Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A&J Tackle PW: Week Eight

*We are cooking our way thru the Pioneer Woman's second cookbook, and we're REALLY doing it!!*

For week eight, we did corn chowder (p73), chicken and noodles (p82), pasta with tomato cream sauce (p139), pork tenderloin (p190), and the roasted cauliflower (p220).

~Corn Chowder~
I think I'm not a soup person.  I liked the flavor of this, but I just don't like eating soup.  Maybe because I've been living in The Lands of Perpetual Summer for too long? I don't know.  I used half and half instead of cream.  I don't recommend it.  It gave it a weird consistency.  At least I think it was the half and half.  Who knows.  I liked the kick of the peppers, I'd add more next time.

Dammit Angela, why don't we ever agree?!?!?

Angela says: (I was serious about not fixing the capital letters Angela!!! USE YOUR SHIFT KEY!)

THIS. IS. SO.  GOOD. i love this in the winter. i have made it several times. i used to make it with canned corn, but now that i have recently discovered the goodness of corn off the cob i will be using that. i do not use the chipotles. i don't like them. i don't like the adobo sauce. it's not my thing. i do use a couple jalapenos and saute them with the bacon and onion. i have made this with whole milk and it is still good. cream is, of course, better. but the whole milk is just fine for a healthier substitute. i have also put shrimp in it, chicken would probably work just as well. this is seriously so good. and easy. one other thing you can do is throw in a couple tablespoons of flour when the bacon is done cooking instead of adding cornmeal at the end. or you can remove a couple cups of the soup and puree it and put it back in. that will thicken it very nicely. (or use an immersion blender if you have one).

  • Ingredients
  • 2 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces (or Smaller)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 5 ears Corn, Shucked (about 4 Cups)
  • 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Diced
  • 1 whole 4-ounce Can Diced Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
  • ¼ cups Water

Preparation Instructions

-(Carefully) slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.

-Add bacon pieces to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in diced onion and stir, cooking the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute. Add both kinds of chilies and stir.

-Pour in chicken broth and cream. Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

-Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. 

-Cook for another ten minutes.

Serve with crusty sourdough bread or in a bread bowl. Absolutely yummy!

~Chicken and Noodles~
What are frozen egg noodles? Anyone?

Whatevs.  I used a bag of no yolk egg noodles.  Those bags- I remember them from being little.  And they're like nine cents.  And four million points.

I thought it was sort of bland, Nick thought it was amazing, and Scott had four bowls.

Scott.  Had FOUR BOWLS.  It was very weird.

I followed the directions to the tee.  Minus the frozen egg noodles.  And I used black pepper instead of white.  And I couldn't find a whole chicken cut up (and I'm NOT cutting it up myself) so I only had thighs.  See? To the tee.  Almost. Oh, and I didn't have parsley, so I just cut up the tippy tops of the celery, all those leaf things, and threw those in.

I will obviously be making this again.  Just need to figure out how to season it to MY taste, in my own bowl, because I don't want to mess with Scott eating four bowls.

Watch, next time I make it, he'll eat one noodle and then start crying.

Angela's input:

i have never been a soup person. ever. (really? then what's with all the raving about the corn chowder?) i always thought it bland and boring. but once i started cooking i realized that it didn't have to be that way. and that soup in a can was not anything like homemade soup (made by someone who knows how to cook). this is one of those soups that is good good good. i pretty much followed this recipe also. except we do not have frozen egg noodles. so i used regular ones. and the first couple of times i made it i did not use tumeric (because i didn't have it and it is $6 a bottle). i have used it a couple times since i bought it and it is good, but you aren't missing anything if you don't use it. i use black pepper instead of white. i did the splash of half and half once, it came out sort of weird, so i don't do that any more. 

  • 1 whole Cut Up Fryer Chicken
  • 2 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoons White Pepper (more To Taste)
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Parsley Flakes
  • 16 ounces, weight Frozen "homemade" Egg Noodles
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour

Preparation Instructions

-Cover chicken in 4 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

-Remove chicken from pot with a slotted spoon. With two forks, remove as much meat from the bones as you can, slightly shredding meat in the process. Return bones to broth and simmer on low, covered, for 45 minutes.

-Remove bones from broth with a slotted spoon, making sure to get any small bones that might have detached.

-Add the carrots and celery (and onions, if using) to the pot, followed by the herbs and spices. Stir to combine and simmer for ten minutes to meld flavors.

-Increase heat and add frozen egg noodles and chicken. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

-Mix flour and a little water. Stir until smooth. Pour into soup, stir to combine, and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until broth thickens a bit. Test and adjust seasonings as needed.

~Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce~

Oh man.  What's not to love? Pasta, good.  Sauce, good.  Cream, GOOD.  I loved it.  I licked my plate.  I used a jar of marinara instead of the 'tomato sauce' because I forgot to buy some.  This took four and a half minutes to make.  Win.

So naturally, here's what Angela said:

this is different. i've never had anything like it. it is good. but not good enough to make a main dish. it's a good side dish. i followed the recipe exactly, except i did not have any basil. if i did i would have added some pesto to the sauce. it has a subtle flavor, not bland, just subtle. 


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (15 Ounce Each) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Dash Of Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste
  • Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • 1-½ pound Fettuccine

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)

~Pork Tenderloin~
Okay, the book has this included with the 'roasted root vegetables' but since I didn't DO the roasted root vegetables, I just cut and pasted from her website, which is JUST the pork.  You'll have to deal, sorry if it's a bother.  

I made this a while ago, so I can't remember exactly what I thought.  My note on the book says "Very good- corn cakes took a LOT of work but tasted {here it's too messy for me to read, but I think it means good} less water in the sauce."  So...I guess that's what I have to say about that.  I do remember that I sliced the leftovers super thin and packed them in a baggie and took them to the beach the next day and my kids ate every single piece.

So, this either means they thought it was good, or they just REALLY love to eat at the beach. Oh, and I used plum preserves.  I do remember that.  

Angela didn't have a lot to say.  She texted me "it was good." And I don't want to wait for an email, so that's what I'm going with.

  • 2 whole Pork Tenderloins
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 8 Tablespoons Herbs De Provence (more If Needed
  • 1 cup Preserves (fig, Peach, Plum)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 425. Season pork tenderloins liberally with salt and pepper, then with Herbs de Provence, pressing to get the herbs to adhere to the pork.
Place the pork on a rack or in a large skillet and roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (or until no longer pink). Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
While the pork is resting, combine preserves, water, and vinegar in a small pan and bring to a simmer.
Slice pork into thick pieces, then spoon the sauce/glaze over the slices. Serve with mashed potatoes, grits…anything you’d like!

~ Roasted Cauliflower~

Can't find this one online, which sucks.  On my book, my note says "Eh." Which basically sums it up for me.  We're simple folks here at Hale Engelbrecht (for non islanders, that's how you say Casa de Engelbrecht out here.  I think.)  and we like our veggies steamed, with a tiny bit of salt and pepper.  That's it.  Nothing fancy.

But I said I'd post all the recipes, so here you go.  Angela just said she mashed it up and added shredded cheese and baked it all up like that.  I think she liked it.  She's fancier than I am. 

Roasted Cauliflower (p220)

-1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
-1/4 cup olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste 
-1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
-1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 400.  Spread cauliflower on a large sheet pan and drizzle it with the olive oil. Toss to coat it evenly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roast 15-20 minutes, until golden brown with some darker parts.

Add bread crumbs to a bow, then pour in the melted butter and toss the bread crumbs to combine.

Place cauliflower in a medium baking dish or cute little individual dishes then mound the bread crumbs on top.  Roast five more minutes until bread crumbs are golden brown on top.  

So there you go.  We're back on the ball!! Next week, if anyone wants to follow along, we're attempting Perfect Iced Coffee (p6), French Toast with Berry Butter (p28), Sloppy  Joes (p58), Pork Chops with Apples and Grits (p200), and Angela will do the Perfect Spinach Salad on page 60.  I don't like mushrooms and neither does Nick, so we're skipping out.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I can't wait to hear about the iced coffee... I just worry that if I make it and have it in my fridge I will drink it all in ONE day. I have a bit of a problem when it comes to coffee...