Tag Archives: chicken broth

Kielbasa & White Bean Cassoulet

BLOG cassoulet










A cold winter’s day is the perfect time for hauling out your slow cooker and readying ingredients for this thick creamy cassoulet. The recipe, from Simple Living’s January 2016 issue, is one that turned out a total winner last week. If you have a slow cooker, put it to use; set-it-and-forget-It, then thoroughly enjoy!

The prep for this recipe is 20 minutes, tops. Chop the onion and mince the clove garlic, slice the kielbasa and you are ready to go. With a cooking time of 5-7 hours, there is plenty of time for preparing the baguette croutons needed when you are ready to serve. This recipe is so easy that I decided to give it a try one minute and had the cassoulet in the crock pot, heating up, then simmering, 20 minutes later. Nothing could have been easier.  I did use both dried thyme and parsley flakes and not the fresh called for in the recipe and both were perfectly fine substitutions.

The smoky kielbasa is a perfect complement for the creamy white beans and the diced tomatoes add their own tart flavor to the mix. I found the buttered and toasted baguette pieces a worthy, and tasty, contrast to the dish. Whether you want to add another vegetable on the side, or just treat this dish as a complete meal in itself, you will be feeling very accomplished and very satisfied if you give this one a try.

Slow-Cooker Kielbasa & White Bean Cassoulet


1-1/2 cups dried white beans
1 lb. kielbasa, cut into 1” pieces
3 cups chicken broth
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 t. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
8-1/2” slices of baguette, buttered & toasted, cubed
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions Combine beans, kielbasa, broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic, thyme, and ½ t. salt in a 4-to-6 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are creamy, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Serve individual bowls of the cassoulet topped with baguette cubes and parsley.

Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder


When October finally rolls around and that old chill appears n the air then I know you’re going to be thinking of chowder just like I was this week!  This recipe, from Southern Living Magazine, luckily popped up perfectly timed for my chowder craving ways recently.   I did tinker with the recipe somewhat, using heavy cream instead of half-n-half and adding pieces of sliced ham for extra flavor. The original Southern Living recipe list below is so easy to adjust for ingredients that you have on hand, or you can try it “as is”.  Either way you won’t be disappointed.

If you are adding ham, cook it with the corn when you first begin.  The potatoes and broth need only 10 minutes of simmering with the reserved corn cobs.; adding them to the broth produces that extra savory flavor which makes this dish so special. Pureeing some of the chowder  in your blender and adding it back to the pot also supplies texture before finishing with cream poured over and stirred in.  It’s a multi-layered fusion of flavor in just one pot.  Delicious!

It will definitely be worth an hour of your time to prepare the vegetables and start right in on this hearty chowder. Don’t make it early or let it sit too long; it is best served up while still warm without reheating.  Heat any leftovers slowly, adding cream, as needed.  Today it was good with the croutons I used but my guess is that a skillet full of cornbread is the best side dish for hungry appetites.   I feel sure that whatever you serve with it, or however you follow the recipe, this chowder will leave you and your friends and family satisfied and smiling!  Added bonus?  A chilly Fall evening will be immediately warmed, and welcomed! =)

Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder


4 T. butter
5 cups fresh corn kernels, reserve 2 cobs
3 fresh thyme springs or 1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 large sweet onion, diced
1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 cups chicken both
1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
3/4 cup half-n-half
1 cup chopped ham, optional

Directions Melt butter in a 4-qt. sauce pot over medium heat. Add corn kernels, thyme, diced onion and salt. If using chopped ham, add now. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes or until corn is tender but not browned. Stir in broth, potato, and corn cobs. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Discard cobs.

Process 1 cup of corn mixture in a blender until smooth. Return this mixture to stockpot and stir in half-n-half, and remove from heat. Serve while still very warm.

Shrimp & Grits

This is one of my new favorites!  I tried this dish while on a “teacher trip” this summer; determined to re-create the dish, the first time I prepared it was at the Sharpes’ house in Florida in July.  Folks, if you are a shrimp lover, this dish rocks!

I will admit that this is a bit labor intensive so prepare it when you have plenty of time OR when you have someone to help you do the prep work.  Susie, prep help supreme, cut all the veggies for this and peeled the shrimp (YAY!).  When the prep work finishes, the cooking time is less than 30 minutes.

DO find and use the Andouille sausage when preparing the shrimp mixture as this spicy sausage from Louisiana’s Cajun cooking style provides the perfect punch to the dish. If you cannot find Andouille, use a highly seasoned bratwurst instead. Do also use the red pepper flakes for even more “hot”.  Not to worry, the creamy grits are a just-right complement for the spice of the shrimp and sausage mixture. All you possibly need to complete the meal is a leafy green salad or even a loaf of crusty French bread.

Get your shrimp and grits groove on today! You will not regret one minute of the kitchen time. This recipe easily serves 10-12 people. Four of us enjoyed two servings each in Florida with the bowl pictured above for the next day. Make a new pot of grits if having leftovers!  This is oh, so wonderful!

Shrimp & Grits

For the Grits

4 cups water
* 2 T. butter
* 6 small cloves garlic, minced (added from the shrimp pan)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 t. salt
1 cup uncooked grits (instant is fine)
2 cups Cheddar, shredded from the block

Directions: Keep the water warm on the stove in a pot with a heavy bottom so you can cook the grits quickly when the shrimp finishes cooking. When ready to serve, bring to a boil and add the cream. Stir in grits a little at a time; add the butter and sautéed garlic. Cook, 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the cheese. Turn off the heat and allow to thicken. Add cream if too thick.

For the Shrimp

1 T. Wesson oil
1 cup Andouille sausage, sliced thin
2 #’s medium fresh shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tails snipped
2 more T. Wesson oil
1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup celery, sliced thin
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded (or stewed tomatoes, 1 #10 can)
3 t. Cajun seasoning
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
1 T. butter
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Green onion, sliced, for garnish

Directions: Sauté 2 T. butter & 6 garlic cloves. Set aside for grits. Add oil to skillet and sauté sausage. Remove and set aside. Add 1/2 the shrimp and cook until pink. Remove to paper-towels and add the rest of the shrimp and cook til pink. Wipe skillet and add 1 T. oil and 1 T. butter. Stir in the 1 T. flour and cook 3-4 minutes until you have a dark roux. Cook 3-4 minutes on low. Add onion, green pepper, and celery and cook 3 minutes on med-high heat. Add the tomatoes and the Cajun season and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer all in skillet 10 minutes.

Beef & Broccoli

I needed to make a trip to the Pacific Rim Market for long rice, kamaboko, somen noodles, short-grain rice, good shoyu, ajinomoto, and a tin of savory curry powder and accomplished that yesterday then didn’t use any of that when making Beef & Broccoli today! No matter, this ono (good tasting!) dish was a popular and quick-selling daily special at my Kete-Yama’s Café on Maui. Thin strips of marinated flank steak with crisp-tender broccoli spears bound in a chicken broth and cornstarch based gravy, served over white rice, this dish is sure to please any palate.

Believe me when I say it’s a quick prep; I wouldn’t have the energy to make it tonight if it wasn’t quick to come together because I spent four hours planting in my flower beds just before coming into the house to have a shower and get my cooking hat on.  You can clean, trim, and slice the broccoli (I always include some of the broccoli stems, sliced thinly, for crunch) while the steak marinates.   Parboil the broccoli and drain and you are just 10 minutes from supper! Have your rice steaming while the meat marinates also, using short-grain rice if you have it for easier soaking up of the thin gravy, and grab pass out the hashi (chopsticks) and you’re ready to enjoy!  Use good (and pricey! sorry!) flank steak for the best results.  You’ll be so glad you did!

Beef & Broccoli


2 T. shoyu (soy sauce)
4 T. oyster sauce
1 lb. flank steak, sliced thinly
1 lb. fresh broccoli
2 slices fresh ginger, crushed and sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch


Directions In large bowl, mix shoyu and oyster sauce; add sliced meat and marinate for 15-20 minutes. Clean and chop broccoli and add to a pot of boiling water. Parboil for 2 minutes and rinse quickly under cold water; drain and set aside. Heat skillet and add 2 T. cooking oil. Add ginger and garlic to hot oil and cook about 30 seconds. Add and sautéed beef and stir until slightly cooked. Add broccoli and the chicken broth; toss and stir well. Dissolve cornstarch in 2-3 T. water; make a well in the center of skillet and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened. Serve with hot white rice.

Chicken & Dressing Again

Unwilling to waste 3/4 pan of good cornbread, and having a stewed chicken, bones shredded of meat, and a gallon of homemade chicken broth in my fridge meant mixing together a casserole dish of Chicken & Dressing for supper tonight.  I was also cleaning my house for three hours, Chicken & Dressing stewing on my back burner, and on each pass through the kitchen on my way to the back porch, I added another ingredient to my counter top and that is how this dish came together this evening. I adjusted the recipe to my ingredients on hand, and their amounts, from the recipe of the same name found in my “Missouri to Maui” cookbook so it is a different recipe altogether. I also used a 2-qt. baking dish, not the larger dish in my cookbook’s recipe.  This is the second time I’ve posted a chicken-n-dressing recipe on my blog, and I made the dish the same  I always do, but since it is also what I cooked today, a smaller version, using ingredients I had leftover or just on hand, this ample dish is worthy of another blog post.  Chicken & Dressing is a dish that easily adjusts to your ingredients and your taste so nothing hard about it.

Day-old cornbread is an essential ingredient here as is the chicken, the chicken broth, and the boiled eggs. I love the addition of the soft celery and chopped onion which add strong flavor. Make sure you really smoosh everything together before scraping into your baking dish. The batter will be wet; that’s fine. Because my chicken had been in the fridge for several days, I simmered it again in its leftover chicken broth before beginning. There’s nothing special called for in this recipe; just make sure you have what you need and get going. Bake the dressing just long enough for a light brown crust to form at the edges, leaving the center moist and creamy.

I like this dish cut in squares and some times served with chicken gravy over the top. Add a salad or steamed-crisp broccoli on the side and you can dig right in within an hour and a half from Step 1. I wish I had my hands on a side dish of the large pot of ham-n-beans I cooked a few days ago but that went to KY and it’s now history, but because beans really are a perfect accompaniment to this dish, tonight i added a side of jazzed-up canned beans on the side and was happy with the substitution.  It’s a supper worthy to be used as a reward for all the hard-at-it housecleaning I did today.  I like, I like!


1 whole chicken, pieces cooked, cooled, deboned, shredded
1-2 stalks celery, sliced in large pieces
3/4 pan prepared cornbread, cooled and crumbled
3 eggs, boiled, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or 1-2 cans chicken broth)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
Poultry seasoning to taste, optional

Directions Preheat oven to 350. Cook chicken breasts in water and the canned chicken broth (add 1-2 cubes of chicken bouillon if desired), with celery, until tender. Do not over cook or the chicken will get hard. When tender, drain. When cool, shred the chicken and coarsely chop the celery. Combine with other ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir to blend all ingredients; mixture will be a little wet. Scrape into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until set. Cool slightly then cut into squares to serve.