Monday, November 21, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is based on a certain restaurant's soup. My husband found the recipe & made it - SO good! Here is my version after I made the soup. It makes a lot, but is great to freeze or just reheat.

1 (16-oz) package smoked sausage
5-6 potatoes*, cut into half-moons
1 cup chopped onion
8 slices bacon, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
6 cups kale, washed, dried, and shredded
4 tbsp instant chicken bouillon
3 quarts water (12 cups)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place sausage on a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until done. Cut links in half lengthwise, half again lengthwise, then dice. Set aside.

Place onions and bacon in a large saucepan with a little olive oil and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Add instant chicken bouillon and potatoes; simmer 15 minutes. Add the sausage, kale, and cream; simmer 10 minutes. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

(*I used red potatoes from our garden to make the soup and it was delicious, but I think russet potatoes would be better. They'd break down a bit more to thicken the soup, which the red potatoes didn't do.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Coconut Rice with Red Beans

This was a quick and easy recipe, not to mention delicious! My family really liked it. We had it as a main dish with a side salad, but you could pair it with some chicken as well.

2 slices bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (remove seeds & ribs for less heat)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
coarse salt
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 can (15-oz) red kidney beans, drained
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 scallions, minced

In a medium saucepan, brown bacon over med-low heat, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Pour off fat if there's a lot. Add garlic, jalapeno, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add coconut milk and 1 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in beans and rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in scallions. Let sit, covered, until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Autumn Herbed Chicken with Fennel & Squash

This is such a yummy fall dish - it requires a little work in the beginning, but then the crock pot does the rest. My kids ate it up! It's also delicious leftover. :)

3-4 lbs boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary

In a freezer bag combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken in the bag and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken. Remove and place in the slow cooker (make sure chicken is on the bottom). Add the fennel, onion, and squash. Combine the chicken broth, apple juice, thyme, salt, pepper, and rosemary and pour over the veggies and meat. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high 2.5-3 hours.

(To make a freezer meal: In one large freezer bag place the chicken thighs. In another large freezer bag place the fennel, onion, squash, thyme, broth, cider/juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary. In a small freezer bag put the flour, salt, and pepper. On cooking day, thaw the chicken and follow the directions above.)