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    Bringing back the lost art of home cooking.
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    Sep 11, 2012 8:25PM

    Roasted Vegetable and Kale Soup

    Phil and I are committing to eating a more plant-based diet. We will still eat fish and the occasional roasted chicken, but I am going to be cooking vegetarian more often than not.  Not only is this way of eating healthier (see The China Study), it is also less expensive (my grocery store bills are down by about 30%) and it makes us both feel better (less acid reflux, more energy).  

    I am having alot of fun finding recipes that taste amazing and are filling. This soup caught my eye because I love butternut squash. With fall just around the corner, I am craving my favorite winter squash. When I saw this recipe, I just knew it was going to be perfect.  I was looking for a dish that would serve as my dinner and as a few lunches this week. 

    This is a must-try recipe!  I was actually surprised by how delicious it was. The creamy sweetness of the butternut squash compliments the bitterness of the silky kale.  One small bowl and I was absolutely stuffed. 

     

    Roasted Vegetable and Kale Soup

    recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

    3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
    2 large tomatoes, quartered
    1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
    1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick wedges
    6 garlic cloves, peeled (use less garlic if like)
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    6 cups or more of vegetable or chicken broth
    4 cups of finely chopped kale
    3 large fresh thyme sprigs
    1 bay leaf (I left this out because I couldn't find it)
    1 15 oz can of Great Northern white beans, drained

    Preheat oven to 400°F (reduce heat by 25°F if using convection oven). Brush rimmed baking sheet with a thin coat of olive oil. Arrange carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables until they are brown and tender, stirring occassionally, about 45 minutes.

    Cut squash and carrots into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside. Place garlic cloves in food processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth. Pour 1/2 cup broth onto the baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5 1/2 cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.

    Add carrots, beans, and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
    Can be made a day ahead.

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: kale, roasted vegetables, Soup
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    Nov 18, 2011 8:16PM

    Product of the Week, 11/18/11

    I have gotten several requests to begin posting some of my favorite ingredients and kitchen gadgets.  During my cooking classes, I get just as many questions on what tools and ingredients I am using, as I do about the recipes.  You know how everyone has some sort of mini-obsession and become the "go-to" person when you need advice?  Some people are awesome at crafting, some people love make-up (that is my number two obsession!!!!) and some people have become an expert on their Green Egg (hmm...who could that be?).   Clearly, food is my area of interest.  I read other food blogs, watch way too many cooking shows, and get almost every culinary magazine currently published.  Combined with my ridiculously large collection of cookbooks, I have developed a strong opinion on all matters related to food.  I have tried almost everything out there, and I have found some amazing items to use in the kitchen.

    It has been hard to figure out what to review first, but after my last cooking class I got it figured out.  I am going to review a product that saves money and time, and tastes great.  It is the More Than Gourmet selection of gourmet, authentic,  all-natural,  gourmet stocks and sauces.  Now before you write this off as being a product you don't need, hear me out.

    If you want to improve your cooking at home, you need to use flavorful stocks and broths.  They are vital for making soups, sauces, braises and more.  When I first began cooking, I used boullion cubes to add flavor to dishes.  In the 90's, canned broth was readily available, so I converted to the can, which eventually lead to the cardboard 32 oz. box of broth.  Sure, these all added some flavor to my recipes, but the flavor was mostly salt, nothing close to a homemade flavor.

    More Than Gourmet makes their stocks and broths based on the great master French chef, Escoffier's recipes.  The stocks are then reduced by anywhere from 25% - 90%, and packaged in shelf stable containers.


    I have made homemade stocks and broths.  They are delicious and fun to make, BUT...they take alot of time to make.  My chicken broth takes two days to make in my slow cooker.  Then, I either have to use it right away, or put it in containers to freeze for later use.  Frozen broth takes up way too much room in my freezer.  Sometimes, I only need a little bit, like a quarter of a cup, which is really inconvenient to defrost.

    With these glaces, you can keep the open container in your refrigerator, and just use a spoon at a time.  A small amount added to any sauce will add a complex richness and lusciousness to any dish.  They can also be reconstituted in hot water to make a fabulous base for soups.  These concentrations come from recipes used by the best chefs in the world.

    There are many varieties.  The glace varieties include: French Demi, Beef, Lamb, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Turkey, Seafood, Vegetable and Mushroom.  They even sell a Classic Rendered Duck Fat.  I buy them from Amazon.com, but I strongly recommend checking out More Than Gourmet's website for a full selection.  In addition, there are a ton of amazing recipes, tips, directions, and nutritional information on the website.  Recipe categories include "Feed My Family Well", "Cook Like A Chef", "Bring On the Crockpot", "Elegant In-Home Dining", "Impress Your Friends" , "Gluten Free", "Vegetarian/Vegan" and "Save Time, Save Money".  The recipe selections include sauces, vegetables, grains, stews, pastas, soups, bisques, risottos, chilis... pretty much any recipe you could want.

    Each 4 oz. container makes over 2 1/2 gallons of stock.  That is equivalent to almost 20 cartons of grocery store broth.  A 4 oz. container of More Than Gourmet costs about $18.  The same amount of Swanson's Organic Chicken broth would cost about $60!!!  You could also smaller containers of More Than Gourmet glaces.  They have a 1 oz. container.

    TIP:  Add a spoonful or two of the beef or chicken glace to homemade marinara sauce.  It will give it the flavor of a sauce that has been cooking all day, in just 10 minutes.

     

    CIP Tidbits........

    • This weekend, Joey is going to show me how to take video, load it to the computer and edit it, so I can finally add videos to my YouTube channel!!!!
    • I recently switched my Bath and Body Works home fragrance from Sandalwood Vanilla to Marshmallow Fireside. I like to change up my home scent by season.   All I can say is, "WOW"!  It is not really a "foodie" scent. In other words your house won't smell like a s'more!  It is a very warm and inviting scent that I would descibe as creamy, slightly sweet, and a little smokey, with a hint of vanilla. It is not a "feminine" scent or a "masculine" scent, it is just a fantastic scent for your whole house.  I use a combination of the Marshmallow Fireside Wallflowers and Candles.  Almost everyone who walks in my front door comments on it.  I even put one in the master bedroom area.
    • I have begun teaching myself to knit again.  All I can make is a scarf, but it is fun to go to the knitting store and pick out cool yarn.
    • Joey got his driver's license last week, and now we never see him anymore.  Jamie lives in her own apartment, so Phil and I are beginning to feel like empty-nesters.  I like it!


     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Product of the Week ~ Tagged with: sauce, broth, Soup, stocks
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    Oct 17, 2011 9:54PM

    Creamy Tomato Soup

     

    Do not be a canned food snob and bypass this recipe because it uses canned tomatoes and canned soup.  There are enough wholesome ingredients added in, that you can call this soup homemade and not feel guilty.  Plus it is totally delicious!  I couldn't stop "tasting" it while it was cooking.  It also tastes very decadent.  When Phil tasted this soup, the first thing he said was, "I taste cream in this soup..."  Wrong!  It's hard to believe, but there is no cream in this silky, hearty soup.  I used low-fat milk and low fat cream cheese, to add richness to the soup, without adding too much fat and too many calories.


    Creamy Tomato Soup

    adapted from Kittencal's Kitchen

     

     

    INGREDIENTS:

    1/4 cup butter

    1 medium onion, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1/2 teaspoon dried basil

    1 teaspoon paprika

    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

    2 (14-1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

    2 (10-3/4 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted (Amy's and Pacific Natural make good organic ones)

    1-1/2 cups 1 % milk

    1 teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste

    1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

    1 (3 ounce) package "light" cream cheese, cubed - NOT fat-free

     

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.

    Add in garlic, basil, paprika and cayenne; cook for 2 minutes.

    Stir in tomatoes with juice, tomato soup and milk, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes (add in a small amount of sugar if desired).

    Stir in cream cheese until melted.

    Serve immediately.

     

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: cream cheese, Soup, tomato
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    Sep 16, 2011 7:25PM

    Southwestern Soup

     

    This soup reminds me of a big, old fashioned, nacho platter.  You know the kind that looks like it weighs 20 pounds and you think you will never finish it...but you do.  Then, you start to feel the guilt.  "Why did I eat all of that?" ; "I feel sick"; and of course, "I can't beieve I ate the whole thing!"

    This soup is just as good as a loaded plate of nachos, but a much better choice.  Loaded with beans, vegetables and ground turkey, one bowl of this is loaded with protein, fiber and flavor.  Top it with your favorite toppings, and a bowl of this soup becomes a meal.  It makes a great lunch, and a wonderful, filling after school snack for the kids.

     

    Southwestern Soup

     

    2 # ground beef, turkey or chicken (I use a combination of ground white meat turkey and ground dark meat turkey)

    1 c. chopped onion

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    2 (16oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

    1 (15oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

    2 (14.5oz.) cans Rotel tomatoes, undrained

    1 (14oz.) can beef broth

    2 c. frozen whole kernel corn

    1 envelope taco seasoning mix

    salt and pepper to taste

    Garnish:

    chopped fresh cilantro

    sour cream

    shredded cheddar

     

    DIRECTIONS

    Brown ground meat, onion and garlic in a large soup pot over medium high heat, stirring often until meat is fully cooked and onions are soft (if using ground beef, drain off the grease).

    Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

    Cover, reduce to low and simmer at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 hour).

    Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream.

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: Southwestern, beans, corn, cilantro, Soup
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    Mar 10, 2011 9:45PM

    Spicy Asian Chicken Soup

     

     

    If you are ever wondering what to make when you want a one pot meal that is filling, comforting and loaded with spicy Asian flavorings, look no further.  This is for those days when a typical bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup just won't do.  Spicy Asian Chicken Soup is like a cross between a soup and a noodle bowl, which makes it much more filling than a traditional bowl of brothy soup.  Not to mention, if you are feeling under the weather, the combination of the ginger, chicken and vegetables in the broth work like magic to cure what is ailing you.

    Feel free to improvise.  Use what ever vegetables you happen to have lying around.  If I hadn't been so lazy, I could have easily added carrots, broccoli, parsley, celery, water chestnuts or garlic to the soup, but I didn't feel like prepping anymore ingredients.  In addition, I ended up picking the chicken out of my soup and feeding it to my dogs.  I really wanted a vegetarian soup, but I thought the rest of the family would want the soup to be more substantial, so I added in the chicken.  Believe me, it was just as delicious and filling without the chicken.  I could have used tofu,beef, pork or shrimp in this dish, and it would be just fine, or just I could have just left it out.

     

    Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

    adapted from epicurious.com

    Ingredients:

    • 1 box (48 oz.) nonfat chicken broth

    • 1/4 c. soy sauce

    • 1 T. brown sugar

    • 1/4 tsp. Asian chili sauce or crushed red pepper

    • 2 T. fresh lime juice

    • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin

    • 3/4 # boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3-inch long strips

    • 3 T. cornstarch

    • 1 c. sliced portobello or shiitake mushrooms

    • 1 c. sugar snap peas

    • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and julienned

    • 3 scallions, chopped

    • 1 pkg. Asian noodles

    • zest from 1 lime

    • one bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

     

    Directions:

    1. In a large pot combine broth, soy sauce, sugar, chili sauce, lime juice and ginger. Boil for 5 minutes.

    2. In a small bowl, toss chicken and cornstarch until chicken is completely coated.

    3. Add chicken, mushrooms, peas and red pepper to broth and simmer for 15

    minutes.

    4. Add in noodles and cook until noodles are done (about 3 minutes).

    5. Add in scallions, zest and cilantro. Let cook for 2 - 3 more minutes before

    serving.

     


    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: broth, cilantro, asian, ginger, lime, spicy, Noodles, Chicken
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    Jan 23, 2011 2:13PM

    Food for Cold Days: Mini-Meatball and Tortellini Soup

     

     

    Don't be scared off by the number of ingredients in this recipe.  Many of the ingredients go toward the making of homemade chicken stock. That part of the recipe can be done days ahead of time, or, you could use store bought stock.  The rest of the recipe is super easy and you won't believe how delicious it is.  It is truly a meal in a bowl.  You have pasta, meat, AND veggies!  My only suggestion is to increase the amount of chicken broth that the recipe calls for.  When I have soup, I like to have plenty of liquid to slowly enjoy.  As you can see from my photo, my pot was running a little low on broth.  It didn't seem to bother anyone else, so use your judgement.  The recipe calls for 6 cups.  Next time, I will probably add in 10 cups.

     

    Mini-Meatball and Tortellini Soup

    (adapted from Nadia G.)

    Meatballs:

    2 eggs

    3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan chees

    1 T. Greek oregano

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

    12 ounces ground pork, Boston butt

    12 ounces ground sirloin

    Soup

    6 cups homemade chicken broth, recipe follows

    1 cup mini cheese tortellini

    Pinch sea salt

    1 cup fresh baby spinach

    Handful freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Chicken Broth

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    3 cloves garlic, crushed

    3 red onions, coarsely chopped

    3 carrots, coarsely chopped

    3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

    Big pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 whole organic chicken, cut in pieces

    1 pint organic chicken bones

    1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

    1/3 cup celery leaves

    1 bay leaf

    1 sprig fresh thyme

    1 sprig fresh tarragon

    5 whole black peppercorns

     

    DIRECTIONS

    To make the meatballs: In a bowl, combine eggs, Parmesan cheese, Greek oregano, garlic, and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Mix together. Add the ground pork and sirloin, mix to incorporate the seasoning. Roll into tiny balls the size of marbles.

    To make the soup: Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat. Add half of the mini meatballs and tortellini. Simmer for 8 minutes.

    Place a portion of the baby spinach in a soup bowl. Pour the hot soup over the spinach and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

    Place the remaining mini meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven to 20 minutes, or until done. Save for another meal. They make a great sandwich or serve over pasta the next day.

    Chicken Broth:

    Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute for 2 minutes, until garlic is golden. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season the vegetables with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute for about 8 minutes.

    Cut the organic chicken and chicken bones into pieces. Really hack into it so that the bones and marrow are exposed. Add the chicken pieces and pint of chicken bones to the pot. Fill the pot with water until it just covers all the chicken, and bring to a boil.

    Tie the parsley, celery leaves, bay leaf, thyme, and tarragon into a bouquet using butcher's or kitchen twine. Add the bouquet to the pot along with the black peppercorns.

    Once the broth has begun to boil, bring the heat down to medium-low. Partially cover, and let the broth simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

    Strain the chicken broth through cheesecloth. Hand-pick the good chicken meat and set it aside. Cook's Note: The good chicken meat can be used for chicken soup or another recipe.

    Refrigerate the broth overnight. Slip a sharp knife around the edges of solidified chicken fat and discard.

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: tortellini, parmesan, meatballs, spinach
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    Jan 12, 2011 4:19AM

    Aztec Soup

    Did you ever taste something so good that you wanted to eat it even when you aren't hungry?  This soup falls into that category.  I found myself coming home during the week at lunchtime and waiting around the house to get hungry, JUST TO HAVE A BOWL OF THIS SOUP!  Crazy, right?

    This soup was a hit with everyone who tasted it.  The recipe makes a nice large batch, so there should be plenty leftover.  The key to making the leftovers as good as the original, is to keep plenty of the toppings on handy.  Chopped cilantro can be stored in an airtight plastic bag for a couple of days.  Of, but the entire bunch in a glass of water (like you would do with cut flowers), and just snip off what you need.  When you store fresh herbs with the exposed stems in a glass of water, they will stay fresh for up to a week on your kitchen counter.

    Aztec Soup

    (courtesy of Nadia G.)

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1 clove garlic, smashed

    2 dried chipotle peppers, reconstituted and minced**

    1 red onion, diced

    1 small pinch cumin

    1 small pinch smoked cayenne

    1 small pinch smoked paprika

    Pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    5 cups chicken broth or 'Liquid Gold' Chicken Broth, recipe follows

    1 cup organic canned tomatoes, hand-crushed (recommended: San Marzano)***

    1 big pinch Greek oregano

    1 cup hand-picked cooked chicken meat

    1/2 cup wild rice

    1 tablespoon canola oil

    2 ears corn

    1 cup cooked black beans

    Pinch brown sugar

    Handful fresh coriander (cilantro), minced

    Dollop sour cream

    1 cup crushed tortilla chips

    1 lime, quartered


    'Liquid Gold' Chicken Broth

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    3 cloves garlic, crushed

    3 red onions, coarsely chopped

    3 carrots, coarsely chopped

    3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

    Big pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 whole organic chicken, cut in pieces

    1 pint organic chicken bones

    1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

    1/3 cup celery leaves

    1 bay leaf

    1 sprig fresh thyme

    1 sprig fresh tarragon

    5 whole black peppercorns

     

    DIRECTIONS

    In a large pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes, until golden. Throw in the minced chipotles, red onion, cumin, smoked cayenne, smoked paprika, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and saute for 8 minutes.

    Deglaze the pot with chicken broth and add the tomatoes, Greek oregano, chicken meat and the sprig of epazote. Stir. Partially cover pot and simmer soup for about 40 minutes.

    Boil some salted water in a separate pot. Throw in the wild rice and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain.

    Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush some canola oil on the ears of corn. Grill the corn for a few seconds on all sides until marked. Slice off the corn niblets. Add the corn, wild rice, and cooked black beans to the soup. Season the soup with brown sugar, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and coriander (cilantro) to taste.

    Serve this soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, crispy tortillas and a squirt of fresh lime juice.

    Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute for 2 minutes, until garlic is golden. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season the vegetables with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute for about 8 minutes.

    Directions for Chicken Broth:

    Cut the organic chicken and chicken bones into pieces. Really hack into it so that the bones and marrow are exposed. Add the chicken pieces and pint of chicken bones to the pot. Fill the pot with water until it just covers all the chicken, and bring to a boil.

    Tie the parsley, celery leaves, bay leaf, thyme, and tarragon into a bouquet using butcher's twine or kitchen twine. Add the bouquet to the pot along with the black peppercorns.

    Once the broth has begun to boil, bring the heat down to medium-low. Partially cover, and let the broth simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

    Strain the chicken broth through cheesecloth. Hand-pick the good chicken meat and set it aside to use in the soup.

     

    **  I used the canned chipoltes that you find in the grocery store in adobe sauce

    *** I like the fire-roasted tomatoes

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
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    Nov 25, 2010 4:29AM

    Happy Turkey Day....and what the heck do I do with all this leftover turkey?


    Happy Thanksgiving word art graphic

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

     

    Ideas for really delicious Turkey Leftovers from some of my favorite recipe websites:

    1. bonappetit.com

    2. Cookinglight.com

    3. Seriouseats.com

    4. food.com

    5.  food52.com


    .....and my personal favorite turkey leftover recipe:

    Turkey Chowder with Wild Rice, Crimini, and Pancetta

    Turkey Chowder with Wild Rice, Crimini and Pancetta (adapted from epicurious.com)

    2 1/2 cups water

    3/4 cup wild rice (about 5 ounces), rinsed, drained

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    2 3-ounce packages sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), diced

    12 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (about 5 1/2 cups)

    1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

    2 carrots, diced

    2 celery stalks, chopped

    1/2 cup chopped shallots

    1/3 cup all purpose flour

    10 cups Turkey Stock* (you could use chicken broth, but this recipe is about turkey leftovers!)

    1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

    2 to 4 cups chopped cooked turkey meat (reserved from carcass)

    1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

    1/4 c. sherry

    1 cup heavy whipping cream,  half-and-half, or your favorite lower fat dairy product

    Chopped fresh Italian parsley

    Optional:  You can throw almost any leftovers from your Thanksgiving day feast in this soup. Leftover gravy and stuffing are exceptionally delicious in this soup!

    Note:  This soup is very forgiving. Add in, or take out whatever you want.

     

    Bring 2 1/2 cups water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender but still firm to bite, 45 to 60 minutes (time will vary depending on variety of rice). Drain; set aside.

    Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until browned, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Add mushrooms to pot and cook until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Add butter to same pot. Add carrots and celery. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add shallots; stir until soft, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and stir 1 minute. Return mushrooms to pot. Mix in Turkey Stock and rosemary; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

    Add rice, pancetta, turkey meat, and corn to soup. Simmer to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream or half-and-half. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cool. Cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.

    Divide soup among bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

     

     

    * Turkey Stock

    1 turkey carcass

    2 medium stalks celery, coarsely chopped

    1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

    1 medium yellow onion, quartered

    1 medium bay leaf

    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

    6 sprigs fresh thyme

     

    Break up carcass with a meat mallet or cleaver so it fits in a stockpot (at least 15 quarts), then add remaining ingredients. Add enough cold water to cover the bones by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming occasionally, until turkey flavor comes through in the stock, about 2 to 3 hours.

    Strain through a fine mesh strainer into large heatproof containers. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.

     

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Thanksgiving ~ Tagged with: leftovers, Soup, thanksgiving, turkey
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    Oct 14, 2010 6:41AM

    Barefoot Blogger: East Hampton Clam Chowder

    This month, our first Barefoot Blogger recipe is Ina's East Hampton Clam Chowder, chosen by Laura from Family Spice.

    If you have never made homemade clam chowder before, this is the recipe to try.  Ina's recipes are fool-proof, they are written for the average home cook, use ingredients that can be found in most grocery stores and the results are worthy of a restaurant.  This clam chowder is flavorful, creamy, and rich.  It took about an hour to make and only uses two pots.

    If I were having guests staying over my house for the holidays, I would definitely make this our first meal.  I would serve a huge pot of East Hampton Clam Chowder with a bowl of oyster crackers (or Phil's homemade pumpernickel bread); a pear, walnut and brie salad; and maybe a homemade chocolate cake for dessert.  I would go back on my low-carb, low-sugar diet the next day!

     

    East Hampton Clam Chowder

     

    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided

    2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

    2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)

    2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)

    4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)

    1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 quart (4 cups) clam juice

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    2 cups milk

    3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams)

     

    Directions

    Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

    In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

    Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

     

     

    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: clams, chowder, barefoot bloggers, Potatoes, milk
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    Aug 26, 2010 4:06AM

    Copycat Panera Creamy Potato Soup

    I usually don't like restaurant "Copycat" recipes.  With a few exceptions, like Houston's Spinach Artichoke Dip, the recipes are extremely complicated and time consuming to make (like restaurant dishes usually are).  One time I found a recipe for one of my favorite restaurant dishes, Chili's Southwestern Chicken Eggrolls (we had little kids at the time, we went to Chili's a lot).  I printed out the recipe.  It printed out in two pages, which already had me worried.  Then I began to make my grocery list.  Wow...it was long.  Then I read the entire recipe.  There were so many steps involved...cooking the chicken, cooking the filling, rolling the eggrolls, freezing the eggrolls, cooking the eggrolls, making the dipping sauce...  By the time I finished the shopping and preparation, I could have gone to Chili's and just ordered the darn dish.  Plus, if you factor in all of the groceries I had to buy, it wasn't any cheaper to make it at home.  Check out the recipe for yourself here, and see what you think.

    Every once in a while, I would just check out the occasional "Copycat" recipe, more out of curiosity than any actual desire to make it.  Last week, Jamie had her wisdom teeth removed.  Obviously, she is on a soft food diet for the next few days.  I got a grocery list from her and one more simple request.  Could I possibly make the potato soup I made last winter?  "Sure, no problem."  Actually, there was a problem.  I made several different versions of potato soup over the past few years and I had no idea which one she wanted.

    I pulled out my ridiculously large collection of recipes, and began to look through them, only to discover the only potato soup recipe I saved was one that I last made a least five years ago.  No problem, I went to one of my favorite recipe websites, typed into the search bar "Potato Soup" and about 100 recipes came up.  I then had the computer sort the recipes in order of popularity, and the Panera "Copycat" recipe came up near the top.  It had a 5 out of 5 star rating and over 450 reviews.  That was all I needed.  I saw a few changes I wanted to make (like sauteing the onions and adding in a shallot), but the recipe looked simple and delicious.


    It may not be the most photogenic bowl of soup, but it is super yummy.  The ingredients are all pantry staples and the entire pot can be ready in under an hour.

     

    Copycat Panera Creamy Potato Soup

    4 cups chicken broth (homemade will really stand out in this soup)

    4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

    1 T. butter

    1 T. EVOO

    1 chopped onion

    1 shallot, minced

    1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

    1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into chunks

     

    DIRECTIONS

    In a large pot, saute onion in the butter and EVOO, until onion is soft.

    Add in shallot and saute one more minute.

    Add in broth, potatoes, and spices.

    Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

    Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening.

    Reduce to low heat.

    Add cream cheese.

    Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

    Adjust seasonings to taste.

     



    0 Comments ~ Posted By GwennW
    Filed in: Soup ~ Tagged with: Potatoes, cheese