Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup


  • Dried wild mushrooms:  I've used various "blends" in the past, but for this soup there's one "must have" mushroom:  chantarelles.  I use a good handful of dried chanterelles.  This year I added about the same amount of dried porcinis.  
  • I had about 6 oz fresh shitakes that I couldn't use in time so I had stuck them in the freezer.  The texture of these mushrooms wouldn't be right, but for what I do with them they worked just fine.  Normally I use dried ones.  I pulled and ditched the tough stems.
  • You can use bone broth as a base, or just water is fine.   About 1  quart.
  • One large stalk celery, chopped
  • Handful of baby carrots, chopped.  
  • 1Tbs coarse chopped garlic (I use the toasted from a jar) . 
  • Stems (clean well!) from 2 pkgs baby portabellas.   (Make stuffed mushrooms from the caps)
  • 2c. light cream
  • Soy sauce (I like Tamari or Shoyu)
  • Thyme,  Basil

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kapusnyak ... Or is that Kartoplyanka?

The chill is coming back in the air, and that means it's soup, stew or as I like to call it, schtoop season!  It doesn't look all that great, and I wasn't going for presentation, but the soup above is a take on Ukranian sauerkraut soup:  Kapusnyak.  (Kapusta = cabbage).  I ended up making an almost full 8 quart Dutch oven full of this.  The traditional soup has one potato diced up for starch -- perhaps to cut the tang of the sauerkraut?  I added quite a lot more potato, hence the ? on whether or not to call this potato soup, Kartoplyanka!  It doesn't look too pretty, but it's delish!

Quick "Smoked" Pork Butt/Shoulder

On a recent trip to the Korean market, they had pork butt steaks on sale as well as pork shoulder (same part, different cut).  Usually I get a huge butt with bone in and slow smoke/roast it for over 12 hours, but thought I'd give a quicker method a try.  So I bought a package each of butt and shoulder that came to around 7 lbs combined.  The shoulder had skin on.  Both of these cuts are quite fatty and have a fair amount of connective tissue as well.  The "steaks" are about 2.5" thick cuts, and I decided to cook it "pot roast" style, like I do for beef. 

In my dutch oven, I heat about a quarter inch of oil pretty hot and -- cheater! -- about 3 T of liquid smoke, it was like a third of the 4 oz bottle.    I forgot it was a different brand with a larger opening, so it was quite a bit more smoke than I intended to add, but this turned out well so I plan to repeat my "mistake" the next time I make this pork.  If I had any bacon fat around I'd have used that, you can use your own source of frying fat.  I seared each steak well on all sides in the oil, then dumped in enough water to cover the pork (it came to about 3 quarts).  

Bring water to a boil then turn heat down to low to simmer.  I have an actual simmer burner on my ceramic-top stove.  I don't know what it is about this burner, but it simmers better than just an ordinary flame on low.  If I'm really wanting to leave something like this, I may stick the pot in the oven on around 300 F.  

I just let it go until it fell apart with a fork -- maybe 3 hours, maybe less even.   Take the pork out and reserve liquid.  I used my Oxo fat separator and toss the fat, YMMV there too.   If you're interested in the "tools" check that tab here at this blog!

Pork can be pulled or cut up.  I used this in soups.  The pork absorbed the smoke flavor nicely and was delish!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thai Veggie Soup from Asiana

The Asiana restaurant at The Royal in Cancun has AMAZING food.  My favorites are the sushi and the Thai veggie soup.  I asked for the recipe and here it is:
Sorry for the bad cellphone shot but I figured something is better than nothing!

  • Purple onion (this appears to be coarsely chopped)
  • Straw mushrooms
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken breast - diced
  • Coconut milk
  • Herbs of Limon (lemongrass?)
  • Basil (looked more like cilantro)
  • Chile ancho (appears to be just garnish, this is not a spicy soup)
  • Jalapeno (one or two slices, I can pick out the flavor but not the heat)
  • Fish sauce
OK so I really wanted to get this somewhere besides written on the back of a flimsy receipt.   This would fit in most meal plans.  I suspect just a little more chicken broth and less coconut milk would even fit it into a low fat plan.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Ham Surprise"

This is a recipe that has been with me since high school.  It is so non-traditional I hesitate to post it, but I will anyway.  The non-traditional part is funny because I learned this in high school -- I think it was social studies -- we did some sort of ethnic dish sharing/party thing.  Someone bought "Chinese rice" which I recognized to be white rice with green peas, ham, egg bits and soy sauce.  I used to make this for myself in single days -- easy, relatively cheap.  I've since added different things to it.

So I'm going to share this.  The low carbers can leave out the rice.  If you don't like ham, you can use chicken or other meat or tofu I suppose.  All ingredients are optional, and sorry, no pics.

  • Rice:  My favorite these days is Trader Joe's white basmati rice
  • About 1 lb ham:  I buy a prepackaged steak, or in a pinch have the deli make me a thick slice or two. 
  • 3-4 eggs, more if you like eggs and/or don't like meat
  • 1 can each: sliced water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn
  • Fresh snap peas and sprouts
  • Butter
  • Soy Sauce:   I like San J Gluten Free Tamari.
  • Drain canned veggies and dump into a container that has a good seal.  Add a liberal amount of "soy sauce".  Do this a couple hours ahead of time, seal the container, and  flip upside down periodically  so they all get soyed.
  • Start rice cooking*  (I do this now so it's hot and ready when everything else is)
  • Slice ham into strips (or cubes if you prefer),  I like them ~1/4"x1/2".  Fry the ham to brown.  Set aside.   
  • Scramble eggs and fry up scrambles.  Set aside.  
  • Throw the canned veggies and snap pea pods and sprouts into a HOT pan with the liquid.  This will steam the raw veggies and warm the canned ones.  
  • Add ham & eggs and mix
Serve:   I like to just mix everything and serve like a fried rice.  My husband prefers  the above mixture over buttered rice.  

I won't lie to you, this isn't Chinese fried rice, but it's quick, yummy and not at all a bad alternative if I should say so myself!  It can be pretty LC w/o the rice, low fat if you go easy on the butter. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pork Bone take!

This is not a recipe post, it's just sharing a "find" yesterday.  I've become enamored with bone broths and am amazed by the flavor difference in my stews, soups ... or as the hubby refers to them as stoups.  

Oh the broth these are gonna make!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Low Carb Enchiladas

I call these enchiladas as they are most like what I get on occasion at Mexican restaurants made with flour tortillas.  These are certainly not "authentic", but since I've been making these, my husband no longer wants to go out for Mexican anymore except for social occasions with friends and family.