Monthly Archives: March, 2016

Fish Chowder

A favourite comfort food for many people is a hearty soup or chowder. These come in many forms.  Some chowders are rich and creamy, some simple and filled with vegetables. Often what encourages cooks to include fish chowder is how simple it is to prepare and how convenient the components will be. It is agreed that including fish in your meal plans on a regular basis is a healthy choice. Here’s one that is quick and easy to try and you can adapt this chowder recipe to your taste and to how healthy you would like it to be.

 Ingredients:

1 tbs oil (can be any kind of oil- olive, vegetable, canola)

1 onion, chopped. This can be done ahead if you know you’ll be in a hurry.

3 potatoes, diced. If you wash them and leave the peel on, you’ll be adding fibre- your call. Any kind of potato will be okay, but perhaps you can experiment a bit to find your favourite.

2 cups water

1 pound of fresh or frozen fish fillets, cut into bite-size pieces. Here you have lots of choice. It can be done with one kind of fish only (salmon, haddock, or sole, for example), or with a mixture. If you feel daring, you might throw in a few shrimp for variety.

2 cups 2% milk. Here again you will choose how healthy you would like it to be. Some cooks will choose skim milk, others find even 2% not rich enough. So be experimental and see what you like.

1 cup corn kernels. This can be from a can or frozen.

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley. It’s best to have fresh. If you don’t, then use parsley from your spice rack.

¼ tsp of salt (optional) and pepper. If you’re consciously avoiding salt, use a salt substitute and you will probably be fine. Keep in mind that ¼ tsp is not very much. If you like pepper in your chowders, then freshly ground is what you might choose.

 Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add onion and cook for about five minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and water. Cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add fish. If fresh, about 2 – 3 minutes should be enough. If frozen, cook for about ten minutes. Stir in milk and corn. Add parsley and seasonings.  Makes four servings.

This chowder is delightful served with warm whole wheat bread and a fresh salad, perhaps one with spinach, apple, and pecans. Any garden salad would work well with this dish. A glass of white wine is a pleasant accessory, and light up the candles. Although this recipe is quick and easy, it’s all about the ambiance. Enjoy.

Gluten Free Potato Soup

Gluten-free Potato Soup

Homemade soups are an excellent comfort for those chilly days. This recipe for gluten-free potato soup is very easy to make. It is delicious served with gluten-free croutons. Leftovers from this soup are even better the day after because all the flavors and seasonings have set in to give it a very rich and creamy taste. This soup is very warming, it is great for serving any time of the year. It is a very light soup that will also serve great with a green salad. It is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. Be creative and add different vegetables to your potato soup such as leeks or broccoli. Some people may even prefer to add meat such as poultry for that added extra flavor. Homemade soup is much more healthy and doesn’t have the canned taste. This is a great meal for the whole family to enjoy.

Most gluten-free recipes are complicated and long. This recipe is very simple and does not take a lot of time in preparation. The results are beautiful. A really healthy soup that is packed with vitamins and minerals and has an excellent source of potassium.  This soup is easy to freeze and serve at a later date. To make a thicker soup you may add 2 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour mix which can easily be purchased at Wal-Mart grocery. This mix is wonderful for making most recipes that are gluten-free. It is a great mix to have on hand for those who do a lot of gluten-free cooking and it is really inexpensive.

Ingredients:

3 cups of potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 cups of chicken broth

water

1/2 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of dried parsley

Directions:

1. In a large pot, combine the diced potatoes, carrots, and celery. Add the chicken broth and just enough water to cover the vegetables.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Cook the vegetables until very tender. Pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the milk, garlic, and salt and stir well.

3. Blend for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the pot and heat well. Serve warm or hot sprinkled with parsley and enjoy!

Soups Stews

Beefy Beer And Tomato Cheese Soup

You don’t have to be a Pittsburgh steel worker to love this hearty meal in bowl. Although it takes a little extra effort to make, this soup is so delicious that everyone is going to ask you for this recipe.

Let’s go step by step and gather what we’ll need:

One 3 lb. rump roast
4 cans or bottles of beer (Your best bet is a medium dark beer such as Sam Adams Boston Lager, but any lager will do, so long as it’s not some cheap off brand.)
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 onion sliced not diced

Place the roast in an 8 or 12 quart pot, pour in the beer and add the rest of the ingredients.
Cover, bring to a boil, then let it simmer on low for three hours, turning the meat twice during cooking.

As the meat is simmering, cut up two red potatoes into small squares and put in pot.
Add one 12 or 16 oz. bag of baby carrots.

When the meat has cooked for three hours, remove from pot to a carving plate and let sit for 5 minutes. Leave the soup itself to simmer while you do this and the following step. When five minutes has passed, cut and pull the meat into bite sized pieces, trying not to eat too much of it as you do so. It will be difficult not to, but remember, we need it for the soup! When done cutting, place it back in the pot.

Take one can diced tomatoes and mix it into the soup.

Finally, cut into small cubes, 3/4 lb. Velveeta cheese, and slowly add to the soup, stirring until the cheese completely melts. It should be fairly thick and creamy, if not, add the other 1/4 lb. of cheese.

Taste the soup. If it doesn’t make your knees weak, then adjust the seasonings to your taste before serving. Some add in suggestions would be 1/4 cup sugar, (it gives it a sweet and sour flavor), salt, (I hate cooking with salt) 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/2 cup sour cream, a palmful of chives, or anything you think you might like. That’s the great thing about soups. You can play around with the ingredients until it tastes right to you.

Serve with a side salad and pumpernickel bread (Or any bread) and crackers. You can actually serve a nice red wine, preferably a Burgundy, with this soup, due to the meaty and cheesy flavors blending nicely with the fruity flavor of the wine.

Hopefully you’ll like this concoction, I know my family does, and like I said, experiment a little to suit your family’s tastes. Enjoy.

Etouffee Recipe

Etouffee is a dish used by Cajun and Creole cooks that is both easy to make and sure to bring everyone back for more. Typically made with crawfish, it can also be made with any other shellfish or white meat to achieve a very similar flavor if you do not happen to have access to “mud bugs”. Since chicken is cheap, we will use it to add more protein to our etouffee without needing to spend too much on seafood.

Serves 4-6

Preparation and cooking time is about one hour

Utensils

A large sauce pan or wok

A whisk

A large plastic or wooden spoon

A cutting board

A sharp knife

A large serving dish

Ingredients

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup flour

One yellow onion, chopped

One green bell pepper, chopped

One cup of chopped celery

One cup of sliced mushrooms

Either 3 garlic cloves minced finely or two tablespoons of garlic powder (if you hate working with garlic)

One teaspoon of black pepper

One teaspoon of cayenne powder or chili powder

One tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (Zatarain’s or Tony Chachere’s, or your own blend if you prefer)

1/2 cup of chopped green onions

7-8 dashes of Tabaco Sauce if you’re a real Cajun, 2-3 for wanna bes

Salt to taste

One eight ounce can of clam juice

One small can of Ro*tel brand tomatoes with green chilies (not the mild variety…unless you can’t take the heat)

About 15-20 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

One chicken breast, skinless

Chop all of your vegetables into approximately 1/4″ squares. Set them aside.

Warm your pan or wok to low heat. Add the oil and flour, and whisk continuously for 20-30 minutes. You are making a roux here, and the roux is the most important part of this dish, as well as most Cajun and Creole cooking. A roux not cooked long enough will not have enough flavor, but a burnt roux will make the dish unpalatable. You can tell when it is done when it turns a caramel color and it has a strong nutty scent. Everyone around you should be able to smell that you have been cooking, and they should get the craving for pecan pie when you walk in the door.

Pour in all of your vegetables and mushrooms when your roux is finished. Stir slowly until the vegetables have gone limp. It should take about five or six minutes. Add the garlic or garlic powder at this point.

Pour in the Ro*tel tomatoes and clam juice after the vegetables are nice and tender. Add all of the spices at this point. Bring the mix to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, checking the flavor a few minutes before it is done. Add more seasoning as necessary. Slice your chicken into bite-sized chunks while it simmers.

Now throw in your chicken, let it cook for about two minutes before adding the shrimp. Cook for three more minutes and then take the pot off the heat. Burnt shrimp just is not fun. Pour the etouffee into your serving dish. Serve over rice with warm French bread or garlic toast. The powerful flavors and hearty consistency will have everyone at the table wanting seconds, “I guar-awn-tee!”

Hatch Green Chili Stew

Green Chili Stew

This is a recipe that my Sister-In-Law shared with me. She lives in New Mexico, where they have the tastiest Mexican food. The base  of green chilies is used for most of their recipes. In Hatch New Mexico, the best long green chilies are grown and are world famous.

Main ingredients:

1 round steak (tenderized) and cut in small pieces,  two tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves chopped, 2 stalks of celery chopped,1 one-half cup of butter, 3 hatch long green peppers peeled and chopped, 2 cups of beef broth and 1 cup of hot water.

Spices: 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Brown  steak in vegetable oil until the meat is lightly brown, stirring all the while. Add the spices to the meat at this time. This will make a wonderful brown base for the stew. Remove the meat and put into a dish. Scrape the wonderful brown  leavings from the steak. Add the butter and vegetables in the pan where you browned the steak. Saute until the vegetables are translucent, add the green chilies, the beef broth and hot water. You may have to season to taste as the stew cooks. The stew is of stew consistency, not like a soup.

While the stew is cooking, the kitchen will be filled with the most delicious smells. The smells will waft through out your home, calling to your family,”Come and get me.”

This stew is served with hot buttered flour tortillas. My family loves this stew as a main meal. You can also add pinto beans as another dish if you wish. We grew up eating New Mexican food as opposed to the Tex-Mex food that is served in other parts of Texas and New Mexico.

Note: If you are having a large crowd, you can double or triple this recipe. If you do not live in an area where you can not get hatch green chilies You can purchase canned green chilies, sometimes if you are lucky you can purchase the Hatch chilies in a can. In order to peel fresh green chilies, you roast, or grill until the skin is blistered and turns dark black. You put the peppers, while hot into a plastic bag until cool and the the skins will peel off easily. I freeze my peppers after I have peeled them. Sometimes I do not peel the peppers at all, so there is no need to put them into the plastic trash bags, just let them cool and freeze them, peels and all. This provides a supply of peppers for the rest of the year for all of the Mexican recipes I make.

Friendship Souplentils Apricots Raisins Spices

FRIENDSHIP SOUP

A friend, whose mother was from the Lebanon, made this soup for me from a recipe that has been handed down in her family. It’s a spicy lentil soup that is thickened with apricots and golden raisins. It is an unusual mixture but one that’s delicious. This is my version of her soup and eating it brings back lovely memories of all the fun and laughter we shared that day.

Ingredients Serves 6

1 large onion finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and shredded finely
1 tsp ground cumin
tsp ground cinnamon
2 tomatoes, diced
165gr lentils
2 litres of well flavoured vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
90gr ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
50 gr golden raisins
soured cream
a handful of chopped parsley

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and cook until soft but not coloured

.
Now add the ginger, cumin and cinnamon and cook over a low heat for about one minute. You could, of course, substitute the fresh ginger for 1tsp of ground if you prefer.

The tomatoes, lentils and stock go in next, then you need to give everything a good stir and bring it slowly up to the boil.

Season it well, add the chopped apricots and the raisins, now cover the pan and let it simmer for at least thirty minutes or so until the lentils are soft

.
Check the seasoning and leave for a short while to cool a little, then puree the soup in batches placing the pureed soup into a bowl.
Return the now smooth soup to the pan and heat gently, if the soup is too thick it can be thinned down by the addition of a little extra stock or water.

Serve in warmed bowls with a swirl of soured cream if wished and a scattering of chopped parsley.

Enjoy with whatever type of warmed flat bread you like, generally we eat pitta bread with it.

Recipe for Chicken Enchilada Soup

Recipes: spicy chicken enchilada soup

On a cold winter day, there is nothing more delicious than a hot bowl of soup to keep you warm. While there are countless recipes out there for varieties of soup, those who love flavorful spicy dishes and Mexican-inspired foods will really enjoy this hearty spicy chicken enchilada soup.  Best of all, this soup is a healthy and low-carb option for individuals watching their weight. You can adjust the spices if you wish to make a milder or even spicier soup, depending on your personal preference. Consider using a combination of both fresh and canned ingredients for convenience and great flavor.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts (approximately 3-4 pounds total)
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3.5 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1- 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (any variety or flavor)
1 can of low sodium corn
1- 15 ounce can of black beans (any variety)
A quarter of a cup of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (add more or less for spicy flavors)
A quarter of a cup of fresh chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons of cumin spice
1 tablespoon of fresh or dried oregano

Optional additions/garnishes

Green onions
Low fat sour cream (you can replace this with Greek yogurt for more protein)
Low fat cheese
Tortilla chips
A quarter cup of liquid smoke for added flavor and spice

Cooking Directions

Preheat a pot or pan with a lid on your stove top. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. Then, cook onion, red bell pepper and garlic until onions are clear. Add chicken chopped chicken breasts and cook until no longer pink in color. Then, add your chicken broth and all seasonings and spices to the pan. Let simmer for a few minutes. In a separate bowl, combine tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, corn and black beans and mix well. Then, add this mixture to the pot. Let the pot simmer on low to medium heat with a lid on top for twenty to thirty minutes. Stir the soup occasionally to ensure it is properly mixed. If you wish, you can cook the soup longer at a lower heat setting to let the flavors and spice mix together. Once the soup has been cooked to your personal preference, use a soup ladle to spoon the soup into bowls for your meal. Top your soup with your desired garnishes like cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips for a crunch. Consider freezing your leftover soup to enjoy later.

Have you a Recipe for your best Soup ever

I love to make soups, especially in the winter – there is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of hot, steaming home made soup and a big wedge of crusty bread.I like to make my soups substantial so that they are a meal in themselves – that way you get a healthy, nutritious and tasty meal – and usually at a very low price.

My favourite soup is the special winter warmer soup that I make  –  Scotch Broth; this is an old traditional Scottish recipe originating from the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis in Scotland. The Scots now a thing or two about warming you up be it a good tot of whisky, a big bowl of porridge or this wonderful broth.It is worth making a BIG pan of this broth because it tastes even better the next day reheated.
This is the sort of soup that makes your nose run and warms you down to your toes – just the thing to cheer you up on a cold and miserable winter’s day.
The broth is made using an inexpensive cut of lamb, the breast, and you will be surprised just how much meat you will get off this cut, it really is a complete meal in a bowl.

SCOTCH BROTH

I breast of lamb

3 bay leaves

4 pints water

1 large potato, diced

6 carrots, diced

1 swede, diced

3 sticks celery, diced,

1 large onion, chopped

4 tablespoons pearl barley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fresh chopped parsley

In a large stockpot, combine the breast of lamb, bay leaves and the water. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat comes easily off the bones.Leave to cool and skim excess fat off surface of stock.Remove the bay leaves and remove all the meat from bones, die and return it to the stock in the stockpot with the diced vegetables and barley. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 1 hour or until all the vegetables and barley are tender – add more stock or water if needed.

Season to taste and stir in chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

How to Easily Make very Fast and Delicious French Onion Soup Easy Recipe for French Onion Soup

How To Make Really Fast and Really Delicious French Soup

It’s usually an easy choice for me whenever I got out to eat.

I love a tasty bowl of French Onion soup along with a great salad.

However, just one bowl at a restaurant can range in price from $3.50 to $5.00.

That’s why I figured out how to make this great tasting soup at home for a much lower cost. Best of all, it’s easy enough for anyone to do even if you think you can’t cook and it takes very little time to make this tasty version of French Onion soup.

Ingredients needed:
1 32 ounce box of fat-free chicken broth

1 10 1/2 ounce can of French Onion Soup

3 beef bullion cubes
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (or to taste, my family likes black pepper)
1 teaspoon of olive oil (extra virgin is better for your heart)
2 tablespoons of already-brewed coffee (this adds coloring and body, but it has to be already-brewed coffee, not instant)
2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon of low-fat margarine
Loaf of French Bread, small amount of dried garlic powder, small amount of dried oregano, small amount of olive oil.Pack of low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Cooking over higher heat, in large soup or stew pot, pour in chicken broth and can of french onion soup. Stir.
Add beef bullion cubes. Stir until those are dissolved, just a minute or so.
Add salt, pepper, olive oil, coffee, sour cream and margarine to soup. Stir thoroughly. Add cup of water, stir again.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Then remove from heat and let soup sit and simmer for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, cut enough large slices of French bread, counting one large slice of bread per bowl (soup will make enough for about 8 servings, more or less).
Put slices of French bread on baking sheet. Sprinkle a generous amount of olive oil on bread, then sprinkle garlic power and dried oregano on bread. Heat oven to broil and broil in oven. Keep an eye on bread. Once oven heats, it can burn quickly.

Once bread is nicely seasoned and toasted, remove from oven and add a toasted slice of French bread to each bowl.
Dip soup over bread in bowl first, so bread will soak up soup. Keep dipping soup until bowl has almost filled.
Cover top of bread in bowl with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese (if you don’t have mozzarella cheese, any type of shredded cheese will work here).
Put now-prepared bowls of soup one at a time into microwave and heat for 2 minutes, so that cheese will be nicely melted and gooey on top. Serve immediately.

Chick Pea and Tomato Soup

One of the more healthful legumes, the chickpea or garbanzo bean, provides a wealth of nutrition, including fiber, minerals, vitamins AND a complete protein. This latter quality the vegetarian looks for in vain in most other vegetables, making the chickpea one of the more preferred options for health conscious meal preparers.

You can enjoy chickpeas in a variety of ways. Straight out of the can (previously chilled in the refrigerator) the peas make a delicious addition to just about any tossed salad. Alone, the peas do not have a strong flavor, so you can incorporate your favorite dressing without fear of diluting the taste. Mashed to a paste, chickpeas make the foundation for tasty dips to which you can add your favorite spices and other flavorings. For roasted chickpeas, roll a cup of them onto paper towels to dry them, then toss the peas about in a bowl to which you have added a spoon of virgin olive oil and spicy seasonings. Now spread the peas on a baking sheet and place in your oven at baking temperature for about half an hour. Roasted chickpeas make a delightfully crunchy and tasty snack.

The chickpea also makes a great ingredient for soups. Here’s one recipe you might like to experiment with.

CHICKPEA/TOMATO SOUP

Ingredients:
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 cup water
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Turn a large stove burner to medium temperature. Heat the minced garlic for a minute in a large saucepan. Add the tomatoes and heat for another two minutes, stirring the while. Now mix in everything else and let the brew simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve this hearty, healthy and savory broth hot off the stove – along with whole wheat crackers, of course.

To learn more about the chickpea, click here.

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