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Monday, November 16, 2015

Recipe Review from 11/9/2015

Lots of good recipes last week - two of them most excellent slow cooker dishes.   And also regretfully, not so many pictures.  I'm horrible at remembering to take pics. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (B) Banana pancakes  (L) leftovers   (S)  Roasted Chicken and wild rice pilaf (from last week)
Mon (Yoga)  leftovers
Tues (Wine Creations)  sushi
Wed (Husband surgery)  Slow cooked chicken stew
Thurs (yoga) - leftovers
Fri - leftovers
Sat - (L) leftover  (S)  Proscuitto wrapped mahi mahi

Lunches - leftover butnut squash soup;  Slow cooked southwestern split pea soup.  Crackers, fruit, yogurt, luna bars, the usual...

Banana Pancakes  (
Jack Johnson has a song about making banana pancakes on a Saturday morning.  While it wasn't Saturday, it was banana pancakes!

The Husband made these for Pancake Sunday.  He first had problems with the 'cakes sticking to the pan (cast iron).  Then he had problems with them not cooking quite all the way through.  Now that I'm looking at the recipe, I see perhaps the problem is in too much banana and oil.   There's a lot of liquid happening, and not quite enough flour to match.  One banana and no oil would have been better in my humble opinion.   His cakes certainly didn't turn out like the pic below. 

photo from
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe banana, mashed

  1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
  2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Southwestern Split Pea Soup  (Great American Slow Cooker Ckbk)  gluten free, vegetarian option
Another great slow cooker cook book!  What's cool about this book is they give you quantities for three different sizes of slow cookers.   Up the heat by using hot minced green chilies.  This does thicken when sitting in the fridge, so if you like yours a bit thinner, keep some extra broth on hand.  Serve with some corn chips or some cornbread muffins.  

I'm using a 4 - 5 1/2 quart slow cooker.

1 lb split green peas
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small can minced green chilies (mild or hot)
1/3 cup minced cilantro leaves (I skipped)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves

1. Rinse split peas, drain. put in slow cooker.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours or until peas are tender.  Discard the bay leaf before serving.

My note:  Recipe doesn't call to use an immersion blender.  I think I did.  If you like a thicker soup, start with 1 1/2 quarts of broth and add more to desired consistency at end of cooking or the next day.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Soup (Slow Cooker Revolution, America's Test Kitchen)
If you love using a slow cooker - I HIGHLY recommend this cook book!
I am not a fan of fennel - neither myself nor the Husband like the taste of black licorice.  But, I know that in certain dishes the fennel taste doesn't come through, and this turned out to be one of them.  This entire dish turned out really good!  Took about 30-40 minutes to prep, plus clean up, so a bit putsy on the front end.  But so worth it on the dinner end!  This is just a beautifully flavored dish - the creamy beans, the thyme (or savory in my case) and subtle bay flavor, the zing from the andouille sausage,  all melding together in perfection.   Some artisan bread along side would really top this off.
2 lbs chicken thighs  (I used 1.75 lb pkg)
1 lb Italian Sauces links, sliced 1/2 inch thick  (I used 8 oz sausage andouille I had in the freezer; kielbasa would also be good)
2  1 onion
1 fennel bulb (about 12 oz) tops discarded, halved and cored
6 cloves garlic, minced  (don't skimp!)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I used savory)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 qt chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine ( I used a bit more to use up the bottle)
1/3 c flour (thickener)
2 bay leaves
2 (14oz) cans cannelli beans, rinsed and drained  (I used the last of our homegrown from last year - any white bean would work)
6 oz spinach
grated parmesan for serving

Pat dry the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper chicken.  Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat and saute chicken till lightly browned on both sides. Put in slow cooker.

Saute sausage, put in slow cooker.

Add a bit more oil to pan if necessary. Saute onion, fennel garlic, tomato paste, and thyme (or savory).  Add flour and saute.  Add wine and deglaze pan.  Add 1 cup chicken stock and allow mixture to thicken.  Add to slow cooker.  Add rest of chicken stock to slow cooker.  Add bay leaves to slow cooker.

Cover and cook 4-6 hours on low.  Add beans and spinach.  Wilt spinach.  Break up chicken thighs.  EAT!  Yum.

Prosciutto and sage wrapped MahiMahi (Ckng Lght Nov, 2015)
This comes together incredibly fast so make sure your sides are ready to go before you start the fish. I served over wild rice so the rice could capture the butter mixture. 

Just...yum.  Comes together in about 20 minutes.  Recommended.

4 6oz skinless mahimahi fillets  (I also recommend, tilapia, cod, halibut, or salmon)
4 very thin slices of prosciutto
1 tbsp olive oil (I used goose fat)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
12 small fresh sage leaves (I used 1/2 tbsp dried sage)
2 tsp dry sherry (I used amontillado)
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 425*

2. Wrap each fillet with 1 slice prosciutto

3. Heat a large, heavy, oven proof skillet over medium high heat until very hot.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add fish to pan, top side down, and cook 2-3 minutes our until prosciutto is lightly browned.  Turn fish; cook 30 seconds. Transfer skillet to oven; bake at 425* for five minutes or until fish is done.

4. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until butter begins to brown, swirling occasionally.  Add sage leaves to pan, and remove from heat.  Stir in sherry, kosher salt and black pepper.  Arrange fish on plates, drizzle melted butter over fish.  Serve. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmmmm....those banana pancakes sound WONDERFUL!

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