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

 

Shrimp with Sundried Tomato and Basil Risotto

Shrimp and Risotto

Shrimp with Sundried Tomato and Basil Risotto

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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As my favourite celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, says “cooking aint rocket science” and this recipe is a perfect example of that philosophy.

Now this one is a little bit more difficult than the ones I normally showcase but that is because Risotto can be finicky and a little hard to make but don’t shy away because of that. Give it a whack and see….. you just might surprise yourself.

Cooks note: Use warmed stock so as not to retard the cooking process and cost yourself time.

Here’s how we do this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag 31-40 Shrimp tail removed
  • 5 cups Salt Reduced Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 medium diced White Onion
  • 3 ounces chopped re-hydrated Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 fine chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Pea Shoots for garnish (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot heat the chicken stock and let simmer on very low heat.
  2. In a large sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium and add the onion. Cook for about two minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add in the Arborio rice and mix until well coated.
  5. Add the sun dried tomatoes and mix well.
  6. Ladle in some warm chicken stock and stir until fully incorporated.
  7. Continue adding stock until all has been used.
  8. In a separate pan heat the garlic butter and add the shrimp cooking until just pink.
  9. Mix the Parmesan into the Risotto.
  10. Plate the Risotto and add the Shrimp. Top with the peas shoots and enjoy.

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

Until the next time…….

                                        Bon Appetit

Spanish Pork Stew with Potatoes

Spanish Pork Stew With Potatoes

Spanish Pork Stew with Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Sometime ago I bought a half boneless Pork Loin and broke it down for various dinners. One of the things I did was to cube some of it, season it Spanish style and then vacuum seal for later use. Well today became “later use” and this is an awesome one pot dish that is sure to please everyone.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 pounds Pork Loin – cubed.
  • 8 ounces Sweet Chorizo – cubed
  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1 medium Red Onion – diced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – rough chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes – drained
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Sliced Pimento
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Onion
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • chopped Parsley for garnish – optional

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl place the pork and mix in the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic and onion and mix well. Cover and refrigerate. overnight if possible, 30 mins minimum.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°.
  3. In a large dutch oven heat half the Canola Oil and brown half the pork removing to a separate bowl when done. Repeat with the other half of the pork.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of the chicken stock into the dutch oven and scrape up the brown bits (Sucs). Add the onion and garlic and let cook for about 5 mins. Add the butter and when melted add the flour and mix well.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn off the heat, cover and put in the oven for 90 mins. Remove the Bay leaves.
  7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with Parsley and serve with crusty bread.
  8. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……..

                          Bon Appetit 

 

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Looking out the window today and seeing the snow swirling about got me thinking of exotic climates where the only thing swirling around is the ice in my glass. Now, as with most of you, I doubt I will ever make it to some of these places so I will settle for visiting them through their food.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Red Onions quartered and sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 sweet Green Peppers rough chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped Green Olives
  • 12 ounces cooked Orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cayenne powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish.

Putting it all together:

  1. In a bag toss the flour and chicken until coated
  2. Heat the oil in a non stick skillet and sear the chicken until browned on both sides. About 6 minutes and transfer to a plate.
  3. Cook the onion in the skillet for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and ginger; cook 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt. Add the chicken; simmer covered, 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in peppers, raisins, olives and chickpeas: simmer, stirring, 15 minutes, until peppers are tender and the chicken is no longer pink near the bone.
  6. Serve over Orzo.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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“Arroz Con Pollo” is simply the Cuban version of Chicken and Rice but it is the ingredients that sets it apart from the day to day version. Additions like Safron, Cumin and Olives bring out the “exotic” flavours that make this dish work and that makes it something you want to make again and again.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 4 Chicken thighs and 2 Chicken legs
  • 2 cups Rice
  • 2 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil for frying
  • 1 large yellow Onion – chopped
  • 1 large Red Pepper – chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup stuffed Green Olives
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron or Tumeric
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven or frying pan with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan
  3. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the chicken fat and cook until the onion is translucent
  4. Add the remaining ingredients except the Olives and Peas and mix well. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.
  5. In the last 5 minutes add the peas and mix. When the rice and chicken are done top with the olives and serve.

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

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Brunswick Stew

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Brunswick Stew

  • Servings: 12 -14
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Stews, soups and casseroles are all “yucky weather” type dishes because they warm you up from the inside out and allow you to thumb yer nose at the cold, wet and otherwise cruddy stuff going on outside the window.

I like the traditional soups and stews….. butternut squash, potato and leek soups  along with chicken and beef stews….. but I like to try different types of stews as well and so I decided to try this one which if we went traditional would mean using things like rabbit and squirrel and since I can’t use rabbit (I would be shot if I did) and I would never use “tree rat” (that’s squirrel kids) I opted for pork and chicken as the protein.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Pork shoulder – cubed
  • 2 pounds Chicken thighs – cubed
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Butter
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 large White Onion – diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Baby potatoes – quartered
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 19 ounce can Diced tomatoes (liquid as well)
  • 3 cups frozen Corn kernels
  • 3 cups cut Green Beans
  • 3 teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Smokey BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or Stock pot and brown the pork and chicken removing to a large bowl when done.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pot and saute the onions and garlic for about five minutes. Add in the flour and whisk well.
  3. Pour in the Worcestershire, chicken stock, yellow mustard and BBQ sauce and stir well.
  4. Add back the meat and the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the meat and potatoes are tender, about 50 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasonings if needed
  7. Ladle into a bowl and serve with some crusty bread for sopping up the juice.

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

Until next time…..

                          Bon Appetit

Taco Pie

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Taco Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I had recently purchased a couple of frozen pie shells because I was too lazy to make them from scratch and after using one for a pie I was kind of stuck on what to do with the other since I really didn’t want it taking up freezer space indefinitely.

I’m not entirely certain where the brainstorm for this one came from but it works and it is really good plus I got to use some of the remaining hot peppers from my garden.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound ground Pork
  • 1 pound ground Beef
  • 1 nine inch frozen Pie crust
  • 1 1/2 Green Habaneros – finely chopped
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 medium Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 medium Red pepper – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Chopped Green Onion for garnish
  • Diced Tomato for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and bake the pie crust for approximately 15 minutes
  2. In a large pan brown the pork and the beef, drain the grease setting the meat aside.
  3. In the same pan saute the yellow onion, red and yellow peppers for about four minutes
  4. Add back in the browned meat, hot peppers, seasonings and chicken stock, stirring well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Cover with the cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. About another 4 minutes
  6. Top with the green onions, tomatoes and sour cream and enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit

 

 

Caldo Verde

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Caldo Verde

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Was in a doctor’s office yesterday and, with time to kill, I started flipping through a magazine when I came across a recipe for Caldo Verde or “Portuguese Green Soup”. What immediately caught my eye with this one is two of my favourite ingredients….. Chorizo sausage and Navy beans and so I knew I just had to make it.

Traditional Caldo Verde, from what I have managed to find out, contains ( amongst other things) Kale and Potatoes but seeing how I didn’t have Kale and didn’t really feel like peeling potatoes I left them out and substituted Savoy cabbage for the Kale. In addition I strayed a little bit more from the recipe I found by adding a bit of spice in the form of a Poblano pepper and some Cajun seasoning. The addition of the Cajun seasoning and the Poblano pepper makes this a perfect “I feel awful from a cold” type of soup since it provides a warm and comfy feeling and the spices help clear your sinuses.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Chorizo sausages cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Navy beans – washed and rinsed
  • 1 medium Poblano pepper – seeded and diced
  • 1 medium yellow Onion – diced
  • 1/2 head of a small Savoy cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 cups low sodium Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • Olive baguette (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the Navy beans in a large non reactive bowl, cover with water and set aside for about 2 hours
  2. When the beans have softened place the Olive oil and Chorizo in a large pot or Dutch oven and brown on medium high heat – about 5 to 8 minutes
  3. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, Poblano pepper and garlic to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes
  5. Add in the chicken stock, Navy beans and the remainder of the seasonings and simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Add back the Chorizo and mix well
  7. Mix in the cabbage and continue simmering for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened
  8. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy

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

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

Chicken and Orzo stew

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Chicken and Orzo stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe came about as a result of my daughter and grandson getting sick and asking “daddy/pops” to make something comfy cozy to eat so I went looking and found the base for this recipe at Chicken Farmers of Canada.

Now for those that don’t know me a request of “make me something comfy cozy”will not result in a batch of chicken soup even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with chicken soup. It’s just that I like to come up with tasty alternatives and this one fits that category to a “T” and both my “patients” loved it.

Here then is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Medium sized boneless skinless chicken breast– cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Vidalia onion— diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 14 fl oz (415 mL) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 4 cups (1 L) reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup of rough chopped Crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Orzo
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) kosher salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of Tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coriander
  • freshly chopped parsley, for serving

Continue reading “Chicken and Orzo stew”

Lemon and Herb Risotto Cake

  • Servings: ”4″
  • Difficulty: ”medium”
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Lemon and Herb Risotto cake

 

Risotto….. Just the name alone conjures up images of silky, smooth and creamy Arborio Rice as the backdrop to a fabulous and decadent main dish and I mean seriously who does not like Risotto…… except for my daughter who says that “rice should not be creamy”. Oh well you can’t have everything.

This particular recipe comes to us from a book that quite frankly I had forgotten that I even had…… did I mention that I have somewhere round 80 cookbooks?…… and it is dedicated to nothing but RISOTTO and it contains 75 different variations of this wonderful dish.

Now I have to admit that the thought of making a Risotto cake never entered my mind…. a main dish or even Arancini most certainly…. but never a cake and as such I have not made this one nor have I ever tried it but I am sure it will be a monstrous hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 Small Leek – finely sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or other Risotto rice
  • Grated rind of one Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp snipped fresh Chives
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 3/4 cup grated Mozzarella
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and lightly oil a 8 1/2 inch round cake pan
  2. Put the leek in a large pan with 3 Tbsp of stock.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened. Stir in the rice and the remaining stock
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes
  5. Stir in the lemon rind, herbs, cheese and seasoning.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes then turn out and slice.

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

Until next time………..

                          Bon Appetit