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Recipe Thursday-Steak, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Posted on February 14th, 2013 | Posted in Recipes, Soup and Stew

Winter is upon us so a fresh, but hearty, Steak, Barley and Mushroom Soup is appreciated to warm us up and to get us excited for the fresh local produce to come. I made a triple batch of this soup to give to two friends who just had babies and to have over some friends for a snowy Saturday night dinner. The freshness of the ingredients were refreshing for a time of year when our gardens are all frozen over and the sirloin steak was so tender it could be cut with a fork, from being slow cooked in the broth. I did double the steak quantity from the original recipe amount, added some greens and served the soup with a hearty 12 grain bread with Plugra European style butter. Beef it’s what’s for dinner!

Steak, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Steak, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Yield 4 Servings
1 pound sirloin  steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (221900)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (992055)
1 cup diced  onion (990195)
1 cup diced  carrots (559652)
12-ounce  package mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup uncooked barley (556617)
10 1/2-ounce chicken broth (331101)
5 cups water
1 teaspoon coarse  salt (991861)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (CQP071)
2 cups chopped  Swiss chard

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add beef and sauté until brown.  Add onion and carrots; cook, mixing occasionally, until onion is softened, about  7 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, mixing occasionally, until liquid evaporates and  mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Add barley, broth, water, salt and pepper; stir to combine.  Cover and  bring to a simmer; reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes or until barley is tender.  Stir in Swiss chard, or other leafy green, and cook 5 minutes. Makes about 6 cups

Recipe adapted from Jean Kressy

Recipe Thursday-Chicken Pot Pie

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Main Course, Recipes, Soup and Stew

There is nothing better than homemade Chicken Pot Pie, Lancaster County style pot pie that is! This was my second time making chicken pot pie and it was delicious. I am still messing around with the recipe, but I approve of this one. I guess that it should be obvious that I approve of all recipes that I put on this blog. I would never want somebody to dine on food that is not good. Note that this pot pie recipe has more broth than other versions I have had in the past. So you can really be the judge of how soupy you would like your pot pie to be, by lessening or increasing the water quantity.

This chicken pot pie was made as a dinner for my friend who just had a baby. I was trying to think of meals that you can make ahead of time, since I was going directly from work to drop it off. This dish worked perfectly and it makes a great weeknight leftover dinner, when dinner prep time is short.

Rolling out the Chicken Pot Pie Noodles

Cooking the Chicken 

Chicken Pot Pie

Yield 6-8 Servings
4 pounds bone in chicken breast and thighs (332014/332056)
1 teaspoon salt (991861)
water to cover
4 medium potatoes, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

For Pot Pie Dough:
2 cups flour (991867)
1/2 teaspoon salt (991861)
2 eggs (EGG011)
2-3 tablespoons water or milk (HPH004)

If using chicken with skin on make sure to remove at least half of the skins. Put chicken into large pot and cover with water and salt and cook until tender, and the meat falls off the bone, around 20 minutes. Pull chicken out of the water and cool until you can remove the bones. Shred the chicken and place it back into the water. Add potatoes and celery and make sure that the broth is sufficient to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil. Drop pot pie squares into boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes, until noodles are cooked and potatoes are tender. Finish by adding the chopped parsley and serve!

To make pot pie dough, make a well in the flour and add the eggs and salt. Work together into a stiff dough; if too dry add water or milk. Roll out the dough as thin as possible (1/8 inch) and cut into 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch squares with a knife. (After making this batch I decided that I liked the noodles to be larger than the recommended 1 inch square.)

Recipe adapted from Mennonite Community Cookbook

Recipe Thursday-New England Fish Chowder

Posted on December 22nd, 2011 | Posted in Recipes, Soup and Stew

This was a perfect dish for a cold wintery night. It is simple to make and not very heavy like other traditional chowders. We served ours with chopped up fresh chives, fried bacon and oyster crackers. Tonight I’ll be happily eating the leftovers.

New England Fish Chowder

Yield 6-8 Servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (880000)
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 ounces salt pork, rind removed, rinsed, and cut into 2 pieces (GRF130)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
salt (991861)
pepper (CQP065)
3 bay leaves (CQB011)
5 cups water
2 pounds skinless cod or haddock fillets, sliced crosswise into 6 equal pieces (553292/553363)
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups whole milk (HPH004)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (991869)
bacon (KNZ2660)
oyster crackers (991702)

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, salt pork, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaves; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add water and bring to simmer. Remove pot from heat, gently place fish fillets in water, cover, and let fish stand until opaque and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer fish to bowl.

Return pot to medium-high heat, add potatoes, and bring to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender and beginning to break apart, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk milk, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Stir milk mixture into chowder and return to simmer. Return fish and any accumulated juices to pot. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard salt pork and bay leaves. Stir gently with wooden spoon to break fish into large pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, January/February 2012

Recipe Thursday-French Onion Soup

Posted on January 6th, 2011 | Posted in Recipes, Soup and Stew

With this chilly weather, and writing of soup, I decided to make my very first batch of French Onion Soup. It turned out delicious! I definitely agree with the recipes directions that caramelizing the onions to the perfect point is pivotal to the recipe. Also the Swiss gruyere made the dish so tasty! Now that I made French Onion Soup once I have an excuse to buy the cute ceramic bowls to bake it in! Since I don’t yet own them, I used my grandma’s casserole dish, which worked wonderfully.

French Onion Soup

Yield 4-6 Servings


6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
Olive oil (992055)
1/4 teaspoon of sugar (991842)
2 cloves garlic, minced (991057)
8 cups of beef stock or chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock) (996653)
1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 bay leaf (CQB011)
1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme (CQT041)
Salt and pepper (CQS030/CQP065)
8 slices of toasted French bread (991741)
1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere with a little grated Parmesan cheese (CWSZ050/775628)


In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat (Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization) until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). It took me about 50 minutes to brown the onions to my liking. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, vermouth or wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf. To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toasted French bread and sprinkle with cheese mixture. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

I used yellow onions, beef stock and dry vermouth in my version of this recipe.

Recipe from SimplyRecipes.com

Recipe Thursday-Chili con Carne

Posted on November 25th, 2010 | Posted in Recipes, Soup and Stew

This past weekend I went to a very fun event-Great Brews Classic Beer Festival.  A large group of friends joined me for this weekend in the Poconos and I brought some snacks and meals for us to enjoy. In an effort to keep it simple I chose Chili con Carne, since I could make it ahead of time and then reheat it whenever we wanted to feast on it!  I must say that I definitely could have fed the masses with this hearty chili stew. It was delicious and hit the spot and I still have some leftover! I prefer a chili that uses chunks of beef over ground beef so that is why I chose this particular recipe.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Chili con Carne

Yield 6-8 Servings


2 tablespoon red chili powder (CQC041)
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (CQC049)
1 tablespoon ground cumin (CQC094)
2 teaspoons ground oregano (CQO075)
1 teaspoon thyme (CQT041)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (CQC075)
3-4 tablespoon water
4 strips bacon (KNZ2660)
One 2 1/2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (222027)
Salt (CQS030)
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (991057)
2 jalapeño chili peppers, stems removed, seeded, ribs removed, minced
1 14-oz can whole tomatoes (990315)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (991987)
1 teaspoon sugar (991842)
1 or 2 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (991642)
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in a couple tablespoons of water (991869)
Shaved cheddar cheese (774101) and chopped red onion for garnish


In a small bowl mix the chili powder, chipotle chili powder (I chopped up some canned chipotle in adobo sauce, since my store didn’t carry chipotle chili powder! I should have bought it at Hometown), ground cumin, oregano, thyme, and ground coriander seeds. Mix in water so that chili forms a light paste. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet on medium high heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel. Pour bacon fat from the pan into a separate container, reserve. When the bacon cools, crumble it into smaller pieces and set aside.

Increase heat to medium high, add back in 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat. Working in batches so that you don’t crowd the beef (crowding will steam cook the meat instead of browning it), brown the beef cubes on all sides, lightly salting as you cook the beef. Remove beef from pan, set aside.

Add another Tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Into a 6-quart thick-bottomed Dutch oven, put onion chili mixture, beef, bacon, tomatoes (break up the whole tomatoes with your fingers as you put them in the pot), water, lime juice and sugar. Heat the chili on medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer.

Mix the cornstarch powder into a little water to dissolve the cornstarch (otherwise you’ll have lumps to deal with) and add to the chili to thicken it. Gently mix in the kidney beans (if you like more beans in your chili I’d recommend adding 2 cans). Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes and lime juice you may need a little more sugar to bring the stew to balance. At this point you can also add a little more chili powder if you desire more heat.

Sprinkle with shaved cheddar cheese and chopped red onion. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips, and or rice.  We served ours with some tasty cornbread muffins (some called them biscuits?), that had a little bit of yellow cake mix in them to keep them nice a moist. Brilliant!

Adapted from SimplyRecipes.com

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