Friday, March 16, 2012

Guinness Onion Soup

Healthy recipe for French Onion Soup. It's made with Guinness, so it's dark, rich and perfect for St. Patrick's Day.


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 large, sweet yellow onions (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 11-ounce bottle Guinness or other stout beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces aged Irish Cheddar, grated
  • 2 small whole wheat diner rolls, cut in half lengthwise


  • Heat a large stockpot over high heat. Add the canola oil and the onions. Add the garlic, thyme, brown sugar and salt. Stir and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often until the onions start to brown. If the onions begin to burn or stick, add a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking.
  • Add the beef broth, water, Guinness, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft and start to break apart.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Transfer the soup into 4 oven-safe bowls and place them on a baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes until it browns lightly. Place the bread slices on top of the soup and sprinkle the cheese evenly over them. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Serve immediately.
  • Nutritional stats are for 2 cups soup topped with bread slice and cheese.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not Fried, Fried Chicken

Healthy Fried Chicken

Serves: 5
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken (3- to 3-1/2 pounds), skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups cornflake crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg whites. In a large bowl, combine cornflake crumbs and sage.
  3. Dip chicken pieces in flour mixture, then into egg whites then cornflake crumbs, coating completely with each. Place on baking sheet. Lightly coat top of chicken with nonstick cooking spray and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until no pink remains and juices run clear.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paula Deen Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, minced (I left this out, I don’t like celery)
  • 1 cup carrot, minced
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil oregano and garlic ( I used canned tom. and some italian seasoning)
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can great northern beans, drained
  • 2 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. In large Dutch oven, cook sausage, onion, celery and carrot over medium-high heat until sausage is browned and crumbles.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Stir in broth, tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add pasta; simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  6. Stir in salt and pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.

Friday, March 9, 2012



  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110 - 120 degrees F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt 

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes, covered. Mixture should be frothy.
In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. 

Add to yeast mixture. Add melted butter. Mix with paddle attachment of stand mixer or wooden spoon until fully combined.

Knead dough for a few minutes just until dough is smooth. Do not overknead!

Grease a cookie sheet. Pull off pieces of dough and roll out into strips. 

Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and once heated, pop in the bread sticks. In microwave, combine the following:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (or 1/2 cup margarine)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt

After bread s
ticks havcooked for 6 or 7 minutes, brush the bread sticks with half the butter mixture. 

Then continue to bake. Bake for 5-8 more minutes.

Immediately upon removal from the oven brush the other half of the butter on the sticks.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Skillet Beef Stroganoff

Skillet Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, pounded and cut thin across the grain (I used ground beef)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 pound wide egg noodles (3 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half of beef until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to medium bowl and repeat with 1 tablespoon more oil and remaining beef. (I just browned all the ground beef in a skillet and then removed to a bowl).

2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet until shimmering. Cook mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds, then add both broths and the brandy, and return beef and accumulated juices to pan. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until beef is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (Once I added the ground beef I continued right on to the next step).

3. Stir noodles into beef mixture, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, stir in sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

  • 3¼ cups (16 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2 3/4 ounces) yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2¼ tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1¼ cups water (10 ounces), room temperature
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened
  • 1 tsp plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup grated onion , from 1 medium onion (see note below)
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Table salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Toppings
  • 1 pound whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups) (see note below)
  • ½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
  • Hot or mild italian sausage (optional)
1. FOR THE DOUGH: Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. (Dough will only pull away from sides while mixer is on. When mixer is off, dough will fall back to sides.)
2. Using fingers, coat large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rubbing excess oil from fingers onto blade of rubber spatula. Using oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 75 minutes.
3. FOR THE SAUCE: While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, crushed red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt, pepper, and more sugar if needed. The sauce shouldn't be too sweet, but you just wanna be able to taste everything.
4. TO LAMINATE THE DOUGH: Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using rubber spatula, turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15- by 12-inch rectangle. Using offset spatula, spread softened butter over surface of dough, leaving 1/2-inch border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with 1 half, fold into thirds like business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 60 minutes.
5. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13-inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
6. For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. If using sausage or any other topping, add it on top of the cheese. Spread about 1¼ cups tomato sauce over cheese and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 35 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note: Place a damp kitchen towel under the mixer and watch it at all times during kneading to prevent it from wobbling off the counter. If you don’t have a stand-mixer, you can do this by hand. Handle the dough with slightly oiled hands, or it might stick. Avoid preshredded cheese, it doesn’t melt well. Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Easy BBQ Ribs

Easy Barbecued Ribs
1.5 tbsp sweet paprika (3tbsp)
1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed (2 tbsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
S&P to taste (about 1 tsp each is what I used)
2 lbs pork (baby) back ribs (6 lbs) - leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together
1 cup barbecue sauce (3 cups)
Vegetable oil spray.  
In a small bowl, mix together paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and S&P.  Rub this mixture all over both sides of your ribs well.  Arrange ribs in the slow cooker by standing them up against the wall of the stoneware pot, thicker side down and meaty side against the pot.  Pour barbecue sauce over the ribs, cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low (I did 7 hours and they were perfect).  

Now comes the only stove/oven work involved, we need to reduce the sauce and then brown the ribs under the broiler.  These steps are what turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, so don't you dare skip them even if your ribs already look pretty good.  Once the initial slow cooking is done, very carefully (as they are tennnnderrrrr) remove the ribs to a baking pan which you have lined with foil and put a rack on (like in my photo collage), bone side up.  Set to the side.  Skim any fat that has risen to the top and strain all of the remaining juices from the slow cooker through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan.  Bring to boil and allow to simmer and reduce by about a third, approximately 15 minutes.  Put your oven's broiler on to heat up and make sure that there is an oven rack about 10 inches below the broiler element.  When the broiler is preheated, brush the ribs with sauce and broil for 3 or 4 minutes.  Take them out and very carefully flip them over, brush with sauce and broil again, meat side up, for approximately 9 minutes, taking them out once or twice (I did only once because I forgot) to baste with more sauce.  Serve any remaining sauce on the side with the ribs.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Guinnes Beef Stew

As a pessimist to the initial idea of Beef Stew (in a slow cooker nonetheless), I was pleasantly surprised at how scrumptious this stew turned out. I normally don’t like getting that bitter beer flavoring that sometimes comes through when you’re cooking with it. But I was very happy to say that I couldn’t taste any of the bitterness. The beef was fork-tender, the veggies were hearty (my first time trying and cooking with parsnips!), all coated in this rich broth that was complex in flavor (a slow cooker surprise!) and was just freaking delicious.  This dish also made a big nice batch, that was even better as leftover. The complexity of the flavors continued to develop, while none of the components of the dish (veggies or the meat) disintegrated. I’m now a Beef Stew convert!

4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped about 2 cups
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups Guinness Draught
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped (yes, chocolate!)
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1-1/2 lbs baby red potatoes (about 24), scrubbed
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Pat dry the beef cubes with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook half of the beef until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker insert and repeat with an additional 2 tsp oil and the remaining beef.
Add the remaining 2 tsp oil, onions and 1/4 tsp salt to the skillet and cook until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, 1-1/4 cups of the beer, sugar, thyme, chocolate, and bay leaves and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer to the slow cooker insert.
Add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender, about 9-10 hours (or cook on high for 6 to 7 hours, but I have only tried this recipe on low for 10-hrs). Set the slow cooker to high. Whisk the flour and remaining 1/4 cup beer until smooth, then stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Cook, covered, until the sauce thickens about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Yield: 6-8 servings