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January 25, 2013

Cheddar and Ale Soup

Ale is brewed from MALT and HOPS, the hops creates a stonger flavor. A light Ale is used to give the soup the best color.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups light ale
  • 2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. diced green pepper
  • Additional toppings (optional): Sun dried tomatoes, broccoli, smoked bacon, chives, sour cream or garlic butter

    Instructions:

    Melt butter over low heat. Add the diced vegetables and nutmeg, sauté until tender.

    Add flour. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Add stock and ale, and bring to simmer, stirring well.

    Whisk in the 3 cheeses and pepper.

    Simmer over low heat for 7 minutes.

    Do not boil.

    Garnish with additional toppings.

    Serve with rich, full-flavored multi-grain bread fresh from the oven, and a good bottle of beer.

    Cooking wiser:
    The Cheese will melt better under very low heat.

    Make it your own
    Use your favorite flavored cheese for a different twist. For example hot peppery cheeses, smoked cheese, herb flavored cheese, caraway cheese, or Cabot sun dried tomato cheese.

    Tip: To reduce calories and cholesterol use Cabot reduced fat cheese

    Posted by terri at 03:24 AM | Comments (0)

    January 24, 2013

    Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

    Tomatillo is a fruit that is sometimes called a Mexican green tomato. They have flavors of lemon, apple and herbs that are enhanced when cooked. The salsa is great with chips, tamales or fajitas.

    Ingredients:

  • 12 tomatillo, husked, rinsed well
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 to 3 serrano chilies, stemmed
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    Instructions:

    Cook first 4 ingredients in heavy large skillet over high heat until charred in spots but still firm, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer to processor; using on/off turns, chop coarsely.

    Add all remaining ingredients. Blend to coarse puree.

    Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

    Posted by terri at 02:34 AM | Comments (0)

    Pork and Vegetable Tamales

    The traditional tamale usually is filled with ground beef. This recipe uses shredded pork and corn for a great flavor combination. Serve with Tomatillo avocado salsa for a delicious party food.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients:

  • 8 dried corn husks
  • 2 cups Masa (tamale mix)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt for masa mix
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup frozen yellow (or canned) corn kernels, thawed, (drained)
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded pre-cooked pork roast
  • 1 teaspoon Terri’s Mexican seasoning mix (I will provide)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


    Instructions:

    Tamales:

    Soak cornhusks in hot water at least 2 hours or overnight before preparation. Form 8 ties by tearing several husks into small long strips.

    To make dough, mix Masa Mix, salt and soda to combine, add oil until coarse meal forms. Add broth and blend in (mixture will be soft).

    Combine shredded pork, corn, cheese, Mexican seasoning mix, salt and pepper.

    For each tamale, open 1 large softened husk.

    Place 1/3 cup tamale dough in center of husk. Make depression in center of dough; fill with 2 tablespoons shredded pork mixture. Using moistened fingertips, press more dough over filling to cover; shape filled dough into 3-inch-long log parallel to 1 long edge of husk. Fold 1 long side of husk over filling and roll up to enclose. Tie ends of filled husks with husk strips.

    Add enough water to a large pot containing steamer insert to just below insert. Layer tamales in steamer insert. Bring water to boil; cover pot. Steam until tamales are firm, removing insert and adding boiling water to pot to maintain water level as needed, about 30 minutes to one hour depending on heat. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate. Before serving, re-steam 30 minutes to heat through.

    Serve tamales in husks with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa.

    Posted by terri at 02:16 AM | Comments (0)

    January 05, 2013

    Beef Chipotle Tamales

    Hot tamales are a popular Mexican dish that uses masa dough that surrounds different fillings. The masa (corn flour)dough package is steamed until the dough is cooked through. If you like tamales try my recipe for pork and vegetables too.

    Ingredients

    18 dried corn husks (or tamale wrappers)

    Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    Mesa:

  • 3 cups Masa Harina (corn tortilla mix)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups water

    Instructions:

    Soak cornhusks in hot water at least 2 hours or overnight before preparation. Form ties by tearing several husks into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

    Heat olive oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until browned.

    Add tomato paste, chipotles, chili powder, salt and pepper, cook until well blended. Drain off extra fat and divide into even amounts per the number of tamales you will be making.

    To make dough, lightly spoon masa harina into dry measuring cups, level with knife.

    Combine masa harina, salt, baking powder, stirring well with whisk.

    Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water and stir until soft dough forms. Cover to prevent drying out.

    For each tamale, open 1 large softened husk. Place 1/3 cup tamale dough in center of husk. Make depression in center of dough; fill with 2 tablespoon beef mixture.

    Using moistened fingertips, press dough over filling to cover; shape filled dough into 3-inch-long log parallel to 1 long edge of husk. Fold 1 long side of husk over filling and roll up to enclose. Tie ends of filled husks tightly with husk strips.

    Add enough water to a large pot containing steamer insert to reach bottom of insert. Layer tamales in steamer insert. Bring water to boil; cover pot.

    Steam until tamales are firm, removing insert and adding boiling water to pot to maintain water level as needed, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate. Before serving, re-steam 45 minutes to heat through.)

    Serve tamales in husks with salsa.

    Posted by terri at 12:52 AM | Comments (0)

    January 02, 2013

    Grilled Chicken Thighs with Ancho Tequila Glaze

    I served this at one of our Cooking Light Dinner club dinners and it was a hit. Until you try a recipe you never know if it will be as good as it looks or sounds. But this one was full of flavor and everyone agreed that using thighs was a great choice.

    Serves 6

    Prep time: 40 minutes
    Total time: 1:10

    Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups hickory wood chips
  • 1 tablespoon ancho-chile powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin, freshly ground
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
    ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 12 bone in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 ½ tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

    Garnish with 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
    6 lime wedges

    Instructions:

    Soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes, drain well

    Build a charcoal fire prepared for indirect cooking grilling tips

    Combine chile powder and next 5 ingredients, through the salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl and toss to coat. Add the oil and toss

    Place syrup and next 5 ingredients, through red pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook until mixture is reduced to ½ cup and begins to thicken. Reserve syrup mixture

    Add wood chips to fire

    Place chicken meaty side down on grill rack coated with cooking spray away from direct heat. Brush chicken with syrup and grill for 15 minutes.

    Turn chicken over, brush with 2 tablespoons syrup and grill 15 minutes. Move chicken to direct heat and continue to cook until done. Temperature chart

    Garnish with cilantro and serve with remaining syrup and lime wedges.

    Posted by terri at 02:34 AM | Comments (0)

    3 Sausage Lentil Stew

    Dried lentils are high in protein and iron, making them a good substitute for meat. If you prefer a meatless dish follow these directions and just simpley omit the sausage.

    Serves 8
    Prep time:20 minutes
    Total time: 1:10

    Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 pound polish sausage, 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 2 medium bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    Instructions:

    Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat.

    Add the onion, celery, carrot and saute for 10 minutes.

    Add all the sausage and garlic and cook until brown, reduce heat cover and continue to cook until the sausage has cooked through.

    Add tomatoes and bay leaves, remove from heat.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Add 6 cups water and lentils, bring mixture to a boil.

    Partially cover reduce heat and simmer mixture for 40 minutes.

    Stir in parsley and vinegar.

    Discard the bay leaves and serve.

    Cooking Wiser:

    To cut back on cholesterol use turkey sausage

    To save time, saute lentil in 1 tablespoon cooking oil to soften. Then add to recipe as instructed.

    Posted by terri at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

    Lime Pepper Encrusted Salmon

    This is one of my new favorites. I made it for dinner the other night and added left over rice with chopped hazelnuts and bacon bits. It was delish.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 8 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    4 cups mixed lettuce, washed and drained

    For the salmon

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon, skin removed
  • Juice from one lime
  • Prepared lime pepper seasoning, enough to completely coat top of salmon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    For the vinaigrette

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

    For the salmon, squeeze the juice of the lime evenly on both sides of the salmon. Coat top of salmon with lime pepper, getting on a good solid layer. Place in oven and cook about 12-15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, depending on thickness of salmon. Remove from oven and cool.

    For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To serve, distribute the lettuce equally onto 8 salad plates and top with equal portions of salmon. Add vinaigrette.

    Make it your own: by adding your favorite cheese, bacon bits, roasted red peppers, almonds or hazelnuts and/ or olives.

    Posted by terri at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

    Artichoke Dip

    The best articokes are stored in glass jars, packed in water. Rinse and drain them on a baker's cooling rack to remove the salt and water. Frozen articokes are also good. Just remember to adjust your salt if you use those packed in brine or marinade.

    Makes 2-2 1/2 cups
    Prep time: 12 minutes
    Total time: 32 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1-14 ounce can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 medium roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

    Instructions:

    Heat the butter in a medium skillet and cook the onion until tender.

    Remove from the heat.

    Add artichoke hearts, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, roasted red pepper and ground pepper. Stir to combine.

    Spread evenly in an 8-inch quiche dish (or 9-inch pie dish). Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and the thyme. Can be made in advance up to this point and refrigerated.

    To serve, bake, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or till heated through.

    Cooking Wiser:

    Use Olive oil mayonnaise or low fat mayonnaise

    Make it your own by adding 1- 8 ounce package of frozen spinach (thaw and squeeze out all liquid), 1 tablespoon chopped bacon or 4 ounces crab meat. I also like adding a small can of sliced water chesnuts.

    Posted by terri at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

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