Monday, May 15, 2017

Tortellini Soup

Before it gets too hot outside, I want to share this recipe that my mom made one night. This soup if full of flavor and satisfying as a main dish. (Of course mom made a bunch of other stuff to go with it.) It is a repeat in our house. We all loved it. Even the picky eaters :)

Serves 12

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 cups chopped fennel bulb
1/4 cup minced fresh garlic
2 (8-oz.) pkg. sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp tomato paste
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 tsp ground pepper
3/4 tsp salt
2 (15-oz.) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups stemmed, chopped kale  (used spinach in this picture)
1 1/2 (9-oz.) pkg. 3-cheese tortellini
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fennel (I love fennel), garlic, and mushrooms and cook 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook 1 minute then add the stock, water, pepper, salt, diced tomatoes, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale. Add the tortellini and cook until done. 

Remove pot from heat and stir in the vinegar and parsley. 

Source: Cooking light January/February 2017

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Blackened Shrimp Pasta

I made this simple, yet flavorful pasta for the family tonight and everyone loved it. The original recipe is already on the blog here. This time around I added shrimp which I seasoned with melted butter and Zatarain's Blackened Seasoning mix and baked on 400 degrees for 15 minutes. With or without the shrimp, it is a keeper!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cornbread Stuffing

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. I love the time off to spend with family and friends and love cooking amazing food. Every year I have a 3 course menu planned out like this and this, but this year we are not hosting. Because I am not sure what we will have tomorrow or if it will include any of my traditional favorites like this pumpkin soup, I decided to make one of my absolute musts tonight. This is the best stuffing recipe I have ever had/made. It is super moist and stays moist even after re-heating 2 days later. It is a simple recipe with simple ingredients and lots of flavor. Make sure your cornbread base is the exact one as I have listed in the ingredients below and you won't be disappointed. It's the key. 

1 box of Krusteaz honey cornbread, substitute butter for the oil when making
1 loaf of french bread* (see note below)
1 stick butter
4 cups (one 32 oz carton) low sodium chicken broth
2 cups diced celery (I used 5 stalks, leaves included)
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme (I used fresh)
1/4 tsp sage (I used fresh)
1/4 tsp turmeric 
1/4 cup fresh parsley

First, make the cornbread as instructed on the back of the box, substituting the oil or butter. Let cool, cube, and set out to dry overnight. Cut the french bread and set out over night as well. 
*Note: My loaf of french bread was really long. I cut 7 1-inch slices and cubed them. If you forget to set out the night before, just put the cubes on a baking sheet and let crisp in the oven on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Season with salt (a little), black pepper, turmeric, fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Cook until soft. Add the broth and fresh parsley. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. 

In a large bowl toss the cubed bread with the vegetable/broth mixture. 

Pour into a pyrex. Place in the oven (350 degrees) until golden brown on top, approximately 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with cranberry sauce on the side. Makes great leftovers!

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fried Okra

When you no longer live in the South and all you want is crispy fried okra.  You search 3 grocery stores for the breaded kind, but no one carries it. When you are out of luck, you just have to make it yourself. Even after these have cooled quite a bit, they are still delicious. Serve with ketchup or hot sauce, or eat them plain alongside blackened catfish, lima beans, and black eyed peas. Enjoy! 

3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk**
1 pound okra, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Vegetable oil for frying

In a cast iron skillet or deep pan, heat the oil.

Place cut okra in buttermilk to soak for a couple minutes while you assemble the coating.

In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Transfer okra to coating mixture and toss well to coat. Fry okra in hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Flip to cook evenly. Remove to paper towels to drain.

**To make buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a measuring cup, fill with whole milk to make 1/2 cup total, let sit 5 minutes.

Source: adapted from Pinterest
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