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Barley Stuffing

by Nancy on March 13, 2012

in Side Dish

Maybe you’d call this stuffing and maybe you wouldn’t. It’s based on barley instead of the traditional bread but it has all of the flavors of traditional stuffing. It makes a good side dish for poultry or pork chops whatever you call it.

For me stuffing isn’t stuffing without sage. I grow sage in my backyard. The sage garnishing the plate is a selected variety called Berggarten sage. It has large, fat, oval leaves in comparison to leaves of regular sage making it ideal for garnishes. It has the same flavor as regular sage so can be dried and ground for cooking also.

We’d like to thank Bob’s Red Mill for providing the barleydried apples and black currants for this recipe.

Barley Stuffing

three 3/4 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill hulless barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup finely diced sauteed onion
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill black currants
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill dried apples
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  1.  Place barley, water, and bouillon  in a 2 quart saucepan for stove top or 3 quart bowl for microwave. Cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 90 minutes. Ideally all of the water should just be absorbed as the barley finishes cooking. Check near the end of cooking time and add boiling water if the barley is too dry or remove the lid if the barley is too wet. Barley will be chewy even when fully cooked. When cooking barley in the future, adjust water and/or cooking time as needed.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to pan or bowl, cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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Anasazi Bean® Soup

by Nancy on February 28, 2012

in Main Dish,Soups

After our Easter ham, my mother would save the ham bone and pan drippings to make a big pot of navy bean soup. It was a good, hearty soup for the still chilly days of spring. I still make the same soup but with a few changes. First of all, I no longer save the pan drippings. I usually get a spiral cut ham with honey glaze these days. The sugar and spices in the glaze get into the drippings and add a terrible flavor to soup. Likewise, I don’t use the ham bone for stock. I usually get a small ham as I’m not serving 15 or more people like my mother did and the ham bone just isn’t large enough to make much stock. I substitute chicken stock as ham stock is not made. And then I have switched from navy beans to Anasazi beans. Well, I still think of it as the same soup.

I use to think all dried beans were created equal but not anymore. Some beans like navy beans and Anasazi beans hold their shape well when cooked. Others like pinto beans get mushy and fall apart. That’s why pinto beans are used for refried beans, they mash easily, whereas navy beans or Anazasi beans do not mash well and refried beans made with them are mealy. Other beans such as black turtle beans have distinctive flavors.

Anasazi beans are my favorite soup bean. The name Anazasi Bean® is a trademark used to popularize the bean as a gourmet bean beginning in the 1980s. The bean is also called Aztec bean, cave bean, New Mexico Appaloosa and Jacob’s Cattle. The bean cooks quickly (for a bean), stays firm and has a little more flavor than some other dried beans.

The only other ingredient that you might not be familiar with is chipotle pepper. Chipotle peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried. The pepper gives a nice earthy taste and a little spice to the soup. I can buy the pepper either whole or ground. I use to buy it in the Mexican section of the grocery store but it is now in the regular spice section. I add either 1 whole pepper or 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper to the pot. I’m recommending that you start out with 1/8 teaspoon, add more if you like.

Anasazi Bean is a registered trademark of Adobe Milling in Dove Creek, Colorado.

Anasazi Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Anasazi beans
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 strips bacon or 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes or chicken stock base for 2 quarts liquid
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried and ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  1. Degas beans by placing beans and 2 quarts of water in 3 quart cooking pot, bring to a boil, remove from heat and place lid on pot, let cool (about 1 hour), then drain beans discarding water. Anasazi beans cook quickly for beans and will be cooked or nearly so by the time the water cools. Remove beans from pot if you haven’t already and continue with same pot.
  2. If you choose to use bacon fry until fat is converted to oil. This will take about 5 minutes, stir occasionally. The bacon will be “floating” in oil and the fat will be covered with tiny bubbles when it is finished.
  3. Saute onion in bacon fat (I leave the bacon in the pot) or olive oil.
  4. Add beans and remainder of ingredients including 2-2 1/2 quarts of water and simmer until vegetables are done, 15-20 minutes.

 

 

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Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

by Nancy on October 25, 2011

in Main Dish,Soups

It turned cold and rainy here this week so I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup. I could cut the recipe down but I freeze the leftovers in 2 cup (single serving) microwaveable containers. I can pull one out of the freezer and heat it for a quick lunch later.

Like all of my soups, this one takes less than an hour to make from start to bowl. I like my vegetables to be firm and the individual flavors of the ingredients to be discernable. Long cooking times probably destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients too.

You can easily substitute meats in this recipe. Cooked chicken or turkey from that holiday bird coming up work well. I’ve occasionally made this with beef and then substituted beef bouillon for the chicken bouillon also.

The noodles are added just before serving and boiled for 10 minutes or as recommended on package. They absorb liquid as they cook and will double in size. If you put leftover soup in the refrigerator the noodles will continue to grow to about  3 times their original size. They still taste good but there won’t be much broth left in the dish. You may want to add more chicken bouillon prepared according to package directions.

Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

Makes 4 quarts.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken in 1″ slices
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 cup celery coursely diced
  • 2 cups baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes or 4 tablespoons chicken bouillon base
  • 5 small bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 ounces wide noodles
  1. In 4 quart pot saute chicken and onion in olive oil.
  2. Add remainder of ingredients except noodles and simmer until carrots are tender.
  3. Ten to fifteen minutes before serving add noodles and boil 10 minutes.

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Fried Rice

by Nancy on June 14, 2011

in Main Dish

I’ve heard a story that a Chinese king was traveling and stopped unexpectedly at a peasant’s house for the evening. The peasant made a dish of leftovers to serve the king, the king loved it, and thus fried rice was invented. Now this story has multiple problems if you stop to think about it but for a cooking blog the idea of fried rice using up a variety of leftovers is at least plausible. Unless you live in my house. I rarely have enough of even one leftover to add to fried rice much less 5 or 6.

Although I have a basic recipe for fried rice, I vary it according to what meat I have on hand or what vegetables are in season. In spring I might add snow peas, in summer zucchini or in winter frozen corn. I’m even more likely to vary the ingredients depending on which child is eating with us. One doesn’t like peas, another doesn’t like mushrooms, etc. I always add carrots and a green vegetable like bell pepper or celery for color appeal. And I might even add some leftovers if I have them. All ingredients should be cut into bite sized pieces. I use peanut oil to fry my fried rice although any vegetable oil can be used. Peanut oil adds some flavor of its own which isn’t bad in fried rice but I use it because you can fry foods hotter in peanut oil without the oil smoking or the food burning.

For a vegetarian dish, double or triple the mushrooms and omit the meat.

Fried Rice

  • 3 cups steamed rice
  • 2 cups shrimp, chicken or pork
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 bell pepper or 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup corn, peas or snow peas
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Serves 4.

  1. Clean shrimp or cut chicken or pork into bite sized pieces.
  2. Cut onion, carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper, celery and other fresh vegetables into bite sized pieces. Mince garlic.
  3. In large skillet or wok, saute meat and garlic in oil until cooked through. If using shrimp, remove shrimp from skillet.
  4. Add onion, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas, bell pepper and celery (and other vegetables except frozen or canned) and saute.
  5. Move food away from center of skillet and pour in beaten egg. Scramble egg breaking it into bite sized pieces.
  6. Add frozen or canned corn or peas and other frozen, canned or precooked vegetables. Heat through.
  7. Add rice and soy sauce. Heat through stirring frequently. Serve.

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Gazpacho

by Nancy on May 3, 2011

in Appetizers,Soups,Vegetarian

If you have been following Kuchen Together, you probably guessed that gazpacho is not an old family recipe. Carrie and I both live in Silicon Valley which has a multiethnic population. When Carrie was in elementary school, the school of 500 had students speaking 17 different first languages. Eating with friends and acquaintances has introduced us to wonderful foods from all over the world and gazpacho is one of them. I’m posting this recipe for the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo which is celebrated here by people of all ethnicities.

There are hundreds, thousands of recipes for gazpacho. This one is the one I use. It has a nice, fresh flavor, a bit of bite and is fast and easy to prepare.

Gazpacho

  • 1  46 oz can tomato juice
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Peel and seed cucumber.
  2. Place garlic in blender with 1/2 cup tomato juice and puree.
  3. Chop cucumber, onion and bell pepper into pieces.
  4. Add cucumber, onion and bell pepper to blender and fill blender with tomato juice.
  5. Blend on slow speed just until vegetables are chopped to about 1/4 inch in size.
  6. Mix all ingredients in bowl and chill.

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