RSS

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup

Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup

Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup


Down in Louisiana (and in the South, really) we love our pork products. So when my boss brought me some fresh andouille sausage and I picked up some Louisiana sweet potatoes from Hollygrove Market, I knew I had to make Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup.

The smokiness of the andouille pairs very nicely with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Add quite a bit of hot sauce and you’ve got yourself a great soup.

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 pound andouille sausage (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 TBSP sweet potato-habañero hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6 cups scalded 2% milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds), for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Boil sweet potatoes 10-15 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are boiling, pulse andouille in food processor to a nice crumble.
  4. Transfer sweet potatoes to oven and place directly on rack. Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, let cool then peel and puree in food processor.
  5. Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup

    Impress your holiday guests with this recipe for Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup.

  6. In a large stock pot, saute celery, red bell pepper and onion in butter until vegetables are tender.
  7. Add flour and heat for 2 to 3 minutes, but do not brown.
  8. Add pureed sweet potatoes, hot sauce and diced andouille (saving some for garnish). Stir to mix.
  9. Add heavy cream, stirring to incorporate.
  10. Gradually add scalded milk, stirring constantly to desired richness.
  11. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  12. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cracked black pepper, crumbled andouille and pepitas.

Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup takes about 45 minutes from start to finish if your scald your milk in advance. I was skeptical that using scalded milk would improve the soup, but I have to say it does so skip that part at your own risk.

For the sweet potato-habañero hot sauce, I used the variety from Butcher here in New Orleans. It’s hands down one of my favorite hot sauces out there. You can by some here.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Banana Soufflés

Banana Souffle

Banana Soufflé


When life gives you bananas, make soufflés, right? I think that’s how the saying goes. Oh well, either way. These Banana Soufflés are light and fluffy (and require good timing).

The hardest part is whisking the egg whites until they get some nice, soft peaks. You can do it though, just throw some extra elbow grease into it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 firm, ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 TBSP sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 egg whites
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Pinch of salt

Banana Souffle

Caution! Serve immediately or these soufflés will shrivel quickly.


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Brush four 1-cup ramekins with melted butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to one of the ramekins and rotate it to coat with sugar. Tap the excess sugar into another ramekin. Repeat until all the ramekins are coated with sugar.
  3. In a food processor, puree the bananas with lime juice, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. (This is the hardest part!)
  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Using a rubber spatula, beat one-fourth of the beaten whites into the banana mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
  6. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and tap them lightly on a countertop.
  7. Transfer the soufflés to a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. Do not open the oven until they are finished!

Once you pull these Banana Soufflés from the oven, they will start to shrivel up pretty quickly. Mine rose a little more than indicated in the pictures.

These Banana Soufflés are actually fairly healthy. Each only contains about 1 TBSP of sugar so you could do a lot worse. If you get it right, the soufflés should be light, airy and fluffy.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Recipe: Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup

Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup

Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup


Need a quick recipe for a busy weeknight? This recipe for Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup takes no time at all. The secret is using ingredients with lots of flavor, like hummus and piquillo peppers.

Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup

A perfect, creamy soup for Fall weather.

You’ll save a ton of time without sacrificing flavor. And it’s perfect for the upcoming (or already arrived) cold weather.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup drained piquillo peppers, 1/4 cup cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 3/4 cups hummus
  • 2 TBSP cilantro
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • Olive oil, for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, puree the whole piquillo peppers, hummus and chicken stock until smooth.
  2. Chickpea, Piquillo Pepper and Chicken Soup

    This recipe uses very few ingredients.

  3. Transfer the soup to a Dutch oven.
  4. Add the chicken, rice and hot sauce, season with salt and pepper, then bring to a boil.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with olive oil, cilantro, sliced piquillo peppers and more hot sauce (if desired).

Four pretty simple steps, right? It’s not a backbreaking recipe by any means and the flavors are awesome for such a quick recipe.

I had no problem finding jarred piquillo peppers at my local grocery store, but if you can’t find them, roasted red peppers are a suitable substitution.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies


Hand pies are a New Orleans tradition thanks to local business Hubig’s. Unfortunately, with Hubig’s currently not in operation due to a devastating fire (they promise to rebuild), I had to make my own hand pies to get my fix. But, all in all, I’m proud of how these Caramel Apple Hand Pies turned out.

I’m a huge fan of caramel apples so I whipped up some caramel and mixed it with the apples to create the caramel apple filling.

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup water

Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Caramel Apple Hand Pies encompass wonderful Fall flavors.


For the rest:

  • 4 pre-made pie crusts
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Directions:

For the Caramel:

  1. Heat sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring.
  2. Boil until the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color then add all the butter. The mixture will foam up and thicken.
  3. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once butter has melted, remove pan from the heat.
  4. Add the cream (the mixture will foam up again) and whisk to incorporate cream and until mixture is smooth.
  5. Set aside caramel to cool.

For the Hand Pies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Caramel Apple Hand Pies

    Making the caramel from scratch is worth the effort.

  3. Roll out pre-made pie crust dough and use a 4-inch circular pastry cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Repeat with each dough remains.
  4. Set dough circles aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Toss apples with cinnamon and remaining sugar.
  6. Once caramel has cooled, add apples to the caramel and stir to incorporate.
  7. Assemble hand pies by place a TBSP of caramel apple filling on a dough circle then placing a dough circle on top. Press edges with fork to seal. (Don’t worry if some filling spills out, keep pressing until sealed.)
  8. Using a knife, score an X into the top of each pie so filling can vent its heat out while baking.
  9. Once all pies are assembled (you may need to work in batches if you have one baking sheet), whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush each hand pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle each pie with additional sugar, if desired.
  10. Bake hand pies for 12-15 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
  11. Place on a wire rack to cool.

While my recipe is for hand pies, you can also go the traditional route and just make a caramel apple pie using two pie crusts. Either way, the filling in this recipe is a star.

Making the caramel from scratch really makes a difference. These Caramel Apple Hand Pies are perfect for Fall and Winter parties while apples are in season. Plus, they’re easier to eat. And I guarantee you will have very few left over when all is said and done.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Sour Orange Pulled Pork

Sour Orange Pulled Pork

Sour Orange Pulled Pork


With the election out of the way, forget about going red or blue and go orange with this recipe for Sour Orange Pulled Pork. The country may be divided on candidates, but (barring religious regions) we can all agree on the deliciousness that is pulled pork.

The sourness of the Sour Orange Pulled Pork goes great over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes. It’s a sour, sweet, salty, fatty combo that’s a great treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
  • 1 4-lb. bone-in pork shoulder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP honey
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

    Sour Orange Pulled Pork

    Sour Orange Pulled Pork is slow cooked in a mixture of orange and lime juice.

  1. Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic paste in a large roasting pan. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerate 30 minutes before ready to cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 300F.
  3. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and cover.
  4. While pork is cooking, put the orange and lime juices and honey in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to 2 cups (it will be a syrup consistency). Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Also while pork is cooking, cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and boil in a large pot for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Once cooked, mash sweet potatoes to desired consistency.
  6. Heat the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mased sweet potatoes and press into the skillet with spatula. Cook, scraping and turning as the bottom browns, until hot.
  7. Once pork has cooked, shred the pork using 2 forks or your hands.
  8. In a medium saucepan, toss the shredded pork with the sour orange honey glaze and reheat over medium heat.
  9. Serve the pork on top of prepared sweet potatoes (reheated if necessary). Garnish with cilantro leaves.

There are several components to Sour Orange Pulled Pork, but none of them are difficult. The hardest part will be leaving with the wonderful smell of slow-cooking pork in the oven. Exercise some patience!

You can also add some cilantro to the sweet potatoes while cooking if desired. And if you really want to go hog wild (couldn’t resist!) you also add some bacon. The more pork the merrier.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake


Need a quick cake recipe that’s light on ingredients, but full of flavor? This recipe for Blackberry Buttermilk Cake is the answer to your prayers.

I’m a huge fan of fresh blackberries so this cake has a special spot in my heart. It’s super easy to make and takes 45 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

    My guess is that you’ll have more than once slice.

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup blackberries
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

    Who doesn’t love fresh blackberries?

  3. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  6. Beat in the egg and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture.
  7. In three batches, mix in the buttermilk and dry ingredients (ending with dry ingredients).
  8. Fold the batter until blended, scrape into the pan and smooth the top.
  9. Scatter the blackberries on the batter and lightly press them in. Sprinkle with additional sugar.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes then turn out the cake and remove the paper.
  12. Turn the cake right side up to let cool.
  13. Serve with whipped cream and more blackberries.

You can always substitute in another fruit in place of the blackberries. I’m actually thinking of trying it with peaches or apples next.

This Blackberry Buttermilk Cake is a great cake that’s not too sweet and gets a nice taste of sour from the blackberries. I highly recommend serving it with the whipped cream.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recipe: Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew


This recipe for Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew combines three of my favorite ingredients: Fall/Winter favorite butternut squash, chicken thighs and superfood quinoa.

This stew is full of flavor, nutrients and warmth. It’s a hearty stew perfect for cold weather and serving family style.

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A healthy update on chicken stew


Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 chicken thigh filets
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 TBSP chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, steam the butternut squash until barely tender (about 10-12 minutes). Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Steam the remaining squash an additional 4-6 minutes. Mash this squash with a fork or potato masher then add to non-mashed squash in the bowl.
  3. Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

    Parsley is pictured as the garnish, but I would suggest cilantro instead

  4. In a large Dutch oven (or saucepan), over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth, some salt and pepper and chili flakes to a simmer.
  5. Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  7. Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven and return to the stove, reducing heat to medium.
  8. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and cook for an additional minutes, still stirring.
  10. To the Dutch oven, add the tomatoes and all the butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  11. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa (make sure you’ve rinsed it). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile, shred the chicken with a knife and fork on the cutting board.
  13. Stir the chicken into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  14. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  15. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Some of you smartypants may notice parsley is pictured in the dish in the photos I have. You’re correct, but honestly, I didn’t like the parsley in this dish so I replaced mine with cilantro and it was much much better.

This Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa stew is the perfect meal for all those cold nights quickly approaching. Enjoy it with a nice glass of wine and some freshly baked bread.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Save cooking time by using a pressure cooker and finishing off the ribs in the broiler.

 

Put that Chinese take-out menu aside, I’ve got a spareribs recipe that’s easy to prep and easy to cook: Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs. These ribs are crispy and have a nice sweet heat to them.

For this recipe for Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs you will need a pressure cooker and a broiler. As an alternative, you can slow cook them in the oven at about 300F for 4-6 hours.

Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

Dip and dunk these ribs into a plum sauce pan sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plum sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 2 racks pork spareribs
  • 4 TBSP fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 TBSP Sriracha

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the plum sauce, soy sauce, molasses, ginger, garlic and half of the honey. Puree until smooth.
  2. Add Sriracha and pulse to combine.
  3. Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

    Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Spareribs

  4. Cut the spareribs into 3-rib sections and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add the plum sauce puree and let stand, turning often, for 45 minutes.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pressure cooker then cover and cook at high pressure for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Run cold water over the pressure cooker to release the pressure.
  7. Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet, meaty side up.
  8. Boil the cooking juices until reduced to 2 cups. Transfer the plum sauce pan sauce to a bowl.
  9. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat.
  10. Brush the ribs all over with the remaining honey and broil, turning once, until the ribs are glazed and crispy around the edges (about 5 to 10 minutes).
  11. Transfer the rib sections to a cutting board and slice into individual ribs. Serve with the plum sauce pan sauce.

I love pork ribs (well, any ribs really), but I especially enjoy the sweet heat and crispiness of these Plum Sauce and Honey-Glazed Ribs. They’re perfect for Fall and football season.

As I mentioned above, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, just marinate them and slow cook them in the oven for 4 to 6 hours at about 300F. Then, broil them off per the instructions.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese


Full disclosure: this Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese is a Spring dish, but I had a craving so I made it. And I’m not waiting until the earth thaws out to share it.

This recipe combines the pasta, pesto with sweet peas and goat cheese for a dish that’s sweet, pungent and has a light acidity. It’s a great side dish for chicken or fish. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat a big bowl of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated romano (or parmesan) cheese
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 pound thawed green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Need a quick side dish? Try Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese.


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. In a food processor, process the garlic, basil and pine nuts until very fine.
  4. Add the olive oil and cheese and process to combine.
  5. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Process until all ingredients are smooth.
  6. Spoon the pea pesto into a large bowl then add pasta and toss to coat.
  7. If needed, add pasta water, gradually, to loosen the sauce.
  8. When pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce, crumble in the goat cheese and toss again.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve as a side or as a main course.

The pea pesto will make the pasta look like it’s been hit with green radiation since it’s so bright. That said, this is a delicious pasta dish if you’re looking to trade out alfredo or marinara sauce.

To make this recipe even healthier, I used whole wheat fusilli. Bring some Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese to you’re next dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting


Halloween’s only a couple days away so here’s a quick recipe that uses a total of five ingredients. That’s it — nothing to be spooked about when making these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting.

You can decorate them with inedible plastic Halloween decorations or use decorations of the edible variety. These cupcakes don’t set as well as cupcakes made with a traditional batter, but these are easier so it’s a trade-off.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting are perfect for Halloween and all of Fall.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree and yellow cake mix and mix together well. This batter will be thick.
  3. Scoop one heaping TBSP of cake batter for each cupcake into a cupcake liner-lined muffin or cupcake tin.
  4. While cupcakes are baking, mix together vanilla frosting, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup in a medium bowl. Transfer into a pastry bag if desired.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Let cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes then top with frosting.
  7. Repeat until no batter remains.

You’ll probably have some of the Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice frosting let so feel free to use if for other dishes. These cupcakes don’t rise that much so try and fill up the cupcake lines about 3/4 way to the top.

These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting may be light on ingredients, but they’re high on ease and simplicity and taste. They’re perfect to take to a Halloween party when you don’t have time to make something very elaborate. Honestly, no one will ever know how simple they are. Happy Halloween!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,