two skinny jenkins


130306 – Easy Corn and Tomato Soup
130307, 11:34 am
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH, SIDE | Tags: , , , , ,

corn-tomato-soupI have finally used up our roasted chicken from the other night.  I was shocked at how much meat was there was.  I shredded it and slow baked it to make a nice, crispy, lightly salted garnish for our soup.  This soup is a combination of several recipes I perused online.  If I make it again, I’ll definitely blend it more.  The only food processor i have here in Guate is this tiny thing that barely chops stuff up enough for pesto.  Otherwise, I think the flavors were really good, especially with the garnish.

[Serves 4-6]

Soup

  • 4 corn cobs
  • 6-7 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
  • 3 T evoo

Garnish

  • 3 T coarse chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 1/2 C roasted chicken

Method

  1. Husk the corn, chop off all the kernels and set them aside.  Place the cobs in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat and let the cobs steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.  Arrange tomatoes and garlic so they’re spaced evenly apart on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to wrinkle.
  3. Once the corn stock is finished, strain it into a medium sized pot (or large if you have another large one).  Add tomatoes, onion, halved jalapeno, garlic and the extra evoo from cooking.  Simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Then add reserved corn kernels and cook another minute or two.
  4. While the veggies are simmering, turn the oven down to 350F and bake the shredded chicken on the same baking sheet that the veggies were on for 20 minutes, stirring after 10.
  5. Working in batches, transfer soup to a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.  At this point I wanted to cook off more of the liquid, but you can also make the soup ahead of time and just refrigerate till you’re ready to serve.
  6. Garnish each bowl with a quarter of the avocado, chopped, crunchy chicken and cilantro.


130220 – Guatemala!
130220, 11:10 am
Filed under: FUN | Tags: , ,

Livingston_Tapado-sq

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately… Joe and I are in Guatemala! Though the place we’re staying has a small kitchen (no smaller than MIT!), we’ve been eating out nearly every meal. Last weekend we went on a little excursion to the Caribbean via Rio Dulce – a huge, beautiful river fed by Largo Isabella, the biggest lake i have ever seen. Along the way, in Livingston, I sampled a traditional soup called Tapado. It’s a coconut milk based seafood stew with spices, plantains and whatever seafood the kitchen has on hand. Mine had lots of shrimp, a whole crab and fish (as you can see).  I just love the way his – ahem – the crab’s claw dangles outside the bowl.

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Even though I didn’t bring our nice camera on this trip, I have felt too self-conscious to take any photos while on the street.  From now on I’ll get better about at least documenting our dining experience.   So far here are a few words of advice for anyone planning a trip to Guatemala:

  1. Don’t eat salad out.  If your dish shows up with lettuce on top, just push it to the side.
  2. Get a hotel with a kitchenette so you can eat veggies at home.
  3. Bring bug spray to Playa Blanca (beach flies were a little annoying).


120105 – French Onion Soup 2
This was the first time these Jenkins had tried a new french onion soup recipe – we have been so happy with our other one.  Joe picked up some really good local IPA.  The label of this particular beer, the Hopsecutioner, brings back fond memories of teenage mutant ninja turtles.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 lb red onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) slices of baguette
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Manchego (or Gruyère) (6 to 7 oz)

Directions:

  1. Bring broth, water, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook onions in oil with 1/4 tsp salt in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Add brandy and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 2 Tbsp, about 1 minute. Add broth to onion mixture and briskly simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Preheat broiler.
  4. Ladle soup into 4 ovenproof bowls set in a 4-sided sheet pan. Place baguette slices on top and sprinkle each with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil about 6 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes.


100120 – Birthday Dinner – Big Salad + French Onion Soup
100124, 8:59 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

My Birthday

Joe gets all the credit for this fantastic meal.  All I did was drive my wonderful husband crazy by taking pictures the whole time.  He asked me a few days ago what i wanted him to cook for my birthday dinner, and I responded completely out of character and requested his french onion soup.  It has become one of Joe’s specialties over the past couple years, but my memories of the soup date back to early childhood.  For special dinners when I was little, my family would go to a restaurant called Checkers – what is now the Kitchen Table Bistro – in Richmond, VT.  Now every time i eat the soup, I picture the cozy inside of that old restaurant.

Joe’s french onion soup recipe:

  • 6T butter
  • 2 T evoo
  • 1 lb onions, sliced thin
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2T flour
  • 2 1/2 C hot beef stock/ broth
  • 4 T brandy
  • 4 1/2 oz Gruyere cheese (expensive, but SOOOO worth it)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Croutes (toasts on top)

  • 8 slices of french bread, 1/2″ thick
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved
  1. Melt butter with the oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium high heat.  Stir in the onions, sugar, salt and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 20-30 min, until the onions are a rich, dark brown.  Uncover and stir constantly so they do not burn.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the onions and keep stirring for about 2 minutes.  Add the stock/broth and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. To make the croutes preheat the broiler to high, and the oven to 400F (for later).  Arrange the bread on a broiler rack and toast about 1-2 min on each side.  Rub with garlic while the bread is still hot, and set aside.
  4. Stir the brandy into the soup and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle the soup into separate bowls, or ramekins and distribute the bread slices on top.  Top each with 1/4 of the cheese and place the bowls in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is gold and bubbling.

And here is our salad:

Ingredients:

  • Romaine
  • Grapefruit
  • Spiced Walnuts (coriander, cumin, sugar, honey, and cayenne pepper)
  • Blue Cheese
  • Grape Tomatoes

Joe also made a batch of BEAUTIFUL carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert.   Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo.  The recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, but substituting a little applesauce for the oil.




091012 – Butternut Suash Soup
091012, 9:14 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

butternut soup

This was one of my first ‘specialties’.  It is a really healthy soup and made with one of my all time favorite vegetables; butternut squash.  Depending on how much you blend it, it can come out silky, creamy smooth or slightly chunky and brothy.  Tonight I served it topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and with a side beet salad with a dill-garlic-yogurt dressing.  AND a slice of Pane Siciliano – BBA Challenge #23 – blog post on that coming soon!

  • 1 medium (2lb) butternut squash
  • 2 small potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 32 oz. chicken broth or stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake  at 375 F for 1 hour
  2. brown all veggies (including baked squash) in a large pot for 5 min.
  3. add stock/ broth and simmer for 40 min over low heat
  4. blend with immersion blender until smooth (or regular blender)
  5. add salt and pepper to taste and serve! (good with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt)


090927 – Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin + Quick Focaccia
090928, 10:46 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Pumpkin Soup

I. Cannot. Sit. Still.  I have become hypersensitive to my body since ‘the accident’, though Joe would tell you that i have always been this way.  My bruised (?) ankle recovery rate thus far does not bode well for the marathon in three weeks.  AAAHHH.

This was my first venture back into the kitchen since the accident. Maybe I went a little crazy, but I had a good time.  As a note, the pumpkin photographed immediately below is not done.  It needed another 15 minutes after this shot was taken, but at that point I was ready to eat and not taking any more pictures.  It was good!  And the spiced pumpkin seeds I made after this were pretty tasty too!  I served the soup with some wheat rosemary olive focaccia.  See that recipe below.

Soup in the Pumpkin

Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin

  • 1 5 lb. pumpkin, w/ stem
  • 5 T butter
  • salt
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 C fresh white breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground sage
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C grated swiss (all i had was cheddar) cheese
  • 3 C chicken stock (I used bullion cubes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clean pumpkin inside and out, cutting a 4″ diameter hole for the lid.  Set the seeds aside
  2. Melt 4 T butter in a medium skillet and saute onions for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and sage, and cook 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and add cheese.
  3. Rub remaining 1 T butter (softened) on the inside of the pumpkin.   Scoop onion mixture into the pumpkin, then fill with chicken stock to within 1/2″ of the rim.  Add bay leaves.
  4. Bake pumpkin for 1 1/2 hours, or until outside is browning and pumpkin flesh is soft.
  5. Before serving, use a long handled metal spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin and mix the flesh in with the soup.  Serve.

Focaccia

Quick Focaccia

  • 5 C flour (I used 2 C bread, 2 C all purpose, and 1 C whole wheat)
  • 2 1/2 t yeast
  • 1 2/3 C warm water
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • 1/3 C chopped olives
  • sea salt
  1. Stir together 1 2/3 C lukewarm (105 to 115°F) water and yeast in bowl of mixer and let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 5 C flour, 1/4 C oil, and 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt and beat with paddle attachment at medium speed until a dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead dough at high speed (woohoo!) until soft, smooth, and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Knead dough 1 minute (it will still be slightly sticky), then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, at warm room temperature, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Press dough evenly onto a spray oiled and salted (optional- but good) baking sheet. Let dough rise, covered completely with a kitchen towel, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Make shallow indentations in the dough with your fingertips.  Gently brush or spray with olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary, olives, and sea salt and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.




090721 – English Lunch
090721, 2:35 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, LUNCH | Tags: , , ,

English Lunch

I had planned a 4 course dinner for our anniversary, but with moving out in 3 days, we are working on clearing out our fridge, not add to it.  There was only one thing on the menu that used ingredients we already had, English Mint-Pea Soup.  With it, I toasted one of my English muffins from the BBA Challenge this week.

chilled minty pea soup:

  • 1 C low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 C shelled peas, plus more for garnish
  • Salt
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring buttermilk to a boil over medium heat.   Add peas and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Puree in immersion blender with mint leaves and cool in the fridge (or freezer if in a time crunch) until chilled.
  3. Garnish with mint leaves and freshly ground pepper.


090408 – carrot + barley soup
090408, 9:16 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: ,

img_3222_21

this soup is so easy and so good!  AND it is healthy – it has an A rating on calorie-count.com!

thanks to jaymee for the bread.  the extra chickpeas not used in the soup were great on the salad with some tomatoes and cheese (feta for joe, bleu for me).

ingredients:

  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1 C chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 C barley
  • 1 C carrot juice
  • 2 C chopped carrots (or a little more)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T parsley (to garnish)
  • 2 T parmesan (to garnish)

directions

  1. bring broth to a boil in large saucepan.
  2. add carrot juice, barley, and chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. add carrots and return to simmer for 10 minutes
  4. use immersion blender to chop carrots to desired chunkiness (i like about 2 minutes).
  5. dish up soup and garnish with parm and parsley.


090326 – bread + cream of broccoli soup
090326, 9:16 pm
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH | Tags: , , ,

joe really wanted broccoli and cheddar soup. I hate to disappoint, but this soup recipe is so flexible, you can add your own cheese. and it’s healthier. i admit that i got a little crazy with the ingredientes, but these things happen. here’s what i did:

  • 1T evoo
  • 1 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 C water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 medium potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 2 parsnips peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 C kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat evoo in medium sized stock pot, and saute onion until tender.
  2. Add potatoes, parsnips, and broth, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and continue simmering for 10 more minutes.
  3. In small saucepan, over medium-heat melt 2 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir continually until thick and bubbly (keep stirring or it will stick to the pan!), and add to soup.
  4. Using an immersion blender, chop up big chunks of broccoli stalk, potato chunks, and kale stems. Season with pepper (+ sharp cheddar cheese if your name is joe) and serve.
The BREAD!
please forgive me, Riz, I think this is the recipe i used, but i’m not entirely sure.  I have made this one before and it is really good.  I will keep hunting around for my other one.
  • 2 cups warm tap water, about 110 °
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup flour for dusting the loaves
  • Cornmeal or semolina for the pans
  1. in a 3-quart mixing bowl place water and sprinkle yeast on surface, allowing it to stand for two minutes before whisking. Add the smaller amount of flour and salt stiffing with a rubber spatula until it forms a ball. Knead the dough by hand for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth, adding more flour if dough is too soft.
  2. Place dough in an oiled bowl (you may need to use a scraper) and turn dough over so top is oiled. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise at room temperature until doubled. If you wish to interrupt the process, let the dough begin to rise, then punch it down, cover it tightly and refrigerate. When you are ready to proceed, bring back to room temperature until it begins rising again.
  3. To shape loaves, scrape risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and press it to deflate it. Divide dough in half and shape one piece at a time. Gently press dough into a square, then roll it up tightly. Rotate cylinder of dough 90 degrees and roll up again from short end. Arrange dough seam side down, cover with plastic or a towel and let it rest of 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.
  4. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll each piece of dough under palms of your hands to elongate it. Work from middle of loaf outward, pointing the ends slightly. Place loaves seam side down on the sheet and dust each loaf heavily with flour, using about 1/3 cup in all. Cover with plastic or a towel and allow to rise until doubled (an hour or so).
  5. About 30 minutes before you intend to bake the loaves, preheat oven to 500 degrees and set racks at the middle and lowest levels. Set a pan on the lowest rack to absorb some of the excess bottom heat and keep the bottom of the loaves from burning.
  6. Holding a razor blade or the point of a very sharp knife at a 30-degree angle to the top of each loaf, make 3 to 4 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Immediately place loaves in oven and lower temperature 450 degrees.
  7. After loaves have baked for 20 minutes and are completely risen, lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking about 20 to 30 minutes longer, until bread reaches an internal temperature of about 220 degrees. Remove loaves from oven and cool on a rack.



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