Family Eats Challenge: Janet and Jim, Update 6

by Laura on March 28, 2010

in Family Eats Challenge: Janet and Jim

This is part of our yearlong Family Eats Challenge series. Throughout the year, we’ll take a journey with four families as they strive to change their relationship with the food they eat.

Our first Challenge Family is Empty Nesters, Janet and Jim, from Houston. Janet loves to cook, but struggles with finding something that Jim will eat. Jim as always been a picky eater, which is why they’ve been eating the same meals for years. Read on to hear more about Janet and Jim’s journey as our first Family Eats Challenge family.

To help them on their journey, we look to Chef Miki of Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, who will help guide them as they expand their palates and try new recipes.

This week, Janet and Jim will be preparing Baby Dutch Yellow Potato Soup.

Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potato Soup


Here is some advice and direction from Chef Miki:


Sadly, this is our last recipe. It is ideal to make and serve it from a crock pot for a kick off to March Madness.

Notice the servings. If it will be just you and Jim, then halve the recipe.  If you are planning for leftovers, go ahead and make the full recipe, then allow it to cool before freezing.

See here, for tips on freezing soup.

Cut and prepare all vegetables BEFORE cutting bacon. Wash the board well with hot, soapy water to prevent cross-contamination.

Dicing bacon-It’s easier to dice or cut smaller slices of any protein when they are cold or partially frozen.  I partially thaw or freeze my meats if I want to slice them thin for use in stir-fries or sautés.  Do the same with bacon, leaving the slices stuck together, freeze them just until firm.  Place the meat on a non-slip cutting board, then slice with a sharp knife in a full stroke forward then back motion with one hand and hold the meat firmly in the other.  Don’t allow the meat to slip!  No sawing.  A serrated knife may help you.

Review the cooking tips from our website regarding mincing and chile handling.

1.  Chile Burn Relief

2.  Handling Fresh Chiles

3.  Mincing

When adding the wine, be certain not to drip onto the stove or the outside of the pot as this can cause flare ups from the alcohol.  You may wish to turn off the heat just for the moment you are adding the wine, wipe up any drizzles, then turn the stove on again.  Heat will cause the alcohol in the pot to burn off.

Of course, a fresh green salad loaded with veggies, a hand full of toasted nuts or seeds, some dried fruit (blueberries, cherries, raisins, etc) and a vinaigrette will top off the dinner.  Vinaigrette over cream dressing so the tart of the vinegar will cut through the richness of the soup.

Don’t forget the garlic bread!

Janet and Jim’s Update:

It was a perfect day for potato soup. Cold and rainy, a great day to stay inside and watch March Madness and eat a warm hearty soup. This recipe is a healthier potato soup than I have prepared in the past and we really liked it. The combination of the onions, garlic, shallot, bacon, and wine really adds to the flavor of the potatoes.  We sure enjoyed it on this cold day.

Another thing we have come to realize is yes, we were in an entree rut, but we were also in a bread rut. The garlic bread was such a good choice with the soup, and one that we would not have thought of. We have always served garlic bread with pasta. We now want to shop for the different kinds of bread we can serve with a meal.

This week we learned how to take a fattening recipe (my recipe contained a lot of butter and cream), and turn it into a more healthy, flavorful recipe. We also became more aware of the different kinds of breads out there to enhance your meal.

We prepared the full recipe and we are glad we did. We want to save it for leftovers to be reheated later next week.

Our final installment of Janet and Jim’s Family Eats Challenge (to appear April 11), will include Chef Miki’s suggestions for dealing with leftover’s.

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