Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sweet Potato & Hominy Stew With Cumin Polenta

I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. My husband and I both liked it, although my kids weren't in love with it. But to me, this is what real Mexican food is like. It has very unusual ingredients. I happen to love hominy, so this is a good recipe for me. I found it was very important to use the lime and cilantro. The sweet potato doesn't come out tasting sweet like you would think it would. And the cinnamon is almost undetectable, but important in the flavoring. If you are adventurous, you should try this. The magazine suggested serving this stew with polenta. I am including that recipe here too. I LOVED the polenta, but as I mentioned before, I love grits too. My kids hated the polenta, but to me it was creamy, buttery, and good, like mashed potatoes. :)

Sweet Potato and Hominy Stew

6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tb. olive oil
2 14 oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped (to make 5 cups)
1 Tb. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 14-15 oz. cans of golden hominy, rinsed and drained
1 large red sweet pepper chopped
1 18 oz tub of barbecue sauce with shredded pork. (I couldn't find this, so I just baked some pork with barbecue sauce, then shredded it)
Cilantro, chopped
lime wedges

1. In saucepan or Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in broth and water; add sweet potatoes, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and cumin. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in hominy, red pepper, and shredded pork. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until heated through.
2. Serve with cilantro, lime wedges, and cumin polenta. Makes 8 servings.

Cumin Polenta
from Betty Rosbottom's book, "Sunday Soup"
(I halved this for my family. Good thing since the kids didn't like it)

2 14 oz. cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp ground cumin
1 C yellow cornmeal
1/2 C whole milk
1 Tb. butter

In large heavy saucepan, combine broth and cumin; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir until thick, about 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk in milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chickpea and Leek Soup

from Jamie Oliver

This soup sounds simple, and sounds boring, but it is DELICIOUS! My family loves this soup!

12 ounces chickpeas, soaked overnight, refrigerated
1 medium potato peeled
5 to 6 leeks (I can't find small ones, so just use one large one), finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce knob butter
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
2 handfuls parmesan cheese, grated
Extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse the soaked chickpeas, cover with water, and cook with potato until tender. (I eliminate this step and just use canned chickpeas) Remove the outer skin of the leeks, slice lengthways from the root up, wash carefully and slice finely.

Warm a thick-bottomed pan, and add the tablespoon of oil and the knob of butter. Add the leeks and garlic to the pan, and sweat gently with a good pinch of salt until tender and sweet. Add the drained chickpeas and potato and cook for 1 minute. Add about 2/3 of the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. (This is when I cook the potato)
Puree half of the soup in a food processor, and leave the other half chunky. This gives a lovely smooth comforting feel but also keeps a bit of texture. Now, add enough of the remaining stock to achieve the consistency you like. Check for seasoning, and add Parmesan, to taste, to round off the flavors.

You can drizzle more olive oil on top when you serve it, and add more parmesan as desired.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


This isn't so much of a recipe, but an encouragement. Some time back, my husband bought a big container of grits at Costco. I had never eaten grits before, and wasn't thrilled at the prospect, so didn't use them. Yesterday I decided to try them. I LOVE them! Grits are made from corn. Think of grits as a corn form of Cream of Wheat. I ate them with butter and salt, but I think I would like them more with sugar and fruit/raisins. They are creamy and filling. I'm going to be eating grits for breakfast this coming winter!