Google Groups
Subscribe to The Culinary Creative
Visit this group

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stone Soup

Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving with feasting aplenty!  We spent lots of quality time in the kitchen, and came up with and tried out some new recipes that we'll be sharing.

Today's recipe reminded us of the story of Stone Soup.  If you aren't familiar with this tale...a stranger comes to town, villagers don't want to share food so he sets a pot to boil with a stone in it.  Out of curiosity a villager asks what he's doing, says he's making stone soup, but it needs a little flavoring, so the villager gives him a carrot.  Then one by one more villagers come out, ask the same question and throw a little something into the pot.  When all is said and done, they have a tasty soup for everyone to share.

Now we didn't ask strangers for food or throw rocks in our pot, but our friends Meredith and Lonny had a hodge-podge of fall veggies in the fridge that we decided to bring together to see what we came up with.  Ended up with a tasty treat and hearty soup for everyone to share. 

Rosemary Root Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 head of garlic, minced
4-5 medium potatoes
3 large turnips
1/2 medium rutabaga
4-5 medium carrots
1/2 large kholabi
2 parsnips
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4-1 cup white wine
64 oz. veggie stock (or broth)
1-2 cups water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and large chop all of your root veggies and set aside.

In the bottom of a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil.  Once the onion is translucent, add in the white wine and stir well.

Pour in the veggie stock (or broth).

Add in the chopped root vegetables. Add in enough water to make sure that the veggies are "covered."  You want to be able to dunk them in the liquid, you don't want any sitting above the liquid line.

Bring everything to a boil in the pot, then drop the heat to low.  Add in the rosemary sprigs and allow to simmer until veggies are to the desired tender consistency.

The rosemary leaves will cook off the stems.  The stems can be removed at any time after that happens.

Serve up with a bit of parmesan and some nice wheat bread.


* The recipe makes a little over a gallon of soup.  We kept half out for eating and froze the rest.  If you don't want to make that much, cut the recipe amounts in half.

* You can use any combination of root vegetables, these were the ones we had on hand.  The recipe should be used as more of a guideline than a point of fact.  Be creative!

* For those looking for post-Tday recipes, add in your leftover turkey to the soup, it'll go great with the root vegetables.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Green Beans & Carrot Salad

For those looking for an alternative to green bean casserole, here's a fresh change of pace.  It's light and crisy, fresh vegs with a tasty sun-dried tomato dressing.  It adds a nice splash of color to the dinner plate too.

Green Bean-Carrot Salad

12 oz. green beans
8 oz. carrots
1 red bell pepper
1/2 med red onion


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Set a large pot of water to boil.  Trim the ends of the green beans and once the water is boiling, blanch the beans for 4 minutes until just tender.

Drain the beans and rinse them under cold water until they're cool.  Let them sit and continue to drain until you finish prepping the other veggies.

Peel and cut the carrots into matchsticks.  Alternately, you can use pre-cut bagged carrots.

De-seed the red pepper and cut into thin strips.

Peel the onion and cut into thin slices, separating the layers after you cut them.

Mix all the veggies in a bowl together.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the oil, vinegar, sun-dried tomato paste, sugar and salt and pepper.  You can either use a small whisk or fork.  Another quick way to mix it is to put the ingredients in a small jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake like a mad person.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix until evenly coated with the dressing.  Let the dish to sit for a little while to allow the flavors to blend before serving.

TCC wishes everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving and Much Happy Eating!  Bon Appetit!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Gooplah

Yeah, we said "gooplah."  Now some people swear by cranberry relish, others by cranberry chutney (TCC cranberry chutney), some are simply cranberry purists who like the can-shaped jelly lump, but at the k2 family Thanksgiving table, Grandma's gooplah is the way we roll.  It's equally delicious with slices of turkey or a nice slab of poundcake.

Cranberry Gooplah

12 oz. bag cranberries, frozen
16 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 cup sugar
8 oz. container cool whip

Put the frozen cranberries in a food processor and chop until cranberries are in little weentzy pieces.

By chopping the cranberries while they're frozen, they're not only easier to chop, but you don't have to worry about juice flying all over the place.

Drain the pineapple and mix in a medium size bowl with the chopped cranberries and sugar.

Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight....(insert nighttime here)

(insert next day here)...then remove cranberry mixture from fridge and blend in cool whip.

Ready to serve before, during and after dinner!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pass Me Them Taters

Had a request for recipes for new or different side dishes that could be served at Thanksgiving, a break from the usual run-of-the-mill sides.  So here's a combo twist on some classic T-day staples.  Instead of mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes with marshmellow, how about roasting the two potato types together?  It's a nice change of pace, something that you can eat by itself or smother in gravy if you so desire.  Either way, mmm mmm good!

Roasted 'Tatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and large chopped
1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, cut in quarters
5-6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp minced garlic
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish or cake pan.

Peel and chop up your sweet potatoes.  Put them in a microwavable container with 1 tbsp of water and cover.  Microwave for 4 minutes or until just fork tender.

While sweet potatoes are nuking, rinse and scrub (if needed) your baby potatoes.  Cut them into quarters and place in a microwavable container with 1 tbsp of water and cover.  When the sweet potatoes are done, micronuke baby potatoes for 4 minutes.

Drain both of the potatoes and pour into baking dish.

Mix in oil, paprika, garlic, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Blend until all the potato pieces are well-coated.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned to the desired browness.  Will make about 6-8 servings.


By microwaving the potatoes until nearly fork tender you shave off 20-25 minutes of baking time.  You can parboil the potatoes to achieve the same effect, but the time you spend boiling them in addition to baking them takes about as long as baking them from their raw state so really saving no time in the kitchen and losing valuable football time on the tube.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


This may not be considered a "fall" dish, but cold weather, November nights, and a need for fleece, if that's not a call for comfort food, we don't know what is.  It's very simple to throw together, but filling and flavorful, so you can't go wrong.

Spaghetti with Basil Chicken Sausage Sauce

4 herbed chicken sausages
2-14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Remove the chicken sausages from their casings and cut or pull apart into small pieces.

Cook sausage pieces in a skillet over medium high until nicely browned.

In a large pot add the chicken to the two cans of tomatoes and cook over medium heat.  As usual, we pureed both the cans of tomates, but if you prefer a chunkier sauce, puree one can and leave the other as is.

While the sauce is bubbling away, prepare the pasta according to box directions.  We used Smart Taste spaghetti, but you can use whatever pasta you prefer.  There are several brands of gluten-free pastas on the market and many specialty stores carry them as well.

In the meantime, rinse and dry fresh basil leaves before chopping.  We use a salad spinner to dry our basil leaves which works really well.

Once the pasta is ready and rinsed, add basil to sauce and stir to mix in thoroughly.

Serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.  A nice salad and some toasty garlic bread and you'll be set.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Spicy Tip

While getting ready to prepare the Butternut Squash Risotto for Sunday's post, realized we were out of paprika and ran up to the grocery store to grab some.  Ran in, went to the International Foods section, got we needed and left.

On the brief ride home, wondered if anyone else was aware of this money-saving discovery and thought we'd share.  If you want to find spices at a not-losing-your-shirt price, check out the Spanish food area of your grocery store.  Not only can you find most of your basic spices, but you'll find them for almost 50% less than what they're charging in the baking isle.  Cha-ching!

Another way to save on your spice purchases is to buy the store brand.  It will save you a buck or two which, when you do as much cooking as we know you do now that you're TCCers, then it will add up to some sweet savings. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto

Time for a yummy squash dish.  This is a variation of a recipe from one of our new favorite cookbooks called "Allergy-Free".  It can take anywhere from 45 mins to 1 hour to prepare, but as with any time-consuming recipe we bring you, it's definitely worth the wait and effort.  It makes a great side dish or a hearty main course if your leaning is vegetarian. 

Butternut Squash Risotto

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large shallot (or small onion), finely chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
4-5 cups hot vegetable broth
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Put the squash in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add in the shallots and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.

Stir in the paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper with the squash.

Add in rice and stir well to make sure that it's evenly coated with the squash/oil/spice mixture.

Stir in the wine and cook until its absorbed.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the hot broth and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When all the liquid is almost absorbed, stir in another 1/2 cup of hot broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost absorbed. 

Repeat this process until the mixture is creamy in consistency and the rice is cooked through.

If needed, season with additional salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.


It's important to stir the mixture frequently throughout the process to keep the rice from sticking to the skillet and make sure to taste test throughout the process to check on the rice texture.

You can easily substitute pumpkin or sweet potato for the butternut squash.

We used a veggie stock cut with water in lieu of veggie broth, mostly because the store was out of veggie broth.  Stock has a richer taste, but its also a heavier consistency than broth so we poured a mixture of 1/4 cup stock + 1/4 cup water each time.

Because you are adding the broth (or stock) at constant intervals, we found it easiest to bring it to a boil in a small saucepan then leave the burner on low so that it stayed heated throughout the process.  Then all we had to do was pour out what we needed and didn't have to worry about heating it each time.

This is a multi-allergy-friendly recipe.  It's gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free and can be dairy-free as well if you either omit the parmesan or substitute with dairy-free cheese alternative.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Cornucopia of Good Eats

The cornucopia is typically depicted as a hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket spilling over with a plethera of fruits and vegetables. In the U.S., the cornucopia has always been associated with Thanksgiving, but its origins are actually taken from Greek mythology.

The story is that the Greek god, Zeus was raised on the breat milk of a goat named Amalthea. One day while they were playing, Zeus accidentally broke off her horn. In remorse he gave it back to her but with supernatural powers which gave whoever possessed it whatever they wished for. Original depictions showed the goat's horn filled with fruits and flowers. The cornucopia came to represent fertility and plentitude.

It’s November which makes it a special month for food. This month we’ll be bringing you a handful of traditionally influenced recipes, but with a little twist (of course).

Because TCC has many friends with special dietary restrictions, we thought we’d focus on recipes that are allergy-friendly, fat-free, or low-fat but still have that Thanksgiving holiday feel and taste. The great thing about cooking these days is that there are so many commercially and readily available substitutes and allergy-friendly products so you shouldn’t have to go out of your way to do a lot of specialty shopping.

Let us know if there is a particular dish you'd be interested in or if you have any variations that fall into the category above that you'd like to share with the class.