By now you know me well; I am always searching Pinterest for new recipes to try. In this case, it was to do with pork chops which I had already thawed. This one caught my eye as we both love capers. And no, they are NOT fish! They are berries from a bush. It turned out great or else I would not share it with you. I quickly steamed some cauliflower to accompany the chops. The flavour was really good. You could omit the capers but it really adds to the flavour.
Pork Chops with Caper Sauce
- 4 1-inch thick center-cup, bone-in pork loin chops (allow chops to sit at room temp for 30 mins)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup capers, drained
- 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
Pre-heat oven to 200°F.
Pat chops dry with a paper towel, and then generously sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chops and sear on one side for about 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown on the bottoms. Flip the chops over and sear the other sides for another 4 to 5 minutes. (The chops should be firm to the touch, but still have a little give).
Transfer the chops to the oven to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Pour all but about 1 teaspoon of oil from pan and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the capers and cook for 30 seconds
Add the vinegar and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add the stock, mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.
Stir in the cream.
For those of you serving ham for Christmas here is an easy recipe for leftovers…LOL
Easy Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 carrots, small dice
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 (14.5 ounce) cans white beans (in Mexico I used a large can of charros)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups diced smoked ham
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
Add olive oil to 5-quart soup pot and set over medium high heat.
When the oil is hot add in the carrots and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions just start to soften and turn translucent.
Add in the garlic and thyme leaves and stir to combine.
To the pot add all the beans with the juice from their cans, chicken stock, diced ham and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
Simmer the soup for 10-15 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened.
Taste and season with desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.
Stir in parsley and serve hot. I put a dollop of sour cream on top when we had it…
Too many string beans from Costco AGAIN! What to do? Stir fry of course. Hope you enjoy this recipe with or without the rice…
Shrimp and Green Bean Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound large shrimp-shelled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces (I cheated and used a dozen frozen, cooked shrimp – no need to thaw)
- 1/2 pound green beans, thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick on an extreme diagonal
- 1 or 2 sliced radishes (optional) seriously, I have started cooking radishes in my stir fries)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
- OPTIONAL RICE
Heat a wok until very hot.
Add the vegetable oil and heat until shimmering.
Add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
Add the shrimp and a pinch of salt and stir-fry until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink, about 30 seconds.
Add the green beans and radishes and 2 tablespoons of the stock and stir-fry until the beans soften slightly, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock along with the fish sauce and a generous pinch of pepper and stir-fry until the shrimp are cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer.
Serve right away.
I LOVE chicken pot pie! I dont make crusts…LOL. Nor can I buy the store-bought crusts here. With some leftover Costco roasted chicken, I yearned for pie. FYI…Bisquick isn’t available here either. Turning to my trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe. It was awesome!!!! I left out the mushrooms and added chopped red pepper… The diced veggies looked great so I added a photo of them too!
CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP
COOK TIME: 15 MINS
- 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 4 ounces button or baby Bella mushrooms, diced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used a can of diced potatoes)
- 1 cup frozen corn (I used a small can )
- 1 cup frozen peas (I used a small can)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- oyster crackers (instead of the crust)
- Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted (or heat the olive oil until it is shimmering). Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery. Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir in the flour until it is completely combined, and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the chicken stock and milk, stirring frequently. Stir in the chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer (be careful not to bring it to a boil!), stirring occasionally so that the bottom of the soup does not stick to the pan. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
- Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve immediately, with crackers on top or on the side, if desired.
Costco’s large quantities usually leave me scampering to use up those quantities rather than leave them sitting in the freezer for months. Recently, a friend gave me a bag of chicken and cilantro frozen wontons. Since I enjoy Chinese soups I thought I could try and use some of them up. Searching online I found this Jamie Oliver recipe. The great thing was I never had to make the wontons, using what I had from Costco!!
For the wonton dumplings (makes around 36 small ones) OR head to Costco for the chicken and cilantro ones)
• 36 small wonton pastry wrappers, round or square (you can find these in the fridges of Asian supermarkets)
• 150g cooked and shelled prawns or shrimps or chicken, finely chopped
• 150g lean pork mince
• 1 tbsp grated ginger
• 1 tbsp light soy sauce
• 1 tbsp rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 spring onions, finely chopped
• White pepper
For the soup
• 1.5 liters chicken stock
• 2 small heads of bok choy, or spinach roughly sliced
• 1 tsp light soy sauce
• 2 tsp rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 generous pinches of white pepper
• 2 spring onions, finely chopped
In a large pan, bring your chicken stock to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, cook the dumplings. Fill the biggest saucepan you have with plenty of water and bring it to the boil. Add enough dumplings to create a single layer on the water. It’s important not to overcrowd the pot, so cook them in batches if you are cooking lots. Stir them gently as you bring the water up to the boil again. When the dumplings float to the top, they are cooked. OR, add your Costco wontons right into the stock mixture)
Once the dumplings float, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to your gently boiling chicken stock. Add the bok choy or spinach– first the white parts and then a minute later, the green parts. Bring the liquid up to the boil again and allow them to cook for around three minutes.
Turn off the heat and season your stock with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and plenty of white pepper to taste. I’ve provided some guidelines, but feel free to amend according to your preferences.
Read more at http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/wonderful-wonton-soup-recipe/#MRxjEMwOQWFhRZlV.99
Tired of boring beef stew? Me too! This chicken stew was great even without the prerequisite dumplings…
- Chicken Stew
5 cups (1.25 L) chicken stock
4 lb (1.8 kg) skinned chicken thighs
7 small carrots, peeled (WHY?) and cut in half diagonally
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed I used yams peeled and cubed
2 cups (500 mL) peeled pearl onions or 1 chopped white onion
- 1 red pepper diced
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
3 chopped celery stalks
2 cups (500 mL) button mushrooms or 1 small can
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) peas, frozen or 1 small can
- 1 platano chopped coarsely
1/4 cup (60 mL) whipping cream I omitted this and used the chopped platano to thicken it. Can you tell I am into platanos?
In a large Dutch oven, bring chicken stock to boil. Add chicken; cover and simmer over medium-low heat until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate; let cool. Remove meat from bones; cut into bite-size chunks.Better still start with boneless thighs and save some time.
Add carrots, pepper, celery and potatoes to stock; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add (pearl) onions; simmer, covered, just until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to plate. If necessary, add more chicken stock to make 5 cups (1.25 L). OR just add more water…
In same pan, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook celery, onion and mushrooms, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Truthfully I just threw them into the pot with the stock and veggies. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Add carrot mixture, peas and cream* (if using), or the chopped platano stirring to combine.
If you are ambitious make up a batch of dumplings. They really are not necessary…This makes great leftovers!
With US Thanksgiving fast approaching, as well as Christmas (44 days), thoughts turn to turkey. I have previously posted a great recipe for preparing turkey which originated with Emerill Lagasse — check out Funky Brined Turkey elsewhere on the blog. Its awesome and I have used it for many years. AFTER US Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be some leftover turkey. You could make pot pies, but who wants to fiddle with a crust? Turkey Divan is the perfect answer for leftovers!! The following recipe was adapted from Anna Olsen, Food Network Canada.
FYI, if you don’t have leftover turkey, just head down to the deli and get a precooked roasted turkey breast and either bring it home to slice or have the butcher cut thick pieces. Don’t use turkey lunch-meat!!! You could also substitute chicken… enuf said…hope you enjoy this one.
Turkey Divan by Anna Olsen Food Network Canada
Ingredients (my changes in red as always)
3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets (and peeled stem pieces)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh savory (I could not find any here)
1 tsp each thyme and oregano
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup dry white wine
2 cup Jarlsberg cheese or Manchego if in Mexico
salt & pepper
1 lb. cooked turkey breast meat (not luncheon meat), sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water (or steam) until just tender, then shock in ice water to halt cooking. Drain broccoli and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. In a large sauté pan with sides melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 minutes more. Sift flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until a faintly nutty aroma is emitted, but flour does not brown.
5. Stir in mustard, savory and zest. Stir in chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this will prevent lumps). Bring liquid up to a simmer, then stir in cream.
6. Return to a simmer and stir in wine. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg or Manchego cheese until melted. Season to taste.
7. Stir in broccoli and turkey, adjust seasoning if necessary, stir in parsley and pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.
This can be prepared to here and refrigerated until before dinner when you can apply the topping before baking. I usually put the refrigerated dish on the counter to warm it up a little before baking.
8. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling along the sides.
9. Serve over cooked rice or buttered noodles.
10. Alternatively, the half-and-half cream can be replaced by ½ cup mascarpone cheese, for a more decadent version.
Serve it with a great Jasmine rice!
Always great to have dinner with longtime friends. Made even better by this great tasting dish! Know you will enjoy it. Test out some of the optional ingredients at the end…
Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini a la Chuck
This recipe is great for pasta and shrimp. I think I might even try the sauce over cooked chicken, served with rice!
500 grams linguini pasta
2 T olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can artichoke hearts
½ cup white wine
4 T lemon juice
4 tsp. lemon zest
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ cup chicken stock
4 T fresh chopped parsley
Optionals: 1 T capers and/or ¼ cup diced red peppers and/or 1 T Dijon mustard and/or crushed red pepper flakes
1. Cook pasta in boiling water.
2. Sauté onion and garlic (and red pepper) in oil for about 5 minutes while pasta is cooking. Remove to a bowl.
3. Add shrimp to drippings and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and cooked onion and garlic. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover for 4 minutes.
4. Thicken with cornstarch.
5. Toss with pasta and parsley. Serve immediately.
Not always easy to find fresh leeks in the grocery store, but et voila…this week they were there, along with fresh horseradish (a rarity here). This recipe does not use the latter! Just mentioned it in passing, as I bought some and carefully washed it and took some online advice and froze them whole. At a later date I can grate them for use in my seafood sauce! FYI…I do the same with fresh ginger…. Hope you will enjoy this soup from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse!
Potato and Leek Soup
- 1 large or 2 small leeks
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or use dried)
- 2 T butter
- 2 strips bacon chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes diced
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with plain yogurt)
- chopped chives (optional)
Trim the green portions off the leeks. Using a sharp knife, slice the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water (leeks can be full of sand!). Slice thinly crosswise.
In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon is very soft. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted…about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
While it boils, pour yourself a glass of the wine just to make sure it is a good year…LOL.
Add thyme, pepper, chicken stock and potatoes, and more salt if you prefer. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Have another glass of wine!
At this point you can put everything in a food processor (I do not as I like this chunky)or an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of heavy cream or the yogurt.
Pour into soup bowls (after you have finished the bottle of wine…LOL).
Chive the snips……oops…snip the chives over top!
Hard to imagine on this very cold Sunday morning that anyone in Canada might be interested in a cold soup…LOL. Nevertheless, I have had a request for this soup from a dear friend in Burlington who enjoys a similar soup at our friend Valeries’ The Pickled Onion B and B in Santa Elena. Alas, it is NOT Valerie’s recipe (family secret), but it has been tested by Larry and I and it is a winner!
Ina Pinkney’s Chilled Avocado-Cilantro Soup
- 1 2/3 large ripe fresh California avocados- peeled and pitted
- 2 cup chicken stock (canned low sodium)
- 2/3 Tbsp. lime juice
- ½ cup yogurt- plain, low fat
- ¼ cup sour cream or cottage cheese
- 1 tomato – large, peeled and seeded or 10 or 12 cherry tomatoes whole
- ¼ cup cilantro – fresh, chopped
- salt to taste
- hot sauce for garnish
- Put 1 1/2 the avocados, stock, lime juice, yogurt and sour cream in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add the tomato and cilantro and pulse just until the tomato is coarsely chopped.
- Coarsely chop the remaining half of avocado and stir into the soup.
- Chill for several hours.
- Serve with a dash of hot sauce (optional)
- A dollop of sour cream on the surface of the soup, stirred with a toothpick to make a swirl. You could add a few croutons!
Makes 4 generous servings…
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity according