Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recipe #220: Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I can't believe this is my 220th recipe!

I don't remember how I linked to this recipe, but the second I saw the picture, I knew I had to make this.  Maybe it was, which has the most beautiful pictures (and then links to) recipes.  Check it out- it's really addicting.  This recipe is from and makes a TON of soup.  I'm trying to find volunteers for leftovers AFTER I've already put some in the freezer and alotted more for lunches this week.  Very hearty and chunky and a little creamy.  My changes are in red.  This would be really good with leftover turkey, too.


1 cup (170g) wild rice (I used a box of Uncle Ben's wild rice without the seasoning packet)
¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil  (I used butter instead)
1 onions, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ cup (115g) all-purpose flour
8 cups (1.9 liters) chicken stock (I used unsalted stock)
Salt and pepper
2 cups (300g) cooked chicken, cubed (I shredded a whole rotisserie chicken)
8 oz (225g) mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (or.... 10oz of baby bellas!)
1 cup (240 ml) half-and-half
½ cup (25g) chopped parsley  (I won't use this much next time)


Cook wild rice in 4 cups (960ml) of water for 45 minutes or until it fluffs up. Drain any remaining liquid left
in the pot. Set aside.  (The rice I used only needed to cook about 25 minutes, but I still used 4 cups of water, which kept it from burning- a problem I normally have)

In a large pot, add vegetable oil. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until soften, about 3 minutes. Add
dried thyme and all-purpose flour. Cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

Add cooked chicken, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 10

Add cooked wild rice and pour in half-and-half. Bring soup back up to a boil and allow it to heat through,
about 5 minutes.

Turn off heat. Stir in chopped parsley.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Recipe #219: Reuben Soup

I'm mad I couldn't get a better picture of this, but I was tired, starving, and in a hurry... you'll just have to take my word for it that this soup tastes EXACTLY like its sandwich version.  Definitely delish, as my burnt mouth can vouch for.  Yet another post.... My cookbooks are starting to feel neglected!

1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef stock
1 quart half-and-half
1 pound cooked corned beef, chopped
1 cup sauerkraut
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (such as Spice
Islands® Beau Monde Seasoning)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese,
1 (6 ounce) package rye croutons
1.Cook and stir onion, celery, red bell pepper, butter, garlic, tarragon, and caraway seeds in a stock pot over medium heat until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
2.Slowly stir flour into vegetable mixture. Cook on low until flour is lightly browned, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes.
3.Stir beef stock, half-and-half, corned beef, sauerkraut, seasoned salt, and black pepper into vegetable mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until soup is heated through and slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
4.Stir 2 cups Swiss cheese into soup until melted. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with rye croutons and remaining Swiss cheese.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recipe #218: Greek-Inspired Lamb Salad

I bought a pack of two little lamb grillers recently.  I'm not even sure now what the cuts are, but I snatched them up because they were cheap (normally I like the more expensive chops) and reminded me that for all of the lamb dishes I've made, I hadn't yet grilled the lovely meat.  I wasn't sure what I'd make at the time, but I bought them anyway.

This recipe is my own.  I made it up based on looking at several other recipes for ideas.  Nick said it tasted like a restaurant's entree salad.  The amounts are approximate because I threw this together without expecting to blog it, but it really was delicious.


The lamb:
1lb grillable lamb cut
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil

The topping:
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cucumber, halved and sliced
Kalamata olives, to taste
Feta cheese, to taste

The dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Lemon juice, about 2 tbsp, to taste
Salt, pepper, to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

And also salad greens.


Before grilling time, let the lamb sit out, with a light coat of olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Preheat grill on high heat.  In the meanwhile, put the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and feta in a mixing bowl.

Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.  Drizzle some over the toppings in the mixing bowl and stir them to coat them with the flavors.

Grill the lamb to desired doneness, 5-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness.  When done, cut the lamb into strips.

Spread salad greens on serving plates.  Put topping on the greens.  Put lamb on the toppings.  Drizzle a little more of the dressing on top of everything.

Grilled lamb before cutting.  Mouth-watering!

The dressing and the toppings.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Recipe #217: Paella

I want to go to Spain, eat their food and drink their wine.  That won't happen any time in the very near future, so I just cooked their food and found a bottle of their wine in the grocery store instead.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  PAELLA!  This turned out great although I wish I had cooked the mussels just a little bit longer.  It made a TON and there's a lot of leftovers. provided yet another recipe- my comments/changes are in red.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 ounces chorize sausage, cut into
pieces (I used 8oz)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (12 ounce) package uncooked Arborio
rice (I used 8oz package of saffron yellow rice, then arborio)
5 cups chicken broth (I only needed the 3.5 cups)
1/2 cup white wine
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pinch saffron
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 squid, cleaned and cut into 1 inch
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup frozen green peas
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (or, you know, 15...)
1 pound mussels, cleaned and
debearded (dont forget the shaving cream and razors)
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
8 slices lemon, for garnish
1.Heat olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic and pepper; cook and stir for a few minutes. Add chorizo sausage, diced chicken, and rice; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 cups stock, wine, thyme leaves, and saffron. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes; stir occasionally.
2.Taste the rice, and check to see if it is cooked. If the rice is uncooked, stir in 1/2 cup more stock. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional stock if necessary, up to 2 cups additional stock, 5 cups total. Cook until rice is done.
3.Stir in squid, tomatoes, and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Arrange prawns and mussels on top. Cover with foil, and leave for 3 to 5 minutes.  (BE SURE to leave the heat on.  Mussels are done when they open.  Poke to test their "squishiness" for desired doneness)
4.Remove the foil, and scatter parsley over the food. Serve in paella pan, garnished with lemon wedges.
The wine I chose to go with dinner.... and lots of leftovers!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Recipe #216 and 217: Grilled Tuna Steaks with Dill Sauce, Grilled Brussels Sprouts

I LOVE that I can grill again!  So satisfying and delicious.  Here are two new recipes in one meal.  The problem is, the pictures don't do either of them justice at ALL.  Actually, the green sauce looks a little weird here but TRUST me, the sauce is amazing, and the sprouts came out perfect.  I even like the blackened leaves.  There was enough sauce to save for something else, too.  The tuna recipe comes from, and the sprouts from, with my changes included.



1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 1 1/4 inch thick tuna steaks
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard (I used dijon)
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3 tablespoons white sugar (I used 2)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons dried dill (I used 2- 3 is probably major overkill)


Combine the lemon juice with 1/2 cup olive oil in a sealable plastic bag; seal and shake.  Add the tuna steaks and store in refrigerator to marinate while the grill preheats.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Whisk the brown mustard, mustard powder, sugar, vinegar and 1/3 cup olive oil together in a bowl; stir in the dill.

Remove the tuna from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Cook the steaks on the preheated grill until the flish flakes easily with a fork, about 6 minutes per side.  Drizzle the steaks with the mustard and dill sauce to serve.



1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder so it would stick better)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat a grill to medium.

Cut off the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and remove yellowing outer leaves.  Place into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Add the olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika, and salt and pepper and toss to combine.  Skewer the sprouts onto metal skewers (I used wooden ones sprayed with oil).  Place the skewers onto the grill and cook for 5 minutes (I cooked them for 6, timed with the first side of the tuna steaks).  Turn over and cook for 5 minutes (I cook them for about 4 and then put them on the upper rack while the steaks finished).

Monday, April 8, 2013

New York City Food

I had to go to Middletown, Connecticut for work.  I was told that I had to be there from Tuesday, March 26, through Friday the 28th, and then Monday, April 1st through the 5th.  Flying home Friday and then coming back Sunday didn't make much sense, especially once I was told that New York City was just a 2 hour train ride away.  How could I resist?  I LOVE New York City, and I definitely wasn't intimidated about going by myself.

I won't get into details to make you jealous about what an awesome time I had (ok, I really did...) so I'll just limit this to what this blog is about:  FOOD!  I stayed at The Jane Hotel, perfect for one person and fantastically priced ( and lucked out- there is an amazing cafe on the first floor of that hotel.  I ate there three times, as you will see.

So I will post pics of what I had on my trips, where they came from, and fawn over each dish a little bit.  I will probably try to imitate some of these in my own kitchen.

ITEM:  Chicken satay with peanut sauce and jasmine rice, carrots, with a whiskey
PLACE:  Cafe Gitane (113 Jane St Manhattan)
COMMENTS:  I was in heaven, immediately.  I love anything peanut sauced.  I love jasmine rice.  The chicken was tender and flavorful.  

ITEM:  Baked eggs with smoke salmon, capers, potatoes and cream, and a latte
PLACE: Cafe Gitane (for breakfast)
COMMENTS:  The latte is coffee done right.  And the eggs were fantastic and the salmon had just the right amount of flavor for the dish.  The bread is great too.

ITEM:  Street stand hot dog smothered in relish and mustard
PLACE:  Right smack in the middle of Times Square, below where the ball drops on NYE
COMMENTS:  Obligatory, right?  Obviously, the atmosphere made this gourmet!!!

ITEM:  Spaghetti bolognese (with a chianti)
PLACE;  Il Palazzo, in Little Italy (
COMMENTS:  This was exactly what I was hoping for in Little Italy.  I sat under a glass ceiling and enjoyed the sunshine and a great meal.  I had an espresso after!

ITEM:  Steak tartare, with a whiskey (probably Knob Creek or Maker's Mark) 
PLACE:  The Standard Grill (
COMMENTS:  I had several people recommend this place to me, which was a five minute walk from my hotel.  I knew that standing at the bar to eat (because it was so busy) was the price I'd have to pay for delicious food, and I was right.  This was my first steak tartare, and I LOVED it and ate every bit!

ITEM:  Baked eggs with basil, tomato sauce, and cream with Merquez (lamb) sausages
PLACE:  Cafe Gitane (breakfast)
COMMENTS:  I was told I better try these sausages, so I did, and I ate the whole thing.  DELISH!  With an espresso.  I ate all the bread, too, to swab up the sauce.  Great Easter breakfast!

This doesn't include the Belgian truffles I bought at a chocolate shop outside Grand Central Station, or a chai at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Times Square, or an amazing stout I drank at a really cool bar in Little Italy.  I LOVE New York and was sad to leave, especially all the food it has to offer!