Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Recipe: Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup Stew

Here's a recipe using winter farm produce that's unbelievably tasty without any spices!  I was astonished.  I know it doesn't look very good, but it was - we both had seconds.

The original used potatoes and corn, but we're eating low-carb these days so I substituted turnips (the large ones are sweet!) and used extra cabbage and extra peppers (we like spicy!). Next time I'll use more carrots.  In other words...the vegetable proportions are flexible - use what you like.

I had roasted peppers in the freezer from last season (learn how to roast them HERE).  I also had frozen green bell peppers, so all the vegetables in this recipe were from the farm.

Unbelievably, I had dinner on the table in just over one hour and it was delicious!  The hardest part was chopping all those vegetables....

Original recipe: Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup Stew 

serves 6-8


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • ½ large bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large turnip, cut into ½” cubes
  • 7-8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 t. Chinese hot mustard powder or to taste 
  • 1 t. crushed dried oregano
  • himalayan salt to taste (I used 4 t.)
  • 6 small or 4 large roasted poblano chile or roasted NM green chile, chopped
  • 3 generous cups of chopped green cabbage
  • 4 cups leftover chicken meat, shredded
To serve
  • Monterey Jack cheese or medium sharp cheddar cheese, grated (a little for each serving)
  • Corn chips or fried tortilla strips
In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. When hot, add the onion, pepper and garlic and saut̩ on medium low until onion is translucent, about 4 Р5 minutes.
Add the carrot and turnips and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour 7 cups of broth into the soup pot with the sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chicken, cabbage and roasted chile. If soup is too thick, add the last cup of broth to get the consistency you prefer. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and taste for desired seasoning. Adjust if needed.

If you have time, let the soup cool then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. We all know that soup is better the next day. When ready to serve, reheat.

To serve, top each bowl of soup with a bit of cheese and some crumbled chips or fried tortilla strips.  ( I didn't do this and it was still delicious).

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

RECIPE: Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites

Every now and then The Boston Globe prints a recipe that piques my interest.  Last month, their recipe for pork tenderloin sounded so delicious - and easy - I couldn't wait to make it!  It was indeed easy, the hardest part was waiting for the tenderloin to defrost!

Original recipe: Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites (Pinchos Morunus)

Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites

serves 3-4 depending on whether you serve a starch

  • 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-1.5" slices
  • 1.5 t. ground coriander
  • 1.5 t. ground cumin
  • 1.5 t. smoked paprika
  • Himalayan pink salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 T. lemon juice plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 T. EVOO
  • 1 T. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 t. dried (I used dried) 

In a medium bowl, combine the spices and 1 t. each of salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the pork and toss to coat evenly, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.


Mix lemon juice, honey, and garlic.  If you're using dried oregano, add it here.  Set aside.


In a large skillet over high heat, add 1 T. oil and heat until just smoking.  Add the pork in one layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes.  Using tongs,  flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour the lemon-honey-garlic mixture over, then toss until evenly coated.  Transfer to a platter.

Sprinkle fresh oregano over and drizzle with the remaining 1 T. oil.  Serve with lemon wedges.

We served it with roasted broccoli - which was wonderful with the extra sauce.  It served 3 this way.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

RECIPE: Meatball-Croquettes made with cooked or leftover meat

For most of my life, I made meatballs with raw meat.

When I started pressure canning meat to free up room in the freezer, I started using 1 part canned (cooked) meat to 1 part raw, and the resulting meatballs were indistinguishable from those made with all raw meat.

Last week, when I forgot to defrost some raw meat to mix with the canned, I decided to see what would happen if I used all canned (i.e. cooked) meat and I'm happy to report that they were edible!  I was in a hurry and didn't want to bother with sauteing the onions so I used scallions and chopped them finely.  The whole thing, including baking, came together in 30 minutes!

They were different than meatballs made with raw meat - much more tender, to the point where my husband asked if they were cooked all the way.  I knew they were cooked, but to prove it I made another batch which I cooked for longer and they were dry and unappetizing.

I started with my gluten-free master recipe and just used all canned meat.  If you don't have canned, you can use leftover meat, finely chopped or ground.  I used canned ground beef but you can use any kind of meat - beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken, or turkey.

Original recipe: Gluten free meatballs

Meatball-croquettes Made with Cooked/Leftover Meat 

Makes about thirty 1" meatballs

For each pound of cooked, chopped or ground meat:

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the eggs and cream together, then stir in the chia meal (or potato flakes) and the salt.  Let this sit for at least 10 minutes to develop the panade (binder).

Meanwhile, mince the onions and measure out whatever seasonings you're using.

When the panade has thickened, stir in the onions and seasoning.  Add the meat and mix well.  Fry a small piece and correct seasoning.

Form into 1-1.5" meatballs (I use a size 60, 1.5" disher).

Place the meatballs close together on baking pan lined with Silpat, parchment, or parchment backed foil. .

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Do not overcook or they'll be dry and tough!  

I served them on a bed of arugula with a dollop of sour cream.  Here's what the inside looks like:

 The leftovers were good cold, dipped into leftover bearnaise sauce....


Monday, January 4, 2021

RECIPE: Easy Bearnaise Sauce

Here's another alternative to mayonnaise, flavored with tarragon and shallots.

Bearnaise sauce is a variation on hollandaise, which is notoriously difficult to prepare, but this version is easy, foolproof, and fail-proof!  The technique is similar to the one I use to make mayonnaise.

I combined two recipes: Serious Eat's recipe for immersion blender hollandaise, and James Peterson's recipe for bearnaise.  The Serious Eats recipe made one cup, Peterson's made one quart.  I split the difference and made one pint.  

Original recipe: Foolproof Hollandaise in 2 Minutes

If you don't have an immersion blender, here is another foolproof way to make hollandaise  

For New Year's Eve dinner, we had beef chateaubriande with green beans and bearnaise.  The chateaubriande roasts at 375F for 20 minutes, and then rests for 10 minutes.  I made the shallot-herb extract while the beef was cooking, and made the bearnaise emulsion while it was resting.  

EASY Immersion Blender Bearnaise Sauce

Makes 2 cups (one pint)


  • 3 medium shallots, minced
  • 2 t. dried tarragon (if you use fresh, use 1/4 cup of the leaves stripped from the stems)
  • 1 t. dried chervil
  • 1 t. cracked peppercorns
  • 3/4 c white wine
  • 3/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 egg yolks, from medium or large eggs
  • 3 t. cold water
  • 1/2 t. himalayan pink salt


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine shallots, tarragon, chervil, peppercorns, white wine and white vinegar.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered and stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. 

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small heat-proof pitcher. 

Wipe out saucepan and add butter.  Over medium heat, melt butter until foam subsides, about 5 minutes.

While the butter is melting, add the egg yolks, water and salt to a pint jar and get out your immersion blender.

When the foam has subsided on the butter, pour it into the pitcher with the shallot extract.

Insert the head of the immersion blender into the pint jar and turn it on.  With the motor running, slowly pour the hot butter mixture into the yolks.  The acid and heat will perfectly cook the yolks!

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.


Store any leftovers in the fridge.  

If you try and reheat bearnaise, the emulsion will break, but you CAN use it as a spread instead of mayonnaise. Here's what it looks like right out of the fridge - as you can see, it IS spreadable!


On New Year's Day, my husband rolled the leftover beans in some sliced ham, reheated them in the oven, and then spooned the cold bearnaise over top.  It melted slightly but didn't break, and he says it was delicious.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

RECIPE: Super Smooth Hummus with Multiple Seasoning Options

Ugh.  We've given up mayonnaise.  

Or, rather, we've greatly reduced our consumption, so we needed to find an alternative.  Hummus doesn't work as an alternative for ALL the places we use mayo, but it can be used on hard boiled eggs, as a dip for veggies, and thinned with water or EVOO as a salad dressing.  

There are several recipes on this site for hummus made withOUT chickpeas, so I thought I'd post a recipe for traditional hummus.  The best hummus I've ever had was made by our farmer's son, but I haven't tested that recipe yet so I can't post it.  His recipe is made with dried chickpeas, and I needed something faster, using canned chickpeas.

I've researched the cost of dried organic chickpeas vs Eden Foods canned chickpeas and the price is nearly the same so why not let someone else do the work?  This recipe uses the large 28oz can so I can split one batch into two and season both halves differently.  I will often double the recipe and make 4 flavors at once.

The recipe I started with (link below) recommends using freshly squeezed lemon juice, which would obviously be best.  When I don't have fresh lemons on hand I use bottled juice but I DON'T SHAKE THE BOTTLE BEFORE MEASURING.  The stuff on the bottom of the jar is what's harshly flavored.  

I also used half the amount of tahini she called for - the organic tahini I prefer is too expensive to use a whole jar for one recipe! Feel free to use more if you can afford to.

Hummus a wonderful dip for carrots, which are abundant in our farm store during the winter....

Original recipe: Best hummus recipe

Super Smooth Hummus with Multiple Seasoning Options

makes 4 cups


  • 1 28oz can chickpeas
  • 1 t. baking soda 
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 t. himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 c. - 3/4 c. tahini (I used 1/2 cup, you can use more if you like)
  • 2-4 T. ice water
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • Za'atar, sumac, or paprika

SEASONING (one or more of the following):

  • 1/4 c. roasted red peppers
  • 1 T. harissa  plus 1 T. lemon juice
  • 5 t. berbere seasoning plus 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh jalapeno or 1 t. dried and ground
  • 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. kalamata olives
  • 1/4 c. cilantro plus 1 T. lemon juice 
  • 1/4 c. roasted garlic


In a medium saucepan, add the chickpeas (I don't drain them), enough water to cover them by 2-3 inches, and the baking soda.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-20 minutes until they're easy to crush against the side of the pot.  Don't overcook them - when they start to fall apart they'll be impossible to drain! 

Drain them in a fine mesh strainer and then briefly rinse them under cold water.  Set aside to cool.

While the chickpeas are cooking, combine the lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor or high-powered blender.  Process until the garlic is finely minced and then let the mixture marinate for at least 10 minutes.   

While the chickpeas are cooling, add the tahini to the lemon juice mixture and blend until thick and creamy.  Scrape the sides as necessary.  

Drizzle in 2 T. ice water and process.  The mixture should turn several shades lighter.  You may need to add an additional 2 T. water if your tahini is very thick.  Scrape the sides as necessary.  I used 4 T. water.

Add the chickpeas and cumin and process until super smooth, 2-3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides.  If you are NOT going to add additional seasoning, add the olive oil and process briefly - too much processing will damage the olive oil and make it bitter so you always want to add it last.

Taste and adjust seasoning - you may need additional salt or lemon juice.

Sprinkle with za'atar, sumac or paprika and serve!


If you are going to add additional seasoning, don't add the EVOO yet, you always want to add that last.

I divide the hummus into 2 batches and season each one differently.  Our favorites are harissa, berbere and roasted red pepper.  The photo above is harissa AND roasted red pepper!  Be creative...

Add your seasoning, process to blend, then taste and adjust salt and lemon.  

Add the olive oil last and process briefly - too much processing will damage the oil and make it bitter.