Split Pea Soup with Crispy Kielbasa

January 26th, 2021

I received Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, for Christmas. This is an updated, perhaps you could call it modern, version of split pea soup. What makes it different is the crispy kielbasa sausage that is added to it.

With leeks, onions, carrots and a ham hock it rocks with flavor. Ina has a way of bringing out the maximum flavor in her recipes.

We are in Florida. It has been cool so far. Therefore this split pea soup is a welcome meal and makes us feel warm and healthy. We also were able to get our Covid vaccines. Looking forward to a better year.

Split Pea Soup with Crispy Kielbasa

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (2)
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 large)
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 lb dried green split peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 12 oz smoked kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally into ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil in a large (11 to 12-inch/28 to 30-cm) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion and carrots and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown.

Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in the peas to coat with oil and cook for one minute. Add 8 cups (2 L) of the chicken stock, 2 cups (500 mL) water, the ham hock, thyme bundle, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt and 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender and falling apart. After 45 minutes, stir more frequently, scraping the bottom of the pot to be sure the soup doesn’t burn.

Discard the thyme bundle, bay leaves and ham hock. Transfer 2 cups (500 mL) of the soup to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and purée. Return the purée to the pot, adding more chicken stock or water if the soup is too thick.

To serve, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil in a medium (10-inch/25-cm) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the kielbasa is browned. Serve the soup hot with the kielbasa and parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves: 6

Make ahead: Reheat the soup over low heat, adding chicken stock or water to thin.

Printable Recipe

Carne Guisada

May 8th, 2020

Carne Guisada is a Tex-Mex dish whose translation is “Stewed Meat”. In Josef Centeno’s new cookbook, Amá; a Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen there is no doubt that this stew shines in its simplicity. It is nothing more than beef chunks cooked with chilis, spices, tomatoes and beef broth. The 3 hours in the oven meld the flavors and soften the meat into succulent pieces.

The chef/ author, grew up having these tacos for breakfast. This makes so much sense. Folding soft meat, flavored with Mexican spices into a sturdy flour tortilla works well as breakfast in the back seat of a car on the way to school.

But we enjoyed the Carne Guisada for dinner. I have to admit that I ended up adding some condiments like cheese, onions, peppers and lettuce. They made enough that we can have then again over rice, in a bowl with tortilla chips or over scrambled eggs. I love that we can make many meals from this recipe. By the way, if you don’t have the right chilis just use what you have. I used jalepeños and 1 serrano.

CARNE GUISADA

  • 2 Ancho chilis
  • 4 Tbls oil
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless short ribs or chunk roast, cubed in 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 Serrano chili, stemmed, seeded and finally chopped
  • 1 Tbls oregano- preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cunim seed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes

If using ancho chiles: using tongs, toast over open flames of a gas burner until slightly softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stem and seed the chilis and tear into pieces. If using jalapeños: Stem seed and chop.

Heat 2 Tbls. oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add beef and brown in batches on all sides. Remove to a plate.

Add remaining 2 Tbls. oil to the pot. When oil is hot, add onions, chilis and salt and cook over medium heat, scraping up brown bits of meat until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, chili powder, bay leaves and pepper and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Add the beef cubes and their juices back to the pan. Stir. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.

Transfer the pot to a preheated 300 degree F. oven and cook for about 3 hours.

Printable Recipe

Walnut and Rosemary Baked Salmon

March 1st, 2020

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We have salmon quite often.  I find it one of the easiest fish to cook.  The beauty of this recipe is that the oven does most of the work. The salmon is coated with a mixture of chopped walnuts and minced rosemary and baked.   What takes if over the top is a drizzle of browned butter when it is plated.  It hits all of the right notes.

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The recipe is one from Eva Kosmas Flores of the blog Adventures in Cooking.  I love her moody photography and beautiful food.  She offers photography workshops and has written two cookbooks.

 

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Visit Eva’s blog for the recipe.  You will love the professional quality of her website.

Baked Smothered Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

February 10th, 2020

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If you want a simple and juicy pork chop, this is your recipe.  I am enjoying cooking in my smaller Florida kitchen. Because counter space is limited, I have been concentrating on doing all of the individual steps in meal prep (Mise en place) and then assembling all of the pieces into the finished meal.  I also feel more organized and relaxed cooking this way.

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We were very pleased with this recipe.  Sometimes pork chops are dry, but I have to say that these were very juicy and flavorful with the caramelized onion gravy.  It was a great meal for a Sunday evening.  I have to thank my husband for finding the recipe and shopping for the ingredients.  I assumed he was going to cook them also, but he got busy on his computer and deferred to me.  In my quiet kitchen I rinsed, chopped and cooked; the best therapy I know.

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Enjoy!

BAKED SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS WITH ONION GRAVY (Adapted from Wholesome Yum)

4 6-oz. Boneless pork chops
1 tsp Seal salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 large Onions, sliced into then half moons
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme
1 cup Chicken broth
1.5 oz Cream cheese, cut into small chunks

Season the pork chops on both sides with seal salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork chops and sear on both sides, about 3 minutes per side without moving, until browned.  Transfer the pork chops to a plate and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low or medium.  Using the same pan, saute the slice onions for 15-20 minutes, until caramelized.

Once the onions are caramelized, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the minced garlic and thyme leaves to the dutch oven or pan.  Saute for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add the chicken broth to the pan.  Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until it gets thicker and the volume is reduced by a least 1/4.

Remove from heat.  Add the cream cheese.  Stir in the cream cheese until it melts into the sauce.

Return the pork chops to the pan and spoon the sauce and onions over them.  Cover with a lid and bake for 20-25 minutes,until cooked through. (Time will vary depending on the thickness of your pork chops- use a thermometer to check and cook to 145 degrees F.

Printable Recipe

 

Angel Corn Casserole

November 19th, 2019

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Family traditions play a big part in most get togethers over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The same dishes are served year after year.  I remember that no one could make better dressing than my Mother. It was a classic bread dressing with basic ingredients and loved by all.  I blogged about it here.   But this year I am sharing a recipe that is not one of my family’s traditions.  Rather, it comes from Cory Baldwin; a  food writer and contributor to the Food52 website.  This Angel Corn Casserole is a part of her family heritage, passed down from her Grandmother.  It is indeed delicious and worthy of the holiday.

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I tried to research the term “angel” in describing this dish, but found no explanation.  I am going to assume that family members thought that the taste was heavenly.  That is not hard to believe after tasting it.  The corn is combined with crushed Ritz crackers, heavy cream, eggs, brown sugar, butter and nutmeg.

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I plan to make this again for our Thanksgiving with the extended family.  It calls for frozen corn kernels.  I have decided to use a different frozen corn this time.  I am going to look for small white shoe peg corn.  Since we are traveling, I appreciate that the Angel Corn Casserole can be made ahead.  Hopefully, it will become a part of our family traditions also.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

ANGEL CORN CASSEROLE ( From Cory Baldwin via Food52 )

  • (16-ounce) bags frozen corn (or about 4 1/2 to 5 cups fresh corn kernels)
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, plus more for optional garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup plus a heaping 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers, divided
  • Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  2. If using frozen corn, steam and drain the kernels. If using fresh, scrape kernels off the cob.
  3. Beat the eggs, cream, and brown sugar in a large bowl until just blended. Stir in chives and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in corn kernels.
  4. Combine 1 cup of the crumbled Ritz crackers with 6 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add to the corn mixture. Stir until combined. Pour into the casserole dish.
  5. Toss remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the top of the pudding.
  6. Bake uncovered until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.
  7. Optional: Garnish with more snipped fresh chives.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.