Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recipe: Polish Wonton Soup

This started out as an improv recipe, but the results were so good that I've decided to write it up as a full recipe, and make it again. Thanks to The Mister for coming up with the recipe name.

Serves 4
1 pound pre-cooked Kielbasa polish sausage (refrigerator section)
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 mini pierogis, your favorite flavor
at least 2 cups of cabbage, or sturdy leafy green like kale, spinach, or collard greens
Splash of something alcoholic, like vodka (or the juice of one lemon)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
sour cream and saurkraut for garnish (optional)

Heat chicken stock in fairly large pot. Meanwhile, dice Kielbasa into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes and roughly chop cabbage or greens. When stock reaches boil, add black pepper, kielbasa, vodka, and greens. Turn heat to low and simmer until greens are done, stirring occasionally. This may take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the green (Spinach cooks quickly, kale and cabbage take longer).

When greens are almost done, add mini pierogis to soup. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the sour cream (if using). Taste, and add a little more salt if needed.

Ladle into bowls. Try to get 2 mini pierogis in each bowl. Garnish with sour cream and saurkraut if desired.

If you can't get mini pierogis, use 4 regular sized pierogis. Cook them separately in water, then slice them in half before adding to the soup.

This isn't very Polish, or Chinese, but it's a filling, one-dish meal, and a great way to get your veggies. I made this in the heat of summer, but it's really more a winter recipe.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Original Daiquiri Ice - clone recipe

My husband's favorite Baskin-Robbins item is the Daiquiri Ice. Unfortunately, in 2007, we learned that the recipe had changed. It is now LIME Daiquiri ice, and has a LOT more lime flavor, and is WAY too tart.

I searched high and low for a clone recipe, but there were none. So, I came up with one of my own. It’s a pretty good clone of the original recipe, and a light, refreshing dessert for a hot summer day.

(this is NOT Lime Daiquiri Ice)

The key to getting the right tartness level is the citric acid powder. Usually, 1 teaspoon does the trick, but may need to be adjusted up or down depending on how sweet (or sour) your limes are. Err on the side of tartness, but not so much so that it makes your mouth involuntarily pucker. Of course, if you prefer things sweeter, use less powder to taste.

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lime (fresh squeezed, a little pulp is fine)
1 tsp imitation rum extract
Between ½ and 1 ½ tsp citric acid powder (sold under the brand name FruitFresh. Or you can go to a health food store or online for generic food grade citric acid)
1 drop green food coloring

Heat sugar and water just until sugar melts. Remove from heat and add ½ teaspoon citric acid. Stir until dissolved. Let mixture cool a couple minutes, then add rum extract, lime juice and food coloring. Taste, and add more citric acid powder as needed, a quarter teaspoon at a time. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Churn in an ice cream machine for 25 minutes. Spoon ice into freezer-safe bowl, and move to the freezer for an hour before serving.

Note: The recipe only makes a little over 2 cups, so you may want to double the ingredients.

I posted this on an anonymous food forum about a year ago. So, if you come across this recipe somewhere else on the Internets, it’s mine. This is a completely original recipe developed by looking at the ingredient list of the original Daiquiri ice, and by referencing Shirley Corrhier's Cookwise for information on how to set up a basic sorbet recipe.

Consider this recipe Creative Commons. Feel free to repost and redistribute, but please link to my blog or credit me if you do.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chicken Agumba #2

For backstory on the Chicken Agumba meme, see my post, Chicken Agumba #1.

Made a great Chicken Agumba yesterday, in the Crock Pot(TM). Even though I was bleary-eyed and not fully awake, it came out great.

Best guess at the recipe follows.

Chicken Agumba #2
3 or 4 frozen chicken breasts
1/2 can of roasted garlic salsa
a few tablespoons of olive oil (nothing fancy since it was gonna cook all day)
1/2 can of water
1/2 to 1 cup dried white beans
1 large (and we're talking large)onion, medium-to-large dice
Salt to taste

Tossed beans in first, then the liquid, then topped with chicken. Cooked in the crockpot about 8-10 hrs. Had The Mister stir it a couple times during the day.

The dish had a sweet, savory, almost a baked bean-y flavor. It was delicious. I'd add more liquid next time--probably a full can of salsa and a salsa can's worth of water. Maybe part or all of a beer if I had one lying around.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pie Smoothie

I'll be the first to admit I didn't come up with this idea. I stole it from a regional chain that specializes in pies.

A pie smoothie is made exactly as it sounds--with milk, ice cream, and a slice of pie, all blended together until it's smooth.

It sounds a little strange, possibly even gross to some, but it is delicious. I made a pie smoothie at home and was extremely impressed with the results. I used vanilla ice cream and a triple berry pie.

The berries in the pie gave the smoothie a nice, fruity flavor. The crust and crumb topping of the pie, when blended, gave the smoothie a wonderfully creamy, thick texture.

The only downside is it's a little bit rich, and is on the Frappuccino side of caloric count.

Pie smoothie - serves 2
2 large scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1 slice of pie, your favorite flavor (I suggest berry pies)
blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more milk if needed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sanguine Sangria

Zoë: You sanguine about the kinda reception we're apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Captain?
Mal: Absolutely. What's "sanguine" mean?
Zoë: Sanguine. Hopeful. Plus, point of interest, it also means "bloody".
Mal: Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don't it?
Mal and Zoe, "Safe" (Firefly, 2002)

Point of interest, Sangria also means "bloody."

But my good friend cannot drink red wine, the poor girl. Something to do with the flavonoids. But she can drink white wine just fine. So I whipped up two batches of Sangria today.

The infamous "blue" (purple, really) sangria has been banned for life.

There's really no recipe for Sangria--it's just wine, fruit, a proportion of hard liquor, and, if you want, a touch of club soda to lighten things up a bit.

Here's a few tips on how to make your own signature sangria without fuss.

* The sweeter the starting wine, the sweeter the sangria will be. The fruit that you add does not make the drink any more sugary, but it does give fruity flavor.
* Use a good wine, but not a great wine. By good wine, I mean a wine you like and enjoy drinking by itself. Don't go for the bottom of the jug wine just because you're going to add stuff to it.
* Always add some citrus. My ratio is one orange and a half a lemon per bottle of wine.
* Limes and grapefruits are bad, mmkay? Limes and grapefruits have skin that is very bitter-much more bitter than oranges and lemons-and will impart a bitter flavor to your sangria.
* Color-code the fruit to the wine. If you're doing white sangria, add white fruits, like peaches, pineapple, mango. For red sangria, use red fruits, like strawberries, cherries or mixed berries.
* Frozen fruit is fine, in fact it's ideal. Frozen fruit will act like flavorful ice cubes, helping to keep your sangria refreshingly cool before the sun sets.
* Brandy, orange, and rum are good, but pick one. Stick with liquors that will add complimentary flavors to the sangria. Orange liquors are especially good, like curacao or triple sec. I add about 1/2 to 1 cup of liquor per bottle of wine
* Add club soda, to taste, before serving. The club soda will add a touch of dryness, a touch of sparkle, and will lighten up your drink. If you don't do this, you run the risk of getting real drunk, real quick. If that's your aim, more power to you, but I told you so.

In honor of Independence Day, I now present to you red, white, and blue sangria. Can easily be doubled. (Again I implore you, do not drink the blue sangria. I only include it for sake of completeness.)

Red sangria

1 bottle red wine (Garnacha del Fuego is great)
1/2 bag of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), OR 1/2 bag frozen strawberries.
1 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 cup Triple sec
1/2 cup rum
1/2 bottle club soda

Put fruit in the bottom of large pitcher or thermally insulated pitcher. Add wine and triple sec. Refrigerate. Before serving, taste, and add club soda, up to a half a bottle, as needed.

White Sangria
1 bottle fruity white wine, dry or sweet, as your preference
1/2 bag frozen peaches
1 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 cup Triple sec
1/2 bottle club soda

Put fruit in the bottom of a large pitcher or thermally insulated pitcher. Add wine and triple sec. Refrigerate. Before serving, taste, and add club soda, up to a half a bottle, as needed.

Blue Sangria

1 bottle cheap red wine
1 cup blue curacao - must be blue
1 orange
1 lemon
1 bag frozen blueberries or mixed berries

Mix. Chill. Drink. Get drunk off your ass.