Evelyn Chartres Author

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef Barley soup is hearty and can heat the cockles of your heart; especially after a day out in the cold! It also happens to be a great way to make use of leftover steak from last night’s barbecue. This recipe can also be served as a main dish and is delicious when served with garlic bread!

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces (680 g) of uncooked beef or 18 ounces (510 g) of cooked beef
  • 10 fluid ounces (285 ml) of canned mushrooms (drained)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of ground cumin
  • 8 ounces (225 g) of parsnips
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of thyme
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of rosemary
  • 22 fluid ounces (640 ml) of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of pearl barley
  • 40 fluid ounces (1.2 l) of beef broth

Instructions

  1. Cook beef according to preference; I prefer to grill with seasoning and pepper. Cut into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) cubes then set aside.
  2. In a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot add oil and heat on medium.
  3. Add mushrooms and cumin. Sauté until they have turned a light brown.
  4. Add garlic, onions, thyme and rosemary to the pot. Sauté until onions are transparent.
  5. Add beef cubes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook two hours or until parsnips and meat are tender.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Lasagna and the multitude of variants seems to be a staple for many families. While this variant does not have feature a meat layer, it makes up for it with flavour. The sautéed mushrooms, spinach and Ricotta cheese come together to create a delicious ready-to-serve meal!

This recipe feeds 4 to 6 people.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 12 of Lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of shredded mozzarella cheese

Sauce Layer

  • 10 fluid ounces (285 ml) of canned mushrooms (drained)
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cumin
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of chopped roasted red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • 22 fluid ounces (640 ml) of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 8 fluid ounces (250 ml) of tomato sauce (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning

Cheese Layer

  • 16 ounces (450 g) of Ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 5 ounces (140 mg) of chopped spinach.

Instructions

  1. Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse before setting aside.

Sauce Layer

  1. Using a well-oiled skillet add mushrooms and cumin. Sauté under medium-heat until mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Add onions, red pepper and garlic to the skillet. Sauté until onions are transparent.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. Save 2 teaspoons (30 ml) for later.
  4. Add Italian Seasoning and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cheese Layer

  1. Carefully drain spinach and add to a large bowl.
  2. Add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg whites, bread crumbs to the bowl.
  3. Mix until you have a consistent finish at set aside.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Use remaining two tablespoons (30 ml) of tomato sauce to coat the bottom of stoneware casserole dish or pan.
  3. Layer three noodles at the bottom making sure they overlap slightly. Cover with half of the cheese layer.
  4. Layers three noodles to they run perpendicular to the earlier layer, ensuring they overlap. Cover with half of the sauce layer.
  5. Repeat previous two steps to make up remaining layers.
  6. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese then place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut into appropriately sized slices. Ready-to-serve.

Tuscan Sausage

I am not too sure if this recipe has anything to do with dishes served in Tuscany. However, this dish combines Italian sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, peas and pasta sauce to create a ready-to-serve meal in less than an hour.

This recipe can be heavily varied based on the type of pasta sauce used.  I typically opt for a four-cheese or spinach pasta sauce, both variants are crowd pleasers!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) of Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound (450 g) of potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of garlic butter
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cumin
  • 10 fluid ounces (285 g) of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 ounces (85 g) of diced onions
  • 3 ounces (85 g) of diced red peppers
  • 22 fluid ounces (650 g) of pasta sauce
  • 6 ounces (170 g) of thawed snow peas

Preparation

  1. Cook and slice up the sausage.  I typically use an outdoor grill to enhance the flavour.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into ¼ inch cubes (0.6 cm). Rinse then heat in the microwave until the potatoes have begun to soften for approximately 3 minutes (halved).
  3. In a 8.75 inch skillet (22 cm) melt butter on medium heat.  Add sliced mushrooms and cumin. Sauté until mushrooms are a golden brown. When done set aside.
  4. In a well-oiled 3.5 quart (3.3 l) sauté pan, cook onions and red peppers until onions become transparent.
  5. Add potatoes and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add sausage, mushrooms and pasta sausage. Reduce heat to low/medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Add snow peas then allow to heat.  Ready to serve.
  8. Optionally place individual portions into a pot of stoneware then cover in mozzarella cheese.  Heat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350°F (180°C).

French Chicken with Mushrooms

Featured_French_Chicken_With_MushroomsThere are a myriad of variations on this recipe.  Also known as Chicken à la King this recipe sometimes sports sherry, peppers and a mix of vegetables.  This is one of my go-to recipes, since I can cobble it  together in under 45 minutes.

While this meal is traditionally served on toasted garlic bread, I often serve it atop some rice as shown.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) of boneless chicken breast
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of butter
  • 10 fluid ounces (285 ml) of sliced mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cumin
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.625 ml) of pepper
  • 14 fluid ounces (435 ml) of chicken broth
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of cream
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of peas

Preparation

  1. Cook chicken according to taste, I use and outdoor grill and sprinkle with a light seasoning like Mrs Dash.  When cooked, cut chicken into approximately ½ inch (1.25 cm) cubes.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan (1.4 quarts or 1.3 litres) over medium heat.
  3. Add mushrooms and cumin then sauté until browned.
  4. Stir in flour, salt and pepper.
  5. Add in chicken broth and cream then stir constantly until sauce thickens.
  6. Add chicken and peas, heat throughout.
  7. Ready to serve on rice or toasted garlic bread.