Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pictures to come!

As always, keep in mind that the measurements are approximations. I like the soup with fat-free half and half because it’s tasty and has less calories.  I haven’t ever tried it with real cream because I’m worried that I would never go back! If you do, please tell me it’s awful.

Ingredients
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1 large diced onion
12 ounces fresh, baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp curry powder
3 tsp flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
16 oz can pure-pack pumpkin
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups fat-free half and half
kosher salt to taste

Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add butter and melt slightly. Saute the onions and mushrooms until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms are soft and tender. Add the curry powder and saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, and mix well. Saute for another minute.

Add the chicken broth, pumpkin, honey, and nutmeg. Season with salt. At this point, I usually taste the soup for flavor. I normally add more curry powder and honey. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want it to be too sweet because the half and half will sweeten it up. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the fat-free half and half and heat through. Serve and enjoy!

Posted in CCC Updates, Soups | Leave a comment

Red Bag Salad

Previously called the Sunshine Salad, this coleslaw type salad deserves to be made in bulk. As a result of the mass quantities it makes, the easiest way to mix the ingredients together is by combining them in a red Sendik’s bag, hence the name change. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. This salad is perfect for a potluck party, Salad Monday’s at the office (or school, as the case may be), or the Sunday night Packer game. Keep in mind, this recipe makes a ton of food. You will make friends by sharing this.

Dressing Ingredients
NOTE: These measurements are rough. I usually start with this and more to taste.
6 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.  It works well to use a glass jar and shake all of the ingredients together. The dressing lasts about a week in the refrigerator.

Salad Ingredients
1 small head lettuce
1 small head red cabbage
1 small head green cabbage
1-2 diced red peppers
1-2 packages of ramen noodles
slivered almonds
sunflower seeds
cherry tomatoes

Chop the lettuce, red cabbage, and green cabbage. Put the ramen noodles in a Ziploc bag and crunch them into small pieces. Combine all ingredients in a red Sendik’s bag. Toss well.

Top your salad with the dressing and ramen pieces. Enjoy!

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Evan’s Lazy Chili

Before I get started, let me explain just what makes this chili so lazy. First and foremost, the maker of this chili can be extremely lazy yet still pull this off. Once you read through the recipe, you’ll realize how little effort is actually required to pull this off. If that isn’t an appealing enough reason to make it, the chili itself is also a lazy in the time it takes to just sit in a large pot or crock pot and cook. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, lets move on to the chili itself.

Evan's Lazy Chili

Ingredients
Note: All of these can be found at all but the crappiest of grocery stores.
2 – 14.5oz Cans of Seasoned Petite Diced Tomatoes
            (Good Examples: Garlic & Olive Oil, Mexican Fiesta, Green Chilies)
2 – 16oz Cans of Chili Beans (Red Beans in Chili Sauce; Mild, Medium, or Hot)
1 – 16oz Can of Southwestern Black Beans
1 – 16oz Can of Southwestern Pinto Beans w/ Jalapenos
1 – 11oz (or larger) can of Mexicorn (Corn w/ Diced Red & Green Bell Peppers)
1 – 4oz Can of Diced Green Chilies
1 – 4oz Can of Diced or “Chunky” Mushrooms
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
OPTIONAL:
1lb Ground Beef or Turkey
Your Favorite Hot Sauce
Chili Powder
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Evan's Lazy Chili Ingredients

Preparation
Open every can in no particular order, strain out all of the extra liquid from all of the cans except the chili beans, and empty them in to either a crock pot or large pot. On top of everything add that half cup of brown sugar, then stir it all together. If cooking it in a crock pot, set it for 6-8 hours and cover, stirring it up every half hour or so. If cooking on the stove in a large pot set the heat to medium-low for 3-4 hours and cover, also stirring occasionally.

If you’re going to be adding ground beef or turkey to the chili, stick it in a sauté pan sprinkle it with a few pinches of chili powder, and brown the meat. Once it’s brown (or at least pretty close, seeing as it’ll be cooking in the chili for hours) dump it in with the chili and stir it all up.

Once everything has been cooking for at least an hour or so, taste it and if you feel it needs it add more brown sugar, chili powder, or your favorite hot sauce to spice things up.

About an hour before you’re ready to eat it, check to see how soupy it is. If there’s too much liquid, just crack the lid for the remainder of the cooking to let it steam off.

That’s it! It’s always a hit around my house and generally makes enough food to feed a family of four. You can serve it over pasta, with crackers, sprinkle cheese on it, add some chopped onions, or whatever else sounds good. Enjoy!

Evan's Lazy Chili In The Pot

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The Hepburn

Okay, so I only named this burger The Hepburn because it’s topped with arugula (popular in Italian dishes) and Chevre (French goat cheese), and Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress who happened to star in Funny Face (took place partly in Paris) and Roman Holiday (hel-ooo).

Hey, if Waldorf can have a salad, then Hepburn can have a burger.

The Hepburn

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground beef
3 to 6 oz. Sprecher’s Barley Wine (For extra class. Burger should be moist, not runny)
1 small onion, quartered and sliced
1/2 lb. mushroom
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Fresh arugula leaves
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Chevre cheese “sliced” (it’s soft, so do the best you can)

Preparation:
Mix beef and barley wine. Form into 6-8 patties.

Saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Cook burgers to your liking, we suggest browned and carmelized on outside, slightly pink (medium well) on inside.

Toss arugula with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Place generous helping of arugula leaves on bun. Serve burger topped with sliced chevre and onion/mushroom mixture.

Serves: 6-8 Audrey Hepburn fans

Posted in Beef, Main Dishes | Tagged | 1 Comment

Brewer’s Concession Challenge

In case you didn’t already know, The Milwaukee Brewers are holding a contest for fans to create and submit concession-friendly recipes.

The winner of the Brewers Concession Challenge will see his or her recipe sold at Miller Park concession stands throughout the 2011 season along with tons of priceless Brewers experiences on opening day. Runners-up will receive a host of Brewer’s gear and ticket packages.

We’re planning to enter a bunch of recipes (one per email address is the rule), and you can enter your own creation here.

Good luck, and play ball!

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Coffee BBQ Burger

When we were practicing for Sprecher Brewery’s Grilling With Beef contest, we came up with a few different burger recipes. We’re revisiting these recipes as we plan for the Brewer’s Concession Challenge. Basically, fans are able to submit recipes for a new concession stand item. We’re planning to submit one salad item, one dessert item, and one carnivore option.

Wish us luck!

As we prepare recipes and try different menu options, please try this recipe that combines beef, coffee, beer, and joy…all in one hand-held meal.

Coffee BBQ Burger

Ingredients:

Sauce
1 medium onion, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (we suggest pretty much anything from Alterra Coffee Roasters)
2 tsp instant coffee grounds
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

Burger
1 lb. ground beef
3 oz. Sprecher’s Generation Porter
1 tbsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. garlic powder

Preparation:
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. When soft, stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered 35-45 minutes.

Mix burger ingredients together in bowl. Form into 3-4 patties.

At this point you can refrigerate sauce and burgers until you need them.

Fry burgers in pan or grill until cooked as desired (we suggest slightly pink inside and nicely browned outside). Top with BBQ sauce.

Note: this recipe makes quite a bit of sauce so you may want to double or even triple the burger recipe. Or you can save the sauce in your refrigerator for all of your BBQ needs.

Posted in Beef, Main Dishes, Sauces | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Don’t Be Tart-y to the Party

For our international readers who may not keep up with all of our U.S. colonialism celebrations, next week is the gut-busting, football-watching Thanksgiving holiday.

This means that all will gather with their families, drink lots of wine, and increase ER visits through, likely, drunken displays of turkey deep fryers and meat carving contests. This also means that you probably have to get your rear in gear and come up with some delicious dish to bring to the family gathering.

We’d like to suggest a diversion from the usual coma-inducing green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. We’ll leave that for another post.

No, we’d like to suggest a new recipe that can either be served as an appetizer or a dessert. It will warm up your stomach for the marathon of eating you have planned next Thursday, or you can even save this recipe for your office holiday celebrations. What makes it great is its applicability to all situations where you want something simple, light, and cheap enough that you’re not spending a hundred dollars making a dish for your coworkers, most of whom you never talk to on a daily basis.

“Don’t Be Tart-y to the Party” Dip

Like that Housewives of Wherever reference? We don’t even watch that show.

Ingredients:

1 bottle New Glarus Raspberry Tart

2 16 oz. tubs of Crave Brothers mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar (sidenote: I once made a cake when I was in middle school using my mom’s handwritten recipe for frosting. On the recipe card it said 1 cup p. sugar. I didn’t know what p. sugar was, and thought maybe it was a mistake. I used regular sugar in the recipe. THAT was the mistake.)

Nila Wafers, chocolate graham crackers, fresh raspberries, etc.

Preparation:
Pour a glass of Raspberry Tart for yourself and your sous chef. Enjoy.

The greatest trick to this recipe is the amount of time you whip the cheese. If it takes too much of a drubbing, it gets angry and begins to curdle out of spite. While the taste of the sweet raspberry cheese dip is subjective, it’s best to try and get the proportions correct on the first beating…the second at most. Can’t have angry cheese.

Place mascarpone cheese in bowl with powdered sugar. Say something nice to lessen its anxiety. Drizzle in 1/2 cup or so of Raspberry Tart. Whip for 1 minute.

Taste.

Adjust powdered sugar and Raspberry Tart proportions accordingly, and be sure you got it right this time. The cheese will never forgive you if you screw it up a second time. Beat it.

Serve like this:

Or this:

Or with chocolate graham crackers, in a small bowl with fresh raspberries, licked off your fingers, etc. We even served it out of a Packer helmet once at a memorable neighborhood summer party.

Serves: A gaggle of coworkers or extended family members in a slightly inebriated state

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Empty Pantry Pasta

Every time I think I have no food in the house and must take a trip to the grocery store, I get lazy and get Subway instead.

Not this time.

This time I issued myself a challenge: take what food is left in my kitchen and make a meal out of it.

Turns out it wasn’t so hard, and this may just become a regular series of Cream City Cuisine recipes.

Empty Pantry Pasta

 

Not pictured (camera shy): chicken, pasta, cheese.

Ingredients:

1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I had a mix of rigatoni and penne left from something or other)

1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Always keep some in your freezer)

2 cups green beans (fresh is best, but use whatever frozen veg you have on hand)

1 14oz. can chicken broth (keep this stuff stocked in your pantry at all times!)

1/4 cup white wine (yep, always available in my house, pictured above: Cedar Creek White Christmas)

3 cloves garlic, minced (keep a jar of this in your fridge for faster prep)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. rosemary (pictured here as 2 fresh sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped)

Shredded parmesan cheese to taste (I had Pecorino Romano, and it worked just as well)

Preparation:
Pour yourself a glass of wine to sip while cooking.

Cook chicken in skillet over medium high heat, 9 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. Dice and set aside.

Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta until al dente (shave a few minutes off usual cook time). Drain and set aside.

In skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and stir up chicken drippings (not to be confused with chicken droppings).

Add garlic and carmelize. Pour in white wine and reduce for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, herbs, and green beans, bring to boil. Add diced chicken, heat through.

If you have room in your skillet, mix in pasta and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. If you don’t have a large skillet, transfer chicken, beans, and sauce into pasta pot, add pasta, and cook until most of liquid is absorbed.

Serve with a light sprinkling of shredded cheese and remaining wine.

Serves: 4-8

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The Internet & Copyright Infringement

If you’re new to the Internets, or simply don’t spend every waking hour on the Twitter or Facebook, then you may not know about a little conundrum Cooks Source is currently facing that’s blowing up all over the interwebs.

You can read a great rundown of the sitch – and constantly updated links to related press – here.

Cooks Source (it’s killing me to not put in an apostrophe!) is an online and print magazine that turns a tidy advertising profit on recipes and food-related articles. Articles that we now come to find are plagiarized and stolen from online sources.

Note: The Internet (yes, it’s still a proper noun, capitalize it!) is NOT the public domain. Some content is not copyrighted, some is copyrighted. When in doubt, consider it copyrighted.

The editor at Cooks Source is taking a drubbing, rightfully so, and a Facebook page has popped up to document all of the stolen work – with links to the originals from the likes of NPR, a Disney affiliate, Paula Deen, Food Network, Weight Watchers, and more.

You can now also follow Cooks Source on Twitter, though, this account is to the magazine what @BPGlobalPR is to British Petroleum, so be warned.

All this, of course, we post because it’s humorous and interesting, but also because it’s an important conversation to have as posters of delicious recipes.

We here at Cream City Cuisine do find inspiration in other publications. When we write a recipe based off someone’s work – even if our recipe is different, has a local twist, also includes booze, whathaveyou – we do our best to let you know where that inspiration came from. The beauty of cooking is that a simple recipe can turn into a delicious personalized dish with just the right amount of spice, flare, and switcheroo.

This makes recipes incredibly hard to copyright and protect. Google a dish, and you’ll likely find several choices – all curiously similar in wording and content.

That’s cooking for you. But please know that we do our best to provide you with original dishes made to complement or showcase our lovely Wisconsin-made products.

Happy Morally-Conscious Cooking,

The @CCCuisine Team.

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Farmer’s Market Chili

This recipe is a tried and true Cream City Cuisine “we make it up as we go along” rainy (or snowy, or blustery!) day stew.

We suggest using whatever in-season vegetables you find at your local farmer’s market, a concoction of spices you approve via CCC’s taste-test method, and any other additions you think appropriate to your chili masterpiece.

It’s more of a method than a recipe.

Farmer’s Market Chili

Ingredients:
Assorted vegetables – Diced to uniform size. Suggestions: bell peppers, sweet corn (freshly cut off the cob or don’t bother), zucchini, squash, tomatoes, whatever you find in season at your local farmer’s market

Tomatoes – Canned diced or crushed to add that extra bit of juiciness, Rule of Thumb: keep a 2 to 1 ratio of canned beans to tomatoes in your chili for just the right amount of liquid

Garlic – Minced

Onion – Diced

Spices – Suggestions: chili powder, sweet or smoky paprika, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, freshly chopped jalapeno (mild) or serrano (hot) or 1/2 can of Hatch green chilis if you can find ’em, sage or smoked chipotle tabasco sauce for a hint of smokiness

Beans – a variety of canned, chili beans being at least one can will ensure delightful chili flavor to build upon

Accessories – Suggestions: diced onion, shredded cheese, Fritos, cooked macaroni

Basically, the ingredient list is whatever you like and whatever you can find. Experiment, cook to taste, taste often, and have fun!

Preparation:
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in kettle (pictured here: Staub Cocotte) on medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until golden.

Garlic & Onions make any dish a masterpiece

Add veggies and beans, stir and saute for 5 minutes.

Colorful = Tasty

Turn heat down to medium-low and add spices to taste. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring and tasting occassionally.

Once done, top with cheese and/or diced onion and enjoy, serve on top of Fritos or macaroni, OR any combination thereof.

Posted in Main Dishes | 2 Comments