Monday, 14 March 2011

Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup
Makes 8 Servings - 5pts+

1 lb lean beef, trimmed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2-3 cups slice mushrooms
10 cups beef stock (low salt)
1/2 cup barley
1 bay leaf

Heat half of the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan or soup pot. I used a dutch oven.

Season the beef with salt, pepper and thyme. Brown well on all sides. This is critical for really great flavour in the soup. Put meat aside on a plate. 

Add the remaining half of the oil to the pan. Add in diced onion and stir to start softening the brown bits in the pan, about 2 minutes. Add in carrots and celery and saute another 2 minutes or so.  

Add in mushrooms and continue cooking until they start to release their liquid to deglaze the pan (I used a tray of sliced mushrooms which ended up closer to 3 cups). 

Cut the beef into approximately 1/2" cubes (larger if you like your soup chunky). Add the meat and any juices from the plate back into the pot. 

Add in all other ingredients. Scrape the bottom to make sure all brown bits are in the soup. Bring to a boil then reduce, cover and simmer for up to 2 hours to fully develop the rich beefy flavour, and to tenderize the meat.  

Add in the barley and continue to simmer for one more hour. You may need to add more water if the soup gets too thick.

Remove bay leaf and serve. Enjoy!


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Faux Fried Chicken

Faux Fried Chicken
Serves 8 - 6pts+ each

1 cup corn flake crumbs
1 ounce parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
8 chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks)
cooking spray

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix corn flake crumbs with Parmesan, paprika, marjoram, thyme, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Pour buttermilk into a second shallow bowl or pie plate and flour into a third shallow bowl or pie plate.

Generously spray a rimmed baking sheet with safflower oil or cooking spray (see tip below). Rinse chicken and pat dry using paper towels. Working one at a time, dip chicken pieces in buttermilk and moisten on all sides. Shake off excess buttermilk. Place chicken in bowl with flour mixture and turn to coat. Dip in buttermilk again, then coat with seasoned corn flake mixture. This process can get a little messy, but hang in there! Double dipping is what makes the chicken extra yummy. Place chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Leave some space between chicken pieces (they should not be touching). Spray some cooking spray over the pieces of chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 400ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear. Enjoy!