Author Archives: The Partial Ingredients

Jambalaya Soup

Jambalaya Soup

Jambalaya is one of my favorite Cajun dishes. Since I’ve made the dish a few times, I realized that it could easily be transformed into a soup! This recipe is filled with delicious Cajun flavors. I’m fortunate to have a local butcher that makes great Cajun sausage which I used for this recipe. It’s not the same as Andouille sausage which is smoked and usually sold pre-cooked. Instead, this sausage is sold uncooked/unsmoked and is flavored with Cajun seasoning. It crumbles apart easily so it makes for a better sausage for soup. If you can find this type of Cajun sausage great, but if you can’t there’s always Andouille sausage which is tasty as well.

When I made this soup I was out of shrimp and didn’t have time to pick some up. In a pinch, I decided to use a traditional ingredient found in, believe it or not, Vietnamese cooking. The secret ingredient to this soup is…wait for it…fish sauce! I know, it sounds crazy but it really is a great way to get some of that briny/salty flavor into the stock without having to shuck and boil several pounds of shrimp shells. If you prefer to use shrimp for the stock, go for it, but this was a handy way to get that good flavor in a pinch. Not having shrimp in this soup wasn’t that big of a deal for me since I felt that all the necessary flavors were there. I served the soup with Cornbread Muffins which made a great side dish (and for dunking!)
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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup 2

I’m a big fan of stuffed pepper recipes. Peppers make for a great food “vessel,” but eating a whole pepper can be a bit awkward. I’ve found that the filling-to-pepper ratio can be a little out of wack and most of the time I’m left with too much pepper and not enough filling. This soup takes care of that problem quite well and combines all the flavors of a stuffed pepper without the ratio problems. I was surprised at how similar it tasted to your basic stuffed pepper recipe! One trick I advise using with this recipe: In order to avoid the rice from absorbing too much of the valuable broth I cook the servings separately and add them in to each bowl. I’ve learned that pasta, noodles and rice love to soak up the broth you took pains to prepare and I use this trick on almost every soup recipe now. This recipe has become a staple weeknight meal and makes a lot for several days. Makes for some tasty leftovers when you’re too busy to make dinner each night.
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Recipe Round-Up: 23 Healthy Recipes to Kick Off 2015

This latest recipe round-up is full of healthy recipes for 2015! In other words, time to back away from the holiday cookie platter and try out these healthy dishes. In this list you will find a variety of lunches, dinners and snacks in no particular order for your eating and cooking pleasure!

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White Bean, Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Sausage, White Bean and Cabbage Soup

Happy New Years! We have officially arrived in January, the doldrums of winter and in my opinion, the year’s worst month. January has the coldest weather and by now I’m missing the holiday cheer. The one thing to look forward to is the days getting longer and more excuses to eat hearty soups! This soup is great for the “mean month” and helps chase away the winter chill. The soup is loaded with spicy sausage, beans, fresh veggies and herbs. Make it with homemade chicken stock and you have a nutrient rich broth to stave off the flu and common cold (no, the old wive’s tale is not a myth; it does give your immune system a boost). Serve it up with crusty french bread for dunking and plenty of sliced parmigiano reggiano!
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Wild Rice Soup with Bacon and Butternut Squash

Wild Rice Soup

For the winter months nothing beats a hot bowl of wild rice soup! I tend to avoid creamy soups due to their heaviness but I decided to give it a try. In the past I’ve made it as a broth-based soup instead of cream-based. Even though it doesn’t skimp on the cream and bacon, it wasn’t especially heavy which was surprising. I made this recipe with the leftover bones I froze from the Thanksgiving turkey. The recipe for homemade stock (swap out chicken for turkey) can be found here. The soup is also packed with butternut squash, corn and other veggies.  For the rice, I decided to save the broth and not add it into the soup as it cooked; that way the rice didn’t absorb all the tasty broth. I really liked how this turned out and it was a perfect recipe for the holidays!
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Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

I love pumpkin pie and it has been a must for me to make every year for the holidays. Usually I make it with an all butter crust but this year I went with something that adds a bit of texture. The graham cracker allows for a crunchier crust and I would say it compliments the pumpkin pie filling nicely. The filling is deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and cloves. Make sure to whip up a batch of fresh whipped cream for topping and serve with vanilla ice cream.
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Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

There are so many ways to tinker with the traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays, the options feel practically endless! This time for Thanksgiving I decided to take it up a notch by adding bourbon and vanilla extract to the cranberries. You can’t really go wrong with bourbon, right? Something about the flavor came through the nose more than the taste buds. You could smell the bourbon and vanilla, but you tasted the flavor of the cranberries. Similar to wine, you could say that these cranberries had a “nose.” I loved the way these cranberries came out and they will definitely become a holiday staple!

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Classic Cornbread Muffins

Classic Cornbread Muffins 2

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and there are so many different side dishes that accompany the big meal! Many tables feature rolls as a side dish but I thought it would be nice to try a slightly more rustic cornbread recipe. The muffins are surprisingly not too crumbly and retained a good amount of moisture on the inside. The outside was golden and just slightly crusty on top. Slightly sweet, not too crumbly and a pretty yellow color makes for a nice display on any Thanksgiving table! Slice open a warm muffin and pair with butter or a healthy dollop of cranberry sauce–or if you’re gunning for a food coma make it both!
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Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Classic Beef Tacos with Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Even though it isn’t summer anymore it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good taco! If you’re craving food truck style tacos this is the recipe you need to make it at home. Seasoned ground beef comes together with smoky chipotle salsa, sharp cheddar and slices of avocado. The beef is seasoned in a simple combination of garlic, jalapenos, paprika and cumin. Finish it off with fresh lime juice and cilantro and you have one flavorful taco (or 10)!
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Chipotle Tomato Salsa

Chipotle Tomato Salsa

This salsa is a great last minute recipe and can be a go-to for anything tex-mex. One week day I didn’t have much in the pantry and this salsa was born. If you have diced tomatoes and a can of Chipotle peppers in adobo you are already on your way! Add spices and chopped cilantro and you have a fresh salsa without a lot of chopping and prep work. The spicy and smoky flavor goes great with beef tacos, quesadillas and eggs.
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