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Red Beans and Rice with Tasso

A hearty bowl of Red Beans and Rice with Tasso, a spicy Cajun pork | mjskitchen.com

A few weeks ago when we were in Louisiana, we dropped by Bergeron Boudin & Cajun Meats on our way out of Shreveport and picked up some cajun meats to bring back home.  We filled our ice chest with boudin, andouille and tasso, some of which we shared with our New Mexico family and friends. We’ve been using the rest to make some of our favorite Louisiana dishes.  Last weekend Bobby planned to make a pot of red beans and rice with some of the tasso and andouille; however, once he cooked down the beans with the tasso he found that no andouille was needed.  The tasso added both the spicy and the meaty components to the beans while delivering a different, but just as delicious flavor as we get when he uses andouille.  The recipe below is Bobby’s Red Beans and Rice with Tasso.  It is pretty much the same recipe he uses for his regular red beans and rice, so I’ve indicated the differences in my Kitchen Notes. And yes, red beans and rice is Bobby’s dish because he makes it SO GOOD!

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A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews

A Tantalizing Collection of Soups and Stews | mjskitchen.com

When the cold weather just doesn’t want to go away, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup or stew.  Below is a collection of recipes that will not only warm you up, but make you feel good inside and out.  And no matter what your diet – vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or carnivore – you’ll find several soups to keep you warm, healthy and happy. Continue Reading →

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Sweet Pepper Stew (aka Peperonata)

A peperonata stew with sweet peppers, tomatoes, capers | mjskitchen.com

 

Sweet Pepper Stew is a version of the Italian dish – Peperonata – that is normally made in the fall when there is an abundance of different colored sweet peppers. However, several years ago Bobby made this lovely dish for me for Valentine’s Day and it’s been our traditional Valentine’s Day dinner every since.

Buying organic fresh sweet peppers this time a year is not cheap, but this dish is well worth the price. To the peppers we add frozen tomatoes and basil from our summer garden, along with a few capers.  After resting in the refrigerator overnight, this sweet pepper stew becomes quite “juicy” from the tomatoes and flavorful from the melding of all of the wonderful ingredients.  You can eat it by itself, or serve it with a nice baguette or homemade bread.  It’s also quite good over creamy polenta.  Finish your meal off with a Coffee Scented Chocolate Pot for a delicious and memorable Valentine’s Day home dining experience.

What is your traditional Valentine’s Day meal?

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Thai Green Curry Shrimp

A quick and easy Thai Shrimp Curry with green curry paste | @MJsKitchen

Most of the time when we get a craving for Thai food we go out to eat.  However, this Thai Green Curry Shrimp dish is the exception.  I found a basic Thai Shrimp Curry recipe years ago in Bon Appetit (Feb 2008).  I loved the “base” of the dish (the coconut milk, broth, and Thai flavorings), but I wanted more vegetables. The Bon Appetit recipe only uses onion and tomato, and I’m not a fan of tomato in my curry dishes, especially green curries. So as you can see here, I’ve changed it up a bit.

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Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup

Pumpkin Beer Cheese soup with Zamorano and Parrano cheese | mjskitchen.com

 

This Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup was inspired by my Conversation with a Cheesemonger (Derrick Sanders).  During this conversation I asked Derrick for a cheese that could be used as a topping on my Roasted Pumpkin and Red Chile Soup, a sweet and savory, spicy soup.  After looking at the recipe, he recommended a “hard, salty grating cheese: Piave, Parrano, Podda, Capra sarda, and Zamorano.”  All of these cheeses sounded so good, and gave me the inspiration to start from scratch and come up with another pumpkin soup that was still sweet, savory and spicy, but also, deliciously cheesy.

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Refrigerator Chicken and Vegetable Soup

How to make Chicken and Vegetable Soup from what you have in the refrigerator |mjskitchen.com

 

Do you ever find a refrigerator full of a little of this and a little of that?  Well, this happens to me 2 to 3 times a month.  Once the refrigerator gets to this point, it’s time to make a pasta or soup.  This week the ingredients screamed SOUP.  This Chicken and Vegetable Soup was made using the last of a roasted chicken from which we had already had two meals, some leftover green beans, and fingerling potatoes, and few other fresh vegetables I had in the fridge.

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Posole’ with Italian Sausage and Kale

Posole' with an Italian twist - Fresh posole', Italian sausage, tomatoes, and Kale | mjskitchen.com #posole #kale #recipe

 

Accepting the end of summer is very hard for me, but last week when the night time temperatures dropped into the 40s, I had to relent. Visions of soup started popping into my head and pictures of posole’ started popping up on the internet.  With every picture my craving for posole’ increased and finally increased to the point where I succumbed to the craving.  I knew I had some posole’ in the freezer, so using other ingredients on hand, I threw together this soup which we’ll call a Mexican-Italian fusion of posole’, Italian sausage and kale.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to work, but it did.  Bobby, who is as picky about his posole’ as I am, loved it! The depth of flavor in this soup keeps going and going and going, and the richness of the soup stock … well, just look at it.  I could drink the stock and make a meal out it.

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Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque

A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

She’s back! My sister Nadalyn is sharing another one of her mouth-watering recipes with us today – a Fish and Clam Bisque with Fenugreek.  To see all of Nadalyn’s recipes here in MJ’s Kitchen, check out the links at the end of this post.

Nadalyn

You may remember that MJ introduced us to the amazing spice shop, Season With Spice, last fall. One of the spices there that intrigued me was fenugreek. Not only had I never used it, I had never heard of it. It seems that fenugreek, besides in cooking, is used in folk medicine for a little bit of everything, including but not limited to stomach and digestive ailments both constipation and IBS, cardiac conditions of all kinds, lowering cholesterol, increasing the production of milk during breast-feeding and even ED. If you don’t know what ED is then you don’t watch TV ads. :)

MJ told me that she had dared to experiment with fenugreek, in cooking of course, so I decided to give it a go as well. This Indian inspired dish is a result of that daring do. If you like curry dishes, this should appeal to you.

Oh, and you may want to grab a loaf of French bread to sop up the yummy broth.

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Green Chile Chicken Mushroom Soup

Green chile chicken soup with mushrooms and corn mjskitchen.com

 

A while back a friend asked me to come up with a relatively healthy recipe for a Green Chile Chicken and Mushroom Soup.  She had just had a it at a local restaurant and loved it.  However, when she asked how they made it, she was told that they used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup as the base.  Being a very healthy eater, she was a little disappointed.  Not that there is anything really wrong with canned Cream of Mushroom soup (I’ve eaten enough of it in my lifetime), but fats make up 50% of the calories in one serving and the sodium content @ 870 mg/serving is pretty high. This is based on the FDA recommendation of no more than 2400 mg of salt / day and the American Heart Association recommendation of 1500 mg/day.  But getting back to my friend’s request, did I accept it?  You betcha! And last week everything came together to make it happen.

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