As a self-proclaimed foodie and ingredient junkie, I often get the questions, “What is your favorite item to cook?” or “What dish are you known for?”  I always find this a difficult question to answer because I don’t have one favorite thing I like to make. What I made every week one month (like my paella obsession) isn’t necessarily what I’m making every weekend now…more and more roasted vegetables.

But something I always circle back to is soup.  I love it. I pretty much have it with every meal. We always have a soup prepared in our fridge to have with lunch at home on the weekends or to take in the office during the week.  I enjoy cold soups in the hot Georgia summers; like Avocado or Gazpacho; or good old traditional standbys like Cream of Broccoli or French Onion.

When I think of cold, rainy, winter nights, which we have had our share of lately, I think of a spicy Beer Cheese Soup. It’s warm, comforting, laced with jalapenos and a delicious afternoon snack on rainy afternoons. Especially when you use a hot pretzel for dipping.  Yum!

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Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup with Himalayan Pink Salt dusted Pretzels

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer of choice, I used a Bud Light
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces low-fat, extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, I use Neuchâtel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS diced jalapenos + one fresh jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Frozen pretzels (bake according to instructions)
  • 1 TBS, Himalayan Pink Salt

Directions

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft. Add chicken broth, beer and bay leaf. Heat until it comes to a boil. Slowly add cheese while stirring until just boiling and smooth. Add salt, pepper, mustard, jalapenos and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup has thickened.

Garnish with sliced jalapeno and serve with a hot baked pretzel.

 

Be sure to check out more delicious soup recipes from the talented members of the #SundaySupper Community:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

 Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday.

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite soup, stew, chowder or bisque recipes with us!

 

There are two secrets to perfect egglant parmesan:

  1. peeling
  2. sweating

The skin of an eggplant is quite bitter and can ruin the whole dish.  Be sure to take a few extra minutes to peel your eggplant before slicing it.

Eggplant is packed with water.  To make it fry up crisp, you want to draw some of the water out.  To do that, you want to “sweat” the eggplant.  That means you will slice it and salt each side, very generously.  After just a few minutes, you will notice beads of “sweat” on the slices.  That is the moisture being drawn out.  After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices with water, pat dry, and they’re ready to get dressed for the frying pan!

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Nothing quite makes my mouth water like freshly fried eggplant. Especially when there is a pot of homemade marinara close by.

Eggplant Parmesan {+Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce}

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can used jarred, or make at home)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and juices
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sugar, to taste

Eggplant:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Oliv oil, for greasing dish (I use myMisto)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2  tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into round slices (it’s your preference how thick you want to slice them, my husband likes them really thin) and sweated
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella, plus1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces grated fontina
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Emulsify with a hand blender and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with sugar to cut the acidity.

For the Eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dishwith olive oil and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl.  Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat .  Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.  Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce.  Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake another 10 minutes, until hot and just beginning to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving, slice and serve!

Check out more #SoulWarming dishes from the #SundaySupper community below:

Main Entrees:

Chili/Stews:

Soups:

Desserts/Beverages:

Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

A Condiment with a Kick

July 18, 2012

This relish was served as a condiment at most of the restaurants throughout Belize.  If you like a little heat, then this is definitely something you might want to make a weekly batch of and keep on hand to use on, well…anything.  You can adjust the heat slightly by omitting the seeds of the habanero, but either way, it’s going to pack some kick.  We’ve used this on tacos, quesadillas, mole, enchiladas and more!

What will you serve it with?

Hot Habanero Relish

printable recipe 

  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 habanero, roughly chopped and deseeded (for less heat)
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1tbs water

Mix everything together in a small dish and refrigerate. The longer it sits, the bigger the punch it packs.

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Que caliente!

I discovered my love of Ethiopian food about a year ago when Jim and I decided  to grab lunch at Desta Ethiopian Kitchen (b/c we bought a coupon from Creative Loafing) and we both discovered something amazing.  Ethiopians do not use silverware, instead, they use injera, a spongy flat bread, to scoop up bites of food.  And it’s delicious.  Especially when you’re scooping up Zilzil Tibs (pictured below), tender strips of ribeye cooked with red onion and jalapenos.  (Excuse my drool.)   Use the injera to sop up the array of spices lined up on the side of the plate and you will definitely start craving Ethiopian food…and you’ll also need that injera to dull the heat in your throat. 

Jim loves the Vegetarian Combo, which is a great way to sample a lot of different dishes.  Everything on this plate is mouth-watering and will introduce you to flavors you never knew existed.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Zilzil Tibs & Injera

 

Vegetarian Combo

What better way to enjoy Fat Tuesday (and think about what I’ll be giving up Wednesday) than with a big pot of jambalaya? This dish wouldn’t be complete without the addition of shrimp, chicken, Patak andouille and a sinus-cleansing dose of cayenne. Next time I make this, I’ll double the recipe — there was barely enough for the two of us to have leftovers for lunch!

A hearty pot of Jambalaya

Jambalaya

  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, chopped (You can buy it already cooked, or raw, and just throw it in)
  • 1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  • 2 links Andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 chopped bell pepper,any color
  • 2 ribs chopped celery
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I use 3 Roma)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup white rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken, Andouille and Creole seasoning, and mix well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and you’re ready to serve! (Warning: this is a spicy dish, not for anyone that can’t handle heat.)

Nice Buns

November 25, 2009

The meal that was the final push to start this blog, was savored last Friday at Pura Vida, in the Poncey Highlands, made famous recently by Chef Hector’s appearance on Top Chef.  A group of girls met out for my friend’s birthday and we started off at the dimly lit yet brightly decorated bar with a few cocktails.  The Capirinaha was a popular choice — a high-octane adult bevvie of cachaca (an alcohol made of fermented sugarcane), lime and sugar, respectively.

Once we were seated, we began with an order of malanga root (similar to a potato) chips, which were to die for!  They’re served with a cremini mushroom/truffle oil dip — what a beautiful presentation.  Since there was a large group of ladies, I was able to sample a lot of  items from the menu. I ordered the Chicken Empanadas and Steamed Coconut Buns.   The empanadas were excellent and I loved the habanero chili oil they were served with.  Now for the Coconut Buns — what a unique and delicious mix of flavors!  Coconut oil infused bread piled with mouth-watering smoked pork belly and cilantro, I was definitely craving more after the two that arrived with my serving.  Beware of the two innocent looking chili peppers laying alongside the buns…they will most likely cause your server to bring you a steaming mug of sugar-water, the apparent cure for fiery taste buds. We also ordered the special of the evening — chorizo quesadillas — yum!  The mussels were swimming in garlic butter and the crusty bread was an excellent accompaniment.  The birthday girl’s fave was the duck confit served with plantains. 

Malanga Chips

The evening was topped off with a delicious little ramekin of chocolate creme brulee with Kalua puddled at the bottom.  Everything was delicious, but I can’t wait to go back and get my hands on some more of those buns! ;0)

I have a love of brightly colored artwork, much to my beau's dismay

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