Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our featured recipe on Dish and Dine.com

Cranberry Walnut Coffeecake

1 can of whole cranberry relish
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pulse cranberries with orange zest and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped, but not puréed then stir in walnuts. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and half and half alternately, beginning and ending with flour, stirring until just blended. Spread one third of batter evenly in well-greased loaf pan, then spoon half of cranberry-walnut mixture evenly over center of batter. Top with another layer of batter and more cranberries, then cover with remaining batter. Top with any left over cranberry mixture. Bake for 1 to 1 hours 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in loaf pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sweet Success: Making Candy at Home

Raspberry Orange Lollipops
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 of a 3-ounce box orange gelatin dessert
1/2 of a 3-ounce box raspberry gelatin dessert
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
10-20 lollipop sticks
Candy molds, if desired

Butter or spray nonstick vegetable cooking spray onto a parchment-lined cookie sheets or candy molds. Arrange lollipop sticks a few inches apart on cookie sheet or place in mold. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, butter, and corn syrup together until sugar has dissolved. Slowly bring to a boil, stir frequently, and continue cooking until temperature reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Using a metal spoon and working quickly, drop heaping spoonfuls of lollipop syrup on the end of each lollipop stick on the cookie sheet or fill in the molds. Cool completely. Wrap each sucker in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container.

Kahlua Butter Caramels
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus
1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with oil. Bring brown sugar, cream, butter, salt, and 1/4 cup Kahlua to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 248 degrees Fahrenheit or firm-ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in remaining teaspoon of liqueur. Carefully pour into baking pan and cool completely until firm. Invert caramel onto a cutting board, then discard parchment and turn caramel glossy side up. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Store in an air-tight container.

Peanut Butter Truffles
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat cream and peanut butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring frequently with a whisk to melt evenly. While cooking the peanut butter and cream mixture, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. When both the chocolate and peanut butter mixtures are smooth, combine the two using a whisk. Press the combined mixture through a medium mesh colander or sieve into another bowl with a rubber spatula. Stir in vanilla. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 to 4 hours (or overnight).

Pour a moderate amount of cocoa in a small bowl. Line a large baking sheet or tray with waxed paper or 30 to 50, 1-inch paper candy cups. Let the truffle mixture sit out at room temperature 20 minutes (1 hour if chilled overnight) to soften. Using a teaspoon, scoop out small portions of the filling, press with your hands to warm the mixture and increase its ability to stick and form a ball. Roll truffle in cocoa mixture and place in candy cups. Keep chilled until ready to serve to maintain flavor and texture.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Food and Fiction: Great Book Club Recipies

Roasted Garlic Hummus
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 19-ounce can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained reserving 1/4 cup liquid
1/2 cup tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pita chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut 1/2-inch slice off top of garlic bulb. Drizzle olive oil over garlic bulb. Wrap garlic in foil. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until garlic is soft then set aside. In food processor, place beans, reserved bean liquid, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Squeeze roasted garlic bulb into food processor over the other ingredients. Cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape down sides, until smooth. Serve with pita chips.

Tangy Chicken Pasta Salad
2 boxes Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® classic pasta salad mix
1 large green bell pepper
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar dressing
1/3 cup cold water
2 cups cooked breaded chicken tenders cut into strips
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup halved purple grapes

Empty contents of pasta pouch (from salad mix) into 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding bell pepper during last 2 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together contents of seasoning mix packet, the dressing and cold water until blended; set aside. Drain pasta with bell pepper; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well. In a large bowl, stir pasta with chicken, tomatoes and grapes. Pour dressing mixture over pasta and chicken. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

“Stephanie” Plum Crumble
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 packets of cinnamon roll flavor instant oat meal
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pound plums, halved, pitted, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon plum brandy
Vanilla ice cream

Mix flour and instant oatmeal packets in a medium bowl. Add butter and mix with a pastry blender until the mixture forms a coarse meal with moist clumps. This may be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss plums, sugar and brandy in medium bowl. Transfer glass loaf-size baking dish. Cover with crumb topping. Bake until fruit bubbles and topping browns, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Serve warm with ice cream.

Long Hot Summer: Cooking with Chiles

Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Spicy Chipotle Sauce
1 1/2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt6 thick-cut boneless pork chops
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 can (7.5 oz.) chipotle chiles in adobo
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together breadcrumbs, oil, pepper, and salt in a shallow dish. Coat pork chops with breadcrumb mixture. Place chops on a greased baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the center of the thickest chop reaches 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place bell pepper, chipotle chiles with adobo, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse just once or twice to coarsely chop the ingredients. Pour into a small bowl and stir in cilantro just before serving. Drizzle the sauce over the pork chops just before serving.

Jalapeno and Chorizo Cornbread
10 oz. tube chorizo (no casing)
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz.) can creamed corn
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 red bell peppe
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chorizo in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix corn muffin mix, salt, egg, sour cream and creamed corn. Using a slotted spoon (to drain off some of the grease), spoon the sausage meat into the cornbread mixture. Stir in the jalapenos, bell pepper and 3/4 of the cheese. Pour the cornbread batter into a heavily greased 9-inch cake pan or heavy skillet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center is set.

Habanero Chile Salsa
14 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 medium white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 to 3 fresh habanero chiles (depending on pepper size and desired level of heat)
1 jalapeno chile
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos, onion, garlic, habaneros, jalapeno, and bell pepper on baking sheet. Broil until about 5 minutes for the peppers, onion, and garlic, and about 5 minutes per side for the tomatillos. Transfer vegetables to a food processor. Add cilantro, lime juice, salt and brown sugar. Pulse one to three times until vegetables are coarsely chopped. Transfer salsa to bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Pizza Experiment

Grilled Mexican Pizza with Poblano Peppers
Prepared pizza dough
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese blend
1 lb. marinated and gilled fajita steak, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup Fresh pico de gallo
1 to 2 poblano chile peppers, roasted

To roast peppers: Grill peppers over an open flame, turning them using a long-handled fork, until skins are blackened, about five minutes. Place peppers to a bowl and cover until cool. While wearing rubber gloves, peel whole peppers. Cut off tops and clean out seeds and ribs. Chop coarsely.

Prepare grill to medium heat. Roll out dough to desired size and thickness then lightly brush with olive oil. Oil grill rack and, before it gets too soft, carefully transfer the dough to the rack of the grill, oiled side down. Lightly brush top with more oil. Grill crust in a covered grill until underside is brown, about four minutes. Flip crust over with two metal spatulas. Top first with cheese then other ingredients. Grill pizza, covered, until cheese is melted and underside is lightly browned.

Italian Sausage and Pancetta
Prepared pizza dough
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Fontina cheese
6 slices pancetta
2 link sweet Italian sausage
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Chop Italian sausage coarsely and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Drain and set aside. Top crust with half of Fontina cheese. Top cheese with pancetta, sausage, mushrooms, and green onions. Sprinkle remainder of cheese over the pizza and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese has melted. Slice and serve.

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill Cream
Prepared pizza dough
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into squares

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough out into a 10-inch round. Transfer dough to baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake the crust for 6 to 8 minutes and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream cheese, dill, onion and lemon juice. Spread the dill mixture over the top of the crust, leaving an inch around the edges bare. Top the cream with salmon, covering the surface. Sprinkle the pizza with capers and cracked black pepper, if desired. Slice in small squares, chill and serve as hors d’oeuvres.
Basic Pizza Dough
3/4 cup hot tap water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar

In a small bowl, stir water and yeast together until yeast is dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar together. Add yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Coat another large bowl with olive oil and add ball of dough. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl and place in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until it has roughly doubled in size, about one hour. On a lightly floured surface flatten dough with your hands, cut dough in half, and roll each half into a ball. Dust tops of balls with flour. Cover each ball with a clean towel and let dough rise again in a warm place until doubled in size. Makes enough dough for two 9-inch pizzas.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Drive-In Movie Night

Creamy Mint Orange Shake

2 cups ice cubes or slightly crushed ice
2 cups milk or soy milk
1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Cover; blend on high speed 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth and frothy. Pour into four glasses. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Parmesan Popcorn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 regular-size bags of lightly buttered microwave popcorn
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pop popcorn according to directions on the package. Pour into a large bowl, then drizzle olive oil over hot popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese, pepper and salt, and then toss to distribute the cheese evenly. Serve in individual bowls or paper boxes.

Pita Burgers with Mediterranean Salad

8 ounces ground chuck, formed into four patties
4 slices of Muenster cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 large ripe tomato, chopped coarsely
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Fresh lettuce leaves
2 pita bread rounds, halved to make four pockets

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill burgers to desired doneness (about 5 minutes per side for medium) and top with cheese until it melts slightly. Stir onion, tomato, garlic, and parsley together in a bowl, add olive oil and vinegar, and toss to coat vegetables. Season with salt and pepper as desired then set aside.

Gently pry open pita pockets and place a layer of lettuce leaves on the thickest side. Add cheese burger, fill in salad, and then layer avocado slices last. Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crazy 'Bout Crawfish

Crawfish Empanadas with Spicy Aioli

2 pre made piecrust pastry sheets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1 clove chopped garlic
12 ounce package crawfish tails, thawed
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses
1 egg white, beaten
4 to 6 cups vegetable oil
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Juice from one fresh lime
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
Salt and pepper

Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or cast iron Dutch oven. Remove the pastry sheets from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions, bell peppers, and garlic until tender. Add crawfish and season with Tony’s, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Roll out the pastry and cut into rounds 5 inches in diameter. Brush edges with egg whites. Place about two or three heaping tablespoons of crawfish mixture in the middle of the round. Fold over and press down on the edges of the pastry with the ends of a fork to seal. Poke the middle of the empanada with a fork twice. Carefully lower each empanada into the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. This recipe makes about 10 empanadas at this size; smaller size rounds and a lesser amount of the filling should be used for hors d’ oeuvres.

For the aioli, whisk together mayonnaise, garlic powder, lime juice, hot sauce and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to use. Drizzle over empanadas before serving.

Creamy Crawfish & Cheese Ravioli

1/2 stick butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
Cyan pepper, salt and white pepper to taste
1 pound cleaned crawfish tails
1/2 medium to large bell pepper
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-Package fresh or frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini, thawed
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Bring salted water to a boil in a medium stockpot. Add ravioli and cook for 4 to 5 minutes (see package for instructions as times may vary). In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until onions are clear and tender. Stir in crawfish tails and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly stir in heavy whipping cream then season with cyan pepper, salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes over low to medium heat until sauce thickens.
Place cooked ravioli on plate or a shallow bowl. Ladle crawfish and cream mixture over the pasta. Garnish with parmesan cheese and top with chopped green onion or fresh parsley, if desired, and serve. Yields 4 servings.

Cold Crawfish Salad

1 pound boiled, peeled crawfish tails
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons liquid crab boil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dill
Black pepper to taste

Place the crawfish in a large mixing bowl and season with black pepper. If the crawfish tails are large, coarsely chop them first. Stir in the onions, celery, crab boil (use one or two teaspoons depending on desired level of heat), and mayonnaise. Stir in dill. Serve with crackers or stuff in a hollowed-out tomato or puff pastry shell on top of a bed of greens.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Clambakes - Inland Style

Kitchen Clambake with Herbed Butter Sauce

Bouquet Garni for Seasoning: Place 12-inch square of cheesecloth on work surface. Place some fresh parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in center. Roll up and tie with string. Place bouquet garni in pot along with the other ingredients below.

1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausage 2 large yellow onions, sliced in rings
5 or 6 stalks of fresh celery, cut into long segments 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 pounds very small red potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded (optional)1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, in the shell (optional)2 cups dry white wine
1 cup butter, room temperature3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped1 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon dried basil
Lemon wedges

Slice the kielbasa diagonally into about two-inch thick segments and set aside. Saute the onions and celery in the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until the onions start to brown. Layer the ingredients on top of the onions in the stockpot in this order: first, the potatoes, salt, and pepper; then the kielbasa, little neck clams, mussels, and shrimp. Pour in the wine. Cover the pot tightly and cook over medium-high heat until steam just begins to escape from the lid, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes. The clams and mussels should open when they are done. Place the seafood, potatoes, and sausages to a large bowl. Season the broth in the pot with salt and pepper. Ladle the broth over the seafood before serving or serve it on the side. Avoid any sand left in the bottom of the pot. Melt butter, garlic, oregano and basil in a small saucepan. Serve in ramekins alongside the clambake with fresh lemon wedges.

Sand Dollar Cookies

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Slivered almonds and cinnamon-sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in almond extract. Combine the flour and salt; gradually stir into butter and sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to one hour. Roll dough between waxed paper to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a round cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Lightly brush with egg. Place almond slices in a sand dollar pattern and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for two minutes in pan before moving to wire racks. Makes about one dozen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The February issue including “Souffles Decoded” should be hitting stands within the next few days. Stay tuned for more recipes to come online that will be included in the March issue soon. Bon Appetite!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Souffles Decoded

White Chocolate Orange Souffle
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces imported white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons Triple Sec orange liqueur
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces imported white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 6-cup soufflé dish then sprinkle with granulated sugar to coat. Heat cream and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add white chocolate and stir until chocolate dissolves. Whisk in yolks and orange peel. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes - do not boil. Whisk in Triple Sec. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg whites into warm egg yolk mixture in 2 additions. Transfer mixture to prepared soufflé dish. Bake until soufflé is puffed and top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Gruyère and Parmesan Cheese Soufflé
1/4 cup butter
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 large egg whites

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter one 10-cup soufflé dish or six small soufflé dishes; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to coat. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and nutmeg. Cook until mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, then wine. Cook until smooth and thick but not quite boiling; stir constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix yolks, salt and pepper in small bowl then add yolk mixture all at once to sauce. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Gruyère cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into warm cheese base in three steps. Transfer soufflé mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle with more grated Gruyère cheese.
Place soufflé in oven; reduce heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until puffed and golden brown. The soufflé should be slightly set in center, about 40 minutes for large soufflé or 25 minutes for small dishes. Serve immediately after cooking.

Super Easy Soups

Cajun Minestrone

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1, 1 lb bag frozen turnip greens, thawed and drained
1, 1 lb bag frozen “vegetable gumbo,” thawed and drained
1 can (15 oz) Trappey’s Jalapeno black-eyed peas
2 cups prepared tomato sauce
5 1/4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
8 oz. uncooked small shell or elbow macaroni pasta
Salt, black pepper, and Tobasco to taste

In a large pot, heat broth and water to boiling, then add pasta and cook until al dente. Heat oil in a heavy stock pot over moderately high heat just until hot. Add onion, garlic and sausage to oil, stirring occasionally, and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add greens, vegetables, and peas and sauté, stirring constantly for about one minute. Stir in tomato sauce until sausage and vegetables are coated. Add pasta and broth mixture. Season with salt, pepper and Tobasco. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Serve with cornbread. Yields 10-12 servings.

Artichoke & Asparagus Bisque with Blue Cheese

2 tablespoons butter1 small onion, chopped1/3 cup dry vermouth1, 14-oz. cans artichoke hearts
1 lb asparagus, steamed and chopped3 cups chicken broth1/4 teaspoon dried thyme1 cup whipping cream1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until clear, about 10 minutes. Add vermouth and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes, asparagus, broth, and thyme. Simmer until artichoke hearts begin to fall apart, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Puree one half of soup at a time in a blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Stir in cream and blue cheese. Simmer over medium heat until cheese melts and soup is smooth, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Yields 6 to 6 servings.

Easy Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 10-ounce can diced Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, mild or hot
1 or 2, 8-ounce cans of MexiCorn, drained
3, 15-ounce cans black beans, drain one.
2 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Garnish with fresh jalapeno peppers and sour cream, if desired
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in Rotel, MexiCorn and cumin. Add beans and then pour in broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Mix in cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper and cumin. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro, if desired. Yields 8 to 10 servings. Can be frozen


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