Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love
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Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love

by Jennifer Chandler
     
 

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We’re all faced with the same question every evening. What’s for supper?

Jennifer Chandler’s newest recipe collection is full of delicious answers. From weeknight meals to weekend feasts fit for company, Simply Suppers is your guidebook to putting comforting favorites on the table without a big hassle. Preparing dishes such

Overview

We’re all faced with the same question every evening. What’s for supper?

Jennifer Chandler’s newest recipe collection is full of delicious answers. From weeknight meals to weekend feasts fit for company, Simply Suppers is your guidebook to putting comforting favorites on the table without a big hassle. Preparing dishes such as Braised Short Ribs, Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy, and Crawfish Étouffée doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Chandler shares her culinary experience,
equipping you with the know-how you need to serve these memorable meals tonight.

You’ll discover the essentials of a well-stocked kitchen and simple strategies for streamlining the cooking process. Simply Suppers features every successful home cook’s secret—a selection of tried and true recipes that come together in a snap. This beautifully photographed cookbook is filled with entrée, side dish, and dessert ideas that are easy enough for a Tuesday night meal with the family and impressive enough for special weekend guests. Get ready to transform your kitchen into a workspace where you’ll enjoy whipping up satisfying suppers for the people you love the most.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401600594
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Simply Suppers

Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love
By Jennifer Chandler

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Chandler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-0059-4


Chapter One

SOUPS

Corn Chowder

Cold, dreary weather doesn't stand a chance with a bowl of this creamy, hearty corn chowder. Fresh corn is always ideal, but in the dead of winter, frozen corn is the perfect substitute.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 large onion) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 6 cups chicken stock 4 cups peeled and diced white boiling potatoes (about 11/2 pounds or 4 large potatoes) 2 cups half-and-half 4 cups corn kernels (about 2 pounds frozen or 8 ears fresh) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional) 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon (optional)

* In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the butter and oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Dust the onion mixture with the flour and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Add the potatoes and bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir in the half-and-half. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

* Add the corn and simmer until the corn is soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with cheddar cheese and bacon, if desired.

Serves 8.

[??] Variations: Add a cup of diced or shredded cooked chicken to make this already-satisfying soup even heartier.

For a "Southwestern" kick, stir in a can (4.5-ounce) of diced green chilies with the onions, and garnish the finished soup with tortilla chips.

Pa's Chicken Noodle Soup

While most chicken noodle soups are accredited to grandmas, this recipe belongs to my dad (affectionately known as "Pa" by my girls). It not only cures all, but it is so good you'll want a bowl even when you are well!

2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 pounds) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 ribs) 1/2 cup finely diced carrots (about 2 carrots) 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 8 cups chicken stock 4 cups egg noodles, cooked per the package directions

* Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

* Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, and rosemary. Sauté, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and return the chicken to the pot. Over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl to cool. Keep the broth warm in the pot. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Shred the chicken meat into 2-inch pieces.

* Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf. Return the chicken to the pot and reheat the soup until the chicken is warmed through. Place the cooked egg noodles in the serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over the top.

Serves 6.

[??] Variation: This soup is also delicious ladled over rice instead of the noodles.

[??] Freezes Well: If possible, it is best to freeze the soup without the noodles because the noodles will absorb the broth and become mushy. When the soup is thawed, simply add freshly cooked noodles.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Whenever I have a cooking question, the first person I turn to is my friend Melissa Petersen. This recipe is so easy you won't believe that it came from such a talented cook.

Vegetable oil, for frying the tortillas 4 small (4-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes with juice 3 cups chicken stock 2 cups shredded cooked chicken 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

* To prepare the tortilla strips, pour enough oil into a large stockpot so that you have a quarter-inch layer of oil. Warm the oil on medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot or a thermometer reads 375 degrees. In batches, fry the tortilla strips until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Use metal tongs or a slotted spoon to lift the tortilla strips out of the pan, draining the excess oil as you do so. (The tortilla strips should be fairly stiff and crisp. If not, the oil is not hot enough.) Transfer the tortilla strips to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper while they are still warm.

* In another large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and shredded chicken. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

* Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the fried tortilla strips, cheese, avocado, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

[??] Cooking Tip: If you want a little extra kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

[??] Time-Saving Tip: I like the shape and taste of homemade tortilla strips. They only take about 5 minutes to make. But if you are short on time, just pick up a bag of tortilla chips and use those instead.

  •   Do Ahead: The soup can be made the night before or frozen in advance. Just be sure to add the garnishes (tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado) just before serving.

    Chili con Carne

    This Southwestern favorite is ideal for a dinner party. Simply set out colorful bowls and encourage guests to serve themselves straight from the pot. Your guests will have a ball concocting their own signature dish with toppings such as sour cream, fresh cilantro, jalapeños, minced onion, shredded cheese, diced mild green chilies, and hot sauce.

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) 1/2 cup seeded and finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper) 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 dash paprika 1 bay leaf 1 can (14.5-ounce) whole tomatoes with juice 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 2 cups water Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    * In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, green bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, paprika, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes.

    * Add the whole tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon or fork. Add the tomato paste, sugar, and water. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Discard the bay leaf. Serve hot.

    Serves 6.

    [??] Cooking Tip: If you like beans in your chili, add a drained can (15-ounce) of red kidney beans while the chili is simmering.

    [??] Freezes Well.

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    A steamy bowl of creamy tomato soup and a warm grilled cheese sandwich is a marriage made in heaven.

    2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 2 cans (28-ounce) whole tomatoes with juice 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 cup heavy cream Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    * In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

    * Add the whole tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon or fork. Add the oregano, thyme, and sugar, and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and stir to combine. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes have softened and the soup has thickened, about 30 minutes.

    * Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

    Serves 4 to 6.

    [??] Cooking Tips: If you don't have an immersion blender, you can easily puree this soup in a countertop blender. Whenever pureeing hot liquid in a blender, remove the heat cap in the lid and cover with a towel to prevent the mixture from exploding all over you and your kitchen. Work in batches, only filling the blender half full. Also be sure to hold the lid down tightly while pureeing.

    The granulated sugar in this recipe helps balance the acidity of the canned tomatoes.

    French onion Soup

    Despite its fancy presentation, French onion soup is surprisingly easy to make. Caramelizing the onions and topping the soup with a delicious, nutty cheese is the secret to this classic French bistro soup.

    1/2 cup unsalted butter 6 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 4 large onions) 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 tablespoons cognac 1 cup dry white wine 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 8 cups beef stock Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 baguette, thinly sliced into at least 8 rounds 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

    * In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme, and cook, stirring often, until soft and caramel colored, about 20 to 30 minutes.

    * Add the cognac and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered until the wine has almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Dust the onion mixture with the flour and stir to coat. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.

    * Pour in the beef stock and, over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

    * Preheat the broiler. Toast the bread lightly. Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Top each bowl with 2 slices of the toasted bread and 1/4 cup of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

    Serves 6.

    [??] Cooking Tip: If you do not have ovenproof bowls, no worries. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer, sprinkle the slices with the cheese, and broil until bubbly and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Top the soup with the cheesy baguette slices.

    [??] Freezes Well: French onion soup freezes well without the cheesy toast topping. When ready to eat, top the thawed and reheated soup with the baguette slices and cheese.

    Lentil and Sausage Soup

    This hearty soup is a favorite at my friend Patricia Vieira Wilson's house. She serves it with crusty bread and a green salad.

    2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup finely diced country ham 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 large onion) 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 3 to 4 ribs) 1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots (about 5 carrots) 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon dried thyme 6 cups chicken stock 4 cups water, divided 1 package (16-ounce) dried lentils, rinsed and sorted Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 pound smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds

    * In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the country ham and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, chicken stock, 2 cups of the water, and lentils, and stir to combine. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are al dente, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    * Add the sausage and remaining 2 cups of water and cook until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot.

    Serves 6.

    [??] Variations: Andouille is my favorite smoked sausage, and I just love the spicy kick it gives to this dish. If you have another favorite smoked sausage, feel free to substitute it for the Andouille. Turkey sausage is a heart- healthy alternative.

    Omit the ham and sausage and substitute vegetable stock for a flavorful vegetarian version of this hearty soup.

    [??] Cooking Tip: If you can't find country ham at your local market, thick-cut prosciutto and bacon are acceptable substitutes.

    [??] Freezes Well.

    Mashed Potato Soup

    Ever wonder what to do with those leftover mashed potatoes? Here's a delicious solution.

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (1/2 small onion) 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 cups chicken stock 2 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes 1 cup heavy cream Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon (optional) 1 small tomato, diced (optional) 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (optional)

    * In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Dust the onions with the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the mashed potatoes until you have a smooth consistency. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mixture is heated through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, and scallions, if desired.

    Serves 4.

    [??] Cooking Tips: If you don't have mashed potatoes handy, you can still make this soup. Just peel and dice 1 1/2 pounds of red potatoes. Place the raw potatoes and a pinch of salt in a pot of cold water. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them.

    If the soup is too thick, you can thin it by adding a little more chicken stock.

    [??] Variation: For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock and omit the bacon.

    [??] Time-Saving Tip: You can pick up some premade mashed potatoes at your local market if you don't have leftovers or time to mash a fresh batch.

    Vegetable Beef Soup

    I always have several containers of this soup in my freezer. It is my healthy "go-to" meal when I don't have time to cook.

    1 pound beef chuck roast or stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion) 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes with juice 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup frozen cut green beans 1 cup frozen corn kernels 1 cup frozen lima beans 1 cup peeled and diced carrots 6 cups chicken stock

    * Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and generously season with salt and pepper. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and reserve. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.

    * Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved meat, peas, green beans, corn, lima beans, carrots, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Over high heat, bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the flavors have melded, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve hot.

    Serves 6.

    [??] Cooking Tip: You can always use fresh vegetables if you prefer, but I just love the ease of using frozen vegetables.

    Some products in the frozen food section may even be healthier than the fresh variety. Several research studies show that freezing vegetables and fruits "locks in" important vitamins and stops the nutrient loss that can occur in fresh vegetables that are often picked weeks before they make it to the grocery store aisles.

    [??] Time-Saving Tip: No need to thaw the frozen vegetables. They will thaw as they cook.

    [??] Freezes Well

    (Continues...)



    Excerpted from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Chandler. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

  • Meet the Author

    Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class with Le Grand Diplôme and a Mention Très Bien in Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee,and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and the author of Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.

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