Rosemary Shortbread

This is not your typical shortbread cookie. These are a bit savory and a just sweet enough to enjoy with a good cup of coffee.

Ingredients

1 tsp Caraway seeds
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg, beaten
Coarse sugar

Preparation

Toast caraway seeds over medium-high heat until fragrant tossing occasionally. Coarsely chop and set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high, beat butter, granulated and powdered sugar and salt until very light and fluffy (about 7-10 mins). More air in the butter is better for tender cookie.

Reduce speed and add flour, caraway seeds and rosemary. Mix just enough to combine.

Press dough into 2 8″ diameter cake pans. Brush with egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and some rosemary.

Bake until golden brown for about 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until cool. Turn out and cut.

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

This is a very simple and easy to make soup that is everything but simple in taste. Perfect for those cold wet winter days.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon Sriracha

Relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream, nutmeg and Sriracha. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.

Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

Here is the source of this very tasty recipe (I tweaked it a tiny little bit): The Food Network

Mushroom Risotto

A classic dish that can be customized to your liking. Risottos are very easy to prepare, freeze and microwave well. This one uses an assortment of wild mushrooms that makes it an ideal winter dish.

Ingredients

2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 cup Arborio rice
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp Thyme
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup peas (frozen ok)

Preparation

  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep frying pan and saute the mushrooms and onions on medium heat.
  • Heat the stock in a separate pot and keep warm.
  • Add the rice and stir until the rice is translucent.
  • Add the stock on ladle at a time to the rice whenever the liquid has been absorbed. If more liquid is needed after the stock has been used, just use warm water.
  • Keep stirring the risotto frequently. The more it is stirred, the creamer it gets.
  • When the rice is almost done, add the Thyme, peas and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once done, take of the heat and stir in the cheese.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

taginechickenBring the flavors of the far away home. A great and simple recipe with fresh lemon and mild spices. Can be made with only the things stocked in a regular kitchen.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 4 medium breasts)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 6 medium thighs)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 lemon zest strips (2-inch-long), from 2 lemons
8 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 8 teaspoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
Water, as needed for reheating
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (for serving)
2 medium cloves garlic, mashed to a fine paste (for serving)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (for serving)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Preparation

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the flour, shaking to remove the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. Repeat with 2 more tablespoons of the oil and the remaining chicken, and transfer to the plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, lemon zest strips, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned at the edges, about 7 minutes (add 1 tablespoon of water if the pan gets too dark). Stir in the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the broth and honey, scraping up any browned bits.
  • Add the browned chicken thighs, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and then arrange the breasts in a single layer on top of the carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Transfer all of the chicken to a clean plate and tent with foil. Stir in the olives and apricots, return to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has thickened slightly and the carrots are tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces (alternatively, the breasts and thighs can be left whole). Remove the strips of lemon zest, stir in the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste.