I discovered the Czech Cookbook and author, Kristýna Koutná, a few years ago. I was thrilled when she published her cookbook and I bought it immediately! It is great fun reading her book and trying new recipes of my Father’s heritage in Bohemia, now, the Czech Republic.
Garlic Soup, or Česneková polévka, sounded interesting to me. It’s a very simple recipe and full of flavor. I toasted rye bread for croutons, a delicious addition. Next time, I will be creative with the recipe, adding leftover chicken, pork, beef or adding additional vegetables. It would be a wonderful soup to have when you’re not feeling well. This recipe is definitely a new favorite for the Fork-Lore kitchen.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
7 garlic cloves
7 cups water
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
3 large potatoes
1 tablespoon chicken or beef base (or bouillon)
2 teaspoons marjoram
Instructions are shown in the attached video from CzechCookbook.
My daughter, Megan, told me this was a great recipe. As mentioned in my Roasted Fennel post of last Friday, we garnished the soup with bits of the fennel and loved it. From now on, it will be a traditional side served with the soup, and a slice of hearty Italian bread.
The original recipe called for heavy cream, but we liked the soup without the cream and without the extra fat. Next time I would add chopped carrots and celery.
ZUPPA TOSCANA…COPYCAT OF OLIVE GARDEN RECIPE
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 large russet baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream (I omitted)
- Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
- Brown sausage in your soup pot.
- Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
- Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
- Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
- Add bacon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Turn to low heat.
- Add cream (optional) and heat.
- Tear pieces of kale into bowl and pour steaming soup over the top.
Recipe slightly adapted from Food.com
Our oldest daughter, Megan, studied in Spain for a summer term and brought home the recipe and tradition of the Spanish Tortilla. Don’t be confused with the flour and corn tortillas you buy at the grocery store; this is a flavorful egg and potato dish, similar to a Frittata.
The red pepper sauce was a new twist and so delicious, I doubled the recipe. It was fantastic on the Spanish Tortilla but I also tried it on a sliced baguette with a mild white cheese (brie this time).
This recipe is not only delicious but vegetarian and gluten-free. Ole!
SPANISH POTATO AND SPINACH TORTILLA WITH RED PEPPER SAUCE
1/2 cup bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 tablespoon dry-roasted almonds coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 ounces red potatoes (about 2 medium), cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 cup water
2 tablespoons half and half
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 cups baby spinach leaves
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Combine bell peppers, almonds, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the potatoes and 1 cup water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 4 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain.
- Combine half and half, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Heat a 10 inch oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add potatoes to pan, saute 4 minutes or until browned. Add spinach, saute for 1 minute or until spinach wilts.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add egg mixture to pan; cover and cook for 4 minutes, gently shaking pan occasionally.
- Broil tortilla 4 minutes or until top is lightly browned and center is set.
- Cool slightly; serve with red pepper sauce.
Recipe from Cooking Light/Ivy Manning
Potato Bacon Chowder is officially a family favorite, shared with me by my sister Carolyn. It’s a quick fix for a weeknight meal and GREAT as leftovers. Need I say more?
POTATO BACON CHOWDER
8 slices bacon (cut in 1 inch pieces)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup water
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- Fry bacon until crisp in a 3 quart saucepan; add onion and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Pour off fat.
- Add potatoes and water. Bring to boil; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Stir in soup and sour cream; gradually add milk.
- Add salt, pepper and parsley.
- Heat to serving temperature. Do not boil.
Seafood Chowder is so easy and so delicious! I love recipes that are easy to prepare and contains items in your pantry and freezer. This Chowder fits the bill. My friend and former co-worker, Cyndi, shared this with me a few years ago and it’s a regular on my winter menu.
Hope you enjoy as much as I do!
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large potato chopped small (or 10 or 12 red new potatoes)
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chicken broth (equals 1 can plus some water)
1/2 cup cream (or evaporated milk)
1 can corn (drained)
1 can chopped clams with juice
1/2 lb. Tilapia – cut into bite size pieces (
1/2 lb. Shrimp peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- Sauté onion, celery, potato in butter for 5 min. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken broth, Worcestershire, and thyme and cook until potatoes are tender (about 15 min)
- Add clams with juice, fish and shrimp. Cook over med heat about 10 min
- Add can of corn and cream, season with pepper to taste, heat to serve immediately.
It serves 4 smaller serving bowls or 2 large servings as main meal.
Gardening is an adventure. This year, I planted several greens including Radicchio. Turns out the Radicchio was really Swiss Chard. Bonus! Growing up our neighbor, Lucille, always made a Swiss Chard and egg dish and I so wish I had the recipe. As a substitute I found this recipe and have enjoyed several breakfasts, warming a piece in the microwave each morning.
I quickly realized that I started with too large of a pan for the frittata so transferred the cooked ingredients to my Mother’s favorite pie pan where I added the Parmesan and then broiled the frittata.
BACON SWISS CHARD FRITTATA
6 strips bacon, sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, wash thoroughly, stems removed, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 pound russet potatoes, cooked, cut in chunks
salt and black pepper to taste
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet, over medium heat until crisp. Remove and drain all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to med-low, and add the Swiss chard. Don’t worry about crowding the pan, as the chard will quickly wilt down.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the greens are completely wilted. Add the garlic and pepper flakes; sauté for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and mix into the greens.
- Pour in the eggs, and cook stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the eggs begin to set. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and finish cooking the frittata under a preheated broiler, about 8 inches from the heat, for 4-5 minutes, or until the top is browned and the eggs are set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving in wedges.
Potato Salad was a must-have side dish for every picnic and barbecue. My Mother made THE BEST potato salad ever and I can replicate it pretty well. There are no measurements, just a ‘pinch of this and a pinch of that’ type of preparation. When my Mother made it, she used onions from the garden and eggs from our farm.
My Potato Salad is pretty darn good, but you can never top what Mom could do!
Boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes
Boiled, peeled and chopped eggs
chopped green onions (or sweet white onion)
celery seed (or chopped celery)
- Mix together potatoes, eggs, onions (and celery if desired). Sprinkle with celery seed.
- In separate bowl, mix mayonnaise with enough milk to thin to consistency of salad dressing. Add sugar and salt to taste.
- Refrigerate for several hours before serving. The flavor is best the next day.
Salsa Chicken in the crockpot is a simple, hearty dish and perfect to serve for a crowd. You can easily modify the recipe to match your taste, adding more vegetables, hotter chiles, etc.
I’m trying to avoid simple carbs so I served over quinoa with sliced fresh tomatoes. It would be fun to serve the chicken in a buffet with a variety of serving options (outlined below) to allow the guest to make their own finished product.
SALSA CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT
2 pounds chicken breasts (if large, cut in half)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
7 oz. can diced green chiles
16 ounce jar of salsa
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
salt and pepper
- Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot and season with salt and pepper.
- Add corn, beans, chiles and salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or 8 hours on low.
- About an hour before serving, shred the chicken in the crockpot and let simmer until ready to serve.
- Serve with fresh tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, or salsa as you like.
- Serving options: Use as filling in burritos or tacos. Serve over quinoa, baked potato, rice or noodles.
Crunchy Potato Casserole is a yummy side dish and family favorite. It has become tradition served with Christmas and Easter ham. I typically make the casserole the day before. Simple to make and bake. To make it easy on myself, I typically make the casserole the day before, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Many folks refer to this dish as ‘wedding potatoes’, since it is often served as part of wedding feasts.
CRUNCHY POTATO CASSEROLE
1 large bag frozen hash browns partially thawed
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup butter, melted
crushed corn flakes (or seasoned bread crumbs)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together, except for 1/4 cup butter and crushed corn flakes.
- Place mixture in lightly buttered 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Sprinkle crushed corn flakes (or bread crumbs) over the potato mixture and top with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.
- Sprinkle with parsley flakes.
- Bake for 50 minutes (or until hot in the center).
Easter and Christmas holidays call for a baked ham. Easy-peasy recipes allow the host/hostess to enjoy their family and friends and this recipe, coupled with the crunchy potato casserole (March 29, 2013 post), make preparation easy.
My family doesn’t enjoy spiral sliced hams, honey-baked hams, but they LOVE this recipe. The leftover ham makes wonderful sandwiches, too. Typically I purchase a Butt Portion Ham, often available for $.99-$1.39 a pound, a true friend of the family budget.
BAKED HAM CROCKPOT STYLE
Pour 1/2 up water in Crock Pot. Wrap precooked 3-4 pound ham in foil; place in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on High 1 hour then turn to low for 6-7 hours or until ham is hot. If cooking a larger ham, cook 1 hour on high and 8-10 hours on low.
Cathy’s method: I follow the instructions above put typically have to cut a few slices off the ham to make it fit in the Crock Pot and . I start the process about an hour before bedtime and then turn to low and cook 12-14 hours. The ham is juicy, tender and delicious.
Adapted from Rival Crock Pot Cooking