Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Curried Deviled Eggs

1511703_10153463969706663_6496915431054466567_nWe’ve been on a bit of a deviled eggs kick here in the Cook Lisa Cook house as the eggs are a super simple delicious, ready to grab bite, for a meal or a snack.  They’re also a nice treat along with our Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms to enjoy with a drink on these hot summer afternoons when we’re kicking back and relaxing on our dock doing nothing but looking out at the water and listening to nature.  We’ve continued to enjoy the Sriracha Deviled Eggs but this week decided to change things up a bit and made some awesome Curried Deviled Eggs.  Again, super simple to make and ready to eat at a moment’s notice. 

11377207_10153463969806663_307825590304444136_nCurried Deviled Eggs

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Carefully add the eggs to the pot and bring the water back to a full boil.  Allow the eggs to boil for 30 seconds. Cover tightly and reduce heat to low so that it’s just at a simmer.  Cook for 11 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the hot water and place in a bowl of ice water.  Allow the eggs to cool for at least 15 minutes before peeling under cool running water.

Once the eggs are peeled, slice in half and remove the yolks to a bowl and place the hollowed out whites on a platter.  Using the tines of a fork, mash the yolks.  Add in the mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney and pepper.  Combine until smooth and add salt to taste.  Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag or Ziploc bag fitted with a star or round piping tip.  Fill each egg white with the yolk mixture.  Dust with curry powder.  Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thai Coffee Frappe

11141192_10153412340876663_4875616280112460535_n Every once in a while we crave a special treat and a Thai coffee is often what is desired. As it's hot outside, we decided to take it one step further and turn that coffee into a Thai Coffee Frappe.  Something a bit different and total deliciousness!!   

11391516_10153412341036663_2885813409639028822_n Thai Coffee Frappe

To the hot coffee, add the coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla.  Stir to combine and then place covered in fridge overnight (or longer) to cool and for flavors to develop.  When ready to make the frappe, add the spiced coffee, cream, condensed milk and ice to the jar of a blender.  Process until smooth.  Makes 2-3 servings.  Top with whipped cream if desired.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms

11139355_10153401353941663_3511506582072926792_nSummer is here and there’s nothing better than sitting out on our dock on a warm evening, enjoying an adult beverage and a few appetizers.  Honestly we sometimes make appetizers our meal during the summer as it’s laid back, easy and seriously, who wants to spend time in the kitchen over the stove or have the oven running for hours.  Fun-finger-food followed by marshmallow kabobs (roasted marshmallows) for dessert sure sounds perfect in our minds.  Yes, just call me Mrs. Flax.

11391173_10153401353836663_6446851691983541475_nSo with summer here, our search this month for our Secret Recipe Club had us looking for appetizers.  Our blog assignment this month was Andrea’s Adventures in all Things Food.  A few of her recipes caught our attention, including her Lamb Stew 'en Papillote', also delicious looking was her Thai inspired Chicken Patties with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce, and her Fast and Flavorful Pineapple Mango salsa, which probably will be making an appearance on our table this summer, but as I said, we really wanted an appetizer.  In the end it was her Chipotle stuffed mushrooms we chose to make and enjoy.

10685337_10153401353876663_4813070643946948916_nAndrea’s blog shows her life with her children, there are lots of home and craft ideas and books, as she really seems to love reading.  Of course there are lots of recipes too and along with those recipes she does a lot of product reviews, endorsements and giveaways.  In this recipe she used Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce.  We didn’t have the sauce and chose not to purchase it just for this recipe, so instead we used chipotle powder to get that nice spicy, smoky kick which was a wonderful contrast to the creaminess of the cream cheese.  The other change we made to the recipe was we chose to leave out the panko, to make the recipe lower in carbs and we also left out the egg yolk because in truth, we just forgot to put it in…oops!  All-in-all, the mushrooms were wonderful and they held together well and will be made again and again as we enjoy our summer appetizer meals. 

11062904_10153401353981663_7800279047532633352_n Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms (Adapted from here)
  • 1 TBS. olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 48 oz. of button mushrooms, stems removed and chopped finely 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. natural pork sausage
  • 3/4 tsp. Chipotle powder
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened  
  • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded (NOT the powdered dry grated)
  • extra shredded Parmesan for topping
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
Heat 1 TBS. olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onion until golden, add the chopped mushroom stems and sauté until soft.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up until no pink remains..  Add the chipotle powder and stir to combine, cook for a bout 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream cheese and stir to combine.  Add the Parmesan and stir to combine.   Cool slightly.  Fill each mushroom cap with filling and top with a little more Parmesan cheese.  Place the filled mushroom caps on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened and the filling has turned golden brown. 
Plate and serve immediately.
Enjoy!
My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Grilled Pizza Sandwich
Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Mascarpone Soup 
Hearty Bacon, Turkey & Vegetable Frittata
Chicken Satay with Sunbutter “Peanut” Sauce
Asian Pork Chops
Mango Salsa 
Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing
Beef Keema  
Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu
Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries
Zesty Zucchini Skillet
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
and
Home Style Chicken Curry
Check out the new SRC blog for more exciting recipes from past reveals

Monday, May 11, 2015

No-Bake Energy Bites

1510576_10153290979066663_8334729665376122679_nIt seems like forever ago, a friend, Alison, posted a recipe on Facebook for these No-Bake Energy Bites and we thought they would be a hit with Maisie.  That thought was immediately confirmed when Alison shared some of the ones she made with Maisie and she begged to make them that very night!  We have made these bites numerous times and they’re still a requested favorite.  They are simple to make and hold up well in her lunch and gym snack bags. 

10649855_10152757584426663_4551740940910109045_nThe original recipe came from Maggie’s blog, Smashed Peas & Carrots, where she states “You can substitute almost anything for any of the ingredients to work around food allergies, special diets, etc. Soybutter, almond butter, cashew butter, sun butter, etc all works in place of peanut butter. You can use creamed or liquid honey, or agave nectar or even maltitol syrup in place of the honey. If you do not like or cannot eat coconut try some type of crushed cereal, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, granola, cocoa powder...the possibilities are really endless. If you cannot find ground flaxseed you can buy it whole and grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or magic bullet or you can substitute any other dry ingredient in it's place. Yes, the mini chocolate chips can be regular sized or carob or you can use raisins, cranberries, goji berries, or crushed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, whatev) of some kind.”  We have stuck to the recipe below because it’s a winner in Maisie’s book but if you try other options, let us know what you did and how they turned out!

10995615_10153290979006663_5629799065036967770_nNo-Bake Energy Bites  (from here)

In a medium bowl, mix everything above together until thoroughly incorporated. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

21752_10153332458626663_4788849239166587829_nWe can hardly believe that it’s May already and Maisie’s summer break begins in just 2 weeks!!  One of our favorite appetizer items which always seems to show up at summer parties, are deviled eggs.  We have made them on a few occasions but honestly, they were never any good.  For some reason other people’s eggs always taste wonderful and ours have been just bland and nothing special.  Well all that has now changed since we found Sid’s recipe for Sriracha deviled eggs aka Tates Hell on her blog, Sid's Sea Palm Cooking.  This month for Secret Recipe Club we were assigned Sid’s blog and let me tell you, she is one lady that loves to cook and entertain.  She host’s monthly Tapas nights, cooks for her boat club and prepares numerous senior lunches, all in addition to just general cooking. 

When we first perused her blog we really were drawn to a number of her Danish dishes, including her Frikadeller with ground turkey, Kro pork with grapes and Rødgrød med Fløde.  Then there were a few recipes, also Danish, which we’ve set aside to make for the holidays when we allow some special treats into our diet.  Check out these tasty treats which we’ve tucked away, kringle weinerbrod, mazarin tarts and adorable marzipan fruits.  In the end though it was the deviled eggs which called our name and we’re delighted that they did as this recipe is kick-a$$ fabu!  We really love not only the wonderful flavor of the eggs but the nice hot spiciness too.  No more will we be limited to enjoying deviled eggs only when others chose to make and share them, now we can enjoy delicious Sriracha Deviled Eggs anytime we desire.

11196256_10153332458216663_8824872385417613065_nWe buy local free-range eggs, which are often just gathered minutes before we purchase them, aren’t the colors just gorgeous!  Unfortunately super fresh eggs aren’t good to hard boil as they’re near impossible to peel, no matter what trick or techniques you employ.  So, since we make hard boiled eggs every-single-week, we always try to have an extra dozen or two on hand as working with week-old eggs makes for wonderful and easy peeling. 

 22122_10153332458446663_2791812757254100671_nSriracha Deviled Eggs (adapted from here)

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Carefully add the eggs to the pot and bring the water back to a full boil.  Allow the eggs to boil for 30 seconds. Cover tightly and reduce heat to low so that it’s just at a simmer.  Cook for 11 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the hot water and place in a bowl of ice water.  Allow the eggs to cool for at least 15 minutes before peeling under cool running water.

Once the eggs are peeled, slice in half and remove the yolks to a bowl and place the hollowed out whites on a platter.  Using the tines of a fork, mash the yolks.  Add in the Sriracha, mayonnaise and Sambal Oelek.  Combine until smooth, adding more Sriracha and Sambal Oelek to taste.  Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag or ziplock bag fitted with a star or round piping tip.  Fill each egg white with the yolk mixture.  Place a dot of Sriracha on the top of each egg and dust with freshly ground pepper and salt.  Serve cold.

Enjoy!

My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Grilled Pizza Sandwich 
Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Mascarpone Soup 
Hearty Bacon, Turkey & Vegetable Frittata 
Chicken Satay with Sunbutter “Peanut” Sauce 
Asian Pork Chops 
Mango Salsa 
Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing 
Beef Keema  
Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu
Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries 
Zesty Zucchini Skillet 
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk 
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
and
Home Style Chicken Curry

Check out the new SRC blog for more exciting recipes from past reveals

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Coquito ~ Puerto Rican Eggnog

10676177_10153046685346663_4983111553578120045_nYet another holiday treat, finally being posted in April! 

Many years ago we attended a Christmas party where the most popular drink being poured was coquito.  The coquito was smooth, creamy, delicious and honestly you’d swear it didn’t have much, if any, alcohol…until you tried to stand up and walk and then it hit you!   Since that party, this delicious drink has replaced traditional eggnog in our home, making an appearance most holiday seasons.  Coquito is simple to make, but be sure to prepare it at least 24 hours ahead so that the flavors have time to meld perfectly together.  If you’d like to make an alcohol-free version just replace the rum with coconut water.

10917353_10153046685386663_6164941852559348960_nCoquito ~ Puerto Rican Eggnog

Add all the ingredients except the roasted cinnamon, to the jar of a blender and process until smooth and blended.  Pour the contents into bottles and refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably over night, allowing the flavors to blend.  Shake bottles well before serving.  Serve the coquito cold, as small portions, dusted with some roasted cinnamon. 

Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Carrot Cake Cheese Cake Fudge

10365720_10153046685606663_1819659123318443561_nAt one of the local farmer’s markets, there is a vendor who sells fudge, and one of the flavors she sometimes carries is Carrot Cake Cheesecake.  Well, Eammon just adored her fudge so we worked to replicate the recipe at home as a treat over the holidays.  Yes, another holiday recipe which only took us 4 months to finally post!  We dissected the farmer’s market fudge layer-by-layer and noted that the fudge was the cheesecake flavor and the bottom crust, even without any carrots, tasted like carrot cake.  So, we researched all sorts of recipes to finally come up with this one which is indistinguishable from the farmer’s market one he loved.  Though there are a few steps to the recipe, it is simple to execute and the results are worth the time.

10891830_10153046685551663_5817952932113343718_nCarrot Cake Cheese Cake Fudge

For the carrot cake base:

For the Cheesecake Fudge:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and grease with butter or coconut oil.  Arrange the Ritz Crackers in a even layer on the bottom of the baking dish, breaking some to fill in all the gaps and overlapping as needed.  In a medium saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once the mixture is at a FULL boil, cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, cocoa,  nutmeg & walnuts.  Pour the mixture over the crackers and bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool while making the fudge.

In a medium saucepan combine the white chocolate chips, butter, salt and condensed milk and heat until melted and smooth. Add the dry pudding mix and stir until the mix dissolves and is smooth.  Add the Marshmallow Fluff and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the melted fudge over the crust and use an offset spatula to smooth. 

Refrigerate until set.  Carefully remove the fudge from the pan and peel back the foil.  Using a sharp knife which has been heated in a bowl of hot water and then wiped dry, cut the fudge into small squares.  Clean the knife between each cut with a dish towel and reheat it as necessary.   Store the fudge at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Peppermint Bark

10277526_10153046692751663_7817962646038635387_nFor some reason we have numerous recipes with pictures, which we never got posted to the blog.  Amazing how life, with all its ups and downs, makes time on the computer less and less available.  Need to try harder to get more recipes up so, we’re going to try and get all these older recipes posted and of course all the new and delicious ones too. 

10891955_10153046692896663_771523828393750984_nThis peppermint bark is super simple and a must-have around the holidays.  Yes, we had it back in December and here it is April and we’re just getting it onto the blog!  What’s really nice is that there’s no real cooking involved, it’s all chocolate, so fun to do as a family activity or with the kids.  Messy fingers all around to be cleaned up by hungry mouths. 

10915190_10153046692981663_6447234773647807361_nPeppermint Bark

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat, aluminum foil, or parchment paper.  Place half of the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl along with 1/2 a teaspoon of the coconut oil.  Melt in 15 second increments, stirring well after each heating.  Heat and stir until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so no scorching occurs.  Pour the smooth chocolate onto the prepared pan and using an offset spatula, spread to a thin layer.  Place the pan into the refrigerator until the chocolate is ALMOST set, about 15 minutes.  While the first layer is in the refrigerator, heat the dark chocolate along with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in the same manner as the white chocolate.  Spread the dark chocolate over the almost set white chocolate and smooth with the offset spatula.  Again place in refrigerator to allow the dark chocolate to ALMOST set.  Repeat the process with the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil.  Once you spread the final layer of white chocolate and smooth, sprinkle on the Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips and press them gently into the melted white chocolate

Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the Silpat, aluminum foil or parchment. Break the bark into pieces as large or as small as you want. If you choose to cut into squares, allow the bark to warm to room temperature.  Take a very long, sharp knife and allow it to warm up in a bowl of hot water.  Wipe the water off the knife and then use it to cut the bark.  Between each cut, wipe the knife and reheat it in the water as necessary.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Grilled Pizza Sandwich

10453313_10153221584711663_3750192831993381339_n It’s crazy that it’s already April, I swear that time is passing at breakneck speed.  Flowers in the garden are popping up and blooming, Maisie’s level 7 gymnastics season is over and as crazy as it sounds, she has only twenty days left in fifth grade and in her current school.  It feels like we just celebrated Christmas yet here we are planning for summer and some time off!!  And here it is again, Secret Recipe Club time.  This month our assignment was Nicole’s blog, Daily Dish Recipes.  We all had fun perusing Nicole’s blog and drooled over many of her recipes, including her garlic herb spiralizer fries, chicken scampi appetizer bites and her asparagus dip, but when Maisie saw Nicole’s grilled pizza sandwich she was all over it and the decision was done and made. 

10615432_10153221584486663_366078801547884549_nThe sandwich was super simple to make and as it uses everyday ingredients, we had everything in the house.  We of course adapted Nicole’s recipe to fit Maisie’s allergies and her tastes.  The wonderful thing about this sandwich is that it can be adapted any way you’d like.

10305062_10153221584631663_5946957916972381308_nThe sandwich was a huge hit with Maisie, who ate the entire thing in record time, because in her words, “it’s delicious and I’m starving after practice.”

10431551_10153221584551663_8698957454084661735_nGrilled Pizza Sandwich (adapted from here)

Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread.  Lay one buttered side down in a cold pan and turn the pan on to medium low.  Immediately start building the sandwich with a layer of mozzarella, then add the pepperoni, a dash of garlic powder and top with the remaining slice of buttered bead, buttered side facing the ceiling.  Cover the pan and allow the sandwich to cook until the bottom is golden brown then flip the sandwich over, cover again and cook until the bottom is again golden.  Remove from pan, slice and serve with pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce.

Enjoy!

My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Mascarpone Soup 
Hearty Bacon, Turkey & Vegetable Frittata 
Chicken Satay with Sunbutter “Peanut” Sauce 
Asian Pork Chops 
Mango Salsa 
Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing 
Beef Keema  
Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu
Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries 
Zesty Zucchini Skillet 
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk 
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
and
Home Style Chicken Curry

Check out the new SRC blog for more exciting recipes from past reveals

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rendered Goose, Chicken, Duck or Turkey Fat & Crackling

10342963_10153168215396663_5782792226440722386_n We recently purchased a few Schiltz young American free-range geese and we went on a cooking spree!  We began by breaking down two of the geese, taking off the leg & thigh sections which we would confit.  We boned the breasts and those were set aside to make in different preparations.  The bones, wings and miscellaneous parts were roasted and then put in a stockpot for soup.  All the excess fat and skin was put into a pot so that the fat could be rendered and the skin made into delicious crackling.  Seriously, if you’re a fan of bacon fat and pork rinds, you ain't seen nothin’ till you’ve had goose fat and crackling…off the charts crazy delicious!

11001925_10153168215136663_1707150862216834542_n

Making crackling and rendering the “liquid gold” fat is such a simple process.  It’s going to be wonderful having the fat in the freezer to use in making so many dishes.  Seriously, potatoes & vegetables roasted or sautéed in goose fat are the bomb!!  The cracking we enjoy snacking on and also using as a crunchy topping on salads and soup.  Any way that you’d enjoy pork rinds you can enjoy crackling.  This post shows us using goose, but the same process is used for chicken, duck and turkey fat.  All are wonderful and worth making.

11009121_10153168215451663_428597488666718508_nRendered Goose, Chicken, Duck or Turkey Fat & Crackling

  • Fat and skin, cut into approximately 1-inch pieces, we used the excess skin & fat from 2 geese but you can use as much or as little as desired
  • 1 cup water
  • Himalayan sea salt 

Add the fat, skin & water to a heavy pot that is twice the depth of the amount of skin & fat.  The addition of the water will help the fat begin to render and more is not needed with the addition of more birds, but if using the skin and fat from 1 bird or less, reduce the amount to 1/4-1/2 cup.   Turn the heat to high, cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Once it reaches a full boil, remove the lid and reduce the temperature to bring the pot to a light boil.  As the fat renders and the water evaporates, the mixture may hiss or spatter.  Let the fat render out on the stove for about 2-3 hours depending on how low you have your flame. Be sure to give the fat a good stir with some tongs about every 1/2 hour  The fat will start out yellow and milky butt will turn clear and the skin and fat pieces with be golden brown. Now you’re ready.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the cracklings from the pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate, salt immediately.  Allow the liquid fat to cool slightly, then strain into clean, sealable containers using a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Store the duck fat covered in the refrigerator for up to 6 months or in the freezer for a year or more.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Mascarpone Soup

1609683_10153170165466663_1127957751874947766_n We truly can’t believe that it’s March already but on the other hand, we’re happy that spring is right around the corner as it’s been a cold winter for us southerners.  And on these cold winter nights there’s nothing more wonderful than a bowl of hot, creamy and comforting soup.  It was just one of those cold days when we perused Leigh’s blog, Chit Chat… Chomp, this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment.  Leigh’s food choices are very similar to ours in that she leans towards fresh, gluten free, organic, fructose-free, healthy foods so when reading through her blog, we found so many offerings that fit in with our diets which we were tempted to make.  Her gorgeous photography skills had us wanting to jump right into the screen and devour every item she displayed.  In the end though, because it was a freezing cold day, we were tempted by the comfort of soup.  We actually debated between two soups, her Mushroom & Cashew Soup and her Roasted Tomato Mascarpone Soup and the tomato soup won out only because we had all the ingredients in the house.  I mean seriously, who wants to trek out to the store when it’s freezing outside!  We thought about also making her Zucchini Quiche to enjoy with the soup but that would have entailed a trip to the grocery, so that was going to be left for another day!  Can you tell that we don’t particularly care for freezing cold weather?  Thinking about it, while we’re here freezing, Leigh is on the other side of the world in Melbourne enjoying summer…maybe we should go visit her!  Hey Leigh, want some visitors????

Anyhow, back to the soup.  The soup was oh-so simple to make and the flavors were divine.  The soup wasn’t overly creamy, just enough to balance out the acidity of the tomato.  We changed the recipe only slightly, adding an extra red bell pepper and we chose to leave out the brown sugar.  When the soup was served, some of us chose to add an extra dollop of mascarpone and a sprinkle of chives which topped off the soup perfectly.  It’s still cold out there so make some delicious soup, our version or Leigh’s and while you’re enjoying your soup, check out Leigh’s blog, all her recipes, gorgeous photography and all of her travels to France, oh-so interesting to read.

 10997327_10153170165516663_5154935888850178579_n Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Mascarpone Soup  (adapted from here)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add a drizzle of olive oil.  Place the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers & garlic onto the pan and stir to coat everything with with oil.  Season with a little salt & pepper.  Roast for 45-60 minutes, until the the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize slightly.  Remove from the oven and carefully add all the contents of the pan, juices too, to a blender.  Secure the lid and hold it down with a towel as you process the ingredients until smooth.  Once smooth, add the tablespoon of mascarpone and blend until incorporated.  Serve immediately, adding an extra little drizzle of olive oil to each portion and if desired, a nice dollop of mascarpone.

Enjoy!

My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Hearty Bacon, Turkey & Vegetable Frittata 
Chicken Satay with Sunbutter “Peanut” Sauce 
Asian Pork Chops 
Mango Salsa 
Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing 
Beef Keema  
Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu
Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries 
Zesty Zucchini Skillet 
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk 
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
and
Home Style Chicken Curry

Check out the new SRC blog for more exciting recipes from past reveals

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