France’s yellow split pea soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

France’s yellow split pea soup

1 lb dried yellow or green split peas
1 lb cubed turkey ham diced (ham and ham bone can also be used)
1 1/2 cup carrots peeled diced
1 1/2 cup potatoes peeled and diced
1 large onion diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Bay leaves
Allspice
Salt and Pepper

Rinse and soak the peas overnight according to the package directions.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high 6-8 hours on low.

Stir occasionally. Additional broth may be necessary if the soup becomes too thick.

Remove bay leaves and allspice and serve.


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Project Pastrami…

I love spices… probably too much. I have a whole drawer full of spice jars and another shelf of random spices. I came across this recipe for Pastrami-Style Salmon and thought the spice mix was rather interesting.

Since I didn’t have any salmon on hand, I did have some ground turkey to use for dinner. Combining the pastrami spice mixture and ground turkey was truly an experiment that turned out to be delicious! I decided to use this spiced ground turkey and stuffed some large portabello mushrooms and voila… dinner is served. I accompanied my stuff mushrooms with roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Here’s my recipe for Spiced Turkey Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms:

2 large portabello mushrooms
8 oz. ground turkey
garlic, minced
onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
cooking spray for browning turkey
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese (I used fat free)

Remove stems from mushrooms and gently brush off any debris.
In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, sugar, and the spices and mix thoroughly.
In a saute pan, brown seasoned turkey.
Once browned, remove from heat and toss in cheese and green onions.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place mushrooms gill side up and top with the turkey/feta/onion mixture.
Bake stuffed mushrooms in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

*I’m also submitting this to the “Go Ahead, Honey – It’s Gluten-Free” blog event started way back in the wintry depths of February by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cake-Free and Dried. This month, Rachel of The Crispy Cook is hosting and the focus is seasonal veggies. Be sure to check out Rachel’s site in early September for the round up!*

Sixteen Spice Chicken w/Cilantro Cream Sauce

So what’s for dinner? Well, we couldn’t decide on whether to have burgers or BBQ. I figured chicken would be our best bet and decided on Bobby Flay’s recipe for 16 Spice Chicken. This was the entree I ordered when I visited his restaurant, Mesa Grill, in Vegas this past January. It was so wonderfully seasoned, I definitely wanted to try recreating it at home. Why not today?
Here’s Bobby Flay’s recipe for Sixteen Spice Chicken:

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
3 tablespoons pasilla chile powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon chile de arbol
3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Canola oil

Combine spices in a bowl. Rub chicken breasts on both sides with rub. Marinate at least an hour or overnight. Oil up the grill until well coated (so it won’t stick) and grill for 10-12 minutes.

With the chicken entree I ordered, I recall having a cilantro cream sauce. So with that, I also made this great Cilantro Cream Sauce.

My husband is a big fan of cilantro and it worked out perfectly with the chicken! Eek, blurry pic, but trust me with how well it tastes! It would work as a great dip with chips and salsa too.
Here’s my slightly adapted recipe for Cilantro Cream sauce, using some of the great Florida food gifts I received:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 cup prepared salsa verde
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon bottled or fresh key lime juice

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a serving bowl.

Moroccan Morsels

One of my favorite cuisines is Moroccan. There’s something about the combination of commonly used spices that not only delivers amazing taste but comforting aromas. I was in need of comfort food and my Moroccan beef over couscous hit the spot.
Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun ( cumin), kharkoum (tumeric), skingbir ( ginger), libzar (pepper) , tahmira (paprika), anis seed, sesame seed, kasbour (coriander), maadnous ( parsley), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and mint.
In Morocco, stews are often made in a shallow earthenware cooking pots called tagines. Since I don’t have a tangine, I used my crockpot as an alternative with great results!
Here’s my recipe for Moroccan Beef Stew:

2-3 lbs of beef chuck steak, cubed
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 can chickpeas

In a pan, add some oil and brown beef.
Combine the rest of the ingredients except chickpeas.
Place mixture in a crockpot.
Add browned beef.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours.
In the last 30 minutes, add chickpeas and cook until warmed through.

I served this over couscous cooked in beef broth
and garnished the dish with chopped parsley.