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Houlihan's Baked Potato Soup

Serving Size  : 8

   1 1/2  pounds        baking potatoes
     1/4  pound         butter
   2      cups          yellow onion -- diced
     1/3  cup           flour
   5      cups          water
     1/4  cup           low sodium chicken base
   1      cup           instant potato flakes
     3/4  teaspoon      dried basil
     1/2  teaspoon      tabasco sauce
   1      cup           heavy cream
   1      cup           milk
                        salt -- to taste
                        white pepper -- to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400. Prick washed potatoes & bake until a fork pierces to the center easily.

2. Remove potatoes from oven & allow to fully cool. Remove skin & cut potatoes into 1/2" cubes. Set aside.

3. Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add onions & saute over low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Don't allow onions to burn.

4. Add flour to onions & butter and cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring well until flour is absorbed. In a separate container, combine water, chicken base, potato flakes & seasonings.

5. Stir or whisk thoroughly to eliminate lumps.  Add slowly to onion mixture, stirring constantly so no lumps form.

6. Increase to medium heat & continue cooking until the soup begins to gently simmer.

7. Add milk & cream, stirring until smooth & lightly thickened.  Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil.  Soup should just simmer lightly.   Add cubed baked potatoes & stir to combine.

8. Remove from heat & serve. Top each serving with grated cheddar cheese, sliced scallions & bacon pieces.

Hot and Spicy Orange Beef Szechwan Style

1 1/2 pounds flank steak, partially frozen
3 Tbsp. dry sherry, divided
1 egg white
3 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
8 ounces bamboo shoots, cut in 1 1/2 - 2 inch slices
2 Tbsp. grated orange zest
2 scallions, including green stems, cut in 1 1/2 - 2 inch slices
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
3 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon Szechwan chili flakes (Use red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp. for mild)

Cut meat on the diagonal into strips 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 - 2 inches long.

Combine beef, 1 tablespoon sherry, egg white and 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch.  In a separate bowl, combine bamboo shoots, orange zest, scallions and ginger.  In a third bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, water, 2 tablespoons sherry, broth, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.

Heat peanut oil in skillet or wok to 350-375 degrees or until oil begins to smoke.  Add meat mixture and chili flakes.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove meat with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Heat skillet again; add vegetable mixture and cook 1-2 minutes.  Return meat and stir for 1 minute.  Add liquid mixture and cook 1-2 minutes. 4-6 servings

Serve with steamed rice and punctuate the orange flavor by topping with little knots fashioned from orange zest.
 
 


 

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