Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lightened Up Italian Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Broccoli-Cheese soup is a popular item on the menu in a lot of restaurants.
I took the classic recipe and lightened it up a bit without sacrificing any flavor.
Give broccoli and cheese soup an Italian accent by swapping Cheddar cheese for Parmesan and garlic.
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced or shredded carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Sweat onions, celery, carrot and garlic in oil in a large pot of medium-low heat until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 - 10 oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli florets , thawed and chopped
1 - 1 lb. bag frozen chopped broccoli
If you have fresh broccoli on hand, chop it along with the stems and blanch for 3 minutes before adding to the soup.
6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
2 wheels of Mini Babybel Light
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
Stir in flour to coat vegetables; cook 1 minute.  Gradually stir in the broth and broccoli.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Simmer soup until it thickens slightly, 5-8 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in cream cheese, Mini Babybel and Parmesan.  Whisk lightly to incorporate.
Season with salt and pepper.
  ~Adapted from Cuisine at Home

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Muffins

Into sweet and salty?  Grab one of these muffins quick!
Ground and broken pretzels in the batter and a pretzel streusel on top along with chocolate chips inside the muffin.  
For the streusel combine;

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup each ground and broken pretzels
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the muffins, whisk:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup ground pretzels
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pretzel or other coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners; coat with nonstick spray.

For the streusel, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup ground pretzels and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.  Stir 6 Tbsp. butter into dry mixture, cover and chill.

For the muffins, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1 cup ground pretzels, chocolate chips, baking powder, salt and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.  Whisk together milk and 2/3 cup sugar until sugar dissolves.  Add eggs, oil, 4 Tbsp. butter and vanilla; stir into flour mixture.  Let batter sit 2 minutes, then divide among muffin cups.

Squeeze streusel into clumps; top muffins with it and sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 17-19 minutes.  Let muffins cool in pan 10 minutes.

~Adapted from Cuisine at Home

Monday, August 12, 2013

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet and Sassy Dipping Sauce

What could be better than transforming chicken into a fried-favorite variation of crunchy coconut shrimp?  Coat the tenders in coconut, fry and pair with a sweet and sassy sauce for a combination of sweet, spicy, cold and crispy.
Make extra sauce - because they will be double dipping!
For the sauce, combine:
1 cup Saucy Susan Peach Apricot Sassy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
For the tenders:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup canned coconut milk
1-1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 lbs. chicken tenders, white tendon removed, seasoned with salt and pepper
Canola oil
Whisk together cornstarch, salt, and cayenne in a shallow dish.
Pour coconut milk into another shallow dish.
Combine coconut and panko in the third dish.
Toss tenders in cornstarch mixture; shake off excess.  Dip tenders in coconut milk, then dredge in coconut mixture pressing to adhere.  Transfer to a plate and chill 1-2 hours.
Heat about 1 cup Canola oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
Fry tenders in batches until golden brown and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and season with salt.
Serve tenders with dipping sauce
See also:  Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers with Honey-Dijon Dipping Sauce

Friday, August 9, 2013

Broccoli Slaw Waldorf Salad

Have you ever had a Waldorf Salad?  First presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1893, this all-American salad included chopped apples, celery, grapes and chopped walnuts.  I have a recipe for Waldorf Coleslaw made with cabbage, but I decided to try this recipe using Broccoli Slaw.  You know that bag in the Produce section of the supermarket that you really don't know what to do with.

This came out better than I expected.  It's crunchy, it's sweet and has the fresh veggie slaw with fruit and nuts.  All things good for you!

1 pkg. Broccoli Slaw Mix
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup craisins (or raisins)
1 cup halved seedless grapes
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise (which ever one you use)
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. celery seed

In a large bowl mix broccoli slaw, fruit and nuts.
In a small bowl combine mayo, milk, honey, lemon juice and celery seed.
Pour over broccoli mix and toss well.
Serve chilled.

Waldorf Coleslaw Recipe
Confetti Turkey Meatballs(using Broccoli Slaw)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chopped Pig Sandwich

There are so many recipes for pulled pork and it's no wonder, it's delicious!
I wanted to try and find a recipe that was a little leaner with the same great flavor.
Usually when you make it you have to buy a big pork butt, full of fat and it takes hours and hours to cook.
This is a simplified version of the pig sandwich.  Takes less time, makes 8 hefty sandwiches and is tender, juicy, with a hint of smokey flavor.
3 lb. pork loin roast (not tenderloin)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. or more McCormick Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
Soft Kaiser buns
Garlic Dill Pickles.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add garlic slices and saute until garlic is slightly golden.  Cut pork roast into 3 equal pieces.  Brown pork on all sides along with the garlic.  Sprinkle with Smokehouse Maple Seasoning.
Place pieces of browned pork in slow cooker.  Add vinegar to saucepan and scrape up any bits left on the bottom of the pan.  Add to slow-cooker.  Pour in chicken broth, cover and set on high setting for 3 hours.
Remove pork and shred or chop as desired and return to slow cooker.  Keep warm for an additional hour.
Serve on buns with some of the juices, top off with BBQ sauce and coleslaw.

~Adapted from Guiltless Glutton

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...