Scottish Cockie Leekie

It is likely convicted Scottish witch Helen Duncan enjoyed this traditional Scottish soup.

An ancient dish, with prunes included in the ingredients, is mentioned as early as the 16th century. It is often served at Burns Suppers or St Andrew’s Night Dinner (30 November) as well as an everyday soup in winter. Some people omit the prunes though.

It is also notorious for being on the Titanic menu on the day the boat sank.

Titanic Menu Card

Titanic Menu Card

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

1 stewing chicken, 4-5 pounds

1lb leeks (about 12) cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 pints stock or water

1oz long grained rice

4oz cooked, stoned prunes

One teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper

Garni of bay leaf, parsley, thyme

3 slices of bacon

Directions

Put the chicken and bacon in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and remove any scum. Add three-quarters of the leeks, (green as well as white sections), herbs (tied together in a bundle), salt and pepper and return to the boil. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours, adding more water if necessary.

Remove the chicken, bone and cut into small pieces and add them back into the soup. Add the rice, honey, drained prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a little chopped parsley.

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Coq Au Vin Et Miel

250px-Coq_au_vin_rouge

It’s perfect weather for a great pot of Coq Au Vin…  avec Miel!! 

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

6 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 1/4 lb. chicken legs and thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb.  mushrooms

3/4 lb. shallots, halved

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups full bodied red wine

6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 yellow onion, cut in half

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:

Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the skillet, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the red wine, the honey and the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon, chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots, the herbs, the bay leaf and the yellow onion. Simmer until the chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Skim the fat off the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard the herbs and yellow onion and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to Dutch oven. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with noodles or boiled or mashed potatoes.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 16 – Onion and Garlic Soup For A Snowy Day

onion garlic soup

It’s a cold and snowy day in Cincinnati and everything is quiet outside. I didn’t feel like going out, so I made this lovely soup from what I had on hand. I’m pretty sure it’s good for whatever ails you, and will also keep any Vampires away!

Yield:  1- 2 servings

Ingredients

1  thinly sliced large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus additional to taste

1/4 teaspoon honey (helps the onions to brown)

1  tablespoon almond flour

3 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup  dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Directions

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions and garlic, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and honey. Cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown.

After the onions and garlic are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed.

Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 15 – Chicken, Hunter Style

MB2B27_Chicken_Hunter_Style_lg

Uhh, some of you may have noticed that there was a long weekend-shaped hole between Day 14 and Day 15 of the Romancing the Bee Diet…

I was visiting my daughter Molly and the adorable Baby Lucy in Chicago, and between the pizza, the macarons and the three course luncheon at the American Girl Doll Store, I kind of fell off the Diet Wagon.

I’m back on it though, without sustaining too much damage.  After all, the RTBD should be a joyous way of life, not an exercise in Food Deprivation. 

This Chicken Cacciatore recipe is fabulous, and made it easy for me to return to low Glycemic Index eating. 

Of course, I’ll be madly working to create a recipe for RTBD  macarons to further enhance the RTBD experience!!  🙂

macarons

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (5-6 pound) chicken cut into eighths

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned

4 ounces thick cut bacon, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices

1 tablespoon honey

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or capers

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Basil sprigs

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large plate.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and bacon and cook until golden brown, season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, honey and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken, mushrooms and bacon to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and tent loosely with foil.

Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar and basil and pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 4 – Broiled Scallops With Wine Sauce

scallops

Day 4 of the Romancing the Bee diet is going well!  I am continuing to lose, and what is even better is that I feel great!!  I was definitely eating too much of the wrong things!!

This won’t be an all seafood diet, I promise.  It’s just what I’m craving right now.

Yield:  2-4 servings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/8 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon minced shallot

2 tablespoons butter

Olive oil

1/2 pound of scallops

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a skillet over medium heat, mix chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, honey, shallot and garlic. Cook and stir until the liquid had been reduced to 2 tablespoons. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the butter until the liquid combines with it and turns into a creamy sauce. Remove from heat.

Brush scallops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on cooking sheet. Broil about 2 minutes on each side or until opaque.

Serve scallops with wine sauce and steamed non-starchy vegetables.  How about Roasted Pears for dessert??

Braised Winter Greens

Braised greens

Kale, Swiss chard and collard greens are in season virtually everywhere. They are so good for you, and especially tasty when prepared southern-style with honey.  Try some from your local farmers’ market.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound bacon slices, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed

1 bunch kale, ribs removed

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large pot heat oil and bacon over high heat until bacon is well browned. Stir in garlic and cook 45 seconds. Deglaze with chicken stock and vinegar. Add honey and greens and partially cover. Lower heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Black Bean Soup With Honey

black bean soup

The inspiration for this recipe was one that appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine on January 4, 1987.  The recipe looked so good that by the time I made it to the grocery store, all the black beans had been sold out!

Ingredients

1/2 pound smoked slab bacon with rind

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions

1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery

1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled

3 tablespoons tomato paste

16 cups rich chicken broth, preferably homemade and concentrated, or canned broth may be substituted

1 pound black turtle beans or other black beans, about 3 cups (soaked and drained)

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt to taste, if desired

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Salsa for garnish (recipe follows today)

Sour cream for garnish

Directions

To soak beans quickly, cover them with generous amount of water, cover pot, bring water to boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove cover and allow beans to sit in the liquid for one hour. Drain.

Slice off and reserve the rind of the bacon. Cut the bacon into quarter-inch cubes. There should be about one and one-half cups.

Put the bacon cubes and the rind into a heavy kettle or casserole and cook, stirring often, until rendered of fat. When ready, the bacon cubes should be well-browned and crisp.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, garlic, thyme, three tablespoons of the cumin, black pepper and oregano. Stir to blend and cover the kettle or casserole closely. Cook about five minutes over moderately low heat. Do not allow the mixture to burn.

Add the tomato paste and stir briefly. Add the chicken broth and bring to the boil.

Add the soaked beans to the soup. Cook, uncovered, over relatively high heat about two and one-half hours, skimming the surface occasionally to remove foam, scum and fat as it rises to the top. The soup is ready when the beans are soft and some of them have disintegrated because of the cooking heat and stirring.

Stir in the lime juice, honey, cayenne pepper, salt, coriander leaves and remaining cumin. Remove and discard the bacon rind and bay leaf.

Puree soup a bit with an immersion blender.

Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls. Serve the salsa and sour cream on the side, to be added at will. This soup is best served with jalapeno honey corn-bread muffins as an accompaniment (recipe follows today).

Yield:   Eight to 12 servings

Honey Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

“Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don’t catch steak hanging around when you’re poor and sick, do you?”
Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

Ingredients:

2 butternut squash (about 2 lbs each)
4 carrots, peeled
½ pound parsnips, peeled
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup honey
3/4 stick butter
9 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon mace
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
Pitch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side up, in a large roasting pan. Cut the carrots and parsnips into small pieces, and scatter them, along with the onion, around the squash. Sprinkle the cut surfaces of the squash with the honey and dot all over with the butter. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the broth into the pan and cover it tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake until all the vegetables are very soft, about 2 hours.

Carefully remove the foil and let the vegetables cool slightly. Scoop the squash out of the skins and place it in heavy soup pot. Add the other vegetables, juice from the pan and the remaining 6 ½ cups of broth. Season with the mace, crystallized ginger, cayenne and salt. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for 10 minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or by batches in a blender or food processor until it is very smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add extra broth, if necessary, to thin it to the desired consistency. Heat it through. This soup can be refrigerated or frozen, but there is unlikely to be any soup leftover.

Serves 10

Best Thanksgiving Leftovers – Brunswick Stew

Southerners love to debate the origins of Brunswick stew. Virginia,Georgia and North Carolina all claim to be its birthplace, but the truth most likely is that it originated with Native Americans. The first stews of early America contained all sorts of wild game, and folk history recounts that Brunswick stew was originally made with squirrel meat. The modern version is usually made with chicken, but leftover turkey is an ideal substitute.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 cups leftover turkey, diced

6 cups chicken or turkey stock

1 (16-ounce) can of tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans

1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

Directions:

Add the tomatoes, corn, potatoes, onions, lima beans, and okra to the stock. Season with the salt, pepper, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the turkey to the vegetables and taste the stew for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or honey as desired. Cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot in warm bowls.

The flavor of this stew is even better the next day!

Best Thanksgiving Leftovers – Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

In England a popular short joke regarding shepherd’s pie is a recipe which starts like this: “to make shepherd’s pie, do the following — get two shepherds and mince them”.

This recipe is shepherd-free…

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon crushed red peppers

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 ounces mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, and sliced

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 to 2 1/2 cups chopped or shredded roast turkey (white and/or dark meat)

1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth

1/2 cup green peas

4 cups leftover mashed potatoes or Basic Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows

3/4 cup grated sharp or medium Cheddar

Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square or 2.2 quart baking dish with the butter and set aside.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, red peppers, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the meat and stir well to combine. Gradually add the stock, honey, and then the peas, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Carefully transfer to the prepared dish and spoon the potatoes over the meat mixture, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the potatoes are crisp around the edges, 22 to 25 minutes.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Basic Mashed Potatoes:

2 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered, cut into 1-inch wedges

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a medium, heavy saucepan with enough salted water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain in a colander and return to the saucepan. Over medium-low heat, cook the potatoes for 1 minute to dry. Add the milk, butter, cream, honey, salt and pepper and mash until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings