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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yummy fall recipes

Preparing a meal for others or creating a new dinner for me and the hubs is one of my favorite things to do.  I look forward to getting in the kitchen, turning on the food network and going to town. I know-NERD ALERT!  There are a few "stand-by" recipes that we repeat from time-to-time, but I often like to mix things up and make something unique.  This year, for Thanksgiving, I was assigned the sweet potatoes.  Now, they have never really been my favorite.  I think it's because the majority of the time I have them they're covered with marshmallows or brown sugar and pecans, and it's just too much for my taste.  So (while I was a little bummed with my assignment) I decided to change things up and make a savory sweet potato dish and the search began.  I found a recipe for sweet potato and andouille soup and it was a HIT! Here is the recipe and link for this recipe. 


  • 3 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (this ended up being 2 medium/large sweet potatoes)
  • 1/2 pound andouilee sausage (I removed the casings and browned/crumbled)
  • 1 cup julienned onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place in a small baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and roast the sweet potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin from the potatoes. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.

Heat a 1 gallon stockpot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the andouille to the pot and saute until most of the fat has rendered and the meat is well caramelized, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the andouille and drain on a paper-lined plate. Set aside until ready to use. Add the onions and saute until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cayenne pepper and chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the soup and stir to blend. Simmer for 10 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a bar blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, if necessary, and stir in the heavy cream. Season with the salt and if necessary more pepper. Garnish with the cooked andouille, chopped chives and serve.

Everyone loved it and I think I am now a fan of sweet potatoes!  The only changes I made to the recipe was that I added some chopped celery (just because I had some in the fridge) and a bay leaf (removed before blending). BONUS-I got to use my immersion blender that I got from my friend Seantel as a wedding gift-love it!  If you don't have one, get one.  It's a wonderful tool to have, especially if you like making soups and sauces. It was delicious and definitely one that we will repeat.  I just served it in small ramekins garnished with andouille and chives for the Thanksgiving meal, but a whole bowl would be filling enough for a meal for sure. 

Another new creation that you might enjoy for the fall is pork and green chile stew.  It is a hearty meal that will warm you up on a cold night-and it is SUPER easy.  The crockpot definitely starts making a lot of appearances when the temperature starts to drop so I was excited to try this one out.  I used this recipe but (as usual) made a few changes. We like spicy around our house so I added quite a bit of hot sauce, a can of black beans, a diced green pepper and added some emerils essence, thyme, bay leaves and oregano as well. We topped ours with some avocado, jalepenos and tortilla chips-YUM!  I'm sure if you weren't a pork eater, chicken or beef would work well here too.  Give it a try and let me know though :)  Here's the recipe and link to the website where I found it!
2 lbs* boneless pork loin roast, lean, all fat trimmed off
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cans (4.25 oz each) whole green chiles, sliced into thick rounds
  • 2 tbsp chopped jalapeño, or more to taste
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro*Tel Mild)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cut pork into 2-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large non-stick skillet on high heat; when hot lightly spray the pan with oil and brown the pork over medium heat on all sides, about 3 - 4 minutes total. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over pork and stir to cook 30 seconds, sprinkle remaining flour over pork and cook an additional 30 seconds. (I just coated the pork with seasoned flour before browning).

Add browned pork to the crock pot, along with the remaining ingredients (I sauteed the onion and bell pepper in the pork drippings before adding to the crock pot-why not?). Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours (if using a Dutch oven, cook on low heat for 3-4 hours). When done, adjust seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

I didn't remember to take a picture of that one-but here's one of us from Thanksgiving!

I just had my last work event of the season this year, so hopefully I will have a little more time to blog!  Sorry I've been slack (Kelly :))

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking forward to Christmas!  I know we are!

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