Friday, February 01, 2008

Two from Simple Suppers

So it's been a while since I had a real post. I got off track last week because of a house project - I've been painting our bedroom. More on that later.....

On to the recipes. Both of these recipes earned my "it has potential" rating; meaning that while they were not out-of-this-world-fantastic, they were good solid recipes that I think could elevated to a higher status with a little tweaking.

The first was a polenta-stuffed pepper dish in which bell peppers are lightly roasted and then stuffed with polenta, topped with cheese and placed under the broiler. The peppers are served over a super easy but very tasty warm black bean and salsa mixture. I really liked all the different elements of this dish, but the polenta was underwhelming. I think that part of the problem is that the polenta did not cook fully enough and still had an off/raw taste. The 3 males in the family commented that sausage would make this dish really good. Although I'm trying to eat more vegetarian meals lately, I have to admit that a little sausage would really be good here. :) To elevate the taste without resorting to meat however, I would look to maybe a bit of chipotle and perhaps some black olives. Polenta is certainly versatile enough to tweak as you wish - this dish could be turned into something with a more Italian flare with a bit of Parmesan and served over a white bean mixture. Or with a little feta and black olives, it could turn Greek. The possibilities really are endless.

Southwestern Cheese Soup
Southwestern Cheese Soup
(I'm afraid that no amount of photo editing could save this photo!)

I've had a couple of inquiries about the Southwestern Cheese Soup that we had earlier this week. It's a very easy soup to throw together and everyone enjoyed it, but again I think it could use a bit of tweaking. Of course I tweaked it just a tad the first time, but just a little - I made a substitution for the canned green chiles. First of all I didn't have any on hand and second of all, I really don't care for them - they seem to have this off/tinny taste that I can't get past. Looking for something to add a bit of heat and flavor, I stumbled on a jar of pickled jalapenos in my refrigerator - these were perfect - they added heat, color and no tinny taste. The soup got very positive reviews from the males at the table. I thought it was very good considering how quick and easy it is to make, but I thought it could be kicked up a notch - maybe some black beans, replacing some of the cheddar with a bit of light cream cheese. And yes devoted carnivores - a little sausage would ramp things up a bit too.

So, two solid recipes that could be really good with a little tweaking. Again, I tend to value recipes as much for the overall ideas they give me for future meals as I do for the overall end result.


  1. Southwestern Cheese soup?
    Sounds good. My father would defiantly love this since he's big on southwestern kinds of food.

    Thanks for the recipe

  2. Anonymous5:00 PM

    If you buy Hatch Chiles in the can, only available in New Mexico I'm afraid, you will have absolutely NO tinny flavor. Because they are not imported they have a very fresh taste.