Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Better Than Olive Garden's Soup

I got this recipe from a Quick Cooking magazine a l-o-n-g time ago. It is really called Italian Peasant Soup. I am making it for dinner tonight, since I have some Italian sausage leftovers to use up. I am substituting a little orzo I already have on hand for one of the cans of white beans too-it's a flexible recipe.  I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine has!

Better Than Olive Garden's Soup

1 pound Italian sausage, cut in 1" pieces
2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic (or equivalent), minced
1 pound chicken breasts, cut in 1" cubes
2 cans white kidney beans, drained
3 cans chicken broth
2-14ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package frozen, chopped spinach (defrost and squeeze dry)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

In a large pot, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink and drain grease. Add onions and garlic and cook til tender. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add all the remaining ingredients to the large pot. Stir together. Simmer for 20 minutes on stove top over medium heat. You can also cook the soup in a slow cooker all day.

Makes 8 servings

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cornbread and Chorizo Poblano Boats

I invented this recipe for the National Cornbread Cookoff. I think it's one of the best things I've ever come up with. If you like chili rellenos, it's similar to that, but it's not fried. Poblanos are not an overly hot pepper either. I prefer the Banderita brand of Mexican Chorizo that you can find at WalMart in the Latino section.

Cornbread and Chorizo Poblano Boats

1-7.5 ounce box Martha White Yellow Cornbread Muffin Mix
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blen cheese, divided
3 large, fresh poblano peppers
12 ounces Mexican Chorizo
1 small onion, diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Crumble the chorizo in a large skillet. Add the diced onion. Cook over medium heat until the meat is thouroughly cooked. Drain the grease and set the sausage/onion mixture aside.

Cut the poblanos in half horizontally. Trim the stem to one inch and remove the core and seeds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cornbread mix, 1/2 of the Mexican Cheese blend, milk and mayonnaise. Stir in the chorizo/onion mixture until well-combined.

Put 1/6th of the cornbread/chorizo mixture into each halved poblano pepper. Place the filled poblanos on a baking sheet or metal skillet(s). Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet/skillet(s) from the oven. Top the poblano peppers with the remaining Mexican shredded cheese. Cook for the final 4-6 minutes.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy Beer Bread for St Patrick's Day

You don't need a bread machine for this simple recipe. I'm thinking about adding some green food coloring to swirl around in the bread dough for St. Paddy's. Have a fun Saint Patrick's Day!!!

Easy Beer Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces beer
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is in the lower-middle position. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the beer and stir til just combined.  Turn dough onto floured cutting board. Knead into a ball. Place the bread dough ball on a baking sheet and cut a large X into the dough. Brush the loaf with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown-about 45 minutes. Serves 8.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My National Cooking Contest WINNER: Slow Coooker Short Ribs

This simple recipe won a national cooking contest sponsored by Dei Fratelli. They have a really good tomato product line. I can find it at Publix here in Atlanta. The Dei Fratelli pizza sauce is far superior to that stuff in a jar, and it's only $1.39 a can.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

  • 2 14.5oz Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15oz Dei Fratelli Pizza Sauce
  • 2 lbs Beef short ribs
  • 1/2 Cup Red wine
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Combine all the ingredients in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Remove the short rib bones prior to serving. Serve over your favorite pasta or cooked slices of polenta. Serves 4.

If you want to see the ten winning recipes, here is the link:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kittencal's Greek Lemon Chicken

I think this is my new, favorite, chicken recipe. The originator of the recipe, Kittencal, is actually Greek. I wasn't sure how the lemon and the potatoes would taste together, but they're delicious. You can find more of Kittencal's recipes on http://www.food.com/

Kittencal's Greek Lemon Chicken

1 whole chicken, remove backbone
4 medium potatoes, quartered
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 large bulb of garlic, peeled
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced green olives
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with oil. Place butterflied chicken breast-down in the pan and add potatoes. Season chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle garlic and olives around potatoes. Whisk lemon juice and olive oil in a medium bowl and drizzle over potatoes and chicken. Sprinkle oregano on top. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the broth in the corners of the pan. Roast uncovered for 50 minutes. Flip the chicken. Baste the chicken with the pan juices. Add the remaining chicken broth in the corners of the pan. Cook 30-40 minutes more. Serve with the pan juices.