Food Hero


Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht by Rachelle
February 20, 2011, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Soup, Uncategorized


photo from Everyday Food Website

I made this soup for a two-family dinner and all the kids gobbled it up. It cooks up with minimal prep — the only thing that take time is peeling the beets. This recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine — my go-to source for mid-week cooking. It too about 20 minutes to peel the root veggies, and then you can make a salad while the veggies roast.

Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht

2 lbs red beets
1 lb russet potatoes
2 shallots
fresh thyme
olive oil
salt and pepper
5 c veggie broth (can do some broth and some water)
red wine vinegar
sour cream
fresh parsley (opt)
green onions (opt)

Pre-heat oven to 400. Peel beets and dice medium. Peel  1 lb russet potatoes and dice medium. Add these to a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Coarsely chop 2 shallots and add to pan along with 3-5 springs of fresh thyme. Drizzel with 2T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat.  Arrange this mix in a single layer and roast until beets and potatoes are cooked through. (About 45min)

Discard thyme. Add vegetable to a soup pot along with 5 cups vegetable broth. Bring to simmer over medium-high. Use a potato masher to mash some of the veggies until the soup is think and chunky. Stir in 1 T red-wine vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top with sour cream, chopped fresh parsley, and thinly sliced green onions if desired.



Pfeffernusse (Pepper Nuts) by Rachelle
December 13, 2009, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Baked Goods/Desserts, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags:

Pfeffernuess is German for “pepper nuts” and is a classic spicy holiday treat. This is my mother-in-law’s cookie recipe, and my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie. We made two huge gallon-sized ziploc bags this year, and they are already almost gone. This German version is anise flavored, but the Danish pebernodder (literally “pepper nuts) are made with black or white pepper.

1 c white corn syrup
1 c dark corn syrup
2 c white sugar
1 c butter, melted
2 c sour cream
1/4 tsp anise oil
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
8-10 c flour (or more)

 Put ingredients together in a very large bowl. Stir well after first 5 ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients. Add enough flour until dough is quite thick, but not overly dry. (I usually end up using all 10 cups.) Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Just a couple hours is not enough chill time for this recipe.) Roll out onto a very well floured board into thin 1/2 inch diameter snakes. Cut into small pieces. To prevent sticking, lightly shake the cookies in your well floured hands. Lay them out on cookie sheets, not touching. Bake 12-15 min at 375 degrees.

These cookies are meant to be quite crisp, almost like biscotti. But I also enjoy them made slightly large and cooked to a softer consistency. Paul says “drink them with Market Spice tea!”



Emergency Dinner: Huervos Rancheros and Roasted Veggies by Rachelle
September 22, 2009, 6:46 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

huervos rancheros and roasted vegggies

I threw two parties this weekend: one for 15 11 year olds, and another serving dinner and dessert to 25 folks. Needless to say, I did NOT feel like cooking again come Monday night.

Alas, the children, they demand to be fed.

I had a bunch of leftover cornbread and wanted to make Katy’s Huervos Rancheros with Chorizo to go with it. But I didn’t have the right ingredients.  So this is what came up instead. I bet you could do something like it with what you have on hand as well. Here’s the un-recipe:

Roasted Veggies: Put a couple halved, seeded bell peppers cut side down on a baking sheet. On the other half of the sheet put a row of asparagus. (I snap the ends. Some people peel.) Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast at 375 until the asparagus are bite-tender. Set aside. (They are fine room temp.) Keep the pepper in there until the skins blister slightly. Remove peppers and cool until you can just handle them. Pinch off the skins and discard. Slice.

“Emergency” Rancheros Sauce: In a skillet or saucepan heat olive oil. Sautee a some onions (I used green) and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. Add a can of stewed tomatoes (mine had peppers in it). Add 1/2-1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust to taste.

Scramble up or fry some eggs and serve the whole feast with corn tortillas, chips, rice…whatever you have on hand. Have Yum.



Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup by Rachelle
September 21, 2009, 7:10 am
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Soup | Tags: , , ,

Jamacian Black Bean and Rice Soup

Last night was our Annual Fall Chili Fest for the Autumnal Equinox. I try out a different chili every year, and this one got rave reviews from our guests. It goes well with easy Pineapple Salsa and Buttery Cornbread, both of which can be found here. Have yum!

Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup
(serves 10)

1/4 olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 tsp each cumin and oregano (adjust to taste)
2 tsp salt
4-5 cloves minced garlic
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 c veggi stock
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
2-3 T red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)

Toppings: sliced radishes, sour cream, limes, pineapple salsa

1) Saute onions, bells peppers, spices and salt in a large pot until onions are tender.

2) Add veggie stock. Add beans and tomatoes. Heat thru.

3) Right before serving, add cooked rice and heat thru. When soup is steaming add vinegar and adjust salt.

Tip: Only add enough rice to the amount you are planning to eat right away. Store rice and soup separately to avoid the rice breaking down into starch in your leftovers.



Chocolate Skillet Cake with Pears and Walnuts by Rachelle

This is my favorite desert for Rosh Hashanah, which I’ve written about at BlogHer this week. It’s not a traditional Jewish dish, just something this goyim girl does for the season. Enjoy some fall goodness!

¼ c butter
¼ c brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 sliced pears
¼ c chopped walnuts

 Melt the butter, brown sugar, and honey in an oven-proof cast-iron skillet. Arrange pears in concentric circles on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle walnuts evenly across the skillet.

1/3 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 squares (1oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1  1/4c flour
2/3 c milk

 Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time. Stir in chocolate, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually alternate adding milk and flour. Pour mixture over pears in skillet. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter.

Wonderful warm with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!



Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, Medium Fix, Salads, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

sweetpotatosalad

This recipe for Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes is from my favorite cooking magazine, Everyday Foodwith Martha Stewart. My mom saved all my copies over the past year, and I had a blast tearing out the new dishes to try out. I made this one while at Pura Vida and it was a big hit. I’m allergic to walnuts, so I substituted pine nuts. And couldn’t get red leaf so I had to use Romaine as you’ll see in the photos.

Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in chunks
1 med red onon, quartered
2 T olive oil
coarse salt and ground black pepper
1 package (10 oz) frozen cut green beans, thawed
1/3 c walnuts
1 c plain low-fat yogurt
2 T white-wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

misenplacesweetpotatosaladPreheat oven to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes, onions, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until sweet potatoes are tender, about 20min.

Add green beans and walnuts to sheet, toss. Roast until green beans are tender, about 5 min.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, and garlic. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Top lettuce with roasted veggies, drizzle with dressing.



Strawberry Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Salads | Tags: , ,

strawberryspinachsalad

Too hot to cook? I’m a huge fan of “big salads.” (Remember how Elaine on Seinfeld always wanted to order “big salad.”) But sometimes you just can’t think of something yummy to put on your salad greens. My soulssitah Jen Payne to the rescue! Jen passed this great list of 101 Salads from the New York Times on to me, and I offer it now to you. (I understand #7 , the carrot blueberry salad  is especially great.)

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite combos: Strawberry Spinach Salad. Start with clean, dry baby spinach leaves. Toss in a couple hand full mint leaves. Add very thinly sliced red onions, chevre (goat cheese), and cashews. The lightest splash of olive oil and rice vinegar, or poppy seed dressing is nice.




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