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Cheez-Its Soup to Nuts with 6 Easy Recipes

Cheez-Its Soup to Nuts with 6 Easy Recipes



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One of the best things about cooking is how it can surprise you. Combining sweet with savory flavors, adding a smooth texture to a crunchy one, or using a piece of equipment for something it wasn’t designed for can yield results that will excite your taste buds and expand your cooking repertoire.

Click here to see 6 Easy Cheez-It Recipes

One of the best ways to let cooking amaze you is by using an unconventional ingredient in a recipe, like, for example, Cheez-Its. The endearing square crackers have been making their way into fans’ hearts for more than 90 years now, but rarely do we see them as an ingredient in a recipe. Loved and craved by all for their crunchy texture and real cheese taste, they’re mostly thought about as a light and satisfying snack (often eaten by the handful), and few have thought about the taste, texture, and flavor they could add to a meal.

To surprise ourselves, we thought about Cheez-Its and the role they could play in some of our favorite recipes. From soup to nuts, we’ve tried including the cheesy little squares in recipes fit for every part of the meal.

From appetizers and mains to even desserts, we’ve created six easy recipes that prove these crackers aren't just for snacking. There are some obvious ones, like a broccoli Cheez-It soufflé and a creamy mac and cheese that use the crackers just like you’d imagine — as a crunchy, cheesy crust — and then there are the not so obvious creations. Ever thought of Cheez-Its and chocolate? You will now, because we’ve created a chocolate ice cream recipe with them included, and it’s oh-so cheesy and good. We’ve also added an Italian side to the cracker by skipping the breadcrumbs in our traditional meatball recipe and using soaked Cheez-Its instead, and there was even a little experimenting with the savory side of cheesecake.

No matter what dish or what part of the meal you’re craving, if you like Cheez-Its, you’ll like these recipes. Start experimenting with these Cheez-It recipes and let cooking surprise you — maybe you’ll come up with a few additional ones all on your own.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce


Six soup recipes to keep you warm when cold fronts sweep in

Some are straightforward and tried-and-true, while others push the envelope: would you believe Cheez-Its on chicken soup?

If you haven&rsquot put your stock pot &mdash or slow cooker, Instant Pot or Dutch oven &mdash to work yet this season, what are you waiting for?

Chilly nights call for cozy bowls of steaming soup (or stew or chili), and I wanted to share half a dozen recipes to get you thinking about new ways to make your favorite soups.

Some of these recipes, like the roasted cauliflower or roasted tomato soup, are relatively straightforward, but the roasted butternut squash soup is topped with a hazelnut puree that I&rsquod never seen before, and you can bet I&rsquod never tried Cheez-Its on chicken soup until seeing the suggestion from &ldquoFood You Love But Different&rdquo author Danielle Oron.

The rye crumble on the roasted carrot soup might inspire you to make a similar crunchy topping for any leftover bread you might have in the house, and the crunchy tortilla strips on Janet Fletcher&rsquos roasted tomato soup would be divine on Selena Wolf&rsquos sweet potato and black bean enchilada stew.

Most of these recipes are vegetarian or could be made meat-free with just a few tweaks.

Sweet potato and black bean enchilada stew

The prep time for enchiladas can be a little over the top sometimes. So can the heaviness that accompanies several tortillas and a layer of bubbling cheese. Enter: easy enchilada stew. This sweet and savory comfort food fiesta always hits the spot is packed with fiber, potassium and disease-fighting antioxidants and requires zero tortilla stuffing or rolling. I beg you to try this vegetarian wonder as is, but if you or a loved one is prone to &ldquowhere&rsquos the meat?!&rdquo meltdowns, go ahead and add some shredded chicken or browned chicken sausage to your pot.

For the stew:

1½ pounds tomatillos (about 12 tomatillos), rinsed well and halved crosswise

2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise, stems and seeds removed

½ packed cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra as needed

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups diced sweet potatoes)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup pearled or semi-pearled farro

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the garnish:

2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tomatillos and jalapenos cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 8 minutes, turning the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time, until the tomatillos and jalapenos are softened and charred in spots. Transfer them to a food processor or high-speed blender and add the cilantro. Process until nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and translucent. (Be careful not to burn the garlic here! If it starts to brown, turn down the heat.) Add the cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute just to toast the spices.

Stir in the tomatillo puree, vegetable broth, sweet potato and black beans and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the farro. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and farro are tender. Taste and season with a little extra salt or some pepper if needed.

Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the goat cheese and cilantro, and serve piping hot.

&mdash From &ldquoThe Dude Diet Dinnertime: 125 Clean(ish) Recipes for Weeknight Winners and Fancypants Dinners&rdquo by Serena Wolf (Harper Wave, $29.99)

Roasted cauliflower soup

I was well into my 20s before I learned to appreciate cauliflower &mdash and I am so glad that I did. This bland and oddly textured food is totally transformed when it is roasted, and it becomes a rich, buttery and nutty meal. High in fiber, as well as B-complex and C vitamins, the humble cauliflower is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory &mdash both qualities that contribute to general good health and a radiant complexion. Cauliflower is an abundant source of sulfur, which is thought to help reduce breakouts. Additionally, garlic and cauliflower are a pair of potent liver detoxifiers, speeding the body&rsquos natural elimination of stored toxins. Adding bone broth to this soup works to increase collagen-supporting benefits, while the whole dish favors a happy, detoxified liver. This meal is easy to make vegan, and it is a perfect meal for busy weeknights.

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets and stem, chopped

4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cups vegetable or bone broth

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

¼ cup freshly snipped chives, for garnish

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower, onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the vegetables evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown. Remove them from the oven.

Place the roasted vegetables in a medium-sized saucepan, reserving ¼ cup of the smallest floret bits and pieces for garnish. Add the broth and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is quite tender. Remove the pan from the heat.

Blend the vegetables to a smooth puree in a blender or using an immersion blender. While the blender is running, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to emulsify. Stir in the heavy cream, if using, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chives and reserved floret pieces. Serves 4.

&mdash From &ldquoThe Herbalist&rsquos Healing Kitchen: Use the Power of Food to Cook Your Way to Better Health&rdquo by Devon Young (Page Street Publishing Co., $22)

Rosemary butternut squash soup with toasted hazelnut milk

This base butternut squash soup recipe can be tweaked any number of ways, such as using ginger and tamari instead of rosemary and garlic. You can store leftover soup in jars in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1 large (about 4 pounds) kabocha, butternut or other winter squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)

Freshly ground black pepper

⅔ cup raw hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, plus more for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the squash and water (the water should come almost to the top of the chopped squash), raise the heat, and bring to a boil then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Test by pressing a piece of squash against the side of the pot it should crush easily with a little pressure. Remove from the heat, season with pepper to taste, and set aside to cool slightly.

Working in batches, scoop the soup into an upright blender (filling it no more than⅔ full) and puree on high speed until smooth and velvety, then pour into a large bowl or another large pot.

While the soup cooks, put the hazelnuts and water in an upright blender and blend until smooth pour into a jar and set aside. Once the soup is blended, stir in the hazelnut milk and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve the soup topped with chopped hazelnuts, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6 to 8.

&mdash From &ldquoWhole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat With 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar&rdquo by Amy Chaplin (Artisan Books, $40)

Roasted carrot soup with smoked cheese and rye crumble

I developed this recipe to show off some of my favorite local Baltic ingredients in a modern way. Historically, smoking was a key preservation technique of the region, hence the inclusion of the smoked cheese. (Whenever there is the possibility of adding smokiness to a dish without smoking out the kitchen, I love to do so &mdash I like to use smoked salt in my cooking for the same reason.) I also love the sweetness that develops when carrots are roasted and it&rsquos this, when paired with the slight sourness of the cream and the smokiness of the cheese, that helps transform what could be A rather mundane soup into something truly special.

For the rye crumble:

3 slices rye bread or pumpernickel, torn into pea-size pieces

For the soup:

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon butter or grapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

7 ounces smoked hard cheese (such as Gouda or cheddar), grated

Pumpkin shoots or other microgreens, to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 410 degrees.

To make the rye crumble, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over low heat, add the bread pieces and fry for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the carrots together with the salt, spices and oil until evenly coated. Transfer to a large roasting tin and roast for 60 minutes until golden and browning at the edges.

Meanwhile, melt the butter or oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, add the onion and saute for 6 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add the vinegar and stock and remove from the heat. When the carrots are ready, transfer them to the stockpot and return to the heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 15 minutes until the carrots are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, then carefully transfer to a blender or food processor, together with all but a few tablespoons of the cheese, and blend to a smooth puree-like consistency.

Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter over the rye crumble and top with sour cream, the remaining cheese and some pumpkin shoots, if desired. Serves 8.

&mdash From &ldquoBaltic: New and Old Recipes From Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania&rdquo by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant, $35)

Chicken soup with hominy, poblano and Cheez-Its

This recipe combines chicken soup with pozole, but it&rsquos just as much about the toppings as it is about the soup itself. I usually top my soups with something crunchy to give it contrast. One day I literally had nothing but Cheez-It crackers in my pantry I decided to give it a go. Now, they&rsquore the first thing I grab when sitting down with a bowl of soup. Don&rsquot add too many at the same time because they get soggy quickly, which is why I just keep the whole box close by.

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped 7 cloves garlic

1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, roughly chopped

1 (4-ounce) can green chile peppers

1½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground oregano

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 (25-ounce) can hominy, drained

For the garnish:

In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, poblano, green chiles, cumin, coriander, oregano, apple cider vinegar and chicken stock until fairly smooth.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the puree and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the chicken thighs and hominy and bring to a boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that has accumulated at the top. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove the chicken and shred. Return it back to the soup. Serve the soup topped with Cheez-Its, avocado, radish, cilantro and lime. Serves 4.

&mdash From &ldquoFood You Love But Different: Easy and Exciting Ways to Elevate Your Favorite Meals&rdquo by Danielle Oron (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)

Roasted tomato soup with tortilla crisps

Roasting tomatoes, onions and garlic is a common technique in the Mexican kitchen. The slight charring intensifies flavor and heightens the sweetness of the vegetables, yielding a soup with a deep, rich taste. Pureed chickpeas give the broth body, and chipotle chiles warm it up. Pass tortilla crisps for diners to add as they like softened in the broth, the crisps seem almost like noodles. Substitute packaged tortilla chips if you prefer. For a wine pairing, try a California Albarino or rose.

1 large white onion, sliced into rounds ⅓ inch thick

4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 cups cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse, if canned)

2½ to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Canola oil for deep-frying

4 corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter

⅓ cup finely grated cotija or pecorino romano

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack about 8 inches from the heating element. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Put the tomatoes on one baking sheet and broil, turning the tomatoes as needed, until their flesh is soft and the skin is charred in spots and splitting. It should take about 20 minutes. Don&rsquot rush this process, as you want the tomatoes to develop a deep roasted flavor. Move the rack down if the skin threatens to char too much before the tomato is cooked through. Set aside.

Put the onion slices and garlic cloves on the second foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning the vegetables as needed, until the onion is soft and lightly charred on both sides and the garlic is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the garlic if it softens before the onions. Don&rsquot allow it to blacken or it will taste bitter. When cool enough to handle, core and peel the tomatoes and peel the garlic.

Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tomato puree and the oregano, crumbling it between your fingers. Season with salt and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes to deepen the flavor.

In the blender, puree the chickpeas with 1 cup of the broth. Add to the tomato mixture along with enough of the remaining broth to bring the soup to the consistency you like. You may not use it all. Stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and with as much finely chopped chipotle chile as you like. Keep the soup warm.

In a deep, heavy pot, pour the canola oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Have ready a tray or baking sheet lined with a double thickness of paper towels. While the oil is heating, stack the tortillas and cut them in half. Stack the halves with the cut side facing you, then slice into strips 1𔊪 inch wide. Discard the short end pieces.

In small batches, fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil until golden brown, 11𔊪 to 2 minutes. Use a wire-mesh skimmer to keep them moving in the oil so they brown evenly. Transfer them with the skimmer to the paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Check the oil temperature between batches and adjust the heat as necessary to keep it at 375 degrees. Put the cooled tortilla crisps in a bowl.

Reheat the soup to serving temperature if needed, then divide among six bowls. Garnish each portion with the cotija, dividing it evenly, and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing the tortilla crisps for diners to add to their soup as desired. Serves 6.

&mdash From &ldquoWine Country Table: Recipes Celebrating California&rsquos Sustainable Harvest&rdquo by Janet Fletcher (Rizzoli, $45)


Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal squares
  • 2 cups crispy corn cereal squares
  • 2 cups crispy wheat cereal squares
  • 2 cups toasted oat cereal
  • 1 cup mini pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

In a large roasting pan, melt margarine. Mix in seasoning salt, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and garlic salt.

Stir crispy rice, corn, wheat and oat cereals, pretzels and nuts into the butter mixture and coat well.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


White Cheddar Parmesan Cheez-its

These White Cheddar Parmesan Cheez-it Crackers make for a perfect homemade snack! Eat them by the handful or add a few to your bowl of soup for some crunch.

As a kid, Saltines and Cheez-its where pretty much the only inexpensive crackers around, well that I knew of anyways. But today, holy-moly! Grocery stores dedicate a whole aisle to crackers, crisps, wafers, you name it.

However, saltines are still my favorite. We eat them all the time with chili, soup or smother them with butter and eat them as a snack. I’ll always be a loyal Saltine consumer, but my kids love those dang Cheez-its! I loathed them when I was little. They smelled weird and grave kids bad breath.

Did I mention I HATED them?! So of course, my kids would turn out to love them. Smh.

Recently, my feelings changed… when they saved my life. Truly they did… from starvation! Don’t laugh! I was at work and it was a Sunday, and white cheddar Cheez-its were the only thing left in the hospitals vending machine, well that and a pack of double mint gum. Anyways. So as I sat moaning and groaning about how flippin fantastic they were and how they were worth every stinking calorie, I thought… I could so make these things.

Enter Tasty Kitchen post for homemade goldfish crackers, exit my idea for white cheddar Cheez-its, but with a little Parmesan twist.

Here’s what you will need cheese, butter, flour, water, salt and some love ❤️.

First throw the cheddar, Parmesan, flour and butter into a food processor.

Next, secure the lid and pulse until it forms small pebbles.

Then, with your food processor running, pour in the cold water.

Until it forms larger clumps.

Next, place the dough on to some plastic wrap.

Then flatten it out a tad. Wrap and then stick it into the fridge for a few hours. I only waited one. I’ve never been good at waiting. Ask anyone.

Next, roll it out thin. I definitely need to improve that part of my life, but I’m sure you’ll do better than me.

Then cut out one inch squares, or if you’re a rebel like me, triangles.

Next, line a large sheet pan. It was this recipe that made me run out and spend 20$ on a silpat. You could definitely still use parchment, but it was time. I had enough fighting with that stuff to lay down flat.

Then fit as many as you can on the pan. It’s okay to crowd them together. They puff up ! If you think they’ve warmed up a tad, throw them in the fridge again for a few.

Finally, slide the pan into your preheated 375° oven and bake for 15-17 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY!! Remove, sprinkle with a teeny tiny bit of kosher salt. This batch was perfectly golden but still soft and flaky, so I went further.

I decided to do a little experiment. So I added additional time to each of the three batches. I prefer the darker ones myself, but then again I love burnt toast and slightly blackened grilled cheese sandwiches. Freak? Why yes I am! But the darker ones did have more of a cracker crisp to it.

Also, I like these best right out of the oven. I just give ’em a few minutes of cooling down time, and shovel them into my mouth. Store in an airtight container for a few days, the less crispy ones will be a little softer… but still perfect to dunk in soups or top on chili!

Enjoy! And if you give this White Cheddar Parmesan Cheez-its recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!


Cheez-Its

The theory of why crunchy foods are innately pleasing to our pallet is captivating.

Crunchy foods add a level of our senses to eating. If you are lucky and are able to smell and taste, you get those (I say lucky because I had a terrible ear infection that caused me to lose smell and taste for 2 weeks! Yikes). You also get texture in your hands and mouth when eating. One thing you may have not thought about is the sensual part of the eating experience of sound.

The crunchy sensation we experience is more significant for the sounds it makes inside our heads. The internal noises of chewing always happen as we eat, but eating a soft omelet is quite different than chewing on nuts or chips. This is one reason why “You can’t eat just one.”

Our neural sensory systems all experience something called “habituation” in which our sensory neurons become less receptive with constant exposure to a stimulus. We all experience habituation to the smell and taste of food as we eat. This is why we over-eat when we are eating at a potluck or buffet… so many choices to keep stimulating the senses. But if you have one food on your plate, your brain gets bored and signals to stop eating.

One reason that crunchy food may have more of an appeal to you lies in the extra layer of your senses when you eat you may like a particular crispy food because you like the way it sounds in your head. Crispy foods have a special sensory place in the brain. They incorporate hearing into the sensory mix of eating, and it is very likely that the stronger and more varied sensory mix provided by crispiness staves off boredom and habituation while we eat these foods.

We also often crave crunchy foods because in Paleolithic days, insects and fresh produce was our main source of crunchy. A soggy vegetable was tossed aside in lieu of a crunchy/fresh one. The problem now is that we still crave that crunch but it often isn’t for a crunchy piece of celery… it is most likely chips or cereal (thank goodness for people like Clark W. Grizzwald who invented “non-nutritive cereal varnish” in Christmas Vacation! lol)

So if you are in love with crunch, you MUST try these!

“Healthified” Cheez-Its!
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheese (I used aged Gouda!)
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grate 1/2 cup cheese.

In a food processor (or medium bowl) whip the egg white until the egg has loosened and become frothy. Add in the almond flour, salt, and cheese until a stiff dough forms. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to the size of the baking sheet. Put dough on top of one piece of parchment. Place the second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin until the dough covers the parchment sheet (see photo).
Roll the dough so it is the same thickness or it will bake unevenly.

Remove top parchment. Using a pizza cutter, score the dough into squares or other shapes. Place the parchment with the cut dough onto a baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Makes 8 servings.

NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Keebler Cheez-It = 160 calories, 8 g fat, 18 carbs, 1 fiber (17 effective carbs), 4 g protein
“Healthified” Cheez-It = 120 calories, 9.5 g fat, 2.4 carbs, 1.1 g fiber (1.3 effective carbs), 6.1 g protein

More ideas like this in The Art of Healthy Eating KIDS! If you would like to help out a small family, rather than large business, I am happy to announce that you can now get my books as a high-quality ebook that works on any platform. Plus, most of the profits don’t go to Amazon or apple! Click HERE or select “My Books” above to get your copy now!

Thank you all for your love and support!

Testimony of the Day

“Hi, Maria! I want to thank you so much for helping me! Here are photos of before and after eating your way of soy-free, gluten-free, and eating locally and real food. The picture doesn’t show all the gastrointestinal, pain, and general icky feelings that disappeared as well! I can’t thank you enough.”


Cheez-Its Soup to Nuts with 6 Easy Recipes - Recipes

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces

3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough roughly into a 13 by 7-inch rectangle that is 1/16-inch thick. With a pastry wheel, trim off the sides into a 12 by 6-inch rectangle. Next, cut the dough into 1 by 1-inch squares. Using the blunt end of a skewer make a hole in each cracker. Gently transfer the crackers (I needed to use a sharp knife to get them off the table) to a parchment lined baking sheet. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of kosher salt all over the pre-baked crackers.

Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on a rack to cool.


6 thoughts on &ldquo Ranch Snack Mix with Oyster Crackers &rdquo

Thanks for this recipe! It turned out great, will be taking to my bridge group to share Saturday night. So easy and no stressing about what I going to bring!

Thanks for the reply Joyce! Glad you enjoyed.

Can you tell me how many servings one recipe makes.

Hi Renae, I’d say it makes about 20 1/2 cup servings or so. Definitely enough to put in 4 or so medium sized snack bowls around your house if you are hosting a gathering. Enjoy!

What r the calories, carbs, sugars, fats
Etc in this recipe ?

Hi Terry,
I do not have that information. I just blog for fun and haven’t added the nutritional information to my recipes yet. This recipe should be pretty easy to figure out if you just add up the nutrition of the various crackers.
Thanks,
Carolyn


6 soup recipes to keep you warm

If you haven’t put your stock pot – or slow cooker, Instant Pot or Dutch oven – to work yet this season, what are you waiting for?

Chilly nights call for cozy bowls of steaming soup (or stew or chili), and I wanted to share half a dozen recipes to get you thinking about new ways to make your favorite soups.

Some of these recipes, like the roasted cauliflower or roasted tomato soup, are relatively straightforward, but the roasted butternut squash soup is topped with a hazelnut puree that I’d never seen before, and you can bet I’d never tried Cheez-Its on chicken soup until seeing the suggestion from “Food You Love But Different” author Danielle Oron.

The rye crumble on the roasted carrot soup might inspire you to make a similar crunchy topping for any leftover bread you might have in the house, and the crunchy tortilla strips on Janet Fletcher’s roasted tomato soup would be divine on Selena Wolf’s sweet potato and black bean enchilada stew.

Most of these recipes are vegetarian or could be made meat-free with just a few tweaks.

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN ENCHILADA STEW

The prep time for enchiladas can be a little over the top sometimes. So can the heaviness that accompanies several tortillas and a layer of bubbling cheese. Enter: easy enchilada stew. This sweet and savory comfort food fiesta always hits the spot is packed with fiber, potassium and disease-fighting antioxidants and requires zero tortilla stuffing or rolling. I beg you to try this vegetarian wonder as is, but if you or a loved one is prone to “where’s the meat?!” meltdowns, go ahead and add some shredded chicken or browned chicken sausage to your pot.

1 1 / 2 pounds tomatillos (about 12 tomatillos), rinsed well and halved crosswise

2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise, stems and seeds removed

1 / 2 packed cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 / 4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra as needed

1 1 / 2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3 / 4-inch cubes (about 3 cups diced sweet potatoes)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 / 2 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tomatillos and jalapenos cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 8 minutes, turning the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time, until the tomatillos and jalapenos are softened and charred in spots. Transfer them to a food processor or high-speed blender and add the cilantro. Process until nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and translucent. (Be careful not to burn the garlic here! If it starts to brown, turn down the heat.) Add the cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute just to toast the spices.

Stir in the tomatillo puree, vegetable broth, sweet potato and black beans and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the farro. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and farro are tender. Taste and season with a little extra salt or some pepper if needed.

Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the goat cheese and cilantro, and serve piping hot.

– From “The Dude Diet Dinnertime: 125 Clean(ish) Recipes for Weeknight Winners and Fancypants Dinners” by Serena Wolf (Harper Wave, $29.99)

I was well into my twenties before I learned to appreciate cauliflower – and I am so glad that I did. This bland and oddly textured food is totally transformed when it is roasted, and it becomes a rich, buttery and nutty meal. High in fiber, as well as B-complex and C vitamins, the humble cauliflower is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory – both qualities that contribute to general good health and a radiant complexion. Cauliflower is an abundant source of sulfur, which is thought to help reduce breakouts. Additionally, garlic and cauliflower are a pair of potent liver detoxifiers, speeding the body’s natural elimination of stored toxins. Adding bone broth to this soup works to increase collagen-supporting benefits, while the whole dish favors a happy, detoxified liver. This meal is easy to make vegan, and it is a perfect meal for busy weeknights.

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets and stem, chopped

4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cups vegetable or bone broth

1 / 2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 / 4 cup freshly snipped chives, for garnish

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower, onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the vegetables evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown. Remove them from the oven.

Place the roasted vegetables in a medium-sized saucepan, reserving 1 / 4 cup of the smallest floret bits and pieces for garnish. Add the broth and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is quite tender. Remove the pan from the heat.

Blend the vegetables to a smooth puree in a blender or using an immersion blender. While the blender is running, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to emulsify. Stir in the heavy cream, if using, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chives and reserved floret pieces. Serves 4.

– From “The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen: Use the Power of Food to Cook Your Way to Better Health” by Devon Young (Page Street Publishing Co., $22)

ROSEMARY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH TOASTED HAZELNUT MILK

This base butternut squash soup recipe can be tweaked any number of ways, such as using ginger and tamari instead of rosemary and garlic. You can store leftover soup in jars in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1 large (about 4 pounds) kabocha, butternut or other winter squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)

Freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup raw hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, plus more for garnish

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the squash and water (the water should come almost to the top of the chopped squash), raise the heat, and bring to a boil then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Test by pressing a piece of squash against the side of the pot it should crush easily with a little pressure. Remove from the heat, season with pepper to taste, and set aside to cool slightly.

Working in batches, scoop the soup into an upright blender (filling it no more than two-thirds full) and puree on high speed until smooth and velvety, then pour into a large bowl or another large pot.

While the soup cooks, put the hazelnuts and water in an upright blender and blend until smooth pour into a jar and set aside. Once the soup is blended, stir in the hazelnut milk and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve the soup topped with chopped hazelnuts, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6 to 8.

– From “Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat With 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar” by Amy Chaplin (Artisan Books, $40)

ROAST CARROT SOUP, SMOKED CHEESE, RYE CRUMBLE

I developed this recipe to show off some of my favorite local Baltic ingredients in a modern way. Historically, smoking was a key preservation technique of the region, hence the inclusion of the smoked cheese. (Whenever there is the possibility of adding smokiness to a dish without smoking out the kitchen, I love to do so – I like to use smoked salt in my cooking for the same reason.) I also love the sweetness that develops when carrots are roasted and it’s this, when paired with the slight sourness of the cream and the smokiness of the cheese, that helps transform what could be A rather mundane soup into something truly special.

1 / 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil

3 slices rye bread or pumpernickel, torn into pea-size pieces

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 / 4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 / 4 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon butter or grapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

7 ounces smoked hard cheese (such as Gouda or cheddar), grated

Pumpkin shoots or other microgreens, to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 410 degrees.

To make the rye crumble, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over low heat, add the bread pieces and fry for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the carrots together with the salt, spices and oil until evenly coated. Transfer to a large roasting tin and roast for 60 minutes until golden and browning at the edges.

Meanwhile, melt the butter or oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, add the onion and saute for 6 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add the vinegar and stock and remove from the heat. When the carrots are ready, transfer them to the stockpot and return to the heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 15 minutes until the carrots are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, then carefully transfer to a blender or food processor, together with all but a few tablespoons of the cheese, and blend to a smooth puree-like consistency.

Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter over the rye crumble and top with sour cream, the remaining cheese and some pumpkin shoots, if desired. Serves 8.

– From “Baltic: New and Old Recipes From Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania” by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant, $35)

CHICKEN SOUP WITH HOMINY, POBLANO AND CHEEZ-ITS

This recipe combines chicken soup with pozole, but it’s just as much about the toppings as it is about the soup itself. I usually top my soups with something crunchy to give it contrast. One day I literally had nothing but Cheez-It crackers in my pantry I decided to give it a go. Now, they’re the first thing I grab when sitting down with a bowl of soup. Don’t add too many at the same time because they get soggy quickly, which is why I just keep the whole box close by.

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped 7 cloves garlic

1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, roughly chopped

1 (4-ounce) can green chile peppers

1 1 / 2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1 / 2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground oregano

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 (25-ounce) can hominy, drained

In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, poblano, green chiles, cumin, coriander, oregano, apple cider vinegar and chicken stock until fairly smooth.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the puree and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the chicken thighs and hominy and bring to a boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that has accumulated at the top. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove the chicken and shred. Return it back to the soup. Serve the soup topped with Cheez-Its, avocado, radish, cilantro and lime. Serves 4.

– From “Food You Love But Different: Easy and Exciting Ways to Elevate Your Favorite Meals” by Danielle Oron (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP WITH TORTILLA CRISPS

Roasting tomatoes, onions, and garlic is a common technique in the Mexican kitchen. The slight charring intensifies flavor and heightens the sweetness of the vegetables, yielding a soup with a deep, rich taste. Pureed chickpeas give the broth body, and chipotle chiles warm it up. Pass tortilla crisps for diners to add as they like softened in the broth, the crisps seem almost like noodles. Substitute packaged tortilla chips if you prefer. For a wine pairing, try a California Albarino or rose.

1 large white onion, sliced into rounds 1/3 inch thick

4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 cups cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse, if canned)

2 1 / 2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Canola oil for deep-frying

4 corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter

1/3 cup finely grated cotija or pecorino romano

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack about 8 inches from the heating element. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Put the tomatoes on one baking sheet and broil, turning the tomatoes as needed, until their flesh is soft and the skin is charred in spots and splitting. It should take about 20 minutes. Don’t rush this process, as you want the tomatoes to develop a deep roasted flavor. Move the rack down if the skin threatens to char too much before the tomato is cooked through. Set aside.

Put the onion slices and garlic cloves on the second foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning the vegetables as needed, until the onion is soft and lightly charred on both sides and the garlic is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the garlic if it softens before the onions. Don’t allow it to blacken or it will taste bitter. When cool enough to handle, core and peel the tomatoes and peel the garlic.

Put the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tomato puree and the oregano, crumbling it between your fingers. Season with salt and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes to deepen the flavor.

In the blender, puree the chickpeas with 1 cup of the broth. Add to the tomato mixture along with enough of the remaining broth to bring the soup to the consistency you like. You may not use it all. Stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and with as much finely chopped chipotle chile as you like. Keep the soup warm.

In a deep, heavy pot, pour the canola oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Have ready a tray or baking sheet lined with a double thickness of paper towels. While the oil is heating, stack the tortillas and cut them in half. Stack the halves with the cut side facing you, then slice into strips 1 / 2 inch wide. Discard the short end pieces.

In small batches, fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil until golden brown, 1 1 / 2 to 2 minutes. Use a wire-mesh skimmer to keep them moving in the oil so they brown evenly. Transfer them with the skimmer to the paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Check the oil temperature between batches and adjust the heat as necessary to keep it at 375 degrees. Put the cooled tortilla crisps in a bowl.

Reheat the soup to serving temperature if needed, then divide among six bowls. Garnish each portion with the cotija, dividing it evenly, and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing the tortilla crisps for diners to add to their soup as desired. Serves 6.

– From “Wine Country Table: Recipes Celebrating California’s Sustainable Harvest” by Janet Fletcher (Rizzoli, $45)

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Cold front coming? Here are 6 soup recipes to keep you warm

If you haven’t put your stock pot — or slow cooker, Instant Pot or Dutch oven — to work yet this season, what are you waiting for?

Chilly nights call for cozy bowls of steaming soup (or stew or chili), and I wanted to share half a dozen recipes to get you thinking about new ways to make your favorite soups.

Some of these recipes, like the roasted cauliflower or roasted tomato soup, are relatively straightforward, but the roasted butternut squash soup is topped with a hazelnut puree that I’d never seen before, and you can bet I’d never tried Cheez-Its on chicken soup until seeing the suggestion from “Food You Love But Different” author Danielle Oron.

The rye crumble on the roasted carrot soup might inspire you to make a similar crunchy topping for any leftover bread you might have in the house, and the crunchy tortilla strips on Janet Fletcher’s roasted tomato soup would be divine on Selena Wolf’s sweet potato and black bean enchilada stew.

Most of these recipes are vegetarian or could be made meat-free with just a few tweaks.

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN ENCHILADA STEW

The prep time for enchiladas can be a little over the top sometimes. So can the heaviness that accompanies several tortillas and a layer of bubbling cheese. Enter: easy enchilada stew. This sweet and savory comfort food fiesta always hits the spot is packed with fiber, potassium and disease-fighting antioxidants and requires zero tortilla stuffing or rolling. I beg you to try this vegetarian wonder as is, but if you or a loved one is prone to “where’s the meat?!” meltdowns, go ahead and add some shredded chicken or browned chicken sausage to your pot. — Serena Wolf

For the stew:

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos (about 12 tomatillos), rinsed well and halved crosswise
  • 2 jalapeños, halved lengthwise, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 packed cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra as needed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups diced sweet potatoes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For serving:

Heat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tomatillos and jalapeños cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 8 minutes, turning the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time, until the tomatillos and jalapeños are softened and charred in spots. Transfer them to a food processor or high-speed blender and add the cilantro. Process until nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, garlic, and salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and translucent. (Be careful not to burn the garlic here! If it starts to brown, turn down the heat.) Add the cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute just to toast the spices.

Stir in the tomatillo puree, vegetable broth, sweet potato and black beans and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the farro. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and farro are tender. Taste and season with a little extra salt or some pepper if needed.

Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the goat cheese and cilantro, and serve piping hot.

— From “The Dude Diet Dinnertime: 125 Clean(ish) Recipes for Weeknight Winners and Fancypants Dinners” by Serena Wolf (Harper Wave, $29.99)

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP

I was well into my twenties before I learned to appreciate cauliflower — and I am so glad that I did. This bland and oddly textured food is totally transformed when it is roasted, and it becomes a rich, buttery and nutty meal. High in fiber, as well as B-complex and C vitamins, the humble cauliflower is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory — both qualities that contribute to general good health and a radiant complexion. Cauliflower is an abundant source of sulfur, which is thought to help reduce breakouts. Additionally, garlic and cauliflower are a pair of potent liver detoxifiers, speeding the body’s natural elimination of stored toxins. Adding bone broth to this soup works to increase collagen-supporting benefits, while the whole dish favors a happy, detoxified liver. This meal is easy to make vegan, and it is a perfect meal for busy weeknights. — Devon Young

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets and stem, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups vegetable or bone broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly snipped chives, for garnish

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower, onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the vegetables evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown. Remove them from the oven.

Place the roasted vegetables in a medium-sized saucepan, reserving 1/4 cup of the smallest floret bits and pieces for garnish. Add the broth and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is quite tender. Remove the pan from the heat.

Blend the vegetables to a smooth puree in a blender or using an immersion blender. While the blender is running, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to emulsify. Stir in the heavy cream, if using, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chives and reserved floret pieces. Serves 4.

— From “The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen: Use the Power of Food to Cook Your Way to Better Health” by Devon Young (Page Street Publishing Co., $22)

ROSEMARY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH TOASTED HAZELNUT MILK

This base butternut squash soup recipe can be tweaked any number of ways, such as using ginger and tamari instead of rosemary and garlic. You can store leftover soup in jars in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. — Addie Broyles

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large (about 4 pounds) kabocha, butternut or other winter squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup raw hazelnuts, toasted and skinned, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the squash and water (the water should come almost to the top of the chopped squash), raise the heat, and bring to a boil then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender. Test by pressing a piece of squash against the side of the pot it should crush easily with a little pressure. Remove from the heat, season with pepper to taste, and set aside to cool slightly.

Working in batches, scoop the soup into an upright blender (filling it no more than two-thirds full) and puree on high speed until smooth and velvety, then pour into a large bowl or another large pot.

While the soup cooks, put the hazelnuts and water in an upright blender and blend until smooth pour into a jar and set aside. Once the soup is blended, stir in the hazelnut milk and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve the soup topped with chopped hazelnuts, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6 to 8.

— From “Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat With 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar” by Amy Chaplin (Artisan Books, $40)

ROAST CARROT SOUP, SMOKED CHEESE, RYE CRUMBLE

I developed this recipe to show off some of my favorite local Baltic ingredients in a modern way. Historically, smoking was a key preservation technique of the region, hence the inclusion of the smoked cheese. (Whenever there is the possibility of adding smokiness to a dish without smoking out the kitchen, I love to do so — I like to use smoked salt in my cooking for the same reason.) I also love the sweetness that develops when carrots are roasted and it’s this, when paired with the slight sourness of the cream and the smokiness of the cheese, that helps transform what could be A rather mundane soup into something truly special. — Simon Bajada

For the rye crumble:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 3 slices rye bread or pumpernickel, torn into pea-size pieces

For the soup:

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 7 ounces smoked hard cheese (such as Gouda or cheddar), grated
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Pumpkin shoots or other microgreens, to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 410 degrees.

To make the rye crumble, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over low heat, add the bread pieces and fry for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the carrots together with the salt, spices and oil until evenly coated. Transfer to a large roasting tin and roast for 60 minutes until golden and browning at the edges.

Meanwhile, melt the butter or oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 6 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add the vinegar and stock and remove from the heat. When the carrots are ready, transfer them to the stockpot and return to the heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 15 minutes until the carrots are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, then carefully transfer to a blender or food processor, together with all but a few tablespoons of the cheese, and blend to a smooth purée-like consistency.

Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter over the rye crumble and top with sour cream, the remaining cheese and some pumpkin shoots, if desired. Serves 8.

— From “Baltic: New and Old Recipes From Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania” by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant, $35)

CHICKEN SOUP WITH HOMINY, POBLANO AND CHEEZ-ITS

This recipe combines chicken soup with pozole, but it’s just as much about the toppings as it is about the soup itself. I usually top my soups with something crunchy to give it contrast. One day I literally had nothing but Cheez-It crackers in my pantry I decided to give it a go. Now, they’re the first thing I grab when sitting down with a bowl of soup. Don’t add too many at the same time because they get soggy quickly, which is why I just keep the whole box close by. — Danielle Oron

  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chile peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (25-ounce) can hominy, drained
  • Cheez-It crackers
  • Sliced avocado
  • Thinly sliced radish
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges

In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, poblano, green chiles, cumin, coriander, oregano, apple cider vinegar and chicken stock until fairly smooth.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the puree and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the chicken thighs and hominy and bring to a boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that has accumulated at the top. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove the chicken and shred. Return it back to the soup. Serve the soup topped with Cheez-Its, avocado, radish, cilantro and lime. Serves 4.

— From “Food You Love But Different: Easy and Exciting Ways to Elevate Your Favorite Meals” by Danielle Oron (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP WITH TORTILLA CRISPS

Roasting tomatoes, onions, and garlic is a common technique in the Mexican kitchen. The slight charring intensifies flavor and heightens the sweetness of the vegetables, yielding a soup with a deep, rich taste. Pureed chickpeas give the broth body, and chipotle chiles warm it up. Pass tortilla crisps for diners to add as they like softened in the broth, the crisps seem almost like noodles. Substitute packaged tortilla chips if you prefer. For a wine pairing, try a California Albariño or rosé. — Janet Fletcher

  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, sliced into rounds 1/3 inch thick
  • 4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse, if canned)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • Canola oil for deep-frying
  • 4 corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter
  • 1/3 cup finely grated cotija or pecorino romano
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack about 8 inches from the heating element. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Put the tomatoes on one baking sheet and broil, turning the tomatoes as needed, until their flesh is soft and the skin is charred in spots and splitting. It should take about 20 minutes. Don’t rush this process, as you want the tomatoes to develop a deep roasted flavor. Move the rack down if the skin threatens to char too much before the tomato is cooked through. Set aside.

Put the onion slices and garlic cloves on the second foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning the vegetables as needed, until the onion is soft and lightly charred on both sides and the garlic is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the garlic if it softens before the onions. Don’t allow it to blacken or it will taste bitter. When cool enough to handle, core and peel the tomatoes and peel the garlic.

Put the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tomato puree and the oregano, crumbling it between your fingers. Season with salt and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes to deepen the flavor.

In the blender, puree the chickpeas with 1 cup of the broth. Add to the tomato mixture along with enough of the remaining broth to bring the soup to the consistency you like. You may not use it all. Stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and with as much finely chopped chipotle chile as you like. Keep the soup warm.

In a deep, heavy pot, pour the canola oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Have ready a tray or baking sheet lined with a double thickness of paper towels. While the oil is heating, stack the tortillas and cut them in half. Stack the halves with the cut side facing you, then slice into strips 1/2 inch wide. Discard the short end pieces.

In small batches, fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Use a wire-mesh skimmer to keep them moving in the oil so they brown evenly. Transfer them with the skimmer to the paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Check the oil temperature between batches and adjust the heat as necessary to keep it at 375 degrees. Put the cooled tortilla crisps in a bowl.

Reheat the soup to serving temperature if needed, then divide among six bowls. Garnish each portion with the cotija, dividing it evenly, and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing the tortilla crisps for diners to add to their soup as desired. Serves 6.

— From “Wine Country Table: Recipes Celebrating California’s Sustainable Harvest” by Janet Fletcher (Rizzoli, $45)


What Are the Best Kinds of Prepper Food?

Before we get started on those recipes, it wouldn’t be right to leave this out of the discussion. When it comes to stockpiling food for your prepper pantry, you need to think non-perishable and shelf-stable.

  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned fruits, meats, vegetables, and soups
  • Peanut butter
  • Instant potato flakes
  • Bouillon cubes or granules
  • Flour (white or whole wheat)
  • Nonfat dried milk
  • Herbs and spices
  • Kitchen essentials like baking soda, yeast, baking powder, vinegar
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Honey
  • Whole grains like oats, quinoa, wheat, and rice
  • Packaged meals like mac and cheese, ramen noodles, etc.

These are just our suggestions. Ultimately, it comes down to what you and your family actually like to eat. So if you can’t live without Cheetos or Cheez-Its, then no one’s stopping you from including them. Except for your doctor, maybe.

In case you need to know more, we discuss this topic further here.

Now, how do you cook these items when SHTF? Get yourself comfy and read on:


Watch the video: ATTACKED BY CHUCK E CHEESE!! 5 KIDS MISSING AT CHUCK E CHEESE ARCADE!? (August 2022).