Thursday, February 15, 2018

Pork Chile Verde


Pork Chili Verde
(8 servings)


Ingredients:

4 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Dried Great Northern Beans
2 cups White Onion, diced
1 1/3 cups Tomatillo Salsa
½ cup Water
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
8 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
2½ lb. Boneless Pork Shoulder, cubed bite size
garnish with sliced green ends of green onions
and thinly sliced radishes

Directions:

In a 6-quart Slow Cooker, combine chicken broth, dry beans, onion, salsa, water, cumin, oregano, salt, garlic and pork.  Cover and cook for about 8 hours.  Serve bowls garnished with the green onions and sliced radishes.

Note:               If you wish to make this on the stove, brown the pork with the onions in a little oil before adding the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven.  Use medium heat to start and then simmer everything for an hour or two.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Potato Kielbasa Soup


Potato and Kielbasa Soup
(8 servings)


Ingredients:

1 pkg. (12-16 oz.) Kielbasa Sausage
4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
2 lb. Potatoes (your choice), peeled and diced
1 medium Sweet Onion, diced
¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
3 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
12 oz. Beer (your choice)
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper

Garnish:

8 slices Bacon, chopped and cooked
¼ cup Fresh Parsley (your choice type), chopped

Directions:

Cut kielbasa into safe lengths and then slice lengthwise into quarters.  Now dice these strips of Kielbasa.  In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook Kielbasa until browned.  Stirring occasionally.  Remove and set aside.  Reduce heat to medium, add butter.  When melted, add potatoes and onion, stirring occasionally.  Cooking for about 5 minutes before adding the flour.  Constantly stir the mixture after adding flour for about 2 minutes.  Mixture should be bubbly and the flour cooked out before slowly adding the chicken broth.  Stir frequently as you bring it to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Carefully take two cups of the mixture and put in a blender or food processor mixing until smooth.  Add the puree back into the Dutch oven and add the cheese, beer, cream, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper and kielbasa.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until cheese melts.  Serve immediately with garnishes of cooked bacon pieces and chopped parsley.

Note:               If you are not a fan of Kielbasa, try smoked sausage or some other ring type (depending on brand) sausage.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's Still Winter and Cold.

Well the ground hog saw his shadow and we get another 6 weeks of winter.  I personally think he always sees his shadow because of all the lights they have turned on him when he comes out.  But who am I to say.  I do know it’s still cold.  Thank god the Super Bowl was indoors.

This week I have a couple of soups to help keep you warm.  The first, “Potato and Kielbasa Soup,” is quite tasty and worth making.  Second up is an easy one for the slow cooker.  It’s “Pork Chili Verde” on Thursday.

I know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’m sure many of you are busy with plans of some type.  Well, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and I hope you enjoy it with family or friends.  There will still be plenty of time to try both these soups before the cold goes away.

I’m busy with V-day too.  So today is short and warm (soups).  Thanks for checking me out and “Happy Cooking” until next week.  And, please, share the link with family and friends.  Thanks.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Creamy Cheese Fondue


Creamy Cheese Fondue
(a little less than 2 cups)


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. Cornstarch
4 oz. Gruyere Cheese, shredded
4 oz. Swiss Cheese, shredded
1 clove Fresh Garlic, halved
½ cup White Wine
½ cup Evaporated Milk
2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

Combine cornstarch and cheeses in a small bowl.  Toss to coat.  Rub the inside of a heavy sauce pan with the garlic.  Now add the wine and milk, bringing to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the cheese mixture a third at a time whisking to make smooth.  Once all the cheese has been added, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes.  Stir frequently to keep smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Serve immediately or place in a fondue pot that has been warmed (see note).

Note:               If using a fondue pot, fill with hot water, cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Drain and wipe dry before adding the finished cheese fondue.

Note:               This recipe can easily be doubled.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Classic Cheese Fondue


Classic Cheese Fondue
(4 servings)


Ingredients:

1½ tbsp. Cornstarch
1 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup White Wine (see note)
1 clove Fresh Garlic, halved
½ lb. Gruyere Cheese, shredded
½ lb. Emmental Cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. Cognac (optional)

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of the wine together.  Rub the inside of a small enameled sauce pan with the garlic.  Add the remaining wine and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Continue whisking constantly until slightly thickened.  Reduce heat to moderately low and start adding the cheese by handfuls.  Again, continue whisking constantly as the cheese melts.  Once all the cheese has melted and the fondue is smooth, add the cognac, if using.  Serve immediately or place in a fondue pot that has been warmed (see note).  Serve with cut pieces of crusty breads, blanched vegetables, thinly sliced apples, sliced and/or chunked pickles.  Or whatever you want to try in the fondue.

Note:               It is suggested that you use a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Note:               If using a fondue pot, fill with hot water, cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Drain and wipe dry before adding the finished cheese fondue.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How About Fondue?

Fondue was very popular many years ago.  Although it hasn’t died out, it much less popular today.  There is still a very popular chain restaurant, called The Melting Pot.  The ones I’ve seen are always very busy.  If you haven’t ever tried it, check this place out.  They are not inexpensive but definitely worth the experience.

Back when, everyone had a fondue pot.  It was either an electric one or it used a little burner underneath it.  You can still buy them new, but check out the second-hand stores for a bargain.

Fondue is also more than just the cheese recipes coming Wednesday and Thursday.  But I’m partial to the cheese fondues.

You will notice that both recipes this week use nutty Alpine cheeses.  You can use other varieties.  Try cheeses like Gouda, Havarti, Fontina and Asiago Fresco.  These go well with a Chardonnay wine.

You could also try brine-washed cheeses like Taleggio and Epoisses with a dry Riesling wine.

For cheeses, you want to avoid grainy cheeses like Parmesan and aged Cheddar.  Also, fresh ones like Chevre and Feta.

A starch is needed and cornstarch is probably the best one to use.  You could use a roux.

Dry white wines are best but if you use lemon juice, give some beer or sweet wine a try.

The lemon juice is an acid and it is essential for smooth melting.  So don’t forget it.

The cheeses need slow low heat to melt properly too.  If it comes to a boil, the cheese will separate.

So on Wednesday, it’s “Classic Cheese Fondue” and then on Thursday, it’s a “Creamy Cheese Fondue” for your tasting.  Enjoy and please spread the link to others.  Thanks.

“Happy Cooking” until next week.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (GF)


Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (GF)
(about 2 dozen)


Ingredients:

2 cups Sugar
½ cup Butter
¼ cup Cocoa
½ cup Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups Gluten-Free Quick Oats
½ cup Peanut Butter

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk.  Bring this to a boil and then continue for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients mixing to combine well.  Using a spoon, drop piles of mixture on wax paper.  Let cool to firm up.

Note:               Always double check your ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free.

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