You will have noted that I put the word “wedge” in brackets. Actually I dislike it when I see romain served in wedges. It’s difficult to eat without a fork AND knife. I much prefer to have the romaine torn into smaller parts before it is served. This is true of some restaurant Caesar salads as well. Without a doubt, the highlight of this salad is the ranch dressing, which you can use on almost any salad OR as a simple veggie dip. Of course, you can skip the blue cheese, but why would you? LOL
Romaine Wedge Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- 1 recipe Homemade Ranch Dressing*
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 slices sourdough bread cut into ½-inch cube (I did some store-bought croutons in butter and garlic powder)
- 4 slices thick bacon cut crosswise into thin strips
- 1 large head romaine lettuce quartered lengthwise into wedges
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- finely chopped chives optional
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sourdough cubes; cook and stir until cubes are lightly browned on all sides. Remove from skillet and reserve.
2. Add bacon to same skillet; cook and stir until bacon is crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain.
3. Carefully rinse and dry romaine wedges, doing your best to keep them intact. OR tear them up
4. Arrange romaine wedges on a platter. Drizzle desired amount of dressing on salad and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Serve.
*Homemade Ranch Dressing
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chives finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- milk enough to reach your desired consistency (optional)
Whisk together the sour cream, garlic, parsley and chives. Add milk to reach your desired consistency.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy as a salad dressing or a vegetable dip.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
- 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.
- Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.
Dont you just love that word, waterzooi ? We came across this on our trip to Brugges in 2010 when we ate at De Halve Maan Brewery and again at a very nice little restaurant called Vlaamsche Pot. Its traditionally a fish soup/stew.
Since I had some mussels and clams left over from a meal the day before, I sought out a recipe. Behold…Pinterest again. Their recipe called for several types of fish. I like fish but did not want to search out different fish, so I altered their recipe as I usually do to some extent. My version is below.
• 10,5 oz. (300 g) potatoes, peeled
• 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
• 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
• 1 carrot, finely sliced
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 1 leek, finely sliced
• 7/8 cup (7 fl oz./200 ml) fish stock (I used chicken stock)
• 1 fish filet of your choice (I used tilapia) cut into 1 inch pieces
• 3,5 oz. (100 g) mussels, cleaned
• 1 egg yolk
• 2/5 cup (3,5 fl oz./100 ml) cream
• 3,5 oz. (100 gm ) peeled shrimp
• 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
• Salt & freshly cracked pepper
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the celery, carrot and onion and cook the vegetables for 3-5 minutes, or until they are soft and glazed. Now add the leeks and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the stock to the vegetable mixture and allow it to infuse for 3 minutes.
Gently poach the fish fillets in the broth for 3-5 minutes. Add the mussels after 1 minute.
Remove the seafood from the pan once the mussels have opened and set aside. Strain the stock into a saucepan. Set the vegetables aside to use later.
Whisk the egg yolk with the cream in a bowl.
Put the stock back on the heat and, once it reaches boiling point, add the cream and egg mixture to thicken the stock and create a sauce. Now mix well with a whisk and make sure the sauce does not come to the boil again. Add the peeled shrimp and half the chives and stir.
Place the fish pieces and seafood in a serving bowl along with the vegetables and potatoes. Pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the remaining chives.
Serve with a crusty bread and cold beer…preferably Belgian.
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!
The following recipe was a real hit a recent dinner party. As always, my changes to the original recipe are in red….
Roasted Carrot Soup
Serves four, yields about 1 quart
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- Herbs de Provence
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into medium dice (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 large rib of celery, cut into medium dice (about 1.2 cup)
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (from about 1/2-inch piece, peeled)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
- Chopped fresh chives or chervil for garnish
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Sour cream
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the carrots in a medium baking dish, or any dish that will hold the carrots on a single layer without touching, and drizzle them with the olive oil. Sprinkle a little bit of Herbs de Provence over them. Toss them to coat well and roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until they are tender, blistered and lightly browned in a few places, about 1 hour.melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the celery and ginger and cook until the celery softens a bit and the onions start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the roasted carrots, chicken broth, salt, pepper and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Drop in the cinnamon stick. Cook at a tender lively simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 45 minute. Turn off the heat and let the liquid cool somewhat or completely. Remove the cinnamon stick!!!
Puree most of the soup in a blender in batches, filling the blender no more than one-third full, vent the lid and hold a towel while you turn it on. Keep about ¾ cup of the vegetables aside to be added when serving if you like some chunks in your soup. If serving immediately, return the soup to the pot and reheat, along with the unpureed veggies. Garnish with the chives or chervil if you’d like and/or a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle some fresh ground nutmeg to add some extra zip.
Otherwise refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat gently and taste for salt before serving.