Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Whole You

This recipe is not a "Stolen" recipe, but one that I have evolved since learning the basics from my mother as a kid.  This is my definition of "Comfort Food".  I can't say I have made it the same way twice.  Here is my latest version, sans potatoes and served over egg noodles.

Prep Time:  20 to 30 Minutes
Cook Time:  2 Hours
Servings:  About 12

1 Fryer chicken
4 to 5 stalks celery cut up
1 16 oz bag peeled baby carrots
1 white onion, peeled, left whole
2 chayote squash, cut up
1 16 oz bag shelled soybeans (edamame)
1 16 oz bag cut okra, baked
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 to 3 bay leaves
6 cups cold water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pre-bake the Okra following the Basic Baked Okra procedure
  • Place the carrots and celery at the bottom of a large dutch oven or kettle
  • Set chicken atop carrots and celery and surround with onion, squash, and edamame
  • Add water and cover with tomatoes, baked okra, seasonings, and bay leaves
  • Bring to boiling; reduce heat
  • Cover and simmer for 2 hours
  • Remove chicken, let cool, and debone
  • Tear or cut up chicken meat and add back to soup
  • Serve over prepared egg noodles, Enjoy!

Drop in Dumplings Alternate:
These fluffy and chewy herb-flecked dumplings are a great alternate to serving over egg noodles.   Dumpling recipe can be easily doubled for serving a family.  This dumpling recipe is directly from the Herbed Chicken and Dumpling post originally published in Cooking Light magazine October 2008, by David Bonom.

Dumpling Ingredients:
5 oz all purpose flour (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat milk

Dumpling Method:
  • Combine Flour, chopped parsley, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
  • Add milk, stirring just until moist
  • Spoon by heaping teaspoonfuls into soup
  • Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until dumplings are done

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

These sausage and cheese filled caps are easy to make and are a delicious appetizer. There are many different versions of this out there. This recipe is pretty basic. Enjoy!

I based this recipe on one I found on the CookEatShare website.  My wife suggested I add some Pine Nuts and a little Parmesan.  They came out great.

Prep Time:  20 to 30 Minutes
Cook Time:  15 Minutes
Servings:  Makes about 30 medium mushrooms or 17 large mushrooms.

Nutritional Information:
Serving size:  6 medium mushrooms or 3 large
Calories:  243
Fat:  17.3g
Saturated Fat:  5.5g
Cholesterol:  34.6mg
Sodium:  408.3mg
Total Carbohydrate:  8.7g
Dietary Fiber:  1.8g
Sugars:  2.3g
Protein:  15g

The ingredients and Method are straight from a Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Recipe posting by the CookEatShare Cookbook. 

1 1/2 pound mushrooms (medium or large stuffing type)
1/2 pound pork sausage meat
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
2 Tablespoons parmesan (optional)
Fresh parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stems from mushroom caps and chop stems.  Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage until well browned.  Remove cooked meat to paper towels to drain using a slotted spoon. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the skillet.
  • In drippings, over medium heat, saute stems with garlic till tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove skillet from heat, let cool slightly, stir in sausage, bread crumbs, cheeses and pine nuts.
  • Fill mushroom caps with sausage mix.  Place stuffed caps in a jellyroll pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Links:
Here is a bunch of similar posts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homemade Cheese

An easy recipe with a great fresh taste, homemade cheese is made to please.

I got this simple farmer's cheese recipe from Chef John's Foodwishes Blog.  Apparently so has everyone else, it is very popular.  For good reason, it is fun and easy, with a minimum of ingredients.

Prep Time:  About 2 minutes
Cook Time:  About 10 minutes, plus an hour of straining followed by some chill time.
Servings:  Makes about a cup of cheese.

Recipe Source:  You Can Make Cheese. Posted March , 2010 on the Foodwishes video recipe blog.

Recipe Links:
I think this is the original post from June, 2008.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Babka

Polish Grandmother's Bread....for Easter 'Oh "10"

Photo: Mary Ann Rice

I was asked by my son's paternal grandmother this year to consider trying my hand at making Babka from scratch.  Having this polish sweetbread at the table on Easter has been a traditional for our family.  We now live in a part of the country where polish Babka needs to be trucked in and there is only one place that we are aware of that consistently carries it.  Worse than that, if you don't place an order ahead of time, you can find yourself Babkaless at this most holiest of meals... 

Photo: Alisa Ljundquist

Started out of necessity, this has turned out to be a great new bread offering in my culinary repertoire.  I may not be a Polish Grandmother in real life, but at least I can play one on the internet!

Photo: Mary Ann Rice

After searching high and low for that "Perfect Babka Recipe", I found a video which featured Martha Stewart's mom sharing her Babka making techniques.  

Martha's mother was polish, probably a grandmother, and came highly recommended - so I gave her a shot.  She did not let me down.  Here's the link to the Original Video and recipe.

I will say I was very careful with temperatures and had my instant read thermometer in hand while scalding the milk and warming the water for the yeast.  Additionally, I was careful to weigh the flours and match the consistencies as noted in the video.  

I made three Babkas total.  I made a braided loaf for my mom to take home, a round for the Easter meal, and a cinnamon swirl loaf just for fun. Here is my source for the filling on this most delicious, calorie laden treat.

Prep Time:  About 2-1/2 hours
Cook Time:  About 40 minutes
Servings:  Plenty

Recipe Source:  Easter Babka.  Originally aired on the "Martha Stewart Living" show.

Recipe Links:  
Here's a good Chocolate Babka and Cinnamon Filling Link.
Here's another more decadent Chocolate Babka - a belt buster for sure.
Here's one that shows a jewish and a polish version along with an age tested way of braiding your loaf.

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