Monday, September 26, 2016

Recipe Share: Ham and Potato Soup.

My twin sis told me about this recipe. A friend of hers had made it for her while she was sick and pregnant, and she said it made her whole week! I am not sick or pregnant, but this soup tastes good no matter what you are! It's satisfying and versatile and so great this time of year. You can add a number of things if you want to like cheddar cheese, turkey, bacon, or eat it without meat. It was really easy and fast to throw together as well. Winner, winner, ham and potato dinner!


Ingredients:

3 1/2 Cups peeled and diced potatoes (I like Yukon Gold potatoes best. I don't peel mine, because the skin is so thin it isn't bothersome to eat at all.)
1/3 Cup diced celery
1/3 Cup finely chopped onion
3/4 Cup cooked ham, diced (I used turkey kielbasa in my soup and added it at the end to warm. But I will try it with ham next time. I think I like turkey kielbasa cold better than warm.)
3 1/4 Cups water
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Cups milk (I used whole)
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper. In a separate pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so lumps don't form. Continue stirring over medium low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes. (I warm my milk first in the microwave for a minute or two before pouring it into my butter/flour. This makes it thicken much quicker.) Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot with the water, ham, potatoes, and veggies, and cook soup until heated through. Garnish with chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, etc. Serve immediately.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Recipe Share: Steak Kabobs

I've been craving steak folks. It's truly one of my favorite things to eat. This recipe from Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, was one that definitely hit the spot. It cooked up fast, and the steak was tender and flavorful. The veggies and pineapple tasted great with it, too. (Next time I'll use fresh pineapple and grill that as well. This time I used canned pineapple and was afraid it would fall apart on the grill. It was still delicious though.)

Sauce:
1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
Fresh cracked black pepper

Kabobs:
2 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (I used top sirloin)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 pineapple, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
           

Directions:

For the sauce: In a bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, lime juice, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder and some pepper. Mix well, and reserve.
For the kebabs: Prepare a grill for high-heat direct grilling. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Thread the beef, pineapple, red onion and bell peppers onto the skewers, alternating between ingredients. Set the kabobs on a baking sheet, drizzle with the canola oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I've learned over the years that I prefer to thread all the same ingredients on my skewers. For example, I thread all my steak together on the same skewers, I thread all my peppers together, and all my onions together, etc. That way, if each ingredient takes different amounts of time to cook, I'm not trying to pull off my veggies from my skewers while leaving the steak on them. And I also don't like my raw meat touching my veggies, but that's a personal issue of mine. It's all up to you. Some must have better luck getting same grill times on their various foods than I do. And it really does look pretty to serve up skewers of colorful foods together. I just pull mine off the skewers to serve.)
Place the kabobs on the grill and brush with sauce. Cook for about 10 minutes, rotating the skewers halfway through, and brushing them with sauce. Remove from the grill and serve. (I served mine over steamed rice.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Recipe Share: Roasted Pork with Peach BBQ Sauce and Smashed Potatoes

Ladies and Gents, this recipe is seriously amazing. With each bite, I kept singing its praises... saying, "Oh my goodness.. wow, this is... wow, mmm..." I guarantee you, too will love it. It's from my girl Kelsey Nixon. (She's not technically my girl, or my girl friend even, but I like to think she and I would be great friends if we ever met. I love her cooking style, and her personality is adorable. And, she is always stylin'.) What made this recipe taste even better was that I made it with my twin sis, Jaime. She and I love to cook together, and we had a great time making this meal. 
So, here's the printable recipe.

Pork and Peach BBQ Sauce:
4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (we used frozen peaches)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin roast
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Smashed Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. small Yukon gold potatoes (I'm a total Yukon gold potato freak/fan. I have a really hard time using any other kind of potato these days. The Yukon gold is just so creamy and delicious. I feel like it has such a delightful flavor compared to any other potato. Try them if you haven't yet! You will see what I mean.)
kosher salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
For the pork and peach bbq sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the peaches, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender.

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve half (about 2 cups) of the peach BBQ sauce and set aside. Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a rack over a heavy-bottomed roasting pan and brush the rest of the sauce all over the pork. Add the stock to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140 degrees F, about 1 hour.

For the smashed potatoes: Meanwhile, place the potatoes in large pot and cover with salted cold water. The potatoes will soak up that salt like pasta and it will make a big difference in flavor. Cover and bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the same pot, allowing them to dry. Heat the half-and-half and butter in a small sauce pot over low heat. Add the mixture to the potatoes along with the cream cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher and set aside, keeping warm until ready to serve.

For serving the pork: Transfer the pork to a baking sheet to rest for 10 minutes, and then thinly slice half of the loin. Store and reserve the other half for leftovers.

Remove the rack from the roasting pan and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Whisk in the reserved BBQ sauce and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the browned sauce. Cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.

Serve the sliced pork with the reduced peach BBQ sauce over the smashed potatoes. 

Delicious, I tell you!!