Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Super Easy Hearty Gluten Free Chicken Soup


I sometimes cook for the church where I am one of the pastors.  Some of our members are on gluten and dairy restricted diet and I wanted to make a simple supper for a crowd that would be enjoyed by most and not a problem for anyone to eat.  I also am pretty busy with my various responsibilities as a pastor, as a chaplain, with my family and in my community involvements.  This morning I went to the store to figure out a quick, hearty soup to make for a meeting tonight. I don't usually use frozen vegetables, but since I was in such a hurry, they were great in a pinch.  Here is the result.  I think it came out pretty good.  It has a bit of a southwestern taste.  If you wanted to thicken it up you could blend a couple of ladles with a corn tortilla until smooth, pour it back in and bring it to simmer for a bit, but I like it just the way it is.

Super Easy Hearty Gluten Free Chicken Soup

2 T olive olive
4 chicken thighs with skin on
4 chicken breasts with skin on
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bag of frozen chopped onions
4 boxes of low sodium, gluten free chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 medium red peppers, chopped
1 bag of frozen corn
1 bag of frozen Lima beans
1 bag of frozen hash browns (cubes, not shredded)
1 t. cumin
a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to tase

Brown the chicken very well in the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Remove chicken and set aside.  There should be a good fond in the pan.  Sweat celery and garlic in the fat remaining and when somewhat cooked add the frozen onions, salt, pepper and cook together until veggies are soft.  Add the chicken stock , the bay leaves and put chicken back in the pot.  Simmer for about and hour. Remove chicken, set aside and let it get cool enough to handle.  Remove any skin or other bits remaining in the pot.  Add the peppers, the frozen corn, the Lima beans, the hash browns, the cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook until veggies are soft, about 30 minutes or so. Take the chicken meat off the bone and add it back into the pot.  Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reblog: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

Here is a great summer recipe I found today from the Smitten Kitchen blog.  I want to make it soon.

One Pan Farro with Tomatoes

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Delicious Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup


This morning I woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning at the shore and I thought about heading over to Bennie's Diner. But then I saw the flat of fresh Jersey Blueberries on the counter and I thought . . . Blueberry Pancakes.  I love to go back to my short order days and cook up a batch of pancakes or homefries and eggs or whatever.  I have a great cast iron well seasoned griddle that covers two burners so I feel like I am back to at my old station at the Sign of the Fish Restaurant in Ocean Grove, where I got my culinary start.  Here's a great recipe for Blueberry Pancakes.  They were very tasty, especially with the blueberry syrup as a topping.

Blueberry Pancakes


2 cups buttermilk or 1 Tbs juice from 1 lemon mixed with 2 cups milk
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 to 2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed and dried

Combine all dry ingredients with a fork.  Mix butter into milk and wisk egg into milk.  Combine milk mixture with dry ingredients until everything is wet but batter is still lumpy.  Fold in blueberries.

Grease griddle with a bit of oil on a paper towel.  When a couple of drops of water "dance" on the griddle it is ready.  Drop about 1/3 of a cup of batter on griddle.  When the edges begin to dry and there are hollow bubbles on the surface of the pancake, turn it over and cook until top of pancake begins to get soft.  Put finished pancake in a covered dish until you've finished cooking all the batter.  This should make 16 pancakes.

Serve pancakes with butter, maple syrup, or blueberry syrup.

Blueberry Syrup

1 1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup light pancake syrup

Boil blueberries in syrup until they begin to explode.  Pour over blueberry or regular pancakes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Empinadas In Timesquare


Had a pretty awesome snack from Nuchas Gourmet Empinadas food truck.  The short rib empinadas are the bomb. We stopped by while waiting for traffic in the parking garage to clear after seeing Anything Goes, which was a pretty good show. Best tap dancing (actually the only tap dancing) I have ever seen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Trip to the Belmar Seafood Festival


The gang and I spent this past Sunday afternoon at the 26th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival.  It was a great time dampened only a little bit by the heat and the huge crowds.  One of the perks of living at the Shore is to be able to jump in the car and drive to a festival like in just few minutes.  There is music, craft and other non-food fenders, and a giant wine and beer tent, but of course the real draw is seafood.


Some of my favorite Belmar area seafood restaurants were there including Mr. Shrimp (my current favorite) and Ollie Klein's (the fish I grew up on when the owner was the chef at Evelyn's which has sadly departed from the Belmar restaurant scene.)  There were some higher end representatives including Mumfords, 40 North Oyster Company and Anthony's of Little Italy.  However at an event like this, the key is to eat seafood you love in as close to it's natural state as possible.  The highlight of my eating adventures was a platter of 4 cherrystone clams and 4 nice plum oysters.  What made it taste even better is that this delectable plate of raw mollusks cost me only 5 bucks. It was pretty impressed with the shuckers.  The guy who was preparing my plate told me that he shucks about 2000 briny packets a day.



Nick joined me in his own feast of raw mollusks.  Bria chose a platter of seared tuna, coconut shrimp with a side of rice and arugla. Becca had a crab cake sandwich and a buffalo shrimp taco.  Christine enjoyed a New Jersey speciality, deep fried crunchy soft shell crab on a sandwich with lettuce and tarter sauce.



There were some great choices for deserts if you were interested.  Nick opted for a deep fried oreo which was shared among the group.  Becca had a crape folded over a ricotta and chocolate chip filling.  For me, being the frugal guy that I am, I was thrilled that 7 Eleven had a truck there giving out free, pretty generous samples of slushy.



If you plan to attend the Belmar Seafood Festival next year, I would give you two hints.  Try to go on Friday night.  The attendance is a little lighter and according to one of the worker, this years festival had the largest attendance in it's history, so on the last day, crowds were definitely bordering on intolerable. The second hint is to park in at the Marina or train station and use the free shuttles provided by the festival.  I am looking forward to enjoying some of the other great foodie and fun festivals this summer.  It's great to live at the Jersey Shore.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Eat Sustainable Seafood

This past fall, I had one of the best fishing trips of my life. Frank, Matt and I boarded the Gambler in Point Pleasant, NJ in quest of the mighty striped bass. This is game fish that had been overfished in Jersey waters to the point of extinction a few years ago. Thankfully, agressive fish management has brought back the stocks in Jersey to level that enabled our party to limit out with lunker bass that looked like this:



Proudly display our catch, including Frank's pool winner

All conscientious foodies should be concerned about the problem of overfishing.  Only sustainable fish should be eaten.  Here's why:



Also, only herbivore farm raised fish should be eaten.  If a fish is carnivore, only wild fish should be eaten.  That is why wild salmon is should be chosen over farm raised salmon.


Here is a handy dandy guide to help you make ethical choices when it come to eating seafood:  Seafood Watch.

Happy fishing!  Enjoy!


Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Leftover Treat -- Bubble and Squeak


I am cooking up a batch of Bubble and Squeak for lunch with the sweetheart.  Bubble and Squeak uses the leftover veggies from your St. Patty's Day feast.  (Our's was a doozy this year).   It is simple and fun.  It gets it's name from the noises the pan makes as the treat cooks in it's black cast iron pan.  Here is how you make it:

Take a good amount of butter (I used 3 T) and melt it in a cast iron pan. (Has to be a cast iron pan).  Dice some onions and cook it in the pan.  Mash up your left over potatoes, carrots, turnips.  Whatever you had in the pot with your corned beef or smoked pork butt.  Slice up your left over cabbage and mix it with the veggies mash.  Put it into the pan, mash it down and cook for 10 or 15 minutes until it is nice an brown on one side.  Flip it out on a cutting board, slide it back in the pan and brown the other side.  Eat it with butter, malt or cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  Enjoy!