowl

  2. 1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion, chopped (make these pretty small pieces)

  3. 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced

  5. 2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) chopped cilantro

  6. 1 tablespoon lime juice

  7. dash of black pepper

  8. salt to taste

  9. 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

  10. 1 ripe Roma tomato, chopped (small pieces again!)

  11. 4 large ("burrito size") tortillas

  12. 4 leaves from a head of green leaf lettuce

  13. 1/2 pound sandwich-sliced smoked turkey


Directions

Combine ingredients 1-7. (This is my basic guacamole recipe, with the tomatoes added in. You can use more jalapeño or a serrano if you like it hotter. Red bell peppers are also a nice addition.)

Add softened cream cheese and mix/mash together well. Stir in tomato.

Note: You could also just toss all of these ingredients together in a food processor.

Spread guacamole mixture on one side of each tortilla. Cover with a lettuce leaf and add turkey slices. Roll up tightly, slice in half, and serve immediately.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Last night's dinner was meatloaf. I'm not going to post the recipe again, because I have posted it before.

However, I would like to offer a few tips that aren't in that post.

  1. You can add other veggies. This stretches the meatloaf and makes it more nutritious. Try carrots, bell peppers, corn, potatoes, summer squash, mushrooms, jalapeños, etc. You can dice, mince, or grate your veggies.

  2. The order of adding ingredients when making the meat mixture can make things easier on you. Here's the order I used last night, which worked really well:
    1. Break egg(s) into bowl and beat with wire whisk.

    2. Whisk in remaining liquid ingredients (ketchup, milk, Worcestershire), plus salt and pepper.

    3. Add meat and, with your hands (sorry if it grosses you out, but it's REALLY the only way to get it mixed really well!), squish this paste-consistency mixture into the meat until it's well-mixed.

    4. Now add the oats (I sometimes end up adding some fine breadcrumbs too if it's too wet) and the sautéed, cooled veggies (you don't want to burn your hands!).

    5. Repeat the squishing-mixing process with your hands.

  3. When you go to put the ketchup on top of the meatloaf after 45 minutes of baking, pat about 1/4 cup or so of brown sugar on top of the loaf (about 1/8-1/4" thick layer) and then put the ketchup on over that. This has been getting big thumbs up at my house!

  4. You can double my meatloaf recipe and get three meatloaves out of it. Each will have four generous servings or perhaps six smaller ones.

  5. If you do make three meatloaves, line a loaf pan with aluminum foil (with plenty to fold around it for protection) and then line the foil-lined pan with waxed paper (again, with enough to fold around it). Put 1/3 of your doubled batch of meat mixture into the lined loaf pan, pressing down to fill any pockets and leveling the top. Wrap the waxed paper over the meatloaf and wrap the foil well. I pulled the inch or so that was available on either side of the pan up and folded it over, which left a 2-inch gap down the center of the meatloaf. Then I took the long ends of the foil, brought them together in a tent-shape above the center of the loaf, and rolled them until they were flush against the top of the meatloaf. Then I folded the little "wings" at the sides toward the center. Freeze the loaves right in the pan if you can; they hold their shape a bit better. After they're frozen, remove from loaf pans. I like to put them in freezer bags at this point because foil has a tendency to get torn when the teenager is rooting around in the freezer. :) When you are ready to cook the meatloaf, either defrost in the fridge for a day or more, until fully thawed, then back according to recipe, or remove from the freezer and unwrap about 5 hours before dinner. Let thaw 2-1/2 hours, then cook at 350 for 2-1/2 hours.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Slow Cooker Beans & Ham

Today I'll be spending my entire day at a local music festival - the longest running human rights festival of its kind, anywhere (25 years). I know when I get home I will be exhausted and sunburned and cranky and hungry. So I decided to do the cooking beforehand. My husband will turn off the slow cooker when he gets home from work, before He comes out to the park.

Of course you can use another variety of bean here if you like... just not kidney beans, of the white or the red variety. They contain phytohemagglutinin, which is toxic, and must be boiled to bring it to a safe level - and your slow cooker just isn't going to boil them sufficiently.

Prep: 5 minutes the night before, 5 minutes in the morning
Cook: 6-8 hours
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans

  • 2 pounds boneless smoked (fully cooked) ham (optional) - also good are salt pork, ham hocks, and chopped bacon

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 bouillon cube, whatever flavor you like

  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled but left whole


Directions

The night before, pick over your beans, discarding any stones or dirt clods or weirdly discolored beans. Put beans in a bowl or your slow cooker crock and cover with enough water to keep them covered if they double in volume (they won't, quite).

The next morning, drain your beans and rinse them well. Place in your crock with the ham or other meat, if you're using it. I cut my ham into a few large chunks - when the beans are done and it's falling apart, i'll shred it. If you like nice little cubes of ham in your soup, go ahead and dice it before you put it in.

Add enough water to come to about 1-1/2 to 2 inches below the rim of your crock. Pop in the bouillon cube and stir in the salt. Toss your peeled garlic cloves in.

TIP: Incidentally, here's a little kitchen gadget tip. You can buy a special garlic peeler. It's a silicone tube that you roll on the counter under your palms to loosen and remove the peel from your garlic cloves. They're not expensive, under $10 generally. I saw Graham Kerr using one on his cooking show once and totally wanted one. And I had one for a while, and it was awesome. Unfortunately, in communal/cooperative houses you sometimes lose things, and I lost my garlic peeler. Recently I realized that I had something that would probably work just as well. You know those little rubber jar openers that you get as promotional items? For a while now I've been using one under my cutting board on the countertop to keep it from moving around. But I have a nice 6" square one that works great for peeling garlic! Just put the garlic clove in the center, fold it in half diagonally around the clove, and roll back and forth until skin either comes completely off or is loose enough to easily pick away.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beans reach desired tenderness. Shred meat if needed. Check and adjust seasonings.


Perfect Fried Potatoes

The perfect fried potatoes are hard! They can come out too mushy, they can come out half-cooked, they can come out burned, or they can come out with all of these in the same pan! What follows is my preferred method.

I really do think these are better made with bacon grease. If you're not saving your bacon grease, you totally should. It's free cooking oil, and it makes everything delicious. :)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease

  • 1/2 to 1 pound of potatoes for each person

  • seasonings - at least salt and black pepper, but experiment with garlic powder, steak seasoning blends, cayenne, etc.

  • 1 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic per person, coarsely chopped (optional)


Directions

Scrub potatoes. Peel if you like, but if they have fairly thin skins, you can leave them on. Slice potatoes thinly - about 1/4 inch thick slices. You can also dice them or cut them into French fry shapes if you prefer, but do try to keep size and thickness fairly equal so they cook evenly.

Heat oil and bacon fat in large (at least 12" skillet). You want the oil hot enough to sizzle very slightly when you flick a droplet of water onto the skillet, but not hot enough that the water droplet dances all over the skillet, or your potatoes will burn. If you get a serious sizzle, turn the heat down a little bit.

Add potates to skillet in an even layer. Add seasonings. Don't stir - the less you disturb your potatoes while they're cooking, the better chance you'll have of them not falling apart. Cover your skillet partially - some steam in the pan is good, but if you cover completely you'll have soft mushy steamed potatoes instead of crispy fried ones.

After about 5 minutes, add your sliced onion and shopped garlic on top of the potatoes and return the partial cover. In 5 more minutes or so the potatoes will look kind of sweaty. This is when you want to turn the potatoes. Try to shuffle them around as little as possible, while getting the softening ones on top down to the bottom and the browned ones from the bottom up to the top.

If they start to look dry, you can add a tablespoon or so of butter to the top - it will melt down into the potatoes.

After turning, you want to cook about 10 more minutes. You still don't really want to do much stirring, but do keep an eye on your garlic and onions so they don't burn. Garlic is okay to get a little golden brown, but not any browner than that or it will get bitter.

Check doneness and crispness, taste for seasoning, adjust seasoning as needed, and serve. Draining on paper towels is a not-quite-necessary step that some folks prefer to do.


Perfect Cornbread

If you don't want to serve your beans with fried potatoes, or if you just want cornbread too, here's a simple but delicious recipe. You can cook this in something other than a cast iron skillet/pan but it will NOT taste the same, I promise.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease

  • 1-1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk, or a buttermilk substitute

  • 2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Directions

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Put the butter in your 10" cast iron skillet and place in the oven when you turn it on. Check it now and then to make sure it doesn't scorch.

Beat eggs with electric mixer or wire whisk until uniformly yellow and slightly frothy. Add oil, bacon grease, and milk. Mix well.

Measure the cornmeal and sugar into the mixing bowl. Do not use your mixer here - you want to stir gently with a wooden spoon or a fork until you get the lumps out and everything is mixed. Over mixing will make your bread tough.

Pull your skillet out and turn it to coat the entire surface with melted butter.

Spoon the batter into the hot skillet. Some of the melted butter will come up over the edges, which is totally fine.

Stick the pan back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes - check the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done.

Let stand a few minutes before cutting and serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Well, folks, something's got to give for me! Between being in school full-time and taking care of my family full-time and trying to maintain my physical and emotional health, I need to find ways to cut myself some slack.

So I'm doing an "investment cooking" thing. I'm going to start off with cooking three meals tomorrow, and then four meals the day after that. You might choose to cook it all in one day, or you might choose to just cook any of these recipes for dinner one night, freezing half for another day. However you do it, the idea here is to minimize your efforts and maximize your output. It doesn't take twice as much effort to make a double-batch of something, which you can then freeze all or half of for another meal.

When serving these pre-cooked frozen meals, try adding a crisp salad, crusty bread, and a simple dessert like ice cream or fresh fruit... depending on what the meal is, of course. It just takes moments to add such a simple touch, but it will make a world of difference.

Investment Cooking: Plan Day 1


(Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Turkey Chili, and Chicken Milano)
  • Chop & Prepare:
    • Slice 2 pounds of sirloin steak into thin strips (if you didn't have it sliced at the store).
    • Slice 1 pound of fresh mushrooms thinly.
    • Seed 2 bell peppers and cut into strips.
    • Seed and dice 2 bell peppers.
    • Slice 2 medium onions.
    • Dice 2 medium onions.
    • Coarsely chop 14 cloves garlic.
    • Dice 4 medium carrots.
    • Dice 4 Anaheim chile peppers.
    • Dice 4 jalapeño peppers.
    • Chop one cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
    • Chop 4 tablespoons fresh basil.
  • Start the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the sirloin strips and cook until browned. Add the mushrooms, the bell pepper strips, the sliced onions, and 4 cloves of the garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.
    • In a slow-cooker, combine 4 cups of beef broth with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup dry red wine.
    • Transfer the beef and vegetables to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, until beef is extremely tender.
    • Clean and dry skillet for later.
  • Start the Turkey Chili
    • While beef and vegetables are cooking in the slow-cooker, get out your big heavy-bottomed soup pot.
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in soup pot over medium heat. Begin to brown 2 pounds of ground turkey in the oil. Add the diced onions, carrots, bell peppers, 6 cloves of garlic, and the chile peppers. Continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened (about 7 minutes).
    • Add 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder. Stir for 30 seconds, but be sure not to let the spices scorch.
    • Stir in 4 cans pinto beans, a 29-ounce can tomato sauce, a 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, 2 cups beef broth, and 3 cups frozen corn.
    • Bring to a high simmer. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • Start the Chicken Milano
    • While chili is cooking, in a large saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add 4 cloves garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add 2 cups heavy cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    • While sauce is simmering, sprinkle 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons oil and sauté chicken. Press on chicken occasionally with a slotted spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the meat feels springy and is no longer pink inside. Transfer to a cutting board; cover and keep warm. Discard the fat from the skillet.
    • In the same skillet, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a boil; stirring the pan juices. Reduce slightly and add to the cream sauce; stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
    • Clean saucepan for later.
  • Returning to the Turkey Chili
    • Remove bay leaves, divide into separate freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Turkey Chili for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
    • Clean soup pot for later.
  • Returning to the Chicken Milano
    • Divide chicken and sauce between two freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Chicken Milano for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • Returning to the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwich
    • Remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Divide the beef and vegetables between two separate freezer containers; divide broth between the two containers. Let cool, then freeze. (If you are serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • What are you serving for tonight's dinner?
    • If you're serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • An hour and a half before you want to serve dinner:
        • Preheat oven to 400°F.
        • Wash and scrub 4 medium baking potatoes with cold water; prick deeply with a fork several times and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
        • Increase oven temperature to 450°F.
        • Return beef, vegetables, and broth to a saucepan. Warm over medium until heated through.
        • While heating, slice a loaf of French bread lengthwise like a sub sandwich. Combine the 1/2 cup prepared horseradish and 1/2 cup brown mustard; spread onto the inside of the loaf. Overlap five slices of provolone on either side of the loaf.
        • Remove beef and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon. Fill the loaf with the beef and vegetables.
        • Cool for 15 minutes before cutting in half lengthwise and then into wedges.
        • Brush potato wedges with olive oil and place skin-side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.
        • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Sprinkle over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
        • Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Keep hot.
        • Close the loaf. For a sandwich with soft bread, wrap with aluminum foil; for a crustier bread, don't wrap. Bake for 10-15 minutes alongside the potatoes. Slice into servings and serve with the broth for dipping with your Saloon Fries on the side.
    • If you're serving Turkey Chili for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Heat in slow cooker or soup pot until hot enough to serve.
      • Serve with cornbread; or over noodles for "Cincinnati Style" chili; or with tortilla or corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese, etc. for "Frito Pie" chili.
    • If you're serving Chicken Milano for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Reheat chicken and sauce in covered skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often to avoid scorching. Add milk if sauce is too thick.
      • While chicken is reheating, prepare an 8-ounce package of dried fettuccine according to package directions.
      • Serve chicken and sauce over noodles, topped with freshly grated Parmesan.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Sour Cream Green Enchiladas

Soooo delicious. To hasten the prep, I used my food processor to shred the cheese, the onions, the peppers, and the chicken.

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 Anaheim chile peppers, chopped

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • canola cooking spray

  • 12 corn tortillas


Directions

In a saucepan large enough to hold chicken breasts, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add bouillon cubes and chicken. Reduce heat, keeping at a high simmer, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from broth and chop or shred (I put it through the food processor with the slicing blade). From shredded cheese, set aside enough to top the enchiladas (about 1/2 cup). Combine remaining cheese with sour cream and chicken. Set aside.

Measure broth from cooking chicken. Keep 3 cups - add water if you don't have 3 cups left. Whisk flour into 1 cup of broth until smooth. Whisk in remaining broth and cook in saucepan over medium heat until thickened, whisking often. Add onions, garlic, and peppers to broth; simmer until onions begin to soften.

Stir salt, pepper, and cumin into sauce.

Add sauce to sour cream mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between additions. This is your filling, so you want it to be pretty thick; don't add enough sauce to make it too thin.

Spread half of remaining sauce on bottom of casserole dish, set remainder aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Spray a tortilla on one side with cooking spray. Cook 5 seconds. Spray other side with cooking spray, turn, and cook 5 more seconds. Place a scant 1/4 cup of filling on tortilla, roll up, and place in casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Top with remaining sauce and reserved grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn on broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top if you like.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
thesoupfairy: (garlic)
Evil Jungle Chicken (or Tofu)

Fabulous Thai dish that you may have eaten in a restaurant. (I used to eat Evil Jungle Tofu at Thai Kum Koon, a local Thai restaurant, all the time.) It is every bit as easy to make at home, though! This is my own version, which has a few more veggies than the ones I've seen in restaurants. I created this recipe to mimic the flavor of the Thai restaurant specialty without having to drive into the city to the Asian market, which means that in place of traditional Thai ingredients, I've substituted ones that are easier to find here.

A note: Often you can get away with chopping as you cook... I highly recommend having all of your ingredients chopped, zested, and ready before you start cooking!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 2 cups white rice

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin bite-size strips or firm tofu, drained and diced

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

  • 8 mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced thinly

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks

  • 1 medium white onion, sliced into thin wedges

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 2-4 serrano chiles (unless you have access to Thai red chiles - then use 2-4 of those) or more if you like it hotter

  • zest of 2 lemons (or 4 lemon balm leaves) combined with an inch-long piece of fresh ginger, minced (if you have access to lemongrass, use 1 stalk fresh or frozen in place of the lemon/balm + ginger)

  • zest of 2 limes (unless you have access to kaffir lime leaves then use 8-16 leaves)

  • 20 basil leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce

  • 1-4 tablespoons fish sauce (or homemade Mock Fish Sauce, see below), to taste

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage


Directions

Cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken or tofu, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and 4 cloves of the garlic until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

While sautéing, process chiles, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, lemon zest/lemon balm + ginger (or lemon grass), lime zest (or kaffir lime leaves), and basil leaves in food processor until you have a paste.

Add chile paste to skillet and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook another 7-8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in tamari and fish sauce. Simmer until it seems ready. Serve on a bed of chopped cabbage with rice on the side.

Mock Fish Sauce

Not fermented like the real thing, so it won't keep as long and will need to be refrigerated.

Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1/2 can anchovies, drained

  • 1 clove garlic, bruised and peeled

  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup water


Directions

Combine all in saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes and strain.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Orange Cherry Chicken

This sweet and spicy chicken dish is different enough to make your tastebuds wake up and say, "Hmmmm!" It's delicious!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 4-6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger root

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 3-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or, if you're not as squeamish as I am about taking meat off bones, a 3-4 pound fryer chicken, quartered and skin removed)

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 1 pound bag wide egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar


Directions

Stir together cherries, onion, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic in slow cooker. Place chicken on top. Pour orange juice over the chicken and top with orange zest.

Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, use a slotted spoon to remove solids from sauce. Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour, a little at a time, until golden and bubbling. Add liquid from slow cooker a little at a time, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in brown sugar and return chicken, onions, and cherries to the slow cooker.

Serve chicken mixture over noodles.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Bonus! You get three recipes here. The Pulled Pork, the Mac & Cheese, and the Scrapple I'm making with the leftovers today.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I generally serve this delicious pulled pork on whole wheat hamburger buns with a cold salad like coleslaw or pasta salad. Also fabulous (in my opinion!) with baked macaroni & cheese on the side. Other bread choices include pitas, tortillas, Kaiser rolls, etc. The leftovers make amazing nachos, burritos, enchiladas, and scrapple.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Stand: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3-4 pounds), netted or tied

  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French Onion Soup

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • dash (or more, to taste) of cayenne or habañero

  • 12 sandwich rolls


Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork roast (keeping the netting on) and cook until well-browned all over. While the pork is browning, combine the soup, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and cayenne in your slow cooker. Whisk to combine well. Add pork and turn it to coat.

Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours. Every hour or two, I like to use a pair of tongs to turn the roast over and spoon some of the sauce over it.

Remove the pork from the cooker and let stand in a large bowl for 10 minutes. Using two forks, shred the pork (that's the "pulled" bit) right in the bowl. Return to the cooker and stir. Spoon onto sandwich rolls.


Maka's Macaroni & Cheese

This is my personal favorite homemade baked mac & cheese. Everybody else seems to love it too.

Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces large elbow pasta

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 teaspoons spicy mustard (I like using a horseradish mustard)

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but about one minute shorter than the shortest recommended time.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour a little at a time until you have a thick golden paste. Slowly whisk in half of the milk, a little at a time, and continue whisking until you have a thick white sauce.

Place softened cream cheese and remaining cup of milk in a microwave-safe container (I use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup) and heat briefly - don't let the milk boil - and then whisk until smooth. Whisk into the white sauce, adding the salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook until thickened.

Stir together pasta, 1-1/2 cups cheddar, Parmesan, and sauce. Spread in a 2-quart baking dish, top with the remaining cheddar, and bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for the last minute or two so the top gets a little more browned.


Damn, That's Good Scrapple!

Scrapple is an old Amish breakfast dish intended to use up leftover scraps of meat, especially pork. It's golden and crispy outside, soft and tasty on the inside. Delicious.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or more
Cook: 30 minutes or so
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 pound leftover pulled pork, chopped fine

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water)

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh herbs of your choice - thyme & sage are traditional but you can totally get creative

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil, or as needed


Directions

Combine pork, cornmeal, broth, herbs, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to the lowest possible simmer and cook for 20 minutes or more - until very thick. You will need to stir almost constantly and be very watchful - it will scorch on the bottom very easily. Line a loaf pan with waxed paper, letting the paper extend several inches above the top of the pan. Spoon cornmeal mixture into the pan, spreading evenly. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If you're serving the scrapple for breakfast, just chill overnight.

Use waxed paper to help remove molded scrapple from loaf pan. Cut into 3/8-inch thick slices. Heat oil in large skillet. Combine flour and pepper, dredge each scrapple slice in flour and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.

Serve with butter and maple syrup, applesauce, ketchup, or fried eggs.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

One of my many chicken noodle soups. I had planned to make chili for dinner tonight, but my husband wasn't in the mood for chili. I plan our meals pretty carefully, but it's pretty easy to pull the ingredients for this out of my freezer and cupboard anytime.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 6 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 4 small carrots, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 lb wide egg noodles (or whatever pasta shape makes you happy), cooked about 1 minute less than the shortest time on the package directions
  • salt, pepper, and dill to taste

Directions

Fill your good-sized soup pot (preferably with a good heavy bottom) about half-full of water. Add bouillon cubes, chicken breasts, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a high simmer and cook until chicken is done and tender, and vegetables are softened. Remove chicken from pot, dice, and return. Add corn and noodles and season to taste.

Simmer a few more minutes until heated through.
thesoupfairy: (coffee 2)
So, on Wednesday I bought an ice cream maker at the thrift store. I ♥ this little contraption. It's easy to use, works like it says it does, and lets me experiment to my heart's content. Plus, while some folks might dislike the fact that it will only make a quart of ice cream at a go, that's perfect for my little family.

The batch I made last night took a little longer to freeze - I returned it to the freezer in the bowl overnight and it was done this morning, but last night it was about the consistency of a thick slush.

Cappuccino Chocolate Ice Cream

Rich, creamy, and delicious. Needs no dressing up, at all.

Prep: 5 minutes
Freeze: 20 minutes
Makes: 1 pint

Ingredients
  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso, refrigerated until cold

  • 1/2 chocolate bar, grated or chopped as you like (you could easily use chocolate chips here)


Directions

Using an electric mixer, combine egg and sugar until thick and cream-colored. Add cream, milk, vanilla, and coffee. Add to your ice cream maker and process according to directions, adding chocolate after ice cream has begun to freeze and thicken (so the chocolate won't all end up on the bottom).

Soooooo yummy.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

S M T W T F S
 123456
78 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Take Me With You

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 19th, 2017 01:01 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios