Friday, March 30, 2012

No-Boil Baked Ravioli

Did you know?  You can bake frozen store-bought ravioli just like you would use no-boil lasagna noodles!  Just be sure to have plenty of sauce to completely cover ravioli.  Use you favorite pasta sauce or make this quick marinara.

Easy Marinara

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 (35 ounce) can whole, peeled Italian tomatoes
2 lbs. frozen ravioli
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly golden.
Pass tomatoes through a blender and add to saucepan.
Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Place 1 cup of sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make one layer of ravioli, cover completely with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Continue with the second layer making sure ravioli are completely covered with sauce.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees F.  for 30 to 40 minutes.
Uncover and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and additional Parmesan cheese.
Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Salty-sweet browned butter turns this asparagus into a delicious side dish.  Very easy and quick.  This is going to be on my Holiday menu for sure!

  • l lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Cooking spray (I used olive oil spray)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Grated lemon rind for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Coat with spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.  Drizzle over asparagus tossing well to coat.  Garnish with black pepper and lemon rind.

~Cooking Light

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chickarina Soup

Whenever I make chicken soup, usually I am the only one who eats the boiled chicken in the pot.  Unless I take all the meat off the bones and add it back to the soup - yes they are totally spoiled!!!  I took all the breast meat off the chicken before cooking the soup and make some chicken meatballs - Chickarina!

For the soup:

Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth, preferably homemade
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano, for garnish

For the meatballs: 

1 small onion, diced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 egg
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste

Set a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add olive oil, half the garlic, carrot, onion, celery and thyme and gently saute until fragrant, 5-7 minutes.  Pour in chicken broth, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer while you work on the meatballs.

For the meatballs:  Caramelize the diced onion in a saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken, egg, onion, thyme, parsley and cheese and breadcrumbs to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they all come together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat a skillet with a few Tablespoons of olive oil.  Use a small ice cream scoop to drop meatballs onto skillet.  Cook turning until golden brown.  Once meatballs are browned, add to pot of chicken broth and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.  Cook small pasta of your choice and serve with some grated Parmesean, olive oil and parsley.
~Adapted from Tyler Florence

Monday, March 26, 2012

SRC Reveal - Chinese Pork Dumplings

This month for the Secret Recipe Club , I was paired with Bean of Without Adornment  and her Gluten-Free kitchen.  Bean has a lovely philosophy on life, and beautiful photography which shines through on her blog!  I am not familiar with gluten free cooking, and don't have many of the ingredients for her recipes, but I did come across her recipe for Ginger Beef and Chinese-esque Pork Dumplings .  I did have store bought won ton wrappers in the fridge.  I tried 2 different cooking methods - Shu Mai (steamed) and pan fried and steamed (pot sticker style).  These little gems had a bit of a kick from the ginger - so delicious!

Pork Filling for Dumplings
1 lb. lean ground pork
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil(original recipe called for 2 tsp. oil)
1 Tbsp. cooking sherry 
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. sugar(my addition)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch(my addition)
1/4 cup finely grated carrot (for garnish)

 In a medium bowl, mix pork, with above ingredients and mix until well combined.
Using a 3" biscuit cutter (I used an empty tuna can - perfect for this), cut rounds from won ton wrappers.  Cover rounds with moist paper towel to prevent drying.

Working with 6 rounds at a time, brush edges of each round lightly with water.   Place 1 Tablespoon of filling into center of each round.  Form dumplings by crimping wrapper around sides of filling and leaving top exposed.

Pinch opposite sides of wrapper.  Continue until you have eight folds.  Gather sides and squeeze gently.  Lightly pack down filling.

Top center of each dumpling with pinch of grated carrot.  These can be frozen up to 3 months.  When steaming add an additional 5 minutes.  This will make about 40 dumplings.  Any leftover meat can be used to make Asian Style Meatballs (as Mr. Bean suggested) or a nice Pork Fried Rice!

Cut a piece of parchment slightly smaller than diameter of steamer basket and place in basket.  Poke about 20 small holes in parchment and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Place batches of dumplings on parchment liner, making sure they are not touching.  Set steamer over simmering water and cook, covered until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve with chili oil.

To cook them pot sticker style, heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet,  Fry dumplings on one side until golden brown.  Add 1/2 cup water to skillet, cover and steam 8-10 minutes.

Chili Oil Dipping Sauce 

1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp. Chinese Chili Garlic Sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients and let stand one hour to meld flavors.

I know this is quite different from Bean's gluten free kitchen, but she gave me the inspiration to try these homemade dumplings!  Thank you Bean!

~Method from American's Test Kitchen

Secret Recipe Club

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Note Card Party at A Haven for Vee

I just read a post today from Barbara at Two Birdies & a B  with a lovely idea!  A Haven for Vee  is hosting a Note Card Party Theme.  Choose any four photos from your blog that you feel would make a nice note card.

Here are my choices - with Spring in mind!

Early chives with fresh morning dew..we had alot of fog this morning!

Spring Violas

Patch of Scottish Heather


What a nice idea Vee!  A nice change of pace for me!

German Split Pea Soup

Quickly simmer a pot of soup to enjoy on a cool Spring evening.  The kind Germans call "Eintopf" - one pot meal.  Easy to make, easy to clean up, very economical and very, very delicious!

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices bacon, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 ribs celery, minced
 2 large carrots, peeled and minced
1 small celery root, peeled and minced*
Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp. flour
2 sprigs parsley
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 lb. green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 large smoked ham hock or smoked turkey leg
Freshly, ground pepper to taste

Put the oil and bacon into a 6 qt. pot and cook over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.  Add onion, celery, carrots, and celery root, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in flour; cook, stirring for 3 minutes.

Add parsley, thyme and bay leaves to the pot along with the peas, ham hock (I used the turkey leg because it's a more milder smokey flavor) and 8 cups water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer, covered, until peas are very tender, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.  Add turkey meat if desired.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with reserved bacon.

*If you cannot find celery root or don't care to use it, substitute, potatoes, or turnips!

~Adapted from Saveur - Home Cooking from Around the World

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Buttercream Snack Cake

This is a quick snack cake with the best peanut butter frosting!  Be sure to have plenty of ice cold milk!

Chocolate Cake

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 x 2 cake pan with nonstick spray
Whisk flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
Add oil, vanilla and 1-1/4 cups water; whisk until smooth.
Fold in chopped chocolate.
Scrape into prepared pan.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Let cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup egg whites (from 2 large eggs)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
Pinch of salt

Combine sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly until sugar dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until cool and thick, 5-6 minutes.
 Beat in vanilla and peanut butter.
With mixer running, add butter a few pieces at a time beating to blend between additions.  Add a pinch of salt.

 Spread peanut butter buttercream over top and garnish with chopped chocolate.
I had a Hershey bar with almonds and grated that on top to give it a little crunch.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Make at Home Corned Beef and Braised Brussels Sprouts

Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Paddy's Day is really more American than an Irish Tradition.  Irish immigrants couldn't find a traditional Bacon Joint  and turned to their Jewish neighbors in New York City who were enjoying pickled beef brisket.

We rarely (if ever) make it ourselves, which is a shame, because it is so darn easy.  

When you buy Corned Beef, usually the "good side" is visible through the package.  When you get it home and open it up, there is usually a thick layer of fat - which is part of what you pay for.  Not to mention that spooky slime that oozes out of the vacuum bag.....

Now - there are two issues we have to deal with;  what we use to cure the meat.

Salt Peter - Supposedly found in your local drugstore.  A major component of rocket fuel and gunpowder.  Can also be found in toothpaste and stump removers.

Pink Salt or Sodium Nitrate - This is actually a pigment fixer (gives us the rosy pink color of the meat) and a botulism blocker.  The recipe I used called for Morton's Tender Quick Curing Salt . This can be found in Wegman's Supermarkets, but I ordered it online.

You can "corn" beef without any of these additions, but it will take about 10 days.  Alton's Recipe for Corned Beef .

Doing a little planning, choosing your own piece of choice brisket, enjoy corned beef like never before.

Grind 5 tsp. Pickling Spices into a fine powder.
(The original recipe called for measurements of individual mustard seeds, etc.  Since everything is in Pickling Spice, I just used this)

1/4 cup Tender Quick
5 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger
1 beef brisket, fat trimmed (4 lb.)
Combine spice mixture, Tender Quick, garlic, brown sugar and ginger in a small bowl.  Prick brisket thoroughly on both sides with a fork, then place in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and vigorously rub with curing mixture.

Cover dish with plastic wrap and weight meat with something heavy (like cans of tomatoes).  Cure brisket in the refrigerator 72 hours, flipping halfway through.

At this point, your job is done, until it's time for braising.

3 cups beef broth (preferably homemade )
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. Pickling Spice

When ready to braise, rinse cure from the corned beef under cool running water.
Add beef broth, garlic and pickling spices in a large pot.  Add corned beef to braising liquid and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and transfer to a 300 degree F. oven.
Braise until fork-tender, turning halfway through, 3-1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the meat.
Once braised, let beef rest in the braising liquid partially covered about 1 hour.
Remove to a cutting board and thinly slice against the grain.
The braising liquid is almost like a gravy.  I strained it and used it to reheat the brisket.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Raisans 

4 strips thick-sliced bacon
2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup golden raisans
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

 Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until crisp.  Transfer to paper towel to drain.
Add brussels sprouts to drippings in skillet, season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until well browned in spots.  Reduce heat to low.  Add raisans, onion and butter; cook until onion is soft.  Add broth to skillet; increase heat and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until broth has evaporated 1-2 minutes.  Stir in vinegar and crumbled bacon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you think you don't like Brussels Sprouts, I urge you to try this recipe.
Everyone will want seconds of these!
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms


~Adapted from Cuisine at Home and Bon Appetit
Some information was obtained from Alton Brown Good Eats 3 Cookbook
Make at Home Corned Beef on Punk Domestics

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Small Batch Homemade Fresh Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut.  Those of you who know me...know I can eat a sauerkraut sandwich and be a happy camper.  I do consider myself somewhat of a sauerkraut snob - no tin can sauerkraut - EVER!! See My Mom's way of making sauerkraut.

While European peasants preserved the cabbage with salt in an effort to keep hunger away during the dark months, their preservation fulfilled another need - nourishment.  The process of fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins and is extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria.  

Cabbage is cheap.  With the sales going on now for St. Patrick's Day, I bought a small head of cabbage today for $.18 cents!  What can you buy these days for 18 cents?  With corned beef on the horizon and a good Reuben sandwich in my future, I decided to try and make some homemade sauerkraut.  Kraut is not any more difficult to make than coleslaw.  Everyone makes coleslaw, so don't call me crazy.  You don't need any special equipment and only two ingredients - cabbage and salt.

2 lbs. cabbage
2 Tbsp. sea salt

 Chop or slice the cabbage.  I sliced it as thin as possible.  Toss with salt.

Squish the cabbage with a potato masher (or your fist if it's been a rough day) to start releasing the water from the cabbage.

Wait ten minutes.  Squish down again.

Continue waiting and squishing until there is about 1" of liquid covering the cabbage (about 30 minutes).
If you don't have enough liquid, mix 1 tsp. sea salt with 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve.

Transfer to a clean quart jar.
If you want to get fancy....get some labels  
I saved one piece of cabbage to add to the top of the cabbage to keep it submerged.
Set a small dish under the jar and leave it on the counter for 4 days with a lid on.**  That's when the magic happens.  All the GOOD bacteria comes out to play.  It's safe and people have done this for centuries.
If you see any scum or "bloom" remove.
Refrigerate and store up to 3 months.
Nutrition and Health - Lacto Fermentation 
**It's day 4 of fermentation and I think we need to go a little longer, depending on your taste for tartness.
Small Batch Fresh Homemade Sauerkraut  on Punk Domestics
~Adapted from Wild Fermentation
Makes 1 Quart

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blarney Scones

Home made Irish Scones for an early breakfast or afternoon tea.
Scones rely on cold butter for a delicate flaky texture.

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
6 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. milk or cream
1 egg, beaten with a little milk 

  • Heat the oven to 400F.
  • Grease and flour a baking sheet.
  • Sieve the flour into a roomy baking bowl then add the butter, baking powder and salt. Quickly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar if using and stir.
  • Make a well in the center and using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough.
  • Turn the mixture on to a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly roll out to 3/4" thick.
  • Cut 6 - 8 rounds (or as many as your dough will make) with 3" cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife.
  • Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
  • Cool on a wire rack before eating.
Serve with butter, or lashings of jam and cream.

Add 1/4 cup currants or raisans or chopped dates to the dry ingredients in the basic recipe.
 There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle
Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that sets it;
And the sun of his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it,
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland,
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland

~British and Irish Food 



Friday, March 9, 2012

Egg Foo Yung - Chinese Pancakes

If you have any of those Soy Sauce packets that come with your Chinese Take Out, here is a great way to use them up.  If I order Egg Foo Yung, it usually comes with a brown gravy that I still haven't figured out what could be in it.  Making Egg Foo Yung is a great way to use up your vegetable leftovers too - just mince them so they all cook at the same rate.  You are the only limited to your imagination when choosing fillings.

  • 2/3 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup chopped bean sprouts
  • 3/4 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. minced scallions
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. Mash cottage cheese in a bowl.  Stir in eggs, bean sprouts, celery, Parmesan, scallions and soy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a griddle or a non-stick skillet over medium-low; brush with oil.  Scoop 2 Tbsp. batter onto griddle and cook until light brown, 2-3 minutes per side;  repeat with remaining batter.  Garnish pancakes with scallions; serve with soy sauce.
 These could be a savory breakfast, appetizer or midnight snack.
I did find a recipe for the brown gravy, but I have not tried it.
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sherry
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
~Cuisine at Home Issue No. 92

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Photography Practice - Classic Egg Salad Sandwich

Classic Egg Salad

4 eggs, hardboiled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
Few Dashes of hot sauce (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Avocado slices
Leaf lettuce
Whole Grain Toast 

 Hope you have a great day!

CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE - Spaghetti with Red Sauce & Meatless Pecorino Meatballs

This month's CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE  - Spaghetti with Red Sauce.  I could eat this everyday.  This recipe is a little unusual as we are making our meatballs.....with no meat!

These crispy, savory, balls, simmering in tomato sauce, are delicious and surprising.  They have all the texture and flavor that a meatball-lover would ask for, there's not a bit of meat in them - just eggs, grated cheese, and bread crumbs plus garlic and basil.  Ahh the ingenuity of Italian cooks, who have turned the simplest staples of a kitchen into a treat!  These make great party hors d'oeuvres when they are fried and crispy, you won't even need any sauce.  With the sauce they make a vegetarian main course.

When I was growing up, whenever my mom would make breaded and fried pork chops or chicken, she would always take the leftover breadcrumbs and eggs, mix them up and fry it into a patty.  It usually took on the shape of the meat and you would have to check to see if you got the meat or the "foondi" as we would call it.  It was my favorite!  When I saw this recipe for meatless meatballs made with the same ingredients, I had to try it.

I actually made these twice.  The first time I followed the recipe and the meatballs were very dense and very salty from the Pecorino cheese.  The second time, I made the mixture to the consistency that we made the "foondi" and the meatballs were light and crispy with enough of the Pecorino to really make them taste "authentic".

Meatless Pecorino Meatballs 

8 large eggs
1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/4 to 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1 plump garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup vegetable oil plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (for frying)
Tomato Sauce
Fresh basil for garnish

  1. Beat the eggs well in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bread crumbs, grated cheeses, salt, chopped basil and garlic and mix well.  The dough should come together in a soft mass, leaving the sides of the bowl.  If it is very sticky, work in more bread crumbs a bit at a time.
 Take a heaping Tablespoon and gently roll them into a smooth ball.

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet and gently fry until brown on all sides and cooked through.
Drain on paper towel.

To finish and serve the polpettine with tomato sauce, heat 6 cups of the sauce to a simmer.  Drop in the polpettine and return the sauce to a simmer.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until heated through.  Keep in mind that the longer the meatballs stay in the sauce, the more they will absorb it and become soft, just as delicious, but delicate to handle.

Tomato Sauce 

2 35-ounce can peeled italian tomatoes, lightly crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely shredded peeled carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Kosher salt to taste
Peperoncino flakes to taste

Pass the tomatoes through a blender until smooth.  Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.  Add the carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Season lightly with salt and peperoncino.  Once it's boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 45 minutes.  
Season with salt and peperoncino to taste.
Makes about 15 meatballs

~Adapted from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

It's still chilly.  This is a good, hearty soup to make now or if your having a St. Patrick's Day dinner!  If you really want to be fancy, serve it cold - Vichyssoise.  Roasting the potatoes and leeks together, adding white wine and Parmesan cheese really turned this soup around.  I made the soup a little lighter by adding Half & Half instead of heavy cream, and leaving out the creme fraiche altogether.  This soup would be even more  delicious served in a warm bread bowl.

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

2 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, washed
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 to 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup Half & Half
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Crispy shallots for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a signle layer.  Add the olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.

Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times during cooking.

Add the spinach and toss to combine.  Roast for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the spinach is wilted
Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock and scrape up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.

In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor, adding the pan liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree.  Add enough of the remaining stock to make a thick soup.  Add the Half & Half and salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 Tbsp. white wine and the Parmesan cheese.  Serve hot with an extra grating of Parmesan cheese and crispy shallots.

Crispy shallots:  Fry shallots in olive oil and butter on medium low until golden brown.

Join Sunday Night Soup 
Permanent Posies - Tuesdays Tasty Tidbits
~Adapted from Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 

Artisan Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

This recipe is a typical one with two rising periods.  Most of this time it's the yeast working and not you! 2 cups water 1...