Wednesday, January 25, 2012

chorizo garbanzo stew

Yup. More soup/stew. It is January, after all! This actually started out as a soup recipe, but the addition of potatoes thickened it up enough to count as a stew! Like last week's Thai coconut soup, this comes together relatively quickly... it works for a weeknight. And like most stews, this is even better the next day!

Chorizo Garbanzo Stew

-12 oz. chorizo (not the smoked kind, the loose kind), removed from casings
-1 Tablespoon oil
-1 large white onion, chopped
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-2 shallots, chopped fine
-1 Tablespoon dried thyme
-1 Tablespoon smoke paprika
-cayenne pepper to taste
-4 stalks celery, chopped
-4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-5 cups chicken stock
-2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Cook the chorizo in the oil in a dutch oven or large pot, breaking up as it cooks, until fully cooked. Remove meat to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set aside. Cook the onion in the chorizo drippings until soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, paprika, cayenne and cook about 5 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, shallot and potatoes and cook, stirring so everything is coated with flavor, for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and wine, stirring and scraping the bottom to get the browned bits up. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add the chorizo back in and heat through. Serve, garnished with paprika.

Friday, January 20, 2012

thai coconut noodle soup

They say January is National Soup Month. Makes sense to me. January is cold. January is worn out from the holidays. January needs warmth and comfort... soup is just that... a big bear hug for your tummy.

Some of my favorite soups take hours to make properly. This flavorful Thai soup cooks rather quickly, and still offers that warm snuggly feeling. Because tummy cuddles shouldn't be reserved for weekends.... Cuddles EVERYDAY (that was my rap name back in the day)!

Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

-1 Tablespoon oil
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
-2 Tablespoons minced Lemongrass (or 3 if from a tube)
-2 small green chiles, chopped fine
-1 teaspoon coriander
-1/2 teaspoon white pepper
-2 teaspoons fish sauce
-1 chicken breast, sliced thin
-3 cups chicken stock
-1 can "lite" coconut milk
-1 small can bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks
-8 medium shrimp
-8 oz. flat rice noodles
-20ish fresh basil leaves, julienned
-lime wedges for garnish

Cook the garlic, ginger, chiles, lemongrass, coriander and white pepper in the oil until very fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the chicken slices and fish sauce and cook until the chicken JUST loses it's pink. Stir in the chicken stock and the coconut milk and let cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes (should be at a light simmer, not a boil). Taste soup for seasoning. Add the shrimp and noodles and remove from heat. Once the shrimp is opaque and the noodles are soft, stir in the basil and serve immediately.

Related posts from the archives:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

moroccan lamb meatballs with figs

2012: Year of the Balls. You heard me. Meatballs. They are getting trendy, and it's a trend I can get behind. Who doesn't like meatballs (or bean balls for vegetarians)? Easy to make, flavorful, endless possibilities, and FUN! Kelly sensed my ball obsession before I did, I think, because she got me a whole book of them for Christmas! While I am sad that this title is already taken, so I'll never be able to write my own book called "Balls!", there are some delightful recipes in Murrills' book.

This Moroccan Lamb Meatball recipe was perfect for winter... root veggies, rich spices, sweet figs. I would definitely chop up the figs next time, though...they were a little overwhelming whole.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Root Vegetables and Figs

-1 lb. ground lamb seasoned with 1/2 tsp. each of ground coriander and cumin, cayenne pepper to taste, salt & pepper.
-approx. 1/2 cup flour
-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1.5 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon coriander
-4 cups cubed root vegetables (I used 2 turnips, 4 parsnips, 6 carrots)
-1 medium onion, chopped
-3 cups chicken stock
-1/2 cup red wine
-8 oz. pkg. dried figs, stems chopped off, big ones halved
-1 can diced tomatoes
-handful of cilantro, chopped
-lemon zest, Greek yogurt & fig balsamic vinegar for garnish (optional)

Form the lamb mixture into 1" balls and lightly dredge them in the flour. Heat the Oil in a large skillet or dutch oven and cook the meatballs until well browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Add the garlic and spices to the pan and cook until fragrant. Add the vegetables and onion and cook until they all start to soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and figs, lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add meatballs and let cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve on Couscous with Greek yogurt, lemon zest and fig balsamic vinegar. Balls!

Related recipes from the archives:

Cashew Chicken balls
sausage and mushrooms
Pioneer Woman's Comfort Balls
Turkey Kefta
Masterpiece meatballs

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

new years cheers, 2011

Happy New Year Everybody!! It's that time of year to look forward... resolutions, new starts, goals, hopes... but also to look back, fondly, on 2011. It was a good year for this blog (8 years!!) and for me personally. A year full of good friends, good food and good fun!

• I was able to cook for my first Friendsgiving. I made "cheat" turducken instead of a turkey... a much easier and more practical alternative to a regular turducken. It was great!

• My good friend Julie started an amazing travel blog, My Roving I, this year. I was honored to do some guest posts for her... 3 posts all about St. Louis as it relates to travel. You can find links to all the posts here. In return, Julie did a guest post here! Wow, what a post! It's about her and Scott's visit to Dario Cecchini's famous butcher shop and café in Panzano, Italy. I am so awed by their travel skills.

• There were dinner parties. At this one, hosted by Kelly, we made Osso Bucco with the help of Mario Batali! No, really! I got cooking advice from him on twitter!

• Speaking of dinner parties, I was honored to be the guest of honor at the ultimate one... My friends John and Cathy featured an Iron Stef MENU one night at the the restaurant Table Three!! What a birthday present! It may never be topped. The food, by chef John, was wonderful, and I was surrounded by some of my most favorite people! Thanks to all who came, and to Cathy and John and Table Three for the menu!

• There were new friends in 2011, too! I got to know some of the area bloggers better, like the super-cool Stacey. I cooked this Baked Shrimp with Feta that she posted on her food blog Every Little Thing. Yum!

• I lost a good friend this year... My Grandma. Not to bring the party down... she was a saint of a woman... mother of 12, grandmother of, like, 38... never judging, rarely angered. I miss her, but what a blessing to have such a person in my life.

• 4 of my food-community buddies started a podcast in 2011... Stewed STL. It's the 4 of them with a different guest each episode discussing the current goings-ons of the local food scene whilst drinking. They asked me to design the logo, which was really fun... I wrote about the process on my other blog. I also got to play "bartender" during one of the tapings... opening tallboys of Busch and pouring shots of the infamous Malört... fun stuff!

Here are some of my favorite dishes from 2011...

English Hot Pot... which taught me the glory of ham stock.

Crockpot Chicken and Eggs. An old favorite from my early blogging days.

• Miso and Shiso were sort of a theme combo in 2011... pictured above is Miso Salmon, and earlier in the year I made Miso Shiso Mussels. Mainly because it's fun to say... they also taste great!

Green Garlic Risotto. god bless farmer's markets in the spring.

Caramelized Leek and Morel tart. This? Will get you laid.

• In 2011 I got a new niece. I used that as an excuse to get a fancy new camera. I loved my old camera (and payed respects in this post), but it was time for an update and upgrade. Luckily, My friends Corey and Kelly taught a food photography soon after I got the new tool... I wrote about the class and what I learned in this post.

• Hopefully my photos for this blog will continue to improve... afterall I have a reputation to live up to... in 2011 I could official call this blog "Award-Winning" !!!! Wow, you guys. I am still so tickled and honored by this. 2010 Best Food Blog in St. Louis. Little 'ol me? Very cool. *Group Hug!*

• Childhood was fun. The funnest! I decided to re-live a bit of mine by making a Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit pizza. It tasted just like I remembered and took me right down memory lane. Judge if you will, but these pizzas make me giddy.

• I made my first visit ever to New Orleans in 2011! It was a road trip with 3 of my favorite people. We ate, went to a voodoo shop, checked out the market, and more. The food was dreamy, especially Cochon. Photos from the trip are here.

• A challenge is always fun. When I discovered Turnip Cakes, a traditional dim sum item, I fell in love. I had to have more. So I made some. It was quite the endeavour, but it payed off.

• 2011 was the year of Knuckles Handerson... my hand. He visited lots of places with me, including restaurants! Meet Knuckles in this post, and follow him on twitter and tumblr. :D

• Don't worry, Knuckles did not replace Skank Ham. She was alive and kicking all through 2011, and will be doing the same in 2012.

2010 Iron Stef recap

2009 Iron Stef recap

2007 Iron Stef recap

(this is not to say other years weren't good... I just didn't write recaps...)

Cheers to you!! Happy 2012 everyone!