October 10, 2011

Seafood Corn Chowder

This recipe, courtesy of Woman's Day,  won rave reviews from everyone as a great early Fall recipe.  It carries over some common summer ingredients like corn and seafood, but also incorporates newly-in-season potatoes and is the perfect warm dish for that transition to chilly (and in our case, rainy) evenings. I know I've said before that, for a toddler, my son is a real foodie.  But I do have to mention that he loved this and had it for dinner three times in one week. 

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 oz sliced bacon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes (peeled, if desired), cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cut fresh from 1 ear or frozen and thawed)
  • 3/4 lb medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate; break into pieces when cool.
  2. Wipe out the saucepan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, wine and 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the celery, corn, shrimp and cream, and simmer until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Top with the bacon and parsley. Serve with the bread, if desired.
*We followed this basic recipe with a few amendments...

1) we microwaved the pre-cooked bacon which was faster

2) instead of just shrimp, we took the suggestion of using half shrimp, half scallops.

3) the end result is a little bit bland and I think meant to be individually seasoned.  For my son's I added more ground pepper and a little heavy cream to make it richer. 

We used Alba Vineyards Mainsail White in the soup and drank the rest with dinner.  (For more info check out the Local Haunts section under NJ Vineyards). 

October 08, 2011

Muffin of the Month: Sour Cream Apple Walnut

Yes, a little behind in posting these as well.  It just happened to work out that the only time we could get together to cook was the very end of September. The theme for this month was definitely apples, apples and more apples (which exactly describes our trip to the farmer's market too).

Our muffins for September are courtesy of  Cooks.com.  The only change I made to the recipe was to double all ingredients for 24 muffins, since I've been finding that most muffin recipes are for 12 muffins.  The main reason I came up with this "muffin of the month" idea in the first place (aside from a quick way to use seasonal ingredients) was to have another good snack/breakfast option for my child (aka, Michael Phelps, as we call him.  No, he doesn't swim, he just eats like he's training for the Olympics).  Anyway I thought 12 muffins would be plenty for just the two of us but obviously not! 

Sour Cream Apple Walnut Muffins
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. chopped apples
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c. milk
In large bowl sift together first 5 ingredients, stir in apples and walnuts. Measure and set aside 1/4 cup sour cream. Blend remaining sour cream with egg, stir in milk. Add all at once to flour mixture stirring only until dry ingredients are moistened.

 Fill large size buttered muffin cups 2/3 full. Drop 1 teaspoon reserved sour cream in center of each muffin. Top with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

 Our local farm grows fourteen varieties of apples but not all were available when we visited in early September.  For most of the recipes in the next few posts, we used Red Delicious.  Here are some suggestions for New Jersey farms with the largest variety of apples (you can also find more farms in our Local Haunts section):

--Melick's Town Farm (Hunterdon)
--Peaceful Valley Orchards (Hunterdon)
--Terhune Orchards (Mercer)
--Battleview Orchards (Monmouth)
--Riamede Farms (Morris) 

Cherry Tomato Crisp

Contrary to what the current state of the blog might suggest, we actually have been doing lots of cooking.... I just haven't been doing much writing.  But we do have plans for the next few months (more on that in a minute) so I promise to kick it up a notch as we head into the holiday season.  At any rate, in the meantime here is another easy tomato recipe that I stumbled upon after our neighbor brought over yet more cherry tomatoes.  By the way, these are quickly becoming my new favorite vegetable I think. 

Cherry Tomato Crisp (courtesy of Martha Stewart)

  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine bread, Parmesan cheese, parsley leaves, olive oil, and garlic; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Pulse until bread is very coarsely chopped, 4 to 6 times.
  2. In an 8-inch square baking dish, arrange cherry tomatoes in a single layer; sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake until crust is browned and tomatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
This was super fast and easy, making a great side dish.  The food processor was not really needed.  Also I didn't have any white sandwich bread so I ended up using...shhhh... hot dog rolls!  Turned out great.