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Blog Archives

Mmm… Fresh Tomato Soup From Scratch

 

Mrs J picked some tomatoes the other day, enough that it was worth the trouble to bring out the juicer:This is a Breville unit, and it makes juicing a snap – separates the skins and seeds and fills the little container with juice and foam.  Dump the juice into a big pot and start boiling.  It will can foam over at first so you have to watch itWe started with about 5-1/2 quarts, added a pureed sweet onion, a dash of ground cloves, allspice, some chicken base, salt and pepper, and reduced that to about 2 quarts.  Don’t go overboard on the spices, it is going to concentrate the flavors as it reduces.  They do add a great aroma to the kitchen!  You can always add more when it’s thick enough.  I suppose you could add thickeners to it and not reduce it all the way, I may test that with the leftover soup to stretch it out some. Add a grilled cheese sammich and you have the classic lunch.  I had some odds and ends of cheese so I used them in these, a bit of Swiss, provolone, cheddar, Monterey jack, and American.  Olive oil is a tasty substitute for butter when you grill.

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Cheesy Broccoli Soup

This is easy to make and so delicious!  Chop half an onion and sweat it down in butter, then add chopped broccoli and some chicken stock.  Simmer until the broccoli is tender then stir in your cheese of choice – I used processed American cheese and some shredded cheddar.  When the cheese melts add milk and bring it back to a simmer, stir in a cornstarch slurry to thicken if it needs it.

Stuffed Peppers

These came out well but they really needed more gravy.  I used this recipe and will use it again, adding another can of tomato bits or sauce to the casserole dish before it goes into the oven.  These three took a good hour at 350 to give me an internal temp of 160, they were on the large side for green peppers.Like I said, they really, really needed more gravy.  I may have cooked the veggies down a little too far.  I added about half of them into the meat/rice mixture and used the rest to top off the peppers.  Maybe I should have left it soupier and added that to the bottom of the dish.  Next time, I fix.

Sammich Pr0n – Crockpot Italian Beef

We’ve been noshing on this for a few days now.  I’ve found the best way to serve these is to put a gob of meat straight from the fridge into a small bowl and nuke it for a minute or so.  Fork the beef onto a bun and leave the bowl as an au jus dip.

Sammich Pr0n – Sliders

The buns are mini-ciabattas that Kroger sells out of their deli/bakery.  I buy them up whenever they have them because they work for a lot of things – nothing is better for sliders.  Taking a break from tortillas but the griddle is still out, it gave me the idea for sliders.  Nom nom nom!My sliders start out with a pile of thin sliced onions with a beef patty on top, I flip them over when the onions start showing a little char.I don’t think they are at all complete without cheese, a dill pickle, and mustard.  The dill potato salad worked pretty well, too.  This meal pairs well with a soda pop but best with sweet tea.

BBQ’d Pork Belly

I thawed half of a pork belly and I’ve been exploring recipes to use it up.This one starts with it cut into strips and pressure cooked in white wine wine with soy sauce and an onion.  I gave it an hour.  Transfer the pork pieces to a hot skillet to brown on both sides.Make a sauce to pour over them or use a commercial product.  I used some of the cooker liquids to which were added maple sugar, a bottled sweet bbq sauce, and a squirt of ketchup.Let that reduce to glaze the pork belly.  These were like ribs with out the bones

Soup Pr0n – Chicken Noodle

I bought some colorful plastic plates from the Big Lots store.  I was really looking for a Southwestern/Mexican motif, if you squint hard you can pretend along with me!

Turkey Dumpling Noodle Something

We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room.  It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort.  I had dumplings in mind.  I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours.  The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin!  Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce.  I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings.  They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.

Getting Comfortable

20170305_174501-1600x1200Chili Mac

That Time of the Year

dsc_2229-1600x1200I rolled out my gas grill for the season and grilled a couple of burgers to get into the swing of it.  Gah!  It won’t be long until the grass it high enough that I can’t put off mowing.  I wonder what this season will bring.  Last year it rained so much that the grass was always high and wet – I smoked the PTO belts that drive the blades.  Hate it when that happens.