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Red Curry Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined*
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked white rice**
1 red pepper, seeds and membrane removed, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 TBSP red curry paste (more or less to taste)
1 TBSP ground ginger
2 TBSP lime juice (1 lime)
1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
2 TBSP cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper
coconut oil

Directions:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, sautee red pepper, onion, and garlic in coconut oil until onion is clear.
2. Add lime juice and red curry paste and stir until combined.
3. Add broth, coconut milk, ginger, salt & pepper, and stir.
4. Bring to a simmer. Add rice.
5. Keep simmering 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked.
6. Cut shrimp up, each shrimp into 2-3 pieces depending how big they are, and season with salt & pepper.
7. Sautee shrimp in coconut oil until almost fully cooked, 1-2 minutes.
8. Add shrimp to soup, stir, serve immediately.
9. Top each serving with green onion and cilantro.

*shredded cooked chicken, cubed tofu, lump crab, or lobster chunks can be substituted.
**you can substitue 1 cup uncooked orzo or broken vermicelli if you want pasta instead of rice. You can also add more rice (up to 1 cup) if you want it to be more like a saucy curry than a soup.

Honey Beer Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
12oz beer (a citrus lager works really well in this recipe, I use a homebrew with orange and lemon)
1/4 cup honey (get the real stuff not the cheap "honey" that's mostly corn syrup. Trust me, it makes a difference.)
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Microwave honey for 10 seconds so it pours and mixes easier.
4. Combine beer and honey with dry ingredients and mix until combined. You'll have a really wet, thick mixture that's more like a batter than a dough.
5. Brush your bread pan with butter.
6. Pour batter into bread pan.
7. Brush the top of the batter with the rest of the butter.
8. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a pick comes out clean.
9. Serve immediately with honeybutter.

This is a great alternative to cornbread, and pairs well with chili, fried chicken, ham, cream soups/chowders, and bbq.

Parmesan Roasted Tri-Color Potatoes

Ingredients:

1lb b-sized tri-color potatoes, cut in half
3 carrots, cut into 1inch pieces, if the carrots are really fat cut them in half also
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, parsley
olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Put cut potatoes and carrots in a 9x9 inch baking dish.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, add garlic and seasonings. Stir.
4. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add more olive oil if needed.
5. Before the last 15 minutes of cook time, add the Parmesan.
6. More fresh Parmesan and parsley can be added on top before serving.

Sticky Chicken

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup corn or potato starch
2 TBSP honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch each cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin
salt & pepper
1 TBSP olive oil

Directions:

1. Mix together honey, paprika, cayenne, ginger and cumin. Set aside.
2. Season the chicken with a little salt & pepper, then toss in starch to coat.
3. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
4. Pan fry chicken 2-3 minutes per side, until golden.
5. Add sauce to chicken in pan and stir together until chicken is well coated.
6. Continue frying, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and chicken is glossy.
7. Serve with rice or noodles.

Sweet & Savory Wild Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice blend
1-2 cups broth (see rice package, not all blends are the same)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 tsp each cumin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Look at the package directions for cooking the rice and find out how much water to cook 1 cup rice, substitute broth for water.
2. In a pot over medium heat, combine broth, rice, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
3. Optional: If you want to toast the nuts, do it in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn them.
4. Add nuts to rice. Cover and cook according to package directions (usually around 45 minutes).
5. When there is 5 minutes left of cook time, add dried fruit.
6. Fluff and serve.

Maple Walnut Baked Apples

Ingredients:

3-4 firm fleshed apples (I prefer honeycrisp)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 cup maple syrup (get 100% pure maple syrup, not the cheap stuff that's basically flavored corn syrup. Trust me.)
3 TBSP butter, melted
1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove
ice cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cut apples in half and cut out core. Place in a deep sided baking dish, peel side down.
3. Mix together apple juice and 2 TBSP maple syrup. Pour into baking dish over and around apples.
4. Mix together melted butter, remaining syrup, walnuts, fruit, and spices.
5. Spoon onto apples, trying to keep as much of the topping on the apples as possible.Don't leave any of the liquid behind!
6. Cover baking dish with foil.
7. Bake 30-40 minutes.
8. Serve in a bowl topped with ice cream and a little of the pan liquid as sauce.

Baked Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1lb package medium shells or penne pasta
2 cups cream
2+1/4 cups grated cheese (I use 1+1/4 cup asiago, 1/2 cup white cheddar, and 1/2 cup gruyere)
1/4 cup panko
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
1 tsp each salt, pepper, and nutmeg

optional additions:
1) 1 cooked shredded chicken breast plus 2 cups chopped spinach
2) 1/2lb cooked chopped bacon plus 1 cup diced broccoli/cauliflower
3) Meat of 1 cooked lobster
4) 1 cup cubed ham plus 2 cups chopped spinach

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a medium saucepan over med-low heat, make a roux using the butter and flour. Whisk until bubbly.
3. Add cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to roux. Continue whisking.
4. Cook pasta until hard al dente (2-3 minutes less than recommended cooking time).
5. When cream is bubbly, add cheese (set aside extra 1/4 cup) and whisk until cheese is melted.
6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add meat, veggies, and sauce. Stir well.
7. Pour into 9x9" pan and top with panko and last 1/4 of cheese.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes until topping is lightly browned.

Crock Pot Five-Spice Pork

Ingredients:

2lb hunk of pork* (I used a bone-in roast, but you could do a loin or ribs)
1 cup beef broth, divided
1 TBSP Chinese five-spice powder
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp black pepper

Choose 2 vegetables:
4 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
1 can whole water chestnuts, drained
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned, large ones cut in half
2" diameter bundle long beans, ends trimmed
3 large carrots, cut into 2" long pieces

Directions:

1. Place pork in a container big enough to hold it laying flat, preferably one with a lid (if no lid, cover with plastic wrap or foil).
2. Whisk together ingredients for marinade, only use 1/2 cup broth at this point. Pour over pork.
3. Marinate pork for 24 hours, turning every 6 hours (trust me, do it this long).
4. Arrange vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot.
5. Pour marinade plus 1/2 extra cup broth over vegetables.
6. Place pork on top of vegetables. You don't want the pork on the bottom of the crock pot, so you're using the veggies as sort of a prop.
7. Cook 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high**, making sure pork is cooked through. Baste with marinade every hour.
8. Serve with rice if desired, or just with the vegetables.

*if you are preparing from frozen, make sure you thaw it for at least 36 hours prior to marinating for the most tender meat.
**I prefer the longer method for more tender meat.