Cheddar Veggie Soup

Cheddar Veffie soup II

Cheddar Veggie Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chicken soup when you have a cold is just…. well….. gold. However when you don’t have chicken you do the next best thing and use what you have which in this case is veggies and cheddar cheese.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – chopped
  • 4 Celery ribs – chopped
  • 1 cup Carrots – chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 4 fresh Basil leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil and butter is a large pot or Dutch.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and remaining ingredients except the basil and cheese.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies have softened.
  6. Add the basil
  7. Use an immersion blender or blend in batches until smooth.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the cheese.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

 

Beef and Lentil Stew

Beef and Lentil Stew

 

Beef and Lentil Stew

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Cold season has hit my household and it looks like everyone, save yours truly, has caught one but it is entirely possible, if not probable, that I will sooner or later catch one. Until that time I will continue to look after my guys and so with that in mind I have made them some comfort food that will hopefully help them feel a little better.

Now I have “billed” this one as a stew however from what I can see the only difference between a soup and a stew is the thickness of the broth, except in the case of a Chowder which is thick anyways so if you wanted to make this a soup just thin out the broth.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Sirloin Steak  Tails – cut into bite sized chunks
  • 3 Celery stalks- chopped
  • 2 Carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion – diced
  • 3 small Leeks, whites only – chopped
  • 6 cups Beef broth
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 4 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 cups Lentils
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in batches removing to a separate bowl.
  3. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  4. Add back the beef and the remaining ingredients bringing to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Adjust the seasoning and enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Jambalaya

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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It’s no secret that I have a bit of a love affair with Cajun/Creole cooking. I mean what’s not to love? The depths of seasoning, the seafood, different vegetable combinations and various meats used in this cuisine open up a whole world of possibilities. The only thing is—— What took me so long to post this recipe??

Now this particular Jambalaya is a marriage of the “King of  Bam” ( Emeril Lagasse) and mine with most of the credit going to Chef Emeril.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 6 cups Vegetable stock or Water
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Uncle Ben’s™ 5 Minute Rice
  • 1 bag 31 – 40 Shrimp – peeled, cleaned and tail off
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage – sliced on the diagonal and bite sized
  • 2 cups chopped Red Onion
  • 1 cup chopped Celery
  • 1 cup chopped Bell Pepper
  • 3 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped Green Onions for garnish
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Seasoned Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil and brown the sausage in batches removing to a holding bowl.
  3. In the same pot add the onion, celery, peppers and seasonings mixing well. Cook for about 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock and sausage. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and put in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and shrimp and turn off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  6. Plate and garnish with the green onions if desired.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit 

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I’m all about “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond.” yet I don’t hesitate to think outside the box and tackle something that may seem “gourmet” and  “difficult” to make. Things like Osso Bucco with three mushroom Risotto or Crab Cakes with a Garlic Aioli or even create something that I think may be relatively new like my recent Pad Thai Meatballs. 

With that in mind this particular recipe falls under the “simple but tasty…..” category because it is essentially a one pot dinner that is not only filling but flavorful in its simplicity and can be considered a budget friendly dish as well since it can feed a number of people for a relatively low price.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 3 pound Beef Pot Roast
  • 2 large Carrots – peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 large Yellow Onion – peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 Celery ribs – rough chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves – peeled and smashed
  • 24 Baby potatoes
  • 1 20 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 3 cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1/4 cup  Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Black Peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried Rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • Cheesecloth
  • Butchers Twine

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Season the pot roast with salt and pepper and place in a large Dutch Oven.
  3. Arrange the vegetables around the roast and add all liquids.
  4. Using the cheesecloth make a Bouquet Garni with the dried herbs and tie with the butcher string. Place in the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil on the stove. Turn off the heat and place in the oven for 2  hours.
  6. Remove the roast to a cutting board to rest, the potatoes to a separate bowl and discard the bouquet garni.
  7. Pour the braising liquid and vegetables into a blender and blend until you have a smooth gravy. Pour the gravy into a small pot. For a rich gravy add a dollop of butter.
  8. Slice the roast, plate with the potatoes and pour on the gravy.
  9. Enjoy. 

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                         Bon Appetit 

Crispy Top Cumberland Pie

Crispy top Cumberland Pie

Crispy Top Cumberland Pie

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My grandson had decreed at some point that Tuesdays would be known as “Taco Tuesdays” as he loves his Tacos and ever since Old El Paso™ introduced Taco Bowls he loves them even more however for me (don’t get out the noose) having Tacos every week is a bit tiresome and boring so my lovely and brilliant wife suggested Tasty Tuesdays as an alternative. So in honour of her suggestion and as a nod to her country of birth, England, we are doing a Crispy Top Cumberland Pie.

Cooks note:  This is a great make ahead dish and will last for 2 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 2 pounds Stew Beef – cubed
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 2 small Yellow Onions – chopped
  • 2 large Carrots – chunky sliced
  • 1 Leek, white part only – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose flour, Worcestershire, Tomato Puree
  • 2 tablespoons liquid Beef Base
  • 2 1/2 cups Beef broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, Thyme and butter and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, followed by the purée, Worcestershire sauce and liquid beef base.
  3. Add the beef stock stirring well then add the stew beef. Bring to a boil, cover and put in the oven for 2 /12 hours.
  4. While the meat is braising cook your potatoes until they are about 3/4’s done and then add them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. When the meat is fork tender transfer it to a baking dish. Slice the potatoes into 1 cm (.039 inches) rounds and place on the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle on the Parmesan and the Shredded cheese and put back in the oven for about 20 mins or until the shredded cheese has melted and the gravy is bubbling.
  7. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit

Raised Veggie Garden

 

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When I first decided to do a blog my wife and I kicked around various and sundry themes in an effort to come up with something unique but also something that would reflect what we both like. After about a half a dozen ideas we hit on the simple reality that she liked to garden and I liked to grill and so gardensandgrills was born.

Now in the very beginning I had every intention of writing as many garden posts as I did grilling ones however as oft time happens life jumped up and my wife became sick so she could no longer garden as she loved and since I was picking up the slack doing things she couldn’t the gardening aspect for us was put on the back burner.

Fast forward and she is doing remarkably better than she has in years and she can get back into the garden which then allows me the time to get back to my second love, or maybe my third after my wife and cooking….. veggie gardening.

What you see pictured here is a raised garden idea that I found on the web and decided that it was exactly what I had in mind and that with a little time and patience (it’s 14 feet wide, six feet deep, ten inches of soil and each side section is five feet wide in the front) I could build myself however mother nature had something to say about my schedule but after three straight days of rain I managed to get it finished and the planting done….. all for around $350.00.

Now, as with anything else that gets planted into the ground, I need to weed, feed and pray because I really really want a bumper crop of veggies and herbs and since I planted things I use all the time, Celery, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chives plus the Hot Peppers for some awesome Salsa and Relishes….. I’m a wee bit on edge but we will see what happens.

So there you have it, my raised veggie garden and although it may not be another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” what it grows will surely contribute to that.

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

 

 

Curried Mussel Chowder

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Curried Mussel Chowder

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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You don’t become a chef to become famous.

Eric Ripert

I think every home cook has the daydream of hitting it big on T.V. as the host of their own cooking show and having millions of adoring fans just gobbling up any and all recipes they showcase and I admit that I fall squarely in this group however being the practical person that I am I know this will never happen so I will be content with cooking the best food that I can for my family and friends and posting the pics to my blog in the hopes that others will enjoy it as well.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen precooked Mussel meat
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped Leeks – white and light green only
  • 3/4 each finely chopped Celery and Onion
  • 4 tablespoons Yellow Curry powder (see cooks note)
  • 1/4 all purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Corn Kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a stock pot or Dutch oven melt the butter and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until blended. Cook the butter and flour for about 5 minutes but don’t let it brown.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and whisk until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients except the Cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Pour the soup into four individual bowls, top with some cilantro and serve.

Cooks note: For a milder curry flavour substitute Garam Masala for the Yellow Curry powder.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                          Bon Appetit

Healthy chicken vegetable soup

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Healthy chicken and vegetable soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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“You can’t go wrong with relatively simple comfort food. It’s also about ease. Some cook to impress. I cook for people to enjoy the food.”

Al Roker

Every once in a while, for no particular reason, I crave something warm and comforting that does not take a lot of time to make and not only tastes good but is good for you……. enter Chicken vegetable soup.

Now as a general rule I avoid trying to make chicken soup of any kind as it usually ends up tasting greasy or oily and that’s not very pleasing to anyone however I surprised myself with this one as it is neither greasy nor oily and that confirmation came from my better half who is also my greatest and most honest critic.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts – diced
  • 5 small boneless skinless chicken thighs – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 2 large carrots – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 cup rough chopped mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 4 cups sodium reduced  chicken  stock
  • small bunch of kale – roughly torn
  • 1 10 ounce can pre-boiled lentils (substitute black beans if desired) 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and sear the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion and saute for about three minutes then add the remaining vegetables except the Kale and Lentils and stir until well mixed together.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 minutes (add aditional stock or water if needed).
  3. Add the Lentils and Kale and continue to simmer until the Kale is just wilted
  4. Season with salt  and pepper

There you have it “another simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

Bon Appetit

Seafood Chowder

Seafoodchowder

 

Woke up this morning and even before I opened my eyes I felt a disturbance in the force. Okay it was more like something was up and when I did venture a peek I found I was right……. it was dark, gloomy and the threat of rain was in the air AGAIN!!— it’s only been like this for three days now and I mean seriously— it’s August— we are supposed to have great weather so get with it mother nature.

 Sorry crummy weather makes me cranky and what better way to combat crummy weather than to create a dish that chases the gloomies away and fills your tummy with happy happy joy joy feelings….  where are these movie quotes coming from?

Anyways, my go to gloomy day vanisher is SOUP and one of my all time favorites is Seafood Chowda or Chowder for those outside of New England. There is just something about a good flavorful bowl of soup that makes everything right in the world….. okay maybe not everything but it comes darn close. So without further ado and no more movie quotes I bring to you my version of Seafood Chowder.

Ingredients:

One bag 32-40 shrimp cut in half – 32-40 refers to the number of shrimp per pound so these would be about medium in size

15 to 20 Sea Scallops

Two to three fish fillets cut in one inch squares- I use Tilapia because it is a nice white but firm fleshed fish

Two Celery stalks chopped

One medium white onion – diced

Two pounds baby yellow potatoes – quartered

Six cups chicken stock

1/2 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup butter

Cilantro for garnish

Two tablespoons Canola oil or whatever oil you like to use

Three tablespoons Old Bay seasoning – this is a seafood seasoning so if you use a different kind then go for it.

Putting it all together:

In a large stock pot heat the oil and the butter and saute the onions until transparent- about two minutes

Add the flour and whisk until the oil and butter has clumped (that’s one of those fancy culinary terms) together with the flour and onion

Whisk in the chicken broth a little at a time – I say a little at a time because then you can control how thick the broth will be

When you first whisk in the chicken broth it will appear thin but don’t worry it will thicken as it heats

Add in the celery, potatoes and Old Bay and stir until well incorporated

Top with water until the potatoes are just covered – maybe a quarter inch or so

Bring to a boil, cover and then lower the heat to simmer

When the potatoes are just about fork tender add the fish

When the fish is firm add the shrimp and scallops and simmer until they are done (shrimp will be pink and the scallops firm)

Ladle the finished soup into a big bowl and sprinkle with Cilantro

If this flavorful dish does not chase away the gloomies then the only thing I can say is “go back to bed and yank the covers up over your head” because nothing is going to help.

Now you have another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” to add to your culinary repertoire and I sincerely hope you enjoy it

So until next time………..

 

                                                      Bon Appetite