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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Fresh Vegetable Pizza Squares

The following recipe was made for my guests during my Fall Snacks cooking class. You can read and view links to other recipes I made HERE.

Fresh Vegetable Pizza Squares
Recipe adapted from HERE

2 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese

– Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
– Roll out crescent rolls onto a large non-stick baking sheet. Stretch and flatten to form a single rectangular shape on the baking sheet. Bake 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
– Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Mix cream cheese with 1/2 of the ranch dressing mix.
– Adjust the amount of dressing mix to taste. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust.
– Arrange carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes.
– Sprinkle cheese over top.
– Chill in the refrigerator and cut into bite-size squares to serve.

Seafood Paella

The following recipe was made and shared at my Tapas party. You can read about the event and view links to the other recipes shared HERE.

Seafood Paella
shared at the event by Joelen
recipe adapted from here

3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil

1 large head garlic (or 12 cloves), peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup julienned carrots (matchstick)
2 cups frozen green peas, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound shrimp
1/2 pound calamari rings
1/2 pound sea scallops, halved
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, to garnish

Ingredient Options: If you don’t care for mussels or any of the other seafood ingredients, simply substitute more of your favorite.

In a paella pan or large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add rice and sauté for about 4 minutes or until rice becomes translucent, stirring frequently. Add 3 cups of the broth and 1 cup wine, saffron, paprika, marjoram, red pepper flakes and flakes and salt. Cover pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes. Check occasionally, keeping moist with broth if needed. Add all seafood, peas, red peppers, carrots, roasted tomatoes and the remaining broth and wine. Squeeze lemon over entire dish and sprinkle with parsley. Serve straight from the pan.

Simple Roast Chicken

The following recipe was made and shared at my Chef Spotlight dinner, highlighting Julia Child. You can read and view links to the other recipes HERE.

Joelen’s Simple Roast Chicken
recipe from Food Network:

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery leaves
Salt and black pepper
Butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the chicken in hot water and dry thoroughly. Season the cavity with salt and black pepper and stuff with the onion, lemon, and celery leaves. Rub the chicken lightly with softened butter and season all over with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks ends together and set the chicken, breast side up, in an oiled v-shaped rack or on an oiled roasting pan in the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baste the chicken, and roast for 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and carrot to the pan, basting them and the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take a basic 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes or 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.)

Remove the chicken and spoon the fat out of the roasting pan. Into the pan, stir in the herbs and blend in the broth and, stirring constantly, boil for several minutes on the stovetop to concentrate the flavor. Correct the seasoning and strain the sauce into a warm sauceboat. Carve the chicken and serve with the warm sauce.

Clean out the fridge… It’s time for Pot Roast!

Last night I defrosted what I thought were beef shanks. While on my way home, I decided to do an asian twist on a beef osso bucco. However when I went to get started, I realized I defrosted some beef chuck instead! It worked out great because it’s been awhile since I had made a pot roast and I had some leftover veggies from my recent fondue party.The pot roast came out wonderful! The use of fresh herbs my friend Dan gave me definitely added some amazing flavor and aromas. I served this savory beef & veggies over some pappardelle pasta.Here’s my recipe for Rosemary & Basil Pot Roast:

2 lb. beef chuck roast
salt & pepper to taste
onion & garlic powder to taste
olive oil for browning
2 cups beef broth
1 onion, quartered
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 handful fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon rosemary herb mix
1-2 cups baby carrots
1-2 cups parboiled red potatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season roast with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.
Dredge roast in flour.
In a dutch oven, add olive oil to hot pan to coat bottom.
Brown roast in oil on both sides.
When browned, add beef broth to pan to deglaze.
Add remaining ingredients to pot.
Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1.5-2 hours, until beef is tender.

Thai on a Gloomy Day

What’s a cuisine I haven’t had in a while? Thai! Rather than hitting up the nearest Thai restaurant (several are within walking distance from me) I decided to make some Thai Basil Beef Stir Fry . It allowed me to use up some veggies on hand and savor some favorite Thai flavors.Here’s my recipe for Thai Basil Beef Stir Fry:

2 beef strip steaks, sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1-2 tablespoons oil for stir frying
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
2 small green bell peppers, sliced
1-2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
5-7 fresh thai basil leaves, whole
1 tablespoon each combined: cold water & cornstarch

In a bowl, combine sliced beef w/spices & cornstarch; allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil and add onions & garlic.
Cook until softened.
Add beef and brown.
Add soy sauce, water and fish sauce.
Add tomatoes and carrots; cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add peppers; cook for 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms & thai basil; cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in slurry of water & cornstarch to thicken sauce.
Serve over steamed rice.

Braisin’ Beef

Tonight I was in the mood for a rich fall meal… and had some leftover port wine to use. So to hit the spot, I made braised beef shanks in a port wine sauce. Here’s my recipe for port braised beef shanks

4 beef shanks
salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
miripoix: 1/2 cup each carrots, celery, onions diced fine
1 cup port wine (I used Jonesy)
1 cup beef broth
2 springs fresh rosemary
4 springs thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a dutch oven, brown beef shanks in olive oil on both sides.; remove from pot.
In the same pot, add the miripoix and garlic. Stir until softened.
Return the browned beef in the pot.
Add port wine & beef broth.
Stir in fresh thyme & rosemary leaves.
Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for 2 hours.
Just before serving, add frozen peas and stir.

I served this over steamed brown rice.