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: (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: (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)
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: (Default)
Immediately after dinner last night, we went to a friend's house for her birthday (for which I made this cake). I didn't have time to get these recipes posted, so here they are a tiny bit late. :)

Pesto-Topped Chicken Breasts

Delicious and tender and perfectly flavored! This takes just a tiny amount of pesto - most pesto recipes make pretty large quantities by comparison.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • cooking spray

  • 4 teaspoons pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place pint nuts in food processor with S-blade. Pulse a few times. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Add garlic and pulse a few times again. Now, with processor running, add olive oil in a constant fine stream. Stop to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.

Place chicken breasts in prepared casserole dish. Divide pesto evenly among chicken breasts, spreading on top of each. Cover dish with foil and bake 45 minutes.

When oven timer goes off, turn off the oven but leave the chicken in while you make the fettuccine.




Creamy Fettuccine

This is delicious and lovely for a light lunch all on its own, or as a side dish or even a vegetarian main dish.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup ricotta

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into ribbons

  • salt & pepper to taste


Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine melted butter and ricotta. Add Parmesan and mix well. Toss with tomato, basil, and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with drained but still hot pasta.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Southwest Pork Loin

Tender, juicy, spicy, delicious! I've given both Crockpot and oven cooking directions.

My son and his girlfriend had theirs on buns with the rice on the side and a spoonful of the salsa inside the sandwich. The Spanish Rice recipe is here.

The seasoning mix that is rubbed on the roast before marinating is an excellent rub for steaks, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 2-4 hours
Cook: 6-8 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound boneless pork loin

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon habañero powder (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Directions

Cut pork loin in half if necessary so it will fit into your slow cooker. Combine lime juice and olive oil in large shallow bowl. Combine seasonings well and put half of them on a plate if you had to cut the roast in half. Roll one of the pork loin pieces in lime juice mixture, then in seasonings. Repeat with second piece. Place in bowl containing lime juice mixture and refrigerate 2-4 hours to marinate.

Place pork loin pieces in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in center of each piece registers at least 155 degrees and the meat is very tender.

If using oven, you can leave the roast whole so long as it will fit in your roasting pan. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place marinated roast in lightly oiled roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes per pound, or to about 155°F on a meat thermometer.

Let roast rest for 10 minutes. Remove to serving platter, discarding cooking juices.

Black Bean-Corn Salsa

Around my house, we call this "Veni's Salad". When I first created this, I envisioned it as a salad, and I still eat it that way sometimes, but honestly most everybody eats it with tortilla chips like a salsa. And it never lasts more than an hour or two.

Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • dash cayenne or habañero powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2-1 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained well

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 1-2 avocados, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

  • 5 green onions

  • 2 Anaheim chiles, diced

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced


Directions

Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, salt, and cilantro in a jar. Shake to combine well; set aside.

Toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss again to coat.

You can serve it right away, but it's even better if you let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors blend. If you want to make up a big batch ahead of time, it'll keep in the fridge for a few days to a week, but you'll want to leave the avocado out and just add it right before serving.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Mushrooms & Ravioli Alfredo

Hey, folks. This is creamy perfect comfort food for me. It's also ridiculously easy. This works as well with fresh pasta as with frozen, and it's lovely with tortellini, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 family-size package frozen ravioli

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped roughly

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté mushrooms in melted butter for a few minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté until mushrooms are golden. Add peas and stir for a couple of minutes until peas are softened. Remove sautéed veggies from pan.

Melt remaining butter in same saucepan. Whisk flour into butter, a little at a time, until smooth and golden and bubbling. Add cream, in very small amounts at first, whisking all the time. Add salt and pepper and continue whisking and tasting until the sauce is thick and creamy and tasty! Stir in Parmesan, then return vegetables to the pan and stir until well-mixed. Toss with pasta and serve.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tuscan Baked Rigatoni

Creamy and delicious!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 16-ounce package rigatoni

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage (or use any bulk sausage you like)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large casserole dish and set aside.

Put water on to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

While water is boiling, heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. (If using pork sausage you may not need any oil for this step.) Brown sausage in oil, stirring to break up. When sausage is about half-way cooked, add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until all meat is browned and onions are tender. Add tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, beans, and pine nuts. Cook until heated through. Stir in Gouda and pasta, toss to coat.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Turkey Normandy

This got great reviews from my son and his girlfriend! I served it with chocolate mousse.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 1 pound package egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 3 cups peeled Fuji apples, thinly sliced (about 3 apples) - if you have a mandolin slicer or a food processor with a slicing blade, this will be quick and they'll be nice and uniform.

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1/4 cup apple juice

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, but please use fresh if at all possible!)

  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Cook noodles according to package directions. When noodles are done and drained, melt 1 tablespoon butter and toss with noodles. Set aside.

While noodles are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet. Add apples; cook and stir over medium heat 7-10 minutes or until tender. Remove apples from skillet.

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat. Brown turkey in butter, stirring to break up meat. Stir in apple juice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in soup, green onions, sage, pepper and apple slices. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon noodles into prepared casserole dish. Top with turkey mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until hot.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
I recommend preparing the burgers first, then returning them to the oven shortly before the fries are done if they need reheating.

Buffalo Slaw Burgers

Tangy, spicy, delicious!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Slaw
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cabbage or pre-cut coleslaw mix

  • 1/4 cup shredded apple

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery

  • 2-3 tablespoons bleu cheese dressing

Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank's, etc.)

  • 2 teaspoons ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

Burgers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground turkey

Finish
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 4 lettuce leaves

  • 4 hamburger buns


Directions

In a small bowl, combine slaw ingredients. In another small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the burger ingredients. Shape into four burgers.

Preheat broiler. Broil burgers 6 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F and juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved sauce. Serve on lettuce-lined buns; top each with 2-3 tablespoons slaw and sprinkle with remaining green onions.




Sweet Potato Fries

It's hard to get sweet potato fries crisp, even if you deep-fry them. These are made in the oven but they are pretty crisp outside, steamy sweet inside. A nice combination.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1-1/3 cups finely grated Parmesan

  • 4 smallish sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and cut into wedges


Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour and seasonings. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper or in another shallow bowl.

Dip the sweet potato wedges first in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Then dip each wedge into the egg white mixture until coated. Finally, dip the sweet potato in the Parmesan, pressing the exposed flesh of the potato into the cheese. (Don't worry if some gets on the potato skin.) Arrange potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet as you go.

Bake potatoes until tender and crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more salt if desired.
thesoupfairy: (steak)
Steak!

This basic marinade can be altered by changing the spices and herbs. This is how I made it today. Chuck eye is similar to ribeye, almost as tender and slightly less expensive. Choose bright red meat with nice white marbling. Choose a steak less than 1-1/4 inches thick, especially if broiling, because thicker steaks will not get warm in the middle before the outside is done.

Tamari is real soy sauce - most cheap soy sauce is a sad wheat-based imitation. Go for the real deal if you can.

Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 4+ hours
Cook: 6-14 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 chuck-eye steaks

  • 1-2 teaspoons steak seasoning blend (today I used Spicy Montreal Steak blend)

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced


Directions

Combine all ingredients but the steaks, stir well, pour over steaks in a shallow dish. Let stand to marinate in the fridge for at least four hours.

Bring steaks to room temperature in marinade (about half an hour on the countertop should do it). This is very important because it gives the inside of the steak a better chance to cook before the outside gets done.

If you've got a grill, by all means fire it up! If you're working with an oven broiler like I am, preheat the broiler.

A broiler pan will let the fat that renders off your steaks have someplace to go - fat is good, for sure, but if your steak sits in it, it will cause the steak to burn. If you don't have a broiler pan, you can use a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, but you may want to move the steak to a different spot with less fat as you cook it.

So you start off with your steaks on the grill or on a broiler pan about 4 inches from the heat. Cook on first side, turning once the top starts to look done. After turning, you'll cook for about the same length of time as the first side. You can watch the edges of the meat to see how done it's getting: when the edges go from red to pink, the inside is probably moving from rare to medium-rare; when the edges go from pink to brown, the inside is probably moving to medium. Another good way to tell is to test the "fleshiness" of the steak - pinch the muscle between your index finger and thumb. That's what a steak cooked to medium feels like. If you like your steaks rare or medium-rare, you want to stop cooking the steak when it's softer than that. Don't cut into the steak to test doneness unless you absolutely have to - this lets valuable juices escape.

When you think it's done enough, remove the broiler pan from the oven and test for doneness again. When it's done to your liking, it is totally not time to eat it! Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes - until it stops steaming and the juices stop running off - before serving.





Twice-Baked Potatoes

Everybody's favorite. Cook and chop a couple of slices of bacon to add if you like.

Cook: 60-90 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 baking potatoes

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)

  • 1/4 cup milk, half & half, or heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions

Scrub potatoes. Bake for 60-75 minutes in a 375°F oven - check for doneness by squeezing gently. The potato flesh should have a bit of give to it when it's done.

Cut top one-third off potatoes. Scrape potato flesh from cut-off tops into a bowl. Scoop potato flesh out of skins carefully, leaving a 1/4" thick wall so skins stay intact. Heat butter and milk/cream until butter is melted. (This is ALWAYS the key to great mashed potatoes!) Mash potato with remaining ingredients, reserving a bit of cheese to top. Fill potato skins with mashed potatoes and top with reserved cheddar.

Return to oven until browned on top - turn on the broiler if you like to better brown the top.




Tonight's Spinach Salad


Prep: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

  • 4 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves, stems removed if necessary

  • 1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly

  • 6 fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly

  • 1/4 cup tamari

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, white, balsamic, rice, whatever you like)

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced thinly


Directions

Rub entire inner surface of serving bowl with cut side of garlic clove. Toss spinach, onion, and mushrooms in bowl. (Thinly sliced red bell pepper is also lovely in this salad, but my local grocery store didn't have any while I was there this week.)

Place tamari, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a jar, cover, and shake well. Toss with salad and top with egg slices.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
This is my family's favorite dinner. Easy-peasy, too.

Sour Cream Chicken

The original recipe that inspired this came from my ex-husband's grandmother, who made it with pork chops. It's good that way, too.

Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water + 2 bouillon cubes)

  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning (to taste)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 8 oz container sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons flour


Directions

Bring stock to a boil in large heavy skillet with good lid. Add lemon pepper and chicken breasts. Lower heat to a high simmer and cook, covered, 30 minutes.

Carefully remove chicken from skillet. Check for doneness (juices run clear when pierced to center of breast), simmer longer if needed.

Stir flour into sour cream until uniformly blended. Whisk into simmering broth until smooth. Continue whisking a few minutes until sauce begins to thicken nicely.

Return chicken breasts to sauce and simmer 10 more minutes, uncovered.




Glazed Carrots

So delicious. Like candy, really.

Cook: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound carrots (baby, left whole or regular, scrubbed or peeled and chopped)


Directions

Combine butter, water, and brown sugar in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until butter and sugar melt. Add carrots and simmer 25 minutes or until carrots are softened and liquid is mostly evaporated.




Garlic Couscous

Israeli couscous (ptitim) is my preference over other types of couscous. It's larger and has a lovely texture.

Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous

  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole

  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos or salt to taste

  • olive oil


Directions

Bring broth and pepper to a boil. Meantime toast couscous slightly in a dry skillet until it smells nutty. Add couscous and garlic to boiling broth, lower heat slightly, and boil 10 minutes or to desired texture.

Drain if liquid hasn't all been absorbed. Rinse if desired. Stir in Bragg's or salt and olive oil to taste.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Country-Style Turkey (or Pork) Tenderloin

Fall-apart tender meat with a rich gravy, and my house has smelled amazing all day while it cooked in the Crockpot. Serve it with mashed potatoes and your favorite simply steamed vegetable.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 1 package (1-1/2 to 2 lbs) turkey breast tenderloins or pork tenderloin

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water


Directions

If your tenderloin is not already in two pieces, cut it in half. In a large zipper bag combine flour, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Add meat, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker and pour broth over. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove meat and keep warm.

Strain cooking juices. If you don't have 2-1/2 cups, add more chicken broth to make that amount. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring until smooth. Whisk into boiling broth and continue whisking at a high simmer until thickened.
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 Jul. 24th, 2017 08:44 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios