Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Warming Up with Soup, Bread and Salad ...

Taste Tempters is bringing in the new year with a Soup, Bread and Salad theme. It's been below zero temperatures the last few days so what better way to bring in the new year with some warm soups, homemade bread and salad.

Our Menu for tonight:
  • Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream Dressing
  • Cheddar French Bread
  • Olive-Rosemary Dinner Rolls
  • Baked Potato Soup
  • Wonton Soup
  • Chipotle Chicken and Tomato Soup
  • Sweet Potato Soup

Recipes will be posted later this week!

Pear Salad with Raspberry Cream Dressing

Prepared By Debbie

* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
* 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used Raspberry Blush Vinegar)
* 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 4 firm, ripe pears
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
* 1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
* 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
* 1/2 cup Caramelized Pecans (another variation is to replace nuts with 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled)
* 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (I'm substituting with dried cranberries)


1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients. Set dressing aside.
2. Peel pears, if desired; quarter pears. Brush with lemon juice.
3. Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Arrange pear quarters over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with cheese, nuts (or bacon), and raspberries.

Mixed Greens Cashew Salad with Orange Dressing

Prepared By Karen

Mixed Greens
Mandarin Oranges (1 can drained)
Chow Mein (crisp) Noodles

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
½ tsp. dry mustard powder
Sprinkle of salt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 TBSP. Orange Juice

Toss salad. Mix dressing in a blender. Serve and enjoy!

Olive Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Prepared by Debbie
This Olive Rosemary Bread recipe is from one my favorite food blogs, All That Splatters - be sure to check out this blog for the most scrumptious recipes!

Basic dough:
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (240ml) lukewarm whole milk
2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Olive-Rosemary Dinner Rolls Ingredients:
1 quantity basic dough
generous 1/2 cup black olives
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
flour, for kneading
olive oil, for brushing

Place the yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.

Add the flour, salt and oil to the yeast mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding a little extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Brush sixteen 1/2 cup (120ml) capacity pans with oil or cooking spray.

Press down the olives with the palm of your hand to remove the stones, then tear the olives into pieces. Knead the olives and rosemary leaves into the dough on a generously floured surface, incorporating extra flour to compensate for the wetness of the olives. Divide into 16 pieces and roll into balls. Place in prepared pans, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush with the oil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Makes 16
Note: "These reheat really well." (they really do!)

Cheddar French Bread

Prepared by Debbie

This is a variation of All That Splatter's Cheddar Jalapeno Bread...basically I prepared the recipe the same as hers except I eliminated the Jalapeno peppers and added a bit more cheddar cheese than what the recipe calls for.

Note: Don't let the preparation steps intimidate you - it looks more complicated than what it really is ... making bread is quite easy.

3-1/2 cups bread flour
2-1/2 teaspoons (note: 1 packet of yeast is usually 2-1/4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups cold water, plus additional 1/3 cup cold water
4 ounces cheddar cheese
optional: 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, minced, or 4 tablespoons pickled jalapeno peppers, minced

Place the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of the food process (I used my kitchen aid). Pulse to mix. Add 1-1/3 cups of water and process until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn't form a ball, add a little of the extra water. Process for about 60 seconds, turn off machine and let dough rest for 5 minutes.

Turn on the machine again and rotate the dough about 30 times under the cover, and then remove it to a lightly floured work surface. it should be fairly smooth and quite firm.

Let the dough rest for 2 minutes and then knead roughly and vigorously. The final dough should not stick to your hands as you knead (although it will stick if you pinch and hold a piece); it should be smooth and elastic and, when you hold it up between your hands and stretch it down, it should hold together smoothly.

Preliminary rise - 40 to 60 minutes at around 75°F. Place the dough into a clean dry bowl, (do not grease the bowl), cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place free from drafts. (Note the French do not grease the bowl because they believe the dough needs a seat to push up from.) This first rise is sufficient when the dough has definitely started to rise and is about 1-1/2 times its original volume.

Turn the dough onto your lightly floured work surface roughly and firmly pat and push it out into a 14-inch rectangle. Fold one of the long sides over toward the middle, and the other long side over to cover it, making a 3 layer cushion. Repeat the operation. This important step redistributes the yeast throughout the dough, for a strong second rise. Return the dough smooth side up the bowl; cover with plastic wrap and again set to rise.

Second rise in the bowl - about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or longer. The bread should be 2-1/2 to 3 times its original bulk. It is the amount of rise that is important here, not the timing. (very important step...this step took longer than the time indicated...about 2 hours..it depends on how warm your house is, etc.)

Cut the dough in half. Set one piece aside and cover with a towel. On a lightly floured work surface pat the dough into a 14-inch rectangle, squaring it up as evenly as you can. Distribute half of the cheese and the jalapenos (if using) and press lightly into dough. Lengthwise, roll dough up, pinching to seal the long edge and the ends. Curl the dough around itself, snail-like, pinching the end of the dough to the loaf. Flatten slightly. Repeat with other half of dough.

Last rise - Cover dough with plastic wrap or loosely with a towel and let rise to more than double again at about 75°f.

Place baking stone in oven and preheat oven to 500 F. Place on the hot stone. Immediately toss a number of ice cubes on to the bottom on the oven to create steam. Bake until bread is golden brown and has an interior temp of 200°F. Takes about 20 - 30 minutes.

Note on baking: I baked mine at 350 degrees for the first 10 minutes then turned the oven to 500 degrees and baked 15 more minutes. (I did this to prevent burning)


Baked Potato Soup

Prepared by Patty

* 2 potatoes
* 3 tablespoons margarine
* 2 cups chopped white onion
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 4 cups chicken stock
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 cup half-and-half
* 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
* 8 ounces bacon - cooked and crumbled
* 2 green onions, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake potatoes for 1 hour, or until done. Set aside to cool.
  2. Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions until tender and golden brown. Stir in flour, and cook 5 minutes to make a roux. Pour in chicken stock and water. Add cornstarch and mashed potato flakes. Season with salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the skin from the cooled potatoes, and discard. Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, and stir into soup, along with the half-and-half. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. Spoon into bowls, and garnish with shredded cheese, bacon and chopped green onion.

Chipotle Chicken & Tomato Soup

Prepared by Kathy

This Chipotle Chicken & Tomato Soup recipe is from RecipeGirl.com. Be sure to check out RecipeGirl.com for a wide variety of wonderful recipes.

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • One 15.5-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes (NOTE: I used petite diced tomatoes with green chilies instead of this)
  • One 14-ounce can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (NOTE: I used vegetable broth instead of this)
  • 1 whole chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, finely chopped (NOTE: I used 1/2 Chipotle sauce instead of this)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about ½ pound)
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Partially mash tomatoes and beans with a potato masher. Stir in chicken; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in oil. Place 1¼ cups soup in each of four bowls. Top each serving with 2 Tablespoons sour cream and 1 Tablespoon cilantro.

Servings: 4


Wonton Soup

Prepared By Kelly

Here is a very good "how to" video on Videojug for preparing Wontons. . Her recipe is very different from mine, but she fills & shapes her wontons very much like mine..I use my cookie scoop for the filling.

Recipe for my Wonton filling:

1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. of ground fresh ginger
2 Tsp. of minced water chestnuts
1/2 cup of chopped finely spinach (blanch)
1 Tbsp. of soy sauce
1 small egg
Salt & Pepper

(she used water & cornstarch to seal her wontons, I used one egg beat well & a pastry brush.)

Make extras!! Wontons can be filled & frozen up to 3 months. Also, you can fill wontons with anything you like. Take frozen wontons out of bag and gently toss into simmering broth. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Test one before serving.

For the broth I use my own chicken stock with about 1 tsp. of soy sauce. Topped with chives or scallions. See Chicken Stock recipe below:

Recipe for chicken stock:

(neatness doesn't count for this recipe)

1 whole chicken (smaller size - not a roaster) remove as much skin as possible & clean thoroughly
1 onion
2 med. carrots peeled & quartered
2 tomatoes quartered
2 celery stocks chopped in large sections
a clomp of fresh parsley (to clean run under cold tap water)
1 green pepper cut in large sections
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. of peppercorns

Fill a large pot almost to the top with cold water. Do NOT add salt to the water at this time. Bring to boil while adding all the above vegetables & herbs into the pot. Once at a boil, continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. At this time carefully add the skinned chicken to the pot w/ the vegetables. When the chicken is comfortably in the pot with the vegetables bring the water up to a slow simmer. Foam will start to collect at the top of the water, take your skimmer or a paper towel and skim off the fat (foam). Only have to do this one time during the cooking process. Set burner between low & medium (more on the lower side) and stew for at least 2 hours. Warning the house will smell unbelievably great. If you like you can simmer for as many hours as you like. The longer the better, I have found.

Turn burner off. In your sink have a separate large pot with a strainer inside the pot. The large pot is there to collect all the stock. You want to pick out all the carrots and as much meat from the chicken as possible. The carrots you can mash up with a fork and add to your soups. The chicken meat you can use for chicken salad, hot chicken sandwiches, hot chicken wing dip, add it to your chicken soup...etc. Put chicken stock back on the stove & use a finer strainer to strain the stock (hopefully picking up tomato seeds & unwanted fat). Everything else goes into the garbage.

Chicken Soup:

Bring chicken stock up to a boil & add chicken flavored bunion cubes for taste. I add one at a time until I get the flavor I like for the soup. Also, you can add chopped parsley, salt and pepper to the soup. Choose your pasta for the soup at this time along with the mashed carrots and add it to the boiling stock. I prefer orzo pasta for my chicken soup. You can also choose to add some the chicken you picked from the stock. It's up to you...make it your own. There is nothing like it when you are not feeling well. I also top it with a little Parmesan cheese just before serving.


Sweet Potato Soup

Prepare By Cathy

This Sweet Potato Soup recipe is perfect on a cold winter day and can found over at Allrecipes.com .. an all time Taste Tempters favorite recipe website.

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 1 turnip
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

  1. Peel and cut vegetables into small, uniform pieces. Place in a pot, and cover with the chicken stock; use only the amount of stock needed to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until vegetables are tender.
  2. Place vegetables and liquid into a food processor. Puree.
  3. Return pureed vegetables to the saucepan. Slowly stir in the cream, brown sugar, nutmeg, and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 Servings


Pink Champagne Cake

Prepared By Theresa

Notice the "Mommy's Time Out" bottle of wine on the table :)

The night couldn't have ended any better with this delightful Pink Champagne Cake. This cake would be wonderful for Valentine's Day, Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, Easter, a special birthday, etc. It is light and fluffy and just delightful to look at (and of course eat!).

  • 1 Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix (without pudding in the mix)
  • 1 1/3 Cups Pink or Rose Champagne
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Egg Whites
  • 3 Drops of red food coloring
  • Champagne, chilled (pink, white, sweet, or dry)
Note: Beringer's Sparkling White Zinfandel was used when making this.

  1. Prepare cake mix according to instructions substituting the champagne for the water. The kind of champagne/sparkling wine (pink, white, sweet, dry) used will determine the flavor.
  2. Tint with red food coloring to a soft pink, use a drop at a time, about 3 drops.
  3. Bake cake as instructed on box. I usually make in 9x13-inch pan, but for an elegant layer cake use two 9 round cake pans, a heart pan would be perfect for Valentine's Day!
Creamy Champagne Frosting:

• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/4 cup champagne
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• Pinch of salt
• 3 - 4 cups additional powdered sugar

Beat 1 cup softened butter until creamy. Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar; add ¼ cup milk, 1/4 cup champagne, salt, and 1 TB vanilla. Add red coloring till pink color, again slowly add a drop at a time till color you want. Beat in remaining cups powdered sugar till you can spread it or is consistency you want.

Frost completely cooled cake.