What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chicken and Dumplings & Chicken Posole

The other night we had Chicken and Dumplings and it didn't turn out as light
as I would have liked so I am going to redid it the next day. The first recipe
I tried came from the Williamsburg Cookbook. I threw out the dumplings and
for lunch today, I made a standard buttermilk biscuit and used that as my
dumpling. Why do I have to try new things when the old standard is fine?
Who knows, but my recipe is very easy.
Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Dumplings
It's the kind of dumplings I grew up eating. Other parts of the country have dumplings that are more like pasta. I like these more. If made right, like the second batch, they are light and they thicken the broth.

I actually only used 1/2 of the chicken and broth for the Chicken and
Dumplings so I took the other half and make Chicken Posole with beef tacos and
fresh guacamole, salsa I canned last summer and chips.

Chicken Posole is easy to make. Take the chicken and broth and add about
some canned tomatoes, and hominy that has been rinsed off. Add some green
chilies and onion and garlic (usually better is sautéed first) and season with
oregano, cumin and some chili powder. We like Ancho and Chipotle chili
powder. The whole thing needs to cook together about 30 minutes or so. I like to serve it topped with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, minced green onion, thinly sliced radishes and cilantro and serve it with tortilla chips as crackers. It is yet another hearty chicken soup. One you can vary to your hearts content or top using whatever you have in your refrigerator.

We have been working very hard on a structure to grow seedlings in. It is
quite large, because we have a lot of grape seedlings each year and have
never been hugely successful at growing them out each year, because of the
inconsistency of sun light. So we are setting up a system where we can grow
seedlings under lights. It will be ebb and flow watering, automated with
temperature and light controlled. What does this have to do with food, you
ask? Well, we are putting in two shelves, one for grape seedlings and one for
herbs and vegetables. I am sure it will end up being additional space for
orchids as well as our collection continues to grow. For me, it means that we
will be able to have things like fresh basil, year round! It is quite a large
project and the entire thing is taking weeks, because we are building the
trough to hold the seedling trays. As soon as it is completed, we have to
plant seedlings and start pruning, so it feels as if we are getting ready for
the season. I will post a picture of it when we are finished. You won't believe

Until next time, eat, drink and be merry!

No pictures this week unless I get a chance to take one in the next day or so. We've been too busy.



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