Monday, December 17, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Woo, finally done with Fall semester! Only downside is I start my internship early... tomorrow to be exact. I will be working at Sundance Resort in a fine dining restaurant called The Tree Room. I'll be working there everyday until the beginning of the year which means I'll have no time to cook new dishes. My loving boyfriend is going to have to start cooking dinners for himself. Thankfully, I have an entire blog of recipes for him... hehe!

Mushroom soup has always been a favorite of mine. My mother used to make it all the time and her version was definitely different in the consistency. I loved that this recipe uses sherry, it gives such a great flavor... especially for cream soups.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon savory {herbs}
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cascabel pepper flakes
1 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sherry

1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock

1 cup whipping cream
1 bay leaf

  • In a pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add in the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring to combine and cook for a 2 more minutes.
  • Toss in the herbs, cascabel pepper flakes, mushrooms, pepper and salt. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until it has been absorbed by the mushrooms. 
  • Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine. 
  • Pour in the stock and cream, and add in the bay leaf. Stir to combine everything. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the soup has thickened.
  • Ladle half of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and season more if needed.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I grew up eating broccoli and cheese soup so of course I've been craving it lately. The reason I really loved making this recipe is because it was super fast and simple. By only using processed cheese, such as velveeta, it helped give the soup a creamy texture.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Recipe from Cooking Light

cooking spray
1 cup
chopped onion
garlic cloves, minced
3 cups
chicken broth
16 oz broccoli florets {frozen}
2 1/2 cups
1/3 cup
all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon
8 oz Velveeta

  • Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.
  • Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  • Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Creme Anglaise

This is definitely Timmy's favorite sauce for any dessert. I said I was making it to go with my pear galette and he got super happy. He describes it as a melted ice cream and he's completely right. Making the sauce is super easy, you just need to make sure that you don't overcook the final custard. The great thing is that this is the base for many things like ice creams or advanced creams like creme anglaise-style buttercream.

Creme Anglaise
Recipe from Advanced Baking and Pastry

243 g milk
243 g heavy whipping cream
97 g sugar, divided
97 g egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • To a pot, add the milk, heavy whipping cream and half the sugar. Bring to a boil.
  • In a bowl, add the egg yolks and right before the liquids in the pot come to a boil add the rest of the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until combined. You want to do this so that the sugar doesn't cook the egg yolks.
  • Temper the liquids into the egg yolk mixture and return everything back into the pot. Cook the custard until it thickens and has reached 160-180 degrees.
  • Strain the mixture into a bowl over an ice water bath and stir until cooled and add in the vanilla.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cranberry-Citrus Relish

This recipe comes from one of my classmates and it's amazing. It's light and fresh and goes great with vanilla-honey greek yogurt... I just can't get enough. She also told me to use organic sugar because white granulated sugar gives a grainy texture.

Cranberry-Citrus Relish
Recipe courtesy of Leann Pointer

1 bag cranberries, rinsed
1 orange, ends and seeds removed
1 lemon, ends and seeds removed
2 apples, cored
10 oz crushed pineapple 
1 cup sugar {organic} 
1/2 pomegranate seeds 

  • In a food processor, blend everything separately, making sure everything is the same consistency. After each item is blended, empty the contents into a bowl. 
  • First start with the cranberries, then the orange and lemon, and lastly the apples {adding the pineapple in before finished processing the apples}. 
  • Mix all of the processed fruit in the bowl and add the sugar, stir until combined. Add the pomegranate seeds and combine. 
  • Let sit overnight so that all of the flavors meld together.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Creamy Lemon-Yogurt Sauce

I absolutely love greek yogurt so I knew this was going to be something I'd love. It's a refreshing pasta dish that you could make all your own with other fresh vegetables!

Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Creamy Lemon-Yogurt Sauce
Recipe adapted from Jillian Michaels

12 ounces farfalle pasta
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon slap yo mama seasoning or black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium zucchini, halved and cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook about 9 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt and slap yo mama seasoning; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook just until wilted, flipping them over occasionally with a spatula.
  • Push the zucchini aside so a space on the bottom of the pan is clear. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, until golden but not really brown.
  • Mix the garlic into the zucchini.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the zucchini mixture to the yogurt mixture, and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta, and toss gently to combine. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

This savory bread pudding was super yummy and easy to make. I'm thinking next time I will add mushrooms to give it extra flavor.

Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresno peppers, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
1/4 cup spinach
1 1/2 cups cheese, shredded {monterey jack and sharp cheddar}
5 strips bacon, diced
5-6 slices of bread, cubed
slap yo mama seasoning, sprinkled on top

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a bowl, add the eggs, milk and parsley. Whisk together and set aside.  
  • In a pan over medium heat, add the butter and saute the onions. Add the green onions, garlic and fresno peppers and continue to saute. Add in the tomatoes and cook just until the tomato juices start to evaporate. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the egg mixture. Add the spinach and 1 cup of the cheese mixture as well. 
  • In the same pan used to cook the vegetables, add the bacon. Cook completely. Drain the bacon grease and add the bacon slowly to the egg mixture making sure to stir while adding. 
  • Spray a 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and add in the bread. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and make sure all the bread is equally soaked. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top and sprinkle with the slap yo mama seasoning. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I served this with spicy roasted potatoes!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reuben Sandwiches

It seems that the only right way to make a reuben is to start with fresh prepared ingredients. During my garde manger class we made these sandwiches and I don't even know how I had gone that long without eating one before. The flavors are just so amazing, it's truly a marvelous sandwich.

Reuben Sandwiches

rye bread {or pumpernickel rye}
swiss cheese 
corned beef {recipe below} 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toast the bread in the oven until golden brown on top
  • Flipped over and spread each piece with the dressing and top with the cheese. Put it back into the oven to melt the cheese.
  • In a pan over medium heat, melt some butter and add the corned beef, cook until heated. 
  • Once the cheese is finished melting, put half of the corned beef on one slice of bread. Add a layer of sauerkraut and then add the rest of the corned beef to the second slice. Put back into the oven for 2 minutes to warm.
  • Once finished put the second slice on top and slice.

Corned Beef
Recipe adapted from Cooking With Mel

1 3 lb corned beef plus seasoning packet
3 cups water
4-6 cups beef stock
salt and pepper

  • In a large stockpot add the beef, seasoning packet, water, beef stock, salt and pepper. Make sure there's enough liquid to cover the beef, if not, add more.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Boil for a minute or two. Then reduce the heat to medium-low so that the liquid is simmering.
  • Cover and allow to cook for about 4 hours.



Monday, October 29, 2012

German Sauerkraut {Bohemian Style}

This sauerkraut is so flavorful. An even amount of tartness and sweet. It would be great as a side dish or as a condiment!

German Sauerkraut {Bohemian Style}
Recipe adapted from Chef Keem

1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon beef base
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon caraway seed
1 cup red wine
1 quart sauerkraut, rinsed
1 apple, skinned and grated
2 tablespoons roux, cold

  • In a pan over medium heat cook the bacon until halfway crispy. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until the bacon is completely crispy. 
  • Once ready, add the beef base, brown sugar, paprika, pepper and caraway seed. Mix thoroughly and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the red wine, sauerkraut and grated apple and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the roux and simmer for another 15 minutes.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thousand Island Dressing

So the inspiration for making this dressing comes from my craving for reuben sandwiches which I will be making on Tuesday! It's easier for me to make the condiments and such before since I have work, class and homework during the week. This is a very simple and yummy dressing.

Thousand Island Dressing 
Recipe from Chef Franz

1 cup mayonnaise
1 ounce chili sauce
1 ounce ketchup
1/4 cup onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped {fresh}
1 ounce pickle relish
1/2 ounce capers, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
pepper, to taste

  • In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together and chill for at least 2 hours prior to using.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Baked Halibut with Pine Nut, Parmesan and Arugula Pesto Crust

Today we definitely made a great food discovery in downtown Provo, a restaurant called Black Sheep Cafe which focuses on southwestern native-american cuisine. I ordered the "goat" burger {a beef burger stuffed with goat cheese and roasted garlic, topped with portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, spring mix and adobo mayo all wrapped in nanniskadii bread - very similar to naan!} and the Orange Habenero Crème Brulee. I was in absolute heaven when eating my burger, I'm going to eat there again for sure.

For dinner, I decided to make this baked halibut. It's quite flavorful because of the arugula pesto and parmesan cheese.

Baked Halibut with Pine Nut, Parmesan and Arugula Pesto Crust
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

6 halibut fillets, deboned and skinned
3/4 cups pine nuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons parmesan
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon arugula pesto
4 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup panko
1 tablespoon butter

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Spray a baking pan with non stick spray or olive oil. Remove the fish fillets from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature while the oven heats.
  • Finely chop the pine nuts and mince the garlic. Mix together chopped pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, pesto and mayonnaise.
  • On each fillet, squeeze a little lemon on top and spread the crust mixture evenly over the surface of each fish fillet. Pile it on so all the crust mixture is used. Sprinkle the tops of each crust with buttered panko.
  • Bake the halibut for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch and crust mixture is starting to lightly brown. If the fish is thoroughly cooked, but the crust is not completely browned, turn on the broiler and brown the tops. 

I served this with lemon-garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thai Beef Noodles

We start advanced baking tomorrow and I'm not sure how it's going to go. I'm only sure that I'll be exhausted with my current schedule... 5 am - 10 am (work), 11 am - 5 pm (school) and then homework! It's because of meals like this that make my life so much simpler. I can just throw it together and when Tim gets home, he's got something to eat. This recipe reminds me a lot of thai chicken fettuccine too. It's a very basic thai-inspired pasta.

Thai Beef Noodles
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home 

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sherry
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon sambal
12 ounces spaghetti, cooked
1 lb beef top sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup  carrot, julienned
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, julienned
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

  • In a small saucepan, bring the first eight ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry the beef in 1/2 teaspoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
  • Stir-fry carrot and red pepper in remaining oil for 3 minutes. Add in the green onions; stir-fry 3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Return beef to the skillet.
  • Drain the noodles and add to the pan. Add the peanut sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

Since our tomatoes are on the verge of not ripening because of the cold weather, I've decided to use some of them in this chocolate cake. Tims mom gave me this recipe when we were at their house this past weekend and it sounded great. I also loved the idea of a mocha frosting.

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting 

3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons orange extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups green tomato, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
mocha frosting {recipe below}

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the orange and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients and milk into the mixture until just combined.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and walnuts. Grease a bundt pan and pour the batter in.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Mocha Frosting:

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon rum
2 tablespoons coffee

  • Cream the butter and add in the sugar, cocoa, rum and coffee until smooth.