Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corn & Ham Chowder for Soup Swap!!

Serves 4 (easily doubled, tripled, etc.) The creamed corn adds a great amount of richness to this dish, eliminating the need for cream. Lighter but still yummy!!

1 small onion
2 Stalks celery plus 1/4 cup celery leaves
2 tbls. butter
2 cups milk
1 can (14 3/4 oz.) creamed corn
1 cup chicken broth (you could use the fat-free, reduced-sodium, organic, too expensive type but I don't recommend it)
1 bay leaf
1 fully cooked ham steak (8 oz)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen corn
Salt and black pepper to taste
10 shakes your favorite Hot Sauce

Coarsely chop the onion and celery stalks.

In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.

Stir in the milk, creamed corn, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and dice the ham into 1/2-inch chunks. Barely chop the celery leaves.

Add the ham, celery leaves, and frozen corn to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt, black pepper and hot sauce.

Tipsy Shrimp WIth Dried Tomato Aioli

A new twist on Shrimp Cocktail. We put Tequila in everything!

Serves 8
1 lb Large Shrimp
3/4 cup Tequila
3/4 cup Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 tbs Finely Chopped Shallots
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 tbs Dijon Mustard

1. Cook shrimp in 4 cups of lightly salted water in large saucepan for 1-2 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, stirring once.
2. Rinse shrimp under cold water; drain, peel and devein.
3. Combine tequila, lime juice, olive oil, shallots and 2 cloves of garlic in a large baggie.
4. Add shrimp to baggie and marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
5. Pour boiling water over the dried tomatoes; let stand for 30 minutes and drain.
6. Process the tomatoes in food processor until pureed.
7. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, 4 cloves of garlic and dijon mustard to processor.
8. Process with a few on/off turns until well mixed.
9. Drain the marinade from the shrimp and serve with the tomato aioli.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anna's All Afternoon Baked Ziti

It doesn't really take all afternoon but it tastes like it did. This is an award winning recipe from my Allentown, PA days.

1 lb Ground Chuck
1/2 lb Lean Ground Pork
1/3 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Medium Eggplant, pared and diced (under 1 lb)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Large Can (35 oz) Italian Plum Tomatoes (Undrained)
1 Can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
1 Clove Garlic, Pressed
1 tsp Sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbls salt
4-6 quarts Boiling Water
1 lb Ziti
1 lb Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese, sliced

1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Butter, melted
2 cups Milk
1 tsp Salt
Dash Pepper
1 tbls Minced Onion

1. Have butcher grind chuck and pork together to mix well and then separate into 1lb and 1/s lb portions.
2. Mix together 1 lb of meat with bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, egg, and 1 tbs Parmesan cheese.
3. Shape into 1/2 inch meat balls and set aside.
4. In large saucepan, saute eggplant in oil until lightly browned, adding more oil is necessary and remove eggplant.
5. In same pan, brown meat balls and remove.
6. Brown remaining 1/2 lb meat and add tomatoes, paste, garlic, sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, basil, oregano and red pepper.
7. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
8. Uncover and simmer for another 3o minutes, stirring occasionally.
9. Add eggplant and meatballs.
10. Meanwhile, add 2 tbls. salt to rapidly boiling water and cook pasta until al dente.
11. While pasta is boiling, prepare sauce. In saute pan, blend flour with melted butter until smooth, gradually stir in milk, salt, pepper and minced onion. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally for about a minute.
12. After draining pasta, make a layer of the ziti in a buttered 5 quart baking dish; add half of tomato-eggplant-meat sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; Top with Ricotta, Mozzarella slices and white sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
13. Add remaining ziti and tomato-eggplant-meat sauce and another sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
14. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling hot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Moroccan Pasta

This tasty pasta dish is quite simple and brings together some great Moroccan flavors like honey, lemon, paprika and olives. While this recipe calls for chicken, you can substitute pork or omit the meat completely for a vegetarian dish. (picture is not the food item. I forgot to take a picture).

Serves 4
1 pound of chicken breast cut in 1 inch cubes
1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts
8 ounces fusilli, corkscrew or tube like pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Sauce Ingredients
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons of finely minced ginger
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cornstarch
12 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. In a a bowl combine all ingredients for the sauce, stir well and then set aside in the refrigerator.

1. Toast the pine nuts in a preheated skillet until golden brown taking care not to burn. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. When pasta is al dente remove from heat and drain.

3. Cook chicken in skillet until golden brown and cooked through.

4. Add pasta, olives, pine nuts, parsley and sauce. Stir and toss until evenly combined and well heated.

5. Serve.