Running with kitchen shears.

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Soup of Lies June 10, 2009

Filed under: Light,recipes — Mox. @ 7:52 pm
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Mmmm delicious lies. I picked this recipe out of a Family circle, did a quick read-over, and picked it for one of the dinners for this week. It’s called “Tortilla Soup” but that’s very much a misnomer. I can’t believe it didn’t click when I read through it, but I didn’t realize until I was almost through cooking that the only tortillas in the damn thing are the few strips sprinkled on top as garnish. That’s like calling a delicious steak dinner “Parsley Dinner” because of the tacky piece-o-green on the side of the plate. Culinary misrepresentation aside, this soup got high marks from myself and J alike.

Tortilla Soup of Lies

-2 Tbs olive oil
-1 large onion, trimmed and sliced (I used a combination of a medium yellow onion and some leftover sliced red onion)
-4 cloves garlic, trimmed and smashed
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp ground chile powder (I used “Chili Powder”-gasp!)
-3 Tbs fresh lime or lemon juice (I used lemon, but lime really is best…also mine was bottled-don’t shoot me)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
-1 can (14 1/2 oz) tomato sauce (low-sodium is good if you’re watching your salt intake)
-1/2 c shredded pepper-jack cheese
-handfull of thinly sliced flour tortilla or 4 Tbs prepared tortilla strips (of if you’re feelin funky-crush a few tortilla chips)

1. In a medium-size saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and chile(i) powder. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions have become more translucent are softened.
2. Add 3 cups water, lime or lemon juice and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 12 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using an immersion or upright blender, puree onion mixture until smooth. If using an upright blender, cuss loudly when you drip soup onto your toes while ladling it into the blender carafe. Return to saucepan, cursing as you splash it on your shirt (seriously-why weren’t you wearing that apron with the crude saying en espanol to prevent this); add tomato sauce. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat.
3. Meanwhile, shred chicken into bite-size pieces (you should have around 2 cups-I didn’t…might have had something to do with giving the cats some snacks so they’ll love me). Place about 1/2 c shredded chicken into a bowl. Lade 1/4 of the soup into the bowl. Top with 2 Tbs of the shredded cheese and top with tortilla strips. Repeat for all servings.
4. Sit back and gather compliments while trying to not burn your tongue on the frikkin’ awesome soup.

This was adapted from a Family Circle recipe.

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An oldie but a goodie… January 11, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 1:00 pm
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Don’t you hate that phrase? I only use it because this is a recipe that has been stuck to the side of my fridge patiently waiting for me to upload it for quite some time.

Rigatoni and Sausage

-10 oz rigatoni pasta

-salt (kosher preferably, of course)

-olive oil (not extra virgin, for the job it’s doing, regular o.o. works just fine)

-6 chicken pesto or chicken with sun-dried tomato and basil sausages (I used the latter)

-1 c slivered red onion

-1 c slivered yellow bell pepper (or if the price for yellow bell peppers is ungodly where you live, as it is for me, red is just fine-wouldn’t recommend green though as they’re not as sweet)

-2 (14 oz) cans traditional Italian sauce (or just 1 if you prefer your pasta less sauce-y)

-2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

-grated Parmesan cheesefor garnish

1. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill or preheat oven to 400 degrees F (I used my oven for this part).

2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but still firm, according to package directions. Drain and toss with enough olive oil to prevent sticking (it shouldn’t take much at all). This can be made 8 to 10 hours in advance and refrigerated (for those of you who have spare time in the morning to start prepping dinner, I guess?)

3. Grill or roast the sausages on an indoor or outdoor grill for 20 minutes, turning several times. Or roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dish (again, if you’re getting dinner ready in the morning. If you’re not, ignore that last bit). Cut into bite-size pieces just before reheating.

4. In a large saute pan coated with a small amount of olive oil, saute the onion and bell pepper with cooked sausage pieces until onions and peppers are just wilted.

5. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer to a stockpot, then heat the remaining sauce in the same saute pan and transfer to the stock pot when hot.

6. Place the stockpot over medium heat and add the pasta to heat and combine all the ingredients. Divide into serving bowls, garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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This recipe is adapted from one that was in the November 8, 2006 Dallas Morning News. It’s a really good basic and a bit rustic pasta dish that doesn’t require making tomato sauce for those of you that are freaked out by making your own or just don’t have the time (I fall into the not-enough-time category most days…one of these days I’m going to make a giant batch). This could be adapted to use Italian sausage-preferably hot-if the home chef so chose.

 

Everyone loves balls for dinner. January 4, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 11:07 am
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Don’t they? They’re round and fun for the whole family. What balls am I talking about? Why, Vegetable Balls, of course! These really ended up being kind of like vegetarian crab cakes, except, obviously, ball-shaped.

Vegetable Balls

-1/2 c grated green cabbage

-1/2 c grated carrot

-1/2 c grated cauliflower

-1/2 c finely chopped green onions

-1/2 c finely chopped green bell pepper

-1 tsp salt

-1 1/2 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

-1 1/2 Tbs plus 1/4 c corn meal

-2 tsp hot sauce (I used Dia de los Muertos Scotch Bonnet)

-oil for deep frying

1. In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Using your hands, squeeze the moisture out of the vegetables.

3. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the 1/4 c cornmeal and the oil for deep-frying, with the vegetables and form into 6 balls. Roll in cornmeal to coat.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat (or heat your fryer to 375 degrees F). Fry the balls for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.

For the sauce (ball sauce!)

-1 Tbs oil

-2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

-1 tsp minced ginger

-1 tsp minced green chile

-1 Tbs soy sauce

-1 Tbs vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)

-1 Tbs hot sauce

-1 Tbs cornstarch, whisked into 1/4 c water

-1 Tbs minced green onion

5. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chile and saute for 1 minute.

6. Add the remaining ingredients, except the green onions, mixing well. Bring to a boil.

7. Remove from the heat and stir in the spring onions.

8. Serve balls and sauce hot with steamed rice.

Makes 2 servings of 3 balls each.

Adapted from a recipe at vegcooking.com .

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I think this would be a really great vegetarian party food,  substituted for the usual crab cakes. Make sure to really squeeze all the water out, or your balls will crumble and fall apart very easily. Not something you want. Even J, Mr. If It Doesn’t Have Meat It’s Not Dinner, loved these-he was especially pleased with the sauce. I don’t think I’ve said “balls” enough. BALLS.

 

Posole…almost, kind of. January 1, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 8:26 pm
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The title of the recipe is “Posole (Vegetable Soup with Hominy)”, and really you should just take it at the title in parenthesis because it’s really not similar to the Mexican soup known as “Posole/Pozole” aside from having hominy in it. And it’s a little spicy. But really, it’s tasty vegetable soup that happens to have hominy in it-and it’s a vegetarian version, missing the pork traditionally found in posole.

Posole (Vegetable Soup with Hominy)

-3 cloves garlic, minced

-1 large onion, chopped

-1/2 c water

-4 carrots, sliced

-3 c water or low-sodium vegetable stock

-1 (15 oz) can white hominy

-1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes with garlic, green pepper, and celery (I used Hunt’s diced I believe)

-1 red bell pepper, chopped

-1 c fresh green beans, broken into bite size/ 1″ lengths

-1/2 tsp cumin

-1/2 tsp salt (optional)

-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-3/4 tsp chili powder

-shredded green cabbage

1. In a medium stockpot, braise the garlic and onion in the 1/2 c water until soft. Add the carrots and 3 c water or stock, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Drain and rinse the hominy and add to the simmering pot.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper, green beans, and spices. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve piping hot topped with a little bit of the cabbage, if desired.

This recipe is adapted from one found on vegcooking.com

 

Chicken soup for the…well, for the stomach. Duh.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 8:00 pm
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One of my resolutions for 2009 was to put more time and attention to this blog. I promise I’m really going to try. I also promise to only post recipes that either myself or my dear husband, J, considers to be amazing (unless J likes it and I think it sucks, in which case he is overruled). I got a couple new cookbooks and a host of new magazines in addition to (drumroll please)…a KITCHENAID PROFESSIONAL STAND MIXER-holy crap-so look forward to many new additions in the way of general deliciousness. J got the mixer for me for Christmas and he’s definately put himself high up in brownie points standings with it. Happy 2009 to all!
Kind of Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

CHICKEN AND STOCK:

-1 (approximately 5 lb) quartered chicken

-6 c each water and low-sodium chicken broth

-4 large carrots, cut into 1″ pieces

-3 large stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1″ pieces

-1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

-8 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley

-3 cloves garlic, smashed

SOUP:

-2 c baby carrots, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

-1 c sliced celery

-1 Tbs kosher salt

-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-8 oz dried egg noodles (about 2 2/3 c)

-2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. CHICKEN AND STOCK: Bring chicken and water to a boil in a largeish (6-8 quart) stockpot. Skim off and discard foam from surface of water; add broth and remaining stock ingredients. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones; discard. Shred meat; set aside.

2. SOUP: Strain broth through cheesecloth-lined sieve into a clean pot; press solids to extract liquid. Stir baby carrots, celery, salt, and pepper into broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 6 minutes. Stir in noodles; continue to simmer 4 minutes. Stir in chicken and parsley. Remove from heat and let soup stand 10 minutes, or until noodles are just tender.

This recipe adapted from Family Circle. 8 servings.

 

Cabo-Wabo…Uh no. October 8, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:46 am
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I’ve got this giant stack of recipes I keep meaning to add, but time gets away from me and I’m still being a total worrywart and stressing over things I cannot change. It’s amazing how much time gets away from you when you’re being like that.

LeAnn Rimes’s Cabo Chicken

-1/2 c fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
-1/4 c olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed with press
-1 tsp crushed red pepper
-salt
-4 medium skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (6 oz each)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Place chicken and lime marinade in large zip top plastic bag. Seal bag and refrigerate chicken 8 hours or overnight, turning bag over several times (I did this every time I opened the refrigerator).
2. Preheat broiler, setting rack 4 inches from source of heat, or prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on medium (or alternately, as I did, set your indoor grill -George Foreman in my case- to recommended temperature for chicken, I can’t remember if mine is 375 or 425 degrees F, I have to look it up every time).
3. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on rack in broiling pan or on hot grill rack (or on your indoor grill), and cook 12 to 15 minutes (check your manual for indoor grill cook time)or until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with tip of knife, turning over once.
Serves 4.
I’m fairly certain that this recipe is from Family Circle.

I halved the original recipe-it’s not often that I need to make something that serves 8. Leann says “This is a dish my husband concocted while we were on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It’s sure to bring flavor and ease to any summer meal.” That’s right-SUMMER meal. Fall just started a couple weeks ago and the edge only started to blur on the heat sometime in the past couple of days, thanks to some rain we got. I don’t know if I didn’t marinate this long enough, or if using the George Foreman wasn’t a good idea (I don’t have a broiling pan, hence not using that method), but this really didn’t have a lot of flavor. It really sounded like it would, but it wasn’t quite as flavorful and garlic/lime-y as I expected-you may have better results. And now, I should save this, as my cat is rolling all over my keyboard, casually stretching while pressing keys. It would be funny if I hadn’t just typed all this out. He just changed something that makes this web page look all funny. Oh, Sammy Davis Jr, Jr, how I loathe/love thee.

 

The Magic of Mushrooms September 7, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 2:07 am
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No, I’m not dead, just have a lot on my mind and have been busy trying to keep myself from being depressed. /whinyness
I’ve got pictures of various meals on my computer but my camera hasn’t been cooperating so maybe you’ll get them later if you’re nice.

Grilled Portobello Burgers

-4 large portobello mushroom caps (approximately 6 oz each)
-3 Tbs bottled balsamic vinaigrette (I made my own since I don’t have any in my fridge and didn’t want to buy a bottle just for 3 Tbs)
-1/3 c light mayonnaise
-1/4 c drained jarred roasted red peppers
-4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
-1 large tomato, thinly sliced
-4 lettuce leaves

1. Heat ridged gril pan on medium-high until hot (or in my case, preheat George Foreman grill). Place mushrooms, stem sides down, in pan. Brush with half of vinaigrette and grill 5 minutes. Turn mushrooms over (unless using George Foreman, then brush both sides before grilling); brush with remaining vinaigrette and gril 5 to 8 minutes longer or until very tender.
2. Meanwhile, place mayonnaise and red peppers in a blender. Pulse until red peppers are chopped but not pureed, turning off blender and scraping down sides several times. Toast hamburger buns.
3. To serve, spread red pepper mayonnaise on cut sides of bottom buns. Place mushrooms on the buns and top with tomato slices, lettuce, then bun tops.

This recipe is from Good Housekeeping magazine.

It’s got the meat-like look, but not the taste or texture, so if you’re serving this to your All-American beef-loving man (or woman), make sure to inform them ahead of time of the meatlessness to avoid any strange or disappointed looks. Ignore the fact that this is called a “burger” and delight in the fact that it’s pretty darn delicious. The red pepper mayo is really lovely. Even my All-American beef-lover was a fan of this one.