Thursday, January 21, 2010

February Recipe Exchange

Did you know Chinese New Year falls on Valentine's Day this year? To celebrate the dualistic holidays on February 14th, I thought I would make it a dual challenge. In true Iron Chef style*, the secret ingredient that must be present in your dish is CHOCOLATE! or if you prefer, you can bring an Asian themed dish to break up all the chocolate delights.

Once you have decided on your recipe, please leave it as a comment on this post or send me an email so we can add it to the final post.

Please submit your recipe even if you can't make it. The downside to this option though is the rest of us will miss your company as well as sampling the recipe.

January's Recipes

Feijoada (Brazilian Black Beans):

1 lb. black beans - soak overnight
1 large onion
1 entire head of garlic - use as much garlic as you like
1 jalapeno - depending on how much heat you like use what you like
1 or 2 smoked ham hocks - what works best is if you use a real bone in ham, save the bone and the meat scraps from that and just add to the crock pot with the beans. Discard the bones when beans are done.
1 lb. meat - use what you like (traditionally, Brazilians would use just about every part of the pig - I prefer using either a nice steak or beef roast. I have also used corned beef without using the spice packet provided)
1 lb. bacon - either brown the bacon prior or just add the whole thing in raw - it doesn't matter

Chop the onion, garlic, and jalapeno into little chunks. Add with beans, meat, ham hocks, and bacon to crock pot. Cover with chicken stock (or use water) and set to high. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cover and allow to boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until dinner time. If the liquid disappears, add a little more. When beans are soft, they are ready to eat. Discard the bones and non-meat parts of the ham hocks while saving the little bits of meat. They are tasty!

Prior to dinner, mince several cloves of garlic and add to heated olive oil in a pot for making rice. Add rice and allow to lightly roast. Add the water and cook the rice as you would normally.

Place rice on the plate followed by the beans. Eat and Enjoy!

White Chili With Chicken (Rebecca Baker)

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
1-2 tsp chili powder (I use 1)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn
2 small cans green chilies
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack

Warm oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, stirring often (5-10 mins). Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic and saute for another minute. Stir in the beans, chicken, corn, green chilies, chicken broth, and salt. Bring to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Blend butter and flour together. Add to the chili and stir until it thickens, about a minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Can add more broth to thin the chili or 3-4 Tbsp half-and-half or cream to thicken it. Top with cheese!

Herbed Chicken Soup (Danielle Neuffer)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into slices
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups chicken broth
1 small zucchini, ends trimmed off, cut into slices
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon each tarragon, dill and chives

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 9-10 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and add the chicken and the salt. Stir until the chicken has turned mostly white. Add the broth, zucchini, thyme and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 3 minutes, then stir in the pepper and remaining herbs and turn off the heat.

Note: This soup is very good with Bruchetta or just sliced french bread.

LAKSA (the curry soup)Rachelle Tovar

1/4 lb thin rice noodles (pad thai noodles are the best if you can find them)

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp mild curry paste (see attachment to see the curry you need to find at the store. it CAN"T be Indian curry. . .it has to be Japanese curry)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 (14oz) can of coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1 (7 oz) can corn
1/4 cup frozen peas (or substitute a small bag of frozen carrots and peas like I did instead of the corn)
1 cup shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken is by far the best. . .I used turkey for recipe exchange night and regretted it.)
4 green onions thinly sliced
2 tsp lime juice

Cook noodles as per package directions and place in 4 serving bowls. Saute onion with oil for 5-6 minutes until soft and add the garlic, curry, and brown sugar. Cook 1 minute more. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the veggies and green onion, simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Pour over noodles and serve immediately.

Laksa moves fast so it is best to have all your ingredients ready to throw in before you start. Good luck and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January's Recipe Exchange

Welcome to the New Year and resolutions abound. This month's theme is Soup for our Souls and Salad for our Goals. Bring your favorite soups or salads to Wednesday's recipe exchange and remember to get the recipe to me asap.