Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Easy Leek and Potato Soup

Developed January 30, 2012.
1/4 c low-fat soft margarine
1 lb frozen chopped leeks, thawed (Trader Joes™)
1 c white onion, coarsely chopped
30-oz bag frozen hash browns (raw shredded potato only), thawed
salt and pepper
hot water
1 c cream and/or milk
2 to 3 T lemon juice
Cook leek and onion in margarine until soft and lightly colored. Stir in the shredded potato, salt, and pepper. Add hot water to cover by an inch (2.5 cm). Stir thoroughly and bring to a fast simmer. Cover and cook until the potatoes have softened and broken up, about 15 minutes. Homogenize with an immersion blender. Stir in dairy, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

Leek and Potato Soup

Recorded January 23, 2009.
4 c sliced leeks, (about 3 medium)
6 c cubed potatoes (3 to 4, russet type)
about 6 c hot water
2 T butter plus 2 T olive oil
1/2 t freshly-ground pepper
1 T salt, divided
1 c half-and-half

2 T lemon juice (or more)
chopped chives (optional garnish)
Trim coarse green from leeks, quarter length-wise, rinse carefully to remove soil and drain. Slice across into small pieces. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Heat butter and oil in a heavy 6-quart pot over medium-high heat and add leeks. Saute until tender. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper and cook until warmed through, add enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, cover and  simmer until potatoes are well cooked, about 20 minutes. Process until smooth with an immersion blender. Stir in cream and lemon juice, taste for seasoning, and adjust thickness with cream and/or water. Soup may be served hot or chilled, garnishing each bowl with a few chives.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Flat Bread

Prepared and recorded January 30, 2012. Revised June 27, 2012.
1/2 lb prepared pizza dough (Trader Joe™ is good)
2 T olive oil
1/4 t coarse sea salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T Parmesan cheese
1 T dried minced onion
1/8 t granulated garlic
all-purpose flour; coarse semolina flour
Let dough rest at room temperature wrapped in plastic for an hour or so. Preheat toaster oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Shape dough into a compact ball. Dust outside and board lightly with flour. Add a bit of semolina to board flour. Spread the dough by pulling gently and turning, until it's about the size of the pan. Poke the dough all over with fingers to flatten. Build up the edge and thin out the center. Sprinkle the pan with semolina and transfer the dough. Brush the dough with the olive oil, and sprinkle the toppings uniformly on top. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan after 6 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces and serve while warm. Good with soups, salads, or dipped in hummus or warm marinara sauce, or just as it is as a savory snack. Variations: add strips of roasted red pepper and capers; use canned tomato sauce instead of oil; toss on feta cheese or ripe Greek olives.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Meat Loaf

Recorded January 27, 2012. Adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats recipe.
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1/2 T kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten

1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 oz mushrooms, quartered

3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 sweet bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 oz (1 sleeve) wheat saltines
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T mushroom powder
2 t chili powder
1 t dried thyme
Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C). In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork gently. Mix in the egg. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper to the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine with the beef mixture. Next, process the crackers, black pepper, mushroom powder, chili powder, and thyme until the mixture is finely texture. Combine with other ingredients. Form the meat mixture into a loaf about 4 inches tall by 6 inches wide on a heavy sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Bake about 60 minutes. Internal temperature should be about 160 degrees F (70 ÂșC). Let cool 20 minutes before slicing. Suggested sides: roast tiny potatoes, mushroom gravy, and fresh green beans braised in butter and tarragon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kasha (Buckwheat)

Recorded January 26, 2012. Buckwheat is also known as kasha. It's a gluten-free grain-like product, with an appealing nutty flavor, and is complete in essential amino acids.
1 c roasted buckwheat, medium granulation (Wollf's™)
1 large egg
1/2 t salt
2 c water
1 T beef base
1/4 c low-fat margarine
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Mix in the buckwheat and salt until thoroughly combined. Add to a 10-inch (25 cm) non-stick skillet over medium heat. Toast until grain is dry and separate, breaking up any clumps as it cooks. Heat the water, beef base, and margarine in a microwave oven or on a stovetop until almost boiling, mixing well to combine. Add to the kasha. Stir, lower the heat to fast simmer, and cover tightly. Steam for 15 minutes. Fluff when finished. Serve with meats, such as steaks or roasts. Variation: mix with an equal volume of cooked pasta bow ties and top with gravy as kasha varnishkas.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Turkey and Dumplings

Turkey and Dumplings
Recorded and prepared January 5, 2012. Adapted from an online recipe by King Arthur Flour. By using frozen vegetables, the preparation is greatly simplified. This is a nice way to use roast turkey leftovers and the stock prepared from the remnants. Could easily be adapted to rotisserie, roast, or boiled chicken and use homemade or commercial chicken stock.

1-3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 T chopped fresh parsley
3/4 c buttermilk
1 large egg
4 T butter
1/3 c all-purpose flour
3 c hot turkey stock
1 t dry thyme
1 bay leaf
2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 12-oz packs frozen soup vegetables, thawed
1 lb diced cooked turkey
Filling. Melt the butter in a 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. When bubbling stops, stir in the flour to form a roux and cook for a 1 minute. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. When incorporated, add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Stir in the vegetables, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cooked meat and heat through. Remove the bay leaf.
Dumplings. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Aerate with a whisk. Stir in the parsley. Mix the milk and egg in small bowl and stir into the dry ingredients to form a dough. 

Assemble. Form balls of dough about an 1-1/2 inch across with two spoons and drop on top of the hot filling starting in the center and moving out in circles. Dough balls should be close but not touching. Cover tightly and bake for about 30 minutes. Tops of dumplings should look dry when done.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Candied Almonds

Prepared January 3, 2011.
1/2 c blanched almonds
1/4 c sugar
3/4 oz water
1/8 t salt
In a heavy 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, combine nuts, sugar, water, and salt. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly until syrup has thickened and nuts are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Spread on a well-oiled plate to cool. Store tightly covered. Chop a few to top ice cream or just eat whole as a snack. Variation: subsitute walnuts or pecans. Take care not to burn.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Breakfast Burrito II

Recorded December 3, 2011. Makes a hearty breakfast or a satisfying brunch. Serves 2.
3 oz pork sausage, or vegetarian sausage, cut into large dice
1/4 c sweet red pepper, finely diced
1/4 c onion, finely diced
1/8 t crushed red pepper
3 eggs
1/2 t salt
2 oz shredded Mexican cheese
prepared salsa (Pace’s™ is good)
2 8-inch flour tortillas, steamed in the microwave under a damp paper towel
In a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat, begin to cook the sausage. When half cooked, add the sweet pepper, dried pepper and onions. Continue cooking until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add a bit of oil to the pan as needed. Beat the eggs well with the salt in a small bowl. Add the eggs to skillet and scramble with sausage and vegetables. When cooked, mound half the mixture on one side of a warm tortilla, sprinkle on half the cheese, and top with salsa to taste. Fold the bottom one-third up over the filling, fold the tortilla in half, and then in half again. Place seam side down on a plate. Variation: Garnish with sliced avocado seasoned with salt and lime juice. For an earlier recipe, see Breakfast Burrito.
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