From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
There’s been a bit of chill in the air with some areas getting the first touch of snow, but I didn’t need much encouragement to start the soup and stew ritual. Last weekend I put two big batches of soup together while it drizzled outside. That means that all week for lunches I can alternate between yummy goodness. Anyone who reads somewhat regularly knows I have a few favorites, so I wanted to branch out tonight and pull together some recipes that move beyond those. It was inspired, of course by JeffreyW’s beautiful picture above.
Let’s start with a request I get a lot, Broccoli-Cheese soup. I’m usually at a loss here because broccoli is one of those vegetables I cannot tolerate even in small amounts when cooked. Fresh and raw I can handle, but the moment you cook it, I’m out. But here are two variations that I think you’ll like, one via JeffreyW and the other from America’s Test Kitchen, recipes here.
Then one of my favorite soups, Pasta e Fagoli, recipe here.
And this soup, full of fall flavors, Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple soup, recipe here.
I’ve been out of touch for a couple of weeks, so catch me up on what’s been going on in your kitchen. Also, searching my blog, we do not have a recipe for Minestrone, so do a chick a solid and share a good one with me, ok? (Seriously, we have 222 soup recipes, not one is Minestrone) Otherwise, what’s on your menu for the weekend?
Finally, tonight’s featured recipe from JefferyW. He makes several variations, you can find all of them here, but I chose this one to feature:
Simple recipe, drop a couple of pounds of pork into a pot of stock and boil it for a long time. I added two onions, coarsely diced, about two cups of my ancho chili sauce (recipe below), about eight cloves of minced garlic, and a couple teaspoons of dried oregano. Oh, don’t forget the hominy, used two cans of white hominy. When I say boil for a long time, I mean until the pork can be pulled apart into bite sized shreds. Since the pork I used was frozen solid I boiled this batch for a long time indeed. LOL You don’t need to make my special ancho sauce-seed several anchos and soak them in some hot stock until they’re falling apart, then process in a blender. Dump that back into the pot.
Ancho Chili Sauce
In the last recipe the ancho peppers were just not appealing visually so I puttered about the kitchen this afternoon thinking about how to get the taste without the leather. I simmered them in water for a while and thought about just dicing them fine, but the blender caught my eye. I don’t use it much, decided to give it a whirl, pun intended. Dumped the anchos plus the water they boiled in into the blender and gave it a spin. Heh. I just kill myself. Looked a bit thick so I added some lime juice. Now a shallot and some garlic. Coming along. I scraped it out of the blender and put it into the small sauce pan for a good simmer. Added some sweetener. It has an interesting flavor. The ancho is there, and the shallot, just a touch of sweet. Smoky warm, not really hot. It will pass the Mrs J test. I wasn’t quite done with it yet. Poured half a cup of mild salsa into the mix. Mmm. Now we are getting somewhere.
That’s it for this week. In case you missed it, here’s the full menu and shopping lists recipes for the week. See you next week – TaMara
It’s been years since I made broccoli soup but it is really good.
Here’s one of my favorites, from Eating Well–sweet potato and peanut bisque. I eat it a lot in the winter, and I passed it on to a friend. We both kick up the heat-she’s Pakistani and loves hot spicy food. It’s a great lunch or dinner.
Soup Soup Beautiful Soup, I think I’ll go for squash. Also, any word yet on schrodinger’s cat’s dal? Those sort of flavors work well in fall. mmmm, seem to be stuck on orange food suddenly.
@scav: Orange food is gooooood…
@ruviana: That sounds awesome. I harvested sweet potatoes today and that is
one recipe I am going to try. I should be able to freeze the leftovers, so that’s an extra.
I love soup.
The pic up top is yum yum
@JPL: It freezes really well. FYI, it works well with pumpkin and other winter squashes too.
I made chicken posole for dinner the other night, and it’s super easy the lazy girl way. I chopped up a chicken breast, browned it with some frozen onion and peppers mix, put in a can of (undrained) diced tomatoes with green chiles, a can of chicken broth, a (drained) can of hominy, and a couple teaspoons of chile powder and about a half teaspoon of smoked paprika. Salt and pepper too. Simmered it for about 20-30 minutes. It was yum-my.
I’m not always a fan of tomato broth, so I’m tempted by this green minestrone recipe from Sunset. Haven’t gotten around to making it yet.
Lastly, I’m a sucker for creamy soups but don’t necessarily want ones that are super high in fat, so this is the time of year I start making chicken corn chowder and the like.
As soon as you said that, it sounded like it was based on West African peanut soup, and it is! One of my friend’s friends was from Ghana and he made it for us one time as a chicken soup (with peanuts). Extremely yummy!
You remind me that it’s getting time to make a batch of my infamous Cabbage & Meatball Slowcooker Soup/Stew. I’ll put together a recipe from memory:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, sliced thin or shredded
8 oz frozen meatballs
1 28-oz can peeled tomatoes (Italian with fresh basil preferred), chopped
1 14-oz can beef broth (optional)*
1 tbsp Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp dried oregano & 1/3 tsp basil)*
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large skillet heat oil; add onion, garlic & spices, & sautee over medium heat stirring occasionally until onion is translucent.
Place cabbage, carrots, & meatballs in large (~6-qt) slow cooker. Add tomatoes, sauteed onions & garlic, beef broth, salt, pepper & water to cover & stir to mix well.
Cover & cook on low for 10-12 hours. Serve with Italian bread or garlic toast & it’s a meal.
Stovetop alternative: Do the sauteeing in a 6-qt Dutch oven, add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer, cook for 45-50 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally & adding water if needed for consistency.
Feel free to replace any canned ingredients with fresh–I have no garden, I loathe tomato peel & I have no patience with trying to peel them. Adjust quantities for smaller cookpots. Non-carnivores can replace the beef broth with vegetable broth, tomato sauce, or more water. Adjust spices to your own taste. Potatoes &/or turnips may also be added. I like to nuke the meatballs & quarter them before adding to the pot but that’s just me.
I know these directions are kinda vague but really, you can’t fuck this up other than by using too high heat & burning something. Dobrou chut’!
Many years ago I was married into an Italian family. Pasta e fagioli was a favorite soup. When my children would not eat it , I made Pasta e patan. Substitute potatoes for the beans. This is an intro to my question about your recipe that I have seen posted from others as well. Are you using a method in making it native to a certain part of Italy? My version is nothing at all like your recipe.
I think pasta e fagioli (aka pasta fazool) is one of those things that only your own mother (or grandmother) makes the “right” way.
@Mnemosyne: Yes, it totally is. The Eating Well magazine I got it from explicitly referenced the West African roots (heh) of the soup and was part of why I wanted to try it.
I’ve just started making my own peanut butter. I eat a lot of it, sometimes as a snack sometimes as a part of a protein shake. I’m actually surprised how easy it is, probably should have done this years ago.
Had homemade minestrone for dinner. One of the things my son makes us for dinner. It’s really good. I’d post the recipe, but I’ve never actually made it. But it’s really good, you should try it.
@? Martin: You are cruel. :-)
Mnemosyne has it right. I can’t even remember where that recipe came from….
@TaMara (BHF): You should try my daughters pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Holy shit, they are AMAZING. Seriously.
I’ve never made those either.
@Mnemosyne: Hey, you’re online! Wasn’t sure you would be this week.
Okay, now you know I have to give you shit: LOL – you call that posole? Not around here . . . . :-D
No posole for us this week, but soon. Buffalo enchiladas tonight. Buffalo barley stew a couple of days ago. We had snow yesterday, believe it or not, after a massive storm, so we need warm foods.
@Aji: You shoot one buffalo and you’re eating that thing for months.
@MikeJ: I was thinking the same thing.
@MikeJ: [Snort] yeah, we would be, but not an option. :-D
Actually, we get it either from the local organic market, or we buy in bulk from a sister Pueblo an hour or so away. They have a tribal enterprise: They raise an entire herd, set aside a certain portion to sell intertribally, and save a certain amount for themselves for food and whatever ceremonial uses needed. And I’ve been lucky enough to be up there near the end of the day, when the herd comes thundering over the hill and into the grazing meadow, and it’s the kind of sight that brings tears to your eyes. Well, to mine, anyway.
@Aji: Last time my aunt & uncle bagged an elk everybody she knew wound up with tons of sausage.
Mr S has made this Pueblo Green Chile Stew twice this summer with our own-grown New Mexico chiles (not Hatch, but quite similar), and it’s become one of our favorites. With the cooler weather (oh the relief!) I can’t wait to have it again. (Mr S has been the family chef for almost 30 years. I can cook, but I don’t enjoy it. He can and does.)
2 lbs boneless pork,cut into 1″ cubes
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 Tbs butter, lard, or bacon drippings
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp ground cumin
20 fresh green chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
Lightly coat pork cubes with flour. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan. Add pork cubes a few at a time, stirring to brown well. Push to the side of the pot. Add inion and garlic; cook until onion is soft. Stir in the browned meat. Add tomatoes, then salt, oregano, and cumin. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. Add green chiles; simmer 30 minutes or longer, adding a little more water if necessary, until flavors are well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings.
It’s from Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen. The recipe note says NM Senator Joe Montoya won the Capitol Chile Cook-off several times with this recipe.
@Mnemosyne: @TaMara (BHF):
Yes, you are both right about the grandmother and mother passing it down to us. I also admit it was a while and a few mistakes before I got it to taste right in my version. There never was or is a recipe to follow.
I make 2 soups for every monthly family dinner. Chicken soup is always one. The other ones have been French onion, broccoli cheese, etc. and last month it was stuffed pepper soup.
@MikeJ: Yeah, that’s been my experience with elk, too. We have a friend who shoots one just about every winter, and winds up giving us a bunch, which then sits in the freezer. Although I will say this: If you have an ailing dog, very little brings them back from the brink like drinking elk’s blood. Saved one of ours in a big way.
@Aji: Oh maaaaan… that’s an awesome (and I mean “awe inspiring” not the puerile slang the word has become) image. We’d eat buffalo a lot more if it were easier to find (San Diego area). Funnily enough, when we lived in Kentucky, there was a place which had a herd and sold some of their meat through a local farmers’ coop we used to buy from.
I hope that recipe I posted passes muster. ETA: your post, and subsequent replies to you all were posted while I was typing.
@SectionH: LOL – I’m a purist. In real NM cuisine (which is to say, NDN or old Hispanic) no tomatoes and definitely no cumin. But I realize that tons of people in this state use both, coming from elsewhere. The rest, absolutely – homemade, and you have lard, which is basically required for proper flavor. Although I have a question: Do you buy pork stew meat, or do you buy a lean cut of pork and make your own? I do the latter, because the stew meat around here is expensive, and it’s always half-gristle and fat. By the time I get it trimmed, it’s down to less than a third its original volume.
My sympathies on the buffalo situation. My understanding is that there are a couple of places that will ship it to you frozen, but I have no idea what the cost would be – probably hellishly expensive. Nothing at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (much as I loathe the latter)? We almost never eat beef; buffalo tastes better and is better for us – and doesn’t make my dairy allergy kick in – so no reason not to use it.
Vichyssoise, maybe. It’s freaking 90+ degrees outside.
I’m here! Not sure how much I’ll be around this weekend — I’m flying to Phoenix tomorrow morning to visit my mom for the weekend.
Have you seen my Pre-Code movies blog? It’s linked in my name. I have three whole posts on it.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): No! Seriously? I didn’t know you had it up. This is so cool – off to go read your three posts . . . .
ETA: Hit post too soon. Meant to add, safe travels to Phoenix. And my sympathies. Sounds hot and dry and Arpaio-ish.
@Aji: Heh. A purist about real Italian food might also say no tomatoes ;-> So thanks.
We buy most of our meat and poultry from a local source, Da-Le Ranch: they feed and treat their animals well. Not cheap, but I’m sure not personally worried about the salmonella outbreak. Agree with you about loathing Whole Foods. I’ve never seen buffalo at our local TJs. Mr S & I both prefer it – and ostrich – to beef, but they’re both about $30/lb frozen from a specialty place on the other side of SD from us, or zilch. And in terms of the ostrich, that’s really annoying, because I drive past a giant ostrich ranch 2-4 times a day, on my way to anywhere. I can pay tourist prices for blasted ostrich jerky, but there’s no fresh available.
@SectionH: Never had ostrich; I’ve heard it’s really good. I’d try it, happily.
We do have Smith’s and Albertson’s here, and both occasionally have commercial buffalo (it is labeled organic, IIRC, but it’s from big commercial operations), and I don’t like that much, either. It’s horribly expensive, but we buy local, too, and have fewer health issues in that regard by far than anyone we know. And like you said, no worries about the Salmonella Shutdown. Well, on that front, at least.
If you want, I can find out whether the tribal operation ships to CA . . . .
I love broccoli lightly steamed. It’s partially cooked, but still crisp and crunchy, yet not as hard as when it’s raw.
@Aji: Someone started an ostrich farm in the Bluegrass, and for a while one of the local groceries carried fresh meat. It was GREAT. Very lean, even leaner than buffalo, but treated right, rich and wonderful. The frozen stuff was just sad.
Rereading my comment, the “not personally worried” about the salmonella outbreak sounds really IGMFY. Thanks for taking it the way I meant it. I srsly had friends from Oz, UK, and the East Coast calling my attention to the news stories. And yeah, the “other front” of food in this country. With you there too.
If they ship? Oh yes please! You can email me about that at SectionH at fopaws dotcom
@SectionH: Okay, I’ll see what I can find out. Probably no info before Tuesday, at least. I did look online, but they no longer have the Project Web site up, apparently. it’s been a while since we’ve been up there to buy, so I’m hoping this doesn’t mean they’ve stopped selling it entirely. [I know there was a change in the leadership of it a year or two ago, but last i knew, they still had the project itself up and running.] If it turns out they’re not, I can always check with the local market to see whether their supplier ships retail.
And, yes, I figured that was how you meant it – relief for yourself and concern for everyone else, not IGMFY. :-D Same way I meant it, too.
@Aji: I’m not in a hurry. If it’s not possible to ship, that’s ok too. I’m pretty sure your local market can’t ship raw meat anywhere, much less to Cali. I might be interested in just knowing when fresh meat is available at the market, or if I could buy some (and how much would I need to commit to buying if allowed) from the tribe.
I haven’t been in NM since, well, since last week, but that doesn’t count, it was a drive through. I did spend a night in Lordsburg last month. OMG. After 5 years of basically not travelling, I can travel again, even if it’s mostly been “business” so far. I srsly do want to get back to northern NM when I can.