Monday, November 23, 2009

Ham & Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery (or 1 diced leek)

1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper

1/3 cup frozen corn
3/4 cup diced cooked ham (I used more)
3 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk


1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, red pepper, corn, ham and broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour (have it all pre-measured) with a whisk, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.

3. Slowly stir in milk. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mexican Rice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. (mine never puffs) While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.
Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

November is here (and almost gone)

Once again, it's been awhile since I posted. However, with such a large number of recipes out there, I'm sure you still have many many to try.

This posting includes 2 Thanksgiving side dishes that we have every year. My kids love both - even the brussels sprouts one (and they don't like plain brussels sprouts at all).

There is also a Mexican meatloaf (I served it with Mexican rice, recipe included), a very heary beef pot pie type dinner, and shrimp & grits casserole. The shrimp is an easy version of a dish they serve alot in South Carolina. That one is from Cooking Light, so it's a bit healthier then the real thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shrimp & Grits Casserole

2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 (3-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I didn't have any)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or green onions)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray
Hot pepper sauce (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine milk and broth in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits and salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in Parmesan, butter, and cream cheese. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients (through shrimp).

4. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until set. Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Beef, Cheddar & Potato Pie

2 pounds ground beef
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dark beer
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1.Preheat the oven to 375°. 2

2. In a very large skillet, combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato and cook, breaking up the meat, over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and some liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Lower the heat to medium, add the beer and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Add the cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cool.

5. On a floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch round. (I couldn't roll mine out, I got it a bit flatter then out of the package, then tried to follow the directions that follow - it worked fine. Just do your best)

6. Place in a 10-inch skillet or deep pie dish. Roll the remaining puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch round.

7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the skillet with the bottom pastry in it.

8. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with some of the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal, then trim to a 1/2-inch edge.

9. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more of the egg wash and cut an "X" into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

10. Bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the crust darkens too quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

IT was delicious, worth the work, everyone liked this... and it made alot!

Salsa Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef sirloin
1/2 cup salsa (plus extra for spreading on top & 'dipping')
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix the ground sirloin, salsa, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, and garlic. Season with salt, and pepper. Form into a loaf and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Spread some extra salsa on top.

Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven

Brussels Sprouts with Glazed Pecans

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 cup store-bought glazed pecans, coarsely chopped


Cut the Brussels sprouts into thin slices; toss them in a large bowl to separate the layers.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides, then add the sprouts, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the sprouts have wilted. Add the cider vinegar and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the glazed pecan pieces and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Triple Corn Spoon Bread


3 Tbl butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix - (I use Jiffy)
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream (recipe says fat free, I use regular)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 8x8 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown and spoon bread is set.