Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Butternut Squash Risotto

This is a new recipe I tried recently and really liked.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: about 40 minutes

2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped butternut squash
3/4 cup arborio or short grain rice
32 oz chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and shallot; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in squash and rice; cook and stir until rice grains are coated with butter. Slowly stir in broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, cooking over low heat and stirring until broth has been absorbed before adding more. When all of broth has been absorbed, stir in cheese and sage; cook for 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Enchilada Soup

My grandmother only refers to any soup that tastes even slightly Mexican as "Sopa." You can do that, if you want, and feel all West-Jordan-Authentic.

This makes a ton--you can halve it if you want, but really, just freeze the leftovers and feel all righteous when people ask you to bring some lady dinner when she has sprained her spleen or something. It also tastes better each successive day.

½ c oil--I use olive
¼ c Chicken base (base is different than stock. It looks like a paste. I get mine from penzeys. I have also used Pork stock when I wanted to be faboo.) I suppose you could use stock or powder or granules, but you would have to fiddle with the consistency. I would do at least 1/2 the recommended water to make the stock thicker when you add it.
3 c Diced yellow onions--about 1 1/2 big onions
Cumin--at least 2 T, I just dump a bunch in because I loves me the cumin
Chili powder--same as above
Granulated garlic or garlic cloves all chopped up--same as above
Cayenne pepper--same as above.
***When I am feeling lazy I just pour in Penzey's pork taco seasoning and omit all of the other spices except for the Chili and Cumin. It works better, I think.**
2 c Masa harina--I use Harina Pan, which is finer. I would not use just plain corn meal, though.
4 qt Water (divided)
2 c Crushed tomatoes
½ lb Process American cheese; cut in small cube
3 lb chicken,
Cook and cube chicken.
In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes In another container, combine masa harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauteed onions, bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from masa harina. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally. Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16-20 servings.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Garlicky Tortellini, Spinach and Tomato Soup

Soup weather is here! This easy-to-prepare recipe is a favorite of ours. If you like garlic...this soup is for you!

Garlicky Tortellini, Spinach & Tomato Soup (Serves 2 to 3)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups (1 quart) homemade or low-salt chicken broth
6 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (I've used ravioli also)
14 oz. canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid
10 oz. spinach, washed and stemmed; coarsely chopped if large
8 to 10 leaves basil, coarsely chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway, about 5 minutes for frozen pasta, less if using fresh. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook just until the pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the grated cheese. Easy!