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Well, yesterday I gave you Cream of Green Chile Soup, and today I give you Cream of Artichoke Soup. I made both of these soups in one day and for dinner we had the two of them combined! It was very, very good! This is an easy soup to make and very tasty with the gentle flavors of the artichoke hearts! Ready to head off into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients
2 TBS butter
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 #’s of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

4 cups of vegetable broth, or if you prefer chicken broth
2 cups of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

First get your butter melted in a stock pot. Then, just like in the cream of green chile soup, start to cook the onions until just soft. Then add in the garlic. When the garlic aromas hit your nose add in the artichokes.

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cook this for about 5 minutes and then add in your vegetable broth.

Add in the vegetable broth

Add in the vegetable broth

Cook this until the artichoke hearts are extremely soft, about a half hour.

Now get out your handy dandy blender or food processor and puree the soup until it is smooth.

Purreed artichoke soup

Purreed artichoke soup

Return this to your stock pot and add in the cream.

Add in the cream

Add in the cream

Bring this to a simmer and cook for about a half hour to reduce it. Then add your salt and pepper to taste. Here is the soup when it is done!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

And here it is combined with the cream of green chile soup and a lovely crusty bread!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

I hope that you will try both of these recipes! Please let me know if you do by leaving a comment!

Have a lovely Tuesday and thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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There is a little town along the California Coast, just south of San Francisco, called Pescadero. This little town is one block long, and it is home to Duarte’s Tavern (pronounced Dew Arts), which is a small pub and restaurant. It is at this little hole in the wall place that I discovered their Cream of Chile soup mixed with their Cream of Artichoke Soup. Absolutely fabulous! If you find yourself in the area do stop in and order these two soups mixed together!

We are having dinner next week with friends who are vegetarian, and these two soups came to mind. Here is the recipe that I came up with for one of the two soups. The other, well, you will have to wait for that post, but it is coming! Ready to head on into the kitchen?

Ingredients
20 fresh Anaheim chiles

20 Anaheim Green Chiles

20 Anaheim Green Chiles

1 TBS butter
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, or chicken broth if you prefer
1 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to broil. Prepare a couple of cookie sheets by covering them with foil. Plan on roasting the peppers in 4 batches. Next, wash the peppers. Then trim the tops, slice in half and remove the seeds and membrane.

Slice in half and remove the seeds

Slice in half and remove the seeds

Then lay flesh side down on a cutting board and smash with the heel of your hand to flatten.

Smash the chile to flatten with the heel of your hand

Smash the chile to flatten with the heel of your hand

Place the peppers skin side up on the cookie sheet. Place the pan in the oven with the rack about 4″ from the heat source. Each batch will take you about 8 minutes. Check these after 5 minutes. I look in on them every minute or so to make sure I do not truly burn them to a crisp! When they are done they should look like this:

Chiles after broiling

Chiles after broiling

Once out the oven wrap up the chiles in the foil like this:

Wrap up the chiles in the aluminum foil

Wrap up the chiles in the aluminum foil

Why are we doing this you ask? Well, by wrapping them up the additional heat as they sit will help the skins peel right off. Let these sit for a total of 15 minutes after the last batch has been broiled. When they are done resting, open one pack at a time, peel and place in a bowl. Any drippings that accumulate in the foil, well let that drip into the bowl. It will only add flavor! Check out how wonderful the chiles look after peeling them! Can’t you just smell them?

Chiles with the skins removed

Chiles with the skins removed

While that seems like a lot of work, it really does not take too long. You can always use canned green chiles, but the flavor will just not be the same as fresh! Ready for the next step?

Now take the butter and add it to your soup pot. Turn up the heat to medium and let this melt. Once melted add in the onion and cook until they just get soft. Then add the garlic. When the garlic aroma begins to hit your nose, add the green chiles to the pot and stir to combine.

Add in the green chilis

Add in the green chilis

Then add the broth. For Conor over at One Man’s Meat, here is my gratuitous pouring shot!

Gratuitous pouring shot of the vegetable broth being added

Gratuitous pouring shot of the vegetable broth being added

Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until the chiles are extremely soft.

Soup is cooked and ready for the blender

Soup is cooked and ready for the blender

Turn the heat off and get out your handy, dandy blender or food processor. Have a bowl at the ready! I use the smoothie setting on my blender and I let it run for about 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy smooth!

Blend the soup until smooth

Blend the soup until smooth

Once you have the whole lot blended, add it all back to your soup pot. Turn the heat back on to medium heat and then add the heavy cream stirring it in slowly.

Add the cream

Add the cream

Heat this through until hot and then season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Cream of green chile soup

Cream of green chile soup

Now you can eat this as it is, or you can wait for my post on Cream of Artichoke Soup, then make the two together, and serve up an unexpected delight! Want to see a preview? OK!

The preview of the two soups...

The preview of the two soups…

I hope that you enjoyed this souper post! Have a great day and thanks for dropping in!

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Pigs in a blanket!

Pigs in a blanket!

Last night I headed into the kitchen to make pigs in a blanket! It is an easy appetizer, and it makes 48 little piggies! So come with me as I take you through the process of putting these together! Let’s start with the ingredients…

Ingredients
1 cup of flour
dash of salt
1/3 cup + 1 TBS vegetable shortening
3 TBS very cold water
1 package of Nathans Mini Hotdogs, or if you feel wild, Hillshire Farms Little Smokies
mustard, ketchup or BBQ sauce for dipping

Place your flour and salt in a mixing bowl and stir it up. Then start adding the shortening a bit at a time. I use a fork to blend this and when you are done you should have little pea size bits in your bowl.

The flour and shortening are combined

The flour and shortening are combined

Then add the water one TBS at a time. When you are done your dough should be sticking together like what you see in this next photo.

Water has been added

Water has been added

Lightly dust your surface and then form the dough into a ball.

Form the dough into a ball

Form the dough into a ball

Roll out the dough as you would a pie crust.

Roll out the dough

Roll out the dough

Trim the dough.

Trim the dough

Trim the dough

At this point get your oven started. Pre-heat to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with some foil and then use a non stick spray.

Next lay the little weenies on the dough and mark where you will cut strips.

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Then slice the dough into your strips.

Taking a strip, place a weenie on the dough and start to roll the weenie in the dough.

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

With your finger moisten the edge and pinch to seal.

Rolled up little piggie!

Rolled up little piggie!

Don’t they look good?

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake these for about 30 minutes turning them halfway through cooking…When they are done serve them up with a bit of mustard, or ketchup. If you are doing this with those little smokies some warmed BBQ sauce is a really good compliment! Check out these pigs in a blanket!

Serve them up!

Serve them up!

Now just so you know, the flour mixture is one pie crust, and it makes for one flaky crust! Please let me know if you try this recipe!

The good news for today is that it is finally raining! Right now we have about a quarter inch and the temperatures are dropping! Snow maybe?

Well, thank you for dropping by today, and have a wonderful Thursday!

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Veal is one of the “hard to find” meats here in the Sierra Foothills. I am not sure why this is but when I saw veal at the grocery store I had to buy it! I decided to make Veal Marsala, and the Marsala was not easy to find either, but I did! I started dancing in the aisle when I did and believe me I got some weird looks! So, let’s head on into the kitchen!

The ingredient list is simple!
3/4# veal sliced thinly
1/2 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of Marsala wine
3 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

A short list, but one packed with amazing flavors! Check it out!

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing you want to do, after getting your ingredients prepared and ready to use, as this is a quick cooking dinner, is coat your veal in the seasoned flour. Then heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the veal. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the pan. Brown the meat. This takes about a minute a side!

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

As it browns remove it from the pan and set aside. Then add your mushrooms. You want to brown these and cook out the liquids.

Browned mushrooms

Browned mushrooms

Then add in the Marsala.

Add the marsala

Add the marsala

Heat this to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the the liquid is reduced by about one third.

Reduce the liquid by a third

Reduce the liquid by a third

Then add back the meat to the pan along with the butter. The butter and the flour will thicken the sauce a bit.

The meat added back

The meat added back

Bring this back to a boil, then add the thyme leaves. When the aroma of the thyme comes up, the dish is done! I served this with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The flavors in this dish: Amazing! And, the best part of it, the dish is easy to make. Anticipate your cooking time to about 25 minutes!

Thank you for dropping by today and for joining me in the kitchen! Go have a great Monday, and I will see you tomorrow!

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I am really falling in love with cooking up a recipe using a beer or ale! The aromas of the food, not to mention the flavor, are rich and beautiful! So, when I came across a recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit for a Belgian Ale – Braised Brisket, I just had to give it a go! I altered this recipe a bit, but it is based upon this recipe that I found! Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Brisket of Beef, flat cut
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 TBS of pressed ginger
Bacon fat
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of flour
750 ml bottle Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale


4 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf

The first thing that you do is season the brisket with the Kosher salt. I was liberal with this. Then tightly wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 8 hours but I only did this for 4 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to warm up a bit. Meat cooks better the closer it gets to room temperature.

As the meat sits, make the mixture which you will slather the meat with. Place the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Now the recipe calls for one to grate the ginger. This is truly a pain in the rear! My experience with this was that the ginger does not drop off the grater but sticks in the little grates. I ended up spending about a half hour extricating what little I grated using a toothpick to lift the pieces. After getting what I could off the grater, I switched to my garlic/ginger press, which worked so much better! Add this to the mustard and sugar and then mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, get out a baking pan with sides and place a rack in the bottom. Place the meat on the rack and them slather it will all of the mustard, sugar, ginger mix.

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Let this sit until the oven is hot, then place this in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it is a lovely golden brown.

As the meat starts baking, the next thing to do is prepare the braising sauce. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Use about 2 – 2 1/2 TBS. When this is hot, carefully add the onion. Cook these until they are a golden brown.

Browned onions

Browned onions

This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and then slowly mix in the flour. Take your time! This ensures that you do not get lumps! Cook this until the flour turns a lovely golden color.

Next, slowly add in your ale stirring as you go. The aromas of the ale with the onions? Fabulous! Once this is incorporated into the onions, then add in the broth and the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

By now your meat should be ready. Pull it out of the oven and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Add the meat to the dutch oven.

Ready to start braising!

Ready to start braising!

Cover this and place it in the oven. Cook this for 3 hours turning every half hour.

When this is done, remove from the oven, and remove the meat from the sauce. Let the meat sit covered for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place the dutch oven on a burner and heat to simmer until the sauce coats the spoon. When done, turn off the heat and cover. Slice up the meat.

Lovely sliced brisket

Lovely sliced brisket

Serve up slices of the meat and cover with a bit of the sauce. Don’t forget your vegetables! I served this with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was very yummy and the aromas in the house were amazing! We have enough for another dinner and we are looking forward to the increased flavors of it sitting overnight!

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Now go out and have a great Wednesday, and thanks for joining me in the kitchen!

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I am working on two recipes. Two which need to be combined. One I have known as a “Cream of Green Chile Soup;” the other is known as a “Cream of Artichoke Soup.” Why? Well, there is a little place located in the town of Pescadero, south of San Francisco, but for us is about 175 miles away. When I lived in the area I used to go to this fabulous little place, called Duartes Tavern, for a mixture of their Cream of Green Chile and Cream of Artichoke Soup! This restaurant has been around since 1894! If you have the chance – GO THERE and have them mix a bowl for you of both of these soups!

So where this is taking me is to the different types of soups that one can make. I have not done a post on this yet, and thought that this would be a good topic for those who love to be in the kitchen like I do! And I am wondering: Is the Cream of Green Chile Soup and the Cream of Artichoke Soup really Bisques or Cream Soups? So here is what I discovered:

Basically, there are 6 types of soups: Stock, Broth, Cream, Bisque, Chowder and Consommé. So, what are the differences?

A Stock begins with water and bones, and sometimes incorporates vegetables into the mix. Fish stock, which is the finest of stocks, can be made with fish bones and water, but if you cook it too long it can become bitter. Beef and chicken are the most common stocks that are made. Stock is made by cooking bones in water with some vegetables and seasonings. Stock can be cooked down and reduced for the flavors to intensify without being overly salty!

A Broth, while being a bit similar to stock, has more seasoning than a stock. It also begins with water, but uses less bones than stock, and still includes some vegetables.

Broth in the soup kettle

Broth in the soup kettle

Meat is usually added, but this is not cooked down to the degree of Stock or it would be too intense in flavor. Bullion that you can buy in the grocery stores should not be confused with broth. Those bullion’s you can buy in the store: Loaded with salt, which is usually the first ingredient.

A Cream Soup generally uses a bechamel, which is a white sauce made with butter and flour. The trick to a good cream soup is to “sweat” the aromatics in butter that you are using for the basis of your soup. This intensifies the flavors. Then you add a bit of flour to create a roux, and add your liquids.

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

Usually this liquid is a stock, and to finish this soup, you finish it with a bit of cream. I like to toss it in a blender which will smooth and thicken the entire lot of what you are cooking!

A Bisque Soup (pronounced “bisk”), is a soup that begins with a strained broth of shellfish. Traditionally, this soup is made from shells that are ground into a fine paste, which are then added to a broth to help thicken it. Rice can also be used to thicken a bisque. The term Bisque can also refer to a vegetarian style soup which are processed through a food mill or food processor. These more commonly use tomatoes, peppers, squash or mushrooms.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

These really are considered a cream soup but needed to be mentioned here as they are more often than not referred to as a “Bisque.”

A Chowder is more like a stew than a soup. It is similar to a cream soup but it is not blended.

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

So with this soup you get chunks of food, while it is still creamy. Most chowders include corn, fish, clams, or potatoes. Again, a chunky cream soup!

The last is Consommé. By its very definition this soup is a strong, rich soup where the flavors are concentrated. What sets this apart are the strong flavors and the clarity of the soup. What clarifies this type of soup are egg whites. They are basically a filter for this type of soup! As the soup cooks the eggs capture the sediment in the broth, which rise to the top of the cooking pot. This is called the “raft.” The raft is then spooned off resulting in a clear, flavorful broth!

I hope that you found this post interesting! I was amazed at the differences between all these types of soup!

Now go out and have a great Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

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While I have done this dish before, I changed how I make this recipe and now it is even better! This is an easy dish to put together and very tasty too! Here is a preview!

Preview

Preview

Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Ingredients
2#’s ground beef
1 small onion chopped
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups of water
2 2 1/4 oz cans chopped green chiles
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 container of fresh salsa
Corn tortilla chips
1# medium cheddar cheese grated
Sour cream

Brown the ground beef with the onion.

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

When browned, drain the fat off the meat. Then add in the taco seasoning mix and water.
Add in the taco seasoning

Add in the taco seasoning

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Then add in the green chiles, cilantro and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add in the meat mixture. Top with about one cup of the grated cheddar.

Layer of cheese over the beef

Layer of cheese over the beef

Then top with salsa, using just enough to cover.
Then add salsa

Then add salsa

Follow this with the tortilla chips,
Top with chips

Top with chips

then the remaining cheddar cheese.
Top with cheddar cheese

Top with cheddar cheese

Cook in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

and serve!
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

We just topped this with some sour cream, but feel free to use this, along with some chopped olives, green onions, and a jalapeno chopped finely!

Now, wasn’t that easy?

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen today! Now go out and have a magnificent Monday!

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On a cold winter’s day there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot steaming soup! I have been thinking of soup lately, and cannot make up my mind on which one I should cook! So come with me as we cruise through some soup recipes!

I love the heat on Hot Sour Soup

Hot Sour Soup!

Hot Sour Soup!

But I also love the sausage and spinach in Spicy Chicken Soup!

Spicy Chicken Soup!

Spicy Chicken Soup!

And I do love the creaminess of Cream of Broccoli Soup! Doesn’t this look yummy?

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Let’s not forget about Easy Tortellini Soup! The first time I had this dish we were visiting friends at their winery in the Barolo region of Italy!

Tortellini Soup!

Tortellini Soup!

I love artichokes, and I use them in this Pork Sausage Soup! Here is the soup while its cooking!

Pork Sausage Soup

Pork Sausage Soup

I cannot make up my mind which one to make. Which one would you make?

Thanks for your help and for stopping by today! Have a great Thursday!

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Here is a recipe that I made over the weekend that was one great tasting dish! It combines cauliflower, Italian sausage, spinach and rigatoni in this lovely baked dish! The surprising ingredient that makes this dish is rosemary! How about a preview?

Preview

Preview

Ingredients
1# Italian sausage
2 TBS fresh chopped rosemary
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of cauliflower cut into 1″ pieces
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1# rigatoni
4 cups of spinach, chopped
2 28 oz. cans of diced petite tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Romano cheese
2 cups of shredded mozzarella

With the ingredients all ready to go, break up the sausage into a preheated skillet and brown. While this is cooking preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take your cauliflower and coat it with the olive oil and then lay in a single layer in a baking pan. When the oven is hot, place this in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower

Reduce the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.

By now the sausage should be browned. Add in the rosemary and garlic, and stir until the aromas come up.

Browned sausage with rosemary and garlic added

Browned sausage with rosemary and garlic added

Then add in the tomato sauce and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Tomato sauce is added

Tomato sauce is added

Cook your pasta following the directions on the package. When done, run under cold water. In a large bowl mix the pasta with the spinach. Set aside.

Once the sauce has cooked, add a bit to the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Next add 1/2 the rigatoni spinach mix, top with 1/2 the cauliflower, and then more sauce. Follow this with the Romano cheese. Repeat the layers finishing it off with the mozzarella.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. When done, let this sit for about 10 minutes before diving in!

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

Let me know if you try this tasty dish! It was amazing!

Thanks for dropping in and have a wonderful Monday!

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Let’s celebrate bacon today! I don’t know about you but I love, I mean LOVE, bacon! I use it whenever I can! Let’s revisit some of my recipes that use bacon…Be prepared! Your mouth will water!

Check out these lovely pork chops, topped with rosemary, then wrapped in bacon! Here they are raw…

Chops wrapped in bacon

Chops wrapped in bacon

Here they are cooked…

The finished dish!

The finished dish!

The recipe: Pork Loin Chops Wrapped in Bacon

I did the same thing, sans rosemary, with a pork loin roast!

Pork Loin wrapped and ready!

Pork Loin wrapped and ready!

Here it is out of the oven!

Pork just out of the oven!

Pork just out of the oven!

The recipe: Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Roast

Then there is that delish beef rouladen that has bacon hidden inside….

Slowly roll up the bacon inside the meat

Slowly roll up the bacon inside the meat

Recipe: Beef and Bacon Rouladen

One more…chicken with bacon!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu

To see what other recipes I have on my blog that includes bacon, just do a search on bacon!

Have a great Monday! Thank you for stopping by and Happy New Year!

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