Friday, December 13, 2013

Creamy Turnip, Leek and Avocado Soup


This soup is a simple and delicious way to get in some heart and body healthy vitamins and minerals, as a first or main course menu item.  The earthy turnips blend well with the mild oniony flavor provided by the leeks.  An avocado supplies major nutrients, a vibrant tint and creaminess to this wholesome and viscous soup.  Chicken or vegetable broth is the glue to holds it all together, with a hint of half and half to add to the overall soothing smoothness of this late fall, winter or anytime dish.  An immersion blender shaves valuable time off the preparation. Served with crusty bread, crackers or even bruschetta will make for a complete and filling ensemble.
Recipe:
2 c. thinly sliced leeks, (make sure you clean them properly to avoid grit)
2 c. grated turnip
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
4 tbsp. butter
3 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 c. half and half or whole milk
1 avocado, chopped
olive oil for drizzling
SPST
In  a heavy bottomed pot with high sides, over medium heat, melt butter and drizzle in about 1 tsp. olive oil.
Add leeks and turnips into pot and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.  Add garlic.
Add chicken broth and bring up to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in half and half and avocado.
With an immersion blender, blend in pot until airy and smooth.
Thin with additional chicken or veggie broth to desired thickness and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Serves about 6 1 cup servings. Garnish with fresh parsley, fresh cracked pepper and good quality olive oil if desired.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Korean BBQ Style Frogs' Legs!

This recipe combines the crispy wonderfulness of a low country delicacy, deep fried frogs legs, and a sweet, hot and garlicky  tang of a Korean style BBQ sauce into one fantastic dish, great for any occasion, providing you don't mind possibly getting your fingers a little messy!   The prep time is minimal and the sauce is a cinch to execute and may be used to coat items that have been baked, broiled, fried or steamed.  However, there is something about this particular recipe combination that really stands out to the taste-buds and your taste buddies!!
Recipe:
1 pkg. frog legs, about 1 1/3 lb. or 3 pair
2/3 c. seasoned flour
1/3 c. complete pancake mix
oil for frying
2 tbsp. good quality ketchup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. hot pepper paste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. water
Preheat oil to 375*F.
Combine flour and pancake mix.  Toss separated legs,  that have been rinsed and dried, in breading and shake off excess.
Fry in two batches, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch, drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Place remaining ingredients in a large saute pan and bring up to a boil, stirring constantly.  After about 1 minute, remove from heat and fold in parsley.
Toss the frog legs in the hot sauce to coat, working quickly because the sauce will thicken as it cools.
Serves 2 or makes 6 appetizers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Amazing Hot Shrimp and Turnip Dip!



This in another installment in my fun with turnips recipe action over the past two weeks.  This dip is loaded with  veggies like sauteed mini sweet peppers, onions and celery.  Julienne of turnips, garlic and chunks of shrimp lace this decadent dish.   Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and half and half add the stretchy, creamy deliciousness that makes this dip really rock!
Recipe:
12 oz. raw medium shrimp, roughly chopped
2 c. julienne of turnip
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. multicolored mini sweet peppers, small dice
2 tbsp. onion, small dice
2 tbsp. celery, small dice
1 tbsp. AP flour
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
1 c. half and half
1/3 c. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
olive oil for drizzling
SPST
Turn on broiler.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, drizzle in about 1 tsp. olive oil and add butter.
Once melted, add peppers, onion, and celery.  Add turnips.
Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stir in flour.
Cook additional minute, then whisk in half and half.
*Add splash of Sriracha, if desired.*
Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat. SPST.
Add shrimp.  Cook until shrimp no longer pink, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in 1/3 c. cheese and parsley.
Transfer to shallow oven safe dish.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese, more if desired and place on bottom rack of oven.
Bake until bubbly and golden, about 5 minutes.
Let stand for several minutes before serving to set.
Serve with toast points or crackers of choice.
Serves 8 to 10 appetizer portions.






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Vegetarian Burger for Carnivores!

I had a great time creating this veggie burger.  So much so, I added bacon at the end for a perfect finishing touch.  :)  Of course, the bacon may be omitted for the strict vegetarians and vegans.  Either way, all can be satisfied wit this fabulous burger, loaded with goodies like two kinds of beans, grated carrot and turnips.  I also spiked it with calcium loaded sesame seeds and heart healthy flax seeds, boasting the reduction of certain cancers.  Flax seeds are also rich in fiber and protein. Lycopene rich tomatoes and  fresh parsley are added as a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, with parsley acting as a natural diuretic.  Oats are also involved, bringing in another helping hand of fiber and
B vitamins.  Served with super powered fresh spinach on a whole grain bun, this veggie burger is a cut above the rest. With that said, the slice of cheese and two slices of bacon don't seem so bad now huh.!  Besides, reduced fat cheese and a bacon substitute may be exchanged, but why take all the fun out of something so good and great for you!
Recipe:
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. EACH grated carrot and turnip
1/4 c. quick cooking oats
1 tbsp. liquid aminos or to taste
2 tsp. flax seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley
8 -12 slices thick cut Applewood bacon
Fresh Tomato
Fresh Spinach
Sliced Cheese
SPST
olive oil for drizzling
Mash beans with a potato masher or fork until slightly broken apart, leaving some almost whole for texture.
Add remaining ingredients and drizzle with olive oil. SPST.
Stir together until evenly mixed and form into 4 to 6 patties.
Heat large saute pan over medium high heat, drizzle with olive oil and add patties, heating through and browning on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
Embellish as desired and with desired toppings.  Serve on thin style whole grain buns.






Potatoes and Turnips Lyonnaise

This recipe goes well with just about any protein, and with the help of a mandolin is a stress free and delicious affair.  With the aid of some simple and earthy ingredients, this recipe may be for a weeknight meal, or elevated to a more formal affair, just from the plating alone.  A friend of the family had a surplus of turnips, which she shared with us and this is one of the many I developed as a result. Belonging to the Family Cruciferae, including cauliflower, broccoli, collards and kale, also Brussels Sprouts, turnips are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium.  They also provide a substantial amount of our daily allowances of vitamins A, C and K.  They blend in well with potatoes, and with thinly sliced onions in tow, this recipe is a wonderful collection of bulbous goodness!
Recipe:
3 turnips, peeled, thinly sliced, about 3 cups
2 potatoes, such as Russet, peeled,  thinly sliced, about 2 cups
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. butter, plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
Toss sliced veggies together as evenly as possible in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large oven safe saute pan over medium high heat, melt butter and olive oil together.
Once butter is melted and hot, carefully add veggies and garlic.
Shake pan constantly as veggies cook and SPST.
Cook for several more minutes , shaking pan and tossing careful not to break up veggies too much.
Place tight fitting lid over pan, and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Remove lid and transfer to oven, baking until browning is evident on top, about 15 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8.  Let stand for several minutes before cutting or plating.
I served this recipe with simple Salt and Pepper Bone In Chops.






Island Spiced Pork Loin Chops

Looking for a simple way to liven up any sauce like homemade barbecue sauce, there are a few ingredients you can add volumes of flavor and aromatics, plus antioxidants without an exorbitant amount of fat.  The recipe was well received by the family and I served this recipe with a baked macaroni and cheese and green salad.  The smell of the spices really resonated throughout our home as it simmered, creating the same warm and comforting effect as baking a pumpkin or apple pie, the secret's in the sauce!:)
Recipe:
1 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into chops
2/3 c. good quality ketchup
1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 tsp. lemon grass paste
2 tsp. grated onion
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sambal oelek
1 tsp. fish sauce
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
olive oil for drizzling
SPST
Pat chops dry and season both sides.
Sear over medium high heat on both sides until no longer pink, about 3 minutes per side, remove from pan.
Add chicken stock to de-glaze and add remaining ingredients, bringing up to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and smother the chops in the sauce.
Cover with lid and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.






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Smokinhotchef
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