Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Spicy Sausage and Clam Soup

Another cold weather favorite. Start by sauting 1 lb. of spicy bulk sausage until it is browned. Deglaze the pan with 1C dry white wine. Saute 1 medium onion, diced, 8 oz. sliced mushrooms and 1 clove of minced garlic. You can saute them together but we prefer to do the veggies seperate from the meat. Combine the veggies and meat and stir in a can of tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 min. Add the clam juice and simmer until 5 min before serving. At that time, stir in a can of mince clams. If you simmer the clams too long, they get tough. Sever with a crusty bread and salad, if you wish. This soup is hearty enough to serve with a red wine if you wish, or beer.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Beef Noodle Soup with Cinnamon and Basil

We had this dish for lunch at this little Viet-namese restaurant in Cleveland, . It had a very mild taste of cinnamon and combined with the basil was a very interesting taste, so we decide to see if we could duplicate it. Start with about 2 cans of beef stock plus 3C water. Home made beef stock would be excellent of course. Add a 3" piced of cinnamon and 1T finely diced ginger. Heat this mixture to a very low simmer and cover for about 30 min. Remove the cinnamon and add a thinly sliced onion, 3/4 pound of sliced beef (we used another leftover Outback steak) and 4oz. rice noodles, and soy sauce to taste. Simmer until the noodles are tender. We garnished the finished soup with fresh bean sprouts, fresh basil leaves and diced jalapeno peppers. Cilantro would be good as well. Also pictures are some packaged spring rolls.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Chicken and Sausage with Couscous - Adapted from Rachael Ray

This is one of Rachael's "one pot" meals. We made a couple alter-ations which we were pleased with. Primarily, we didn't do it in one pot. We cooked the couscous and the vegetable seperately which is more to our liking.
Finely dice a red bell pepper, a medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Form balls from bulk spicey sausage (or mild if you prefer). We would suggest about 1/4 lb. of sausage per person. Slice boneless, skinless chicken breast into 1/2" slices. Brown the sausage and the chicken in a pan and remove to a plate while you saute the pepper, onion and garlic. Add 1/2C chicken stock, 1 orange which has been roughly chopped and 1C sliced kalamata olives. Mix together and return the meats to the pan. Cover and simmer for about 10 min, until the chicken is done. Prepare couscous according to package directions and serve. We also had edemame but green beans were mentioned in the original recipe. We drank a chilled dry white wine with dinner.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Roasted Stuffed Hot Peppers with Crusty Leeks and Potatoes - Bon Appetit

The peppers are a first attempt at a dish served at many Italian rest-aurants. We used Hungarian wax peppers which were split lengthwise. You can control the heat to some extent by removing the seeds and veins in the pepper. If you want more heat, you can use hot sausage. Stuff the peppers with the sausage and bake at 450 degrees for 10 min. Finish under the broiler until the peppers begin to char, 5-10 more minutes. Top with grated cheese and tomato based sauce (Italian cooking sauce or equivalent). For the potatoes: boil 1 lb of potatoes until just tender. Allow to cool, peal and slice into 1/4" slices. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare a leek by slicing thinly and saute until tender. Add the potatoe and continue cooking carefully scraping the pan to incorporate the brown crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. When the mixture appears golden, layer in another skillet with grated fontani cheese. Turn once and try to maintain a nice crusty texture. We served this meal with a big red wine like a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Roasted Tomato Soup

This recipe is a com-pilation from many sources. Start by quartering 6 roma tomatoes, placeing them on a baking sheet and drizzling them with a bit of olive oil. Place them under the broiler until the skins begin to char, perhaps 10 min. After 5 min. place a slice of good crusty bread which has been covered with olive oil under the broiler and cook until crispy and brown. In the meantime, saute a diced onion, 1T dried thyme and 1t crushed red pepper flakes in 3T olive oil. When the onion is tender, add 1qt. or chicken stock, or vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 min. When the tomatoes are done, place them along with 1/2C of the stock in a food processor and puree. Add the bread and continue processing until the mixture is smooth. Return this mixture to the stock, heat through and serve. We finished the soup with 2T heavy cream into each bowl just before serving. This soup would make a good starter course as well.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pork Chops with Beet and Pasta Salad

First, bake a beet for about 45 min at 350 degrees, until fork tender. This recipe has a couple interesting twists we think. First, the pork chops were slow cooked over low heat and second, we mixed a spicey mustard with the egg wash coating. The egg was beaten with 2T of water and 1T of a spicey chipotla mustard which we received as a gift. The chops were dregded in flour, then the egg and finally with a mixture of 1/2C bread crumbs, 1/4C parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. The chops were browned, the heat was reduced and they were cooked 10 min on a side to an internal temp of 140 degrees. The chops were much juicier when cook slowly. While the pork was cooking, pasta was boiled, drained, and mixed with 1/4C grated fontina cheese. The garnish is chopped fresh parsley. You may remember the recipe earlier used blue cheese. Slice the beet and add to the pasta and cheese. We served dinner with a green salad, crusty bread and a chilled Chardonnay.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lemon-Rosemary Lambchops with Cannellini Beans and Watercress - Adapted From Rachael Ray

We have thought for sometime that the beans in the Jamie Oliver recipe for scallops here could be used in other situations. Here's an example, although the original recipe comes from Rachael Ray. Also, we think that the kind of meat used could vary to include pork, beef or even fish with some simple adjustments in the maranaded and spices. Prepare a mixture of 2T olive oil, the zest and juice from one lemon and 2T crushed rosemary leaves and 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Place the lambchops in the maranade, turning to coat completely. Allow the chops to marinate for at least 1 hr. Place the chops in the broiler for 5 min on a side. At the time the chops are turned, place 3-4 slices of thinly sliced smoked ham on the rake. While the chops are cooking, saute 1 small onion diced, 1 clove of minced garlic and red pepper flakes to taste for 2-3 min. Add a can of cannellini beans (or navy or great northern beans) with 1/4C water or white wine. Heat gently while the liquid reduces by half. Place the beans in a food processor and blend until lumpy. Fold some watercress into the hot beans to just wilt it. Serve the bean mixture topped with the ham and the chops. We served a big red wine with this meal; a Merlot or Cabernet Savaugnon.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chicken Milano with Pasta and Salad

This is another recipe with lost origins. It has been a favorite for years. Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with about 1/4C water. Seperately, mix together 1/2C bread crumbs, 1/4C grated parmesan cheese, 1t dry oregano, 1t dry basil and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the boneless, skinless chicken pieces in the egg wash and then the bread crumb mixture until well coated. This amount will coat 4 large breasts. Saute the chicken in 1/4C olive oil until nicely browned. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and pour a jar of Italian cooking sauce over it. Top with sliced mozzarella and bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. until the chicken is done and the cheese topping is browned. We serve pasta with the chicken topped with the extra sauce. Serve with a green salad (we topped ours with an olive mixture) and a dry white wine.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Blackbean Pizza - 1992 Pillsbury Bakeoff

This recipe originally used Pillsbury Creasent Rolls as the dough but we have modified it to use a prepared pizza crust such as a Boboli. In a food processor put 1 can of drained black beans, 3T olive oil, 2T parsley, 1T ground cumin and Tabasco sauce to taste. Process the mix until smooth. Spread the mix on the prepared pizza crust and top with shredded cheese, chopped green onions and chopped olives. Bake at 425 F for 8-10 min or until cheese is nicely browned. Top with a mixture of 2 parts sour cream to one part salsa.