Posted by goodcookbecky on December 29, 2010
I love this recipe because you can make any cream soup you want from it. It has a wonderful base. It is adapted from Bob Pastorio’s Cream of Anything Soup. I found it through A Cook’s Book Food Forum (mac cooking software forum) which I have been part of for a few years now.
Here is my adaptation:
Cream of Broccoli Soup
inspired by Bob Pastorio’s Cream of Anything Soup
- 1 (4 oz) package diced pancetta
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 6 oz butter
- 6 Tbsp flour
- 2 (48 oz) boxes Swanson’s Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 lb broccoli (or other ingredient)
- 1 cup cut up leftover ham
- cut up left over cooked baby potatoes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt (optional to taste)
Cook the pancetta until crisp and set bacon aside. I drained the fat to reduce some calories (there are plenty to follow!). Next, melt the butter in a pan and cook the onions and diced carrots until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add flour and stir to cook. Whisk in the chicken broth slowly, stirring briskly to break up any lumps. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add in the broccoli (or whatever you choose), diced ham, baby potatoes and cook for another 20-30 minutes over low (do not put the lid on it fully, keep it off center a little to vent so it does not boil over. Stirring occasionally. Just before serving add in the heavy cream and add the cooked bacon. Season with salt if needed and serve with biscuits or fresh crusty bread.
Posted in Main Dish - Soups | Tagged: Cream of Broccoli Soup | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on December 26, 2010
I remember walking along the streets of Salzburg, Austria in the winter season and sampling the roasted chestnuts that street vendors sold. It was a nice treat for the winter season. In the United States, it seems, we only sing about chestnuts roasting over an open fire, but few have made them or even tasted them. As I went through my local market to buy the ingredients I needed for Christmas dinner, I saw them and they had a helpful sign that gave instructions on how to roast them. I took a quick picture of it, because I knew in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation I would forget the specifics.
Preheat your oven to 425 F and clean the chestnuts. Carve an X with a knife, being sure to puncture the skin of the chestnut completely (I found this easiest to do at the top of the chestnut, where it tends to be softer than the rest and has done the job for me — other sites recommended on the side, but I came close to cutting off my fingers and I am rather attached to them thank you!). Place the chestnuts in a pie pan and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and peel while still warm. You can serve them with melted butter and salt or cinnamon. My husband finds them a little tedious to peel, but once peeled finds them delicious. Try them and you will like them, but they are a bit pricey. Well worth it for an occasional treat.
A Pun for the Season:
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After an hour, the manager came out of his office and asked them to disperse. “But why?”they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!”
Posted in Christmas, Holidays | Tagged: chestnuts, Roasted Chestnuts | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on December 26, 2010
Here is my favorite egg casserole to bring to functions. It morphed from a quiche recipe into just an egg casserole without a crust. With a tweak here and there it became my own. I often make two casseroles, using up one package of the spinach between both.
Becky’s Egg Casserole
- 1/2 (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
- 1 (4 oz) Feta cheese (with seasonings and tomatoes works nicely)
- 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 package cooked breakfast sausages (pork or beef), cut into 1/4 inch coins
- 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, optional
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a 9x13x2″ baking dish with non stick spray. Layer the bottom of the casserole with the spinach, feta and cheddar cheese, cooked sausages, and mushrooms if desired.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper. Pour over the casserole and stir gently to make sure the ingredients combine some. Bake at 350F for 20-35 minutes. Check from time to time to ensure the eggs are cooked. Cover with foil and let stand about 10-15 minutes. Serve.
Posted in Breakfast, Breakfast - Eggs | Tagged: Egg Casserole | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on December 24, 2010
Many of you are familiar with Cheese Fondue which has its roots from Switzerland. Raclette is another Swiss innovation. It is melted cheese (broiled) that is served over boiled baby potatoes and accompanied by pickled vegetables, pickles and olives. A few models of Raclette ovens have a grill pan on the top of the broiling elements where you can cook meats, seafood, bacon or grill vegetables if so desired. My parents gifted us with a wonderful Raclette oven a few years ago (link) and we have enjoyed it over the past few years. My daughter especially likes shrimp and though I know that shrimp and cheese do not typically get served together I do make some for the kids. There is even a Raclette cheese. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can find them at well stocked grocery stores from time to time. I have had success in freezing the cheese too – to keep it until the day I make it. If you cannot find Raclette cheese Gruyere will make an excellent substitute as it is similar in taste and texture. Preheat the Raclette oven for about 10 minutes before using. The cheese is melted in non stick trays under the broiler. The meats and vegetables are grilled above on the grill pan if your Raclette oven has that option.
Melt the cheese and serve over boiled baby potatoes that you have roughly mashed with your fork. Season with caraway seed if desired, and dried minced oregano. Serve with pickled vegetables, roasted bell peppers, pickles and an assortment of olives. For meats I cooked Filet Mignon cut into 1 inch pieces and jumbo shrimp that had been peeled and cleaned.
Posted in Christmas, Ethnic, Ethnic - German, Favorite, Holidays, Main Dish, Main Dish - Potatoes | Tagged: Raclette | Leave a Comment »
Posted by goodcookbecky on December 4, 2010
Another Christmas Tea Favorite is Devonshire Cream. Serve it with scones, lemon curd, and Jam.
Devonshire Cream – Robbin P.
Yield: 6 cups
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Cream the cream cheese in a cool bowl until soft. Add and whip the cream, sugar and salt alternately until firm peaks form. Will keep in a very cold fridge overnight. You will have to re-whip if you keep it for more than 24 hours because it does separate. Will keep for 3-5 days though.
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