Friday, July 29, 2011

Crockpot Corn (sorta) Chowder

This was interesting, and surprisingly very good.  I wouldn't necessarily call it chowder, but it had a creaminess to it from the cream cheese.  I think adding some potatoes would give more of a chowder texture and feel.  But the taste was fine.  My daughter and I both had second helpings!

1 16-ounce bag frozen corn
1 15.5 ounce can corn (and juice)
1 quart chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
salt to taste (I didn't add any)

Empty both corns into your crockpot.  Add chicken broth, onion, and pepper.  Drop in cream cheese.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or until onion is translucent and the soup is fully heated.

Stir well.

Use either an immersion blender or ladle the soup into a Vitamix and pulse to "chowderify".  I didn't blend mine very long and the texture was a bit funky.  More blending for a smoother texture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hazelnut Chip Scones

If you've been following at all, you know that I love scones and love trying new scone recipes!  Ranee passed this one on for me to sample.  So yummy!  And a bonus that I had leftover hazelnut cream in my fridge for a coffee treat.  Call me crazy, but I think I would actually like them better without the chocolate chips.

4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cups cold butter
1 egg (separated)
1 1/2 cups hazelnut creamer (or substitute your favorite cream flavor - or just us plain)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together dry ingredients.  Cut in 3/4 cups butter using two knives or a pastry cutter.

Whisk together 1 egg yolk, and 1 1/2 cups creamer.  Add this to the dry mixture, stirring just until moistened.  Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Turn dough onto a light floured surface and knead 10 times or so until it forms a ball.  Pat dough into two 7-inch circles and cut each into 8 wedges.  Separate and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Beat egg white and brush over unbaked scones.  Sprinkle with a little additional sugar.

Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

If you're really in the mood for a special treat, whip up some spiced butter while they're baking!  Next time I'll leave out the chocolate chips and go for the butter:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Beat all ingredients until smooth and serve with warm scones.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honey Lentils

We had these for dinner last week on a night when my husband wasn't home.  He's not a fan of lentils.  But I am!  And the flavor was very different from any lentils I've made before.  We liked them with brown rice.

1 1/2 cups lentils
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 red onion, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
2 dried bay leaves

Rinse the lentils and then place in the crockpot.  Add the broth, water, onions, carrots and chickpeas.  Stir in the mustard and salt.  Add the soy sauce and honey.  Stir gently to combine.  Float the bay leaves on top.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours on high or 3-5 hours on high.

recipe adapted from here

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread

This is probably my new favorite summer recipe.  Aside from the fact that I love bread in any form, it tastes, to me, like a perfect summer day.  It's not too sweet, fresh from the herb, a little tart, moist, and light.  After taking my first bite, I realized that my large lemon had enough zest left for another batch.  And since we have a large rosemary plant in front of our house, I made two more loaves without thinking twice.

makes two loaves

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare two 4x9-inch loaf pans, either coating with butter or spraying with baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.

Beat the eggs in a mixer (or by hand) until frothy.  Beat in the sugar.  Beat in the melted butter and olive oil.  Stir in the lemon zest and grated zucchini.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation.

Divide batter/dough into two loaf pans.  Bake in a 350F oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  Test after 40 minutes.  If you gently press down on the surface of the loaf, it should bounce back and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Remove from the oven.  Let cool for a few minutes and then remove loaves from their pans to cool on a rack.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tandoori-Spiced Chicken

A couple weeks ago I posted a recipe for vegetable curry.  This is the recipe for the chicken you see pictured there.  We liked the curry better than the chicken.  The flavor was fine, but not strong enough.  The chicken was chewy, but that could have been because: 1) I used chicken that had been frozen instead of fresh and/or 2) I marinated the chicken longer than 2 hours and have since read that marinating chicken for longer periods of time in highly acidic ingredients can make it more on the chewy side.  So, although it was simple, I say "eh" to this Cooking Light concoction.

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 Tbsp grated onion
1 Tbsp grated, peeled, fresh ginger
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp salt

Combine first 8 ingredients in a heavy-duty-zip-lock bag.  Add chicken to bag; seal.  Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Place a small roasting pan in oven.  Preheat broiler to high.  Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt.  Place chicken on preheated pan coated with cooking spray.  Broil in lower third of oven for 15 minutes or until done, turning after 7 minutes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mushroom Egg Salad

I first came across this recipe in an issue of Saveur magazine.  But it wasn't until I saw it again here that I was convinced to give it a try.  I'm so glad I did!  This is unlike any egg salad I've ever tasted, but it's hard to say why.  Let me just say, if you like mushrooms at all, you will love this.  And the caramelized onions add a depth of flavor that is delicious.  Patience is required to pull the simple ingredients together, but in my humble opinion, it's totally worth it!

5 Tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill (I used about 1 Tbsp dried)
4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a 10” or 12” skillet over medium-high heat, and add the mushrooms. (If they don’t all fit in the pan at once, let the first panful wilt down a bit, and then add the rest. It’ll work out fine.) Cook, stirring often, until lighly browned, 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften; then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until lightly caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the dill and eggs, and stir to mix.

I used less mayo than the recipe calls for, and still didn't use up all my dressing.  I don't like my salad very wet, though.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Add a couple of spoonfuls to the mushroom mixture, and toss until evenly combined. Taste, and add more dressing as needed.  Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how deeply browned the onions are, you might also want an extra squeeze of lemon.

Pile on lightly toasted bread – preferably sourdough rye, if you’ve got some – and serve open-faced.

Yield: about 2 cups

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pizza Rice Casserole

It'd been a long time since I had made a casserole, but a fellow More-With-Less user tipped me off to this recipe, so we gave it a try.  As far as casseroles go, it was good and my kids loved it!  I really liked the cottage cheese/rice combo and, although it did have hints of pizza sauce flavor, I wouldn't necessarily use the word pizza to describe.  Maybe if we added some pepperonis?!

2 cups cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheese

In a large skillet, brown the beef with chopped onion.  Then add tomato sauce, garlic salt, sugar, salt, pepper (to taste) oregano, and parsley.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese and cooked rice.  Put 1/3 of rice mixture in a buttered 2 qt. casserole dish.  Top with 1/3 of meat-tomato sauce.  Continue to alternate layers, ending with tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nutella Bread

This bread (more like cake) is not for the faint of heart.  Oh, no.  This is a deliciously rich, dense, and buttery treat.  My British friend said it's taste was gorgeous, which I thought appropriate!  I didn't read ahead to see that my butter and eggs needed to be room temp.  Had I planned better, I would have ended up with a more moist cake-like bread.  As it was, I shared it with as many people as possible today to keep myself from finishing it off alone!

makes one loaf
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (16 tablespoons, or 1 cup)
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 13-ounce jar Nutella
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.  In a medium bowl, whisk the 1-1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  With the mixer at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one gets incorporated before adding the next one.  Add the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until incorporated.  Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top.  Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella.  Top with the remaining batter.  Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife.  Do not overmix. (forgot to do that step, which is why my bread looks more layered)
Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours.  Cut the cake into slices and serve.
The pound cake can be  kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  It can also be wrapped tightly and frozen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zucchini Feta Tart

I knew Jessie would have a good recipe to use up my Gruyere cheese.  But when I went to get the Gruyere, it had mold.  Ugh.  I pulled out the feta instead and just went with it, making a couple other changes.  I cooked the crust a little too long, but other than that I thought the adapted result was delicious!

4 zucchini (about 2 pounds), shredded
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a colander, toss zucchini with the salt and let drain, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the rosemary, 1/4 cup feta and the butter. Press the mixture evenly into a 10-inch springform pan (I used a pie plate) and bake until set and golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 400°.

Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the zucchini. In a bowl, toss the zucchini and remaining 3/4 cup feta. Season with pepper. Top the crust evenly with the zucchini mixture and bake until lightly golden, about 45 minutes. Run a knife around edge of the tart before removing the side of the pan

Friday, July 8, 2011

Garden Vegetable Curry

This is a great way to use up those lonely vegetables in your cupboards and fridge.  Try out other vegetable combinations.  I'd like to add cauliflower next time.  You can also use tomato sauce instead of the fresh tomatoes, which would help the sauce thicken up better.  There's a lot you can do with this (I already adapted it from More-with-Less), and it was definitely good enough to make again.  We topped ours with yogurt.

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 cup chopped tomato
4 carrots, diced
4-5 small potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
3 cups green beans
2 zucchini, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I forgot to add this, but I think it would have made the dish even tastier)

Heat oil in a 3-4 qt. saucepan on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and fry lightly for 4-5 minutes (do not brown).  Add curry powder, tumeric, and cumin seed.  Continue frying 3-4 minutes.  Add chopped tomatoes and cook briefly until a thick sauce begins to form.  

Add vegetables and salt.  Stir until everything is mixed well.  Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.  Add water any time the sauce is below 1/3 depth of vegetables.   

15 minutes before serving, add lemon juice and salt to taste.  Continue to simmer until ready to serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Carribean Rice and Beans

I love beans and rice.  Don't ask me why.  I just do.  Aside from the, ahem, side affects, I could go for a long time on beans and rice.  This meal reminded me of something similar I made a while ago, but I liked this better.

adapted from More-with-Less

2 cups kidney beans
8 cups water
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
juice of one lime
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups rice
2-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Add salt to water and soak beans overnight.

In the morning, bring beans to a boil (in the same water they were soaking in).  Reduce heat and simmer partially covered just until tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain beans, reserving liquid.  Store beans and liquid in refrigerator until ready to complete the meal.

Heat oil in large covered skillet.  Add garlic, green onions, tomatoes, lime juice, parsley, pepper and the drained beans.  Saute about ten minutes.

Add rice, reserved bean juice, and enough broth to make five cups of liquid.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 20-25 minutes until rice is fully cooked.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
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