Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Portuguese Potato Kale Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup diced leek, white and light green part
3/4 cup diced onion
1/4 diced celery
5 cups chicken broth
4 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into sixths
1 smoked ham hock
1 1/2 cups chopped kale
2 oz.Linguica sausage, diced (about 1/2 link)
1/2 bay leaf
Salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
Add the leak, onion and celery.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 4-6 minutes.
Add the broth, potatoes and ham hock.
Bring to a simmer and cook until the meat and vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Use a paring knife to cut away the tough stems from the kale and discard them.
Blanch the kale in the boiling water until it wilts, about 3 minutes.
Drain kale, run it under cold water to stop cooking process and drain again.
Slice kale into thin strands.

Remove the ham hock from the soup base and set aside.
Puree the soup base (I love to use this handy little gadget from Braun),

return it to the pot (this isn't necessary if you've used the above gadget) and bring to a simmer.
When the ham hock is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and cut into small dice.
Add the diced ham, kale, sausage and bay leaf to the soup base.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer 15-20 minutes longer.
Serve in heated bowls.

Note: I couldn't find any kale, so I left it out. I couldn't find the Linguica sausage, so I used Sweet Italian Sausage instead. I used 4 links, cut into bite-size pieces, browned separately in a small saute pan and drained on paper towels.


Servings: 4

Recipe from One Dish Meals by The Culinary Institute of America

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Basic Meatballs

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch nutmeg

2 lb. ground beef

1-14 oz. can low-sodium beef broth (for bottom of baking pan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together all ingredients (except ground beef and extra broth for pan) in a large mixing bowl.

Add the beef and mix together thoroughly, stirring with a fork to prevent overmixing and compacting, which can toughen meatballs.

Using a portioning scoop or 2 spoons (or your hands - to prevent sticking, dip your hands in water), shape meat mixture into balls (about 2" in diameter or 1.5 oz. each). Coat a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Space the meatballs on the pan so they're not touching or crowded together.

Cover bottom of pan with beef broth. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until meatballs are just cooked through.

Yield: 30-33 (1.5 oz) meatballs

Notes: You can probably use 2% milk instead of whole.
These freeze very well.

Modified recipe from Cuisine at Home

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Scaloppini di Pollo*

Lemon Butter Sauce:

2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. white wine
2 oz. heavy cream
1/4 lb. (1 stick) real butter, unsalted

3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), pounded thinly
Olive oil and butter for sautéing chicken
Flour, seasoned with salt & pepper, for dredging
6 oz. pancetta, cut up, cooked and drained
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
12 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 tablespoon capers (optional)
angel hair pasta, cooked
Chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley for garnishing


Heat lemon juice and wine in a saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to boil and reduce by one-third.
Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (3-4 minutes).
Slowly add butter until completely incorporated.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and keep warm.

Chicken and Pasta:

Start the pasta so it can begin to cook while the chicken is cooking.
Heat small amount of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in large skillet/sauté pan.
Dredge chicken in flour and sauté, turning once, until lightly brown and cooked through (approx. 4 minutes per side).

Remove chicken from pan and keep warm on plate, covered with foil.
Add mushrooms, artichoke hearts and capers to pan, sautéing until mushrooms are tender. This step can actually be done ahead of time in a small amount of butter and oil to save time – just add to pan to re-warm.
Add cooked pancetta and chicken to pan.

Place a serving of angel hair pasta on each plate.
Add half of butter/lemon sauce to sauté pan with chicken and mushrooms. Turn chicken to coat.
Place a chicken breast and some sauce on top of each serving of pasta. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.

*Modified from Macaroni Grill's Chicken Scaloppini recipe.

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Mom's Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sour cream

Sauté meat over medium heat; drain off fat.
Add garlic salt, Worcestershire, soup and mushrooms.
Cook slowly for 20 minutes.
Just before serving, add sour cream, heating thoroughly.
Serve over rice, buttered noodles or mashed potatoes (the latter is our favorite).

Servings: 4

Note: You may add chopped onion or onion powder, if so desired.

Serve with peas or green beans.

No picture as this looks like something you'd get in a school cafeteria! However, not only is it delicious, it's very quick and easy.

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1 1/2 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. dried herb (basil, oregano, marjoram, or thyme)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-14 oz. can condensed beef broth (low sodium)
2-3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighth's
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Heat oil in large Dutch oven.
Brown half stew meat in oil; remove to bowl while heating second half.
Return all meat to pot and stir in garlic, bay leaf, salt, mustard, herb, and pepper.
Add condensed beef broth.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat is nearly tender (approx. 2 hours).
Add vegetables.
Cover and simmer about 30-45 minutes until tender.
Blend water and flour; stir into stew.
Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.
Remove bay leaf before serving.

Notes: I usually double this recipe since it's so good for leftovers. You can also include celery, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips or green peppers - chopped in 1" pieces. Add at the same time as potatoes, carrots and onion. Frozen petite peas are also good and add color.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006


½ lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (or Chorizo), sliced
8 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 (10 oz.) package yellow saffron rice mix, uncooked
3 ½ cups water

1 lb. medium-sized shrimp, uncooked (peeled & deveined)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen English (or petite) peas, thawed

Brown sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

Remove sausage, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.

Add chicken pieces (in small batches) to drippings, and cook until browned, turning once.

Remove chicken and set aside.

Cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic in drippings, stirring constantly until tender.

Add chopped tomatoes.

Add yellow saffron rice mix and 3 ½ cups water; bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in browned sausage; spoon mixture into a 4-quart Paella pan or baking dish.

Arrange chicken pieces on top of mixture.

Bake paella, covered, at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven, top with shrimp and peas.

Cover and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Yield: 8 servings

Notes: The original recipe calls for 1 (2-3 lb.) chicken fryer, cut up. I used boneless, skinless thighs which are much more tender than breast meat and easier to eat with a fork than drumsticks and wings.

If the rice is too soupy after an hour, remove cover from pan and continue baking until all liquid is absorbed.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Southwestern Chicken Soup


1 12-ounce jar La Victoria salsa verde

3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded

1 15-ounce can Cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained (or Black Beans, drained & rinsed)

3-4 cups chicken broth, depending on how soupy you like it

1 teaspoon ground cumin


2 green onions, chopped

Tortilla chips

Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese

Diced avocado


Empty salsa into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, broth, and cumin.

Bring to boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve and top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, tortilla chips, cheese, avocado and cilantro (any or all of these).

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