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Spicy Shrimp Pho

First had this Vietnamese noodle soup in San Francisco, The portions they served were a little large, but awesome.

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Spicy Shrimp Pho (http://chefsavvy.com/spicy-shrimp-pho/)

Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti (I substituted rice noodles for a less heavy Pho)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, uncooked
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook spaghetti until al dente (or prepare rice noodles according to package)
  2. Meanwhile add oil to a large pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in chicken stock, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Stir in mushrooms and shrimp. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the shrimp is fully cooked.
  6. Take off of the heat and stir in pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.
  7. Divide the noodles among the 4 bowls and pour the soup on top.
  8. Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro if desired.

 

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Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans

Took this recipe off of Pinterest – Mom on Timeout, since I had all of the ingredients at hand and felt like a lazy dinner. I am not a fan of BBQ sauce so I omitted it entirely at first. I also changed the amount of beans as you can see by the red… My slow cooker often seems to cook in less time, so I checked it after 3 hours and it was done as well as I like it.

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans (Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout)

Ingredients

  • 2 large can black beans, drained and rinsed (originally 2 – 15 oz. cans)
  • 1 15.8 oz. Great Norther beans, drained and rinsed (instead of two)
  • 1 15.25 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (omitted and it made no appreciable difference)
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • ½ lb. bacon, cooked, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 lbs. Kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces (or less)

Instructions

  1. In a large slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the kielbasa and stir gently to combine.
  2. Place the kielbasa on top and cover with the lid.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (I found it was done on low after 3 hours and kept it on warm for 2 more).

Notes

I recommend the low setting for this recipe because on high, the beans tend to get dried out. If you need to cook on high due to time constraints, monitor the beans and add more broth or water if necessary.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces red potato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.

 

 

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Okay, so I was going to end this blog once I reached 250 posts! We were heading off on a trip to Oaxaca and Puebla and I thought it was a good time to put this blog to rest. The trip was great and now I am invigorated to continue on. (If you are interested in the latest trip then follow this link – www.oaxaca2016.wordpress.com )

This is another Costco recipe – too many mushrooms again! Hope you will enjoy it. It would be great for a brunch!

Ingredients

4 -5 large boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 -inch thick strips
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour to coat the chicken
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

Ingredients for the Sauce:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour for the sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)’OR plain yogurt
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and sauté until golden. Work in batches if needed so you don’t crowd your pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through; it still needs to go in the oven. Transfer chicken to a 13×9 casserole baking dish.
2. 2. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 Tbsp oil along with sliced mushrooms and diced onions and sauté until soft and golden. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 min. Spread mixture over the chicken.
3. 3. In a medium saucepan (or in the same pan you’ve been using), melt 3 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 Tbsp flour until lightly golden (1-2 min).
4. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste
5. 5. Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Serve warm or hot over mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.

Check out more of Natasha’s blog, from where I found this recipe!

http://natashaskitchen.com/2011/04/17/chicken-and-mushroom-casserole/

 

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Thai is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods and this soup is no exception. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think. And..its from Michael Smith, one of my heroes…LOL. (My apologies to Michael for altering the original as shown)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup from Michael Smith
Meat
• 2 Chicken breasts (Good old Costco – I used their chicken strips in a bag – two handfuls partially thawed)
Produce
• 1 handful Bean sprouts (I substituted frozen broccoli pieces)
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 bunch Cilantro, roots
• 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
• 1 small knob Ginger, frozen
• 2 Green onions
• 2 stalks Lemon grass or 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
• 4 Lime, leaves
• 2 Limes, zest and juice
Canned Goods
• 2 cups Chicken broth
• 2 14 ounce cans Premium coconut milk
• 1 heaping tbsp Thai curry paste
Condiments
• 2 tbsp Fish sauce or less as you prefer
• 1 Sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
• 1 8 ounce package Rice noodles (Or skip either of these if you don’t want the starch)

Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.

Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

OPTIONAL – Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.

Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Soup

Thanks again to Costco for selling those huge packages of sliced mushrooms…what to do? Make soup…and it was awesome! Thanks also to Taste of Home website…link at bottom. BONUS…it makes a great sauce for chicken if you have leftovers. I also added some to some rice after it was cooked…

Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Soup
Ingredients
• 10 bacon strips, diced
• 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 quart heavy whipping cream (or Media Crema if you live in Mexico)
• 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
• 1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss (or Provolone) cheese
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 3 tablespoons cold water
Directions
• 1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, saute mushrooms and onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in cream and broth. Gradually stir in cheese until melted.
• 2. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, pepper and water until smooth. Stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Garnish with bacon. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-bacon-mushroom-soup#ixzz3YX0QN79F

Read more: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/creamy-bacon-mushroom-soup#ixzz3YX0QNAV9

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli, almonds, and Mornay sauce. It was named after the place of its invention, the Divan Parisiennne Restaurant in the New York Chatham Hotel where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century. Its creator, a chef named Lagasi, created it as part of a contest, winning a small amount of money and creating their signature dish. Source – Wikipedia

I actually really like chicken or turkey divan and it is pretty straightforward to prepare. If I don’t want to cook my own chicken or turkey I sometimes buy a roast chicken or turkey breast at the deli counter and chunk it up for this recipe since it starts with cooked chicken.

Chicken Divan Prep time 45 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins

Ingredients • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or head to the Deli)

• 2 to 3 heads broccoli (while at the deli grab some florets too)

• 2 cans cream of chicken soup (any cream soup will do except cheddar)

• 1½ cup mayonnaise

• ⅓ cup sour cream

• ⅓ cup chicken broth

• 2 teaspoons lemon juice

• ¼ teaspoon curry (or up to 2 teaspoons, to taste)

• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

• bread crumbs, or Ritz crackers, crumbled

• cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

Cut broccoli into florets and steam until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. place broccoli in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. in a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, mayo, sour cream, chicken broth, lemon juice, curry, cheese and shredded chicken. pour chicken mixture over broccoli and top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers. bake at 400 for 30 minutes. serve over rice.

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Trying out a new look for 2015…hope you like it!

We were in Cuba in February and came to enjoy the red beans and rice. Looking for a similar dish, I found a recipe for Cajun Red Beans and Rice on my friend Kevin’s site www.closetcooking.com

I used a smoked pancetta as Andouille is not common down here. The flavour was great. This recipe makes enough for four hungry people!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice (adapted from http://www.closetcooking.com)
Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1/2 pound Andouille sausage or smoked Pancetta (cut into small pieces)
• 1 cup onion (diced)
• 1/2 cup celery (diced)
• 1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
• 2 (19 ounce) cans red beans (rinsed and drained)
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups cooked rice (I like to go with Basmati)
Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat add the sausage and sauté until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, and set aside.
2. Add the onions, celery and green pepper to the pan and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the stock, beans, sausage/pancetta, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for at least 1 hour
6. Remove the bay leaves.
7. Mash or puree about a quarter of the beans if desired.

If you feel there is too much liquid, just let it simmer down.
Just before serving add the cooked rice.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

As my wife and I had Greek neighbours, we often had Greek food with them or at the ethnic festivals each summer. Across the border from us in Detroit there was Greektown with wonderful restaurants (before the casinos moved in)…nothing like flaming cheese and OPA followed by this great soup!

From Wikipedia…Avgolemono or egg-lemon (from Greek: αυγολέμονο or αβγολέμονο), is a family of Mediterranean sauces and soups made with egg and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken. In Arabic, it is called tarbiya or beida bi-lemoune ‘egg with lemon’; and in Turkish terbiye. In Sephardic Jewish cuisine, it is called agristada or salsa blanco, and in Italian cuisine, bagna brusca, brodettato, or brodo brusco. It is also widely used in Balkan cuisine.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons shredded carrots
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chicken soup base
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cooked white rice
1/4 cup diced, cooked chicken meat
4 slices lemon
2 egg yolks

Preparation
1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions, celery, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, then simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the rice and chicken. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Must be the cold weather here (a chilly 23 degrees C) that makes me crave soup…LOL. Was looking for a quick lunch the other day and noticed we had canned pumpkin. Since I love almost all things Thai I thought I would try this one. I loved it but Larry thought it was a little sweet with the brown sugar and coconut milk. Guess next time I’ll cut down on the sugar…and maybe add pieces of real Thai chili…FYI – I skipped the peanut butter option!

Thai Pumpkin Soup
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Servings: 4
A tasty Thai inspired pumpkin and coconut soup that that takes less than 15 minutes to make!

ingredients
• 2 tablespoons red curry paste
• 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
• 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
• 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree or 4 cups homemade pumpkin puree
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar (okay Larry I will cut this back!)
• 2 tablespoons lime juice (~1 lime)
directions
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute.
2. Add the broth, coconut milk, pumpkin puree, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Note: If you want to start with raw pumpkin, get two small 3 pound pumpkins, peel them, seed them, cut them into 1 inch cubes, add to the coconut milk and broth and simmer, covered, until tender, about 15-20 minutes, before pureeing.
Option: Use another sweet winter squash like butternut squash  instead of pumpkin.
Option: Add 1/4 cup peanut butter! Try it, you’ll love it!