Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Red Curry Squash Soup with Tofu Croutons

I found this recipe in the January 2017 edition of Real Simple and MAN was it good!  I would change a few things for my family's taste but otherwise it was really amazing.  I wouldn't use the tofu again but for those who would want it, freshly made lightly crisped croutons would be really good as would toasted pumpkin seeds.  The soup has a very light kick and I didn't bother with the peppers because I figured we wouldn't love the extra spicy peppers (well, Robby would but not the rest of us) and I ended up adding about a teaspoon of sugar because the squash I got wasn't all that sweet.  This will absolutely make it on the menu again!  Sorry the picture isn't pretty - I forgot to take a picture of it in a bowl and instead had to get a picture of it in the leftover container as I put it in the fridge.  :)


1 medium butternut squash, diced (about 4 cups)
4 Tbsp. red curry paste
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
8 oz. extra firm tofu
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 head baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1 Fresno chili, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

1.  Combine the squash, curry paste, and vegetable stock in a large saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.  Transfer to a blender, add the coconut milk, and process until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, press the tofu with paper towels until very dry.  Cut into 1" cubes and season with 1/2 tsp. salt.  Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels.

3.  Toss the bok choy, chile and lime juice in a medium bowl; season with salt.  Reheat soup if necessary and serve topped with the tofu and book choy mixture.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

This is a pretty easy meal to put together and looks lovely.  This is a regular request from my kids.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 whole cooked chicken, bones removed, meat diced or shredded (5-6 cups)
1/2 lb. very thinly sliced deli-style honey ham, rough chopped
1/4 lb. thin sliced baby swiss cheese
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
3 cups whole milk (must be whole milk)
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 1/2 tsp. crushed dried parsley

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9x13" baking dish.  Place chicken in the bottom of the dish, scatter the ham over the chicken and lay the swiss cheese over the top of the ham.

2.  To cook the sauce:  Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth paste.  Do not brown.  Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and pepper.  Bring sauce back to a low boil and turn off heat.  Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.

3.  Combine the melted butter, bread crumbs and parsley together.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.

4.  Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Eggplant Supper Soup

This is a recipe that I got from my uncle who passed away in the '70s.  I'm not sure if this was original to him or not but it's been a family favorite for years!  It's hearty and easy to put together.  I've frozen it with and without the pasta and I prefer without the pasta and just adding it later when I heat it up.

Eggplant Supper Soup

2 Tbsp. each oil and butter
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced or mashed
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup each chopped carrots and sliced celery
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
28 oz. beef broth
1 tsp. each salt and sugar
1/2 tsp. each pepper and nutmeg
1/2 cup salad macaroni (we use dilating)
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
grated parmesan cheese for serving

1.  Heat the oil and butter in a large pot.  Add the onion and salute until limp, about 3 minutes.  Add the meat and stir over the heat until it looses its pinkness.
2.  Add the garlic, eggplant, carrots, celery, tomatoes (break tomatoes with a fork), beef broth, salt, sugar, pepper and nutmeg.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the macaroni and parsley and simmer 6-8 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
3.  Serve with parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chocolate Bread Pudding

I got this recipe from our local newspaper years ago and it is still a favorite.  I use bread ends that I save up in the freezer and it works GREAT!  Hubby also prefers raisins in his so I do 1/3 raisins and 2/3 chocolate chips.  Sorry the picture shows the bread pudding already served.  I couldn't stop them!

Chocolate Bread Pudding

1 12 oz. loaf day old Italian bread cut into 1" cubes
6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz.) bag semi sweet morsels
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Butter a 13x9" baking dish.
3.  Put bread cubes in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar with milk, cream and vanilla.  Pour egg mixture over bread, combine well and pour into pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate morsels.  Refrigerate fora half an hour.
4.  Combine cinnamon and sugar.  Sprinkle mixture on the top of the pudding.  Bake for 40 minutes.