Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fragrant Beef/Pork Risotto Soup (One pot)

Fragrant Pork - N - Beef Risotto Soup (One Pot Meal)
                                                                Serves 4 people

4 - 6 High Quality Sausages
1/2 pound Ground Round
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 small Onion sliced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper Sliced
2 Garlic cloves smashed and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp Cilantro
1/2 Cup Risotto Rice (Rinse under hot water till water runs clear in a wire colander)
900 ML Chicken Stock (Can use Vegetable Stock)
2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
1 cup frozen green beans snapped into small pieces
Coarse Roasted Garlic Herb Seasoning
1 shot glass of Sherry


1. Split the sausage skin, squeeze out the meat, mix all of the sausage in with the ground beef. Make small meatballs.

In a sauce pan or a large dutch oven heat the oil and butter.
Brown all the meatballs on all sides and the place in a plate and keep warm. (You will have to do them in batches) I ended up having 2 batches.

While the meatballs are browning, Slice a small onion in thin slices. Slice 1/2 red bell pepper slicing in thin slices, Slice a shallot in thin slices.

Smash and mince 2 garlic cloves.

2. Add onion, shallot, and red bell pepper and saute' till tender and lightly brown. Sprinkle a small amount of coarse roasted garlic her seasoning or a seasoning of choice over the vegetables.

Pour sherry into pan for deglazing the pan.  Cook till all fluid has almost disappeared.
                                    Add in chicken stock, risotto rice, canned tomatoes, and

spices stirring till combined. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5-10 minutes. Then add the meatballs back into the pan and gently stir till all are covered in the sauce. Gently simmer for another thirty or so minutes.

Add the green beans in and allow to cook a few more minutes.  Keep an eye on the fluid, if the risotto starts to absorb some of the chicken stock, add more to compensate.  I ended up adding another 1 1/2 cups of stock to compensate.

In the oven bake two garlic/butter french bread loaves.

Spoon soup into bowl and add thick slices of bread to eat with the dish.

NOTE:  The original recipe came from a magazine called Eatwell 101 healthy recipes. Winter 2015,  I modified the recipe further to fit our dietary taste. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Venetian Chicken Ragu

Venetian Chicken Ragu

1 tbsp olive oil
8 chicken legs
2 onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed and diced
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp plain flour
250ml/9oz red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube made up to 250 ml stock
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
parmesan grated

1.Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chicken legs and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes.

Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 mins until softened.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 min and

then stir in the cinnamon and

flour and

cook for a further minute.

Add the wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, herbs, sugar and seasoning.

Add Chicken back into pot. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 2  hours stirring occasionally.

2. Carefully lift the legs out of the sauce and place on a plate - they will be very tender so try not to lose any meat. Pull off and discard the fat, then shred the meat with two forks and discard the bones.  Add the meat back into the sauce with milk and simmer uncovered for a further 20-15mins while cooking the pasta.

3. Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, add the pasta to the ragu, stir to coat all the pasta in the sauce and cook for 2 min more, adding a splash of cooking liquid if it looks dry. Serve with grated parmesan if you like.

Our thoughts about this recipe.

First off I modified it a bit by adding mushrooms to it. Instead of duck I used chicken.

I think the recipe called for entirely TOO MUCH cinnamon.  The spice overwhelmed the dish.  We did NOT enjoy it at all.  SO this recipe for us was a bomb but worth the effort in testing it as far as cookign skills are concerned.

Kathy's photographs

Monday, March 30, 2015

Navy Bean Lentil Soup

White Beans and Lentil Soup

About 2 lbs pork rib bones
2 boneless chicken breast
1/2 bag lentils
1/2 bag white beans (Navy Beans)
Chicken Stock
1/2 sliced onion
1 sliced shallot
1/2 pound cubed bacon
1/4 pound sliced bacon
Coarse Roasted Garlic Seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp cilantro
3 tbsp white wine


Beans and Lentils:
Remove from bags and wash.  Place in cool water and cover and allow to soak over night.
Pour soaked beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly.

Rinse under hot water for about 2 minutes in wire strainer.

Pork Rib Bones:

Rinse under cool water, place in pot and cover with chicken stock.  Cook till meat is tender.  Remove from pot to cool.

Remove meat from bones.
Let pulled meat rest in a bowl while preparing more of the soup.

Chicken Breast:

Lightly pound with meat beater to flatten. Season with Coarse garlic and then coat with flour.

Place seasoned and floured chicken breast in melted hot butter/olive oil mixture (50/50)

Brown breast in butter on both sides.
Remove and place in plate until needed.

Thin slice breast when ready to add to pot.

Cubed Bacon and sliced Bacon:

Fry cubed bacon till tender.

Cut bacon in half, separate and place in hot fry pan.  Fry on both sides till crispy.

Remove from fry pan.  Set crispy bacon aside. Add cubed bacon to cooking stock and crushed sliced bacon into pot.  Gently boil for a few minutes.

Onion and Shallot:

Saute both in small amount of butter till both are nice and tender.
Onion & Shallot

Add white wine and allow to cook till most of the wine has dissipated.

Add vegetables to stock in pot.

Directions for the rest of the soup:

Pour beans into stock and bring to boil.  Add Risotto as well.  Cook gently for awhile till the water starts to slightly thicken.  Add the pork back into pot.  Add cooked chicken breast to pot.
Crush bacon and add to pot.

Keep extra chicken stock in a cup due to the water cooking down as the beans cook just in case more water is needed.

Cook bean soup has thickened and beans are tender. (Simmer about 2 hours or more) Serve with croutons or crackers or garlic bread.

Kathy's Flickr Photographs

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sophie's Universe 2015 CAL Week 8
Sophie's Universe 2015 CAL Week 8

I have to say that there are parts of this assignment that were straight forward and easy to accomplish.

The Cable stitch was a little of a challenge.  Mostly because I didn't like how it would look everytime I did it.  I crochet tight and because of that the cable part just wasn't looking right so I had to loosen up my grip and let it come out the way it would come out.

One thing I am not real happy with at the moment is the fact that my puff stitches has turned out to look bad.  The first set of puff stitches came out mostly okay.  It's the second row of puff stitches that has turned out to be such a nightmare.

I personally think all of them look terrible.  As soon as I added those back post single crochet stitches, it ruined how they looked.  I'm not clear as to if it's because I crochet tight or if it's something else.  I refuse to rip out several rows to start it again though.  It takes entirely to long for me to rip it out.

Another thing I noticed is that the long sides are not as stiff and thick as the short sides.I think that is because there is stitches open with no secondary stitching behind it or on it.

So when I stretch the work out for blocking, there is buckling at the places where it begins to stop having additional stitches behind other stitches or in front of stitches.

I had a little bit of fun with my "Heart Light" in that I volunteered him to model my Sophie's Universe being we had an assignment to get a pic with our husbands and SU.  So It was fun.

So much fun in fact that we added a Lego Bull Dozer into a photo or two because my husband is an avid Lego fan and has so many.  He loves trains the best I think.

It was a good day.  When we were outside it was even snowing while we were taking the pics relating to Sophie and Lego.

My happy go lucky heart light.  I love him so much!

This is how the short side looks as of Week 8!

Sophie's Universe 2015 CAL Week 8

Kathryn Joelsen's Photographs

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pan-fried Buttermilk Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

Pan-fried Marinated Chicken Drumsticks

1 1/2 cup buttermilk
12 chicken drumsticks
Coarse roasted Garlic Seasoning
1/2 cup plain flour
Thin sliced red bell pepper
Thin sliced small onion
Thin sliced shallot
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
12 tbsp butter
12 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup spinach
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups broccoli florets

(Note:  I used 9 drumsticks instead of 12)

Rinse drumsticks in cool water.  Place in a bowl or plastic bag.

Marinade in buttermilk for at least 1/2 hour. Can marinade longer if the time is available.

Drain chicken drumsticks in colander.

Season with coarse Garlic Salt or Coarse Roasted Garlic Seasoning mix

Place flour in small plastic bag.  Put 2 or 3 drumsticks in the flour and shake till covered, 

remove and continue with more until all drumsticks are covered in flour.

Slice onions, bell pepper & shallot along with mushrooms (I'm lazy, I just use premium sliced mushrooms from a jar) Drain the juice if using canned mushrooms.

Add butter and olive oil to a fry pan.  Heat butter and oil.  Add 6 drumsticks to hot fry pan and lightly brown on one side.

Once chicken is browned on one side, turn chicken to brown other side.  Make sure to brown all sides.

Remove once browned and drain on a wire rack or paper towels to rest while browning the remaining legs. 

Let lightly browned chicken legs rest for a few minutes

Using the drippings and oil/butter left in pan, saute the onion, shallots, bell pepper, and mushrooms till tender. (Note:  If the butter/oil mixture seems to be over brown, you could drain off most of it and add fresh butter and allow pan to heat up the butter again and then add the vegetables) 

When vegetables have reached being tender, Add dry white wine, let it cook till most of the alcohol has cooked out (there should be a brown liquid with the vegetables at this stage)

and then add the chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a boil.  Test for taste, add salt if needed.  

Return all chicken legs to the pan, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat till meat starts pulling from the bone.

While the chicken is simmering, add 2 cups of water to a 2 quart pot.  Bring to boil.  Add 1 cup rice.  DO NOT STIR!  When water returns to boiling, turn heat down to lowest simmering setting, cover with a bamboo sheet and then the lid or use chopsticks to keep the lid slightly open.  Let it cook till all water has been soaked up.  Check it about 15 minutes in to see if water has left pot.

In mean time, steam the broccoli.

Feeds 4 people.

Recipe by © Kathryn Joelsen