Saturday, October 24, 2009

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

IMG_7574We've been having a bit of cold weather which has had me really craving soup. I made this soup tonight and it was delicious with a nice bit of heat from the peppers, perfect for these cold Autumn days.

Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder

4 large poblano peppers
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons Wondra
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 15-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
1 15-ounce can creamed style corn
1 15-ounce can sweet corn, drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Under the broiler or on the grill, char the poblanos on all sides and then place in a plastic bag to steam until they are cool enough to handle. Peel off and discard the skin, remove and discard the stem and seeds. Chop the cleaned peppers coarsely and set aside.

In a large pot heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion until lightly caramelized then add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the Wondra and stir continuously for one minute. Add the chicken stock and stir to mix. Add the poblanos and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the evaporated milk and mix well. Using an immersion bender or in small batches in a blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add the creamed & sweet corn, stir to mix & heat. Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with salt & pepper.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Blondies

IMG_7572 I made these blondies for a Halloween themed play date and they were not only super simple to make but delicious to eat! They were super moist and I loved the crunch of the nuts but next time I make them I’ll cut the amount of chocolate bits by half as *I* felt they were a bit too chocolaty but otherwise I loved them as did everyone else.

Pumpkin Blondies

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate bits (I would only use half the bag)

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the pumpkin pie spice and salt and blend. Add the eggs and pumpkin puree and blend until smooth. Mix in the flour until fully incorporated. Stir in the pecan halves and chocolate bits. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the center is set. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Red Curry Soup

IMG_7380a Tonight I made this soup which was simple to make and absolutely delish! Eammon just couldn't get enough of it and as he was eating his first bowl, asked if I could make it again and soon, so definitely a hit!!

Red Curry Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 can lite coconut milk
5 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 Tablespoons red curry paste 
1 lime, zest and juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 avocado, diced

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and allow to lightly caramelize. Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for another two minutes until jalapenos are soft. Add cilantro and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the red curry paste, lime juice and zest and ground pepper. Stir until the curry paste dissolves. Taste the broth at this point to make sure that the salt/pepper/heat from jalapeno & curry paste and sourness from the lime are in balance and adjust as needed.

Add the mushrooms and red pepper and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms and peppers are tender. Turn off heat and stir in the chicken and scallions. Allow the chicken to poach in the broth for approx. five minutes or until cooked and opaque.

Place some diced avocado in the bottom of each bowl and ladle soup on top.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coriander Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

IMG_7212 The other night I was reading though a few of my favorite cooking blogs when I happened upon this recipe and knew that I had to make this dish. I made a few changes to the original, tweaking amounts a little to better suit our tastes. I also left out the dill, which I despise, and the bell peppers which I'm not oh-to-fond of. In addition I had ground coriander in the house and couldn't be bothered to toast and grind my own so another change from the original.

This was one of the best meals I have cooked in a while as Eammon and I both loved the dish. The fish had a wonderful flavor and was super moist. The lemon rind in the sauce added a wonderful brightness while the sauce overall had great complexity. This recipe was easy, delicious, and will be made numerous times in the future.

Coriander Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce (Adapted from here)

1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
zest from ½ of a lemon, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
6 (5- to 6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets, I used Steelhead salmon
Salt and pepper

Cilantro for garnish

To make the sauce: Stir the yogurt, tahini, coriander, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Mix in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead.)

To prepare the salmon: Whisk the honey, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, paprika & coriander together in a shallow baking dish. Add the salmon and turn to coat it. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Transfer the salmon to the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until the salmon is opaque in the center, about 10 minutes.

Serve the salmon with the yogurt sauce and garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6

I served the salmon over roasted spaghetti squash. To make the squash, preheat oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until fork inserts easily into the flesh. Separate strands by running a fork through the flesh in the "from stem to stern" direction.


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