Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mexican Meatball Soup

I wanted this to be delicious.  It sound like something we'd enjoy, but with a twist. 

Mexican Meatball Soup

1 T cooking oil
NOT 1 small red onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 1/4 tsp dried oregano or 2 T chopped fresh
1/2 tsp. cumin (I love cumin and always use more than a recipe calls for!)
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 T dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 T lime juice

In large pot, heat oil over moderately low heat.  Do NOT add onion.  Add half of jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini, 1 1/2 tsp. of oregano, and 1/4 tsp. of cuin and cook, stirring until zucchini starts to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add broth, water, tomatoes, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper; bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, remaining jalapeno, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 3/4 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 T of fresh), 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper, bread crumbs, and egg.  Shape mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Add meatballs and corn to soup and simmer until meatballs are just done, about 5 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and the remaining fresh oregano, if using.

(Serves 4)
(Food and Wine cookbook)

Okay, so I liked it.  It was okay.  My husband liked it more than I did, I think.  This recipe defininitely has potential, but I think it's needs a little more spunk for me.  Seemed a little bland (maybe I didn't put enough cumin in there!). 

Try it....I'm accepting suggestions!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Garden Harvest Cake

This seemed like a great twist on zucchini bread or banana nut bread.  We made it for a weekend breakfast and had some "to go" a few days that week too!  Do the fruits and veggies count in this recipe?   I sure hope so...

Garden Harvest Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup shredded zucchini (2-3 small)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add grated apple, grated carrot, shredded zucchini, and walnuts to flour mixure; toss well. 

Combine canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.  Spoon batter into an 8x4 inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in a pan on a wire rack; remove cake from pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

(Makes 9 servings)
(Cooking Light, April 2009)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

The only thing odd about these that I questioned was the mustard. I'm not a huge fan of mustard in the first place, but I followed directions anyway. And proceeded to dip this one in some good ol' maple syrup. And I loved it! The boys missed out and didn't want one...I think they were afraid. But Riley had a bite of my breakfast sandwich and requested one for his lunch. Score!!

Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

8 frozen toaster waffles
1 T Dijon mustard (I used regular)
1/2 pound sliced deli ham
1/4 pound cheddar, thinly sliced
4 T unsalted butter

Place 4 of the waffles on a work surface. Spread one side of each with the mustard.

Top with ham, cheese, and remaining waffles.

Spread the top of each sandwich with 1/2 tsp. of the butter.

Melt the remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the skillet, buttered-side up. Cook, pressing occasionally with the back of a spatula, until the cheese melts and the waffles are golden, 3-4 minutes on each side.

(Serves 4)
(Real Simple, December 2005)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

This one I've been anxious to try.  Very out of the box for me, but we like all of the ingredients, so how could it go wrong?  I thought it was delish and made a few modifications.  Next time I'll add some grilled chicken...with a some sort of Asian peanut marinade/sauce. 

Thai Style Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash
2 T vegetable oil
NOT 1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
3 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1-2 T lime juice
Nam pla (fish sauce)
Coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degress.  Halve squash lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds and stringy gunk.  Line a baking sheet with foil, grease it with 1 T of the oil, and roast squash, cut sides down, until it is very soft, 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat for 2 minutes.  Do NOT add shallot.  Add garlic, ginger, lime zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne.  (For more authentic Thai ingredients, replace zest, paprika, coriander, and cayenne with a teaspoon of red curry paste and 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves.) 

Stir briskly until it's sizzling and fragrant, 30 seconds or so.  Add salt, sugar, broth, and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer.  If the squash isn't done, cover broth mixture and turn off heat; otherwise, add squash (after scraping and scooping it out of the peel), and simmer for 15 minutes.  Puree soup with hand blender, or in batches in a blender.  Add 1 cup of water if soup seems too thick, then stir in lime juice and a dash or two of fish sauce.  Taste.  Should be a lively mix of sweet, tart, and salty--add more lime juice, salt, or sugar if needed.  Garnish with cilantro, if using, and serve.

*My husband felt like this soup was good, but needed some texture to it.  I agreed.  I made some brown rice which we scooped into the bowl first, then poured the soup over the rice and I topped ours with peanuts.  It was great.  Next time, will definitely add some grilled chicken to it.  Thought this one had a great flavor!!  Different from the normal soup routine!