Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken and Corn Chowder

When TWO of my favored cooks featured this recipe and recommended it I knew it was a must try!

Lori on her blog All That Splatters posted about the recipe she found on sweet Geri's blog Heart N Soul Cooking, and I completely agree this is a fabulous recipe.

It's with great thanks to Geri and Lori that they introduced me to this recipe. It's a keeper, and the garnishes push this one over the top.

Here's Geri's recipe ~ the only changes I made: I substituted Russet potatoes because I didn't have Yukon Golds on hand (but don't overcook them, they will fall apart), I used frozen white kernel corn and poached some chicken breasts then cubed it.

Geri's Heart N Soul Chicken and Corn Chowder
6 servings

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (from a 2 1/2- to 3-lb. roasted chicken)
3 cups corn, frozen or kernels cut from 3 ears corn
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Garnishes (Don't skimp!)

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and meat starts to brown. Add onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, until flour smells cooked (you should get a whiff of baked piecrust) but hasn't started to brown, about 3 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep mixture simmering and cook until potatoes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream to taste. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, a squirt or two of lime juice, and pepper to taste.

Thank you for sharing your recipe Geri! And thank you too Lori for sharing it because I missed it on Geri's blog.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carnitas ~ Little Pieces of Browned Pork

Carnitas ~ Little Pieces of Browned Pork
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

I've been making this dish for well over 30 years, it is one of my all-time favorite Mexican foods and a much requested recipe in my family. It is difficult to believe that three ingredients (pork, water and salt) cook into such a satisfying and delicious dish. If I could only eat one Mexican food for the rest of my life, this would be it. If you try it, I hope it becomes a favorite of yours, too.

Carnitas are a popular snack in central Mexico, served with a fresh tomato salsa and wrapped in a warm tortilla (I prefer flour tortillas for this recipe) they makes a most delicious snack. Usually served with additional condiments such as chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, avocado (or guacamole), chopped onion or scallions, sour cream, etc.

3 pounds pork shoulder, butt, or boneless country-style pork spareribs, etc.
Cold water to barely cover
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

This dish requires some fat on the meat in order to make the finished meat succulent and juicy, if you are looking for a low-fat dish you would be better off choosing something else.

Cut the meat, with the fat into strips about 2" x 3/4", or 1 1/2" to 2" cubes. Place meat in a large pot and barely cover with water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat (don't cover the pot.)

When pot boils lower the heat a bit and allow to cook briskly until all liquid has evaporated; the meat should be cooked through but not falling apart. Lower the heat once again and continue cooking until the fat has rendered out. Continue turning the meat until it is lightly brown all over and slightly crisp. this usually takes between 45 to 70 minutes. Taste and add additional salt if needed.

-No need for an expensive cut of meat, you want cuts with a fair amount of fat so the meat browns properly later.
-The meat will cook more evenly if the pot is large (and rather shallow if possible)
-Do not add too much water at the beginning, or the meat will fall apart when frying later
-If the meat is still rather firm when water has evaporated then add a little more water and continue cooking.

Recipe adapted from Diana Kennedy's "The Cuisines of Mexico", an excellent resource.
I highly recommend.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Crispy Parmesan Pirouettes with Salmon Pearls and Lemon Cream

Crispy Parmesan Pirouettes with Salmon Pearls and Lemon Cream
2 servings
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate


1 cup (about 3 ounces) finely grated parmesan
salmon pearls (salmon caviar/roe)
chervil leaves, to garnish

Lemon Cream
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Prepare the lemon cream:
In a small bowl mix sour cream, lemon zest and juice stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to (350°F). Line a large, shallow baking pan with baking parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Make 6 circular mounds (1 1/2 Tablespoons each) of Parmesan cheese on the lined baking sheet, spaced apart to allow for spreading. Flatten mounds slightly.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden, watch carefully. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and roll into cylinders.

Spoon the lemon cream into small dishes or pots and top with salmon pearls and chervil, snipped chives or a small piece of a parsley leaf. Serve with the parmesan crisps.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay (click to see more.)

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Slow Roasted Chipolte Salmon with Pineapple Rice

Slow-Roasted Chipolte Salmon with Pineapple Rice
4 servings
Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home

3 Tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 skinless salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon scallions (green part only), thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 225* (F)
Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.

In a small bowl combine the adobo sauce, sugar, and salt. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and brush the tops with half of the sauce.

Roast in the oven for 20 to 40 minutes depending on how thick the salmon is.

Adjust the heat to broil, brush the remaining glaze on the salmon, and broil 3 inches from the heat for about 3-5 minutes.

In a small saucepan combine the wine, sugar, ginger, and lime juice. Bring to a boil and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup (about 5 to 7 minutes) stirring occasionally.

Blend the butter and the cornstarch together and whisk into the sauce. Simmer until thickened (about 1 minute.) Stir in the scallions and serve with the salmon and the rice.


Pineapple Cilantro Rice
Makes 4 cups

1/4 cup onion, diced
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup long grain rice
1 can crushed pineapple, undrained (15 oz) I used fresh pineapple chunks in juice from the refrigerated case)
3/4 cup pineapple juice (6 oz)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

In a 2 to 3 quart saucepan (with tight fitting lid) saute onion in butte rover medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Stir in rice and saute for one minute more.

Add pineapple, pineapple juice, water, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in cilantro.

With many thanks to Pam at Sidewalk Shoes for featuring these recipes on her blog.

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Crumpets with Blueberry-Vanilla Preserves

makes 16 three-inch crumpets

As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Similar to English Muffins, but more dense crumpets are delicious warm from the griddle, or split and toasted and served with jam, preserves, honey or your favorite spread. Excellent with a cup of hot tea or coffee.
Round cookie cutters or egg cooking rings are necessary for this recipe. I like to make these in my electric skillet for accurate temperature control, but you can also make them on a griddle or pan on the stove top.
1 packet dry yeast (scant 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a few Tablespoons butter, melted to brush pan/griddle and the metal rings
Sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water in a mixing bowl, stir to dissolve yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes, then stir in milk, flour, salt and soda. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to develop for 30 minutes.
Heat skillet or griddle over medium heat (275*) until hot. Brush pan surface lightly with melted butter. Arrange cooking rings on cooking surface, brush insides of rings lightly with melted butter.
Fill each ring 2/3 full of batter. (For 3-inch rings I use a 1/3 cup measuring scoop.)
Cook about 10 minutes or until tops are full of holes and batter begins to dry and lose it's shiny surface. Remove rings and flip crumpets to lightly brown the other side.
Serve immediately, or toast (or split and toast) and serve with your favorite condiments.

This is my favorite way ~ split, toasted and spread with butter:


Blueberry-Vanilla Preserves
Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Sugar (may use part Splenda TM)
freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 scant teaspoon for 1 cup of berries
pure vanilla extract
Combine equal amounts of berries and sugar (I reduce the ratio of sugar a bit ~ personal preference) in a saucepan, add a couple of tablespoons water and the lemon juice. Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently so mixture doesn't scorch. Cook until liquids begins to evaporate and desired consistency is reached. Keeping in mind that mixture will firm up further as it cools.
Remove from heat and stir in a teaspoon of vanilla. Place in clean jar and refrigerate when preserves have cooled.
Will keep in refrigerator for 1 week.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Steamed Dumplings (Shrimp or Vegetarian)

Steamed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings
Make about 20-24 steamed dumplings

As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

This recipe was given to me by a good friend over 20 years ago. It's a tried and true!

If you prefer you can make your own dumpling dough, this is the shortcut method using store bought wonton wrappers. The dough will not be as tender as traditional dumpling dough; it's thinner and a little more chewy, but it is a good quick version.


8-10 medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into small bits
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 green onion/scallion (both white and green parts, finely chopped)
a few shakes of ground white pepper
1 teaspoon extra dry (Cocktail) Sherry; non-sweet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 package square wonton wrappers


In a medium-size bowl mix the shrimp, ground pork, green onion, gringer and remaining ingredients (except wrappers) together with a fork until well combined.

To fill dumplings:

Place one wrapper on work surface (keep remaining wrappers in the package so they don't dry out). Portion a small spoonful (scant 1 teaspoon) of the filling in the center of the wrapper. (Don't overfill or you will not be able to seal tightly.) Dip your finger in water, moisten the edges of the wrapper, bring all corners up so they meet over the center of the filling (forming a pyramid shape), pinch seams to form a tight seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers.

Arrange the dumplings in a bamboo steamer (line bottom of each steamer section with parchment paper or a lettuce leaf), I spray parchment paper lightly with cooking spray (not necessary if using lettuce leaf.) Steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve right away with drizzle or dipping sauce of your choice:

Suggestions for drizzles/dips:

-Sweet Hot Chilli Sauce (from the bottle)
-Soy-Rice Vinegar: Equal parts rice vinegar and soy sauce (may add a few drops of water if flavor is too strong)
-Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce: Equal parts black vinegar, soy sauce, thinly sliced scallions, few drops hot sesame oil and a bit of water)

Can keep dumplings warm in a 200*(F) oven, loosely covered with foil for up to 1/2 hour.

Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
adapted from Alton Brown
35 to 40 Dumplings
Note: I half this recipe

1/2 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded Napa cabbage (or regular cabbage, cut angel hair style)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bowl of water, plus additional water for steamer
35 to 40 small wonton wrappers (Fewer if you are halving the recipe)
Non-stick vegetable spray, for the steamer

First extract as much liquid as possible from tofu using this method:

Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels. Place on a plate, top with another plate, and place a weight on top (a 14-ounce can of vegetables works well). Let stand 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots, cabbage, red pepper, scallions, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, egg, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.

Proceed to fill wrappers, and steam as directed in preceding recipe.

Hope you enjoy!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brazilian Grilled Steak with Artichoke Salsa

This wonderful recipe is from Sook on My Fabulous Recipes Blog. I only changed it slightly; as noted in brackets.

It really IS fabulous, too!

Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak w/ Artichoke Salsa

1 flank steak [I used sirloin, use what cut you like]
2 tablespoons oil
6 garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and very finely chopped
Steak seasoning [such as Montreal Steak Seasoning]

For the Salsa:

4 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced [I used cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved]
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup jarred artichoke hearts, diced [I used canned]
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt


Rub the all over with olive oil. Rub the steak with minced garlic and jalapeno and season it with steak seasoning. Place it in a resealable plastic food bag or in a flat glass container] seal well. Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the Salsa:

Place all salsa ingredients in a medium sized bowl and toss gently to mix well. Set aside.

On a hot grill, preferably outdoor grill (you can use indoor grill if that is more convenient for you), grill the flank steak until the meat is cooked the way you like it.

Slice the meat thinly to serve. Serve with salsa on the side or on top of the meat.

My notes: This also makes a wonderful burrito when wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, or as a sandwich on a split, toasted baguette. SO good!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thank you to Sook the Cook, @ My Fabulous Recipes

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Coconut and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Coconut and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Recipe yields about 18 cookies

4 ounces butter (1/2 cup= 1 stick)
1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup self-rising flour*
1 cup coconut (sweetened
⅔ cups white chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350ºF)

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the plain and self-rising flours and coconut and mix with a rubber spatula or butter knife until a soft dough forms. Add the chocolate.

With your hands, or a food scoop mold 2 tablespoons of cookie mixture into a flat round. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper or silpat silicone liner. Leave 1" space between each cookie to allow for cookies to spread. , leaving room to spread. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until light golden. Allow to cool on trays.

Donna's notes: To check if the cookies are done, look at the bottom not the top. If you wait until the top looks right you risk overcooking them. To check, lift a cookie with a spatula so you can see underneath. The bottom should be deep golden. Cool on trays as the cookies will continue to cook after you've removed them from the oven.

Cookie recipe adapted from Donna Hay magazine.

* I usually don't keep commercially made self-rising flour in my pantry so I make it as I need it.

Self Rising Flour
Recipe yields 1 cup

Sift together:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brie & Scallion Tartlets

Brie & Scallion Tartlets
Recipe yields 15 tartlets
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate

I found this recipe on the "Taste of Home" website, the original recipe called for a leek but since I had none I substituted sliced green onions (scallions). I think you could also used finely diced onion or shallots as well. These are so good and they don't last long so you may want to double the recipe if you are making them for a group.

1 medium leek (white portion only), finely chopped or 2 small bunch green onions (scallions), including green part
3 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Dash salt and white pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
2 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, (or your choice of cheese)

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, saute leek (or scallions) until tender. The scallions are more tender and will only take a short time to cook. Add the
garlic; cook for a few moments then stir in the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg; cook and stir for a couple of minutes until mixture thickens.
Arrange tart shells on a baking sheet. Slice cheese into 15 pieces; place one piece in each tart shell. Top each with 1-1/2 teaspoons leek/scallion mixture.

•Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until heated through.

Recipe adapted from "Taste of Home" website.

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