The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Lima Bean Busy February 6, 2012

I’ve decided to make a feeble attempt to post something. It’s been a rather shame-inducing length of time since I actually did anything around here, so I think it’s due time that I get your bellies twist’n’shouting with something perhaps a little unexpected. Unless you’re one of those intriguing anomalies who doesn’t like anything legume-y, well!  I have just the ticket! My affinity for lima beans reigns supreme, once again, and I have a nice little soup that has passed inspection!

Oh yeah, Jon and I moved, so I’ll just let that take the blame for my extreme posting leave of absence. Can we just call it a leave of absence? Anyhoot, yes, Jon and I bought our first house and have been here for exactly 8 days now! I’ve gussied up the kitchen to my liking (including a glorious rolling wooden kitchen island from Ikeeeeeeeeea), and am seriously enjoying my recent cooking endeavors. We kicked off our first (non-takeout/fast food) meal here with Red Beans and Rice. Everything else has been pretty damn great! Now, I do apologize for a lack of pictures in this post, but you’ll have to forgive me because I haven’t yet located my camera, amongst the slew of boxes.

This is my idea of a real superbowl, and it doesn’t leave the most unsavoury aftertaste of Madonna’s pigskin-esque body shaking around, afterward. Now that your appetite is raring to go, let’s do this.
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Ritzy Lima Bean Soup (I’m sorry, I’m Mad Men-ing again)

Ingredients

  • 4 (or 5?) strips of bacon, sliced 1″
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I removed half the seeds and ribs)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1″
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 2 cups frozen (or fresh, if you’re lucky) lima beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water (or stock)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (whatever kind you want)
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

First things first, fry up that bacon. It’s fine right in your cooking pot, which doesn’t have to be too huge, medium-large is good. Once it’s brown and crisp, drain the fat (save it, save it!), and add butter. Yes, this is what you’re doing. Add carrots, onion, celery, jalapeno, potatoes, and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. Add corn and lima beans, and bay leaf. Stir and add enough water or chicken stock to cover all ingredients about 1″. Add basil, paprika, a little salt and pepper (to season the vegetables as they cook). Let it come to a boil, and drop the heat to a simmer, around medium-low. Cook for 25 minutes or so, until the lima beans are soft and buttery. Add cream, stir, check seasoning and serve!

I wouldn’t exactly know what to serve with this, as it’s extremely good on it’s own, and that’s how I enjoyed it. However, it’s one of those cute, yet elegant dishes, where you feel like Melba Toast should be in the picture somewhere. I don’t know, whatever that guy at the Maidstone Club is having with it?

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Dass all I have for now, I hope that you are enticed, despite pictures, and that unabashed jab at Madonna. I promise you though, it is beautiful and serves up very attractively. Even if you have unattractive dinnerware!

Happy trails then,
Meg.

 

Hearth Soup August 22, 2011

I honestly had no idea what to call this recipe. There is so much going on in this soup, but it all fits together so, so nicely. It’s the kind of soup that makes you feel cozy, warm, and just comfortable in general. It makes you feel good about everything. The same kind of feeling you get when you drink from your favourite old, chipped pottery mug, and the coffee is the best you ever tasted. That feeling. Home. The hearth. If I had to give this recipe a name based on it’s ingredients, however, it’d be Brown Rice, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup. That’s a mouthful, nawp.
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Anyhow, I’m sharing this recipe with you now, and I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a coon’s age! I don’t even think I have a legitimate excuse, just laziness, I guess. If it’s any consolation, if you continue to scroll after this post, I’ve posted several recipes that I’ve come up with in the past little while (and believe me, there are lots more beyond those). Buttermilk-blueberry pancakes with maple-lime blueberry syrup, zucchini bread with cashews and cranberries, and some tasty maple granola that is CHOCK FULL of little treats. I haven’t stopped cooking in my posting absence! So, please take a look at those, they aren’t as carefully laid out as most of my posts, and they don’t all have pictures, but they’re there, and I promise they’re good!
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Moving on with this one though!
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Hearth Soup
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Ingredients
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6 oz bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet potato, in 1/2″ cubes
1 carrot, in 1/2″ cubes
1 leek, (washed) sliced in half and cut in 1/4″ pieces (moons)
1 stalk celery, sliced lengthwise and in 1/4″ dice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted for any stones
1/2 cup brown rice (basmati brown, if possible, amazing aroma)
6 cups water or chicken stock
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper (not too fine)
1 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp dry oregano
3/4 tsp dry basil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
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Method
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In a large saucepan or pot, saute bacon until browned somewhat (I like to start it out with a little water, to sort of cook it through and evenly bring out the fat, and let it evaporate). Add sweet potato, carrot, leek, celery, and saute until browned, maybe 4 minutes or so. Add garlic, and cook till fragrant, a minute or so. Add water (or stock), a little at a time, stirring on the bottom to de-glaze the pan (collect the brown bits for flava-flav). After it’s all in, bring to a simmer, add lentils and brown rice, along with all remaining ingredients. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are soft, and broth is well-flavoured. Adjust seasoning to your tastes, and serve with some crusty brown bread, and then feel the sudden urge to call your parents and tell them you love them.
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Now scroll!
(I’ll try to keep up with the frequent posts, sorry again!)

 

Homina, homina, hominy. July 4, 2011

Smokey Hominy Soup, my chickens!
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Yesterday, Jon brought home this “When Country Comes to Town,” 2011 Brant County Culinary Guide (see here!). Page 9, Three Sisters Soup caught my attention (Jon’s boss, Matt Lee is on page 13 with a soup recipe that looks rather nice too), and I went on this bender trying to figure out what I had and if I could make it. No, I couldn’t. So, I got my friend Laura‘s recipe from her blog, and decided to start with that. Well, it’s Summer. Summer means I like smoky, cumin-y things, and I started to make that soup… And then I got carried away. I couldn’t stop adding things, and here’s what happened.
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If you haven’t tried hominy, PLEASE do so. It’s got a really unique texture, nothing at all like normal corn. It is delicious, a bit nutty, and.. agh. Just, love.
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Smokey Hominy Soup
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Ingredients
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3 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz smoked pork belly (or other smoked pork stuffs), diced
1 medium onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, sliced on the bias (small though)
1 carrot, same as celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (Campbell’s soup size, whatever that is) hominy corn, drained and rinsed
1 medium sized new potato, diced
8 cups water (go ahead and use stock if you have it, veggie or chicken, or porkish)
1 156mL can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp hot paprika
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dry oregano
1 can (Campbell’s size) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to taste (lots of both, if you ask me)
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Method
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Okay, grab a biggish cooking pot, turn ‘er up to medium-high, add the olive oil. When it’s hot enough to saute the veggies (test by throwing a piece of onion in, I always say!), throw ’em in there. By which I mean, the onions, carrot, celery, along with the pork belly. When those are good and browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or until fragrant. Then, add all the other ingredients, starting with the water, to deglaze (scrape the brown bits off the bottom, a little water at a time). Bring to a simmer, and drop the heat to low. Cook until potatoes are done, if you’re short on time, but if you want good soup, REALLY good soup, cook it for a long time. The slow-cooker, even, would be amazing for this. I cooked this for 7 or 8 hours (mostly because I was waiting for bread to finish all it’s many risings, and also, because I was really irresponsible and fell asleep for 3.5 hours). Anyhow, serve it with huge hunks of bread and be done with it. So good.
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I’m done. Have to eat more of this soup now. Yeaaaaaah. Here’s Laura’s recipe, before I go: Laura’s Three Sisters Soup!
Her blog never ceases to amaze me. She is a wonderful woman.

 

If you ain’t Deutsch, you ain’t meutsch. March 20, 2011

Hello, Readers!

I’ve got a quickie new recipe to share with yezz, just a straight up-and-down recipe, I’m sorry, no pics for this one. I made it last night, after a pretty long, terrible week, one of those, “I can’t bring myself to eat,” kind of weeks. So, more or less, just too exhausted to mess around with photos, I just wanted something in my stomach, fast. For one of my soup recipes, it’s pretty speedy to make, you won’t need many ingredients, and it’s pretty economical, if I do say so! I went on a bit of a German bender last week, so here’s what came out of it. Comforting, to the point, and pretty dern easy. This soup will make you feel safe and cozy. A dumpling recipe at it’s best. For those of you who don’t know, here’s Wiki’s take on spätzle.
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Deutschland Smoked Sausage and Spätzle Soup
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Ingredients

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1 Tbsp bacon fat (or oil, or butter)
1 medium onion, chopped small dice
2 ribs celery, chopped small dice or sliced diagonally
1 medium carrot, sliced diagonally
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 smoked sausages, sliced diagonally
3 large leaves of cabbage, cut into 2-3 inch pieces, rather haphazardly
Chicken stock, or a combination of chicken and beef stock (unless you’ve got pork stock on hand, but go ahead with bouillon if needed)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp caraway seed
salt and pepper, to taste
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Method
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In a good sized (medium/large) pot, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat, and when it comes up to temperature, add veggies (excluding cabbage), sauteeing about 3-5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute, or till fragrant. Then, add in the sausage, and brown lightly. Next, add the chicken stock, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, drop the heat down to a simmer (medium-low, low as needed), cover with the lid ajar, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. For the spätzle, I used a recipe from Food.com, here’s the link! I went with the bigger ones, go ahead and use what you like. Just cook until they float to the top, and in my experience, with the bigger ones, maybe a couple of minutes extra. Make sure the soup is boiling when you drop them in though! Also, feel free to throw in some tomato paste or diced tomatoes, (and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity) for a little extry flavour. So, that’s that. I hope you like!
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megohm, over and out!

 

The Most Wonderful Thyme of the Year (Ha! Ha-ha! Ohhh…) December 26, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Soups, Sauces and Stews — Meg @ 10:32 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well, I hope you all had a merry, if not decent Crimpsence. Unless you are non-denominational, other-denominational, and/or the kind of Atheist who is so stern, you cannot bring yourself to celebrate the warm, bustling joys of Crimpsence. Even I let my guard down around Crimpsence time, though. In light of that, I am here to post a recipe that I have been putting off for no particular reason for quite a while now. Leek fuckin’ soup (Boxing Day is my second favourite day to swear, besides Crimpsence Eve). I do realize that it’s been a good (bad?) amount of time since I’ve posted a recipe, but I suppose I figured that your families were already fattening you up like little woodland creatures, and you did not need my additional help. I’ve been stupendously busy myself (a week’s worth of 11 hour shifts at the bakery), cooking multiple turkeys, hams, and My Boss Gave Me A Chicken chickens. Very nice. I must admit that I’m at my wit’s end with poultry for the moment though, but will be renouncing that ailment on New Year’s, because I’m trying quail for the first time on that occasion. O, Glorious Eve!
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So, I will also essentially be using this post as a photodump for the day. Just because I feel like showing off the surplus of cooking-related-inspired Crimpsence gifts I received this year. Although, one of them is soaking in the sink right now, so you’ll have to console yourself in knowing that you will not be viewing a Paula Deen red and white porcelain roasting set today.
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VAS-Y!
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Leek fuckin’ Soup (with ‘tatoes)
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Ingredients
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3 Tbsp butter (I’m actually going to go out on a limb and say do not substitute bacon fat here)
1 tsp oil
2 leeks – sliced thinly in half-moons (make sure you clean them first though! I love grits but not in leek-foodstuffs)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 medium sized potatoes – 1″ chunks (leave the skins on for VITAMINS and pretty)
1 heaping tsp summer savory
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch each of salt and pepper
1 cup heavy cream (DO IT)
salt and pepper for seasoning
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Method
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In a good-sized pot (I used Old Red, enamel cast iron dutch oven), melt butter with oil over medium heat. Wait till the foam from the butter calms down, then add leeks, cook until wilted slightly, and bright green, add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add 4 Tbsp flour, cook until “taste goes,” as my week-ago taken note says.  Cook a minute or two, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn, until it turns a richer colour of yellow, it will taste ever-s0-slightly-nuttier, which is a good thing during the holidays. Next, gradually, while stirring, add chicken stock, until all is incorporated, and you do not have lumps. Bust out a whisk if necessary. Add potatoes, savory, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook till potatoes are tender, with the lid ajar, over medium-low heat. Remove about a cup of the potatoes. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream (yeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Thanks to Jon for unknowingly buying the largest carton possible without me knowing, it proved very useful in my endeavors). Mash the reserved 1 cup of potatoes slightly (use a fork, just make them look ugly), then stir back into the soup. This aids in the thickening, as if the roux and heavy cream weren’t enough. Check for seasoning and serve! … I had some homemade bread, which I toasted and broiled cheese on top, then threw that on the soup. Sweet, calorific Jebus. YES.
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NOW TO BRAG ABOUT MY PRESENTS LIKE THE KNOW-IT-ALL FIVE YEAR OLD THAT I AM!
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BAM. Paula Deen Covered Casserole from my yiddle brother-in-law-kinda. Oh, the cans of mushroom soup that will inhabit this beast… Matches the PD ramekins he also gave me, and the roasting set from Yon.
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Some nice flavoured olive oils (Lemon, Basil, Chili, Rosemary, + Modena Balsamic Vinegar) from Mudder-in-law-kinda.
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A DELIGHTFUL stainless-steel mixing bowl/measuring utensils/cups set from other brudder-in-law-kinda!
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A glass covered-casserole set from same brudder-in-law! LASAGNE, anyone?
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Omfg jars for flour/sugars from mudder-in-law-kinda. SO HAPPY about these. I feel pro.
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A wine-making kit for Jon from my mumma!
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The wine rack Jon received from me, plus the multiple (THERE ARE MORE that wouldn’t fit!) wines we received.
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Mo’fuckin’ cake caddy from Gramma! Now my cat cannot eat them when I’m not looking!
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Without cake, she is forced to eat Crimpsence lights.
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One of two antique hook hangers (other is yellow tulips) my aunt Jo gave me!
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My new apron-hanger! heh heh. Canada geese! My mom made this a long time ago! From Aunt Jo.
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From Aunt Jo, a willow basket my mom made years ago, filled with goodies (now fruit,etc)! The cast-iron muffin tin (muffin cast irons?) it in was a prezzie from Daddhu. It is SO old and SO heavy! But I plan to make corn muffins in them anyhow. Luh dis.
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Our little Crimpsence tree, adorned with the gentile-looking Herbie, Fat Bird to Rule Them All.
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Another fat bird to rule them all. Just one of the fowl that I cooked this year… This was for my work Crimpsence dinrar. 22 lbs!
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Okay, this post is long enough. I’m going to make more coffee.
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Merry Boxing Day, all!
megohm, over and out!

 

Sopa de Dexter, amongst other things! November 15, 2010

Reasons why I haven’t posted in a coon’s age:
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– I’ve been going in to work at the bakery an hour early every morning (4:45am) this past week, and falling asleep randomly when I get home.
– I’m generally a very lazy person, unless I become enraged and decide to channel my rage into FIERCE housework/cleaning.
Dexter.
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On the bright side, Dexter is going to do a lot for this post, in particular. I have been binging myself on the T.V. series, Dexter, and in the matter of a week’s time, I’m a few episodes away from being up to speed with season 5 (working back from season 1). I am shameless. I am in love with a serial killer. I am in love with Miami, and I am in love with pork sandwiches, and all things Cuban food. I daresay Cubans are more fond of pork than even I. Obviously, they are no less than awesome.
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This post will include a slew of Cuban-inspired/mildly authentic-seeming recipes that I’ve been eating/cooking with brute force. I figure, when it’s cold and crummy outside, I may as well watch/immerse myself in sunny Miami, while eating extremely satisfying food to match. What goes better with black beans and rice than a blood-soaked room and a murder investigation? NOTHING.
Not to mention, if you’re a fan of Dexter, does that show not make you hungry?! Come on, the intro is just food closeups (somehow, Michael C. Hall makes chewing on a piece of ham steak sexy, if that’s not Emmy-worthy, what is…), and they’re CONSTANTLY eating, and talking about pork sandwiches and sopa de whatever.
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Anyhow, to the recipes. As Sgt. Angel Batista would say, I am experiencing too much “passione.” Lawwwwl.
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First things first. An amazing Cuban stew/soup that I cannot stop making/eating. For now, I’m calling it Sopa de Dexter. JUST BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT. It’s very savoury and well, I hate this word, but “zesty,” (robust, maybe?) and a little hint of spice, but really not much at all. It’s got tons of healthy vegetables in it, but also some “healthy,” porky goodness. The squash I chose to use in this was a Kabocha squash (typically used in a lot of Japanese cooking, but my mom brought me a couple, and I still have one kicking around), and you could really use any kind of squash, but this one seems quite hearty, and holds it’s shape well, despite extreme tenderness and a more savoury flavour than most other squashes I’ve come across. I love this squash to my core. Normally, I do not love any kind of squash at all. Also, this soup calls for beans. I used kidney this past time around, but I also used white beans before (Navy, haricots, whatever). I would also suggest using black beans or chick peas. Even though chick peas and I do not have the best history together, they do have good intentions.
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Sopa de Dexter
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Ingredients
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2 Chorizo sausages (or smoked sausages), sliced on an angle
4 oz bacon or salt pork, diced
2 small onions, small dice
5 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, small dice
1/2 green pepper, small dice
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup dried beans (or a can of pre-cooked)
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp lime juice or red wine vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1- 1 1/2 cups cubed, peeled squash (1/2 – 1″ cubes)
1 medium potato, cut in 1-2 inch chunks
1 cup shredded cabbage
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Method

In a pot, cook diced bacon. Add onion, celery and pepper, cook until slightly softened. Add garlic, and cook for a minute or so. Add Chorizo and brown lightly. Stir in tomato paste, then add about 8 – 10 cups of water, as much as you like, really, but that’s a good starting point. Give it a good stir to make sure all the tomato paste is dissolved. Add beans, oregano, cumin and lime juice or vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until beans are softened, or just about. Then stir in squash, potatoes and cabbage. Cover loosely with lid ajar, and let simmer until they are tender, but not falling apart when you test the potatoes and squash with a knife. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. I particularly like this with a big hunk of crusty bread fo’ dippinz. This is my ultimate Dexter-watching meal.
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Shrimp Remoulade
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If you haven’t had a good Shrimp Remoulade (reh-moo-lad), you haven’t lived. Any of those $5 shrimp cocktails with ketchup-horseradish sauces can go to hell, because Shrimp Remoulade will always blow it out of the water. Literally. Shrimp cocktails flying through the air across the salty ocean. It happens. At any rate, Shrimp Remoulade is essentially a shrimp cocktail, but the swankest of the swank. The zazziest of the zazzy. If you’re eating Shrimp Remoulade regularly, I suggest investing in a high quality smoking jacket as well. I make it a few different ways, but for the Miami version, an ode to my dear Dexter Morgan (and Deb Morgan, why not?), I made it with lime juice and general awesomeness. What sets a recipe like this apart from most other “cocktail,” styles of shrimp, is that this recipe involves a “boil,” and I don’t just mean a pot of water. I’m talking about a heavily spiced and flavoured pot of water (more of a broth or liquor), which is very typical of Southern shrimp boils. Similar to a crab boil or crawfish boil.  Jon is a big fan of this recipe, “the best shrimp you’ve ever made.” So, you know… I’m just sayin’…
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Ingredients
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For the boil:
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10 cups water
6 bay leaves, ground (throw them in a blender/Magic Bullet/spice grinder, or use a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp paprika
10 whole peppercorns
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp hot pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp salt
1 lime (or lemon), halved (optional)
1 ½ lbs raw shrimp in shell (or more! however many you can fit, really), if using frozen, make sure to thaw first…
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Method
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Get yourself a big ol’ pot with a lid. Whatever you’d make a big pot of soup in, that’ll do fine. Add all ingredients from water down to the lime (or lemon), if you’re using that. Othewise, from 10 cups of water down to the 1 Tbsp salt. Give all of that a stir, bring to a simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Now it’s time to cook dem shrimps. You can leave them in the shell (I think it makes for nicer presentation, and well, they’re more fun to peel them as you go, when you eat), but make sure to devein them if they aren’t already. Otherwise, just pull the shell/legs off, and you’ll still have a nice mess of shrimp to eat. So, the pot is still simmering! Just add your shrimp in, all of them! Stir gently and let them simmer for 3-4 minutes, 5 minutes maximum (you won’t need to cook them 5 minutes though), until the shrimp turn bright orangey-pink and curl into a “C,” shape. If you overcook them, bear in mind that they’ll be rubbery as all hell. You can usually tell this by the “O,” shape they curl into. A perfectly cooked shrimp will still give a little “pop!” when you bite into them, but won’t be soft and squishy at all. So, anyhow, get those shrimps out using a slotted spoon, or strain them using a colander. Either way, save the liquid. It makes for a damn fine shrimp stock if you’re into making gumbo or bisque, or any kind of shrimpy soupstew-type thing. Chill the shrimp in the fridge until nice and cold, and serve with Remoulade Sauce (now would be a good time to make that, by the way).
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For the Remoulade Sauce
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Ingredients
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1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp grainy Dijon
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
3 Tbsp finely diced celery
½ tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce (more if you like, same goes for cayenne)
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp lime juice
Green onion, chopped
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Method
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Okay, this is stupid easy. Put everything into a bowl. Mix it. Check for seasoning (salt and pepper). Top with green onions, transfer to serving bowl. Hey, presto, you did it!
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So, you can serve the shrimp with the Remoulade as an appetizer, or whatever you see fit. I served it with a coleslaw and yellow rice on the side. So here are the recipes for those, if you’re keen to make them.
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For the yellow rice, typically, one living in Cuba or Miami would use Annato seeds, but I do not have the option here, so I went with Saffron. That adds some swank too, I suppose.
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In a pot, sautée in 1 tsp cooking oil:
¼ cup diced red pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
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When softened, add 2 cloves minced garlic. Let cook around one minute until fragrant. Remove vegetables/garlic from pot, and add another 1 tsp oil to the pot. Add 1 cup of rice, and gently toast it over medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, watching constantly (you don’t want it to burn). Rice will smell nutty and toasty and you’ll hear it popping throughout. When it’s slightly browned, add 2 cups chicken stock, the previously sautéed veggies, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 tsp saffron. It should come to a simmer almost immediately (or just let it come back up to a simmer), give it a stir, cover and turn heat to low. Let it cook 15 minutes (no peeking!), then turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes, covered. Rice: DONE.
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For the coleslaw dressing, I didn’t go with a typical mayonnaise-based sauce (I already used quite a bit in the Remoulade, etc.), I did a sweet-sour vinegar based dressing. Typically this calls for sugar and vinegar, but I had some homemade rhubarb jam in the fridge, so I used that, and it was quite good!
To make that, combine in a small saucepan:

¼ cup rhubarb jam
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice
pinch salt and pepper
Optional: 1/4 tsp celery seeds
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Bring to a simmer, let cook, stirring, until everything is homogeneously mixed, and some of the water has evaporated. It should be thick enough so that it doesn’t slide off a wood spoon when you test it, but not thick enough to coat it. Let it cool thoroughly, and pour it over 1/4 or 1/2 head shredded cabbage (along with matchstick carrots and red bell pepper, and I also like to throw in some kind of nut, and quite often dried cranberries). That’s it!
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Okay, final recipe!
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Salchichas Estofado (or, stewed sausages, tastes better than it sounds, ahha)
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This is a very, very tasty dish that Jon and I came up with. But, you will require some stomach room, so be wary of that. The sausages (we used smoked, but you could also use Chorizo) added a really nice smokey flavour to the entire dish. If you can’t find smoked, try to find smoked paprika, since the dish calls for paprika anyhow. This is a really rich and hearty meal, so, you know, plan accordingly. haha. This was served with more yellow rice, and some roasted sweet potato chips.
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Ingredients
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1 tsp fat (porkporkpork!)
1 medium onion, smal dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped (I like small dice, as with most sofrito/trinity/mirepoix ingredients)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 smoked sausages, sliced diagonally in 3
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (or smoked paprika, if you can)
1/2 – 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
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Method
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In a large skillet, sautée onion, celery and bell pepper until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add sausage and let brown, making sure to stir fairly often. Add 1 can of tomato paste, mixed with the 1.5 – 2 cups water (however thick you’d like your sauce, initially), to form a sauce. Add to the skillet, with sugar, lime juice, oregano, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and a little salt and pepper to start. Cover and let cook 10-15 minutes, simmering over medium/medium-low heat. remove lid and let simmer 3-5 minutes, till sauce thickens to your liking. Check for seasoning, and serve over rice!
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So, there you have it. A boatload of recipes (“Slice of Life,” anyone? Anyone?) to keep your belly satisfied while your mind witnesses the horrors and eroticisms of Dexter Morgan and his dark passenger. Or, if you’re just hungry as all hell. You know. I recommend listening to Buena Vista Social Club to enhance the cooking experience. Here’s a taste:
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That’s all for now I suppose, I will make an effort to post very soon, I feel like such a crumbum for not posting in ages. Now, to read Seven Centuries of English Cooking, and contemplate tonight’s dinner (if you haven’t guessed, I’m on an English tangent at the moment, now). So, for now, cheerio!
Megohm over and OWT!

 

Saaaay Chowdah, Frenchie!!! October 15, 2010

There’s nothing French about this recipe. Okay, well, there’s a bit of roux-action going on, and some thyme. Fine.  Anyways, I don’t care what anyone says, it’s cold as a witch’s tit (HEH) right now (sub-zero temperatures the other day), and I MUST have some form of soup when necessary. After some cooking videos, I’m all tuckered out, I wanted something easy, something I could cook in flannel pajama pants and my college hoodie. Something with a few layers of delicious fat. That’s right. My fridge is becoming barren again – mostly due to the fact I cook all the choice meats first, then leave myself with scraps, but I still have plenty of hocks and salt pork on hand, not to mention a generous amount of bacon fat in my frigidaire, ho ho. Anyhow, after a disastrous attempt at an Asian-y noodle soup yesterday, I decided I was ready to make something I’m actually mentally capable of.
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Tonight I made chowdah. Potato and corn chowder. I’m not the type of person who keeps clams in my kitchen, nor am I the type who enjoys simmered fish dishes, nor do I actually trust the majority of the seafood available at my grocery store. That place is practically run by pizza-faced teenagers, yeesh. Talk about food poisoning… I’m sure your appetite is raring to go after that last statement, so let’s endeavor on. This is a pretty simple recipe. Also, it’s nice and robust for a potato and corn chowder, not just milk and blandness. I put a healthy amount of freshly cracked black pepper in, so, yes. Oh, and don’t get scared about the roux business. It’s fat and flour. You can do that. If you can make a simple white sauce for macaroni and cheese, you can do this. Actually, it’s probably easier and should be less intimidating. Allons-y!
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Shit, that was French too, wasn’t it…
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Peppery Potato & Corn Chowder
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Ingredients
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1 tsp fat (guess what kind I used! Okay, you can use olive oil, if you waaaaannnt. Baconbaconbacon for the win, though)
4 oz salt pork, cut into very small cubes (but of COURSE, you could use BACON instead, if need be)
1 medium onion, chopped into small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk (Homo or no-go! Well, 2% will work, but I’ll have less respect for you…)
1/2 cup cream (I used 10%)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 – 3/4 tsp FRESH cracked black pepper
1 lb new potatoes, in big-ish 1″ chunks (red skin potatoes look nice though, I think)
1 1/2 cups corn niblets (fresh, or frozen will do)
salt, to taste

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Method
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In a saucepan (ehh.. smallish soup pot, 8 cups or so will work for you), heat 1 tsp fat over medium-high heat, then add salt pork. Cook, stirring frequently until brown and crispy. Pour off all but about 2-3 Tbsp fat. Add onions, and sweat (not browning) until they soften up a bit, and turn clear. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Then, add flour, stirring constantly until all of it is moistened, and not especially lumpy. Cook for a minute or two to get the raw flour taste cooked off, then stir in chicken stock, about 1/2 cup to start with, gradually adding more while you stir. Next, add milk and cream. Bring up to a simmer, stirring constantly over medium heat, until it thickens somewhat. Add nutmeg, cayenne, thyme and black pepper, stirring, then add potatoes. Let simmer, partially covered until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently, to prevent bottom-stickage. Add corn, cook about 4 or 5 minutes until it is just cooked and tender (should still have that *pop!* to it when you bite). Season with salt to taste and serve.
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Also, I served this with a piece of 100% whole wheat bread from my work, on the side. It was a nice match. I would also suggest cornbread as a side, too. Oh!  If you wish, you could add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce to this too, but I just didn’t feel like it tonight. Another nice variation of this would be to add shrimp. All you need to do there is add it at the very end, along with the corn, would be a good measure of time. Cook just until the shrimp turns opaque and pink (obviously, I am suggesting raw shrimp, not those dastardly pre-cooked abominations). If you’re going that route, you may as well substitute shrimp stock for the chicken stock, too. But, chicken stock will do just fine. I like to save my shrimp shells and freeze them, so I can make homemade shrimp stock for instances like gumbo, etc..
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Okay, so that’s what I’ve got for tonight (this is my 3rd post today, Holy Christmas…), although I might post my recipe for Spanish-y Shrimp with an olive-studded tomato sauce over rice. Inspired by my dear compadre, Rob, who’s in Nice, France right now, but cavorting with Spaniards most of the time. I made that last week, and it was especially good.
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Also, I noticed in my search results, someone wanted to know about the cookbook I use with the recipe for Doughboys (which went along with my split pea soup). So, THIS is the book I own/love. Incidentally, there are some good, good chowder recipes in that cookbook, too.
ANYHOW.
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Megohm, over and out!