Kale and Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I know this is not the prettiest pictures of a soup, however all I can say was this creation was packed full of flavor, and great ingredients to boot. I often ask my wife what she had for lunch, and she will often come back with something along the lines of a broccoli and cheese soup. We have all had it before, and we’ve had good soups, and horrible soups. This one leans to the good soup for sure, regardless of the look. It’s hearty, and makes a great lunch or dinner and is just as good for a leftover.

Kale and Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
Kale and Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of curly kale, chopped, stems removed
  • 4 cups of broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Croutons, to your liking

Start by melting the butter in a large soup pot. Once melted, add in the onion and cook until they become nice and tender. Once tender, add in the garlic, and toss in the flour, and stir, cooking for a few minutes to cook out the flour. Next, add in the milk, and whisk until you have a nice and smooth sauce.

Add in the chicken stock, and give another stir. Reduce the heat to a medium-low, and continue to cook for about 20 minutes or so. Add in the thyme.

Next, add in the broccoli, carrots, and kale. Cook for about another 20 minutes or so until the vegetables get nice and tender. Now we are going to blend. Pour the mixture into a large blender, cover, and then cover with a towel. You can do this in batches as well if you have a smaller blender. Otherwise, if you have an immersion blender, use that.

Pulse until you have a nice puree, then return the mixture back to the pot. Continue cooking on low heat, and then add in the cheddar cheese. If the soup if too thick for you, then feel free to add in about a cup of water or so to thin it out a bit. Give a good stir, and serve with croutons on the top.

This soup is super hearty and delicious and is perfect for a nice, cold day. Furthermore it’s a great way to get all of the wonderful nutrients of kale into the picture. Hope you enjoy!

Kale and Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head of curly kale, chopped, stems removed
  • 4 cups of broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Croutons, to your liking
Instructions
  1. Start by melting the butter in a large soup pot. Once melted, add in the onion and cook until they become nice and tender. Once tender, add in the garlic, and toss in the flour, and stir, cooking for a few minutes to cook out the flour. Next, add in the milk, and whisk until you have a nice and smooth sauce.
  2. Add in the chicken stock, and give another stir. Reduce the heat to a medium-low, and continue to cook for about 20 minutes or so. Add in the thyme.
  3. Next, add in the broccoli, carrots, and kale. Cook for about another 20 minutes or so until the vegetables get nice and tender. Now we are going to blend. Pour the mixture into a large blender, cover, and then cover with a towel. You can do this in batches as well if you have a smaller blender. Otherwise, if you have an immersion blender, use that.
  4. Pulse until you have a nice puree, then return the mixture back to the pot. Continue cooking on low heat, and then add in the cheddar cheese. If the soup if too thick for you, then feel free to add in about a cup of water or so to thin it out a bit. Give a good stir, and serve with croutons on the top.

 

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Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin

One of my favorite breakfast sandwiches is probably the egg McMuffin, and I make them at home all of the time. I’ve made everything from a corned beef mcmuffin, my son’s favorite sausage and egg mcmuffin, and my favorite, the classic egg mcmuffin. But then came along this one, the Mexican chorizo egg mcmufffin. See another one of my favorite breakfasts is chorizo and eggs, mixed together and served with warm tortillas. To me that is a very comforting and filling breakfast, and hence why I came up with this recipe.

This is everything I love about both breakfast items, turned into one, and if you like chorizo, you are going to love this one as well.

Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin Recipe
Mexican Chorizo Egg McMuffin Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole English muffin, toasted
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1 whole egg, cooked in a metal round
  • 1/4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican chorizo (beef or pork), cooked, oil strained

Start by cooking your chorizo. To a small skillet, remove the chorizo from the casing, and cook on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes until it gets fully cooked and a bit crisp. Strain all of the oil. This is the tricky one, and trust me a lot of oil gets released when cooking Mexican chorizo. Once strained, set the chorizo to the side in a small bowl, wipe out the skillet, and let’s start cooking the egg.

One of my favorite things I purchased years ago were these round cutter sets from Amazon.  If you have these, lightly butter the inside of the round, place inside of the skillet, drizzle the oil inside of it, and crack the egg into it. Cook on medium heat, and when the edges, and top begin to cook through, take a butter knife and work your way around the inside of the round, and loosen the egg. The round may just lift up, but the knife is used just in case it does not.

Carefully flip the egg, and cook another minute or two.

How to make a Mexican chorizo  egg mcmuffin
How to make a Mexican chorizo egg mcmuffin

Now it is time to build the Mexican chorizo egg McMuffin.

Take the bottom half of the toasted English muffin and place it on your serving dish. Add the slice of American cheese, then the cooked egg, then the warm Mexican chorizo. Top with the top of the English muffin and get ready to dig in.

This is everything you love in an egg McMuffin but the real surprise is when you get that awesome smokiness from the Mexican chorizo. It is a little sloppy, I’ll admit, but not overly sloppy. Will I put this into my array of breakfast items? You bet. I hope you enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Browned Butter Sage Pasta

One of my kids favorite things to eat, believe it or not, (at least 2 of them) is brown butter and sage pasta with parmesan. I don’t blame them. If you have never tried this simple dish, try it, trust me, it’s delicious. I grown sage every year, primarily for that reason, but I also grow it to be used in brining chicken and turkey. Lord help us it’s almost Thanksgiving!

With our farmer’s market winding down, I decided to pick up a handful of squash. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of squash, but I think my wife is and hence why I buy the stuff, plus I have no problem supporting the farmers. No problem at all. So as I picked up some acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash, I decided to come up with a riff on the favorite browned butter and sage pasta with butternut squash. Did my wife love it? YES.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Browned Butter Recipe
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Browned Butter Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta, cooked just before al dente (I used a thin linguine)
  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
  • generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • cherry tomatoes, quartered, optional
  • pinch of red chili flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Add the cubed butternut squash to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 30 minutes until fork tender, and let cool.

Cook your pasta just before al dente, drain and set to the side.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Browned Butter Sage Pasta Ingredients
Roasted Butternut Squash and Browned Butter Sage Pasta Ingredients

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and then add in the butter. Let the butter sizzle and bubble and get a light brown, then add in the pasta and squash. Gently toss, and cook for a minute or two.

Add in the sage, chili flakes, and parmesan cheese, and give another good toss. Cook for a few more minutes until the cheese slightly melts, then serve. Add a few cherry tomato slices to cut through some of those flavors, if you desire. Hint: I’m trying to use up my garden.

The end result is everything I love about some of the things I grow in the garden. The brown butter and sage are awesome, and then you throw in that wonderful roasted squash, and there you go. You have an awesome meatless meal that is comforting, filling, and super delicious. Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Browned Butter Sage Pasta
Author: 
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta, cooked just before al dente (I used a thin linguine)
  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
  • generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • cherry tomatoes, quartered, optional
  • pinch of red chili flakes, optional
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Add the cubed butternut squash to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes until fork tender, and let cool.
  3. Cook your pasta just before al dente, drain and set to the side.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and then add in the butter. Let the butter sizzle and bubble and get a light brown, then add in the pasta and squash. Gently toss, and cook for a minute or two.
  5. Add in the sage, chili flakes, and parmesan cheese, and give another good toss. Cook for a few more minutes until the cheese slightly melts, then serve. Add a few cherry tomato slices to cut through some of those flavors, if you desire.

 

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Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Back in the day, my colleagues and I would go out for a holiday dinner at one of our local Brazilian Churrasco . You know the ones, where you sit down and the servers come out with delicious swords of beef, chicken, and pork? Lord we loved that place, and we often referred to it as a ‘meat faucet’. With that said, the servers would bring out these awesome cheese rolls, rice, and beans. The bread, the bread is all I have to say. I could have been happy just with the bread! If you never had these tender cheese rolls, well now is your chance. The ingredients are way too simple, and the real trick is to use tapioca flour.

I wish I would have made a double batch of these Pao de Queijo as once my kids got a hold of them, well they were pretty much gone in minutes.

Brazilian Cheese Bread - Pao de Queijo
Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray
  • muffin tin
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Trust me, it does not get any better than these cheese breads. If you want, you could brush a bit of garlic butter, a gentle brush and enhance them even more.

Start by preheating your oven to 360 degrees.

Next, spray the inside of your muffin tin with cooking spray.

Toss the ingredients inside of a mixing bowl, folding, and mixing until you have a nice batter. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes. If you have a mixer, with bread attachment, feel free to use it, on low-medium speed.

Once you have a nice batter, fill each muffin tin up to about half way, maybe 2-3 tablespoons of the batter.

Place the tray in the oven, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a nice light-golden brown. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

Slip the Brazilian Cheese Bread out of the tins, place on a plate, grate with parmesan cheese (optional) and grab one really quickly, and watch them be gone in about 2 minutes.

Soft, warm, cheesey. Sounds like me in a couple of ways; at least the warm and cheesy part. Anyway, hunt for tapioca flour, and get this bread started. Next, figuring out where to find the meat sword!

Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy!

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