Archive | April, 2014

Spinach and Chorizo Soup

29 Apr

I originally got these ingredients with a pizza recipe in mind. It took until we actually started preparing the food before we decided to change our mind and make a soup instead. It was pretty hearty, and just a little spicy.

The recipe makes a ton of servings – I think it ended up being about 9 or 10 cups worth of soup. We made it over the weekend and then just ate it for lunch every day – it held up surprisingly well.

If I make this again, I’ll probably add a couple more potatoes. You could could also up the amount of black beans, but I was happy with how many I had.

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What I used:
5 chorizo sausages, cooked mostly through, cut into 1” coins
2 potatoes, peeled, diced
1 red onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped – I used half each of a green, red, orange, and yellow
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
1 can black beans, undrained
6 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
red pepper flakes, parsley, 2 bay leaves, salt/pepper

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Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, potato, and sausage. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are starting to get soft and the onion is translucent.

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Oh yeah, I became really hungry at this point and had a mug full of fruit loops. Nick insisted I add it to the post.

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Add the peppers and spinach, and stir until combined. Cook until the peppers soften a little bit, about 3 or 4 minutes.

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Add the black beans and broth. I used 6 cups here, but add however much you want – it’s up to your taste. Add the bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Top with parsley.

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I served it with cheesy garlic bread, but serve it with whatever you want to.

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Marathon Monday

21 Apr

Hey guys,

No food post today. Just wanted to wish everyone a happy marathon. I’ll be
in the medical tents again this year – I hope I don’t see any of you!!!!!

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Sushi! (first attempt)

18 Apr

We made sushi last week – it was so much easier than I could have ever imagined. For some reason I expected it to be super hard and complicated, but it was so so easy.

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We went to Haymarket and grabbed a pound of tuna (for $3, come on, how could we not!). We decided to be risky and eat it raw – bold move, I know. We went to an asian grocery store and picked up a pack of seaweed sheets (the wrapper stuff). Try to get the perforated type! So much easier to deal with. We made two rolls and gobbled them down within about 2 minutes each. We were under the influence at the time (which explains why the pictures are disastrous) so it’s a little sloppy, but it was still really good (or so I remember….)

What we used:
Dried seaweed sheets
About a cup white rice (maybe a little more) – cooked and cooled
½ pound of tuna, sliced up thin
Whatever other delicious things you want to put in! We used cream cheese, carrots, and celery in our second wrap, sliced
Pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce – to eat with the wrap

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How we did it:
Lay the sheets out so the rough side is up. If there are perforations, you’ll want them to run left to right (it’ll matter later).

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Lay a thin layer of rice down – try to be sure the rice is completely covering the sheet, but also try and lay it down as thinly as you can. Leave about ½” at the right edge uncovered.

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Put your fish (or whatever) down the left side (perpendicular to the perforations). If you’re using other ingredients, you can put them in here – we used cream cheese, carrots, and celery.

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Roll it up, and cut it into pieces on the perforations. We dipped the pieces into soy sauce and topped with some wasabi – and then chased with ginger. It was supeerr delicious!

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I think next time we’ll be a little more wild with the other ingredients – maybe something a little spicy? Hmmmmmm

 

Chilled Asparagus Soup

16 Apr

I picked up a couple bunches of asparagus at Haymarket over the weekend… they were 3 for a dollar, how could I resist?! We used one bunch in a pasta dish – we roasted peppers, asparagus and onions over pasta with an olive oil/garlic sauce.

Anyway, that left me with two extra bunches of asparagus. The stalks didn’t look wonderful… they were pretty floppy. In order to try and salvage some of the whopping financial investment I had already made in asparagus, I pondered the ways to use extra bunches… and somehow decided on making soup (what is this, my third time making soup in two weeks?) It’s a lot simpler than the last couple soups I made, with a lot less ingredients. I wanted a cold soup, but this could be eaten either way.

I definitely think that next time I make this soup I’ll add some rice in – I liked it, but some people weren’t crazy about the texture (excuuuuuuuse me NICK). I think adding rice will make it more palatable.

As usual, this makes a good size serving (about 7 cups). You can easily halve this recipe if you don’t have an army to serve.

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Serving Size: 1 cup Total Servings: 7 Cals per serving: 89
Fat: 5.0 g – Protein: 4.9 g – Carbs: 7.0 g

What I used:
Two bunches of asparagus, washed
1 ½ onions
1 lemon
4 cups veggie broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, basil
a blender is a must!!

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What to do:
Start by chopping the onion up – actual size of pieces doesn’t matter, it’s all going to get blended anyway. Put the olive oil in your favorite soup pot over medium heat, and when it’s hot add the onion. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.

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While that cooks, start on the asparagus. Begin by cutting off a couple tips (2 for each serving, they’re for decoration). Chop the rest of the bunches into roughly 2” pieces. Once the onion in done, add the 2” pieces of asparagus, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook for about five minutes – the asparagus will become a more vibrant green than before.

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After the five minutes is up, add the broth, cover, and turn to high heat. Once it boils, let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the asparagus is pretty soft. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a bit… and grab your blender.

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Blend it in small batches, being sure to take the middle piece out of the blender top before turning on (see picture). Otherwise it explodes EVERYWHERE. I used an oven mitt over the top of the blender as a precaution – whatever you do, be sure to secure the top down well.

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Pour the blended parts into a bowl and stir to combine. I like to squeeze the lemon juice onto the soup at this point, but I’ve heard of people who just use the lemon rind here.

Refrigerate the soup until chilled. Take those asparagus spears (bet you thought I forgot about them, didn’t you) and remove the little thorns. Pour into bowls and top with the spears, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

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We served with stuffed peppers and crusty bread, but Nick mentioned it’d probably be really good with some steak and potatoes, too.

 

Tequila Lime Chicken

9 Apr

No special background story for this one – we just had a bunch of leftover cilantro, limes, and jalapenos, and I needed to figure out a way to use them all up. I was thinking about making this into a pasta, but we’re trying to “eat healthy” so that wasn’t going to happen. I served the chicken breasts along with some avocados and a side salad, which served for a pretty filling meal.

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Just a warning, this ended up being a pretty spicy dish – if you’re spice-sensitive I would only use ½ a jalapeno, and de-seed/de-rib it before blending. I did make a pretty kick-ass barbecue sauce last week, so we threw some of that on here.

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What I used:
For the marinade:
⅓ cup tequila (the cheap stuff)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped (or a couple tbsp if still whole)
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno, stem removed
The juice of one lime

3 chicken breasts
½ cup white wine
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 avocado, sliced
BBQ sauce
Side salad – greens, onions, bacon, cheese, sour cream….

Using a food processor, combine the tequila, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime and blend until well combined. Place the chicken breast in a ziploc bag (butterfly it if you’d like, I didn’t), and dump the marinade in. Put it in the fridge for a few hours before eating – I refrigerated mine for about 4 hours.

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When you’re ready to cook, set a large frying pan on medium heat. Pour in the chicken and all of the marinade from the bag. Cover, and cook on medium until done all the way through – it was about 8 minutes each side.

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While that’s cooking, combine the white wine and cornstarch. Pull the chicken out of the pan when it’s finished cooking, a pour the wine/cornstarch mixture in, and turn the pan to low. Whisk for a minute or so, until the sauce starts to thicken. In the meantime, slice or cut up the chicken so it’s in easier to manage pieces. Serve on top of a salad along with avocado, bbq sauce, and plenty of sour cream.

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Pretty easy and fast meal if you have the time to set the marinade up!

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Chicken Pot Soup

4 Apr

It’s been a little chilly (and rainy) up here the last few days. Whenever it is crummy out, I always crave hearty soups or stews – or really any warm food. As I was sharing this sentiment with Nick, he told me that he has been craving chicken and dumpling soup, and thus, an idea was born.

I had some trouble right off the bat – I didn’t know what he was talking about. I thought he meant dumplings that you get with chinese food. Apparently, from what I understand, it’s basically a ball of dough that cooks in your soup. I thought the challenge of making something I’ve never heard of could be fun, right? WRONG.

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I tried making the soup following a couple recipes and managed to absolutely screw it up – and make something even better. My end product was a chicken pot soup (like chicken pot pie, but more soup like). If I were to make this again, I would probably double the amount of chicken and veggies and keep everything else the same – that way it would have more of the feeling of actual chicken pot pie.

What I used:
For the soup
2 tbsp butter
1 white onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
¼ cup white wine
2 lbs chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
6 cups chicken broth
⅓ cup 1% milk
salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder
3 bay leaves

For the topping:
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cup 1% milk
2 tbsp dried parsley

I started by making my normal chicken soup – If you have a recipe you love, feel free to use it, but this is what I usually use.

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Melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the wine and cook down until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken, chicken broth, bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Turn down and let cook for about thirty minutes on low, covered.

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For the topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and parsley, sifting to get rid of any clumps. Add the milk and stir well to combine.

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Carefully and slowly spoon the mixture on top of the soup, being sure to cover the whole surface with dough (my dough expanded when cooking, so this wasn’t a problem for me at all).

Bring the soup to a boil (again), partially cover, and let cook until the top of the dough turns hard and browns.

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Let sit for a few minutes (it will be hot!) and then enjoy.

Ommegang’s new Game of Thrones “Fire and Blood” beer

1 Apr

Last night Nick and I met up with some friends to go to our weekly Pintley event. This week was the Boston release of Ommegang’s new Game of Thrones beer, Fire and Blood, at East End Grill in Somerville. Let me stop here and remind everyone that I am not an expert on beer, nor am I an expert on Game of Thrones (the only time I’ve ever seen it was at the bar last night)! That being said, I thought the beer was incredible.

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It’s a red ale – and a gorgeous one at that. It has a deep ruby coloring. The creamy head was full at the beginning, and lingered just the slightest bit through the duration of the beer. It had both a tart and sweet fruity and also slightly floral taste, finishing with just a bit of spice.

According to Ommegang, the beer is slightly dragon-inspired – they used seeded ancho chiles in the production. After going to Extreme Beer Fest last week I was skeptical – both Crime and Punishment from Stone was so spicy, it made me think I’d never taste again. This one was much easier to handle – it had the flavor of the chiles without too much kick.

Moral of the story: smooth, fruity and slightly spicy red ale that makes you want to slay dragons.