Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ham and Vegetable Chowder

There is nothing like a warm cup of soup on a cold Spring day. It is March, it is Spring Break, it is Easter Weekend--it is cold! The grandkids don't seem to mind the cold but they were happy to eat a warm cup of soup at the end of the day! This delicious soup was a hit. Everyone loved it from the 2 year old to grandpa.

Ham and Vegetable Chowder
1 1/2 cups diced ham--leftover Easter Ham works great
6 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 diced peeled carrots (3/4 cup)
2 stalks diced celery (3/4 cup)
2 cans chicken broth
5 Yukon Gold potatoes (1 3/4 lb.), peeled and diced
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
3/8 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (heat in microwave till hot)
1/2 cup cream
1/8-1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
green onion, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese for garnish
In a large pot melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and celery. Saute till tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan and simmer gently until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Reduce heat to warm, add ham and corn.
In a medium saucepan melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook mixture for 2 minutes--stir constantly. Stirring constantly add hot milk, stir until mixture is thick.
Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste. Add cream, grated cheese and Cayenne Pepper.
Pour milk mixture into soup. Stir gently. Correct seasonings if necessary.
Garnish with bacon, green onions and cheese.
This yummy recipe feeds a crowd. Recipe inspired by Cooking Classy.
Printable Recipe

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lemon Angle Pie for Pi Day

I don't make many pies--you have to have guests over to make a pie and we did, so I did! It was in celebration of Pi Day, I was going with a theme.
Angel Lemon Pie is heavenly--if we eat food in heaven it will be this light delicious desert. It has a meringue crust, which is the easiest crust ever made! The filling is a lemon curd made completely in the microwave. When cool it is lightened with whipped cream.
That's it. The only tricky part is it must be made the day before which is a great thing when entertaining. You must also let the crust and lemon curd cool before filling the crust. Just read the recipe through, a good thing to always do, before making a recipe.
Lemon Angel Pie
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice, (I used Meyer Lemons but any lemon would work)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whipping cream

Meringue Crust
In a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip beat the egg whites until foamy. While mixer is runing gradually add 1 cup sugar and the cream of tarter. Beat until stiff but not dry. This happen in about 3 minutes. I think a high altitude with no humidity helps (this is one of the few desserts that works best high and dry!) If you cannot get your egg whites to go stiff enough no fear they will work. Butter a deep dish glass pie plate. Put meringue in pie plate, mine looked like a beautiful cloud!
Bake at 300 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool completely.

This is the meringue going into the oven. It is light and beautiful!

When the meringue came out of the oven it puffed over the pie shell--it was gorgeous! As it cooled it slowly sank down to create a perfect pie shell.

Put the 4 eggs in a microwave safe bowl, I used a quart Pyrex measuring cup. Beat slightly. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and salt. Cook about 3 minutes stirring with a whisk every 30 seconds. Mixture will be very thick, lemony and sweet. That is just how it should be! Cool completely. I cooled this in the fridge.
In a clean mixer bowl fitted with a wire whisk pour the 2 cups whipping cream. Beat until stiff--don't over beat or you really will get butter. How do I know?? I make many mistakes--I share them with you so you don't need to make them. Do not add any sugar to this whipped cream. Put half of the whipped cream in the cooled lemon curd mixture. Stir gently. You want to combine the ingredients but not deflate the cream. When mixed pour into the meringue shell. Using a short off set spatula spread the lemon cream on the crust. Top with the rest of the whipped cream. I also used an offset spatula to spread the cream. Put the pie in the fridge. It needs to cool up to 18-24 hours.
Serve the chilled pie and enjoy rave reviews (I did)! Serves 8 adults.

I googled this recipe and found several that were similar. It is a very basic recipe and has been around for years. I liked the photos in Homebased Mom.  My Mother-In-Law was so excited to eat this--it was similar to a recipe her sister made many years ago. Aunt Melba has been gone for many years. She was a great cook, I know eating this dessert brought back many memories for my Mother-In-Law. Food will do that to you! It was a great dessert, I will make it again soon.