Minestrone Soup á la Aunt Teri

Posted on March 16th, 2009 by Danielle.
Categories: cheesey, dinner, onion, recipe, sausage, Stews.

For Christmas this year my family decided to make gifts for one another.  My gift included all of the family soup recipes.  I came across this minestrone soup recipe and though I’ve never really favored this soup, I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m beyond glad that I did!  It was rich, broth-y and filling.  I loved it and you will too!

Minestrone Soup:

1 lb. of Italian bulk sausage
2-3 stalks celery diced
2-3 carrots sliced
2 onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1-28oz can of italian diced tomatoes
2-8oz. cans tomato sauce
2 Tbs parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cans beef broth
1  tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
———————

2 small zucchini sliced
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 can great northern beans (or cannellini if you prefer)
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
Parmesan cheese

Begin by browning and draining the Italian bulk sausage.  Place browned sausage in a large stock pot with 3 cups of water on high heat.  Boil for 8 minutes then add all of the ingredients above the dashed line. Reduce the pot to a simmer and cook for 1 hour (or as much as 6 hours).

After the hour add the rest of the ingredients and the noodles.  Simmer for 1/2 hour more or until macaroni is cooked.  Serve with Parmesan cheese and a good bread.

Follow The Recipe Extra:
This recipe makes a ton of soup and it’s a filling soup at that.  Luckly its a soup that freezes very, very well.  Put any extras in a tuperware in the freezer.  When ready to reheat, put it in a stock pot and add a little water on med heat.  It will defrost nicely and taste wonderful.

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EZ Jambalaya

Posted on January 15th, 2008 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, Cajun, chicken, dinner, onion, rice, shrimp, spicy, Stews.

I love Cajun food! The spicier the better. So one day I was craving red beans and rice, so I went to look up a recipe. That’s when I came across a description of Jambalaya. It sounded way better, plus I like protein and it has 4 different kinds. Since I started making the dish, it has been a huge hit, the presentation is impressive (usually a large tray of rice in a circle with the stew in the middle) and no one guesses that it was one of the easiest dinners to make. Give it a try for a party!

Jambalaya

EZ Jambalaya

1-2 skinless chicken breasts; cubed
1 package of beef sausage or kilbasa, sliced
1/2 lb frozen shrimp
-optional bacon; diced or ham steak cubed, or some type of white fish.
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 can beef consume
1 can french onion
1 small can tomato sauce
2 tbs. butter
tabasco
Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
3 cups rice

Begin by starting rice on the stove. (For making rice see here.) In a large stock pot combine remaining ingredients except for shrimp, tabasco and creole seasoning. Set pot on the stove and set burner to high or med-high. Allow the pot to boil for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. In the meantime, defrost the shrimp per package instructions. After 10 minutes the chicken should be white and cooked almost all the way through. Reduce heat to medium and add shrimp. Also add tabasco and creole seasoning to taste. Let it simmer until rice is finished. Serve.

Follow the Recipe Extra:
If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and an iron or high quality stock pot you can also put this in the oven with a lid (@350) for a few hours (stir occasionally, but be careful, the pot will be hot!). The crock pot also works, but not as well I think. You can usually find creole seasoning at your local grocery store. Add a little at a time till you get used to using it. It’s deliciously spicy but it’s also surprisingly salty. Use it sparingly at first; adding a little at a time as you taste.

3 comments.

New England Clam Chowder

Posted on December 31st, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: bacon, chowder, clam, dinner, Intermediate, onion, potatoes, Stews.

…And We’re Back!

For two years while still in college I used to work for a restaurant that rhymes with Shmearl’s (ok the name of the restaurant was earl’s – and yes the name is not capitalized.) Anyways, over two years of late night bartending, double shifts and having family come in to visit while I was working there were a lot of days when all I had time to eat was a bowl of soup. The soup of choice was Clam Chowder. I never got the recipe; I asked, but it was not given up despite knowing all the chefs and having them over to my house for parties quite often. So finally after I left the restaurant and after I had officially eaten my 1,000th bowl I decided to try and make the recipe up myself. So here it is, and it’s pretty damn close. Not to mention delicious! :)

Shmearl’s New England Clam Chowder
2-4 slices of center cut bacon diced
1 large onion cut diced
1/2 tsp. thyme (powdered or leaves)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup of instant potato flakes or left over mashed potatoes
2 bottles of clam juice
2 cans minced clams (save clam juice for use in chowder)
6-9 new potatoes cubed (about 1/4″)
2 Carrots; sliced
3 roma tomatoes; diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
water
parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, fry diced bacon over medium heat until half cooked (should be pink not red). There should be about 2 tbs. bacon fat in the pot now, but if there isn’t add a dash of olive oil to the pot. Add onion, carrots and potatoes and saute, stirring constantly, with bacon until fragrant and almost soft (about 5 minutes.) Add thyme and bay leaves and continue to stir for 30-45 seconds. Stir in clam juice from the bottles and clam juice taken from the cans. Add some water (about a cup if there isn’t enough liquid.) Bring liquid to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes soften. Starch from potatoes should thicken the liquid, but add the potato flakes or mashed potatoes to thicken it up if necessary. Stir in clams, heavy cream, tomatoes and parsley. Then use salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and heat though. Serve.

Follow the Recipe Extra:
It will save you a lot of stress if you cut up and dice everything before even starting the chowder. Also, If you don’t trust yourself not to burn the bacon, pull it out before putting the potatoes, onion and carrots in. Throw it back in when you add the clam juice. I love the taste of clams, but hate the texture. With a food processor or sharp knife go back through the canned clams and finely mince. If you’re the opposite, feel free to use more clams and substitute the clam juice from them for the extra water.

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Chili

Posted on November 26th, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, cheesey, chili, ground beef, mexican, Newman's Own, spicy, Stews.

So finally! Here is the recipe that started this idea to begin with. As I mentioned we had friends over and they all wanted the recipe. Like most of the recipes I’ve put up so far, this one came from my mom who probably got it from her mom. Anyways I’ve been making and eating it since forever. Here it is…follow the recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Chili

D’s Chili

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 small white onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cans of chili beans in Hot sauce
1 or 2 cans of kidney or black beans
1 cup of Newman’s Own Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Tabasco sauce
chili powder
red pepper flakes
shredded cheese
Fritos

In a skillet begin browning the ground beef. Add in onions and garlic and finish browning. Drain fat and transfer beef, onions and garlic into a stock pot. Set stove to med high heat. Add in Chili beans with sauce from can. Use about 1/4 cup water in each can to get out the remaining sauce. Drain kidney or black beans and add to the pot. Add in salsa then add the Tabasco, chili powder and red pepper flakes to taste. Lower the heat to medium and stir all contents together and simmer for 15 or 20. When finished simmering lay a handful of Fritos in the bottom of a bowl, put a scoop of chili in and garnish with shredded cheese.

Follow The Recipe extra:
First; I am not one for needlessly advertising for companies, but in all seriousness I made this recipe with whatever salsa I had laying around the house for years. Then one day I happened to have someone bring over this Newman’s salsa to a party and I had some left over so I threw it in the chili. It was a whole new chili level! That being said the “extra” is this: put new things in your chili. I once made it with fresh red and yellow bell peppers sauteed with the onions and it was phenomenal. I’ve tried it with fresh tomatoes and chicken instead of beef. You literally cannot go wrong. Also, if you’re expecting people, but you aren’t sure when, just remember to throw some water in the chili and lower the heat. Don’t worry, the water won’t water down the taste. Yeeeaaahh Chili!!

P.S. the most recent serving of chili at my house was while playing Rockband on 360! We rule!

Jasmine’s electric death

2 comments.

Beef Stew

Posted on October 23rd, 2007 by Danielle.
Categories: Beef, dinner, Stews.

A cold day… A hot stew

Today it snowed for the first time this fall in Colorado. It was cold and wet and I was hungry. Nothing sounds better than Beef Stew on this type of day. Here’s the recipe

Ingredients:

Steak or beef (a lot of different kinds of beef work for stew, but mostly just make sure you get something nicely marbled, but not fatty. I used top sirloin.)
vegetable or olive oil

1 white or yellow Onion
1 large or 2 small carrots
3 cloves garlic minced
4 or 5 red potatoes diced
1 pkg of mushrooms
1 can green beans
1 can diced Italian style tomatoes
3 cans beef broth
water
1 tbs rosemary
Salt
pepper

Optional:
Celery
squash
bell peppers
red wine

To Make:
pour 2 tbs of oil into a large stock pot. Cube beef and put into pot to brown over medium heat. When beef is browned, remove from pot and set aside. Drain excess fat. Add 1-2 tbs of oil back into the pot. Add onions carrots and garlic, and stir over medium-high heat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add in potatoes and mushrooms and return the beef to the stock pot. Stir over same heat for 5 minutes. Add green beans, tomatoes and first two cans of beef broth plus one can of water. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cover Bring stew up to boiling for 20 minutes. You will lose a lot of liquid in the steam. Turn the heat down to medium or until you have a rapid simmer. Add last can of broth and 1/2 can of water. Simmer for 1 hour or until beef proteins have been broken down and beef is soft.

Follow the Recipe extra:
For me, Beef Stew is all about knowing how things cook. The beef needs to boil for a long time to be soft and not chewy. The lower the quality of beef, the longer it will need to cook. Softer foods should be added later on in the process so as not to get too soggy. Potatoes can be added later in the simmering process to leave them a little crunchy. Try different things and taste a lot as you go. Also, if you’re like my husband and I and you can’t stand rosemary floating in your soup, use a coffee filter and some cooking twine and make a baggie. Take the baggie out of the stew before serving ;)

You kinda can’t screw up beef stew.

2 comments.