Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

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Winter Potato Soup Scented with Roasted Organic Garlic

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Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

It’s January 2014, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA. The outside temperature is -12 degrees Celsius. It’s flipping cold.

The family asked for a bone warming dinner.

I have just the dish.

Yesterday, Jane and I shopped at our local Co-op and found organic Yukon Gold potatoes, elephant garlic and Porcelain garlic, fresh Italian parsley, micro greens and onions.

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Organic Local Ingredients

I asked the family, “How about a roasted garlic potato soup with focaccia?” The answer was a resounding YES. So, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy as much as we did. Bon Appetite! 🙂 ~ BW

Winter Potato Soup Scented with Roasted Organic Garlic

Equipment:

4 quart stock pot

Wood spoon

Measuring cups and measuring spoons

Chef knife

Cutting board

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Simmering the Soup

Ingredients for 4 Servings:

3 Tblsp butter

1/2 Spanish or Vidalia onion, 1/2 inch diced

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 bulb roasted garlic, with skins removed & discarded [How to Roast Garlic click here]

1 1/2 cup Béchamel (or white) Sauce [Béchamel Sauce Recipe click here]

1 quart chicken stock

1 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground white pepper

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp dried thyme leaves

4-5 cups diced potatoes, 1/2 inch dice (preferably Yukon gold, or white potato; don’t use russet potatoes)

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Method:

  1. Place stock pot on a medium flame.
  2. Sauté onions in the butter until onions are warm. Add the chopped parsley and stir until the parsley wilts.
  3. Lower flame to medium low. Add the roasted garlic and stir for no more than 30 seconds. Then add the Béchamel sauce and to stir for at least one minute.
  4. Add the chicken stock, water and stir until all boils and all ingredients are combined and simmering.
  5. Add the salt, white pepper, allspice and thyme.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil.
  7. Then add the diced potatoes.
  8. Stir, bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes or until the diced potatoes are soft.
  9. Plate, Serve and Enjoy!

This delicious, satisfying soup is chunky and rustic, yet light and elegant.

It is equally at home at family dinner, or at your next dinner party.

Try it sprinkled with shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese,

fresh chives, seasoned croutons, or even bacon bits!

We hope you give it a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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Elegantly Presented
Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Deep Fried Crab Bites!

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Fried Crab Bites

Mmm! Fried Crab Balls

These delicious, crunchy, savory little bites make a great snack,

lunch, salad topper,  or party appetizer!

Make them for your next get-together, and watch them disappear!

~ Fried Crab Bites Recipe ~

*Filling Ingredients:

4 Tblsp butter

3 Tblsp flour

1/4 cup diced onions
1 tsp dried dill OR 1 Tblsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch white pepper
1/2 tsp green hot sauce [we use Marie Sharp’s]
8 ounces lump crab meat (inspect crab for small shells bits)
1 quart frying oil – placed in a 6 quart heavy duty stock pot

*Breading Ingredients:
Egg Wash: 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk combined in a mixing bowl
1/2 cup flour in a mixing bowl
1 – 2 cups plain bread crumbs in a mixing bowl (add 1 tsp Badia Complete Seasoning, or your favorite herb seasoning mix, to the bread crumbs)

Equipment:
4 qt sauce pan & 6 quart heavy duty stock pot
Wood spoon
4 small to medium mixing bowls
Slotted spoon or Chinese Spider Strainer (to remove the balls out of the frying oil)

Method:
1. Melt butter in the 4 quart saucepan over a small flame. Add diced onions and sauté until onions are soft.
2. Add flour and stir using the wood spoon. Stir the flour and butter about four minutes; do not let the mix stick to the bottom of the sauce pan.
3. Add the dill, salt pepper and stir. Turn off the flame.
4. Place the mix in the metal mixing bowl.
5. Add the hot sauce. Stir the mix until there is no steam left in the mix.
6. Add the crab. Using your fingers, mix in the crab just until crab combines with the flour/butter mix. Place the crab mix in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
7. Shaping the crab balls: Place about 1 Tblsp of the mix in your palms and shape into balls. Place the balls on a plate. Continue till all is used.
8. Now perform the breading process: Place a ball in the flour and lightly coat with flour. Drop a ball in the egg wash and then place the ball in the breadcrumbs.
9. Do this for all the balls.
10. Heat the frying oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162.7 C)
11. Drop about 6 crab balls in the frying oil at a time, using the slotted spoon to roll them around to be sure you fry the balls on all sides.
12. Cook for about one minute.
13. Use slotted spoon to remove the balls and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
14. I suggest that you serve the little crab balls with a basil and lime mayo, or sweet chili sauce.
15. voilà – you made a tasty appetizer everybody will love!

These are yummy delish.

We hope you decide to give them a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Golden Raisins & Almonds

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Maybe it’s the colder than normal temperatures this winter,

but I have been on a big spice kick lately.

And hot, bubbly dinners. The kind that warm you up from the inside out.

Bruce mentioned wanting to try making a chicken dish using Moroccan style flavors. I envisioned a recipe that paired it with dates, yellow raisins and almonds. Since he had never made it before, Bruce scoured the internet until he found a recipe on bon appetit that encompassed what both of us had in mind.

Moroccan Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

The bon appetit recipe did not call for the golden raisins that I wanted, so we added them to our adapted recipe below.

We were also out of cilantro, so we simply left it off. I thought it was plenty fab without it.

Okay! Are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & diced [instead of the shallots]
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt [Our Addition]
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 dates, pitted, halved
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins [Our Addition]
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro (optional)

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*Method

  1. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter; repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and discard. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of drumstick is pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates, yellow raisins, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce, dates and raisins over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro (optional).
  3. Serve and Enjoy!

This dish is warm and comforting enough for your family Sunday supper,

while being exotic enough to serve at a dinner party.

It is visually appealing, and tastes fabulous.

CHEERS, and HAPPY EATING!

Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices
Photo courtesy of bon appetit

Original Source Recipe Here: Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices by bon appetit

To See What Wiki says About Moroccan Cuisine, Click Here

How to Make… Peanut Butter!

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Home Made Natural Peanut Butter

I made fresh Peanut Butter again today!

Bruce is a huge PB fan. We eat it often for breakfast, spreading it with jam or honey on toasted Ezekiel Brand Breads or English Muffins.

One day about a year ago, I realized that I was buying A LOT of natural Peanut Butter. I decided that day I could make it just as good myself, for less. Ever since, Peanut Butter Grinding has become part of our cooking repertoire.

Pecan Coconut Butter & Peanut Butter

It is so easy, there’s almost no excuse not to do it. Plus, it tastes great, saves us $, contains NO added oils, sugars, flavors or preservatives, and does not separate! Sometimes, I go exotic and do Pecan Butter or Almond Butter instead, just to mix it up  little. ;).

Okay ~ are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

Home Made Peanut Butter

Grinding Peanuts

*Ingredients for 12 oz 

1.5 cups of unsalted peanuts

1/4 tsp salt (omit if peanuts are salted)

~ a small electric food processor

* Method:

Place peanuts in food processor. Grind for about a minute. Scrape down sides with a spatula. Taste. Add more salt if needed. Grind one to two more minutes.

At first, the mixture is crumbly, then forms a ball, and then will become smooth. It will get warm!

Place in container, but leave uncovered until cool. Enjoy!

CHEERS, and HAPPY EATING

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** It is AWESOME with our Pear, Ginger & Vanilla Bean Jam! Recipe HERE.

** For Our Almond Butter Recipe – Click Here

** For Our Pecan Coconut Butter Recipe – Click Here

Healthy Delish PB Brekky!

Throw Back Thursday ~ 1985, Restaurant Café Royale, Philadelphia, PA

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“Throw Back Thursday”

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Chef Bruce at Cafe Royale, 1985

 

Bruce West, Age 25

Poissonnaire for Café Royale,

a French Restaurant in  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1985

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If any of our readers have spent time in restaurant kitchens, you will recognize the lean frame along with the pursed-lip smirk on my face.

First I will address my unwanted skinniness. So much great food, but no time to eat. In 1985, Café Royale was a leading restaurant in Philadelphia, with a reputation. We worked like dogs, as we had big competition. The Four Seasons Hotel was located directly across the street. Philly renowned Le Bec Fin was only a few blocks away.

We wanted to be the best, so everyone in the kitchen worked constantly at top speed, aiming for perfection. For me, each day was spent making fish terrines, butchering fish, making sauces, consommés, soups, and galantines, cleaning, ordering, prepping. And then dinner service followed. I’m sure I consumed more calories in beer than I did in food.

Next, is that smirk on my face that needs to be slapped off. I was not humble. I thought I was good…real good. I could sauté fish better than anyone in the kitchen; I never broke a butter sauce. I cooked fish for international rock stars, politicians, and famous actors.

I thought I knew it all. But I had so much more to learn about food.

Every picture is a snap shot in time and tells a story.

~ Bruce West

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Some of Bruce’s Former Menus

Spiced Apple Raisin Compote & Pie Filling

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Spiced Apple Raisin Filling

Spiced Apple Raisin Filling

There are fresh apples, golden yellow raisins, and an array of aromatic spices in the kitchen,

simply begging to become something scrumptious together.

“Hmm. What can we make?” I asked. The little light bulb went on. 🙂

“I bet a raisin & spice variation of our Warm Apple Compote could be very goooooood!”

Bruce wholeheartedly agreed… So, we tried it!

Cooking the Apples

Cooking the Apples, Sugar & Spices

It came out so yummy, we are sharing this delicious version with you!

Spiced Apple Raisin Filling & Compote

Total Prep & Cook Time: 15 Minutes * Yield: 2 Cups of Filling

* Ingredients: 

All Natural Ingredients

All Natural Ingredients

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin

1/2 cup yellow raisins,

1/4 cup sugar (or stevia)

2 Tblsp unsalted butter

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2-4 star anise (optional)

Apples, Raisins & Spices

Spiced Apples & Raisins

1/2 tsp vanilla

Pinch salt

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* Method:

  1. Saute sliced apples in butter until apples start to wilt (do not burn)
  2. Add sugar, and cook until sugar melts and starts to form bubbles
  3. Add raisins, salt, vanilla and spices. Cook until all boils, reduces and thickens. Turn off flame and remove from heat.

Mmmm, That’s It!

Ours became a filling for Spiced French Apple Tarts, baked in basic pie dough.

Spiced French Apple Tarts

French Spiced Apple Tarts

You can use your  Fresh, Delicious, Warm, Home Made

Spiced Apple & Raisin Filling

to stuff crepes, fill turnovers & pies,

as a topping for pancakes & waffles, or try it over vanilla ice cream!

This is easy to make, and totally yummy. We hope you give it a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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Spiced Apple Spring Rolls (recipe below)

Related articles

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding ~ A Delicious “No Cook” Recipe!

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Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

This dessert always starts the same way:

“I had one avocado sitting on the counter, that had to go.”

When I first saw a recipe for chocolate pudding using avocado, it sounded pretty weird. But all the comments and reviews were glowing. Everyone loved it. THAT intrigued me. I filed it away in the back of my head, and life went on. The next time I found myself with that “avocado that had to go”, I looked it up on the web, and decided to give it a try it.

It is super easy, and tastes FANTASTIC!

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Mmm! Creamy & Decadent!

I’ve now made this creamy, rich pudding a few times, and it was delicious each go around. I made it again last week (yep, still delicious!) , so I thought I’d post the recipe again, but with all new photos. 🙂 Are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

~~ Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding ~~

Healthy Ingredients

Healthy Ingredients

 * Ingredients
1 Avocado, peeled & cut
1/4 cup quality Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
1/4 cup Honey or Agave Syrup (I like Honey)
1/4 cup Almond Milk (Soy or Dairy Milk is fine)
1/4 tsp Almond or Vanilla Extract
* Method:
Mix all ingredients in processor until smooth.
Garnish.
 THAT’S IT!
It is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, raw,
contains essential amino acids, and is full of vitamins & antioxidants.
But don’t make it for those reasons. Make it because…
It is totally delicious and decadent!
Your friends & family will never know it has avocado!!
Score skin & peel the Avocado

Score skin & peel the Avocado

This recipe could not be easier ~ You have no excuse not to try it!
If you do, please check back and let us know what you think!
CHEERS, and HAPPY EATING!
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“Buh-Bye, Delicious Chocolate Avocado Pudding!”
  • Recipe Adapted from Fearlesshomemaker.com: Click Here
  • For  Our Original Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding RecipeCLICK HERE