Archive for the Gaelen’s Kitchen Category

Comfort Food Jam: Steak House Soup

Jan 27th, 2010 Posted in Gaelen's Kitchen | 2 comments »
Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions

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Last Monday I picked up a cup of Steak House Soup from a local deli – The Brooklyn Pickle. I was expecting in that bowl to find the tastes I love when I order a steak dinner – sweet-hot caramelized onions, earthy mushrooms, garlic and beef accented with a little tang of steak sauce. Read the rest of this entry »

Muffin Jam: Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Jan 24th, 2010 Posted in Gaelen's Kitchen | 3 comments »

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As a low-carber, I don’t eat much bread. But I do love muffins (bread portion control, or cake in drag – whatever you pick!) I have several muffin recipes in my collection. So when my friend Dottie asked me to make up a batch of muffins Read the rest of this entry »

Comfort Food Jam: Smoked Fish Chowder

Jan 15th, 2010 Posted in Gaelen's Kitchen | 2 comments »
A steelhead attempting to jump over some rapid...

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Fellow blogger WendyP from The Local Cook launched a new series this month she calls “Fit Jerk Fridays” – and she kicked things off with a challenge from fellow blogger FitJerk to prepare a healthy locally-sourced seasonal meal.

I was on the road showing dogs and unable to get my kitchen organized enough for the first two FJ Fridays, but my improvisation on this Smoked Salmon chowder recipe from is my healthy, easy, seasonal mid-week entry this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Sisters Jam: Spicy Split Pea Soup

Jan 12th, 2010 Posted in Gaelen's Kitchen | 2 comments »
Lentils and Peas

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Maybe it’s something about the temps for the last few days (it’s a bracing 20 degrees Fahrenheit as I type) or the need for something quick at night to finish out what have been some very long days. Or maybe it’s the general atmosphere that reading Anna Thomas’s Love Soup has infused into my kitchen. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Leftovers Jam: Broccoli soup

Dec 27th, 2009 Posted in Gaelen's Kitchen | 2 comments »
This is a wand blender (also known as a stick ...

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This is not a post about jam – at least, not a jam that you’d spread on biscuits or use to top a block of cream cheese as a fast appetizer.

Today’s jam is an improv on some of the leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner at my sister’s house. Pork loin with apple stuffing, homemade apple sauce, twice-baked potatoes and broccoli – a lot of broccoli. Needless to say, my leftovers care package included some protein and a healthy quantity of steamed green florets.

I am just one person. While I love broccoli, it mostly hates the digestive changes I’ve experienced because of cancer, surgeries and the resulting ostomy. I can eat broccoli when it’s heavily cooked (think 50s-era canned veggies) or pureed – which means that although whole broccoli is pretty much off my menu, broccoli soup in small quantities is still a favorite thing. The key is that I *must* limit my intake to small quantities – no more than three-quarters of a cup or so at once. It’s definitely not something I can have every day.

So, you ask, how did I end up with three cups of cooked broccoli? Maybe it’s my inability to say ‘no’ to something that can become a wonderful soup, one of the foods I like just as much as I enjoy jam!

On the bright side, broccoli freezes well – and even frozen cooked broccoli can become a fine soup in a hurry. So I froze about half of my ‘care’ package.

This recipe, which makes about two cups of soup, is how I jammed on the rest of the broccoli leftovers. It’s a proportional recipe; I could have doubled it and used all of the leftovers – but I had more room in the freezer for a bag of cooked broccoli than for the soup!

This recipe is a perfect example of why every home needs an immersion (aka hand, wand or stick) blender. You bring the blender to the soup, puree it in the pan, and have only the detachable wand portion to clean – my kind of implement! My own, a 200-watt Braun model, is celebrating its 8th year of continuous daily use in February, 2010 – and I’m already searching for a suitable replacement, just in case. Enjoy!

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 1/2 cup cooked broccoli florets
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup stock or water
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup horseradish cheese spread (any type of cheese will do!)
dash of smoked ground chipotle chile powder (cayenne will also work)

  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized, deep saucepan.
  • Add in the cooked broccoli florets (break the florets into smaller pieces with a spoon if needed) and the sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with the dash of ground hot chile or cayenne. Saute for 3-4 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in the stock. I used mushroom, which I had in the freezer. However, any stock or broth (vegetable, potato peel, garlic, chicken) will work. If you don’t have stock, plain old water will work, too. If you like a little wine in your soup (mmm!), substitute 1/4 cup of dry white wine for an equal amount of either stock or water.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in a blender which is loosely covered, and then return it to the saucepan.
  • Stir in the half and half and the leftover horseradish cheese spread. If using a harder type of cheese, shred it before adding to the soup. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted.

Makes about 2 cups of broccoli-cheese soup.

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