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Monday, March 10, 2014

What's Cookin' in the Country?

A great homemade soup that is simple and fast to whip together makes for a great lunch!  Last Saturday I made a broccoli soup recipe that I've had for a long time and every time I make it my husband comments over and over about how good it is.  He's right!  The recipe, "The Best Broccoli Soup" lives up to its name. 



The Best Broccoli Soup
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 Tbl. butter
6 Tbl. flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 tbl minced fresh parsley
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
In a soup kettle, melt butter and saute vegetables until tender.  Add flour.  Gradually add the broth and milk, stirring constantly.  Bring to a simmer.  After it has thickened, add fresh broccoli and let simmer.  Cook until broccoli is tender (about 6-8 minutes).


What's prettier than a Coconut Cream Pie?!
One that doesn't weep or creep!

I made a Coconut Cream Pie for our church dinner on Sunday.  As I was making the meringue, I thought about the recipe my sweet Grandma gave me for Weepless Meringue.  Do you ever find the meringue on your pie either weeping and/or shrinking away from the crust?  That is so disheartening after you've worked so hard!  There is a trick to keeping that luscious white topping from disappointing you!    Lean in and I'll tell you my Grandma Ray's secret!

For a 4 egg meringue, Add 1/3 cup water to 1 tablespoon cornstarch.  Cook and stir over heat on stove until it begins to thicken.  At that point, set it aside and let it cool.

Water and corn starch will look like...glue.  =)  
 Beat egg whites for meringue (2 tbl sugar per egg) to soft peaks.  Add cornstarch mixture, one tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form...

Spread meringue to edges of crust and make sure to seal it to the crust.  There shouldn't be any little holes at the edge.  Then you can make the top pretty.

In case you need the recipe for the filling, this is my favorite!

Coconut Cream Pie
3/4 Cup sugar
3 Tbl. corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks - reserve whites for meringue
2 tbl butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut
Baked pie shell

Mix sugar and corn starch and salt in a medium saucepan.  Add milk, stirring with whisk.  Cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring constantly.  Cook 2 minutes after getting bubbly - keep stirring!  Crack the eggs in a small bowl.  Add about half of the hot milk liquid to the egg yolks and whisk.  Slowly add the eggs/milk mixture back into the pan and cook until thickened about 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter, vanilla and coconut.  Pour into cooled pie shell.  Top with meringue.

Meringue
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Corn starch
Combine and cook on heat stirring until thickened.  Let cool.

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
Beat egg whites in mixer until foamy.  Turn to high speed and beat, adding 1 tbl of sugar at a time until soft peaks form.
Add the cornstarch mixture, one tablespoon at a time beating until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue over filling. Add a couple tablespoons coconut on top, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.




So, there you go, friends.  A great main dish and a fantastic dessert!  What was cooking in your kitchen this week?

With love from my country kitchen,

2 comments:

Whitney Pendell said...

Yum!! That soup looks so delish...you can't go wrong with those ingredients.

I didn't cook much over the weekend, but I did make greek chicken and potatoes tonight. It took a little longer than a typical weeknight meal, but it was worth the wait!

Denise said...

Any home cooked meal is worth that wait! I'm sure everyone enjoyed the hard work you put into it! Good job!