Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tortellini & Corn Chowder

3 slices turkey bacon coarsely chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 small red bell pepper chopped
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernals
2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3 c. flour
3 c. milk
1/3 c. chopped basil (fresh) or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 t. salt
8 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini cooked and drained

Set a dutch oven to medium heat.  Add bacon and cook for 1 minute until it releases some of its moisture.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper then cook 5 min. or until veggies are soft.  Add corn and broth.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 min.  Place flour in medium bowl and gradually add milk, whisking until smooth.  Pour into dutch oven and stir well until blended.  Add basil and salt.  Cook, stirring for 3 min. or until soup thickens.  Add tortellini and cook until heated through.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas

2 tbsp. butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 lb. shredded, cooked chicken
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (10 oz.) box frozen peas & carrots OR mixed vegetables
2 refrigerated 9" pie crusts

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour & cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Still stirring, slowly add the broth. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes, stirring.
Add the vegetables, chicken, salt & pepper. Remove from heat.
Cut each pie crust in half to form 4 half circles (at this point you can fill to make large empanadas OR cut each half circle again to make mini empanadas). Spoon the chicken mixture over the bottom half of each half-circle, leaving a 1/2" border Using your fingers, wet the border w/water . Fold the top of each crust over the chicken to form a 1/4 circle. Press to seal. Make a slit in the top of each empanada. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, September 12, 2011

PW Homemade Mac & Cheese

4 cups dry macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (or more to taste)
1 lb. cheddar or other desired cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspons seasoned salt (or more to taste)
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook the macaroni until very firm. The macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. (If you're in a hurry & don't want to bake the macaroni and cheese, cook it now until it's done.) Drain.

In a small bowl, beat the egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F & butter a large oval or rectangular baking dish.

In a large pot, melt the butter & sprinkle in the flour.

Whisk it together over med-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Don't let it burn.

Pour in the milk.

Add the mustard & whisk until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes or until very think, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low.

To temper the egg, slowly pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the egg. Whisk until smooth.

pour the egg mixture into the sauce, whisking until smooth.

Add in all but 1/2 cup of the cheese & stir until melted.

Add the seasonings. Taste the sauce & add more as needed. Do not undersalt or you'll regret it the rest of your life!

Pour in the cooked, drained macaroni & stir to combine.

Serve immediately or pour into the baking dish & top w/the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly & golden on top.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spring Rolls/Egg Rolls

1 lg. shallot, sliced
2 carrots, grated
4 scallions, sliced
2-3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. white pepper
1 pkg. egg roll OR spring roll wrappers

FOR EGG ROLLS: 1 lbs. cooked meat (crumbled pork, diced chicken, etc.)
2 cups shredded cabbage

FOR SPRING ROLLS: 3 1/2 oz. dried bean-thread vermicelli or rice sticks.
chopped cilantro
Put noodles in a lg. bowl of warm water & soak until soft & translucent (about 12-15 mins.). As the noodles become pliable, spread them out w/your fingers to ensure quick, even soaking. Drain noodles of as much water as possible. Chop w/kitchen shears so they are easier to handle. Put noodles & next five ingredients in a lg. bowl, along w/the cilantro. Mix w/your hands til well mixed. Add soy sauce, sugar & pepper, mix well. Set a dry wok over med-hi heat. Add noodle filling mixture & stir-fry until the veggies release their moisture & become tender & noodles are soft & clear; about 4 minutes.
Transfer filling to a large bowl & let it cool at room temperature. Gently separate the spring roll wrappers from the pack. Keep the wrappers covered w/a dampened paper towel as you make the spring rolls. Place 2 wrappers, one on top of the other, on a flat work surface. Place about 3 tbsp. of filling in the center of wrapper. Fold & moisten edges w/water to seal shut.

Deep fry at 360-375 degrees for about 3 minutes.

FOR EGG ROLLS: simply cook meat & then add to cabbage, remaining veggies, soy sauce & spices. Fill egg roll (or wonton) wrappers & seal. Cook the same as Spring Rolls