Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy as a clam

I love this clam chowder. The recipe is a tweaked version of Market Street Grill's. That's a top-notch seafood restaurant here. I took out the sherry wine and lowered the pepper amount because I'm afraid of spice. It is a wonderful soup -- definitely the best clam chowder I know. It is creamy and flavorful. Dip a fresh chunk of French bread into it and you'll be happy as a clam.

THE RECIPE:

1 c. diced potatoes (1/2 inch)
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced green pepper
1 c. diced carrots
2 6-ounce cans chopped clams, liquid drained and reserved
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 bay leaves
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce (this is a must)
2 3/4 c. water
3/4 c. clam juice (reserved from cans)
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. flour
8 c. half-and-half

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Chop vegetables and put in large pot. Mix melted butter and flour, then pour into small baking dish (8x8 or smaller). Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients except half-and-half to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender.

Add flour-butter mixture, which looks like fluffy little beads after being cooked. Mix until thick. Remove from heat and add half-and-half. Return to burner and heat through, stirring occasionally. Supposedly this serves 12, but I eat like a hog, so I'd say 8.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Savor the flavor

Here is a quick and easy weeknight meal: curried honey mustard chicken. Everyone in my family enjoyed the flavor. It has a little spice to it, but not too much for me, and I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods. I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com, and people there were saying they loved the dish even though they hate curry. I love curry, so this was a keeper! Plan ahead so you can marinate your chicken.

THE RECIPE:

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. yellow curry powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
Cooked rice

Mix butter, honey, mustard and curry, then pour over chicken in baking dish. I cut my chicken into large strips, but you don't have to. Cover and refrigerate as long as possible to marinate. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is done (depends on thickness). Serve over rice to sop up all the sauce. Don't let any of it go to waste!

*Technically, I mean chicken breast halves, because a whole breast includes both sides attached in the middle. Most people don't know that, though, because the stores usually sell them already split. So, I've just joined the lay crowd in leaving off the "halves" part. Very unlike me to give in. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A twist on the traditional

I only tried one new recipe for Thanksgiving this year. I made this old-fashioned applesauce pie and then sent it to the party with my siblings. My family and I stayed home and threw up all day. What do you do, right?

This pie is really great, though, for people like me who don't like all the chunks of baked fruit in traditional pies. This pie has all the flavor of traditional apple pie, with the custard-like texture of pumpkin pie. It is a snap to throw together, and it's a fun change from the usual.

The recipe is an Amish one from the book "New Recipes from Quilt Country."

THE RECIPE:

1 pie crust
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. smooth applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together ingredients and pour into pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes. It looks a little wiggly when it comes out. Allow to cool completely before eating so it sets.