Beef in Chipotle Sour Cream

I came up with the idea for this recipe after making chipotle sour cream to go along with baked bean & cheese burritos. The sauce was so good, I just wanted more of it. Then I remembered beef stroganoff, which is essentially beef coated with sour cream. If I just added chipotle to the sour cream, I’d have exactly what I was hankering after, right?

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Roasted garlic fennel and white bean soup

I think most of the country has a few more weeks until warm weather, so I’m offering this deep hearty soup as a small comfort in the long lingering winter. This soup was everything I wanted it to be on the cold and rainy day I made it: warm and comforting, creamy smooth, flavorful and filling. The roasted garlic and fennel give it depth and the beans give it substance so that with a slice of bread and a hearty salad you’ve got a very satisfying meal. I served it with salty crisped salami which highlighted the mellow sweetness of the fennel and garlic. I don’t think kids should always be a standard of a successful dish but when they gobble down a bowl of soup and ask for leftovers the next day I think it’s safe to say it’s a keeper.

roasted garlic fennel and white bean soup

Ingredients:

  • 12 cloves garlic

  • 2 bulbs fennel, sliced 1/2 inch think, fronds cut off and reserved

  • olive oil and butter

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 cans (about 3.5 cups) white beans (either cannellini or Great Northern)

  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • optional garnish: crisped pancetta, bacon, or salami and fennel fronds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Coat the fennel slices and unpeeled garlic cloves in a couple glugs of olive oil. Lay out on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and set aside. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop up the fennel and peel the garlic cloves (you can basically just squeeze the cloves right out of the skin.)

  2. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add the broth, beans, and bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and blitz the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a standing blender. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve with a swirl of cream, a sprinkle of crisped bacon, pancetta, or salami and the reserved fennel fronds.

Indonesian Peanut Butter Chicken

I don’t know how authentic “Indonesian” this recipe is—I don’t even know where we got this recipe—but in our family it has gone by the name “Indonesian Chicken,” sometimes “Peanut Butter Chicken,” for years.

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Favorite Cornbread, Northern style with a Crust

Cornbread is close to my heart. I have so many memories of going to Boston Market, hashing out an absurd amount of cornbread for myself. I’m sure I wished I was allowed to eat a whole meal of it (but then, also a meal of mashed potatoes too….). And while I haven’t been in a Boston Market for years, cornbread has remained a great love. And for me, when I say cornbread I mean soft, moist, and sweet (i.e. Northern style) cornbread.

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Breakfast week! potato feta scallion (or what you wish) Frittata

I love frittatas. They seem fancy, even though they are easy to whip together, taking just a little longer than regular fried or scrambled eggs.  They make a great breakfast, but are more than suitable for lunch or dinner too. They are economical, easily vegetarian or milk free, and, best of all, adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

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Vintage recipes: Blitz Kuchen

Once, a long, long time ago, I embarked on a project called Vintage Recipes. Remember? You probably don't, and that's OK because it sure looks like I didn't either. But I'm finally getting a start! I'm looking forward to finding some unexpected winners. 

What's my idea for this project? First step, to interpret and flesh out the recipes. Some of them are very bare bones with obscure ingredients and directions.  I figure I'll follow the recipe with only minimal, if any, adjustments; then, if it seems to hold promise, I'll gradually fine tune it into a recipe I'll save forever. 

Up first: Blitz Kuchen. Lightning cake. Sounds like my kind of thing. From just a glance at the ingredients I knew not to expect anything wild and crazy, but simple and basic often produce classic, winning results (like my favorite scone and sugar cookie recipes).

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Quick & Easy Biscuits

Few things surpass a buttery, perfectly flaky, multi-layered biscuit. They are well worth the effort of thorough prepping -- freezing small-sized pieces of butter (perhaps even the flour as well), ensuring the liquid ingredients are sufficiently chilled, meticulously avoiding overworking the dough, using a razor sharp cutter, and only rolling the dough out once. 

But.....

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Family Recipes: road trip & hiking snacks

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently took a family vacation up north to New Hampshire. The White Mountains specifically were my family's vacationing destination growing up. We went there every summer we could. A couple years, we did winter vacations instead. Philip and I went by ourselves in October when expecting Edith, right at the start of gorgeous autumn foliage. But going in November was quite a different experience.

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Cream scones

These are not only my favorite scones but quite possibly one of my favorite foods. It is an absurdly easy recipe from Joy of Cooking which I have used a million times to produce delicious scones in just 20 minutes. These aren't like the overly sweet cake-like scones that you find at Starbucks or the crumbly dry British scones that need to be slathered with butter and jam. They're in between, simple and perfect, moist enough to eat on their own but not dense or squidgy. Just sweet enough to be called a breakfast treat but not so sweet as to confuse it with a dessert. 

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