Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Okay, this recipe is normally very fattening, and if you'd like to make it the original way, I will post how much butter and cream you need to use. When I make this reduced in calories, my family can't tell a difference. I thought it tasted the same as well. It was really nice in texture and the flavour was the same as always. This soup is fantastic on a cold night when you want something warm and comforting. When I was a child, I hated tomato soup from the cans and I swore to never eat it again, but my family was begging me to make a tomato bisque. So, I reluctantly made it and I was astonished with the difference from homemade to canned crap. I love this soup and I would hope that you guys would try it too. :)

* 4 tablespoons Brummel & Brown or real butter
* 3 slice bacon, finely chopped
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 litre chicken broth
* 28 ounces tomato sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I grew my own and sometimes I use fresh, if you use fresh throw in 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
* 2 tablespoons pesto
* 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream, or 1 cup heavy cream
* Kosher salt to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper


Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Place a soup pan over medium heat, add the brummel & brown, or butter. When the soup pan is hot add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Add the thyme and pesto. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

Whisk the evaporated milk and heavy cream, or just all heavy cream into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately with bacon on top of the soup.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gypsy Chicken

Okay, so this is a Spanish dish that my sister's husband's grandmother gave to me... When I say Spanish, I mean Spanish. From Spain. Not Mexico. So, anyhoo... This is a great recipe. You just throw everything in a pot and let it cook for a couple hours, and then serve it with some cooked rice. Please don't snub your nose at this when you see that it has raisins and green olives. It's actually really good. I didn't think it sounded good until I actually tasted it, and it's an amazing dish.

Serves 6

You will want to cook this dutch style (in a large pot with a tight fitting lid).

Combine together into large pot:

2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup green Mediterranean olives
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon oregano
4 large bay leaves
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 pounds chicken legs or chicken breast, whatever part of the chicken you prefer

Bring to a boil for 2 - 3 minutes, stir, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for at least 2 hours. You can stir occasionally throughout the cooking period. Serve over white or brown rice.

*NOTE: I usually simmer this for about 3 hours. The longer you let it simmer the better the sauce tastes.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Kahlua Cake

I love making this cake because it's so light and airy, but extremely rich and chocolaty. The cajeta sauce is amazing as well. I hope you all like it!

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


* 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
* 7 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 ounces coffee liqueur (recommended: Kahlua -- I've used hazelnut coffee liqueur before and it turned out really nice)
* Whites from 5 eggs
* 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
* Cajeta, recipe follows


* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup sugar
* Approximately 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch round pie pan. Line pan with greased parchment or waxed paper. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. Whip the egg yolks and the sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Fold butter and chocolate mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, adding the coffee liqueur. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the pie pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes then allow to cool completely.

Cover cake and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cajeta: In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, do not stir. Remove from heat when the sugar is amber in color and add enough cream to thin the caramel to a fairly liquid consistency. Stir in butter. To test consistency, dip a spoon into the caramel mixture and allow to cool. If the "cajeta" is gooey but holds its shape, it's ready; if it hardens too much, add a little more cream and test again.

Drizzle warm cajeta over individual slices of cake and sprinkle each slice with 1 - 2 tbsp toasted almonds.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mongolian Pork with Vegetables and Rice

I found this recipe on the net, but the only thing I used was the sauce recipe for the pork... The vegetables and the method of cooking is all my own. I tasted the sauce before it was cooked and it didn't taste very good, and I was starting to wonder if it was going to ruin my pork chops, but fear not... This recipe, if cooked the way I am telling you, will turn out beautifully. I have some left overs for lunch and thank God for that because this stuff is wicked good.

Makes 8 servings

18 oz. raw pork chops on the bone, trimmed of all fat
8 cups cooked jasmine rice to serve

Mongolian Marinade:

* 1 cup hoisin sauce
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (if you use reduced sodium, I cannot guarantee that they will turn out good)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 teaspoon any brand hot sauce sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons lee kum kee black bean chili sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed ginger (I bought the ginger in a jar that is like a paste)
* 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper


* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
* 2 zucchini's
* 1/2 an onion
* 1 red bell pepper
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1 yellow bell pepper
* 1/2 cup of reserved marinade set aside

Trim the excess meat and fat away from the ends of the chop bones, leaving them exposed. Put the pork chops in a clean plastic bag and lightly sprinkle with water to prevent the meat from tearing when pounded. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet or heavy object like a bottle of wine or a marble rolling pin, pound the meat down to an even 1 inch thickness, being careful not to hit bones. Alternatively, have your butcher cut thinner chops and serve 2 per serving. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Take out 1/2 cup marinade and set aside for later. Coat the pork chops liberally with the rest of the marinade and marinate for 1 hour.

Place the pork chops and the marinade the chops were in into a slow cooker on high. Cook for 3 1/2 hours, then take the pork chops out and remove the bone and any gristle and cut each chop into strips and cook for an additional 1 hour.

Turn the slow cooker off, and let the chops and sauce sit while you make the stir fry.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium high. Add the vegetables and salt and stir frequently until the vegetables are no longer crunchy, but still have a crispness to them.

Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat and coat the vegetables with the 1/2 cup of reserved marinade and let them stand for a few minutes.

Cook the rice about 20 minutes before the vegetables then remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
Powered by Blogger