Tag Archives: ground pork

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Homemade Chorizo Sausage

5 Mar
Sausage Patties

Sausage Patties

My husband bought an electric meat grinder a few months back. He justified his purchase by stating it would be a great use for grinding up a large batch of cheap steaks he bought into burger, as well as for another large batch of cheap pork he also bought into homemade sausage. We made the sausage “healthy” by also grinding in some chicken to the mix.

Grinding the Pork and Chicken

Grinding the Pork and Chicken

We made three types of sausage: Hot Italian Sausage, Breakfast Sausage, and Chorizo Sausage. We use the hot Italian sausage in Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce.

Mixing the Hot Italian Sausage

Mixing the Hot Italian Sausage

The breakfast sausage came out OK and the recipe could use some tweaking, but it did make a great quick breakfast the next morning stacked on a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a lightly fried egg.

Breakfast Sausage and Egg Stack

Breakfast Sausage and Egg Stack

We decided to make sausage patties with the first two recipes. I rolled the sausage into an even thickness, covering it with plastic wrap first.

Rolling the Sausage

Rolling the Sausage

I then used a pint canning jar to cut out patties.

Cutting Out Breakfast Sausage Patties

Cutting Out Breakfast Sausage Patties

I don’t exactly remember what else I was doing that day, but I never did end up with a photo of my chorizo! But I do plan on posting something I’ve made with it soon.

The chorizo sausage recipe I’m sharing with you today came from one of my dear foodie-blogging friends that passed away unexpectedly last year. I fondly remember him whenever I make anything with this chorizo.

Homemade Chorizo Sausage
Adapted from REMCOOKS Chorizo Sausage

1 pound lean ground pork
4 strips bacon
1 clove peeled garlic
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon spicy Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Add the pork to a large mixing bowl. Add everything but the pork into a blender or food processor and pulse until well-combined. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the pork. With clean hands, incorporate the seasoned mixture well into the pork until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into even weights and freeze separately in zip-top freezer bags. I made 4-ounce portions, as the chorizo packs a lot of taste so you don’t need a lot of it when using in dishes.

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

12 Sep
Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

I had a hankering for fried egg rolls a few weeks ago and thought I was all set with my ingredients, but when I took the egg roll wrappers out of the freezer to defrost, they were totally freezer burnt! I was NOT going to make a trip to the store just for egg roll wrappers, so I put on my thinking cap and decided we could enjoy all the deliciousness of egg rolls — unwrapped! The meal came out perfectly delicious, and just think of all the calories we saved without the fried grease (although I’m not one to pass up a fried egg roll if given the chance).

If you do decide to make this healthier alternative, just make sure you get all your ingredients prepped ahead of time, as it comes together pretty quick once you start cooking.

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

4 ounces dried rice noodles
1/2 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 or 3 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup grated carrot (I used bagged)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
2 baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced
1/2 pound shrimp (I used frozen deli shrimp)
4 ounces fresh bean sprouts
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional)
Lime wedges, for garnish

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles Ingredients

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles Ingredients

Soak rice noodles in hot water according to package directions. (Usually about 10 or 15 minutes.) Drain noodles and set aside. (Ignore my angel hair noodles in the pic and sub in your mind with the green onions I forgot for the shot.) After adding the rice noodles and bean sprouts, I had plenty of food already!)

Browned Ground Pork

Browned Ground Pork

In a wok or large skillet, brown the ground pork with 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil over medium heat until thoroughly cooked through. Remove from skillet, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

Cooking the Veggies

Cooking the Veggies

In the same skillet (without wiping out oil), add the grated carrots and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger, garlic, and green onions, and cook for several more minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to the skillet, then add the sliced bok choy, cooking until just wilted.

Wilted Bok Choy

Wilted Bok Choy

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy, oyster and fish sauces along with the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and chicken broth and pour over the bok choy. Now add all the rest of the ingredients to the skillet (pork, veggies, shrimp, noodles, and bean sprouts.)

Last, stir in the cornstarch slurry and the chili sauce if you like a little spicy and bring up to a simmer. Turn off heat, then serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime wedge.

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

Asian Pork and Shrimp Noodles with Bok Choy

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Egg Foo Young ~ With all the Fixin’s or Vegetarian!

11 Jan
Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young

Can you say incredible? Oh my gosh, these were so good that my husband and daughter practically ripped the extra one on my photoshoot plate right off from under the camera! They were like vultures, I tell you! I let them split it with each other, as one egg pancake was plenty for me since I filled mine with all the extras.

I had wanted to make this dish the first time I set eyes on it last April over at Lemony Thyme. Libby makes these wonderfully tasty dishes and presents everything so well with her photography. I pretty much followed this recipe except I sauteed the mushrooms first, cooked up some ground pork instead of using ham, plus I added the optional shrimp. Any of the fillings are optional, so this adapts well to a vegetarian dish. Oh and I don’t own a sifter, so I made a corn starch slurry instead.

Since you can only make these one at a time (unless you want to dirty up more skillets), I made each Egg Foo Young to order. This recipe makes enough for four of them. My daughter only wanted the pork added and no mushrooms in hers. My husband didn’t want the shrimp in his (this surprised me, he loves shrimp!) but did want the pork and mushrooms. I wanted it all, so added all three to mine. The final pancake had only pork so my daughter would eat it.  Aren’t I accommodating?

I have always spelled this dish Egg Foo Young, but Libby spelled hers Egg Fu Yung. I got curious and did a little internet searching, and it turns out both spellings are perfectly acceptable. But no matter how you spell it, this is an incredibly delicious meal to serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Egg Foo Young Ingredients

Egg Foo Young Ingredients

Egg Foo Young
Adapted from Egg Fu Yung at Lemony Thyme

Hint: Before you get started, you will want to have everything mise en place. That’s just a fancy phrase for getting everything prepped and ready in one place before you start cooking the final dish.

Brown Gravy:

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch, mixed with a little cold water

Egg Foo Young:

1 cup ground pork
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup green onions, chopped small
1/2 cup cooked deli shrimp, diced small
8 to 10 water chestnuts, chopped
6 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon flour, mixed with a little cold water
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup bean sprouts
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, for frying
More sliced green onions, for garnish

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young

Start by cooking the brown gravy and just get that out of the way. You can reheat and stir it a bit on the stovetop when ready to serve. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring all brown gravy ingredients, except the corn starch slurry, to a slight boil then reduce the heat to low. Mix about half the corn starch slurry into the broth whisking constantly. Return the gravy to a simmer, and slowly add a bit more of the slurry while simmering, until desired consistency. Remove gravy from heat and set aside.

If you are going to use pork in this dish, now crumble up the ground pork in a skillet sprayed with a little oil over medium heat. Cook until pork is browned through. Drain and reserve in a bowl and set aside. Next, if using mushrooms, add those to the same skillet and saute about 5 to 7 minutes, until they release their liquid and start to brown. Remove from skillet and set aside in another bowl. Now is the time to dice up or measure all the other ingredients in preparation for the eggs.

In a medium bowl, crack in six eggs and beat in the flour slurry while whisking until well combined. Whisk in soy sauce and sesame oil, then add in bean sprouts, green onions, chestnuts, and black pepper and combine well. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil then about a half cup of the egg mixture. I have this wok-like skillet that has a flat 6-inch bottom I used, but any skillet would do. I suppose a smaller skillet would help make the pancakes thicker. I digress.

Next spread on top of it a portion of any of the pork, shrimp, or mushrooms and cook until the bottom is nice and set. You can swirl the pan around to get some of the uncooked egg on top to add to the sides of the pancake. It’s all good. Flip it over, then cook until the other side is done and set. Add about a tablespoon (or less) of oil between batches. Serve with the reheated brown gravy and sliced green onions. This is seriously amazing!

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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