Tag Archives: stew

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

15 Apr
Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

I saw this recipe on Food52 a few days ago, the daughter was gone for the night (she doesn’t like shrimp, crazy huh?) and it was a quick and easy recipe — especially since I had a bag of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer. No-brainer for me. Thirty minutes TOPS to make this if you have the stock. There are lots of great flavors going on in this. If you don’t have shrimp stock on hand, the original recipe here has the method to make it, which doesn’t take that long. Don’t forget the crusty bread to sop up the soup!

I was hoping to post my “big announcement” this weekend, but I’m still dealing with the logistics. Hopefully next week!

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup
Adapted from Shrimp and Chorizo Stew, by Josh Cohen at Food52

4 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh is better if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
Crusty toasted buttered bread, for serving

Chorizo and Shallots

Chorizo and Shallots

Remove the chorizo from its casing and cook in the oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet, until cooked through and a bit caramelized. Add the minced shallots and cook until translucent, then add the diced tomatoes and smoked paprika. Cook and stir gently until tomatoes just start to break down.

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Add the white wine and shrimp stock, then turn to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until just simmering, then add the shrimp.

Simmering Shrimp

Simmering Shrimp

At this point you can start toasting your bread.  When the shrimp are cooked through (about 5 to 7 minutes), turn off heat, taste for salt, and add if necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh thyme leaves, and serve with hot buttered crusty bread.

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

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Turkey Chipotle Posole

30 Apr
Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

As a lot of you know, I’m a spicy kind of gal, and I like spicy food. This posole, which is a traditional Mexican soup/stew, makes good use of leftover turkey or even chicken. I bought a deli-roasted turkey breast recently for a quick week-night dinner, but with the daughter not eating at home that night we were left with a bunch of leftover cooked turkey breast.

We had a cold snap, and what better thing to make in a cold snap is a nice spicy, warming stew? This ended up making more than I thought it would, but ate the rest for lunches.  Don’t scrimp on the toppings, as the cabbage, lime, and radishes really complete this. And you can always cut way back on the spices/chiles for a milder version.

After opening a few cans and a little chopping, dicing, and processing, this posole comes together in a snap all in one pot. I always freeze any leftover canned goods, clearly labeled, for future use. I can’t imagine ever using an entire can of chipotle peppers in a recipe unless I am feeding an army. And my local grocer only sells 30-ounce cans of hominy, which, after draining the liquid, yields about 2 cups of hominy. Hominy freezes well too.  Even if it’s already warm in your neck of the woods, do try this flavorful posole, if anything to warm your heart. Plus it also gives you good reason to open a bottle of Mexican beer to wash it down! UPDATE: A kind reader reminded me that Cinco de Mayo is coming up. So hey, why not make it for that day?!

Turkey Chipotle Posole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or less), diced fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Ancho or Pasilla chile powder (or other or less)
2 cups cooked and shredded turkey or chicken
4 cups homemade or low sodium turkey or chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 corn tortilla, processed fine
1 cup hominy, white or yellow is fine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, and lime wedges, for garnish

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Open up all those cans and chop/slice/dice all the veggies.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the next 6 ingredients (through the chile powder), and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Spicy Veggie Base

Spicy Veggie Base

Add the remaining ingredients except the garnishes, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready to eat.

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Ladle into bowls, and garnish with fresh sliced cabbage, sliced radishes, and a lime wedge to squeeze into the stew. (Don’t forget the beer to wash it all down!)

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu Pappardelle

20 Feb
Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

We cleaned out our indoor freezer last weekend, and lo and behold we found a package of meaty soup bones from our 2014 cow. Not to be wasteful, I knew I had to cook those babies low and slow, to extract all the flavor from the bones and preserve any shred of tasty beef hiding amongst the gristle and bone. Yep, I can do this!

Meaty Soup Bones

Nice Meaty Soup Bones

I had President’s Day off work, and knew I’d be a happy camper just spending the day putzing around the kitchen and cooking, all thoughts of laundry and house chores away from my mind — already completed over the weekend.

This was also a good chance to use up some dried Porcini mushrooms that had been languishing in my bin of assorted bulk spices and what-nots. I looked at the package, fearing they were long expired. Apparently dried mushrooms last a LONG time, as the expiration date was more than a year in the future! Combined with some also-languishing Cremini mushrooms in the fridge, I knew I had the base for a slow-cooked braised ragu. Combine that with some good-quality tomatoes and hearty Pappardelle pasta, and voila! Ragu is served. With lots of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, of course.

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu Pappardelle

.25 ounces dried Porcini mushrooms
2 to 3 ounces Cremini mushrooms
2 meaty beef soup bones
Ground pepper and salt, to taste, for seasoning beef
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion
8 to 10 baby carrots
1 rib celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 strips of cooked bacon (can also be uncooked)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Up to 1 cup good-quality red wine, divided
Mushroom stock (from soaking the Porcini)
Up to 2 cups beef stock, divided
28-ounce can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
3 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces Pappardelle pasta
Good quality Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Additional chopped parsley, for garnish

Soaking the Porcini

Soaking the Porcini

Place dried Porcini mushrooms in a glass bowl (I used a Pyrex measuring cup) and pour about a cup of boiling water over them. Top with a folded paper towel to keep mushrooms submerged. (I learned that cool tip from the package of mushrooms!) Allow them to rehydrate for about 20 minutes. Discard paper towel and remove mushrooms, squeezing out the liquid from them. Strain the mushroom stock through a coffee filter into another cup. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place a Dutch oven or other pot with an oven-proof lid on stove over medium high heat. Season the soup bones liberally with ground pepper and some salt, to taste. Dredge soup bones through the flour, patting flour in to coat.

Browning the Soup Bones

Browning the Soup Bones

Add oil and the bones to the pot, browning on each side for about 4 minutes. Don’t forget the sides! Turn off heat, remove bones and set aside.

Chopped Veggies and Bacon

Chopped Veggies and Bacon

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bacon to a food processor (you can also mince these by hand). Pulse until finely chopped.

Next, finely chop the Porcini and Cremini mushrooms.

Porcini and Cremini Mushrooms

Porcini and Cremini Mushrooms

Turn heat back on under the pot, and check for amount of oil. Add additional if needed, you’ll want about a tablespoon. Add the vegetable mixture, mushrooms, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Cooking the Veggies and Bacon

Cooking the Veggies and Bacon

Next, stir in the tomato paste and 1/2 cup wine, mixing until completely combined. Stir and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Reducing the Wine

Reducing the Wine

Pour in the reserved mushroom stock and about a half cup of the beef stock. Add the can of peeled tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Also pour in the liquid from the can. Stir until combined, then submerge the soup bones into the sauce. Bring up to a simmer, toss in the three sprigs of thyme and cover tightly. Place in preheated oven.

Tomato Sauce and Soup Bones Ready to Braise

Tomato Sauce and Soup Bones Ready to Braise

Cook for three hours, or until meat is tender and falling off the bones. Once tender, remove pot from oven. Remove soup bones to a plate and let cool for about 10 minutes or safe enough to handle.

Shredded Braised Beef

Shredded Braised Beef

The sauce will have thickened by this time. Stir in up to another cup of beef broth and red wine and bring up to a slow simmer on the stove.

Meanwhile, cook the Pappardelle pasta according to package directions. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.

Once the beef is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers, discarding any gristle/cartilage.

Beef and Mushroom Ragu

Beef and Mushroom Ragu

Return the shredded beef to the sauce and stir in the chopped parsley. Pour in a small amount of pasta water to further loosen up the sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Plate the cooked and drained pasta on a platter, then pour the ragu sauce over top. Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with additional chopped parsley. Serve on plates or in bowls.

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

 

Braised Pork & Cider Stew

29 Nov
Braised Pork and Cider Stew

Braised Pork and Cider Stew

This is usually cooked in an oven-proof Dutch oven started on the stove, then placed in the oven for a couple of hours, but mine is still in storage. So I did the next best thing and used the crock pot! Yes, it is slow cooker season. I made this the past weekend, but only just now getting around to posting it.

I really enjoyed the tartness of the cider and it added an entire new level of taste to your standard braised stew. My daughter really liked this, and the husband said he enjoyed the different taste of the stew, then suddenly announced that he no longer likes pork anymore. What??? I think it has to do with the quarter side of beef we just stocked up in our chest freezer. Nonetheless, I’m sticking with this recipe, as I do like the variation from your standard beef stew. The rubbed sage with the apple cider is a winner! Trust me, it is delicious!

Braised Pork & Cider Stew

1.25 pounds pork loin
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash seasoning, or salt, to taste
Flour, for dusting
3 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil, divided
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks of celery, rough chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, rough chopped
8 to 10 baby carrots
1/2 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
1 pint homemade jarred tomatoes, or 1 can diced
2 cups apple cider

Prepping the Pork Loin

Prepping the Pork Loin

Generously season the pork loin with pepper and Mrs. Dash, or salt. Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces, then dust with flour.

Searing the Pork in Batches

Searing the Pork in Batches

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of the oil. Sear the pork (in batches if needed) until browned on all sides. Remove and add to the crock pot.

Prepping/Sauteing the Veggies

Prepping/Sauteing the Veggies

Add one more tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add all the chopped veggies. Sprinkle with the rubbed sage and additional ground black pepper. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and add to the crock pot.

Stew in the Crock Pot Ready to Cook

Stew in the Crock Pot Ready to Cook

Now add the tomatoes (crushing if jarred) and apple cider to the crock pot and stir all the ingredients to combine. Cook for low on 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Serve with a thick crusty bread for mopping up all the wonderful juices!

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

29 Jan
Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Smoky, spicy, and tangy. That is how I would describe this soup. I was pondering what to do with our leftover Carnitas when inspiration struck me while walking through the produce section at the grocery store. It appeared a fresh load of tomatillos had arrived at the store, as the bin was overflowing with them. I decided right then and there I was going to make some carnitas soup with tomatillos. I grabbed about 8 of them, which turned out to be 3/4 pounds.

This soup was a tad too much on the spicy side for my husband but he still ate his full bowl. I had added the other half of the jalapeño I hadn’t used in the carnitas, but I also added 1/2 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. (Please note that is 1/2 of a pepper, not 1/2 of the can!!) Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce have a beautiful smoky taste, but beware, those peppers are not only smoky flavored, but SPICY! So, so reduce the amount down, if needed.

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos are a very tangy fruit, so that is where you get the tangy. But we all enjoyed the flavors and textures of the soup, and my daughter even went back for seconds even though it made her sweat, lol! You can freeze the leftover chipotle chiles for a future use. I love to add a small amount  of them to white beans and garlic as a side dish, oooh yum. Last, the store I went to only had mongo pound-plus cans of hominy, so I just use a cup and a half of them, but if your store has a 14-ounce can or so you could use that instead. Once again, I froze the rest of them for future use.

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

1 pound leftover Carnitas, recipe here, or cooked pork
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3/4 pounds tomatillos, husks remove, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, diced small
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced small (or less)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 to 6 cups homemade chicken, turkey, or beef broth (or combination of any)
1 1/2 cups white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 jar of homemade tomatoes, diced, or can of diced tomatoes with liquid
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Hopefully you have leftover Carnitas at this point. If not, cook up some pork with spices and set aside. Then chop up your onion, tomatillos, and jalapeño.  Heat up a dutch oven or soup pot over medium, then add the olive oil. I’m so bad about amounts on this part, I just eyeball it. But use enough to saute all your veggies. Once the onions start to soften, add the diced chipotle pepper and garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add the broth (I used a combo of turkey and beef broth) and then turn up to high until boiling. Add the hominy, Carnitas or pork, tomatoes, and cilantro. Bring back up to a boil again, then turn down to low to simmer. Simmer for at least one hour to let the flavors meld. Serve with additional cilantro and/or lime, to taste. Yummy!

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

1 Dec
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo (with Okra!)

I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe that will help use up the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and The Homesick Texan “brought it home” for me with this one! I told my husband I was going to make this, and he said, “I don’t like gumbo.” Well. I think he said that as a knee-jerk reaction to okra. He doesn’t like okra, ergo he doesn’t like gumbo. “I don’t plan on putting any okra in this one. It will have turkey, ham, and smoked sausage in it! Doesn’t that sound great?” Pretty much no reaction to that. He doesn’t like okra, ergo, he doesn’t like gumbo. I made it anyways. Plus, since I’m such a great gal, I bought some shrimp to add to it because he loves shrimp.

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The Holy Trinity and Meats

The day before I made this, hubby and I teamed together to make a huge pot of turkey broth from the carcass, recipe here: How to Make Homemade Turkey Broth. You can never have too much turkey or chicken stock on hand. You can substitute low-sodium store-bought, but why? The original recipe makes enough to serve 10 to 12, so I halved it as well as made other adaptions/tweaks (including adding about a cup of my homemade canned tomatoes). Feel free to experiment! And if you like okra, by all means add some of that too. Since I wasn’t going to add gumbo, I was also going to add some file powder to thicken it, but alas, the Pacific Northwest does not seem to know of its existence (I scoured four different stores!), so I had to substitute a little cornstarch for the thickener.

Turkey, Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Adapted from Turkey Gumbo, The Homesick Texan

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 large rib celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/8 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more if you like spicy
5 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup sliced smoked sausage (1/2 of a horseshoe link)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
1/2 cup frozen okra, microwaved for 3 minutes (optional)
Cooked rice, for serving
2 green onions, green part only, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron dutch oven or cast iron skillet, add the oil and flour and whisk well to combine. (You are making a roux here, the easy way!) Place in the oven for an hour and a half, whisking every 20 minutes or so.

Caramel-Colored Roux

Caramel-Colored Roux

Meanwhile, you can prep your veggies, chop up the turkey meat, and brown the sliced sausage and diced ham in a skillet sprayed with a little oil. Set aside.

When the roux is done (it should be a nice caramel brown), carefully remove it from the oven. If you have a cast iron dutch oven, you can continue cooking the gumbo in it. If you don’t (like me), transfer the roux to a regular dutch oven and place on the stove burner over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, red peppers, and garlic, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Sauteing the Veggies in Roux

Now add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, Worcestershire, Mrs. Dash (or salt), black pepper,  cayenne pepper, and mix well. Gradually add the turkey broth, stirring constantly. Add the turkey, ham, smoked sausage, bay leaves, and sugar, bring to a low simmer, and cook for about an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo

Turkey Sausage Ham Gumbo Simmering ~ No Shrimp Yet!

During this time you can cook your rice. In the last 10 minutes or so, add the shrimp (if using) until cooked through. Last, add the cornstarch mixture to the pot (or file powder if you have it), stirring to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes, turn the heat off, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. Serve over the cooked rice and garnish with green onions. (Pssst, I added some cooked okra to my bowl!)
My daughter really liked this, and my husband went back for seconds and looked me square in the face and said, “This had a nice blend of flavors, the perfect spice amount, and the shrimp really added to it, Thank You.” (except you don’t want to know what he said when I forced him to try a spoonful of mine with the okra in it… lol!)
Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

Turkey, Sausage, Ham. and Shrimp Gumbo

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Calabacitas (Pork and Zucchini Stew with Tomatillos)

24 Nov

No time for a weekend post so I thought I’d share one of my earlier recipes. This is a great Mexican stew for a cold winter’s meal.

anotherfoodieblogger

My cousin and her son are coming for dinner tonight, and armed with the fact that they like Mexican food I began scouring my recipe books for something to serve other than my stand-by chicken enchiladas. While they are most delicious, I was thinking of something with pork and tomatillos. I adapted this recipe from Lisa Fain’s Homesick Texan Cookbook. It had pork and tomatillos, AND it looked like a good candidate to be cooked in a crock pot instead of over the stove, since I had to prepare it during my lunch break. Calabacitas means zucchini (or little squash) in Spanish, and the traditional stew is cooked with red tomatoes and zucchini. This version uses tomatillos, which are a small green tomato-like fruit. It also has yellow squash along with the zucchini, which coincidentally I had bought last week to take on our trip to the coast but forgot…

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Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

6 Oct
Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Whoa! This got four thumbs up from my family. So good and so filling. AND as a bonus, you can make it vegetarian by using Soyrizo. However, I made it with bonafide pork Chorizo, but I didn’t use a lot of it considering all the other ingredients. I used half of a 10-ounce tube/casing of it, However, the seasonings in Chorizo sure packs a lot of punch.

I have eaten Mexican Chorizo at least as long as when I first attended college at the University of Texas at Austin. It was a staple at about every Mexican food stand that sold breakfast burritos, as well as most breakfast house restaurants. I was wanting to use some for soup and not make it too watery.  Since most of my experiences with Chorizo included potatoes, I went on the hunt on the intewebz for black bean, Chorizo, and potato soup.

Black Bean, Potato, Chorizo Soup Ingredients

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup Ingredients

Well, I got a  bunch of hits,  but they were all for a Spanish version of Chorizo, which is the cured version that is hard and kind of like a smoked sausage. NOT. I had the crumbly Mexican Chorizo, that you remove from the package and cook like breakfast sausage, only it’s really red and spicy. So, just like I usually do, I just made up my very own recipe. I hope you enjoy this. We only had one serving leftovers, and I think I’ll have to fight my husband and daughter for it for lunch. My husband suggested I double this next time I make this, and I will.

Chorizo and Vegetables

Chorizo and Vegetables

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 ounces Mexican Pork Chorizo
1/2 large sweet onion, diced 1/4 inch
2 stalks celery, diced 1/4 inch
2 medium to smallish potatoes, peeled and diced 1/4 inch
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 to 3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 large lime, squeezed
Crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, for garnish

Dice all your vegetables first and set aside. In a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the casing or wrap from the Chorizo, and add to the pot, using a spoon or spatula to separate and crumble it as it cooks.  After about 5 minutes, add the diced onion, celery, potatoes, garlic and the other tablespoon of oil and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to just a tad below medium, then cover the pot with a lid. Continue cooking the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin, Mexican oregano, and Hungarian paprika. I threw in the paprika at the last minute, well, just because.

Next add the black beans, then the chicken broth, eyeballing how much you want to add depending on how thick or soupy you want this to be. Bring up to a low simmer, uncovered, for about 5 more minutes. Last, add the juice of 1/2 of a large lime and stir. Scoop half the soup into a blender and puree, then add back to the pot. Bring back up to a simmer until heated through. Serve with crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for garnish. So very good!

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Download and Print this Recipe

Black Bean, Potato, and Choriz Soup

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

21 Dec
Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

I had made a small promise to myself earlier this year that I was going to cook something with kale. In all my years of cooking, this is one vegetable that I just never got around to using. Of course, now that I’ve made this absolutely delicious soup with it, I’ll have to rotate it into our diets. It’s chock full of vitamins and calcium and a chemical with anti-cancer properties. YES! More Kale! I have adapted this soup I found from Eating Well magazine by kicking it up a notch and using Hungarian Paprika and Ancho Chile Powder in place of the smoked paprika, among other modifications. The entire family really enjoyed it and trust me, their is no lack of flavor in this hearty soup. We sopped it up with big thick slices of French bread, which you’ll want to pair this with to get every last yummy drop in your bowl.

Hearty Spicy Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless pork  loin or chops, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Ground Black Pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 cup red wine
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
4 to 5 cups chicken or turkey broth, homemade or low sodium
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 can white bean

Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

Kale and Pork Soup with White Beans

This is one of those recipes where you’ll want to chop everything up in advance. Once all the chopping is done, the preparation is quite simple.  Start out by heating the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high. Generously season the pork with the Mrs. Dash and black pepper, then add to the pot. Brown the pork on all sides, then remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pot, and cook for about five minutes until starting to soften. Then add the minced garlic, Hungarian paprika and ancho chile powder. If you don’t have those two ingredients, you can substitute with regular or smoked paprika and add some crushed red pepper to taste to make it spicy. Stir for about a minute longer, then add the red wine and chopped tomatoes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Now add the broth, then bring to a boil. Add the kale (it looks like a lot, but it all wilts down just like spinach) until it’s mixed in, then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Add the pork back in and the white beans (I used cannellini) and continue simmering until ready to eat. You could probably eat it right away but I wanted the flavors to meld so let it simmer before about an hour before eating. Serve with thick slabs of crusty French bread. Mmmmmm!

Snow Day and a Big Pot O’ Chili

18 Jan

Big Pot O' Camper Chili

My daughter got the snow day she was wishing for, and she spent a good part of the day attempting to sled down our steep driveway with her friends. The snow was pretty wet and eventually turned to rain, and I think they spent a majority of the time trying to build a snow ramp which self-destructed each time they went over it. I remember those snow-filled days when I lived in Ohio for a few years starting at her age (shhh…don’t tell anyone) and could spend hours and hours out in the snow and never feel cold.  I lived there during the great blizzard of 1978-79, and we missed three weeks of school. It was pure winter vacation delight! (We did suffer for that on the other end, as our summer break was shortened by the same amount.)

But let’s get back to food. The first thing that popped in my mind to make today was chili! A nice big pot o’ steaming hot chili, not only in temperature but a good dose of chili powder and green chiles to warm you up from the inside out. I had a fairly busy day at work due to my non-productivity yesterday, so I decided to resort to what I will call Camper Chili. This is what I make when we go camping because we have limited room in our tiny RV fridge and only a few pots and pans in the tinier storage space. If you make it the first night, you’ve freed up half your storage space! Pretty much everything comes out of a can or jar (save for the onion) so it’s imperative you rinse all the beans, and buy low-sodium canned tomatoes or use fresh if they are available, otherwise you’ll end up with about five times the suggested daily sodium intake.

I did have a couple of Roma tomatoes as one of the “fresh” counterparts, and since I wasn’t going to drive anywhere in that mess today we ended up with close to the true Camper version.  I scrummaged through the cupboards and came up with a variety of beans to throw in the pot. That’s also the beauty of this — you can mix and match any kind of beans you happen to have on hand. This one ended up with a can each of black, small red, Canellini, and garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans are a wonderful addition to chili, as they add a corn-like flavor to the dish.

Now any true Texan reading this is probably gasping at the thought of adding beans to a pot of chili. And yes, it’s true that Texans don’t even think it deserves to be called chili if there’s beans in it. However, after living in the Pacific Northwest for so many years, I’ve adapted to some of the local customs, including putting beans in the pot and calling it chili. I will, however, refrain from putting this in the Texas Food category.

Camper Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons chili powder (I also added 1/2 teaspoon of ground red chile peppers, I like it hot!)
Black pepper, to taste
4-5 cans of beans, any kind, drained and rinsed
1-2 cans diced low-sodium diced tomatoes, or 2-3 fresh chopped tomatoes
1 small can diced green chiles
Shredded cheese, diced onion and sour cream for garnish (optional)

In a dutch oven or large pot, sauté the ground beef with the onion over medium heat. When almost done, add the minced garlic and stir for a few more minutes until done. Drain any grease, then return the pot to the stove. Stir in the seasonings, then add the beans, tomatoes and chiles. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least an hour to let the flavors meld, the longer the better. If it starts looking too dry you can add a little water or chicken broth. When done, heft some big spoonfuls into bowls, and serve with cheese, more onion and sour cream. I also like to scoop this up with tortilla chips. This is delicious the next day, and freezes well too.

Update: I think things in my head sometimes that I realize readers might not get. When I list 1-2, or 3-4 in the recipe that does not mean one half or three quarters, that means one to two or three to four. I hope I haven’t misguided you these past days! I use 1/2 or 3/4, etc. for true fractions.

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