Category Archives: Recipes

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Bowl of chicken soup
Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Sometimes, nothing but a soothing old-fashioned soup will do and it doesn’t get more classic than this comforting Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup.

However, Chicken Noodle Soup can sometimes be, well, blah and rather tasteless unless it has some seasoning. I am a big believer in layering in flavors to create a tasteful dish and that is how I have designed this soup.

Whether you simply crave homemade comfort food or you’re feeling under the weather, this soothing and nourishing broth-based Chicken Noodle Soup will be just what’s needed.

Pre-Preparation

I highly recommend some pre-prep work to make the soup-making process easier and more efficient. Start by removing the chicken pieces from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing them as they will sear better if they are not super cold.

Chop the onions and slice or dice the carrots and celery. Mince the garlic. Measure out the poultry stock and seasonings. Weigh the noodles and, if using, squeeze the lemon juice.

Chicken

Use chicken with skin on and bone in for this soup. Starting with raw chicken (as opposed to already cooked chicken) helps to create a good flavor base for the soup. Choosing chicken that has the bone in will add more flavor than will boneless chicken pieces. Leaving the skin on the chicken allows the fat to add flavor to the soup and is useful when searing the chicken as explained below. So long as the weight of chicken called for in the recipe remains the same, any cut of, or combination of, chicken pieces can be used – e.g., chicken breasts, thighs, legs. That said, breasts and thighs will yield more meat. For ease of cooking, I recommend using similarly-sized pieces that will all cook for about the same amount of time. I used equal-sized chicken breasts for the soup in the photos.

Searing the chicken pieces till the skin is golden-brown helps to keep the meat moist and provides an outer “buffer”, to insulate the chicken as it continues to cook in the stock thus helping to prevent the chicken from becoming dried out and rubbery. Of course, searing the chicken till it is golden-brown, helps to add color and flavor to the soup. If you have a grease splatter screen/guard that fits the top of your stockpot, I recommend using it to avoid fat splatters and potential skin burns as the chicken sears. It will spit and splatter so do be careful around it.

Use an instant read thermometer to test chicken for doneness (165°F internal temperature), inserting the thermometer into the thickest meat part of one of the chicken pieces that has temporarily been removed from the stock to have its temperature taken. The cooking time I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time based on their cut and size. Use a thermometer for accuracy. Do not overcook the chicken.

After searing the chicken pieces, be sure to deglaze the stockpot with a bit of the poultry stock called for in the recipe. Scrape up any brown bits left in the bottom of the pan from searing the chicken. These little tidbits will add great flavor and additional color to the soup.

Poultry Stock

I prefer to use my own homemade poultry stock as the base for soups. You can find my recipe here. I find it is flavorful and I can recognize and pronounce all the ingredients in it so I know what I am eating! I never throw out a chicken or turkey carcass as it makes fabulous stock. I always have a ready stash of poultry stock in my freezer to use as the base for making soups which are a mainstay in my diet.

Homemade Turkey Stock
Homemade Poultry Stock

While I recommend the use of homemade stock, commercial stock from your grocer’s store shelf can be used if you don’t have homemade stock on hand. Just be sure to buy a good quality, flavorful stock and preferably one that is not overly salty. Sometimes, some commercial brands are little more than lightly colored salted water, in my opinion, and they will not give your soup either flavor or color. Because this is a broth-based soup, use a high-quality stock as it is the key ingredient to this soup’s flavor.

Mirepoix – Well Not Quite

A traditional French mirepoix would have an exact ratio of 2:1:1 of onion to carrots and celery and the veggies would be very uniformly and finely chopped. While I will often adhere to this holy grail ratio, sometimes, my tastebuds lead me in another direction, especially when I don’t want to over-do the onion flavor and yet want the bulk of more celery and carrot in the dish. I wanted a cup each of celery and carrot but not 2 cups of onion as per typical mirepoix ratio which would, in my opinion, overpower the soup’s desired flavor (I am using 1 1/3 cups chopped onion in this recipe). So, all this to say….in my view, sometimes it’s the cook’s prerogative to go with taste versus scientific ratio (some chefs may, no doubt, beg to differ!). Sautéing these aromatics before adding them to the soup, allows them to release their flavors that will give deep, well-rounded flavor to the soup.

Vintage bowls filled with homemade chicken soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Noodles

Almost any noodles can be used in this soup. I typically use broken up pieces of thinner type pastas like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine, broken into about 3” pieces. However, wider egg noodles or other pasta shapes, for example, can certainly be used in this recipe. These are added near the end of the cooking and should only be cooked until they are barely al dente.

Vegetables

Any kind of favorite mixture of frozen vegetables can be used in this soup. I often make it with nothing more than peas and/or corn (as was done with the batch of soup shown in this post’s photographs where frozen corn was the sole frozen vegetable used). However, there are so many different frozen vegetable combinations on the market today that there is a mixture for everyone’s taste. Just make sure, whatever vegetables you choose to use, are not overcooked. They should just be al dente.

Season As You Go

I recommend tasting the soup as it is being made and adding additional salt and freshly ground pepper conservatively. The amount needed will largely depend on the kind of poultry stock used. If it already has a hefty amount of salt in it, then the soup will need very little additional salt.

Broth-based Soup

This soup is meant to be a broth-based soup. However, I do add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste. Be sure to temper this paste with a bit of the soup’s hot liquid so that it will blend well when added to the soup. This amount of cornstarch is minimal compared to the amount of liquid in the soup so it won’t make it a thick “chowder consistency”. It will, however, strengthen and give a bit more body to the broth so it won’t be quite so thin and watery. This addition is optional so, if your preference is to have a very thin broth base, by all means, skip this step.

Add a Spritz or a Splash of Freshly-squeezed Lemon Juice

This step is totally optional but, at the time of serving, a light spritz or splash of freshly-squeezed lemon juice can add a bit of brightness to the soup’s flavor and the lemon’s acid balances out any salty flavor which is especially useful if using a salt-laden commercial stock. A word of caution, though, go easy on the amount of lemon juice used as adding too much will quickly turn this lovely flavorful soup into a not-so-pleasant sour soup.

Add a splash of lemon to brighten the flavor of chicken soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Freezing the Soup

This soup freezes well so is great to have on hand. Freeze it in freezer-safe containers of desired serving size. Be sure to label and date the soup.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp cooking oil
2 – 2½ lbs chicken pieces (e.g., breasts/thighs, bone-in and skin on)

7 cups poultry stock
1 large bay leaf
1½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp dried Basil
½ tsp dried summer savory
½ tsp dried turmeric
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp ground dried fennel
Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 1/3 cups chopped onion
1 cup carrots, diced or sliced thin
1 cup celery, diced or sliced thin
Sprinkle of salt
3-5 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste

4 oz uncooked noodles of choice (e.g., egg noodles, broken spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or other pasta shapes)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables of choice
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 – 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Method:

Pre-Prep:

Remove chicken pieces from refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing.

Prepare and measure the onion, carrots, and celery and mince the garlic.

Measure poultry stock and weigh the noodles. Measure out seasonings and cornstarch.

Prepare lemon juice, if using.

Heat cooking oil in large, heavy-bottomed, stockpot over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 3-4 minutes, just until skin is a golden-brown color. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the bone side. Remove and transfer chicken to a heat-proof cutting board.

Over medium heat, deglaze, with a couple of tablespoons of the poultry stock, the large stockpot in which the chicken pieces were seared. Scrape up any brown bits remaining from the chicken. Add the remaining poultry stock, bay leaf, seasonings, and chicken pieces. Bring mixture just to the boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes (see Note below re cooking time).

When the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, prepare the aromatic vegetables as follows. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the butter and, once melted, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt as the vegetables sauté. Add the minced garlic cloves and stir continuously for about 30-45 seconds until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Remove from heat.

When the chicken has been cooking about 15 minutes, remove one of the chicken pieces from the stock and insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken piece to test for doneness (see NOTE below regarding cooking time). When chicken tests done (165°F internal temperature), remove the chicken pieces from the stockpot and transfer to a heat-proof cutting board. Allow chicken to cool slightly then, when it is just cooled enough to handle, use forks or fingers to remove and discard skin and bones and shred, or chop, chicken into bite-sized portions.

While chicken is cooling and being shredded or chopped, reduce heat under stockpot containing the poultry stock to medium-low, skim off any visible fat that may have surfaced, and add the sautéed vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes then add the noodles and frozen vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat slightly. Whisk cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a paste. Temper with a bit of the hot soup liquid and stir cornstarch mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer soup for a few minutes longer, just until noodles and vegetables are al dente. Stir chicken back into stock pot to heat (3-4 minutes). Do not boil. Remove and discard bay leaf.

If desired, add a spritz or a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice just at time of serving to brighten up and balance out the soup’s flavor. Don’t over-do it on the addition of lemon juice as it is easy to turn this into a sour soup.

Serve soup with crackers, biscuits, or bread of choice.

Soup freezes well.

Yield: Apx. 10 cups

NOTE: The cooking time for the chicken that I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time according to their size and cut. The cooking times suggested in this recipe are based on chicken breast cuts. Other cuts and sizes of chicken pieces may require different cooking times. Use an instant read thermometer for accuracy to ensure that the chicken is properly and safely cooked.

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Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

This hearty made-from-scratch Chicken Noodle Soup is flavorful, nourishing, and the perfect comfort soup made with poultry stock and loads of chicken meat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Chicken, chicken noodle soup, chicken soup, soup,
Servings 8
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 - 2½ lbs chicken pieces (e.g., breasts/thighs, bone-in and skin on)
  • 7 cups poultry stock
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried Basil
  • ½ tsp dried summer savory
  • ½ tsp dried turmeric
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp ground dried fennel
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup carrots, diced or sliced thin
  • 1 cup celery, diced or sliced thin
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste
  • 4 oz uncooked noodles of choice (e.g., egg noodles, broken spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or other pasta shapes)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables of choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 – 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

Pre-Prep:

  1. Remove chicken pieces from refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing.
  2. Prepare and measure the onion, carrots, and celery and mince the garlic.
  3. Measure poultry stock and weigh the noodles. Measure out seasonings and cornstarch.
  4. Prepare lemon juice, if using.
  5. Heat cooking oil in large, heavy-bottomed, stockpot over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 3-4 minutes, just until skin is a golden-brown color. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the bone side. Remove and transfer chicken to a heat-proof cutting board.
  6. Over medium heat, deglaze, with a couple of tablespoons of the poultry stock, the large stockpot in which the chicken pieces were seared. Scrape up any brown bits remaining from the chicken. Add the remaining poultry stock, bay leaf, seasonings, and chicken pieces. Bring mixture just to the boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes (see Note below re cooking time).
  7. When the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, prepare the aromatic vegetables as follows. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the butter and, once melted, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt as the vegetables sauté. Add the minced garlic cloves and stir continuously for about 30-45 seconds until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Remove from heat.
  8. When the chicken has been cooking about 15 minutes, remove one of the chicken pieces from the stock and insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken piece to test for doneness (see NOTE below regarding cooking time). When chicken tests done (165°F internal temperature), remove the chicken pieces from the stockpot and transfer to a heat-proof cutting board. Allow chicken to cool slightly then, when it is just cooled enough to handle, use forks or fingers to remove and discard skin and bones and shred, or chop, chicken into bite-sized portions.
  9. While chicken is cooling and being shredded or chopped, reduce heat under stockpot containing the poultry stock to medium-low, skim off any visible fat that may have surfaced, and add the sautéed vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes then add the noodles and frozen vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
  10. Reduce heat slightly. Whisk cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a paste. Temper with a bit of the hot soup liquid and stir cornstarch mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer soup for a few minutes longer, just until noodles and vegetables are al dente. Stir chicken back into stock pot to heat (3-4 minutes). Do not boil. Remove and discard bay leaf.

  11. If desired, add a spritz or a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice just at time of serving to brighten up and balance out the soup’s flavor. Don’t over-do it on the addition of lemon juice as it is easy to turn this into a sour soup.
  12. Serve soup with crackers, biscuits, or bread of choice.
  13. Soup freezes well.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 10 cups

NOTE: The cooking time for the chicken that I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time according to their size and cut. The cooking times suggested in this recipe are based on chicken breast cuts. Other cuts and sizes of chicken pieces may require different cooking times. Use an instant read thermometer for accuracy to ensure that the chicken is properly and safely cooked.

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Bowl of homemade chicken soup

Goat Cheese and Basil Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Breaded Stuffed Chicken Breast
Goat Cheese and Basil Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Designed with the smaller household of two in mind, the recipe for these delectable Goat Cheese and Basil Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts is easily scalable to the number of servings required. So, for example, if you need four servings, simply double the ingredients called for in the recipe. Continue reading Goat Cheese and Basil Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Custard Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Cookies Sandwiched with Pink Buttercream Icing surrounded by pink flowers
Pretty Custard Sandwich Cookies

These Custard Sandwich Cookies bear some resemblance to those that many know as Melting Moments, my recipe for which can be found here. The primary difference between these Custard Sandwich Cookies and Melting Moments is that the latter contains cornstarch giving the cookies what is commonly known as a “short”, ever-so-slightly crisp, texture while the Custard Sandwich Cookies contain vanilla custard powder that gives them a wonderful soft, creamy, and slightly crumbly texture as well as additional flavor and a more yellowish color. Continue reading Custard Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Luscious Lime Curd Recipe

Glass jar filled with Lime Curd
Luscious Lime Curd

Sharper and with a tangier taste than lemon curd, lime curd (in its natural state) is a slightly duller color than the traditional lemon curd with which most people are probably more familiar. One would think lime curd would automatically have a lime green color but this is not the case as the juice from limes is actually a very pale bland color. I added just a touch of green gel icing coloring to brighten up the curd and give it a pretty lime green color, more consistent to what might be expected of the appearance of a lime curd. Continue reading Luscious Lime Curd Recipe

Clementine Sponge Pudding for Two

Two ramekin dishes filled with single-serving Sponge Pudding
Clementine Sponge Pudding for Two

This self-saucing Clementine Sponge Pudding, baked in a bain marie, consists of a lovely citrus-flavored sauce topped with a light-as-air sponge cake. The pudding is proportionately sized for two servings making it ideal for the small household. Continue reading Clementine Sponge Pudding for Two

Rustic Oatmeal Bread Recipe (aka Porridge Bread)

Loaf of Porridge Bread nestled inside a tea towel
Rustic Oatmeal Bread

Some may know this old-fashioned bread simply as “Porridge Bread” because of its rolled oat content. Rustic Oatmeal Bread is a hearty bread that has a soft, chewy texture. It’s ideal as a sandwich bread, makes fabulous toast, is great for French toast and, heck, it’s just fine slathered with butter or molasses! Continue reading Rustic Oatmeal Bread Recipe (aka Porridge Bread)

Baked Haddock au Gratin Recipe

Baked Haddock in a cream sauce topped with breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese served in an au gratin dish
Baked Haddock au Gratin

At least once a week, I have fish. Haddock is a favorite and while I like it simply pan-fried in butter, sometimes I like to dress it up and, on those occasions, I make Baked Haddock au Gratin.

Awhile ago, I canvassed my food blog followers to see if there was interest in smaller sized recipes for one or two servings and there was sufficient interest so I indicated I would, from time to time, develop and post recipes for this particular demographic. This haddock recipe is sized for two servings but is easily doubled if four servings are needed.

I have also tested this recipe by baking it from frozen state (in baking dishes that go from freezer to oven safely) and it turns out fine so it is one that I now have on hand in my freezer for when I want a dressed up haddock dish. Everything but the cheddar cheese goes on to the dish before it is frozen. Note that, if baking the fish from frozen state, additional baking time beyond what is stated in the recipe will be required. If you are planning to freeze this dish for baking later, make sure you use fresh fillets, not fish previously frozen.

This is not an overly complicated recipe. The sauce basically consists of chicken stock, whipping cream, milk, and Dijon mustard with onion, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms sautéed in butter for flavor and all thickened with flour. The dish is then baked in the oven with a breadcrumb and cheddar cheese topping. This recipe can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour as the thickener and by using gluten-free breadcrumbs for the topping.

Individual au gratin dish filled with baked haddock in a rich cream sauce
Baked Haddock au Gratin

My preference is to use individual au gratin dishes for this recipe for several reasons. First, it keeps the fish intact. Haddock is a fragile fillet and breaks apart very easily. Baking it in an individual serving dish keeps it altogether so the fish serves well and is not all broken apart when plated. It is simply served right in the dish in which it was baked. Second, this sauce is rich and it needs to cover the fish completely so, if using a larger baking dish to bake the two fillets together, make sure the pan is just large enough to accommodate the fillets as there is only adequate sauce for the two fillets. If the sauce runs off the fish (which it will) into the bottom of a pan, it will be spread too thin and may burn and the lovely flavorful sauce will be lost.

The fillets can certainly be baked together in a slightly larger au gratin dish for two. Alternatively, if you don’t have suitably sized au gratin dishes, a baking pan the size of what is used in a toaster oven would likely work for two fillets (e.g., typically an 8”x6” pan) or a 10”x5” baking dish could also work. The other reason I like to use individual baking dishes is that, for presentation purposes, it allows for plating the meal to look like restaurant quality as each individual has their own serving dish (remember, we do eat with our eyes first)!

While I have used haddock in this recipe, any white fleshed fish fillets can be substituted with the sauce.

Au gratin dish filled with baked haddock in cream sauce served with basmati rice and a medley of stir-fried vegetables
Baked Haddock au Gratin

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Baked Haddock au Gratin

Ingredients:

2 haddock fillets, each apx. 5-6 oz (fresh or thawed, if frozen)
Garlic salt (apx. ½ tsp or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup whipping cream (36% MF)
¼ cup milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp butter, melted

1½ – 2 tbsp butter
2½ tbsp finely chopped onion
2½ tbsp finely chopped celery
3 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
1/3 cup sliced white button mushrooms (about 1 oz)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour (or gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, if required)

1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs (gluten-free, if required)
2½ tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ tbsp butter, melted

1/3 cup grated old or medium Cheddar cheese

Paprika (optional)
Green onions and/or slices of orange or lemon for garnish (optional)

Method:

In small bowl, combine the chicken stock, whipping cream, milk, Dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp melted butter. Set aside.

Chop and measure vegetables and grate cheeses.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease two individual-sized au gratin dishes (or a small shallow baking dish just large enough to arrange the fillets in a single layer). Sprinkle fish fillets with garlic salt and pepper. Arrange one fillet in each au gratin dish or single layer if using one baking dish for the two fillets. Note, in order to get the fish fillet to fit in the single au gratin dishes, an end of each fillet may need to be cut off and arranged alongside fillet in au gratin dish. Set aside.

Melt 1½ – 2 tbsp butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables just until they are barely tender, stirring frequently (apx. 3 minutes).

Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for a few seconds, stirring to prevent scorching, then reduce heat to medium low and gradually add the whipping cream and chicken stock mixture. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until sauce starts to thicken, apx. 1 minute. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted, about 1 minute longer or until sauce is thickened to desired consistency.

Spoon sauce equally over each fillet, covering all areas of the fish completely. Combine the breadcrumbs and the ½ tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle mixture equally over fillets. Place au gratin dishes on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in case sauce should bubble over. Bake for apx 20-24 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned, sauce is bubbling, and fish is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Note that baking times may vary due to size and thickness of fillets.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese over each fillet and return to oven for 1½ – 2 minutes, just until cheese is melted.

Let fish stand for 5-10 minutes to allow sauce to set before serving. Sprinkle each fillet with paprika and garnish with sliced green onions and an orange or lemon slice, if desired.

Serve with choice of potato or rice, and a favorite side of vegetable(s), steamed or stir-fried.

Yield: 2 servings

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Au Gratin dish filled with Baked Haddock in Cream Sauce Topped with a Breadcrumb and Cheddar Cheese Topping
Baked Haddock au Gratin

Printable Recipe

Baked Haddock au Gratin

This Baked Haddock au Gratin dresses up mild white fish fillets with a delectable cream sauce topped with breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese. Serve with rice or choice of potato and side vegetable(s).
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword baked haddock au gratin, fish, haddock, seafood
Servings 2
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 2 haddock fillets, each apx. 5-6 oz (fresh or thawed, if frozen)
  • Garlic salt (apx. ½ tsp or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream (36% MF)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1½ - 2 tbsp butter
  • tbsp finely chopped onion
  • tbsp finely chopped celery
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced white button mushrooms (about 1 oz)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (or gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, if required)
  • 1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs (gluten-free, if required)
  • tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup grated old or medium Cheddar cheese
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Green onions and/or slices of orange or lemon for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, combine the chicken stock, whipping cream, milk, Dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp melted butter. Set aside.
  2. Chop and measure vegetables and grate cheeses.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Grease two individual-sized au gratin dishes (or a small shallow baking dish just large enough to arrange the fillets in a single layer). Sprinkle fish fillets with garlic salt and pepper. Arrange one fillet in each au gratin dish or single layer if using one baking dish for the two fillets. Note, in order to get the fish fillet to fit in the single au gratin dishes, an end of each fillet may need to be cut off and arranged alongside fillet in au gratin dish. Set aside.

  5. Melt 1½ - 2 tbsp butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables just until they are barely tender, stirring frequently (apx. 3 minutes).
  6. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for a few seconds, stirring to prevent scorching, then reduce heat to medium low and gradually add the whipping cream and chicken stock mixture. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Continue cooking until sauce starts to thicken, apx. 1 -2 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted, about 1 minute longer or until sauce is thickened to desired consistency.

  7. Spoon sauce equally over each fillet, covering all areas of the fish completely. Combine the breadcrumbs and the ½ tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle mixture equally over fillets. Place au gratin dishes on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet in case sauce should bubble over. Bake for apx 20-24 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned, sauce is bubbling, and fish is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Note that baking times may vary due to size and thickness of fillets.

  8. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over each fillet and return to oven for 1½ - 2 minutes, just until cheese is melted.
  9. Let fish stand for 5-10 minutes to allow sauce to set before serving. Sprinkle each fillet with paprika and garnish with sliced green onions and an orange or lemon slice, if desired.
  10. Serve with choice of potato or rice, and a favorite side of vegetable(s), steamed or stir-fried.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 2 servings

Decadent Dream Square Recipe

A slice of Dream Square with a cup of tea
Decadent Dream Square

Always a favorite, this three-part square (shortbread base, topping, and icing), known simply as “Dream Square”, is a treat! Sometimes referred to as a vintage or retro square, I’m not sure it has ever been “shelved” long enough in history to put it in that category! This is a square that is, in my view, perennially in vogue. Continue reading Decadent Dream Square Recipe

Cranberry Orange Eggnog Loaf Recipe

Quick Bread studded with cranberries, mixed peel, pecans, and orange zest
Cranberry Orange Eggnog Loaf

I call this quick bread the loaf with Christmas wrapped inside it! That’s because this Cranberry Orange Eggnog Loaf encompasses many of the flavors we typically associate with Christmas – the bright red cranberries, eggnog, warm spices of nutmeg, mace, and cardamom, citrus notes that come from orange marmalade, juice, and orange rind, mixed peel/citron, and pecans. It’s the perfect loaf for weekend brunch, coffee or tea break, or gift giving. Continue reading Cranberry Orange Eggnog Loaf Recipe

Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder Recipe

Small casserole filled with golden corn chowder accompanied by homemade rolls
Corn Chowder

Late summer brings some wonderful flavors and that includes corn. After a few “feeds” of corn-on-the-cob, I am ready to have the veggie served in other ways, like in this Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder. Pure comfort food at its finest and nothing compares to the homemade version!

Corn Chowder is not difficult to make though there are steps involved and it does take a bit of time but, oh, the flavor is incomparable!

While corn chowder can be made with frozen corn kernels, the chowder really is at its ultimate when made with kernels stripped from freshly picked corn and the cobs then used to add wonderful flavor to the poultry stock base. Use your favorite variety of corn – peaches and cream or sweet yellow corn work well, for example. The chowder in the photos that accompany this posting was made with peaches and cream corn and the beautiful golden yellow color is all natural.

Casserole filled with golden corn chowder
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Once the kernels are stripped from the cobs with a sharp knife, the cobs are added to the poultry stock in a stockpot. There is a lot of flavor to be had from those cobs! I like to use my own homemade turkey or chicken stock as the base though bought stock may also be used. Letting the stripped cobs simmer away in the stock will really add more corn flavor to the chowder.

Chowders are all about layering in flavor. My recipe does not call for a large quantity of any one spice. Rather, the chowder is gently flavored with select spices, none of which detract from the pure corn flavor.

I save the rinds from parmesan cheese and keep them in the freezer. When I am making certain chowders, like this Corn Chowder, for example, in which I am going to be adding parmesan cheese as an ingredient, I will add a 2½” – 3” piece of rind to the stock as it cooks because it does impart wonderful flavor. The chowder stock can be made without the cheese rind but, if you have one, toss it in the pot.

Bowl of corn chowder with two homemade rolls
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

The usual cast of characters are used for the aromatics — onion, celery, carrot, sweet pepper, and garlic – and, when sautéed in some bacon fat and butter, they certainly add to the flavor base. The crisply fried bacon from which the fat has been rendered is a great garnish for the chowder. Some recipes call for the bacon to be incorporated into the chowder and that can certainly be done. I, however, prefer to simply add it as a garnish.

Adding diced potato to corn chowder is a perfect way to add bulk and chunkiness to the texture but be sure to use potatoes that will hold their shape when cooked and not become mushy. I tend to lean toward Yukon Gold or Red Norlands for chowders though other varieties may work well, too. Just cook the potatoes, along with the corn kernels, in the stock mixture until the potatoes are barely fork tender.

I use cornstarch (versus flour) as the thickening agent for the Corn Chowder because cornstarch is gluten free for those who, for various reasons, cannot tolerate gluten, and also because I find it makes a lovely smooth textured chowder and there is no starchy or pasty taste that can sometimes happen when flour is used as the thickener.

A good portion of the cooked mixture is puréed in a blender until it is silky smooth and then is poured back into the stockpot with the remaining vegetable and stock mixture. This gives the chowder the velvety smooth textured base but, by leaving some of the mixture in its chunky state, it provides that homestyle, hearty texture.

Bowl filled with Corn Chowder
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

A wee bit of sweetness to complement the corn is obtained by adding just a small amount of maple syrup.

I do not recommend fat-reduced dairy products for chowders. No…..just don’t do it as they tend to make a thinner, more watery base. A good chowder should be rich and creamy and that can really only be obtained by using the good stuff — yes, cream!

Now, there are various degrees of cream – I find I get a great corn chowder from using 10% blend cream mixed with some sour cream which has a bit of tang to it. Higher percentage creams, up to and including whipping cream, also work in the chowder so, go crazy with the cream if you wish! Add some shredded cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese for an even richer flavored chowder – oh-là-là! All that’s needed for a satisfying meal would be homemade rolls. Either my pan rolls or dinner rolls are ideal with this chowder.

The wonderful thing about corn (apart from its lovely flavor) is that it is a vegetable that enjoys a relatively long season from August well into the fall. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a delicious Corn Chowder from the fresh corn when it is available locally.

Spoonful of creamy corn chowder
Corn Chowder

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

3 cups corn kernels (apx. 3 – 4 large corn cobs)

5 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
1 large bay leaf
¼ tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp dried summer savory
Pinch cayenne
Pinch curry powder
2½” – 3” piece parmesan cheese rind (optional)

4 slices bacon, fried crisp
2-3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup onion, diced small
½ cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrot, diced small
¼ cup red pepper, finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced

½ lb Yukon Gold or red potato, diced into ¼“ pieces

2½ tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup 10% blend cream, room temperature
2 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Method:

With sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Refrigerate kernels.

Place the stripped corn cobs in small stockpot and add the poultry stock, bayleaf, spices, and parmesan rind. Cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low and slowly cook mixture for about an hour. Strain mixture in fine wire mesh sieve. Discard cobs and solids.

While the stock is cooking, fry the bacon until crisp. Blot bacon on dry paper towel. When cool break into bite-sized pieces. Set aside for chowder garnish. Remove all but 1½ tablespoons of bacon fat from frypan.

Cut up onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper. Mince the garlic cloves. When stock is almost done cooking, melt butter in the frypan with the bacon fat over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring briskly, for 3-4 minutes then add the red pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until onion starts to become translucent and the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously, for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a medium-sized stockpot. Add the corn kernels and diced potato. Stir in all of the strained stock except for ½ cup which will be used to mix with the cornstarch to thicken the chowder. Cover stockpot and bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender.

Whisk 2½ tbsp cornstarch into the reserved ½ cup of poultry stock until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons hot mixture from the stockpot to temper the cornstarch mixture then add the thickener into the stockpot, stirring until mixture starts to thicken.

Transfer approximately 3 cups of the mixture to a blender and purée until very smooth. Pour puréed mixture back into the stock pot. Stir to combine with remainder of unpuréed chowder mixture.

Stir in the maple syrup. Whisk sour cream into the 10% blend cream until blended. Slowly whisk the dairy into the stockpot mixture. Heat thoroughly. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and blended into the chowder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle chowder into bowls. Garnish with crisp bacon pieces and, if desired, fresh chopped chives or parsley. Serve with rolls or bread.

Yield: Apx. 6-8 servings

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Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Thick, creamy, and hearty made-from-scratch Corn Chowder packed full of flavor. This rich chowder is comfort food at its finest! Serve with favorite rolls or bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Corn, Corn Chowder, soup,
Servings 8
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 3 cups corn kernels (apx. 3 – 4 large corn cobs)
  • 5 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp dried summer savory
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch curry powder
  • 2½ - 3" piece parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 4 slices bacon, fried crisp
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup onion, diced small
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrot, diced small
  • ¼ cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lb Yukon Gold or red potato, diced into ¼“ pieces
  • tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup 10% blend cream, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. With sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Refrigerate kernels.
  2. Place the stripped corn cobs in small stockpot and add the poultry stock, bayleaf, spices, and parmesan rind. Cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low and slowly cook mixture for about an hour. Strain mixture in fine wire mesh sieve. Discard cobs and solids.
  3. While the stock is cooking, fry the bacon until crisp. Blot bacon on dry paper towel. When cool break into bite-sized pieces. Set aside for chowder garnish. Remove all but 1½ tablespoons of bacon fat from frypan.
  4. Cut up onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper. Mince the garlic cloves. When stock is almost done cooking, melt butter in the frypan with the bacon fat over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring briskly, for 3-4 minutes then add the red pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until onion starts to become translucent and the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously, for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  5. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a medium-sized stockpot. Add the corn kernels and diced potato. Stir in all of the strained stock except for ½ cup which will be used to mix with the cornstarch to thicken the chowder. Cover stockpot and bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender.
  6. Whisk 2½ tbsp cornstarch into the reserved ½ cup of poultry stock until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons hot mixture from the stockpot to temper the cornstarch mixture then add the thickener into the stockpot, stirring until mixture starts to thicken.
  7. Transfer approximately 3 cups of the mixture to a blender and purée until very smooth. Pour puréed mixture back into the stock pot. Stir to combine with remainder of unpuréed chowder mixture.
  8. Stir in the maple syrup. Whisk sour cream into the 10% blend cream until blended. Slowly whisk the dairy into the stockpot mixture. Heat thoroughly. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and blended into the chowder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Ladle chowder into bowls. Garnish with crisp bacon pieces and, if desired, fresh chopped chives or parsley. Serve with rolls or bread.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 6-8 servings

 

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Small gray casserole filled with homemade Corn Chowder garnished with bacon pieces

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