Spicy country vegetable soup

Ingredients

6 cups chicken stock or water
3 med tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 med carrots, thinly sliced
1 med onion, thinly sliced
1/2 med green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 10 oz package frozen cut green beans
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups fresh cauliflowerets
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

How to prepare

In a 6-quart pot, combine all the ingredients and place over medium heat. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 main-course servings

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Sugar cookies

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

How to prepare

Preheat oven to 375. Butter baking sheets. Sift together dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll 1 piece at a time on a floured board and cut with large cookie cutters. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on racks. Note: these cookies may be sprinkled with colored sugar or iced. Makes approximately forty 3″ cookies

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Salsa de aji – ecuador

Ingredients

2 lg tomatoes, seeded, chop fine
1 med onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 lg chiles, aji, seeds and stems removed
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

How to prepare

Combine the tomatoes, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Place the chiles, water and 3 tbsp of the tomato, onion, cilantro mixture in a blender or processor and puree until smooth. Add the chile puree to the remaining mixture and mix well. Salt to taste. Variations – ecuadorians are very fond of adding beans to their salsa. The most popular beans are the lupini, which are lg white beans about the size of lima beans. Just add the cooked beans directly to the salsa. Or, add 1 tsp peanut butter with the chiles in the blender and follow the above recipe. Substitute yellow wax hot chiles or jalapenos if the aji chiles are not available. Yield: 2 cups.

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Thai fish curry

Ingredients

1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro stems
2 tbsp minced fresh lemon grass (from bottom 6″ of stalk)
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp ground cumin

3 large garlic cloves, halved
3/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 lb 1 1/2″ thick sea bass fillets, cut into 3″ pieces
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk

2/3 cup bottled clam juice
minced fresh cilantro freshly
cooked rice

How to prepare

Blend first 8 ingredients in processor to dry paste, stopping frequently to scrape down sides of work bowl. (paste can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.) Heat oil in medium non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 rounded tbsp spice paste; stir 1 minute. Add fish and cook 2 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs. Add coconut milk and clam juice and simmer until fish is cooked through, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Transfer fish to plate. Boil liquid until reduced to thick sauce, about 8 minutes. Season with salt. Return fish to sauce and heat through. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over rice. The mild spice paste is also great used as a base for chicken and shrimp curries. Serves: 2

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Thai peanut sauce #2

Ingredients

3/4 cup raw peanuts
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 small dried red chili pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp tamarind liquid (sam ma kham) or fresh lime juice.
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp ground lemon grass
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
2 to 4 tbsp sugar

How to prepare

Roast peanuts in an oven preheated to 325

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Spicy thai style ground chicken with basil

Ingredients

1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
12 oz ground chicken, turkey, or beef
3 green onions, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 hot peppers (seeded if prefer that the dish isn’t too hot), minced

1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chili paste with garlic, or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
cooked rice

How to prepare

Heat oil in wok on high. Add chicken and stir fry 45 sec. Add garlic and hot pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, ~2-3 min. Add green onions, lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste, & sugar. Stir fry 30 sec. Add basil immediately before removing from heat. Serve over rice serves 2

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Buttermilk pie crust dough

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled
6 tbsp buttermilk

How to prepare

Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add butter and shortening. Cut in using hands or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with fork until moist clumps form. Press together to form dough. Divide dough in half. Gather dough into balls; flatten into disks. Wrap separately and chill 1 hour. Notes: dough can also be prepared in processor. Using on/on turns, cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms. Add buttermilk and process just until moist clumps form. Proceed as above. Can be made ahead. Refrigerate 1 week or freeze 1 month. Let dough stand at room temperature to soften slightly before using.

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