Monday, January 26, 2009

Cooking Club: Jan. 2009

Theme: Soup or Salad and a dessert or two.

For January's Cooking Club everyone brought soup or salad and a bottle of sparkling wine to pair with it. We also did a white elephant gift exchange, which is always fun. We had some fantastic dishes, some new faces and as always a good laugh and a good time.

Now, onto the recipes!

Butternut Squash and Curry Soup / Chris

This soup, although it sounds odd, was amazing. The flavors together were incredible and not too strong.

Chicken Taco Salad Bites / Summer

2 mini muffin pans
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
1 wedge of cabbage
Black olives
Tomatoes, finely chopped
Sour cream
Roasted red and yellow peppers
Pinch of salt
1 bunch chives
Preheat 375'

Roll out thawed puff pastry and cut into squares to fit your mini muffin cups. Poke all over with a fork, then shape squares into cups in each mini muffin tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check halfway through and if the dough is puffed, press out air with a small spoon so cups hold their shape. Once browned, cool on a wire rack.

Mince chicken in a food processor, set aside. Mince cabbage, set aside. Mince olives, set aside. Blend together sour cream, roasted peppers and a pinch of salt, set aside. Once pastry cups are cooled, layer them with the chicken, cabbage, olives and tomatoes. Top with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

* I'm not sure how much I used of each ingredient, but I got 16 mini pastry cups from one sheet of pastry.

Lacie's Cherry Dump Cake
My grandma makes a similar dump cake with cherries and pineapple in the filling and she adds chopped nuts to the topping.

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (16.5 ounce) can pitted dark sweet cherries
Opt. /1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup butter
Opt. / 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dump pineapple (if using) and cherries into one 9x13 inch pan and mix together. Top with cake mix (then nuts if using) and sliced butter pats.
Bake for 45 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Remove and serve warm or cold.

* Ice Cream or whipped cream make a great accompainment.

Teresa's Fruity Toot Toot Salad
Image: Bon Appetit
Toss seasonal fruit with one container of whipped cream. Simple, refreshing and delicious.

Parker's Split Pea Soup / Dana
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
1 pound dried split green peas
8 cups chicken stock or water

In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

* Dana's notes: I might change it up a little by adding diced ham or even better adding cut uncooked bacon while sauteing the onions and garlic. Will give the soup more fat, but also more flavor. You can never go wrong with bacon!!!! I had cooking club sprinkle sliced bacon pieces over the top to add flavor.

Chocolate Caramel Gooey Bars / Susan

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