Saturday, November 5, 2016

Peasant Stew

We have a garden and every year have a surplus of tomatoes from August-October. Aside from freezing bags of diced tomatoes, I try to make marinara sauce, curries and soups. This is one of our

dash of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 lb chicken breast, cubed (or leftover roasted chicken)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans (14.5 oz, each) diced tomatoes (replace with 30 oz fresh diced tomatoes from garden)
2 cans (15 oz, each) great northern or cannelloni beans (sometimes I add 1 more for heartier soup)
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth or chicken stock or homemade chicken stock
1 cup diced carrots
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced (I prefer the chicken andouille sausage from Costco)
6 cups fresh baby spinach

1. Heat a dash of olive oil in a dutch oven. Caramelize onions over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
2. Add chicken and stir until no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan. (skip this step if you have roasted chicken)
3. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. If you prefer smoother soup, use an immersion blender to create a smooth saucy consistency.
4. Stir in beans, carrots, and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add chicken and sausage. Cook another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Matzo Balls (partial slow cooker recipe)

One of my favorite comfort foods is matzo ball soup. My version of this soup uses homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked roasted chicken and is essentially chicken noodle soup with matzo balls. This is an easy way to use leftover roasted chicken or turkey from holiday meals.

Ingredients for chicken stock: 
Use bones either from a roasted chicken or raw whole chicken (include neck, gizzard, skin, wings)
1/2 large sweet onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 carrot cut into 3 pieces
1 celery cut into 3 pieces
3 whole peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
kosher salt to taste
thyme (fresh if available or sprinkle dry thyme)
dash of dry parsley (again fresh if available)

Place first 10 items in a crockpot (I have a 5 qt crockpot). Cover everything with water and cook on low for 24 hours. Your house will smell amazing! The final product should look like this:

Add 1/2 of the broth to a dutch oven and freeze the rest for future recipes. Next, let's make the soup!

Homemade chicken stock
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Egg noodles (I prefer kluski egg noodles)
dried dill to taste
roasted pre-cooked chicken
matzo balls (I purchase boxed matzo ball mix)

Prepare matzo ball according to directions on the box. Keep in a separate pan. Bring homemade chicken stock to a boil. Add carrots, celery, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add egg noodles, chicken, and dill. Cook according to the directions on the noodle package. Serve by ladling the soup into bowls and adding 2-3 matzo balls. Do not mix the balls and soup or the balls will absorb all of the liquid in the soup. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This is adapted from Paula Dean's Pot Roast recipe. Hopefully, I will eventually be able to add pictures. We have done this as a freezer meal plenty of times, as well! 

1 3-4 lb beef chuck roast
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 cup onion wedges
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 can cream of mushroom (I have been using Pacific brand organic cream of mushroom)
1 can beef broth (no MSG and low salt)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 yukon gold potatoes cut into chunks

Season roast with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Sear entire roast. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, cream of mushroom, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and potatoes in slow cooker. Place roast on top of mixture in slow cooker. Cook the roast 8 hours on low.

Note: I have frozen the seared roast and soup mixture as a freezer meal in a gallon bag (do not add potatoes). Scott will take the freezer meal out, thaw it, add potatoes and cook on low for 8 hours - easy!