Sounds more involved than it really is – it’s a one hour no rise recipe. It sounded like the perfect thing to serve with the posole I have simmering. I had a little bit of cheddar so this one was made with shredded Parmesan to round it out.
It’s been a rough week – mostly for people around me. I found myself retreating to the kitchen often to cook. Definitely helps clear my head and regroup. Soup season is in full swing as Autumn is fast approaching. We may actually blow off work tomorrow and head up to the mountains to see the colors.
Today I decided to make a big batch of one of my favorite soups. It did not disappoint. I ‘beefed’ it up because I had some ground beef that I needed to use up. I’ll do that again. Yum.
- 1 lb ground beef (or 1/2 ground beef, 1/2 spicy Italian sausage)
- 1/4 of a small onion, chopped
- 24 oz diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, cleaned
- 8 oz sliced carrots (I use frozen)
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup water, as needed
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (opt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan for garnish
- spinach chiffonade for garnish
In saucepan, brown ground beef and onions. In a blender, blend together spinach and tomatoes, until smooth*. Add to beef mixture, along with vegetables and spices. Bring to low boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Parmesan and spinach chiffonade. Makes 4 generous servings.
*Blending the spinach, tomatoes together gives you a nice hearty tomato base for the soup. You can add some additional spinach leaves at the end if you like, letting them get limp but not overcooked.
Someone asked me if I could post a few recipes that limited the amount of salt, so this week I thought I’d focus on that. I’ll start with lemon. It makes a great substitute for salt, it adds flavor, a bit of bite and enhances the flavors of many things like fish, chicken and pastas. In this recipe, both ricotta and Parmesan are salty enough that additional salt should not be necessary.
Lemon Ricotta Linguine with Chicken and Spinach
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
- 2 lemons
- 2 oz fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10-12 oz dry linguine pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 6 oz baby spinach, washed
- 12 oz ricotta cheese
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan, additional for garnish
shallow dish, large pot, skillet
Place chicken between plastic wrap, pound flat and place in a single layer in a shallow dish. Zest lemons and then juice them. Reserve 2 tbsp of juice, mix the remaining juice with 1 tbsp of oil and basil leaves and pour over chicken, making sure it’s well coated. Cover and marinate for 30 to 60 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.
Cook pasta according to directions. While it is cooking, heat oil in skillet, remove chicken from the marinade (toss the marinade) and cook chicken breasts over medium high heat until cooked through. Remove from heat, cover and let rest. Alternately you can grill the chicken.
When pasta is al dente, remove 1 cup of water and then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Over low heat, add lemon juice, ricotta, lemon zest, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and toss. Slowly add a 1/2 cup of pasta water, tossing to make a sauce, until the pasta is coated evenly. Add more water as needed. Slice chicken into strips and add to pasta mixture, then add spinach leaves and toss. Add pepper as desired and serve immediately with more shredded Parmesan. Serves 6
p.s. Schedule is still crazy this week, so time for recipes, but not photos. I may update later with pix as time allows. ;-)
I wish I’d gone with the white bowl for this, I really thought there would be more contrast. This is a copycat recipe, as far as I know, nowhere does it indicate it’s an actual Panera recipe. I stayed right with the recipe as written except I added an extra handful of shredded Parmesan I had out for the garlic toast. I can say that it’s a damn good soup, we both gave it two thumbs up.I couldn’t resist making a sammich out of the leftovers.
I’ve been on a fruit salad kick. Lots of fresh fruit at the market this time of year. Grapes are a mainstay, I use both red and green grapes and I like to cut them in half unless they are really tiny. Seedless grapes are easier but I have spent a lot of time scraping seeds away when those aren’t available. Also in this one are pears, peaches, kiwis, pineapple, oranges, and bananas.
Kitteh! Here’s a 3 month old male. Mrs J says they named him Diti but she will not swear to the spelling. D. T.? DeeTee? Ditty?Mmm… cheeseburger. This one has Swiss cheese and a pile of pickled peppers.More of those roasted rosemary Parmesan potatoes. These are Yukon Golds and they are plated with sesame green beans and a piece of roasted chicken.Moar Kitteh! This is Kaitlyn, an 8 week old female with interesting coloration, a tabby/calico look.That’s Kaitlyn there – right up against the blue watchband on this kitten house staffer. They call that staffer “the cat whisperer” because she can really get a feral cat calmed down and purring.Country ribs and fries. I have my best luck with these pork “logs” when I braise them, covered, in a low oven, say 225 to 250. I use broth as the braising liquid, adding bbq sauce at the end and uncovering them to help reduce the sauce. These were finished on the outside grill but they can be done under a broiler – watch them close so they don’t char.Here’s another cheeseburger, this one is garnished with some of those refrigerator pickles. On the side is one of my favorite summer salads of tomatoes and cucumbers with onions in a vinaigrette. It’s better the next day but isn’t bad when freshly made like this one.
I saw these potatoes on a new food show on TV and they were pretty good looking, better than these. He used a deep fryer to finish his off and I went with the oven for mine. Start by boiling/steaming large Russet potatoes – put them in a pot and add enough water to half cover them, bring to a simmer on the stove, then cover the pot and finish them in a 400 oven for about an hour. When they cool a little break them up into pieces, add salt, and douse them with olive oil on a baking tray. Toss on a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary and roast them in the hot oven until they brown sufficiently. Toss the roasted potatoes with grated Parmesan and serve .I’ve been seeing people using basil butter here and there for a while now so I decided to give it a try. I used a good handful of basil leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, a squirt of lemon juice and the zest of a lemon along with a little sugar. Chop those up and run them in a food processor until they are are a fine paste, then add butter and spin that until everything combines. Roll the soft butter mixture into a tube in some plastic wrap and then refrigerate to make handling it easier. It’s pretty good on steak.
I look forward to making this dish every year when the little tomatoes come in strong. We have grape tomatoes this year instead of the cherry variety but they are much the same thing. I saw this recipe where the tomatoes were roasted in the oven before they were mixed with the usual herbs and garlic and went with that method today. I think it worked very well.
I let my bread machine do the dough for this one while we were making a quick store run. I knew I wanted a thin crust so I made a half recipe from here. They were out of the mozzarella pearls I wanted so I made do with slices. The tomatoes are a grape variety that I halved and cored with a spoon to leave just the shell. I’m a big fan of what they would term “meat lover’s pizza” – several different meat toppings and mushrooms and olives and onions and on and on, but these minimalist types are really very good.I usually add the fresh basil after these come out of the oven so that it doesn’t turn black and crispy but I’ve seen them made that way, pretty sure there isn’t a rule about it.