tortellini sausage soup.

Greeting from the half of South Carolina that has shut down in anticipation for a huge snow storm! We are very busy watching overcast skies in 40 degree weather, awaiting snow. And so, I thought I’d share a tasty soup you might want to make in the middle of your own polar vortex. Yes, I’m sharing a soup. Try to contain your shock.

tortellini sausage soup.

Tortellini Sausage Soup.
via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 onion, diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated
2 tbsp dried parsley
8-10 oz package refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings and add to skillet, breaking it up and getting it nice and brown. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent and the sausage is cooked through.

Add chicken broth, cider, tomatoes, sauce, carrots, basil and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in zucchini and parsley, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add tortellini and cook another 5-6 minutes, or until tortellini are done. Serve immediately.

I know, I know: you’re turning your nose up at the grated zucchini, but don’t leave these out. Grating them takes 2 minutes and it’s a great way to bulk up the soup!

Where’s the snow?
jcristg

roasted veggie and chicken salad.

For the first time ever, in the history of the world, I gave Matt a choice between bolognese and chicken and veggies… and he chose chicken and veggies. No one was more shocked than me! After making this supper, we were both pleased with his choice – so fresh, so tasty, and so hearty! A perfect winter meal that isn’t heavy pasta, soup, or laden with cheese. You know how we feel about soup around here.

roasted chicken and veggies

Roasted Veggie and Chicken Salad.
adapted from Baked Bree

Roasted Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I used half dijon and half whole grain)
1/2 cup honey
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 chicken breasts

Roasted Vegetables
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 pound of Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and quartered and set aside
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Arugula
Goat cheese
White balsamic vinegar

Combine mustard, honey, garlic, salt and oil and pour 2/3 of the mixture over the chicken breasts to marinate. I marinated mine most of the day, though I think overnight would have been better. Reserve 1/3 marinade to toss with the vegetables after roasting.

Preheat oven to 400 and line a large jelly roll pan with foil. Toss vegetables (all except Brussels sprouts) with oil and salt and pepper and spread them out on the sheet. Nestle the chicken breasts in amongst the vegetables, and pour some of the marinade over them. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, toss Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. When you remove the sheet from the oven, toss the vegetables and add the sprouts. Bake another 15-20 minutes, or until chicken and vegetables are done.

Toss arugula with goat cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and divide among plates. Remove chicken to cutting board and slice, and toss roasted veggies with reserved marinade.

This seems like a lot of steps, but it was really very easy. And so delicious!

Chicken might not be so boring, huh?
jcristg

red wine braised short ribs.

Happy new year, and happy Monday! I am trying my hardest to get back into a regular posting schedule – although I took most of 2013 to be pregnant and a new mama, I haven’t quit cooking. Some of the pictures I have in my line up go back to July, so I have a ton to share if I can just get it down on “paper!”

Is Monday too early to start thinking about what you’re cooking for the weekend? I don’t think it is. I like to collect ideas through the week for a special weekend supper, and this recipe is definitely not your typical weeknight meal. Not that it’s not simple to make, but it’s rare that I make short ribs on a Wednesday night. Who has the time? These short ribs have been on my To Make list for ages, but it wasn’t til I impulse-purchased short ribs at Publix one Friday that I finally got the nerve to try them out. (Seriously, the butcher was cutting them for another lady and I just had to buy some too. Who does that?) They are worth the effort and time.

red wine braised short ribs

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs.
via Bon Appetit

5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2′ pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 cups low-salt beef stock

Preheat oven to 350. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Add oil to a large dutch oven over medium heat. Brown short ribs on all sides (it will probably take a couple batches) and remove to a plate to rest. Drain off drippings, leaving 3 tablespoons.

Add vegetables to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Bake short ribs 2-2.5 hours, or until fork tender. Transfer the ribs to a platter, and strain sauce from the pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface, and season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce alongside short ribs – preferably over a big pile of mashed potatoes.

Y’all, to “properly” serve the short ribs, you are supposed to leave the vegetables out of this dish. I just couldn’t throw those carrots and onions out, and so they made it into our sauce, as you see above. Do what suits you, not what is conventional!

This recipe may take some time, but it is not at all complicated – I dare say it’s fool proof.

Who doesn’t love short ribs?
jcristg

teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream.

Y’all. This is amazing. Like, I made it a few weeks ago and am still thinking about it.

teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce

teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream.
via damn delicious (link is now broken/blog gone)

1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp honey
2 salmon filets
cooked rice, for serving
chopped green onions, for serving

For the sriracha cream:
1/2 c mayo
2-3 tbsp sriracha
1 1/2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, sriracha (start with just a little if you aren’t sure your tolerance!)(not that I learned that the hard way) and condensed milk. Adjust spiciness as needed. Set aside.

Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 water in a small bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, and then stir in cornstarch mixture. Let simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place salmon filets in an 8×8 baking dish, and cover with the cooled teriyaki sauce. Let marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400, and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately over rice, with a spoonful of sriracha cream sauce.

Kerri and I have been talking about how good this would be pan-seared, or even grilled, but neither of us have tried it yet.

Guess I know one thing I’m making this week…
jcristg