Thursday, October 12, 2017

Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup

I am finishing up my tomatoes from the garden.  This year has been an exceptionally good year.  I have had a great crop of tomatoes.  Usually I can the tomatoes or make sauce out of them.  With this batch of tomatoes, I decided to make some garden fresh Tomato soup. 

This is an easy and delicious recipe from Ina Garten.   I modified it slightly using less chicken broth.   We like our soup thick.  If you perfect thinner soup add more chicken broth or cream. Also, I peeled, seeded, and chopped my tomatoes before I cooked them in the broth.  I did not used a food mill as suggested in the recipe.  I pureed my soup using an immersion blender.

I served my soup with a Grilled Cheese sandwich.  This made a delicious and satisfying dinner.  


Creamy Fresh Tomato Soup
From Ina Garten adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (5 large)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
Fresh basil leaves

Directions:
1. In large saucepan, heat 3 quarts water to boiling. With sharp knife, cut shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Add to boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time, for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from boiling water; immediately plunge into ice water until cold. Drain. Peel and chop tomatoes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
3. Puree the soup using an Immersion Blender.  If you are using a standard blender let the soup cool and process in batches.  You may want to remove  the cap a little from the top of the blender to let out steam if necessary.
4. Add the cream to the soup  and  reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Another great meal prepared in my Instant Pot - Honey Sesame Chicken.  Tender bites of chicken cooked in a flavorful sauce served over cooked rice and sprinkled with  toasted sesame seeds.  A very satisfying meal which cooks in 3 minutes and takes only 20 minutes from beginning to table.

To begin cook the chicken in the Instant Pot on the saute setting for about 3 minutes.  Next add some soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pot.  Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.  When the chicken is done you add the sesame oil and honey to the pot.  Add some cornstarch and water to the pot and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Note:  The recipe calls for chopped green onions which I omitted - the family isn't a fan of green onions.


Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
From Pressure Cooking Today

Ingredients:
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (about 2 lbs.)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 green onions, chopped
Sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

1. Salt and pepper chicken. Preheat pressure cooking pot using the saute setting. Add oil, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot and saute stirring occasionally until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes to the pressure cooking pot and stir to combine. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. When timer beeps, turn pressure cooker off and do a quick pressure release.
3. Add sesame oil and honey to the pot and stir to combine. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water and add to the pot. Select Saute and simmer until sauce thickens. Stir in green onions.
Serve over rice sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Serves 6

  

Friday, September 29, 2017

One-Pan Noodle Bowls

This is not your ordinary Ramen Noodle Bowl.  It is a bowl of steaming noodles that are tossed with seasoned chicken and veggies.  By far the best Ramen Noodle Bowl I have ever eaten.  And this meal is so easy to make and  is very versatile. The original recipe called for pork which I did not have so I substituted chicken.  You could also use beef, tofu, or shrimp.  Whatever you choose your family or friends will be having a delicious dinner.


One-Pan Noodle Bowls
From Cook's Country Magazine

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
12 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breasts (pork tenderloin in original recipe) cut into bite-size pieces
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, seasoning packages reserved for another use
12 ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 scallions, sliced thin on bias

1. Whisk 1 tablespoon hoisin, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and cornstarch together in bowl.  Add chicken (pork) and toss to coat; set aside.  Whisk broth, remaining 3 tablespoons hoisin, and remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce together in second bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add broth mixture and bring to boil.  Arrange noodles in skillet in single layer; cover and reduce heat to medium.  Cook until noodles have softened on bottoms (tops will still be dry), about 3 minutes.
4. Uncover skillet and using tongs, flip noodles and stir to separate.  Spread noodles in even layer and scatter broccoli over top.  Cover and cook until noodles and broccoli are tender, about 3 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking.  Divide noodle mixture evenly among individual bowls; tent will aluminum foil.
5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.  Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add chicken (pork) in single layer breaking up any clumps and cook without stirring until browned on bottom, about 1 minute.  Stir and continue to cook until chicken (pork) is not longer pink.  Divide the chicken (pork) among the bowls.  Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Makes 4 servings




Friday, September 15, 2017

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef is one of my favorites to order when I go out. I love the tenderness of the beef and the flavor of the sauce.   I found a tasty slow cooker recipe that recreates this dish beautifully and with little effort.

You start by slicing some flank steak into thin slices and coat it with cornstarch.  In a slow cooker you place some soy sauce, water, brown sugar, carrots, and garlic.  Add the meat, stir, cover and cook for 5 hours on low.  Before serving, stir the beef and serve over rice.  Top with some green onion slices if desired.

You and your family are in for delicious dinner that was so easy to prepare.   Enjoy.









Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
From The Recipe Critic
INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pounds Flank Steak
¼ cups cornstarch
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoons mince Garlic, Cloves
¾ cups Soy Sauce
¾ cups Water
¾ cups Brown Sugar
1 cup grated Carrots
green onions, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut flank steak into thin strips. In a zip lock bag add flank steak pieces and cornstarch. Shake to coat.
2. Add olive oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, water, brown sugar and carrots to slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add coated flank steak and stir again until coated in the sauce.

3. Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender. Can serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Serves 4-6


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

20 Minute One Pan Shrimp and Orzo Dinner

Need something quick and easy for dinner that tastes delicious?  Look no further than this post. This recipe I found on the  Laughing Spatula blog is perfect for those days when you do not want to to spend or have a lot of time to spend on dinner.  This dinner is ready in 20 minutes and the clean up is so easy.  One pan to clean up - a big plus in my mind.

As I mentioned earlier, everything is cooked in one pan.  You start by heating up some oil and butter and adding the onions, garlic and pasta.  Cook until the onions are tender and the pasta is slightly golden.  Next stir in the chicken broth, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.  Next you add the shrimp and some lemon juice, cover and cook until the shrimp are cooked.  Remove the lid, sprinkle with  some Parmesan cheese and serve. 

The pasta had a wonderful flavor and the shrimp were tender and flavorful.  The dish had a nice refreshing flavor from the lemon juice.  This meal was a family favorite. It is  in my file of recipes to make again and again and again.



20 Minute One Pan Shrimp and Orzo Dinner
From Laughing Spatula Modified Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 pound medium shrimp - thawed if frozen
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 fresh lemon cut in half - divided
Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat large skillet on medium high heat.
2. Add butter and olive oil.  Heat until butter is melted.
3. Add onion, garlic and orzo to the skillet.
4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and orzo is slightly toasted.
5. Add chicken broth and parsley flakes.  Stir.
6. Reduce heat to medium.   Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is soft and just a small amount of liquid remains in the pan.
7. Toss in the shrimp and the juice from one of the lemon halves.  Stir.
8.  Cover and cook for an additional  5-6 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
9. Cut the remaining lemon half into slices.  Garnish the Shrimp and Pasta with the lemon slices and grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6



Friday, September 8, 2017

Southwestern Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese.  That all time favorite of sandwiches.  You cannot get much better than a Grilled Cheese sandwich, in my opinion.  You can make the traditional grilled cheese sandwich or you can jazz it up a bit.  That is just what I did with this delicious Southwestern Grilled Cheese.  I started with the traditional grilled cheese  added some green chile - a New Mexico favorite and slipped in a fried egg.   Life doesn't get any better.  Every bite was simply delicious.



Southwestern Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
2 slices sandwich bread
Butter
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 roasted green chile - peeled
1 fried egg

Directions:
1. Spread butter on one side of both slices of bread.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
3. Place one slice of bread in the skillet buttered side down.  Place a slice of cheese on the slice of bread, followed  by the fried egg, green chile, another slice of cheese.  Top with the other slice of bread buttered side up.
4. Cook until the bread is a golden brown in color.  Turn the sandwich and grill the other side until golden brown.   Serve.

Serves 1




Monday, August 28, 2017

Blistered Shishito Peppers

I went to one of my favorite Growers Market and bought some Shishito Peppers this past weekend.  I love these delicious little peppers.  Not spicy but they have a little sweetness to them.  They are so easy to prepare and taste fantastic. I usually toss them with some oil and salt, cook them in a frying pan.  When they are done I sprinkle them with some more salt.  I cook them until they are slightly charred and then serve  immediately.  Pick them up by the stem and enjoy.  Everything on the pepper is edible except the stem.


Blistered Shishito Peppers
Ingredients:

1 pound Shishito Peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
Sea Salt

Directions:
1. Wash and pat dry Shishito Peppers.  Place in a large bowl and set aside  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
2. Toss the Shishito Peppers with the oil.   Sprinkle with salt and toss.  When the skillet is hot place the peppers in the skillet.





3. Cook the peppers until lightly charred tossing frequently.  Once peppers are cooked remove from heat.  Sprinkle with a little more salt - if desired and serve.