Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ham and Bean Soup

When the hubs and I made our New Years day pulled pork, we had all of that beautiful juice that we couldn't use since with pulled pork, it has to be dry (except for the barbecue sauce). We decided at that point that we were going to save the juice for a ham and bean soup in the future. We also had ham hocks from the collard greens we made so those were vacuumed and saved as well. Today was the day to make our soup!! We started last night because the beans we used were dried, as well as the ham stock since we needed to let that simmer for a bit, but the end result was fantastic!

1 pk Goya 16 Bean Soup mix
1 small pre-cooked ham, cubed
6 stalks celery, diced
5 carrots, diced
Ham stock
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp pepper

For the ham stock, we had a ham hock and the juice from our root beer pulled pork recipe. We put some veggies, old ham pieces, the ham hock, the juice and enough water to cover everything and let simmer for about 4 hours. We put in the fridge over night to let the fat come to the top so we could skim it and remove. Pre-soak the beans overnight for 24 hours in cold water. In the crock-pot add the beans, celery, carrots and cubed ham. 

Add enough stock to cover all ingredients. Add the seasonings. Cook on high for 8 hours (since the beans are dried). This was excellent!

Our take on Chicken Kiev

The hubs wanted to make dinner last night, so he did the main dish and I helped prepare the sides. I made a roasted tomato dressing to top the chicken along with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and shallots in a cream sauce. The dinner was superb. Hope you enjoy our take on Chicken Kiev

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, in olive oil (but drained)
1 pk fresh basil leaves
1 pk feta cheese
2 eggs
Panko bread crumbs

2 containers, cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
1 small container mascarpone cheese
Sea salt
Black pepper

To prepare the chicken, slice from one side to the other, right down the middle. You do not want to go all the way through…but you want to stop about ¾ of the way through the chicken breast. The hubs decided to roll the chicken in egg and breadcrumbs before stuffing them, because he was not going to tie them up. So roll the chicken in egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs. For the stuffing, gently pry open the chicken halves, and lay the basil and spinach, top with the sun dried tomatoes, then top with the feta cheese. Preheat the oven to 415, and lay the chicken breasts on either a cooking sheet with sides or a baking dish. Cook for about 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads the appropriate temperature for chicken (170degrees).

For the dressing, put the tomatoes on a cooking sheet along with the peeled garlic cloves. Coat in about 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add some sea salt and black pepper. Cook in a 425 degree oven for about 30 – 45 minutes. Put the tomatoes, garlic and all of those wonderful juices into a blender and puree. Add the container of mascarpone cheese and continue blending until it is all incorporated.