Monday, November 30, 2009
The casserole resembles French Onion Soup, complete with toasted bread and melted cheese. The recipe as follows should be doubled if you’re bringing it to an event and serving for a crowd. For our Thanksgiving dinner last week I went a little overboard on the cheese (I was trying to use up the Swiss I had purchased), and a little extra melted cheese is not a bad thing! You can use store-bought croutons, although I always find myself purchasing fresh French bread, cubing it, and toasting it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes to make my own homemade croutons.
French Onion Casserole
4 medium onions
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose floor
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup vegetable stock
¼ cup dry sherry
1 ½ cups plain croutons
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ounces processed Swiss cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Cook onions in the 3 tablespoons butter until just tender. Blend in flour and pepper. Add stock and sherry; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Put onion mixture into a 1-quart casserole dish. Toss croutons with the 2 tablespoons melted butter; spoon atop onion mixture. Sprinkle with Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until cheese milts, about 1 minute. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings (double for the holidays).
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My husband loves my homemade chicken noodle soup. After Thanksgiving, turkey meat and turkey broth can take the place of chicken, however I’ll make this recipe throughout the winter with chicken. I find myself buying rotisserie chickens for various recipes, and I’ll use the leftover meat (usually dark meat) to toss into this soup. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover celery and carrots in my refrigerator. I like to use the crinkle-cut carrots, because they look nice, however today I had leftover shredded carrots from a recipe I made for myself.
I have adapted my soup to match my husband’s preferences, which includes a lot of egg noodles (you can substitute whichever pasta you prefer). I make it particularly chunky for him, but if you like more broth, you can add a fourth container of broth. The peas and parsley add a lot of color to the soup. By using cooked chicken and letting the pasta cook in the soup, this is a very easy recipe. These days you can even purchase your mirepoix pre-chopped at the grocery store to make this even quicker. This makes a ton of soup. You'll be set for the week!
Kate’s Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped (or shredded, or sliced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (32 oz.) containers of low sodium chicken broth (use only 3 for an extra chunky soup)
3 bay leaves
1 (16 oz.) package broad egg noodles
2 cups chicken, shredded or diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Add egg noodles and reduce to low heat. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Add chicken, peas, and parsley. Discard bays leaves and serve immediately.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
French Onion Casserole
Pureed Butternut Squash
In addition to our planned menu, my mother had prepared (unbeknownst to us) a fun cocktail. She decided to try the cranberry margaritas that she had seen in her most recent edition of Sunset Magazine. They were tasty, and when served in the punch glasses she had chilled, they were the ideal size. The color and presentation are perfectly festive for the holidays.
Merry Cranberry Margaritas
(From Sunset Magazine, December 2009)
- 1 1/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup tequila
- 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
- 3 cups coarsely crushed ice
Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into a shallow bowl. Pour 3 tbsp. sugar onto a plate. Dip rims of 4 to 6 widemouthed glasses (6 to 8 oz., suitable for margaritas) into juice, then sugar. Set glasses aside.
Reserve 12 cranberries. In a blender, whirl the remaining cranberries, cranberry juice, and sugar, the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and ice until smooth and slushy. If necessary, blend in 2 batches, then mix together. Divide among glasses and garnish with reserved berries, skewered on toothpicks.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
While our beloved sangria from yesteryear is a red sangria, I’ve made several white sangrias that we enjoy during hot summer days. A recent edition of Cooking Light included a recipe for a holiday-inspired red sangria. I purchased a bottle of Zinfandel and decided to give it a whirl. The recipe calls for satsumas oranges, which I was unable to find. Per their suggestion, I substituted with tangerines. (When I make this again I will slice the tangerines instead of segmenting them. There are far too many seeds to remove from a tangerine, and doing so while pieces are segmented nearly destroys each section of fruit.) This sangria is delicious! It is a cross between a mulled wine and a sangria. It is much more refreshing than a mulled wine, but still presents the flavors of the holidays with the clove and cinnamon.
(From Cooking Light, November, 2009)
• 1 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (about 4 satsumas)
• 1 cup satsuma orange sections (about 2 satsumas)
• 1/3 cup Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
• 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
• 1 (750-milliliter) bottle fruity red wine
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The October, 2009 issue of Cooking Light had a couple ideas of how to be innovative with this well-known fruit. These aren’t your typical apple applications, but they are quite tasty and a lot of fun. They would be a fun treat for kids to try! (Particularly the Apple Chips, which are a bit addictive!)
* 2 apples
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Use a mandolin to cut paper-thin slices of apple. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle apples with sugar and cinnamon, and bake at 200°F for 1 ½ hours or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Stuffed and Baked Apples
* 4 apples
* ½ cup brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
* 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes
Peel top of apple skins, then core, stopping ½ inch before you reach the bottom to keep filling inside. Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out core, if necessary. Mix brown sugar, walnuts, and butter in a small bowl. Fill apples with brown sugar mixture.
Place apples in an 8-inch square baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until a knife is easily inserted into flesh.
Monday, November 23, 2009
While I had planned on trying this recipe, it is comforting to know that someone’s taste buds that I trust endorsed it! The recipe calls for Harissa, which is a fiery spice paste used in Moroccan cooking. Unable to find Harissa myself, and per Christina’s recommendation, I substituted with Sriracha. This dish is loaded with vegetables. It has great, warm flavors, and is spicy from the chili paste, and sweet from the honey.
Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew
(Adapted from Cooking Light, November, 2009)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup (1/2-inch) slices leek
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 2/3 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup (1/2-inch) sliced carrot
3/4 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
1 tablespoon harissa
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous
8 lemon wedges
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups vegetable stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.
Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.