Tag Archives: chicken broth

Scrumptious Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-Fry

 After many requests here is the recipe! I modified this recipe from a Rocco DiSpirito recipe. The man knows good food! Before making this recipe the only way I had ever cooked asparagus, and only thin asparagus, was to roast it, whole. This recipe I ventured into unknown territory. I used much thicker asparagus and cut into bite size pieces! I also used a vegetable peeler to get off some of the thicker layers on the stalks. And you know that wonderful thing that happens to our body when you eat asparagus? I won’t say what it is but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I mean. Well apparently when you cut it up and not cook it whole that little phenomenon doesn’t occur!  It’s a win win! Plus this recipe is figure friendly. I would also recommend reading the entire recipe all the way through before cooking. Make the stir-fry sauce first also. You can even make it a few days before if you want.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut on an angle into 1″ pieces

12-16 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined. NO TAILS!!!

¾-1 cup cooked brown rice (remember brown is better for you!)

½ cup chopped fresh basil 

sesame seeds for garnish

salt and pepper

2/3 cup of Rocco’s “Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce” (see recipe below) or you can use a store-bought sugar-free teriyaki sauce. (Make this BEFORE you start cooking the stir-fry)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan or skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the onion and asparagus and stir fry until the veggies are almost tender, about 6 minutes or so.

2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pan. Add the rice to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often to get everything heated through.

3. Add the stir fry sauce. When the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is hot, about 2-4 minutes, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame seeds for garnish.

Serves 4

Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¼ cup chopped fresh ginger (this is key!)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ bunch of scallions (white and green part) chopped fine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

¾ cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plain

½ cup reduced-sugar ketchup (Heinz is the best)

salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan/skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Saute, stirring frequently, until very fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.

2. In the meantime, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and ketchup. Whisk to blend.

3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper if you want.

5. Store in a covered container in refrigerator for up to a week.

This sauce is incredible. I used it on ribs also. Tasted just like chinese spare ribs! 

This makes about 1¾ cups.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

First let me say that I have not actually made this recipe yet. But I will, soon. My husband loves gumbo. Me, I could take it or leave it. Mainly because there are peppers in it. Remember, I am the one Italian who doesn’t like sweet peppers. I know, weird. But I am willing to give this a try and I will make sure I chop the pepper very small so I can’t pick them out! You should see me at restaurants! Anyway, I got this recipe in my email today from Cooking Light. It’s actually from their November 2002 issue! So it’s been around a long time. I have changed a few things of course (though I am leaving the peppers in!). The recipe calls for boil-in-bag rice. Not happening in this house. I will use jasmine brown rice. I always make a huge batch and freeze it in small packages, for occasions just like this! And it also called for turkey kielbasa. I will use chicken sausages of some kind. The recipe originally called for bottled minced garlic. Again, not in my house! I will use fresh garlic and probably double it!

What is also really great about this recipe is that most of it uses frozen vegetables. This will save time if you’re making it last-minute. But if it’s last-minute you might not have the ingredients on hand so think ahead anyway. And if you do not like to use frozen vegetables like onion, peppers, okra etc. use fresh. But remember the frozen ones are already all cut up for you and cook faster! Another way to make this a little different is to add some shrimp to the last step also. Probably about a half pound or so of uncooked. It will cook fast so be careful.

Illustration courtesy of Cooking Light magazine

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked rice of choice (I prefer jasmine brown rice)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 cup frozen chopped green bell pepper

1 cup frozen cut okra

1 cup chopped celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

8 ounces chicken sausage of your choice, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onion

1 (14½ ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

1. If you are cooking rice now make the gumbo while it is cooking.

2. Combine the flour and oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, green pepper, okra, celery, garlic, thyme, and ground red pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in the chicken, sausage, tomatoes, and broth, cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings (1½ cups gumbo and ½ cup rice)

Debbie’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Thanksgiving was a great day. We spent it with some wonderful friends, ate, drank and played bocci ball! Living in Florida has its advantages! Our wonderful host Debbie made a delicious butternut squash soup that I had to have the recipe for. It was spicy but not “hot” spicy. Just enough of a bite to it to make the flavors pop! The main spice blend she used in this is Garam Masala. I had never heard of it before so I looked it up. It’s just a basic blend of ground spices that are common in Indian and South Asian foods. I looked up a recipe about making it myself. Lots of whole seeds and roasting and so on. But then I figured I will just buy it premade, otherwise I will have so many whole spices just hanging around my pantry. The basic mix includes cumin, coriander, cardamom, black peppercorns, cinnamon, whole cloves, nutmeg and saffron. LOTS of different spices! So I will just buy a jar of it already made.

The recipe was originally adapted from a recipe from Ina Garten and then Debbie made her own changes and made it her own! The recipe called for 3 granny smith apples but she only had two. She did have a pear, so she added that! Delish! I brought some of the leftovers home and can’t wait to have another bowl! This recipe makes 8-10 servings so feel free to cut it in half if you don’t want to make so much! And for best results make the soup a day ahead of time for the flavors to blend!

My photo is of the leftovers I brought home. I will swap out the pic once I make it on my own.

INGREDIENTS:

5-6 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded

2 yellow onions

3 granny smith apples (or 2 apples and 1 pear), peeled and cored

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Garam Masala

½ teaspoon ground ginger

4-6 cups of chicken broth (you can substitute 1-2 cups of Thai Curry flavored broth from College Inn for 1-2 cups of the chicken broth)

4-5 sage leaves, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, if desired

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut the squash, apples/pears, and onions into 1″ chunks and mix in a large bowl with the olive oil until well blended.

2. Spread the squash veggie mixture onto 2 cookie sheets lined with foil (you can spray the foil with cooking spray). There should be a single layer of the mixture.

3. Sprinkle the Garam Masala and ground ginger over the squash mixture; salt and pepper as desired.

4. Roast 40-45 minutes until tender.

5. Heat 4 cups of broth in a large pot. When squash mixture is finished roasting, add it to the pot of broth and cook for 20-25 minutes. Add the chopped sage in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

6. Working in batches, purée the veggie/broth mixture using a food processor, blender or immersion blender. Put back in pot and adjust the broth amount to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be served with parmesan cheese as well! (You know we will have it for sure!)

Serves 8-10

She-Crab Soup

Keeping with the Charleston recipes today’s is She-Crab Soup. I have had this soup here in Florida and it was delicious. So creamy and rich and just plain scrumptious! It is not a low-calorie soup but you can lighten it up a bit by substituting some ingredients with their lighter counterparts. But for now I’m leaving the recipe as is. I won’t put in the calories I found on this either. No need. We know it’s high and we’ll leave it at that. Now what is a “she-crab” and why is it in a soup?

The soup is a regional specialty from the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is considered to be the signature dish of Charleston, SC and is featured on the menus of many of the city’s restaurants.

The soup is named for the “She-Crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid crab, heavy with the flavorful orange crab roe that is typically a main ingredient in traditional she-crab soup. You can leave the roe out of this recipe if you wish, nobody will know! I definitely plan on having this while on our little visit and I will be making a lighter version of my own when I get home. I looked through many recipes and formed my own version for this recipe.

If you want to learn a little more on the history of  She-Crab Soup, just click on the link for more information and another version of the recipe. I will add my substitutions after some ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

5 tablespoons butter (or butter substitute)

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 small sweet onion, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts half-and-half (or fat-free half-and-half)

1 pint heavy cream (or light cream)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth (fat-free)

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 tablespoons crab roe (optional)

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (my husband would want more I am sure!)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh dill (2 tsp. dried)

2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

½ cup sherry wine

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot/dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste (a roux) and cook for about 3 minutes, making sure you stir constantly! Stir in the onion and garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring for about 4 more minutes.

2. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half making sure no lumps form. Stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring this to a simmer and pour in half of the sherry. Add the dill, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the soup has reduced by a third. Add the crabmeat (and roe if you decide to use it), stir carefully. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Serve the soup and top each bowl off with a splash of the rest of the sherry and a sprinkle of the scallions!

Serves 8 (cut the recipe in half if this will be too much for your family)


Escarole, Spicy Sausage & Cannellini Bean Stew

I’ve been trying to come up with a recipe today and my mind just keeps getting sidetracked. It’s Thursday, I have an hour left before I go to “Happy Hour” with the neighborhood ladies and I am still sitting here wondering what to use in today’s blog. First I thought about doing a “happy hour” recipe, then changed my mind. I am clueless today. Good thing I don’t have to drive anywhere! We have it at our homes, we take turns once a month. So I just have to walk a few houses away.  But I still want to make sure this is done BEFORE I go meet the ladies. So I was just looking everywhere for anything. It’s been one of those days today. Not much sun out and under 80 degrees for a change. It is fall after all! Then I came across an email I got from Fine Cooking. The recipe looked pretty simple and it’s pretty quick to make too. That is always a plus. If I had escarole in the house I’d make this tonight. But I don’t so I will make it next week. Hopefully I will get another cool “fall” day in Florida!

The recipe calls for regular hot Italian sausage. I have not used regular sausage in my cooking at home in a very long time. I have used pre-cooked or uncooked chicken sausages. They come in all kinds of flavors these days and are really tasty. They have Italian style also and spicy versions as well. So that’s what I will use. Whenever they are on sale or I have coupons I stock up. They freeze extremely well. Always good for a quick snack too if you get company. Just nuke em and slice em up. Stick a few toothpicks in and serve with mustard or whatever you have for dipping. Voila! If you don’t like spicy, use regular. No worries! I will also up the amount of garlic, hey, I’m Italian, I need my garlic! For now the photo is the one I got with the recipe, but as soon as I make this myself I will swap it for my own. Seems like I take pictures of every meal these days, just in case! If anybody makes it let me know!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

¾ pound of spicy/hot uncooked Italian chicken sausages, casings removed

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 small head escarole, chopped into 1-2″ pieces, washed and lightly dried (a salad spinner is great for this)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth/stock

1½ teaspoons red-wine vinegar; more to taste if needed

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (more if you want)

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a heavy 5-6 quart Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the sausage, raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula until lightly browned and broken into small (1″) pieces, 5-6 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stir in the beans. Add the escarole to the pot in batches; using tongs, toss with the sausage mixture to wilt the escarole and make room for more.

4. When all the escarole is in, add the chicken broth, cover the pot and cook until the beans are heated through and the escarole is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with the vinegar and salt. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle each portion with the parmesan cheese.

Serves 3-4

Red Quinoa with Feta & Sundried Tomatoes

Here it is again everyone! QUINOA!!! Woo Hoo!! While in Whole Foods last weekend I wanted to get some more quinoa. Looking in the bulk aisle for it I came across the regular white/beige quinoa. And sitting right next to it was this beautiful red quinoa! Didn’t even know it existed. Then again I didn’t know quinoa existed until a few months ago. I checked the nutritional information and it had almost double the fiber of the regular kind! Sold! I bought a half pound of the stuff,  just in case we didn’t like it. I should have bought more! It is so much tastier than the regular. It had a little crunch to it and a nutty taste as well. I then searched online for a different recipe than I made last time.  I found a great one on the Cooking Books blog. She had gotten it from a cookbook called The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno and adapted it to her taste. I again adapted it to my taste.  It called for cilantro and I left it out (My husband isn’t a fan unless it’s in salsa or guacamole) and vegetable broth. I had chicken broth and used that. The recipe called for 8 sun-dried tomatoes, cut up. I found it needed more. So next time I will add more. I think about ¼ cup will do it. I liked how much feta cheese she said to put in, “as much as you’d like”. Ok, sounds good to me! Sounds good to my husband! I think it was about ½ cup in total, could be more though. I didn’t measure. But one thing I should have done was cut the recipe in half. It made a lot of quinoa for two people. We do have leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

2 minced shallots (you can use a small onion or even a few green onions if you don’t have shallots)

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth (or any broth you have), or water

1 cup dried red quinoa

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can adjust to your taste)

1 teaspoon salt

fresh ground black pepper

½ cup (or so) of crumbled low-fat feta cheese (adjust to your taste)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the shallots are soft.

2. Add the broth/stock and bring to a boil. Add the red quinoa and cayenne pepper. Stir and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Or until all the liquid is fully absorbed. (It took longer than 30 minutes on my stove, so keep an eye on it after 30 minutes)

3. Stir in salt and pepper and feta cheese. Serve hot or cold. Make sure you mix in the feta good so it melts a bit! Yum…

Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.

Collard Greens Gone Wild

Ok, I know, how can collard greens go wild? And I’m not talking fresh collard greens either. Frozen. Yes frozen. I never had collard greens growing up and of course just figured I didn’t like them. My husband suggested I try them so one day at the supermarket I went “wild” and bought a bag of frozen greens. Also since I had no idea how to serve them the Italian in me took over. I prepared them according to the package but when I served them I added butter and a parmesan/garlic seasoning. They came out really good. I was hooked. Then recently I tried them from a menu at a restaurant specializing in “southern/cowboy” type barbecue. I HATED them! They had no flavor, the color was so washed out they did not look very appetizing. Definitely not enough to even eat! Well I tried them. Yuck! I tried adding butter, salt, hot sauce…Still yuck! I was so disappointed! I knew I should have gotten the fried green tomatoes that night! So last night I kicked them up a notch so to say. They came out really good! The only thing is the bag of frozen greens is big that I now have lots left over. I will be using them tonight as my side for the Veal Scaloppini recipe I posted yesterday.  They actually look like escarole and beans a little bit. I originally served it with a Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken recipe from a great food blog called Dana’s Food For Thought. Check it out! (Thanks Dana!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-19 ounce bag frozen chopped collard greens

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

3 cloves garlic thinly sliced

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cups chicken broth

1 -15 ounce can canellini beans, drained and rinsed

parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a dutch oven or large pot sauté olive oil and chopped garlic. Saute till garlic is lightly browned. Add the basil and oregano and stir for a minute or so.

2. Add the frozen collard greens and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the beans, red pepper flakes and sliced garlic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Serve greens with parmesan cheese if you like.

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