Month: April 2018

Creamy Chicken, Gnocchi and Spinach Soup

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Joe, you finally get a copy. Earlier that it comes in the mail, too! You won’t see it until October, but I’ve done what I could.

Brown 1 pound Italian sausage in a Dutch oven, do not drain. If you are skipping the sausage, instead drizzle two glugs of your favorite olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion, 2 finely chopped stalks of celery, and 2 large shredded carrots.Stir to coat. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add 6 cups chicken stock, 2 cups diced chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds. If you want to add a bit of heat, add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes here. Bring to a boil. Add 2 packages of gnocchi, boil 4-6 minutes until gnocchi rises to the top and reduce to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped fresh spinach and cook an additional 2 minutes to wilt the spinach.

Slowly stir in 2 cups of half and half (one cup of half and half if you’re trying to cut extraneous calories). Keep the mixture from boiling, as the cream will separate if it gets too hot.

Serve immediately.

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Devilishly Delicious Eggs

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For every 6 halves, you’ll need 4 hard boiled eggs. I’ve found that steaming the eggs makes them a lot easier to peel than actually boiling them and they break a whole lot less often.

Peel the eggs and slice in half. Remove the yolks into a food processor or shallow bowl. Add your two weakest egg white halves, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 2 teaspoon ranch powder and 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper.

If using a food processor, pulse to chop the eggs and combine all ingredients. Otherwise, use a fork to work all the ingredients together. Pipe into the egg white halves or spoon the filling on top of them. Top with a dash of smoked paprika.

Makes 6 halves.

 

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Bruleed Grapefruit

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Cut the ends off a fresh grapefruit and then cut in half. You’ve cut the ends off so that when you wield a torch at it, it doesn’t wobble and you don’t light your house on fire. Hopefully. Place grapefruits fruit side down on paper towels for ten minutes.

For some extra flavor, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or cardamom over the grapefruit before you add sugar. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sprinkle half of mixture on each grapefruit half. You want a relatively thick coating. Even it out with the back of a spoon or a fork.

Light your brulee torch. Keeping the torch 1-2 inches from the fruit, move it in small circles to keep dispersing the heat. Melt the sugar so it caramelizes.

Give it a minute to cool off, then serve!

You can also make this in your oven: turn your broiler on and give it a few minutes to get hot. Put your sugared grapefruit under the broiler and keep an eye on it. It should take about 8 minutes.

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Papas Borrachas

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Traditional drunk potatoes call for, you now, alcohol. I modified it because I am not a big beer drinker and don’t always have them in the fridge to cook with. If you’re very committed, add them to the beans in lieu of chicken stock and cook down. Add salt to taste since you’ll be missing that from the stock. Technically this makes them drunken black beans.

While your crispy rosemary potatoes are cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a high walled skillet. Add three cloves of minced garlic and two finely sliced shallots. When garlic is lightly browned, add two cups of chicken stock and one can of drained black beans. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a gentle simmer, not a boil, and continue simmering until chicken stock has cooked down.

While the stock is reducing, cook one chopped yellow onion and one sliced bell pepper fajita style; you’re looking for lightly blackened edges.

When your potatoes are done, top with fajita style veggies and black beans. Graham likes his potatoes with breakfast sausage and a fried egg. I like mine with plain Greek yogurt and fresh jalapeño slices.

Serve hot.

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Crispy Rosemary Potatoes

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Preheat the oven to 475. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add three Russet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces. The smaller you cut the potatoes, the crispier they’ll be. Boil the potatoes for approximately 15 minutes. Drain. Put the potatoes back in the pot, hold the lid on and give the potatoes two good shakes. The fluffy bits become the crispy bits.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a roasting pan and place in the oven for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange potatoes in a single layer in the roasting pan. Top with 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Reduce the oven temperature to 425. Cook 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot.

These are also the basis for Papas Borrachas.

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