Tag Archives: soup

Ireland…

Saturday, May 4 –

Whiskey – lots and lots and lots of whiskey. Accompanied by lots of wonderful food. Did I mention whiskey? Ok, great. Let’s see if I can remember everyone who was there: Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (chicken and 21098_571154629582519_158003147_ndumplings, whiskey and chasers), BabyBear, BigMan (juice for drinks), RubsWithLove (vodka), Sir VJ (corned beef hash), ChinUp (potato leek soup), MyBuddy (soda bread), BirthdayShots (whiskey), FootballTamer (whiskey souffle dessert), BestestFianceEver (Guinness), and yours truly (Dublin coddle).

I cooked the bacon until crisp but not burnt and then broke it up into pieces, which I set aside. I browned the sausages on two sides, but didn’t cook them all the way through, and then set them aside. I cut up four potatoes, two onions, and two carrots, and some garlic, threw them into a big pot, dumped bacon grease on top, and cooked while I was cooking the meats in batches. I then took two glass baking dishes and put the sausages in first, dumped the veggies on top, sprinkled the bacon on the veggies, and then poured one bottle of hard cider over the two dishes. I covered it in foil and baked in a 375* oven for about 40 minutes. (I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit all of that on the stove, so I figured the oven would work just as well.

The Dublin coddle was good, but a little plain. The cider soaked into the potatoes to make an interesting flavor. I’m not sure I would commit to that many calories again, but it wasn’t bad. The chicken and dumplings was more of a soup than a casserole, but the flavor was great and I would totally eat it again. The corned beef hash was so good I had to put my plate away so that I would stop eating it. The potato leek soup was perfect, creamy, and a pleasure to eat. I am stealing that recipe for making in the near future! The soda bread was pretty good, I’m not usually a fan of soda bread, but this one wasn’t too bad. The whiskey souffle dessert was SO GOOD. Holy goodness. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was, you just need to go make it and experience it yourself!

All in all, it was a huge success, we had great food outside in a wonderful warm spring evening, with LOTS of booze. We even got the fire pit going and spent relaxing time just hanging out. I couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Thank you to everyone who came to share Ireland with me!

Ireland
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.ireland-information.com)

Dublin Coddle

  • 1 pound bacon slices
  • 2 pounds pork sausages
  • Some bacon fat or oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 large potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs, tied with string
  • black pepper
  • hard cider (apple wine) or apple cider
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Lightly fry the bacon until crisp. Place in a large cooking pot. Brown the sausages in some bacon grease or vegetable oil. Remove and add to pot. Soften sliced onions and whole garlic cloves in fat, then add to pot with potatoes and carrots. Bury the bunch of herbs in the middle of the mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover with cider. Cook 1 1/2 hours over moderate heat, do not boil. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.

Advertisements

Georgia…

Sunday, December 2 –

This was one of those dinners that went from four people to fifteen people really, really quickly. Good thing I had already picked a recipe that made a lot of food! We had: BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma (lots of wine), Mr. Hero, photo(5)BabyBear, RamblingMan, WingWoman (gluten-free baklava), LightsOn, ChinUp, MyBuddy (lamb stew), DangerD (plates, cups, rum, coke), CreepShow (Chikhirtma – Fresh Coriander-Onion Soup), Kodiak, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ (dumplings), and yours truly (Chanakhi – Braised Lamb).

The dish I made was extremely simple, so I doubled it to accommodate so many guests. I chopped some eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, onion,and green beans and layered them all into different glass baking dishes. Then I spread out chopped lamb meat, salt, pepper, and (of course, even though it wasn’t in the recipe originally) garlic. I changed the water to chicken broth, hoping that would add more flavor and character. Wrapped in aluminum foil they went into the oven at 325* for an hour, and when checked the potatoes weren’t quite done so I did 20 more minutes at 400*.

On the side I also made a tomato and cucumber salad brightened with lemon, mint, salt, and olive oil. I also made a huge pot of rice for something to scoop the juices onto. The table also had a bowl of cilantro to put on whatever people wanted and the dumplings, sauce, stew, and soup. People dished up as much or as little of each thing as they wanted.

The braised lamb that I made wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good either. The veggies were pretty good but the lamb was pretty tough and flavorless when it was done. The dumplings were amazing and the sauce on top was incredible. The tomato salad was a perfect bright spot on the plate. The stew was amazing and flavorful and I instantly wanted more. The soup was… well… loud. The flavors of it were amazing but it had been allowed to sit and get stronger for several hours so when we finally got to eat it, it was very intense. The baklava was about as you expect baklava to be (buttery and nutty), just less flaky.

Overall I would count this dinner as a success, but not one of my favorites. I can’t wait for the Germany potluck on Saturday!

Georgiaphoto(4)
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.russian.recipes-recipies.com)

Chanakhi, Braised Lamb (Georgian manner)

  • 500 g lamb (1+ lb)
  • 750 g potatoes (1 – 2/3 lb)
  • 200 g tomatoes (2/5 lb)
  • 300 g eggplant (2/3 lb)
  • 200 g string beans (2/5 lb)
  • 1 onion
  • Salt, pepper
  • Parsley or kindza (coriander)

Wash the meat and cut into pieces (2 or 3 per portion). If available, use a 2 or 3 liter stoneware casserole. Add finely chopped onion, chunks of potatoes, tomatoes cut in half, string beans from which the strings have been removed, diced eggplant, parsley greens or kindza. Season with salt and pepper. Add two cupful of water. Cover with a lid and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve in the casserole.


French Polynesia…

Saturday, November 3 –

This dinner was much less orchestrated, much less planned, and workout out just fine anyway. We decided to combine BigMan’s birthday with this dinner so everyone could get together, and in the chaos of our Halloween party I told A LOT of people about it. But I had no idea who would really show up. So I just picked one dish and let the rest happen by itself.

The people who showed up were: BestestFianceEver, Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (birthday cake, plates, ice, rum, and sodas), BigMan, MissingMan, WingWoman (squash coconut soup),  LightsOn, ChinUp (Tahiti-style Mahi Mahi), MyBuddy (Coconut Vanilla Prawns), and I cooked Polynesian pork ribs and rice and provided some wine.

These ribs were the easiest thing in the world to make. I bought four pounds of pork ribs (the meaty kind), cut them apart to fit better then added two chopped onions, six minced garlic cloves, and a whole can of crushed pineapple. I set it to cook on low in my crock pot for eight hours. By the time I came back to it, the meat had fallen completely off the bones and it smelled heavenly. So I drained the liquid into a bowl, thinking I might need it, then pulled all the loose bones out, and put it back into the pot. It looked like chunky pulled-pork.

Into a small bowl went one and a half cups of ketchup, six tablespoons brown sugar, six tablespoons of hoisin sauce, and a chopped up length of ginger that was about the size of my thumb, just a little thicker. I left the chop pretty course so that we would get little sparks of ginger along the way. (My mouth is drooling right now thinking about it…) I dumped this mix on top, mixed it altogether, turned it on high for about 45 minutes, came back and it was sticky, lumpy, and delicious.

The mahi mahi was pretty good, but it would have been better if we could have served it right away. We had to wait for everyone to show up so it had dried out a little. The coconut vanilla prawns were soupy and sweet – not the way I prefer my seafood. I want my seafood to be savory or spicy. So it was ok, but I personally didn’t like them much. The squash coconut soup was bland at first. Then we added more salt, pepper, chili powder, and, of course, bacon. Because all squash soups (in my humble opinion, anyway) deserve a little smoky, salty bacon to round off the flavor.

All in all it was a successful, friend-, rum-, and wine-filled evening. Thanks to everyone who showed up for BigMan’s birthday!

Next up – G countries!

Polynesian Pork Ribs

  • 2 lbs boneless country-style ribs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated

Cooking Instructions:  Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place pork ribs, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Spoon about half of the pineapple with some of the juice over ribs. Reserve remaining pineapple and juice. Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. About 35 minutes before serving, drain and discard cooking juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of cooker clean. In small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger root and remaining pineapple with juice; mix well. Spoon or pour evenly over ribs. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until ribs are glazed. Servings: 6


Belgium…

Monday, November 21 –

Today we added a new face to this project, LightsOn (sorry, it’s an inside joke that I just couldn’t help). He’s new to the idea, new to the project, and new to my cooking. So much bravery all in one go! 😉 We also had WingWoman, Roommate Extraordinaire, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend.

This dinner was chicken soup, two different kinds of cooked Brussels sprouts, french bread baguette, and dessert made by WingWoman. So I started with the chicken soup by chopping all the veggies and getting them into the pan with the butter. I used dried spices instead of bundles of fresh (it’s the week of Thanksgiving, so please don’t judge me!) and used one rounded palm-full of each. I also skewed the chicken a little by chopping the chicken while it was raw into mouth-sized pieces and dumping them into the boiling chicken broth. I stirred it altogether and let it simmer until it was done. I whisked the cream and the egg yolk together and scooped out a couple of cups of broth that I added a little bit at a time so the mixture would come up to temperature and blend well (good trick for most recipes that add dairy or egg to anything warm). Then I just let it simmer together to blend the flavors together.

The Brussels sprouts I did two different ways because WingWoman can’t have gluten (so no beer) and I don’t normally like beer, so I wanted to give myself another way to enjoy the combination of soup and greens. The recipe from Belgium has you simmer them in beer (I used a German beer because I was rushed and that’s all Safeway had), then strain them and saute them in butter and salt. The other way I cooked them, how I normally cook them, is in bacon fat. I cooked about five strips of bacon, which were cut up into pieces, pulled the bacon out, threw the sprouts and about a half of an onion in, added some garlic salt and pepper, and let them get crispy and browned. At the end I throw the bacon back in and serve it. Everything is better with bacon, I swear it!

Roommate Extraordinaire took care of slicing, buttering, and garlic salt-ing the baguette, which we toasted in the oven just long enough to brown it a little. We both thought it would be better in soup if it had a little crunch.

Roommate Extraordinaire brought beer, two different Belgian styles that he and Wonderful Boyfriend both agreed were delicious. LightsOn brought two different wines, which were amazing and went perfectly with the dinner.

WingWoman made the dessert, which was simply heaven. Pure, sugary bliss in a cup. The photo doesn’t really do this amazing dessert justice, believe me. It was blended strawberries, cream, and sugar on the top with strawberries and Grand Marnier on the bottom. Make it, savor it, and thank her for the recipe. I’ll add it to the recipe page so it will live on forever where everyone can find it.

Things I have learned: Asking guests to bring wine and dessert makes this whole adventure a whole lot more fun. (Not that my diet would agree…) Adding more people to my blog list has become a fun and unique challenge to find fun names for them. And I look forward each week to the different flavors this journey helps me create. Four and a half years? To go around the world with my friends and loved ones? To learn to make all of these fun recipes? Priceless.

Belgium
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.foodnetwork.com, www.recipes4us.co.uk, and answers.yahoo.com)

Waterzooi de Poulet

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped, rinsed and dried
  • 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 leaves dried
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, plus a handful chopped for garnish
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 ounces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Crusty baguette, warmed, for passing

Directions: In a deep pot over moderate heat melt butter and saute the vegetables for 5 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. Tie together bay, parsley and thyme and add to the pot with stock or broth. Cover the pot and raise heat to bring liquid to a boil. Add chicken to the pot, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Poach the chicken 10 minutes. Uncover the pot. Remove chicken and slice. Whisk cream and egg together. Add a ladle of cooking broth to cream and egg to temper it. Stir cream and egg mixture into the waterzooi and stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Add chicken back to the pot along with chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning. Ladle waterzooi into warm shallow bowls and serve with crusty baguette for dipping.

Brussels Sprouts in Beer

  • 450g/1lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • Approx. 480ml/16fl.oz. Dark Beer
  • 1/2 teasp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Butter

Instructions

1.  Place the sprouts in a medium saucepan and pour in enough beer to cover.

2. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender, adding more beer if necessary.

3. Drain well then return to the pan, season with salt and add the butter. Stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and coated the sprouts. Serve immediately.

Belgium Strawberry Mousse

  • 1 Pound Strawberries — sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kirsch Or Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whipping Cream

Directions: Place half the strawberries in bowl and sprinkle with the granulated sugar and kirsch. Let macerate for 15 minutes. Puree the remaining strawberries together with the confectioner’s sugar. Whip the cream into stiff peaks. Reserve a quarter of the whipped cream for garnish and refrigerate. Carefully fold the remaining cream into the pureed strawberries. Arrange the macerated strawberries in 4 wine glasses, reserving a few slices for garnish. Fill the glasses with strawberry cream, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Pipe the reserved whipped cream through a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and decorate with sliced strawberries.


Portuguese Potluck Success…

Friday, August 26 –

Our second potluck was another great success. Some of the same people from the first potluck were there and we also had some new people that couldn’t make it last time. It was beautiful outside again, so we managed to make it another picnic buffet. I made stuffed pork chops with pomegranate sauce and also got a couple of different salsas and some chips. Other people brought white wine sangria, red wine reduction with fruit, curry chicken, custard tarts, potato and kale soup, fried fish, and beer cake. We also had a bunch of different kinds of Portuguese wines of both red and white varieties. Let me tell you, it was quite the feast! 

Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce: I started with the knowledge that while I didn’t have a lot of time before people started showing up, at least I was making a lot of one recipe instead of a bunch of little recipes, so I didn’t feel quite so rushed.  I decided to double the stuffing recipe and use 6 chops instead of 8, giving me a little more stuffing than meat. First came the stuffing, with the shallots and mushrooms and then breadcrumbs, parsley, and cheese. This came together quickly and easily. While that was getting all melty I sliced the pork chops open into pockets. I cut them so that one long side and one short side were still attached and the other two sides were open. Then I stuffed all 6 chops, setting them back on the cutting board. I used a big saute pan and browned the chops on both sides in butter. Then I stacked them together in a casserole dish and put them in the oven. Next came the sauce, with the pomegranate molasses, water, and white wine. I added the cornstarch slurry about half way through the cooking of the chops so that the sauce would have time to thicken. When the chops came out of the oven I put the pan juices in the sauce and set the meat on the cutting board to slice. Because I didn’t tie the chops closed they ended up squishing a little when I sliced them, but not so much that it was impossible to but them back in the pan with the stuffing still intact. Once I had the meat sliced, the extra stuffing in on top, then I poured the finished sauce all over the meat and set it out on the buffet.

The stuffing ended up tasting like Thanksgiving stuffing with goat cheese thrown in – which was so good I had a hard time not eating right out of the bowl. The meat was browned and good for pork chops. The sauce ended up really, really sweet to me. So if I had to do this recipe all over again, which I would, I would keep the sauce off and put it in a gravy boat and let people drizzle a little bit on top if they wanted to instead of drowning the whole dish in it. It vanished pretty quickly, so I know it was good, but I would have rather had much less of the sauce on top.

I’m keeping track of the ideas that we came up with for our potlucks here: Potluck Ideas.

Things I have learned: This potluck had a much better ratio of people bringing food to people who brought drinks. Keep that as a good goal to have each time. We also did much better at having a handful of main dishes, some side dishes, and some desserts. This worked out really well, and will be my goal for next time too.  Also, with the number of people who come to these potlucks it will get much more cramped/friendly once we move inside, so maybe we will have to limit the number of people who get invited? I’m not sure about that yet, because maybe it will work itself out.