Friday, March 27, 2009

Clam Chowder

Snow storm yesterday; so good day for a cream soup and I decided on Clam Chowder.

I make all of my cream soups with the same base; a roux. While a roux is usually made with equal amounts of butter and flour; I usually use more flour as it makes it thicker. As the link above states; it is cooked till it no longer has a flour taste. Once I have the roux I can add broccoli, or potatoes and cheese, or corn and bacon for a corn chowder; or in this case potatoes, celery and clams for clam chowder.

  • 1 stick butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 quart mile
  • 1 small potato diced small
  • 2 ribs celery diced small
  • 2 cans minced clams
  • savory salt and pepper to taste

  • Melt the butter and then add the flour, stiring into a paste and simmer until the flour taste is gone.
  • Slowly add the milk. At first it will thicken quite a bit, and then as you add more milk and continue to stir it will get thinner. It will slowly thicken back up as it reduces.
  • At the same time boil the potatoes and celery until the potatoes are cooked. Pour off the excess liquid; but you don't have to strain it as having a little extra liquid as fine.
  • Once the roux is a little thicker than you want the soup, add the clams including the juice; and then add the potatoes and celery with a little of the liquid. This should get it to about the consistency you want for soup. It will thicken a little as it cooks.
  • Let it simmer over low heat until it thickens and to allow time for the flavors to mix. This can cook in a slow cooker for a few hours; or on the stove over low for 15 to 30 minutes

You can pretty much adjust any part of this for own taste. And once you have this; you can use it for many other cream soups.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crock Pot Pork Roast w/ Cabbage

This took me 5 minutes to make and turned out really well.

  • 1.5# Pork Loin - don't trim the fat
  • Savory Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Head of cabbage cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 Can Green Beans
  • 1 Onion Chopped in about 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Family Size can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • Put Pork Loin in bottom of the crock pot, fat side up, and season with savory salt and pepper.
  • Add cabbage wedges around the pork
  • Put onion and green beans on top
  • Cover with soup straight from the can, i.e, don't add any water/milk. In our crock pot I am able to cover the ingredients and have the soup form sort of a seal. This traps in the heat and keeps everything moist.
  • Cook "all day" - This is usually about 10 hours for us

This turned out really well. The fat all "melted off" and because none of the veggies put off that much liquid, the soup/sauce was actually still pretty creamy. The pork was very tender.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Italian Stir Fry w/ Whole Wheat Cheese Tortellini

As usual - amounts are approximate as I just throw stuff together. This is one of Jaime's favorite things, except we usually put it on spaghetti; but based on something Tif said to me the other day I decided to go with a different pasta. I was looking for something whole wheat and saw fresh whole wheat three cheese tortellini and it worked out great.

  • 1/2 white onion, julienne
  • 1/2 green bell pepper and 1/2 red bell pepper, julienne
  • one stalk celery sliced thin
  • Small "stalk" of broccoli, flowers chopped a few time snd stalk sliced thin
  • 5 cloves of garlic sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup snap peas diced
  • 5 mushrooms sliced - each one about 4 slices
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breast; sliced thin and about 1 inch long
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tomato diced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs basil
  • 1 package tortellini

  • Boil water for the tortellini and add the pasta once the water is boiling, cooking according to directions while cooking the veggies - then drain until ready to add to sauce.
  • Turn electric skillet onto 350, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat.
  • Start preping veggies and add them as you prep them; stirring them in the oil as you add each one.
  • Add herbs and garlic
  • Add the chicken and stir-fry with the tomatoes until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
  • Just before done add in the tomato paste and thoroughly mix until combined.
  • When ready to server add in the pasta, combine and put into a large pasta dish for family style serving.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

What are you?

I took the Harley to the grocery store the other day. Coming out there was a family in front of me and the mom was talking to another family who was in front of us. I loaded up the bike with the bags, put the cart away and was putting on my gloves and goggles when the 6 year old little boy turned and saw me.

"WHAT ARE YOU???" he asked with this excited voice.

Before I could say anything his mom responded with, "He's a super hero!"

The boy looked at me in awe and said, "oh..." and then climbed into his van.

The mom turned to me and said "He meant that in a good way" a little nervous. I just laughed and said, "I know."

So there... I'm a super hero. Brightened my day! :)