Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chunky Tomato Cream Soup

Chunky Tomato Cream Soup

Yield: 4-6 entree servings
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 10 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste (4 teaspoons)
8 Roma tomatoes, cut into big chunks
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: immersion blender (preferred) or blender*
In a stock pot on medium heat add olive oil, onions, thyme, paprika and serrano pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook until onions are tender and translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste, stirring to coat everything in the pot. Cook while stirring on medium until paste appears a deep red color, about 5 more minutes. Add tomato chunks and raise the heat until they begin to bubble. Cook while stirring the tomatoes to insure a bit of moisture evaporates from them, but they don't burn. Cook this way until the tomatoes are tender and the skins are peeling off, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and raise to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, blitz soup in the pot leaving a few chunks of tomatoes for texture. Slowly stir in cream. Serve warm.
*If using a blender, remove a few chunks of tomato from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Blitz remaining soup in batches, only filling the blender 1/3 of the way with the hot soup. Any more than that and the blender could burst with pressure upon blending. Be safe! It's hot! Return blended soup and reserved tomato chunks back to the pot. Serve warm.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

red thai curry noodles

Serves 4

2 13 oz cans of coconut milk (at least one can needs to be full fat, not light)
1-2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves chopped separately
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 cups of chicken stock
6 lime leaves
1 tbsp ginger root, grated
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 8oz package of wide rice noodles
2 cups bok choy, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
4 green onions, minced

Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. From the full fat can of coconut milk, scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of the can into it. Add the red curry paste as the cream melts into coconut oil. The mixture will start to sizzle as the oil then heats up. Add the chopped cilantro stems and chicken and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can as well as the entire contents of the second can of coconut milk, chicken stock, lime leaves, and fish sauce. Grate the ginger into the broth (easier to do if the ginger root is frozen).  Simmer for 20 minutes, until the broth has begun to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat.

Place the rice noodles, bok choy and bean sprouts into the broth where they will quickly soften in about 5 minutes. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the cilantro leaves and stir gently.

Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and the remaining cilantro.

Click here for printable version of Red Thai Curry Noodles

My husband and I loved these noodles.  We love spicy Thai food.  I found that 1 tbsp of curry paste was perfect for me: warm with lip tingling sensations.  2 tbsp was just a tad much, but my husband LOVED it with 2 tbsp of curry paste.  I would suggest starting with 1 tbsp of curry paste and see how you like it.  You can always add more as it's cooking.  Made even with 1 tbsp of curry paste the dish was too spicy for my young kids, so I steeped some plain rice noodles in boiling water and drained them.  I tossed them with a smidgen of chicken and bok choy from the was just enough to give the noodles flavor, protein and veggies but the sauce was so diluted they didn't complain of spiciness.

Grilled pork tenderloin

Serves 6

Mmmm, look at that amazing caramelized glaze on the outside of the pork!

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated gingerroot (easier to do when frozen)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon

3 pork tenderloins (12 oz / 340 g each)

To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients into a bowl except for the pork tenderloins and mix well.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Spray grill rack with cooking spray or lightly oil.  Grill the pork for about 16 minutes, turning occasionally.  Pork should be just slightly pink in the center.  Do not overcook pork or it will be dry.

Brush pork generously with glaze during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  Baste over and over again with the sauce.  The more you baste the more flavor it will have. Once cooked, place pork on a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut pork into medallions and serve. 

Lime coconut curry chicken

Serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 14 oz can light or regular coconut milk
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and garlic and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute, until it is fragrant. Add the coconut milk, chiles, lime juice and zest, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and cilantro.  Serve over rice.

salsa crock pot chicken

Serves 4-6

1 lb bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (or use chicken breast, whatever your preference.  It is not necessary to be boneless)
1 10 oz can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 package taco seasoning (or 2-3 tbsp of homemade)
1 cup salsa

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup sour cream

Place chicken, soup, taco seasoning and salsa in slow cooker and stir to combine.  Turn on low for 6-8 hours. 

When you get home from work, remove chicken and shred.  Discard the bones.  Stir in black beans, corn, and sour cream, as well as the shredded chicken, turn slow cooker up to high and replace the lid.  Put a pot of rice on to cook.  Serve creamy salsa chicken over rice.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Green Smoothie

Here's the recipe:

6-8 frozen strawberries
1 handful blueberries
1 banana
8-10 baby carrots
1 heaping handful spinach
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 C. water

I've heard of adding nuts for protein, but I have yet to try it.  It sounds…gritty.

Cheese and Garlic Potatoes

Lose-Your-Figure Potatoes with Cheese and Garlic
Makes 4 to 6 servings
11/2 to 13/4 pounds red potatoes, peeled
Unsalted butter, for greasing
3½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano)
11/3 cups heavy cream
1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Put the whole, peeled potatoes in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool. When cool, slice potatoes ¼-inch thick.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter the bottom of a 2-quart (11½ x 8 x 2-inch) baking dish and layer in half the potato slices. Sprinkle with half the cheddar and half the Parmesan. Layer on the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
In a bowl, combine the cream, garlic, salt, and pepper.
When ready to bake, pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and bake 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Linda Evans, "Recipes for Life: My Memories."

Corn Pudding

"Dyanasty" Corn Pudding
Serves: 6
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 to 5 ears)
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
9 ounces Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 (4-ounce) can whole green chiles, seeded, patted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cut grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 2-quart rectangular casserole dish.
In a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup of the corn kernels with the melted butter and eggs.
In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the Parmesan. Add the pureed corn and blend well. Pour into the prepared dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake 30 minutes, until puffed and golden. (If the top isn't browned but the puddling looks set, run it under a preheated broiler for a couple minutes until golden spots appear.)
Recipe courtesy of Linda Evans, "Recipes for Life: My Memories."

Monday, September 5, 2011

coconut shrimp w pineapple jalapeno sauce

Baked Coconut Shrimp
10 minutes
26 minutes
24 shrimp


  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup pineapple preserves
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut


  1. 1Combine lime juice, jalapeno pepper, and pineapple preserves in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. 2Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. 3In a small bowl beat egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
  4. 4Place cornstarch and coconut on two separate plates. Hold shrimp by the tail and dip and coat the shrimp with cornstarch. Next, dip the shrimp in the egg whites and finally in the coconut coating well.
  5. 5Place shrimp on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until coconut is a golden brown. Make sure to turn it once halfway through (around 8 minutes into cooking time) to make sure both sides brown.
  6. 6Serve with pineapple dipping sauce.