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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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Risotto and Roasted Asparagus

When I was a kid, a family friend gave me a gift of a copy of Alice Water’s Fancy at Chez Panisse children’s cookbook. It’s a beautiful book with great recipes but I was a picky kid and the only thing I wanted to cook out of it was the risotto. The risotto was amazing though and has become a long standing favorite recipe of mine so when my picky eater fiance requested risotto to be on our menu for the week I knew this was the perfect recipe to make for him.

Risotto

serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat.
  2. Add the Arborio rice, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring often.
  3. Add just enough broth to cover the rice (1 to 2 cups). Bring to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the broth, one tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is pretty basic and plain but like the fried rice recipe my mom posted recently you can throw in any meat or vegetables you have hanging out in your fridge. You can also easily make this recipe vegan by substituing an additional tablespoon of olive oil for the butter, vegetable stock for the chicken broth, and skipping the cheese.

We’re pretty cleaned out on leftovers right now so I made a side of roasted asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus

serves 4

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Wash and trim the ends off of the asparagus.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Get your hands in there and spread the olive oil all over the asparagus.
  4. Spread the asparagus out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes.

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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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