I've decided to have an annual get together, and this weekend was the first one! We had a fun time - pictures are on Facebook if you want to see. I had a lot of requests for some recipes, so here they are...
Potato Leek Soup
Prep Time: :35
Cook Time: 1:30
* 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 pound each)
* 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), sliced and rinsed well
* 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
* 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated sharp Cheddar (see Cook's Note)
* 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or chives
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes, pat dry, and pierce several times with a fork. Set them directly on the oven rack and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water. Simmer until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Cut one of cooled potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining potato and add to the pot with the leeks. Puree the contents of the pot in batches in a blender until very smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together the milk and sour cream and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese. Stir in the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar cheese, the bacon bits, and the scallions or chives.
Yield: 6 cups, 4 servings
Cook's Note: Sharp cheese works well in this soup because it melts smoothly. Extra sharp will give you a more pronounced flavor but because of the lower moisture content, the soup will be less smooth.
And, the ever famous Amy's Artichoke Dip...
1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8oz crumbled Feta cheese
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
optional: 2oz diced pimentos, drained
(I just chop up some black olives. But, do whatever you want)
1. Mix all ingredients
2. Spoon into 9in. pie plate or 3cup shallow baking dish
3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
And, finally, butternut squash risotto
Chop up a medium sized onion and a couple of garlic cloves. Saute them in olive oil over medium high heat for 5 or so minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups of arborio rice (whatever it's called. You know, risotto rice.) and saute for a minute or two. Add a cup of white wine and cook for about a minute. Oh, while you're doing this have some chicken broth simmering on another burner. Then, once the wine cooks off, ladle in some chicken broth - about 3 or 4 ladles. Cook it down, stirring frequently. Repeat. Repeat again. Keep repeating until the rice isn't hard. Takes about 1/2 hour or so. Once the rice is cooked, turn off the burner, add in about 2 cups of smashed up, cooked, butternut squash, 3 handfuls of parmesan cheese, some nutmeg and some sage, and some country style sausage sliced up (and already cooked). Let it sit up for a minute or two, then eat. It's good. Really, really good.
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