New Year’s lunch 2013

…and we continue to cook through the holidays! What else is there to do when there’s no real work, you’re surrounded by family and friends, and you have an excuse to eat whatever you want? Of course you cook!

I’m starting off the New Year with some new recipes:

Carrot, parsnip & ginger soup
Zucchini bread
Chicken parmesan

Ok it’s really only two new recipes since I made chicken parm before. But…I love chicken parm. Especially when it’s covered in cheeeeeese.

Carrot, parsnip & ginger soup

Ingredients:

2 large parsnips, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 liters vegetable stock (homemade)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 inch long piece ginger, peeled and cut into small chunks
salt
pepper

In a heavy bottomed pot over low medium heat, sautee the parsnips, carrots, and potato with the salt, pepper, and garlic in some olive oil until fragrant. Add about half a cup of vegetable stock to avoid burning.

Add the remaining stock or until you nearly reach the top of the pot. Cover and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Turn the heat down to low heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Take off the cover and let it cool overnight.

Puree the soup in a blender to your desired consistency and return it to the pot to reheat to a boil when you’re ready to serve it.

I originally intended to make parsnip ginger soup, but the grocery store didn’t have enough good looking parsnips. So I went to another store. Then another store (and this one didn’t even have any!). I resorted to making this a carrot parsnip soup since they are both root vegetables, I didn’t think this could go wrong. I checked the internet to see if anyone else had combined these two together in a soup. Long and behold, my idea was approved when Google returned a number of searches!

Ideally I would have liked more parsnips and less carrots. I think I added too much ginger, it was too ‘spicy’ for my liking but this is very subjective. My palate is extremely neutral due to eating spice-less (but naturally delicious) food for a quarter century. Anyhow, watch how much ginger you put in. This ended up being a soup I don’t want to try again.

Zucchini bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 egg white
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, approximately 1 large zucchini

Makes 12 small muffins

In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.

In batches, add the flour mixture into the wet mixture and gently stir until well blended.

Lightly oil a muffin pan and spoon the batter 3/4 way full. Bake for 20 minutes at 325F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wait 10 minutes before taking out the zucchini muffins onto a wire rack to cool.

Note: I used a muffin pan rather than a loaf pan as I wanted to serve these with the soup and thought it would be easier for dipping than a loaf.

I’ve heard and read so much about zucchini bread/loaves/muffins and parents tricking their children into eating these delicious little things without knowing they contain a vegetable! This was not my intention but I figured I wanted to see what the hype is about. We’re all eating carrot cake already so zucchini bread can’t be too bad. It really isn’t. In fact, when its done baking it actually even smells better than cookies…seriously. It tastes very good and it feels good going down too, knowing this is a healthy type of bread! You have to give this a try. Vegetable haters will become zucchini lovers.

Recipe was adapted from the Heart & Stroke Foundation

Chicken parmesan

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts, pounded and divided in half
1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 cup thinly sliced cheddar cheese

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I made chicken parmesan. It actually is kind of a long time ago, this chicken parmesan was done in January 2012 for Bottomless Pit’s 100th post. Looking back, I’m not surprised since I love chicken parmesan (as I made this same point at the beginning of this post).

Looks like my technique has changed a little. This one wasn’t pan fried at first. It went straight into the oven after being breaded. I didn’t put tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. It was still baked at 350F for 20 minutes. It finishes in the oven for a last second to melt the cheese on top.

I’ll be honest – those pictures of the chicken parm do look better. There’s more sauce and more cheese. I think mozzarella is better than cheddar.

Don’t get me wrong – this chicken parm was still good. I should have made more sauce though. Well there you have it – take the best of both worlds from these two posts and go make the best chicken parm there is out there!

Happy 2013. I hope that you take and find every opportunity you can and make this year worth all that you are worth. Don’t be afraid to learn and don’t be afraid to explore. Take this in any context.

But first things first – feed yourself and your loved ones well!

Share

Leave a Reply