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Creamy Leek and Salmon Soup

If you like leeks and also salmon, this recipe is for you. It is pretty straightforward to make. In place of the fresh salmon, I chose to use smoked salmon pieces. The flavour was great…

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Creamy Leek & Salmon Soup

Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified

Prep time 5 mins Cook time 25 mins Total time30 mins

Serves: 4 large servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced into crescents
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups seafood OR chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 lb. salmon, in bite size pieces (thawed frozen salmon works really well here) OR smoked pieces
  • 1¾ cup coconut milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)

Instructions

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven at a low-medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped leeks and garlic and cook until slightly softened.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the thyme. Simmer for about 15 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the salmon and the coconut milk to the pan. Bring back up to a gentle simmer and cook until the fish is opaque and tender.

Nutrition for 1 serving – Calories 241, Carbs 33 g., Fat 12.8 g., Protein 29.1 g

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Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken

The problem with having a small gas BBQ is not being able to do a beer can chicken because the lid is too low! For those who do not know what I am speaking about, normally one places a seasoned chicken upside down over a full, but open beer can. NOT alive sillies!!! The hot juices from the can permeate the bird as it cooks. Pinterest to the rescue again.

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Slow Cooker Beer Can Chicken (without the beer can!)

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  2. 2 teaspoons salt
  3. 2 teaspoons coarse pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  5. 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 4 (6-inch) strips aluminum foil, each bunched into a ball
  9. 1 can (16 ounces) beer
  10. 1 (6 1/2 to 7 pound) whole chicken

Instructions

  1. Mix smoked paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Place 4 balls of aluminum foil on bottom of slow cooker crock. Pour beer into crock.
  3. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  4. Rub chicken with seasoning mixture. Place chicken on top of foil in crock.
  5. Cover slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 7 hours. Chicken is well done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh.

Notes

  1. USDA recommends 165°F as the safe eating temperature for chicken. Chicken is done when meat temperature registers 165°F in the breast or 175°F-180°F in the thickest part of the thigh. For more information on food safety, visit foodsafety.gov.

Ravioli with White Wine and Leeks

First had this at one of our favourite restaurants in nearby Merida – Il Caffe Italiano. Had to try and duplicate this subtle dish. Et voila as the French say. PINTEREST as I say…LOL. I would highly recommend it for your Christmas Eve or New Years dinner. Suggestion is to serve it with grilled asparagus spears…I chose not to…

Ravioli with White Wine Butter Sauce (and Asparagus – optional)

Ingredients

  • One 9 ounce package chilled fresh ravioli
  • One bunch asparagus (about 15-20 spears), trimmed and cut into two inch pieces. You can use just the tips or if you like lots of asparagus, use the stems as well! OPTIONAL
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks carefully washed and chopped into 1/4 inch slices. Dont use the dark green parts!
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil, and then asparagus. Cook asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the water boiling. OPTIONAL – just boil some water for the ravioli !
  2. Add one tablespoon of butter to a medium size skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add leeks and garlic and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Now add butter, cube by cube, stirring until each one is melted into the sauce.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, add the ravioli gently to the boiling (asparagus*) water (I like to lower them in with a slotted spoon) and cook according to package directions until just done, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a single layer on a plate until the sauce is finished.
  5. When all the butter is melted, stir in the chopped thyme.
  6. Divide the ravioli between two plates, (and tuck the asparagus tips in between the ravioli – OPTIONAL). Drizzle a generous portion of sauce over each serving, garnish with fresh thyme and shaved Parmesan and serve at once!

 

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Having bought a huge bag of small potatoes from…you guessed it…Costco, I was stuck as to what to do with so many. Voila Pinterest. I followed the recipe by slicing those little gems using my trusty mandoline. I should have used regular potatoes as it would have been easier. Nevertheless, the flavour was great and doing them in muffin tins simplified serving. Great if you are serving a nice roast or fish.

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hr. Total time 1 hr. and 15 mins

 Ingredients

  • Makes about 4-6 servings
  • 3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (25g) Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-10 gold potatoes (1.4 kg) sliced thin (about 1/16 inch -1.6 mm thick)

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190C). Butter 12 muffin cups and set aside. Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
Place potato slices into a large bowl. Add melted butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
Layer the potato slices into stacks and place in the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper. Heap up the potatoes as they will fall into the tins while baking.
Bake until the edges and tops are golden brown and the centers are tender, 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan and garnish with Parmesan cheese and thyme.

 

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.

 

 

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

Easter Sunday dinner with 16 friends. Menu of spiral ham (from Costco of course), scalloped potatoes and BBQ green beans. Salads courtesy of our guests along with desserts. Larry was chef for the day. To make life simpler, I put the ham out in its foil for about an hour to warm it up. After uncovering it, I sliced off a fair amount and put the slices in our slow cooker. I added one cup of Fresca  soft drink to keep the ham moist and set the timer on low for 1 and 1/2 hours. When the potatoes and beans were ready, so was the ham. A great way to serve ham for a buffet! And now for the potato recipe courtesy of Canadian Living Magazine with Larry’s modifications.

Classic Scalloped Potatoes (Canadian Living Magazine)
• Prep time 25 minutes Total time 2 hours Portion size 8
Ingredients
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced or more
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
• 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
• 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) milk **
• 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 2 lb./900 g)
• 1 small onion, sliced
• Parmesan and old cheddar cheese shredded to taste
**or use ½ milk and ½ media crema if you are in Mexico!
Preparation
In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook garlic, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk; cook, whisking constantly, until boiling and thickened, about 8 minutes.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Layer one-third in greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish or casserole dish; spread half of the onion over top. Spread some of the cheese over each layer. Repeat layers. Arrange remaining potatoes over top. Pour sauce over top, using back of knife to ease sauce between layers. Top with any remaining cheese.

Cover and bake in 350F (180C) oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake until lightly browned and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If necessary cover with foil to keep warm.

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Checked the pantry and found a large can of clams…should I make chowder or linguine? No potatoes…decision made…linguine! Pinterest to the rescue again.Quick and fairly straight forward if you use the canned clams. Certainly would make a special dish for a memorable dinner…

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: serves 4 to 6**
Ingredients
• 1 pound linguine
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 anchovies, packed in oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 shallots, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 18-ounce jar diced tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 2 pounds littleneck clams* OR 13 oz. canned clams drained (save the juice)
• Parmesan cheese
Directions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add linguine and cook for 3 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. Strain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside. If using clam juice discard the pasta water
2. In a very large sauté pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add anchovies, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 minutes until the anchovies “melt” and the shallots become translucent. Add wine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Next, add tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of parsley, thyme, and reserved pasta water or clam juice. season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
3. Add linguine and clams to the sauté pan and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.
4. Garnish with the remaining parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately. Pass the cheese…

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.

Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

The only recipe I ever knew placed the pork chops on top and they always were too well cooked! This method probably originated when there were all the concerns about pork not being well cooked. Fortunately, I came across three different recipes that changed this arrangement. These turned out very well and the liquid went all the way through to keep the chops moist.

2 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 Tablespoons flour

14 oz. chicken broth

6 pork chops not too thin

6 cups thinly sliced potatoes (choose skins on or off)

1/2 cup sliced onions or more

dash paprika

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons thyme

1/2 cup sour cream

PREPARATION

Set the oven to 350 degrees

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, adding salt and pepper, flour, Dijon mustard and thyme. Pour in the broth, cook and stir until it boils. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.

Brown chops in 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Grease cooking dish with butter.

Layer the chops in the bottom of the dish. Layer the potatoes and onions over the chops evenly.

Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to bake 1/2 hour more until starting to golden.

 

Potato and Leek Soup

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!