Asparagus Soup

On May 7, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is simple, quick recipe that only takes about 20 minutes to prep and make. Add a salad with some cut apples and red onions and some crusty bread to make it a meal.

Asparagus Soup
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, tips and mid section cut into 2 inch pieces
1 quart vegetable broth
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
Lemony Pesto (recipe follows)

In a large pot saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown. Then add the asparagus, reserve the tips.  Cook for another minute.  Add the vegetable broth and let the pot come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes at a simmer.

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Add the beans and blend the soup with a immersion blender to get a creamy texture.

When ready to serve, add the asparagus tips and lemony pesto. Cook for about 2 minutes and then serve.

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Lemony Pesto

1 tablespoon garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black crushed pepper
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley

Grind all ingredients together in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.

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Fava Bean Spread

On May 2, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The past two weekends I bought some fresh fava beans.  They’re hard to miss. Giant peapods with a rich green color usually next to a box of beans, fava beans are sure to catch your attention. The next thing to wonder is what to make with these colorful bean monstrosities. For me, there was an obvious answer – fava bean spread.

Last year, we were dining out and enjoyed some fava bean spread on toast at a local restaurant. I immediately came home and started to search the Internet for some recipes to try my own take on this wonderful, buttery bean spread.  Some recipes called for mixing in some goat cheese or Crème fraîche. I wanted to try something without the addition and then build from there.

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The recipe below is just that. A basic fava bean spread that you can use as a base to experiment. Maybe add a 1/3 cup of goat cheese to it. Perhaps some tablespoons of Crème fraîche until you get the texture and flavor you want. You could also add grated cheese.

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For now, this basic recipe will get you started and really it needs nothing. The flavor is great as is, but if you do experiment please leave me some comments on what you did to enhance or try. I would love to hear it.

Fava Bean Spread
Serves 6-8 slices

1 1/2 lb whole fava beans with pod
1/2 lemon, juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the whole fava beans in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Remove and let them cool for 5 minutes.  Start chucking the pods by removing the pod. Put beans aside in a separate bowl.  When all finished removing the pods, now remove the skin from each bean.  You’ll see a dingy green skin that you can peal off to reveal bright green peas. Place the bright green beans in a saute pan.

Heat the saute pan on medium heat and toss the beans with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Add water to the pan.  Toss to coat everything and heat mixing the beans around for about 5 minutes to soften the beans.

Add the cooked beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Puree it until you have a thick paste.  Add more olive oil or lemon juice if you need to get it smoother or modify the flavor a bit.

Heat some bread slices brushing olive oil on top of each and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the bread when done and spread on the paste. Shave some parmesan and drizzle a little olive oil to finish.

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Hatch Valley Surprise

On September 7, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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While living in Texas, I came to know Hatch Chiles.  They are spicy New Mexico based chile that has a flavor very distinct from other better known chile peppers.  When the season for hatch chiles comes around in late summer, I always make sure to pick up some to use for cooking or in this case… drinking.

I was looking to experiment with the classic Bloody Mary.  Seeing how I love tomato juice but don’t care all that much for vodka, I came across a drink known as the Shanghai Surprise that combines Bloody Mary mix with beer. Now beer I love and well I feel so much better after a beer than some vodka.

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The key ingredient is having fresh tomatoes and using a juicer or blender.  I currently don’t own a juicer, but there a lot of great options for electric juicers on the market today. I used my VitaMix to puree the tomatoes which works good too.

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Sadly, I was all out of horseradish to make my homemade Bloody Mary mix so I decided to replace the horseradish with Hatch chiles.  The end result was a spicy and delicious recipe I’m sure I’ll make again the next time I get a craving for something more than just a beer.

You can learn more about juicing and other cocktails at Williams-Sonoma blog.

Hatch Valley Surprise
Serves 1

3 ounces Hatch Bloody Mary Mix
5 ounces pilsner or similar beer
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
2 dashes red wine vinegar

Hatch Bloody Mary Mix

6 large tomatoes to make 16 ounces tomato juice
2 ounces lemon juice
1 tablespoon, diced Hatch chile (or 1 teaspoon dried Hatch chile powder)
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients for Hatch Bloody Mary Mix into a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds. Should be smooth.

To prepare the drink, add the ingredients into a glass and serve after a quick stir.

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Lemon, Cucumber and Feta

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s summer again in Los Angeles.  After a cooling spell of a week in the 60s, we are back to 80 degree weather in April.  So what better time to bring out a recipe my wife found on Pinterest she has wanted to try.  The combination of fresh lemon juice, cucumbers and one of my favorite pastas, Orzo, it was an attractive choice for our lazy Sunday afternoon.

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The best part is this dish is simple to make. There is no cooking, unless you consider boiling water and putting pasta in for 6-8 minutes cooking then I guess it has some minor cooking.

I used a sheep and goat cheese feta I bought at Whole Foods that added a nice creaminess to the dish, yet it was firm enough to not melt into the warm pasta when added to the bowl. Of course, any feta will do.

If you are looking for a great dish to impress at a potluck this dish is sure to meet the need.

Full recipe at Fork Knife Swoon blog: [Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta]

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Kale Salad with Apples, Grapes and Quinoa

On October 6, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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There’s a restaurant in Pasadena we go to often because they offer amazing kid meals for $3.  The kids get fresh fruit, vegetable, and several options. The best part is they have quite a few good options for us to enjoy and they have a great outdoor patio.  La Grande Orange Cafe is a go to place and one of my wife’s favorite dishes is the kale salad.

Here is my attempt at making their kale salad, which my wife said turned out a lot like La Grande Orange Cafe.

Kale Salad with Apples, Grapes and Quinoa
Serves 4

1 bunch red or green kale, chiffonade
1 apple, thin slices
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Manchego, shredded
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Dressing
1 lemon, juice and peel
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Wash the kale and fruit.  Cook the quinoa using the directions on the package. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa and it cooks for 15 minutes per 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water on a medium, covered gentle boil. Reserve extra quinoa for another dish.

Slice apples and grapes.  Chiffonade the kale and place in a serving bowl, toss with apples, grapes, cooked quinoa, sunflower seeds and shred cheese on top.

Squeeze the of one lemon in a bowl and use a lemon peeler to grate some peel.  Slowly add the olive oil and whisk as olive oil is added to keep the dressing thick. Salt and pepper to taste and add any extra olive oil if necessary.  Add dressing to salad bowl and toss to coat.

Serve.

 

 

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Chicken Artichoke Piccata for #SundaySupper

On July 6, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Honest, quality, home cooked meals is what chef Sara Moulton has embodied throughout her work on PBS, FoodNetwork, and her many cookbooks.  I personally haven’t followed Sara’s work as well as some other TV chefs; though, I’m not a big fan of the craziness surrounding the cook celebrity fandom that has become quite a spectacle in food circles. I like Sara’s work though because its not celebrity driven. She seems more genuine than some of the others out there plus she uses real ingredients and focuses on meals as family gathering and for that I’m happy this week’s Sunday Supper meal is a celebration of Sara’s cookbook Everyday Family Dinners.

This recipe is not in the cookbook, it is “inspired” by it though.  I wanted to make a dish that really could work everyday in the home kitchen. It takes around 20 minutes to make and tastes like you spent a lot more time on it. I suppose that’s the magic of garlic, wine and lemon juice.

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If you’re interested in some of Sara’s recipes several of the other Sunday Supper bloggers made dishes and drinks from the cookbook.

Chicken Artichoke Piccata
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 jar of artichokes quarters, drained and rinsed
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
salt and pepper

Pound the chicken breasts with a mallet to flatten. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-high saute pan.  In a shallow dish add bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste.  Coat chicken breasts in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then dip and coat in dish of bread crumbs. Add bread crumb covered chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side to brown, being sure to not burn.

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Remove chicken from pan. Add garlic cloves and cook for a minute. Add white wine, lemon juice, capers, artichokes and return chicken to pan. Reduce liquid by half for about 3 minutes.

Remove and serve with a side dish or side salad.


Here is a list of what the group did either from the book or “inspired” as I am sharing here. 

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www.foodandwineconference.com 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

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Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni

On February 17, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Fresh pasta is one of those things that sounds time consuming, especially on a work day evening. It certainly can be but there are ways to reduce the time and my secret weapon is the KitchenAid mixer with the pasta extractor accessory.

The pasta dough is simple to make and then a small ball of pasta dough is placed in the extractor and in seconds beautifully shaped rigatoni (or 8 other shapes.)

This recipe is a great use for fresh pasta and yes even on a work night it is possible.

Lemon, Sage and Asparagus Rigatoni 

Prep Time: 30 Mins Cooking Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slivers
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 4 leaves of sage, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh rigatoni pasta

Directions:

  1. Heat a pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, fill a saute pan with water and add asparagus once it begins to boil.  Drain after 3 minutes of boiling. Wipe pan dry and add bread crumbs heating on medium-high heat for 4 minutes tossing to brown all of it without burning. Remove bread crumbs, set aside.
  2. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and then heat garlic slivers for about 4 minutes then add  butter, sage and parsley. Let it all combine for a minute then add lemon juice.
  3. Cook pasta for about 2-3 minutes, if freshly made (follow instructions on package if using store bought.) Drain pasta and then add to saute pan.  Return the asparagus and bread crumbs.  Pour in the remaining olive oil and parmesan cheese.
  4. Toss it all together and serve.
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Jägerschnitzel for #SundaySupper

On January 19, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This week’s Sunday Supper theme is Retro Recipes.  I was reminded a couple weeks ago about one of my favorite restaurants when I made some German Lentil Soup from Portland Oregon’s Der Rheinlander. The soup was great, but it was missing something. Something I loved to eat as a child – Jägerschnitzel.  It was one of the few ways I would eat mushrooms, the other being on supreme pizza.

Jägerschnitzel is basically a bacon mushroom cream sauce on a wiener-schnitzel  I had the recipe for Der Rheinlander’s basic schnitzel.  All I needed was some inspiration for a mushroom cream sauce.  I found a few on the web, but had an amazing mushroom cream sauce I’ve made many times before. Add some bacon and onions and I would be whisked back to the early 1980s eating a Jägerschnitzel in Portland.

I may have the oldest of the retro recipes in this week’s Sunday Supper event.  Both the Austrians and Italians claim to have invented the wiener-schnitzel. The Italians claim the dish was made in 1134 at a banquet for the canon of Milan’s St. Ambrogio Cathedral.

Now that’s retro.

Jägerschnitzel
Serves 4

4 veal scallopini, pounded thin
2 whole eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon milk
1 lemon, juice
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
flour, to coat
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon cut into wedges

Mushroom Cream Sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup cremini mushrooms, diced and quartered
1 tablespoon cream sherry
1 slice bacon, small diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons butter
small bunch parsley

For the schnitzel, wrap veal cutlets in cellophane and pound with a mallet. Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat with oil and butter.

Rub some lemon juice over the veal and then dredge the veal in flour.  A simple way to do this is to use a gallon ziplock bag and place about a 1/2 cup flour in the bag and shake the bag to coat the veal.  Remove veal from bag and now with the egg and milk mixed together in small bowl, coat the flour dredged veal in the egg and shake so it is not dripping egg and coat with bread crumbs.

Add the bread crumb coated veal to the saute pan and cook on each side until the bread crumbs are nicely browned, not burned, about 3-4 minutes each side.  Remove the cooked veal from the saute pan and place on a plate.

Now to make the sauce, add the bacon and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, onions, shallot, and thyme and cook for about 2 minutes then deglaze the pan with the cream sherry. Once the sherry has cooked off, about 1 minute, add the heavy cream and butter. Add the parsley and reduce heat to a simmer and place the cooked breaded veal back in the pan.

After letting flavors combine for a couple minutes, serve with spätzle and some vegetables.

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Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite Retro Food Memory with us!

Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:

Sunday Supper MovementI’d love to hear about some of your favorite Retro Recipes!  Feel free to leave links and/or recipes in the comments.  Also, feel free to join us for our live twitter chat tonight at 7pm (Eastern) using the#SundaySupper hashtag, and check out the Sunday Supper board on Pinterest.

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Barley and Herb-Stuffed Vegetables

On September 5, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Last weekend I spent some time making these creative stuffed zucchinis. The filling is quite simple and reminded me of how much I need to use barley more often in my vegetarian cooking.

The one modification I would make is to use bell peppers instead of the zucchini.  The filling needed something a bit more flavorful than zucchini. Use what is fresh and local, but if you have either option a crunchy colorful bell pepper is a better choice.

For the Recipe: Barley and Herb-Stuffed Vegetables.

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Moving to a new city has its challenges even if it is one you’ve lived in before, though 20 years ago. One challenge is finding where to buy local, grass-fed meat. The La Canada Farmers Market has one of the better reputation ranches at its event every Saturday morning.

Novy Ranch sounded similar to Burgundy Pasture Beef Ranch where we used buy our meats when we lived in Dallas. Both are smaller ranches that supply to some decent local restaurants and raise grass-fed Angus cattle.  So I was excited to finally get a chance to try Novy Ranch.

The vendor at the Farmers Market does not sell precut kabob meat; though, he recommended a lean steak that I later cut up into large cubes. The meat was promising. I’m not yet ready to say it is as excellent as Burgundy Pasture Beef, but it is a decent local choice that’s only 10 minutes from our house every Saturday morning.

Mint Marinated Beef Kebabs with Garlic Sauce
Serves 4

2 lbs kabob meat
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed mint, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 onion, large cuts
1 bell pepper, large cuts

Combine the oil, mint, lemon, and garlic in a shallow dish that you can cover to marinate the meat.  Place the meat in and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or throughout the day.

Heat grill to about 300 degrees. Combine the meat cuts alternating pieces of onion and bell pepper on kabob skewers. Place kabobs on grill and cook turning a few times for about 10 minutes.

Serve with rice, garlic sauce and even some hummus if you have some around like I did this evening.

Enjoy!

For the Garlic Sauce, I recommend this recipe: Garlic Sauce. However, today I went with an excellent store bought one from Fresh ‘N Nova found at our local Whole Foods.


For more #SundaySupper inspiration checkout the recipes from some great bloggers!

Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

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