Wednesday, April 30, 2014

White Chili

I love this Chili.  It is the best chili ever.  Each spoonful is delicious and loaded with beans, chicken, green chili, spices, in a delicious thick broth.  The broth is flavored with chopped onions, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and white pepper.  I add a big handful of Mexican cheese to my chili, but others prefer some sour cream, chopped onions, along with the cheese.  To make a this bowl of chili complete, I serve it with a warm flour tortilla.  Now this is what I call a good and satisfying  dinner.

This chili takes a while to cook so start early.  It is well worth the time it takes to cook it.  Most of the cooking time is spent  cooking the beans - about 3 hours.  Once the beans are cooked the remaining time is about one hour.  

White Chili

1 pound dried Great Northern Beans
6 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped (divided)
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green  chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
White Pepper
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Flour Tortillas, warmed
Cilantro, garnish
Diced onions, garnish
Sour Cream, garnish


1. Combine the beans, chicken broth, garlic, and half of the  chopped onions in a Dutch Oven and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are very soft - 3 hours or more.
2. In a skillet heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until soft.  Add  the green chilies, cumin, Mexican oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper and mix well.  Add the onion mixture to the beans.  Add the chicken and half of the jalapeno pepper unless you like your chili hot then add then add all of the pepper.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
3. Check seasonings and add remaining jalapeno pepper - if needed, salt and white pepper.  Cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls and top with the shredded Mexican cheese.  Garnish with cilantro, diced onions, and/or sour cream.  Serve with a warmed flour tortilla

Makes 8 servings

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Beef Kebabs

The weather has finally cooperated with me to do some outdoor grilling.  I have been marinating some beef in my fridge for a couple of days.  No matter - it will taste delicious.  I love making kebabs because they are easy to do, you can customize them for family members, they are quick, and relatively budget friendly.

I start by marinating some beef sirloin in a marinade that has some garlic,  paprika, turmeric, cumin, salt,  pepper, vinegar, and olive oil.   This marinade recipe is from Alton Brown.  Usually, I marinate the meat for about 4 hours.  However, longer doesn't hurt.  After the meat has marinated, I thread the meat on some metal skewers with a variety of  veggies - bell pepper, some pearl onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, or just meat on the skewer.  Some family members are not that fond of veggies.  I leave space between the the pieces of meat and veggies so everything cooks.

The grill is preheated to medium-high heat.   I place the skewers on the grill, and cook about 3 minutes on each side for a total of about 9-12 minutes total cooking time.  Remove from heat and serve.

Dinner is ready.  I usually serve the Kebabs on a bed of Jasmine rice. Delicious, quick and easy.

Beef Kebabs
From Alton Brown (Marinade)
Special Equipment: 6 Metal Skewers

1.5 to 2 pound boneless beef sirloin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Pearl Onions
Bell pepper
Cherry Tomatoes

1. Cut the beef into 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch cubes and place into a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor combine the garlic, paprika, turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.  With the processor running drizzle in the olive oil.
3. Pour the marinade over the meat and toss to coat.  Place in the refrigerator in an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag and allow to marinate for 2 to 4 hours or longer.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.  Thread the meat and veggies of your choice onto the skewers leaving about 1/2-inch in between the pieces of meat and veggies.  Place on the grill and cook, with lid lowered about 3 minutes per side, 9-12 minutes total cooking time.
5.  Remove Kebabs from grill and let rest 3 minutes.  Serve.

Makes 6 servings

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Strawberry Cucumber Refresher

The weather is turning warmer theses days.  It is getting to the place where a nice cool drink is required. Today, I made a blender full of a delicious beverage that uses fresh strawberries, half of an English cucumber, sugar to taste, ice, and some Red Zinger Tea.  This beverage hit the spot while I was working in the garden.  So good, cool, and refreshing.

To begin making this beverage brew your tea and let it cool.  Once the tea has cooled, hull and quarter some fresh strawberries until you have 2 cups.  Next peel half of an English cucumber and cut into chunks. Place the tea, strawberries, and cucumber chunks into a blender.  Add some sugar  and 2 cups of ice.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

Serve immediately.

Strawberry Cucumber Refresher


2 Red Zinger tea bags
2 cups boiling water
2 cups quartered fresh strawberries that have been hulled
1/2 of an English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon sugar - more to taste if necessary
2 cups ice cubes


1. Brew tea and let cool.  Remove tea bags before putting tea in the blender.
2. Put the all of the ingredients in the order listed in a blender and  blend until smooth.
3. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.  Serve Immediately.

Makes 6 cups

Friday, April 18, 2014

Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snaps, and Garlic En Papillote

This week our assignment in French Fridays with Dorie was veggies cooked in foil packets.  My eldest son would refer to this as a foil meal - Boy Scouts.  Anyway back to these wonderful veggies.  As the recipe title states baby bok choy, sugar snap  peas, garlic and some baby onions are tossed with some olive oil,  orange zest,  seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked en papillote for  15 minutes.    I omitted the mint sprigs - the family isn't that fond of mint on their veggies.

The result:  A delicious packet of veggies that are cooked to perfection and extremely delicious.   I love the way Dorie can make vegetables taste wonderful with just a few simple ingredients.  You can serve the veggies in their packet or serve them in a shallow bowl.  

This recipe can be found on page 348 in "Around My French Table."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries
Asparagus are a family favorite.  I am always looking for new ways to prepare this delicious vegetable. The other day, I saw on my Facebook page a recipe for Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries.  They looked delicious and sounded delicious.  The picture was mouth watering.

I ran out to the store and picked out a fresh pound of asparagus and began making this veggie dish.  They are really very simple to make.   You begin by trimming the asparagus.  You then dredge the asparagus spears in flour, dip them in eggs, and then into some Panko breadcrumbs that have Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  You place the asparagus on a wire rack placed in a baking sheet and bake  about 7-13 minutes in a 425 F degree oven.

The result:  Wonderful asparagus spears that are tender, crunchy, and extremely flavorful.  The family loved these.  Another  great asparagus recipe to be made again and again.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries
From a Facebook Post

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
2. Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F degree oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Brisket

Weekend Brisket
My family loves a good brisket.  They are so easy to prepare and the taste is delicious.  If there are any leftovers you can use them for tacos, sandwiches, etc.   Usually, I marinate my brisket over night.  However, I ran across this tasty recipe in Southern Living magazine that requires no overnight marinating.  The brisket is just as tender with the "rub" you put on an hour before cooking the brisket.
Another plus of this recipe is a delicious horseradish cream sauce that is served with the brisket.  Usually I just serve brisket with BBQ sauce but the family really enjoyed the horseradish sauce.  It was slightly spicy but not overwhelming and had a nice creamy texture.

As I said earlier, a nice "rub" is put on the brisket before cooking.  The "rub" consists of garlic, salt, pepper, molasses, yellow mustard, and ground red pepper.  You place the rub on the brisket and let it rest for 1 hour.  The brisket is then placed in a Dutch oven, smothered in onions, garlic, and beef broth.  Cook at 250 degrees F for about 4-5 hours.   Slice the brisket and serve with the Horseradish Cream Sauce.

Your family, friends, are in for a real treat.  This is a tasty main dish that is easy to prepare and requires little preparation time.    It is also great for feeding a crowd and having delicious left overs.   Enjoy:)

Weekend Brisket
From Southern Living Magazine


2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons light molasses, honey, or sorghum
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (4- to 5-lb.) brisket flat, trimmed
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup beef broth
Horseradish Cream - recipe follows

1. Stir together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub on brisket, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 250°. Cook onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Add 6 garlic cloves, and sauté 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and add beef broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Place brisket in Dutch oven, fat side up. Spoon onion mixture over brisket.
3. Bake, covered, at 250° for 4 to 5 hours or until fork-tender. Let stand 30 minutes. Thinly slice brisket across the grain. Serve with Horseradish Cream.

Horseradish Cream


1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
Salt to taste


Stir together sour cream, horseradish, minced garlic, and, if desired, pickled jalapeño pepper in a small bowl. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate up to 1 week.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quiche Maraichere

Quiche Maraichere
Today our assignment in French Friday's With Dorie  was quiche.   I love quiche.  This quiche is different than what I am used to.  My experience with quiche has been more custard than veggies, meat,  and cheese.  This quiche is the opposite -  much more veggies than custard.  The cheese is a scant 2/3 cup.  I am used to putting at least a cup and a half - I love my cheese.

Veggies in Crust

As I mentioned earlier - this quiche is loaded with veggies - leeks, carrots,  a red bell pepper,
and celery.  The veggies are cooked in some butter before they are put in a partially baked tart shell.  The custard is made with an egg, egg yolk, and cream.  The custard  is poured over the vegetable mixture.  Bake the quiche for   about 20 minutes than sprinkle the cheese on top.  Bake for about another 5 to ten minutes.  Cool till the quiche is warm and serve.

Custard Poured Over Veggies

I enjoyed this quiche.  The family was not impressed.  Oh well, I will be enjoying this for my lunch during the week.

This recipe can be found on page 158 in "Around My French Table."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon Garlic-Green Beans

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon Garlic-Green Beans

I love one dish dinners.  You get your veggies and meat or poultry in one dish preparation.    The flavors of the veggies and meat/ poultry blend together nicely when prepared in the same dish.    The clean up is minimal which is another plus.

For today's post, I made a delicious Lemon Garlic chicken with green beans and potatoes.  The green beans are placed on a bed of lemon slices after they have been tossed with some Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.  The quartered potatoes are tossed in the same dressing and placed along the sides of the baking dish.  The chicken is then coated with the same dressing and placed on top of he green beans.  Any olive-oil mixture that is left is poured over the chicken.

As this dish is baking the aroma is wonderful.  Lemon and garlic permeate the house.  This dish tastes as good as it smells.  I could not believe the wonderful flavor the chicken, potatoes and green beans had.  Especially the green beans - they were fantastic.   This dish cooks up in about 1 hours with preparation time about 15 minutes.  It is perfect for those nights when you need something easy and quick to throw together for dinner.

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
From Real Simple

6  tablespoons  olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3/4  pound  trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India

Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India
Our assignment for "French Fridays With Dorie" was making the delicious Vegetable Barley Soup With The Taste of Little India.  I am glad I finally got around to making this soup.  It was simply and delicious.  I was also introduced to the wonderful flavor of Garam Masala.  A blend of cardamom, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and other somewhat sweet spices.

Carrots, onions, a parsnip, garlic and fresh ginger are cooked in some olive oil.  They are then sprinkled with salt, pepper, turmeric, Garam masala, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 15 minutes and then add some broth.  You bring the soup to a boil and add some barley.  The soup is simmered until the barley is cooked.  Taste the soup and re season if necessary.

I made this soup for dinner and it was enjoyed by everyone.  The barley and the veggies soaked up the flavoring of the spices and they were delicious.  I will definitely be making this soup again.

This recipe can be found on page 89 in "Around My French Table."