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May 7, 2015

Cream of Herbs Soup

1 onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 stalks celery
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
5-6 cups stock
parsley
assorted herbs
1 cup heavy cream

Sautee onion, carrot, and celery. Add stalk and cook until veggies are very tender.

Add the parsley and other herbs you might have (celery leaves, chervil, wild garlic leaves, chives, sorrel, dill or mint are all good). Cook for only another 30 secs or so. Pulverize with a stick blender and add cream plus salt and pepper.

May 5, 2015

Honey Rosemary Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp salt
Chopped onion and bell pepper

Optional: Combine ingredients in bag and let marinate for several hours in the refrigerator.

Add all ingredients plus 1 cup of water to the crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Ten minutes before serving, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Serve over couscous or rice.

See kojodesigns for freeze-ahead instructions.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast and/or thighs, cut into bite size chunks
1/2 large or 1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
pinch of cinnamon
1-2 tsp thai red curry paste
2 Tbsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne or to taste, optional
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
1 (14-oz) can lite coconut milk
1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
rice and/or naan for serving

In the bowl of a standard size slow cooker, add all the chicken and onions. In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients through the yogurt and pour over the chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low for at least 6 hours (or on high for 4 hours), or until the edges are bubbling and the chicken is cooked through. If possible, stir once halfway through. Turn the heat off and stir in the cream. Sauce will thicken wonderfully when it cools a bit from bubbling! Serve over brown or white rice, couscous, quinoa, or even whole wheat noodles, or with naan.

Leftovers freeze wonderfully. Can freeze in individual portions for lunches, then make fresh rice to go with it.

Ham, Bean & Kale Soup

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb thickly sliced ham, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth
1 head escarole, cored, leaves torn into pieces *
2 cans (15 oz each) white beans, drained
2 Tbsp minced rosemary
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large heavy pot, warm 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ham and sauté until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil if necessary and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the ham. Mash some of the beans to thicken the soup slightly and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with some of the cheese. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Serves 4-6.

* If you can't find escarole, substitute kale or swiss chard.

Parsley Potatoes

1 1/2 lb small (1 1/2- to 2-inch) boiling or fingerling potatoes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Peel potatoes and cover with cold water by 2 inches in a 5-quart heavy saucepan. Add 2 Tbsp salt. Simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss in a bowl with butter, parsley, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.