Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

It was a holiday weekend with time to prepare a leisurely breakfast.  One of our favorite breakfasts consists of bacon and eggs with home fries or hash browns.  But instead of preparing them all separately, my thought was to mix them all up into a baked casserole.   This is how it all came together….

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It took about 15 minutes to assemble, and 45 – 50 minutes baking time, so while it baked I was able to make a fresh fruit salad to go along with it.  This turned out to be a savory mixture of eggs, cheese, bacon, hash brown, and spices, that got us off to a great start.  Keep this one in mind if you’re planning a busy weekend, and need a hearty start to get you going.

HASH BROWNS, BACON AND EGG BAKE

Yield:  about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes,
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese blend
  • 6 eggs,  or 3 whole eggs, and 1/2 cup egg beater substitute
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic-herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper sauce
  • 4 – 5 slices bacon, precooked and crumbled
  • jarred salsa, if desired, for serving

Directions:

1.  Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, crumbled bacon, and 1 cup of cheese.  Spread evenly in the baking dish.

Spread potatoes, bacon and cheese evenly in bottom of baking dish,

Spread potatoes, bacon and cheese evenly in bottom of baking dish,

3.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly with a wire whisk.  Add the milk,  herb blend seasoning and hot sauce.  Blend well.  Pour over potato-cheese mixture.

 

Mix up egg mixture and pour over potato layer,

Mix up egg mixture and pour over potato layer,

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over all.

Top with remaining cheese.

Top with remaining cheese.

4.  Bake in 350* oven for 45-50 minutes.  When cooked, a knife inserted just off-center, should be “clean” when removed.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares for serving.  Serve with salsa if desired.

 

Cheese on top gets browned and crusty.

Cheese on top gets browned and crusty.

Cut into squares to serve.

Cut into squares to serve.

Nice with a little salsa to spice it up.

Nice with a little salsa to spice it up.

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SOURCE:   A Carolyn’s Original

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Of all the ways that I have fixed potatoes, I think one of my favorites is baked, crispy, well-seasoned slices.  Sliced potatoes are easier to prepare than, say, cutting french fries.  I just slice them up, drizzle with a little olive oil and seasonings, bake, and they turn out great.  The thinner you slice them, the crispier they get.  Sort of like hot potato chips.

I made the batch you see here to go with oven baked fish, but they are the prefect side dish with so many things from burgers to steak, and anything in between.

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You really don’t need a recipe for these, but I wrote down some basic guidelines if you care to make them…..

GARLICY BAKED POTATO SLICES

Yield:   Makes 2 – 4 servings   I plan on 1 potato/person

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 4 whole potatoes, peeled (Russets are preferred)
  • olive oil,  about 1 Tablespoon/potato
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • mixed herbs such as Italian Blend or Fine Herbs

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Lightly spray a shallow baking sheet with sides.

2.  Slice potatoes into desired thickness.  Remember, thinner is crispier.  Cut them with a knife or use a mandoline for uniform slices.

3.  Rinse potatoes with water to remove starch.  Pat dry with paper towels.

4.  In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and seasonings of choice.   Add potato slices and stir or toss until all are evenly coated.

5.  Spread potato slices on prepared baking sheet.  Place in oven to bake, turning every 15 minutes until golden brown.  The total time will depend on how many potatoes you are cooking.  I made 2 potatoes and it took about 30 minutes for them to be done.

Serve while hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.  We like ranch dressing or Thousand Island dressing.

It’s unlikely that when you serve these, there will be any left over, but IF there are,  we like them rewarmed in a skillet with an egg broken over them.  Serve with bacon for breakfast.

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

Garlicy Baked Potato Slices

 

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

 

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a fun food to eat.  Cut into small wedges, they can become an appetizer, or serve them for a lunch, or a light supper.  These were made using the remains of my Country Style Pork Ribs.  The meat was so easy to shred because it just fell apart.  I also had a little rice left from that meal, so I included it as part of the filling in the quesadillas.

Basically you can fill these with any variety of foods, just make sure to include the pork, and cheese is an essential ingredient also.  In addition to the pulled pork and rice, mine included refried beans, green onions, 4-cheese Mexican Blend grated cheese, and a small amount of BBQ sauce to help hold it all together.  Flour tortillas provided the top and bottom to this filling.  Brown lightly in a skillet until the cheese melts, cut into wedges and serve warm.

Makes a thickly filled quesadilla for a light lunch or supper.

Makes a thickly filled quesadilla for a light lunch or supper.

One thing to keep in mind is the size of tortilla you use.  Most people use a 6-inch tortilla for tacos, but they can be used for tortillas as well.  If you upsize to an 8-inch tortilla, you nearly double the surface area, meaning it will take twice as much filling.  Suddenly your light lunch or snack becomes a real heavy-weight.  If you use the smaller size tortilla, you can pile on lean meats, veggies and cheese.  Crisp it in a hot skillet with cooking spray instead of butter or oil, and save even more calories from fat.

Here’s the real deal on these quesadillas…..

PULLED PORK QUESADILLAS

Yield:  Makes 2 (6-inch) quesadillas

Ingredients:

Spread refried beans over flour tortilla.

Spread refried beans over flour tortilla.

  • 1 – 1  1/2 cups pulled pork
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I like the 4-cheese Mexican Blend)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 4  6-inch flour tortillas
  • cooking spray

Directions:

1.  On a flat surface lay out 2 of the tortillas.  With an off-set spatulas or knife, spread 1/4 cup refried beans on each one.

2.  In a mixing bowl, stir together the pork, rice, green onions, cheese and BBQ sauce.  Divide this mixture between the two tortillas, and spread out evenly.   Top with the remaining two tortillas.

Layer on the filling mixture.

Layer on the filling mixture.

3.  Lightly spray a skillet with cooking spray.  Bring to medium heat and place tortillas in the skillet. ( You may need to cook them separately.)   Cook on one side until nicely browned, then flip over and brown the second side.  Keep the heat on low to medium so the filling will get heated and the cheese will melt while the outside browns, but doesn’t burn.

4.  Cut into wedges and serve warm with sour cream, guacamole, sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce if desired.

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SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

Tuna Melts with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Tuna Melt with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Tuna Melt with Horseradish Mayonnaise

Let me introduce you to one of my very favorite sandwiches.  It’s high time you met.  You see, I’ve been making and enjoying this sandwich for quite some time now, but for  some reason I never took photos of it.  Bad lighting, too hungry (usually), cheese too melty, not attractive.  Oh, and I never wrote down the ingredients before.  I just make it on the fly.

This week I became determined to share it with you.  Even though it seems like a pretty ordinary, everyone-must-know-how-to-make-this, kind of sandwich, I figured that if we love it made this way, you just might like it too.  This particular combo of tuna fish, crunchy celery and scallions, and a tangy mayo-mustard-horseradish dressing on rye toast is mouthwateringly good.  It makes a great lunch, and can become a full meal when paired with a hot bowl of soup.  If you’ve never added some of these flavors to tuna fish salad, try it.  You may be surprised at how good it is.

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TUNA MELTS WITH HORSERADISH MAYONNAISE

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_6956

  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
  • 2  5-ounce cans solid white tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or 1 Tbsp. dried
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and  black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 4 large slices rye bread, lightly toasted
  • 8 thin slices havarti cheese
  • 8 slices of tomato
  • dill pickles, for serving, (optional)

Directions:

1.  Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 475*F.

2.  Combine 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise, the tuna, celery, scallions, parsley, and vinegar in a large bowl and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise with the mustard and horseradish in a small bowl;  spread on the bread slices and arrange on a baking sheet.  Mound the tuna mixture on top and pat it into an even layer.  Top each with 1 cheese slice, tearing it as needed to cover the tuna mixture.

4.  Season the tomato slices with salt;  Place 2 slices on top of each sandwich, then top each with another slice of cheese.  Bake until the cheese melts, 5 to 7 minutes.  Serve with dill pickles.

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SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

 

 

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Poached Pears

Necessity is the mother of invention.  You’ve heard that saying before haven’t you?

Well, in my refrigerator were four pears that had gotten quite ripe while I was away, and it was necessary that I find a way to use them up.  I had read an article some time ago about poaching pears in red wine, and thought at the time that they were very pretty because they became tinted pink.  Not having any red wine readily available, I “invented” this recipe for poached pears using cranberry ginger ale.  Since orange is also a good match-up with cranberry,  I added some orange slices and threw in some whole cloves.  The results, as you can see, were tender pears, tinted a nice pink, and further flavored by the orange and cloves.   And the best part?   There’s no sugar in this recipe.  I just relied on the sweetness of the ginger ale and the pears themselves to carry the dish.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

After being cooked they are a lovely pink color.

This is an easy-peasy dessert.  It can be served warm or chilled.  Mr. D. loved these pears, and I must say that I find them pretty darn good too.  If your New Year’s resolution has something to do with weight loss or eating less sugar, these pears are for you!!

This is everything you will need.

This is everything you will need.

POACHED PEARS

Yield:   4 -6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium pears, ripe, but not too soft.  I used Anjou pears
  • 1 orange
  • several whole cloves,  about 6
  • a bottle cranberry ginger ale, or cranberry juice

Directions:

1.   Peel and core the pears.  Cut each one into eighths.  Place into a medium-size sauce pan.

2.  Slice 3-4 slices from the orange, and cut each one in half.   Juice the rest of the orange and add the juice to the pan with the fruit.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

Cut-up pears, orange slices and cloves in the saucepan.

3.  Add the cloves to the pan with the fruit.

4.  Pour in the ginger ale just to the point where the pears are not quite covered.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife.  This took about 15 minutes.

5.   Drain the pears reserving the juice, but removing the cloves and orange slices.  Cool and serve pears with some of the juice.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

Serve warm or chilled for a low calorie dessert.

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

New Year’s Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Today’s recipe was previously published, but I pulled it up from the archives because it is so fantastic that it deserves another viewing, especially for new readers.

I frequently make this soup for New Year’s Day.  Of course, I make it at other times too, but for some reason I connect it with New Years.  As yesterday’s post said, some people eat peas, pidgin peas, black-eyed peas, lentils and  beans to celebrate the new year, and supposedly they represent prosperity and good luck.  So if eating pea soup will bring me those things, then I will gladly eat it.   Not only for that reason, but because  it’s really good.

This recipe makes a big pot of  hearty, thick pea soup with bits of ham or other smoked meat and carrots swimming in it. It will fill you and warm you up on a cold day.  As I write this a pot of this goodness is simmering away on the back burner of my stove, filling my kitchen with it’s wonderful smokey smell while outside the sun is shining but the wind is blowing as the latest snow storm moves away from us.  A great day to be inside, waiting expectantly for dinner.

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I developed this recipe as presented here, but it began as a basic recipe for split pea soup.  I find that adding some granular chicken bouillon to the broth enriches it, and I particularly like using Sazon Goya as an all-purpose seasoning.  This can be found in the Spanish foods section of the supermarket.  I also like the subtle flavor of garlic, so I use at least 4 cloves.  That may seem like a lot, but with the long slow simmer it gets, it is not a strong flavor, but rather an undertone.  For smokiness I like to use smoked pork neck bones if I can find them, however a nice meaty ham bone does just as well, or failing that use a piece of kielbasa.

Smoked pork neck bones.

Smoked pork neck bones.

As you can see this soup is very versatile,  you can’t do anything to ruin it, so play with the ingredients and make it your own.  But do try it!

SPLIT PEA SOUP

YIELD:    6 – 8 servings

  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 1 Tablespoon granular chicken bouillon
  •  3/4 pound smoked ham or 1 ham hock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 clove garlic
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 2 packets, Sazon Goya seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Split green peas, bay leaves. and Sazon Goya

    Split green peas, bay leaves. and Sazon Goya

  • 8 – 10 cups water

1.  In a large soup pot  ( 6 -8 quart), measure in the water.  I start with 8 cups, and add liquid as necessary because pea soup tends to absorb liquid and become quite thick.  Rinse the peas and add to the pot of water.  Over medium-high heat start the soup cooking.

2.  Add in all the rest of the ingredients, with the exception of the carrot, and bring to a boil.

.On its way to becoming a delicious and hearty bowl of soup.

.On its way to becoming a delicious and hearty bowl of soup.

3.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for about 2 hours.  Peas should be totally cooked and dissolved into the broth.

4.  Remove the ham bone, or bones, and bay leaf.  Let cool slightly, then remove any meat from bones and set aside.

5.  Using an immersion blender or standard blender, puree the soup.  Return to soup pot, return meat to soup.

6.  Peel and dice the carrot, add to the soup and cook on low until carrot is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Alternately you may cook the carrot in the soup from the beginning, but then it gets pureed along with everything else.  I like to see the bits of carrot in the soup with the ham.

7.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as necessary.  It’s best to wait till the end, because the bouillon and the ham will add saltiness.

To serve you might want to float a few well seasoned croutons on top of each bowl, and serve with a great loaf of bread.

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SOURCE:   A CAROLYN ORIGINAL

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Chicken Fajita Pizza

Chicken Fajita Pizza

We first tasted Chicken Fajita Pizza at Uno’s Restaurant.  After that first time we ordered it every time we went there.  But then  for unknown reasons the Uno’s nearest to where we live closed, so I was forced to make it at home if we were ever going to enjoy it again.  And that is the story of how this recipe came to be.  It may not be an exact copy of the original, but we like it a lot, and its one of several pizza flavors that I make on a regular basis.

When I first attempted to make it I was experimenting with the seasonings, trying to recapture that fajita flavor.  Then I discovered that Lowry’s makes a Fajita Seasoning Mix, so now I cheat and use that, and we are happier with how it tastes.

CHICKEN FAJITA PIZZA

Yield:   Makes 1  10-inch pizza,  serves 2

Ingredients:IMG_5762

  • 1  1-pound package pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 1  pound skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, or chicken tenderloins
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pkg. Fajita Seasoning mix
  • 1 medium pepper, any color, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese

Directions:

1.  On a 10-inch pizza baking pan, or baking stone,  roll or stretch the dough to fit the pan/stone.  If the dough resists stretching, let it rest for 5 minutes and continue, repeating if necessary.    Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Spread 1 cup of the shredded cheese over the dough.

Spread some of the cheese over the dough.

Spread some of the cheese over the dough.

3.  In a large skillet, over medium-high heat,  add the vegetable oil and get it hot, then add the chicken and sauté quickly,  just to brown lightly.    Don’t crowd the pan, do it in two batches if necessary.  Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.

4.  In the same skillet, add a drizzle more oil if needed.  Add the peppers and onion, and sauté them lightly.

Sautéing peppers and onions.

Sautéing peppers and onions.

They should not be thoroughly cooked.  Add the chicken back into the pan.

Chicken with seasonings sprinkled over it.

Chicken with seasonings sprinkled over it.

Everything mixed together.

Everything mixed together.

5.  Sprinkle Fajita Seasoning over all, then add the water.  Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 5  minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from heat.

6.  Spoon chicken mixture over the dough and cheese.   Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.

7.  Bake at 425*F. for 15 minutes, checking  that it is not getting over browned.  Crust edges should be lightly brown, and topping melty and gooey.

Tastes just like chicken fajita without the tortilla.

Tastes just like chicken fajita without the tortilla.

Note:  for a crispier crust, dust the pizza pan or baking stone with cornmeal before laying out the dough.

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cheese Cake.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cheese Cake.

Not too long ago a member of my family was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity.  So for Thanksgiving, I wanted to make a dessert that she particularly likes and could eat.  Pumpkin pie has always been a favorite, so I knew that anything with pumpkin would work out well.  I also needed it to be something that didn’t have a crust.

Remembering a cheesecake recipe that I have made in the past that was crustless,  I devised this recipe for a cheesecake that is crustless, but gives all the flavor of a pumpkin pie.  We all loved it.  So for anyone who needs a gluten-free dessert, this one is very good.  You can also reduce the fat content by using low-fat cream cheese and low-fat sour cream.  It mixes up easily and can be all made in a little over an hour.  Chill until ready to serve.

Oh, soooo good.

Oh, soooo good.

GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Yield:  serves 8

Ingredients:

Looks like someone's making a pumpkin cheesecake!

Looks like someone’s making a pumpkin cheesecake!

  • 2  (8-oz.) packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray or grease a 9-inch deep pie pan, or 10-inch regular pie pan.

2.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer,  put in cream cheese and sugar.  Beat until smooth and thick. Add eggs one at a time beating smooth.  Add vanilla, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.  Blend in well.  Pour into prepared pie pan.  I had enough filling for a 9-inch deep dish pie plate plus 3 custard cups.

This makes a lot of filling.  Use a 10" pan or several extra custard cups.

This makes a lot of filling. Use a 10″ pan or several extra custard cups.

3.  Bake at 350*F for 40- 45 minutes.   Test center for doneness.  The cheesecake may develop cracks in the top, but this will be covered by the sour cream topping.

It will puff up as it bakes and may crack like this one did.

It will puff up as it bakes and may crack like this one did.

4.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  While cooling the center will become slightly depressed.

A depression forms in the center as it cools a bit.

A depression forms in the center as it cools a bit.

Meanwhile mix up the topping mixture using a bowl and whisk.  Pour over cheesecake, and bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes.  The topping should fill the depression in the cheesecake, creating a white center with raised edges that are light pumpkin color.  A pretty effect!

Before baking--fill center with sour cream topping.

Before baking–fill center with sour cream topping.

After baking.

After baking.

5.  Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

A light and fluffy texture.

A light and fluffy texture.

Oh, soooo good.

Oh, soooo good.

SOURCE:   a  Carolyn’s Original

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Sometimes on a Friday evening a group of us from the dance studio go out for a bite to eat after a practice session.  Nearby is a pub that serves Irish Nachos that we all love.  We usually order two platters of them and we can devour them in very short  order.  The platter of these nachos comes with a mixture of  waffle fries piled high with seasoned ground beef, onions, peppers, jalepeños and melted cheese. Sour cream, salsa and guacamole are served on the side.  Everyone just digs in and they disappear in no time flat!!

Well, I got the idea that I would like to make a similar dish at home.  First of all, if you’re not familiar with Irish Nachos, you use potato in place of corn chips, but otherwise they are pretty much like regular nachos but so much better, because you can pile on all the ingredients that you like.  They are totally delicious and a great crowd pleaser, not to mention extremely budget friendly.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

You start with a big pan of thinly sliced roasted potatoes. Waffle cut french fries work well, too.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Next you pile on some sautéed vegetables….

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions.

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions, diced tomatoes and scallions.

Then, layer on some seasoned cooked meat.  Ground beef or ground turkey are both really good, but you could also use shredded beef or shredded pork….whatever!!   It’s all going to be so delicious.  The version I made here was meatless. Along with this I served turkey burgers minus the bun.

Top with shredded cheese.

Top with shredded cheese.

Add on some diced tomatoes, and chopped scallions, then a big handful of cheese.   Put it back into the oven to melt the cheese.

Hot and melty, so good!!

Hot and melty, so good!!

Once its out of the oven for the final time, serve while hot with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and call it a meal.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

These make a wonderful snack or meal on game day when everyone wants to be in front of the TV.

IRISH NACHOS

Yield:    Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese ( I like a Mexican Blend )
  • sour cream, salsa and avocado or guacamole to serve on the side

Directions:

1.  In a large wrought iron skillet or tart pan, layer the sliced potatoes in circles, making sure to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as possible.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the paprika and garlic powder.  Drizzle with the olive oil and bake at 350* F. for about 35 minutes.

2.  While potatoes are baking,  cut up peppers and onion.  In a medium skillet drizzle olive oil to coat the pan and bring to medium high heat.  Add the peppers and onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Remove to a dish to keep warm.  Next add the beef or turkey and sprinkle with the chili powder.  Season with salt and pepper and sauté  until meat is fully cooked.

3.  When potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and layer the vegetables mixture over the top.  Then transfer the meat mixture to the pan over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and scallions.  Then top with shredded cheese.

4.  Put back into the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes until the cheese has melted.

5.  Once out of the oven, serve immediately with sides of sour cream, salsa, and chopped avocado or guacamole.

SOURCE:  Carolyn’s Originals

Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Here we are again, Theme Thursday, and the theme is still tomatoes.  Today I have a recipe for Tomato Soup with the added flavor of curry to give it a little zing.

The inspiration for this soup came in a brown paper bag,  a plain brown wrapper you might say, but there was nothing naughty inside.  No, I’m happy to tell you the bag was full of ripe tomatoes.  A friend, going away for a few days, picked all the ripe tomatoes from her garden, and brought them to me, knowing that I would make good use of them.  Such a good friend!  My creative juices started flowing and looking for recipes for tomatoes I found several for soup.  I liked something about this one, and something about that one, but not everything about any one of them.  So how did I choose which one to make?  I didn’t.  I made a merger, taking a little from here and a little from there,  and came up with this idea for a tomato soup.

Using a large onion chopped, I sautéed it in butter then added the curry powder, stirred it around for a minute or so to blend flavors, added the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and let it simmer a while.  So simple, and yet so good.

I used 2 1/2  pounds of fresh tomatoes with skins removed, and seeds squeezed out, but the really nice thing is that you can use  canned crushed tomatoes ( 28 oz. can), and have this soup anytime you want it.  You don’t need to wait for tomato season to roll around.  I also used chicken broth, but, here too, you can make a substitution and use vegetable broth instead for a vegetarian/vegan soup.  Since I associate curry with Indian cookery, and sour cream is also widely used in Indian cookery, at serving time I swirled a little sour cream into each bowl of soup and sprinkled on chopped chives for garnish.

We enjoyed this soup totally, and along with it I made a pretty spectacular grilled cheese sandwich, using kale, caramelized onions and cheese.  Wow!!  Stop back next week when I’ll have that recipe ready for you.  For now, here’s the soup.

Rich, deep tomato flavor.  The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

Rich, deep tomato flavor. The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

TOMATO CURRY SOUP

Yield:   serves 6

Ingredients:

2 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

2-3 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

  • 1/2 cup  ( 1 medium) onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter ( 1/2 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder ( more if you like)
  • 2 – 3  pounds fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeds squeezed out, ( or use 1  28 -oz. can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 32-oz. container chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • chopped chives for garnish

1.  Melt butter in a large sauce pan.  Sauté onion in butter until transparent.  Add in curry powder, stirring over low heat for  1 – 2 minutes to blend flavors.

2.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon as much as possible.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 – 20 minutes.  You can smooth out the soup by pureeing in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Otherwise serve as is; it will be a little chunky.

3.  Ladle into serving bowls, swirl in 1 – 2 teaspoons sour cream.  Garnish with chopped chives.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

Source:   a Carolyn Original