Tag Archives: comfort food

Soup/Stew Recipes for the Winter!

5 Dec

I know, I know, I missed a weekend post. I went back to work full-time on Thursday after my 4-week physical therapy stint, then wanted to get Christmas up over the weekend! So my house is fully-decorated now, and got to enjoy setting it up with snow-flurries on the outside and Christmas music on my iPhone to put me in the mood.

Another thing that puts me in the winter/holiday mood is lots of big bowls of steaming, comforting soup or stew. Following is a compilation of some of those over the years. Click on the link above the photo for the recipe and a handy dandy printable PDF! Enjoy!

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Turkey Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Chicken Fideo Soup (Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup)

Chicken Fideo Soup

Chicken Fideo Soup

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

 

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Chicken Dumpling Casserole

5 Nov
Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

The last time I made chicken dumplings the hubs complained it was too soupy, so decided to make it into a casserole where it would thicken up nicely for him. Typically I would make this with celery in it, but since I didn’t have any and trips to the store are few and far between for me, I substituted some fresh mushrooms we had on hand instead. And to make it a tad fancier, I added some basil that I dried from my garden to the dumplings too.

I precooked the chicken with my sous vide immersion circulator earlier in the day, but you can substitute rotisserie chicken instead. I have been experimenting with that cooking method and FINALLY cooked a pork tenderloin that was juicy and tender as any beef tenderloin you could have!

Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Yes, pork is safe to eat when pink in the middle! My husband was a little put off by the pink, so he pan-seared his slices in a hot cast iron pot for a few seconds on each side. No sous vide recipe as of yet until I have a solid recipe for you.

But back to the dumplings. This is thick and hearty, yummy comfort food, perfect for welcoming in the winter!

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cubed cooked chicken

Dumplings

1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté onions, carrots, and mushrooms in the olive oil and butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic in the last minute.

Carrots, Onions, and Mushrooms

Carrots, Onions, and Mushrooms

Stir in flour, salt and pepper, basil and mix until blended. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add peas and chicken and mix to combine. Pour into an oil-sprayed 2-quart casserole dish.

Chicken Dumpling Filling

Chicken Dumpling Filling

For the dumplings, combine baking mix and basil in a small bowl. Stir in milk with a fork until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls over the chicken mixture.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Cover and bake 10 minutes longer. Serve in bowls with a side salad.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

23 Jan
One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

This is a recipe I have made since college repeatedly. Surprisingly, I have never posted it as it is just “one of those meals” in my rotation. When both hubs and I stare at each other after a long day at work with those glazed eyes and say “what’s for dinner,” this recipe is usually one that comes up in the replies.

Back in the college days (and even early married days) I used to make this with that canned “cream of” soup. Any flavor I pretty much had on hand. After the hubby got diagnosed with high blood pressure, that was the first thing out the door. So I learned how to make my own “cream of” soups, and it is surprisingly simple! (And certainly healthier too but it does have butter and flour.) But never mind that. It just TASTES better too! It’s a plate full of comfort, I tell you! We typically serve with a small salad or steamed green veggie on the side.

This can make enough for anywhere from 2 to 6 people, if you have a large enough skillet. I had some huge pork chops, so depending on your family’s eating habits you’ll have leftovers, or not. Don’t worry about the amount of “soup” you end up with, there’s always enough creamy sauce for the amount of meat, potatoes and onions, even if it looks sketchy at best at first. No lie!

p.s. I originally called this simple and easy, but after looking at all the steps after writing it up, I realized I only “think” of it that way, as I swear I could make this blindfolded! If you make this enough times (as I hope you will) then I think you’ll feel the same!

So here is what we have going on:

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

3 to 6 small potatoes, depending on the mouths you feed, washed and scrubbed
1/2 to 1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of pork chops, either bone-in or not
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
Several splashes of wine, stock, or water, for deglazing
1 recipe of “cream of” soup (ingredients and recipe to follow)
Pinches of dried or fresh herbs that you like, to taste (I prefer thyme and spicy oregano for this)

Cream of “Anything” Soup Recipe

3 to 4 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup of finely diced “of” ingredient (mushrooms, cooked chicken, celery… you get the idea)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium stock (any kind)
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
Ground pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash , to taste

Sliced Patooties

Sliced Patooties

First thing to do is get out the mandoline and slice up all those potatooties and onions thinly. If you don’t have a fancy (like 9.99 Walmart or Amazon) device, then slice thin with your sharpest knife. It’s OK if you don’t have a mandoline. I’m a newcomer to that game and scoffed until I bought one. I totally get it. Cut the onion rings in half with a knife (optional).

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Next season up those chops nice and good, however you want. Nobody is judging you on your spice preference.

Seasoned Pork Chops

Seasoned Pork Chops

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large hot skillet (that has a cover to fit) and sear the pork on each side, until nice and browned. I forget how long that takes as I just eyeball it. A few minutes each side, at least. Once browned, remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Browned Pork Chops

Browned Pork Chops

Add more oil to the skillet and toss in the sliced potatoes and onions and lower heat to medium. Season, to taste. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or so, stirring here and again.

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Meanwhile, make your “cream” of soup. The pans will be side by side, you can do it!

I had ‘shrooms on hand that day, so cream of mushroom soup it was! I also used some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving batch of carcass stock.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add your “of” ingredient (in my case the mushrooms) and cook until soft and the butter is foaming. Pre-cooked chicken is not such a big deal to worry about softening.

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Add the flour then whisk until it’s all incorporated and turns into a weird paste. That’s OK too, it’s supposed to do that.

Making Paste

Making Paste

Add the stock all at once, then whisk like a whirling dervish until it’s all incorporated and smooth and creamy. Strange how it suddenly happens, huh? You’ll know after you try it. Then add the milk and whisk some more until it’s all combined and creamy again. Once again, season to taste and stir in. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Now. Now is the time to put it all together. Deglaze the skillet of veggies with wine or more stock or water to loosen up the yummy crispy bits.

Place the browned pork on top of the potatoes and onions.Pour the cream “of” soup over the pork and spread around. Sprinkle your preferred herbs over top. Please, do not freak out at this point that you don’t have enough soup or gravy or whatever. Trust me. See my photo?

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Bring the skillet up to a slow simmer, then cover, and turn down to medium low. Then walk away. WALK AWAY! Leave it alone for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover and smoosh everything down into the gravy because OMG where did all that gravy come from??? Ha, told you so. This photo is only after 20 minutes.

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Cover the skillet again, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pork is at least 145 or more degrees, anywhere from 10 to 20 more minutes depending on the thickness of the chops and potatoes.

Once potatoes are softened and pork is safe to eat, turn off skillet, cut pork into serving sizes and scoop amount of potatoes and onions and gravy on to your plate that you want. Serve with some kind of green veggie or salad or whatnot. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Chicken and Dumplings

22 Mar
Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings ~ A Big Bowl of Comfort

I craved this comforting meal when the wind and cold and yuck came back to our area, and then suddenly realized I had never actually made it myself! My mom made it, I’ve ordered it from country side-of-the-road restaurants, I’ve eaten barely edible frozen TV dinners of it, but what the heck?

It was time to figure it all out myself. Do you realize how many recipes for this are “THE BEST” chicken and dumplings? And most of those I clicked on used the red and white “cream of” can. Many others had you rolling out your own dumpling noodles, which I might have attempted but I do try to steer clear from a rolling pin when I cook. But in the end, I had the core ingredients to work with and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Simmering Chicken and Dumplings

Simmering Chicken and Dumplings

Hubby was pretty hungry by the time this was cooked, but no fault of my own. He wanted to eat a late dinner after he picked up our daughter from her two-hour dance practice, but I was more than willing to prepare it earlier for him before that. Nonetheless, he said it was “too soupy.” Well let me tell you. If you let it rest for a spell, it’s nice and thick and not soupy at all! Either way, if you eat it straight away or let it rest to thicken up, it’s sure to please all who dig into it. I hope you think so too. The hint of the poultry seasoning, the bright specks of parsley in the dumplings along with the creamy broth and vegetables screamed comfort to me.  It’s a big bowl of comfort!

(p.s. Hubby went back for seconds, and he also ate some the next day. I had no complaints then.)

(p.s.s. I will post French Challenge #2 tomorrow for you to decide the Main French Dish you want me to cook! One down, three to go!)

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized-pieces
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced/diced carrots
1 cup onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups biscuit mix (I used Bisquick)
2/3 cup warm water
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Season the chicken pieces liberally with pepper and Mrs. Dash (or salt). Add the tablespoon of oil to a Dutch oven or soup pot over on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken and add to a bowl, and set aside.

Dumplings Before Turning Over

Dumplings Before Turning Over

Add the butter, all the vegetables and bay leaf, and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Season the mixture with the poultry seasoning. Add the  flour to the pan and whisk for a minute or two, until a paste forms. Stir in the chicken broth, whisking more until smooth. Add the chicken and frozen peas to the pot and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a low simmer and cook for about 1/2 hour.

Dumplings After Turning Over

Dumplings After Turning Over

Meanwhile, add the biscuit mix to a bowl, and combine with 2/3 cup warm water and the chopped parsley until mixed through. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover the pot tightly after it comes back up to a simmer. Steam the dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover and turn each dumpling over to let the tops cook in the broth for another 10 minutes or so. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so to thicken more, or serve immediately if your family demands it!

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Buttered New (or Red) Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

7 Feb

Fresh New Potatoes and Green Beans, Before Cooking

This is another one of my comfort foods. I do love to make this when green beans are fresh in season, but I was able to come across some fairly decent looking ones at the store the other day that weren’t too fat or stringy looking. I had bought the potatoes last week to make this but then forgot to look for the beans. Ever since then any of the beans I found were just not right until I spotted some nice ones on Saturday while shopping for avocados.

Now you may look at me funny wanting to find fresh green beans when all I’m going to do is cook the hell out of them in a pressure cooker, but believe me the taste just isn’t the same without them. I have tried. Trust me on this. Even though the green beans do get a bit overcooked (by 3 minutes in the pressure cooker world), the taste is still fantastic.

Cooked Potatoes and Green Beans

Now how this dish comes out all has to do with the end preparation with liberal amounts of butter and enough liquid and some milk to make a creamy broth after mixing it all around. The crushed dried rosemary cooked in with it all just makes this divine! It’s not the prettiest dish when it’s all said and done, but your  taste buds will thank you for trying this. There are rarely leftovers in this household.

Buttered New Potatoes with Green Beans and Rosemary

1-2 pounds of new or red potatoes
1-2 pounds of fresh green beans
1/2 -1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups water
2-4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup or so of  milk
Black pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes and snap the ends off the green beans. If you have the small new potatoes, cut them in half. If you have the larger red potatoes, quarter them. Put the water in the bottom of a pressure cooker with the rack at the bottom. Add the potatoes and green beans. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the the dried rosemary a bit to break it up and mix it in with the vegetables. Put the pressure cooker on high heat, and once the jiggler on top starts rocking and rolling, set your timer for five minutes. On the mark, immediately cool the pot under cold water until the pressure is relieved. Open the pot and pour out all but about a half of cup of the water and dump the contents (minus the rack) into a bowl.  Add the butter, milk and pepper to taste.  Stir well until some of the mushy parts of the potatoes break apart and mix into the butter and milk to make a creamy broth. Serve with a meat of your choice. Last night I just heated up some leftover turkey from the freezer. So simple and delicious!

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