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Summer Corn Chowder

soup
back in the day – I used to frequent St. Louis Bread Company (a.k.a. Panera Bread Company) a lot… it was just down the street from my work and was just so GOOD!!!
yum.
anyways –
I kinda fell in love with their corn chowder, which only runs very limitedly . . . i’m guessing (by the name of the post and recipes I found -) that it’s a summer thing…
I decided to create my own… and honestly, I don’t remember how well I followed this recipe back when I first made it… or if I just created something and this was closest to it… *Shrug* it was long ago…
and the next time I made it, I probably semi-followed this recipe, b/c it was printed out in my cache of recipes…
so, here’s my base:
http://www.cookeatshare.com%2Frecipes%2Fsummer-corn-chowder-436018&h=TAQFe-Re5
(((here is the recipe… i found out the link doesn’t work…))
Summer Corn Chowder
Panera Bread Recipe

Serves 4-5

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch diced
3 tablespoons flour
5 cups vegetable broth
2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) green bell pepper
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice, for garnish
1/2 cup thinly slivered fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Place the oil and butter in a pot over low heat. Add the diced onion and wilt for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion; cook, stirring, for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the corn, red and green bell peppers, salt, pepper, and half-and-half; cook over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle 2 cups of soup into each bowl. Before serving, place 1 tablespoon of diced tomatoes in the center of each and top generously with slivered basil. Serve immediately.

and if you’ve read my blog at all – you know I like to tweak things to my liking.
so . . . my tweaks are this:
I have to make sure my peppers are good and cooked or they make bear sick.. so I added them in with the onions… and instead of just throwing them in the pot and wilting them — I did the following:
cook up 3 – 4 slices of bacon… throw your onions and peppers ( I used the entire pepper (red & green) and a medium onion) into the remaining bacon fat after bacon has been cooked to a crisp
when they are good and caramelized, add it to the melted butter & oil mixture
don’t drain that fat tho – cut up a couple pieces of chicken into really small pieces and cook that in the remaining bacon fat/veggie sweat
save the bacon and chicken for later
instead of 4 cups fresh corn I use 2 cans of cream corn and the same amount of frozen corn (thawed)
then I threw in some “fresh” (from the store) green beans when I threw in the potatoes
after it’s done boiling and doing whatever that step says… – throw in your chicken and crumbled up bacon.. (btw – crumble up your bacon after it cools down!)
add your salt and pepper, and I also added some smoked paprika.
it was yummmmmm
🙂

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2 new dinner creations

no pics
I suuuuck
oh well
the past few nights I’ve been having issues determining what to make for dinner.
the other night I cut up some chicken (of course)
and I browned it with some fennel seed and thyme and balsamic vinegar, but then I was like, ummmm what do I do with this now, what will I serve with it…
so I cut up some onions
and then I steamed some spinach (in the bag)
threw the onions, some minced garlic, and the spinach into the pan with the chicken and threw a small can of coconut milk in there and let it simmer together for awhile.
I was very hesitant about how this might taste.
OMG IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!
I wanted more when I finished it…
but unfortunately, the amount I made only served the two of us…
*sigh* soooo yum
the second creation was tonight
I took about a quarter cup of frozen blueberries ((fresh blueberries would have been SO much better)) and mixed it with some barbecue sauce… probably the same amount — a quarter cup…
I put the two of them into my little food processor and blended away
I threw the chicken in the pan and sprinkled about a tablespoon of brown sugar on top and then poured in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar ((I think… I don’t measure, i’m guessing))
and then I threw the blueberry bbq sauce on top of it and let it cook away
served that with some diced potatoes sautéed with onions, garlic, lemon juice and dill
and some green beans seasoned with tarragon and a slight amount of butter.
it was pretty yummy
husband decided he needed some rice with his chicken, but I chose to go without, it was still so good!!!
sorry I have no pictures!!
but, try them out!! let me know 🙂 enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower Bake – in the style of ~T~

http://fatsecret.com/recipes/cauliflower-bake/Default.aspx

Cauliflower Bake

A warming cauliflower, potato and leek casserole.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 10 minutes. Cook potatoes in a separate pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. To make sauce melt butter in a pan, add leek and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add flour and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from heat and gradually add the almond milk and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Add paprika.
  4. Put the cauliflower in a casserole dish, followed by the grape tomatoes and potatoes. Pour the sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the casserole.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the cheese is brown and bubbling.

so, a friend posted this recipe, and i said. hm. i have a head of cauliflower that i need to use.

and i can get leeks from the commissary.

so boom

dinner

i even planned it –

i made a menu for the week.

i NEVER do that!!!!!

but i did. and i’ve followed it thus far!!

yay me!!!

and of course, i modified it.

just a tiny bit.

oh, and up there — it doesn’t say to chop the cauliflower. into bite size chunks. make sure you do that, cuz once you boil it – it’s pretty difficult to cut… i don’t know why. it just is.

my modifications were:

chop up half of a large onion and half of a green pepper… add those in with the leek…

and i do have to say … watch what parmesan you use… that cheese doesn’t melt very well… soooo, if you can find the parm in a bag – -use it, granted it’s not as good or fresh as anything else, but your cheese sauce will work… mine didn’t so to make it a little bit more saucy and melty i threw in 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella… oh, and don’t remove your pan from the heat, cuz then the cheese REALLY won’t melt, just lower the heat…

i also chopped up some chicken sausages that contain apple & gouda ((omg good!!)) {http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hillshire-Farm-Chicken-Apple-With-Gouda-Cheese-Smoked-Sausage-12-oz/19276116} i meant to add them before i added the cheese sauce, but i got distracted and forgot, it’s cool. i added them to the top and they kinda carmelized… i don’t know but YUM…

so yeah, throw it in the oven bake it for how long it says and pull it out… (no. that’s NOT what she said – don’t go there)

and enjoy

and you will enjoy

b/c holy crapnuggets it is SOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i couldn’t stop eating it. . .

i don’t know if it was the fact i had only eaten a small breakfast yesterday or if it was just that good

but i’m gonna put a combination of the both,

and when i heated it up for lunch today — just as delicious!!!!!!

of course, you can make this dish vegetarian by keeping to the recipe and not adding the sausage… but i think it would be good with some bacon or prosciutto on top too… jus sayin

 

so goooood!!!!!

so goooood!!!!!

 

 

 

Shepherd’s Pie – Modified

so, i have a cookbook that my sister in law bought me one year for christmas that is all things chicken… or all chicken things… and actually – i have two… cuz, well i only eat chicken & turkey… cuz i don’t like beef or pork (save for the occasional bacon…)
anyways, in one of those books is a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie.
and it’s yum. well. sort of… i’ve only ever had it modified… cuz it calls for mushrooms… like a POUND of them…
and i absolutely despise mushrooms…
i don’t eat fungus. yuck. no. ew.
so… when husband made it — that was his modification…
if you know me – or at least have seen my other recipe posts – you will know that i like to modify my recipes.
mess with it a little bit here and there.
so.
i did 🙂
tonight i made my version and it was SO yum

definitely take note: it’s time & labor intensive… and i used 2 pots/pans & a 2 bowls, and a medium glass baking dish… so …
here we go: !!
2 pounds potatoes – peeled & cut into chunks… i used 1 sweet potato & the rest red potatoes
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream, or milk
1 pound ground turkey
1 leek chopped
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 carrots chopped (i actually used a handful of baby carrots…eyeball it or just add as much as you want) ((keep in mind though, if you increase this amount, you’ll have to increase your oil or butter used to saute in))
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp oil/butter/margarine – – i used tastefully simple garlic infused olive oil tonight
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp flour
2 tsp thyme (dried)
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp bbq sauce
1 tbsp worcestersire sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

prepare your baking dish – i used a 9 x 13 glass one b/c my little pie dish would have been WAYYYY too small – ya know — spray it with non-stick spray or if you wanna be indulgent butter that sucker up… dude, i’m on a diet… no excess butter for me…

boil up those potatoes in order to make some mashed potatoes (most people know how to do this…no details)– what i did since i had the sweet potato and they take a llllllliiiiiiiittttttttttlllllllllllleeeee bit longer to process is cut it up first and throw it in the pot with the water while i cut up my reds

heat up your oil in another pan – saute your carrots for about 5 minutes
after that 5 minutes, add in your onions, leeks, & green peppers… let that brown up nicely
add in your corn & peas and let heat thorougly

at this point my potatoes were done; so i drained them & put them in a big bowl and mashed them up… added 2 tbsp of butter, (yeah there goes the diet aspect right??), 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream and a few shakes of some parmesan cheese (i know this isn’t called for in the recipe, but seriously — it’s cheese…enough said)
set those aside…

your veggies should be ready to go, so go ahead and dump them in the pot that you used for the potatoes… i had them in a bowl waiting for the stove, and you COULD put them back in there, but you’re gonna wanna use that bowl for the sauce… unless you like to do more dishes than necessary — and my cutting board isn’t large enough to just leave everything on it while i’m chopping…

anyways – now you’re gonna brown up your meat… i read today that the hotter the pan when you put the meat in the less need for a liquid to brown it in… um, i never use a liquid to brown my ground meat in anyways… how bout you?? am i weird??
while you are doing that – go ahead and preheat your oven to 400ºF

as you are browning your meat — throw in the thyme, paprika, and some salt and pepper… i know i didn’t put salt & pepper in the recipe up there. my bad. do it anyways, it’s sitting right next to you so sprinkle some in… oh, i also added some cayenne pepper in – just to add a teensy kick…not lots! cuz i can’t handle lots… but just a small sprinkling…

in between stirring it to brown it up – mix the chicken broth & flour until smooth… set aside.

is your meat brown??

ok – switch it up– that pot that you threw the veggies in? throw your meat in there…

stir everything together – get it nice and mixed up…

add in your bbq sauce (honestly the recipe calls for ketchup{catsup} — i can’t stand that stuff!!! so i use bbq sauce… ), the worcestersire sauce, and the balsamic vinegar

mix it up some more

annnnnd pour in the broth…

you’re gonna let that boil up – stirring occasionally… it’s supposed to thicken up, i have to admit tho — mine never did

go grab your potatoes, have them on standby..

pour your meat & veggie mixture into the prepared dish

spread evenly

take your potatoes and spread them evenly on top of the meat mixture…

i found this to be somewhat difficult… and ended up…… using my hands. it was messy. but yummy

get it as even as you can…

and then — well, then you can stray from your diet just a little bit and top it with some cheese…

cuz — well, who doesn’t like cheese… and i already strayed with the butter in the potatoes

anyways — got that set? throw it in the oven for about 25 minutes…

it’s supposed to brown on top… just a little bit, but mine didn’t… i wonder if it had to do with the sweet potato?? regardless it was still DELICIOUS… yum to the extreme!!!!!!

and i ate way too much for dinner and had to unbutton my pants at work… cuz… i’m a fatty…

haha.

 

anyways… i think i took a pic… but, i don’t have my phone in here, i’ll try to upload it tomorrow… and if i didn’t take a pic, i will… it might not be pretty though, b/c i don’t know how husband stored it when he put it away…

 

so anyways…

make this!

 enjoy it!

~peace

 

 

 

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