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Monday, February 13, 2012

Recipe Review from 2/6/12

This week started off with a mega-baby shower for my youngest Sis.  Went super simple for this gathering - Taco Bar.  Only thing I did "fancy" was stuff these awesome sweet-hot peppers with little cheese cubes.  The SIL made three batches of great cupcakes: GF "oreo" cupcakes, GF Mohito cupcakes, and regular pumpkin cupcakes.  I think these were the hit of the party.  Yum-o! 

I had more leftovers than I was anticipating (folks must have ate before they came) which worked out in the end since I had NO time to meal plan or get to the grocery store.  Very empty fridge.  Taco's for dinner and/or lunches last week!

By Friday I was ready for something else. One new recipe and a winner at that:

Boundary Waters Wild Rice Soup (Mpls Star Trib, Jan 25, 2012)
Thi should have been on the previous recipe review, but I FORGOT TO BUY THE CHICKEN!   Dinner that night was frozen pasty and baked brussel sprouts, which I managed to burn.  Argh.  Most frustrating.

The ingredient list looks daunting, but this came together very quickly.  In fact, I gave it extra simmering time because *I* wasn't quite done with dishes and setting the table.  This recipe has replaced my standard and I couldn't quite tell you why.  It might be the sherry (which can be easily left out); it might be the combo of veggies, it might be that it remained a velvety creamy soup and didn't turn into rice and chicken casserole...I dunno.  I just really enjoyed this. 

Serves 6.
Note: To toast almonds, spread nuts in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven until almonds are lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 to 10 minutes. From "The Marshall Field's Cookbook."

6 tbsp. 4 tbsp unsalted butter 
• 1 c. diced yellow onion
• 1 small leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
• 1 1/2 c. sliced button mushrooms  (I ended up using one small can because my 'shrooms went bad)
• 3/4 c. diced carrots
• 1/2 c. flour
• 6 c. chicken broth
• 1 1/2 c. cooked wild rice (save time: make ahead)
• 1/2 roasted chicken, skin and bones removed and meat chopped (1 to 1 1/2 c.)  (rotisserie works perfect!)
• 1 c. heavy cream  half n half
• 5 tbsp. dry sherry  (oops! I used 6 tbsp)
• 2 tsp. salt
• 11/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley  (2 tsp dried)
• 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves  (1/4 tsp dried)
• 2 tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish  skipped.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add leek, mushrooms and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add flour (and dried herbs if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then decrease heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add wild rice, chicken, cream, sherry, salt, pepper, [parsley and thyme if fresh] and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with almonds and serve hot.

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