2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Serving suggestion: crusty bread
Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. I just use skinless and boneless chicken...much faster.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread. Tasty, comforting on a cold wet day and nutritious; best of all, fast. If you need more spice ( sometimes we like it hotter) Add some 'chipotle/mango ' spice...Awesome.You are a great cook
Make 12 servings A fix ahead dessert is just what a speedy meal needs . This Italian delight is the perfect way to cap it off . 1/2 ....................cup strong brewed coffee 2 .......................2 tablespoons coffee liqueur 2 .......................packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese , softened 2/3 ...................cup sugar 2 ......................cups (16 ounces) sour cream 1/4 ...................cup 2% milk 1/2 ...................teaspoon vanilla extract 2 ......................packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers , split 1 .....................Tablespoon baking cocoa 1 . In a large bowl , combine coffee and liqueur ; set aside . 2. In a large bowl , beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth . Beat in the sour cream , milk and vanilla until blended . 3. Layer 1 package of ladyfingers in an ungreased 11x7-inch dish brush with half the coffee mixture . Top with half of the cream cheese mixture . Repeat layers ( dish will be full). 4 . Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight . Just before serving , place a cookie stencil on top of the dessert , if desired and sprinkle with cocoa. Heart healthy
10-1/2 ............ounces white chocolate , chopped
3/4 .................cup sugar
1/2 .................cup pomegranate seeds
** Silvered crystallized ginger for garnish **
1. Make the GINGERBREAD : preheat the oven to 325*F. Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the bottom and side of the pan with cooking spray.
2 . In a bowl , sift the flour with the ginger , baking soda , salt cloves and nutmeg . In a large bowl , beat in the molasses with the sugar and butter at medium speed until fluffy . Beat in the egg and the fresh and crystallized ginger . At low speed , beat in the dry ingredients . Gradually beat in water . Spread the batter in the prepared pan .
3. Bake the gingerbread for about 20 minutes , rotating the pan once , until a tester inserted in center comes out clean .Transfer the gingerbread to a rack to cool for 30 minutes , then turn it out and let it cool completely , 1 hour . Refrigerate the gingerbread until firm , about 1 hour . Peel off the parchment paper and cut the gingerbread into 1-inch cubes .
4 . Meanwhile , make the Mousse :In a small bowl , sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water and let stand for 5 minutes . In a medium bowl , beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy .
5. In a medium saucepan , combine 1/2 cup of the cream with the milk , zest and salt and bring to a simmer . While whisking , drizzle the hot mix mixture into the egg yolks until incorporated . Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat , stirring until the custard is thickened and coats the back of a spoon , about 10 minutes . Remove from the heat . Add the gelatin and white chocolate and stir until melted . Strain the custard into a medium metal bow of ice water and cool to room temperature , stirring about 2 minutes . Remove the bowl from the ice bath .
6 . In a large bowl , beat the remaining 2-1/2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form . Fold the whipped cream into the custard . Refrigerate the mousse until chilled , about 2 hours .
7 . Make the Caramel : In a medium saucepan , combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons of water and cook over moderate heat , stirring until the sugar dissolves ; brush down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush . Cook undisturbed until a medium-amber caramel forms , about 5 minutes . Carefully add the pomegranate juice and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thickened , about 5 minutes . Let cool to room temperature .
8 . In an 8-inch , 2-quart trifle bow , make 4 layers of the gingerbread , mousse and caramel . Garnish with pomegranate seed (optional) and crystallized ginger slices and serve .
This is the fruity, light cousin to that dark heavy cake, soaked in spirits, that has delighted generations of Christmas cake lovers. It delivers, as promised, a cake of apricot-pear-and-ginger goldenness and goodness. This is a gluten-free treat for the greedy; fruit cake with the emphasis firmly on the first word.
The lack of flour makes for a lusciously moist cake, but it does mean that unless you cut it into quite fat slices, it can break into fruity pieces rather than geometrically precise triangles. This is why it tastes so good of course. And, what’s more, it makes a fantastic pudding at the end of a seasonal supper.
This recipe is perfect for those of you who would prefer a change from the usual marzipan and icing covered Christmas Cake. And it is a cake for all seasons and occasions.
for the cake
1 ½cups roughly chopped dried pears
1 ¾cups roughly chopped dried apricots
1 ¾cupsgolden raisins
1 ½sticks soft butter
¾cupginger jam (or preserve or marmalade)
2 ¼cupsalmond meal
¼cupsesame seeds (or mixture sunflower & pumpkin)
seeds from 3cardamom pods
for the topping
½cupwhole blanched almonds
Roughly scissor the pears and apricots into small pieces and put them into a saucepan with the sultanas, butter, sugar, rum and ginger jam or preserve, or indeed marmalade.
Simmer for 10 minutes and then leave to stand for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm / 8 inch high-sided tin with a double layer of regular baking parchment; the lining should extend about 10cm / 4 inches above.
Stir the ground almonds, sesame seeds, cardamom seeds and coriander into the cooled saucepan. Beat in the eggs and spoon into the prepared cake tin, smoothing the top.
Starting in the middle, work in concentric circles as you place the blanched almonds on top of the cake batter in decorative rings (rather like a Dundee cake).
Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes, then leave to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, take out of the tin, wrap with baking parchment then foil, before stashing it away in its cake tin or other airtight container. Though, unlike a traditional fruit cake, it doesn’t need to stand before being divinely edible.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Make the cake up to 1 week ahead and wrap in a double layer of parchment paper and then a layer of foil. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Make the cake and wrap as above. Freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap the cake and thaw overnight at room temperature. Rewrap and store as above until needed.
A warming, welcoming pudding full of seasonal spice that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Truly a comfort pudding. Sit down and have a nosh.
1 ½cupslight brown sugar
2cups boiling water
1 ½cupsheavy cream
Preheat oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF and place a baking sheet on the shelf. Put water on to boil.
Mix together the flour, 100g / ½ cup of the sugar, the baking powder, 1 teaspoon of the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the mixed spice, and the milk, oil and egg.
Put into a greased, round baking dish (23cm diameter x 6cm deep / 9 inch round x 2¼ inches deep).
In another bowl, mix together the remaining 200g / 1 cup of sugar with the remaining teaspoons each of mixed spice and ground ginger, and sprinkle over the batter in its baking dish. Dot the butter on top and pour the boiling water over the mixture. Trust me.
Put the dish on the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving, and make sure you scoop out the sauce beneath the sponge in the dish and top the pudding with it.
Put the cream and advocaat into a bowl. Using an electric whisk, whip until thick but still soft. Serve with the Holiday Hotcake pudding.
A creamy dulce de leche filling is sandwiched between tender shortbread and fudgy frosting in these luscious bars. Easy to make and so good you will be hailed as the queen of Christmas desserts. By all means, wear your crown.
Makes: 48 servings
Prep 35 mins... Chill1 hr 30 mins... Bake 350°F 20 mins... Cool 10 mins ... Stand 5 mins
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 13.4 ounce can dulce de leche
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
3. Spread dulce de leche in an even layer atop cooled crust. In a medium saucepan, heat whipping cream, 6 tablespoons butter, and the corn syrup to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve syrup. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla to saucepan. Do not stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature to cool slightly. Slowly pour chocolate mixture over dulce de leche layer, spreading evenly. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours or until chocolate layer is set. 4. Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use the foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars. To Serve::
5. If desired, cut bars into smaller and/or larger squares and place on serving platter.
Prep / Total time : 15 minutes ...Makes 6 servings 6 ................bacon strips , diced 1/3 .............cup white vinegar 2 ................tablespoons water 2 ................green onions with tops , sliced 2 ...............teaspoons sugar 1/4 ............teaspoon salt 1/4 ............teaspoon pepper 8 to 10 ...... cups torn leaf lettuce 4 ...............hard cooked eggs , chopped 1 . In a large skillet , cook bacon over medium heat until crisp . Using a slotted spoon , removed to paper towels to drain. 2 . To the hot drippings , add the vinegar , water , onions , sugar , salt and pepper , stirring until sugar is dissolved . 3. Place lettuce in a salad bow ; immediately pour dressing over and toss lightly . Top with egg . Serve immediately . Heart healthy
Pasta salads are always well received , but even if you're not serving a crowd , go ahead and make this anyway .. you can add shrimp , chicken , ham and eggs if you desire .... the salad will keep in the refrigerate for 2 to 3 days . 8 ...............ounces uncooked spiral pasta 1-3/4 .........cups fresh broccoli florets 1-1/2 .........cups fresh cauliflowerets 8 ...............ounces Monterey Jack cheese , cubed ( cheese of your choice) 1 ...............can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives , drained and halved 1/2 .............cup quartered cherry tomatoes DRESSING : 1/3 .............cup olive oil 1/4 .............cup white wine vinegar 1-1/2 ..........teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 garlic clove , minced 1 ................teaspoon dried basil 1/2 .............teaspoon salt 1/4 .............teaspoon pepper 1 . Cook pasta according to package directions . Drain and rinse in cold water . In a large bowl combine the pasta , broccoli , cauliflower , cheese , olives and tomatoes . 2 . In a small bowl , whisk the dressing ingredients . Pour over salad and toss to coat . Refrigerate until serving .
Prep : 30 minutes + Chilling ... Makes 8 servings 1 .............envelope unflavored gelatin 1/2 ..........cold water 1 .............cup half-and-half cream 1/2 ..........cup sugar 1 .............package (8 ounces) cream cheese , softened 1 ............teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ............package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries , thawed Fresh raspberries (optional) 1 . In a small bowl , sprinkle unflavored gelatin over cold water ; let stand for 1 minute . In a small saucepan , combine half-and-half and sugar . Cook and stir just until mixture comes to a simmer . Remove from the heat ; stir into gelatin until dissolved . 2 . In a large bowl , beat cream cheese until smooth . Fold in gelatin mixture . Stir in vanilla . Pour into a 6-cup mold coated with cooking spray . Refrigerate until set but not firm , about 45 minutes . 3 . Dissolve raspberry gelatin in boiling water ; stir in raspberries until blended . Carefully spoon over cream cheese layer . Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours . 4 . Just before serving , unmold onto a serving plate . Garnish with berries if desired . Heart healthy
Prep : 15 minutes ... Cook 1 hour ...16 servings 2 ............pounds fully cooked smoked sausage links 1 ...........bottle (8 ounces) Catalina salad dressing 1 ..........bottle (8 ounces) Russian salad dressing 1/2 .......cup packed brown sugar 1/2 ........cup pineapple juice 1. Cut sausage diagonally into 1/2-inch slices ; cook in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned . Transfer sausages to a 3-quart slower cooker ; discard drippings. 2 . Add dressing , sugar and juice to skillet ; cook and stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved . Pour over sausages . 3 . Heat on low for 1 to 2 hours or until heated through . Serve hot . Heart healthy
1 . Heat oven to 375*F . Spray bottom and sides of 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2 . In large bowl , mix 2-1/2 cups flour , the granulated sugar , baking powder and salt in medium bowl , beat buttermilk , 6 tablespoons butter , the vanilla , lemon peel , gingerroot and eggs with wire whisk until well blended .Stir into flour mixture until blended . Stir in pears and hazelnuts . Spread batter into pan.
3. In medium bowl , mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter until blended . Stir in 2/3 cup flour , pinch with fingers until clumps form . Sprinkle topping over batter.
4 . Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean , cover with foil during last 25 minutes ; remove from pan to cooling rack . Cool completely , about 2 hours . In small bowl , mix powder sugar and milk until thin enough to drizzle . Drizzle over loaf and . Let stand 10 minutes before serving ......Heart healthy
4 ounce(s) (about 1 cup) salted shelled pistachios, ground to a paste in a food processor
1 large egg white
1/8 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt
6 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon(s) vegetable shortening
Slivered, unsalted, shelled pistachios (optional), for garnish
Make filling: Bring 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved; set aside.
Put egg yolks in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk by hand until yolks are warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Fit mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix yolks on medium speed; pour in sugar syrup. Raise speed to high; mix until mixture is cool and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; drizzle in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
Make cookies: Put pistachio paste and rest of sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the egg white, vanilla, and salt.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a small (about 1/4 inch) plain round tip (such as Ateco #10). Pipe 1-inch rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 1 inch apart.
Bake cookies until firm and golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer on parchment to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Place cookies, bottom sides up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spread 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate filling on bottom of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Freeze 1 hour.
Make glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add shortening; stir until combined. Let cool, stirring, until mixture is lukewarm.
Using a chocolate fork or regular fork, hold 1 cookie at a time above bowl of chocolate glaze. Spoon glaze over cookie, letting excess drip back into bowl. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Garnish with slivered pistachios. Refrigerate until set, 5 minutes. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days.
Thanx to Martha Stewart
Remember, when the hustle and bustle of Christmas is giving you a tension headache...STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backwards.
No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas Pudding. Everyone needs a great recipe, and this is my favourite recipe.
Despite reports that the traditional Christmas pudding has fallen out of favour for lighter desserts, it is as popular as ever. Christmas pudding is best made well in advance to allow it to mature and traditionally, is made around the end of November.
Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in this recipe, although it may seem daunting, simply assemble all your ingredients in advance, and the rest is easy. All that is left then, is to make a wish.
1lb /450g dried mixed fruit (use golden raisins/sultanas , raisins, currants)
1 oz /25 g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
Grated zest and juice of:
½ large orange and
4 tbsp brandy, plus a little extra for soaking at the end
2 oz /55 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 level tsp ground mixed spice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 oz /110 g shredded suet, beef or vegetarian....Your butcher should have it ( if you don't wish to use suet, you can also use shortening [like Crisco] that you have frozen and chopped very small)
4oz /110g soft, dark brown sugar
4 oz /110 g white fresh bread crumbs
1 oz /25 g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
2 large, fresh eggs
Lightly butter a 2½ pint/1.4 litre pudding basin/17cm
Place the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
Stir together the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon in a very large mixing bowl. Add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zest, bread crumbs, nuts and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally add the marinaded dried fruits and stir again.
Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
Now is the time to gather the family for Christmas Pudding tradition of taking turns in stirring, making a wish and adding a few coins but we usually skip this bit in spite of our British heritage.
Spoon the mixture in to the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of wax paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securely with string.
Place the pudding in a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a deep brown color when cooked. The pudding is not a light cake but instead is a dark, sticky and dense sponge.
Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in a little extra brandy. Cover with fresh wax paper and retie with string. Store in a cool dry place until Christmas day. Note: The pudding cannot be eaten immediately, it really does need to be stored and rested then reheated on Christmas Day. Eating the pudding immediately after cooking will cause it to collapse and the flavours will not have had time to mature.
On Christmas day reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Serve with anyone of these lovely accompaniments. Brandy or Rum Sauce, or English custard
My father always poured some brandy over the pudding when it came to the table and set it aflame. We would lower the lights and watch it glow prettily for a few seconds until the brandy burned off . This is just a custom and optional, of course, but I thought it added some zest to the flavor. Left over Christmas pudding can be reheated by wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and heating through in a hot oven.
There are various sauces that work well with the pudding, including this delicious Rum Sauce . If you prefer, substitute brandy for the rum, also delicious.
This Rum sauce recipe is so easy to make and can also be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated then simply reheated when the pudding is ready.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
2oz/55g plain flour
1 pint/570ml milk
2oz/55g fine/caster sugar
5 tbsp dark Rum
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and stir to create a thick paste. Cook for 1 minute taking care not to burn.
Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously. Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed (about 5 minutes). Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.
Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
Finally add the Rum and serve with the Christmas pudding.
If you make the sauce in advance, prepare up until adding the Rum, then cool, store or freeze. Reheat the sauce and add the rum before serving.
It takes some effort to get to this point but if your family has British roots or just loves rich fruity things, you will get raves. Happy Holidays