Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shiitake Chicken Soup

I find it funny when motivation strikes.  Sometimes it’s just a craving, sometimes it’s a audiobook of the Julia Child Biography, “Dearie”, sometimes it’s thumbing through a recent copy of a magazine.  This week, while at work, and part of my job is to keep my area clean, so I was cleaning out a cart, when I came across a free magazine left there.  In the magazine, there was recipe for a version of this soup.  I was motivated to make it, and during the making of it, I had to do a few adjustments, but for the first time, I WROTE DOWN THOSE ADJUSTMENTS!!!! Now rest assured you can make exactly what we had!

(Side Note: My taste tester, recipe trier, and partner in life, had 2 bowls and finished both before I finished my first!-so this recipe is a keeper.)

Shiitake Chicken Soup

2 Qt. Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or so)
2-3 T Olive Oil
1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts, diced (raw) (I sautéed a few until crispy for garnish)
¾ Shiitake Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 T. Minced ginger
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 T light soy sauce (or Low sodium)
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ Cup Cream
¾ Cup Green onion, chopped

Prep all items prior to starting recipe
Clean (remove all fat and non-meat parts) and dice chicken breasts.  (I marinated these in some left over PF Chang’s Lettuce Wrap sauce)
Clean and Slice mushrooms
Peel and mince Ginger
Mince garlic

Using a large pot, coat with olive oil, and bring to a high heat. Add in Chicken breast pieces, and sauté until cooked, deglaze bottom of the pan with small amounts of chicken broth.  Add in garlic and ginger.  Sauté until tender, deglazing as you go (deglazing is to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan).  When the broth has almost evaporated, add in the mushrooms, and sauté until tender.

Add in the remainder of the broth, and reduce, to intensify the flavor.  Add more broth, as needed.  Cover and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, if time allows.

Using a hand blender, or small amount in a traditional blender, blend until smooth. 

Right before serving, add in cream, so that the heat doesn’t “break” (separate) the soup.

Serve in bowls with crusty bread, and top with crispy mushrooms, green onions and a few drops of hot chili oil.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Butterscotch Haystacks

Years ago, I remember a “cookie” my mom used to make, but I don’t really remember mom making any cookies, so I’m not sure where I remember this from, but regardless, I love me some butterscotch, and these cookies are AWESOME. 

When we were visiting my best friend in Arizona, she made these, but used Corn Flake in place of the Chow Noodles.  While they were good….nothing beats the crunch of the noodles!


Butterscotch Haystacks,

Ting-A-Lings, or whatever you call them


1 Cup Peanutbutter (crunchy or plain old smooth)

2 Pkg. Butterscotch Chips

1 lb Pkg. Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles

½ - 1 Cup Peanuts


Heat peanutbutter then add butterscotch chips, stir until melted.  Stir in noodles and nuts, until coated.  Spoon heaped mounts onto wax paper, and cool until firm.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Savory Rosemary Figgy Scones

Fresh Figs!

Recently, we were invited to our friend’s annual wine tasting party.  This year we decided to stay over, since we have heard about the great food they have the next day for brunch.  I decided to bring some savory scones.  I must say these were a hit, even Craig said, “Can you make these again?”

Savory Rosemary 
Figgy Scones


    ¾ cup well-shaken buttermilk
    ¼ cup pure maple syrup
    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    2 oz goat cheese
    2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    ½ lb dried Calmyrna figs, stems discarded and figs cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups) I also added 4 fresh figs, chopped
    1 spring of Rosemary, stripped and coarsely chopped
    2 large egg yolks


Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.

Whisk together buttermilk, syrup, and 1/2 cup cream in a small bowl. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment at low speed (or whisk in a large bowl) until combined. Add butter, goat cheese and mix (or blend with your fingertips or a pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Mix in figs and rosemary, then add buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined. (Do not overmix.)

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and drop 10 (1/4-cup) mounds of batter onto each sheet, leaving 1 inch between mounds.

Whisk together yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons cream, then brush over tops of scones (use all of egg wash).

Bake, switching position of baking sheets halfway through baking, until scones are puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes total. Transfer to a rack and cool to warm.