Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jammin' Jambalaya Soup

Spicy and filling, this soup makes a satisfying meal fit for a tailgate or just game watching!

Makes about 5 quarts

2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 pound andouille  or another spicy smoked sausage
5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1  14 to 15 ounce can plum tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked white rice
3/4 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
Cayenne pepper to taste

Cut the sausage into a 3/4 inch dice.  Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs and then dice them about the same size as the sausage.
Heat the oil in a 6 quart soup pot (or larger) and add the diced sausage.  Once the sausage starts to render some fat, add the diced chicken and saute until the chicken loses some of its "rawness".
Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, paprika, basil, oregano and thyme and continue to saute until the vegetables soften.
With clean hands, crush the tomatoes and add them to the pot.  Give it a stir and bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken broth and bring the soup up to a boil and then down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the cooked rice and then taste the soup.  This is where you'll decide if you want to add a little cayenne pepper.  My sausage was very spicy so I added less than 1/4 teaspoon.  It's up to you.
Bring the soup back up to a simmer, add the shrimp, put a lid on the pot and turn the heat off.  The shrimp will cook within a couple of minutes.  if you're making the soup early in the day, add the shrimp after re heating.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Meet the New Guy!!

Some of you may know that we lost our beloved Jake in May...we miss him terribly, but this week we adopted this little guy.  He's about 9 weeks now and weighs 7 pounds.  We think he's a lab/retriever mix and he loves to eat and chew on everything.  He won't be able to be a taste tester for a while but when he is I'm sure he'll enjoy everything.  Oh....we think we're naming him Kerby!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spicy Sesame Chicken Kebabs

The other night was a grilling night and we decided to do some chicken kebabs.  I marinated the chicken in a spicy sesame marinade and then threaded the pieces on skewers and grilled them.  We served them over sweetened Jasmine rice (just add a little sugar to the cooking water).

1 Tbl freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves grated on a micro plane
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 Tbl honey
1 Tbl sesame oil
1 Tbl granulated sugar
1 Tbl sambal oelek (or other spicy chili sauce)
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
4  6 to 8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 wooden skewers (about 12 inches long) which you've soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

Whisk together all ingredients except the chicken and set aside.  Cut the chicken into cubes about 1  1/2 inches.  Place the chicken pieces in a zippered freezer bag and pour in the marinade.  Marinade in the fridge for at least an hour or two.
When ready to grill, thread the chicken pieces on to the skewers. Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and boil it for about 4 or 5 minutes.
Grill, brushing with the marinade until done.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home Grown Potatoes

Yes...we grew potatoes in garbage bags this year.  Yesterday we dug into the first bag (once the foliage turned brown) and ended up with about 15 very small redskins, basically enough for one meal. See them in the first photo right out of the ground and in the second, cleaned up a bit.  I cut the larger ones so that all of them were pretty uniform in size and then steamed them until fork tender.  Once steamed, I cooked up a few pieces of bacon and then left the drippings in the pan, sauteed the potatoes adding salt and pepper and then sprinkled them with crumbled bacon and sliced green onions(also from the garden). A yummy experiment!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Going Greek

We had the Greek appetizer dinner out on our new deck for dinner the other night.....calamari, tarama, feta, olives, cucumbers, garden tomatoes, sausage and bread.  It was wonderful!  But then I started missing my favorite Greek restaurant around here,  The New Hellas, which closed a few years ago.  I've heard rumor that another might open in the suburbs soon but it can never be the same without Gus Antoine, the owner, who passed away about a year ago.

We have found a new Greek restaurant less than a mile away from our house, however.  It's called Muses Taverna and sits in a strip mall at Big Beaver and John R in Troy. Not the same ambiance as Hellas, but the food is wonderful!

Here's a link to their website: 

If you're in the area give it a try.