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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warms the Cockles

MMMMM....Chili! I love it, this was my first time ever making it, and I am so pleased with the result. I literally poured over chili recipes for the last week, and came up with one that I really love. Hubby loved it too, I made it for the MU/KU game and MU won!!!! Good luck charm! we like it spicy, so adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Karen's soon to be famous Spicy Two Bean Chili

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 med. Mayan Sweet Onion, chopped (use any sweet onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs 95% lean ground beef
1tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp ground oregano
2 tsp Cayenne
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
3 Jalepenos, sliced (not seeded)
1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
pinch of sugar
1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bottle dark beer (i used Sam Adams Boston Ale) minus 2 swigs ( ;
salt and pepper to taste
Red Pepper Flakes and Cholula hot sauce to taste (any hot sauce will do, I like this one)

Saute onions over med heat in olive oil until translucent (about 8 min). Add garlic and saute another minute. Add beef and brown the meat over med high. (about 10 or so minutes). Add all spices except bay leaves and stir. Add bay leaves, sugar, Jalepenos, tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans and bring to simmer. Add beer. Remember to take two swigs---you earned it! Allow to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour covered. Discard bay leaves. Taste and add salt and pepper, hot sauce and other seasonings to suit your taste. I put it in a crock pot and kept it on warm for about 2 hours. Serve with shredded colby jack cheese, sour cream and sliced jalepenos. I served it over a little bit of macaroni elbows. It is even better the second day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Three Mushroom Soup

This soup is so great!!! I got the original recipe from Wegmans which I will post here, and I will post any changes I made (in orange). I cannot believe that this soup is only 180 calories per cup!!!! So healthy. It calls for heavy cream, but it is very little compared to how many cups it makes. The original recipe makes 12 1/2 cups, so I halved it best I could. We had it with a nice salad....

Three-Mushroom Soup

yield 12 1/2 cups

2tsp and 6 Tbsp butter, divided ( I subbed 1 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp canola oil)
2 pkgs (8oz) baby portabella mushrooms (baby bella), reserve 1 Cup
1 med sweet onion, chopped, I used Mayan Sweet (it called for 8oz of prechopped onion that they sell)
3 Shallots, Chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I would use more next time, was not enough)
2 pkg (5 oz) shitake mushrooms
1 pkg (3.5 oz) oyster mushrooms
1/2 C dry sherry (my addition)
6 Tbsp. flour
1 Carton (32 oz) Vegetable Stock (I would reserve 2 cups and add if too thick later)
1 Bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme ( I used about a tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste (I needed a lot of salt)
1/2 pint (8oz) heavy cream
Black Truffle Oil (for drizzling)**dont omit this, it is very necessary, I added a teeny bit to the soup too

1. Add 2 tsp butter to saute pan on MEDIUM. Add reserved cup of mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes until browned and tender. Set aside for garnish.

2. Melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter in stockpot on MEDIUM. Add onions, shallots and cook, stirring 4 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute or so (do not brown).

3. Add remaining mushrooms. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until softened (I add dry sherry with the mushrooms). Add flour. Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes until thickened.

4. Add stock, bay leaf and fresh thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer on MEDIUM about 20 minutes uncovered. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I needed a lot of both). Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

5. Lower heat and puree soup with immersion blender (love mine!). Stir in heavy cream. Adjust seasonings if necessary. ***I added some truffle oil here, maybe a tsp.

6. Ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a drizzle of black truffle oil and reserved mushrooms.

180 calories per cup!!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese with Jalepenos!!!

Muy Caliente! I have been wanting mac and cheese so bad lately and hubby likes spicy things, so do I, and I thought Jalepenos would be great, and they were. This is a really great mac and cheese recipe without the Jalepenos too (if I do say so)...I am the mac and cheese queen so I usually just put it together, this time I measured everything so I could put it in the blog...

Mac and Cheese Muy Caliente!

2 C uncooked elbow macaroni (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste to be healthy)

2 T butter
2 T flour
2 C milk (I used 1%)
4 oz Velveeta, cubed (makes it so creamy)
8 oz pkg Colby Jack, shredded (I find this melts the nicest)
salt to taste
2-3 large Jalepenos, sliced thin (more or less or none---all to your taste), plus a few slices for decorating the top

While making the sauce, Boil pasta according to directions on box, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over med heat and once melted add flour to make a roux. Cook roux until a golden color (whisking continuously) and until no flour smell remains. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Simmer milk until mixture coats a spoon. Add velveeta and stir until melted. Take off heat and add colby jack --reserve 3/4 C for sprinkling on top--(important to turn off heat, because if you leave the heat on the cheese can curdle--too hot). Stir until melted and add salt to taste. Keep on low. Saute Jalepenos in a pan for a few min until slightly tender. Add to cheese sauce. Add drained macaroni and stir. Put mac and cheese in casserole dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Layer a few more sliced Jalepenos on top to make it look pretty. Cover and place in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Please comment if you make it and tell me how it comes out!