Soups & Stews

So last night was shitty.  My 45 mile, almost entirely Interstate commute took about 2 hours. Pretty much what I expected after leaving the movie theater at 9:00 and walking into sleet/freezing rain but what really chapped my ass were the people following me on the state highway after I got off the interstate.  Hello!  It’s raining ICE and you (and the three vehicles following you) are tailgating my ass?

I seriously should have hit the brakes several times because:
A) daddy always needs money.and can convincingly pass off stress-related muscle tension as ‘pain and suffering,’ and
B) I would have taken an unseemly amount of joy if the asstard didn’t hit me but wound up in a ditch.

You’re from Indiana. You have endured winters here. You know to allow for more following distance.

Next time, I’ll let you hit me and sue your sorry ass for all that you own.

But I digress.

Due to the weather, I stayed in today and cooked this little Pantry Masterpiece.

Pork Posole Stew


3-4 Onions, Chopped
2 Tbs Oregano (or more)
6-8 cloves garlic, diced
1/12 -2 lb pork loin cut into 3/4 inch hunks
2 1/2 boxes chicken stock
Flour, for dredging
oil as needed
1/2 stick Butter, unsalted
1 can Chipotles in adobo, chopped (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
3 cans Pozole (Hominy) White or yellow--your call, drained
2 1/2 boxes Chicken or vegetable stock


Preheat oil in a big ass stock pot over med-high heat.  While this is going on, dredge the pork hunks in flour and brown on all sides, in batches if needed.

Add the onions, garlic, olive oil and butter and saute until onions are translucent. Re-add any browned pork and juices that had to be removed and set aside.

Add the posole, oregano, chipotles and stock to the pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer, covered for a couple hours until pork is fork tender.

Serve with cornbread.

Note: Depending on how much oil you used while sauteing the pork and the incredibly large amount of onions and garlic, there will be a boatload of oil floating on top by dinnertime. I used a couple slices of bread to soak most of it up.


Posted by Mike on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Filed in: PorkSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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So My friend Andrea gave me this recipe and now that it’s getting to be chillier out, this had to be on the menu. Unfortunately for me, my sump pump #2 decided to be a total bitch during my prep work. Fifty dollars, one trip to Menard’s (I know!  No project ever only takes a single trip to the hardware store, right?) and several hours later I got back to making this. 

4 Bone-in Chicken Breasts (skin on too!)
3 Carrots, peeled and chunked
1 Green Pepper, chunked
1 Jalapeno, seeded
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Small to Medium Onion, chunked
1 Cup Peas
3 TBSP Flour, Heaping
4 Cups Chicken Stock
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Olive Oil for sauteeing

In a large soup pot, add in some olive oil (2TBSP) and heat over medium heat. Lightly sprinkle the chicken breasts with some salt and pepper. Add to the pot and gently brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side.  Depending on the size of your pot, you may want to dig out your poultry shears and cut each breast in half.  This will also help them to cook faster as well. Once they’re lightly browned, transfer them to a platter and set aside. Add in all of the veggies except for the peas.  Sautee for about 3 minutes then seasoning with all of the seasonings, including the soy sauce. Cook for about another 3 minutes. Add in the flour and stir, cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add in the chicken stock and stir, making sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Once all the stock is added, place chicken breasts and any juices that collected on the platter into the pot as well.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through. Depending on how big the breasts are, will determine cooking time.

When the chicken is cooked, remove from pot and set aside on a clean platter for a few minutes to cool.  With an immersion blender, lightly blend the soup. Not too much, you don’t want the soup to be pureed. You want it to be chunky and thick.  Once the soup is blended, remove skin from chicken and start to shred the chicken.  Add the shredded chicken back into the soup along with the 1C of peas. Add in the coconut milk as well.  Bring back to a simmer and cook for about another 10 minutes.

Dish into bowls and serve!

Notes:  I threw in some cauliflower that I had on hand as well and probably will still add another carrot and another sweet potato the next time I make this. Maybe a bit more flour also so that the stew is thicker and the liquid is more gravy-like.

China:  Southampton Garden by Lenox

curried chicken stew

Posted by Mike on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Filed in: PoultrySoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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I’ve had something like this once or twice before and it’s usually very minimalist; often not much more than broth, potstickers and perhaps some chopped green onion. I wanted to make it a little more substantial without wrecking the simplicity that lets every ingredient speak. Add some egg rolls and you’ll have a fairly nice, light meal.

2 small onions, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
2 Tbs canola or sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 box vegetable broth (32 oz)
1 cup frozen peas
1 box potstickers (I used vegetable/vegetarian ones) with sauce packets*
2-4 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a saucepan over med-high heat until shimmery.  Toss in carrots and onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes, until onion starts to get translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.

Add the peas and saute an additional minute, then add the broth, potstickers and sauce packets. Bring to good rolling simmer for about 3 minutes or until potstickers are warmed through before serving.  Garnish with sliced onions.

*If the potstickers don’t have sauce packets, use 3/4 tsp each of sesame oil and soy sauce.

serves 4-6

potsticker soup

Posted by Mike on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 at 05:05 AM
Filed in: EthnicSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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I got this from my friend Krista.  Even with the amount of ingredients, it throws together in almost no time (even less if you do some of the veggie prep while the meat is browning) and smells great when it’s bubbling away.  As an added attraction, how many dishes do you make that allows you to drink not one but two different alcoholic beverages ?



1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces+/- (don’t get anything leaner)
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness
1 cup red wine
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs dried thyme
1 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
3 lbs russet potatoes cut in 1/2” hunks (about 7 cups)
2 Tbs butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups peeled carrots cut in 1/2” chunks (I used baby carrots)
salt & pepper to taste
chopped parsley (garnish)

Heat olive oil in a heavy dutch oven over med-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef and cook without stirring until browned on one side before turning with tongs. Add the garlic and saute for another minute before adding the previously browned beef back to the pot.  Add remaining ingredients down to the bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring once in a while.

While the stew is simmering, melt the butter in another pot of pan over med heat.  Add the potatoes, onions and carrots and saute until golden, about 20 minutes.  Set aside until the stew has finished it’s hour or simmering.

Add vegetables to the stew.  Simmer uncovered until tender… about another 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves and skim off fat before serving.

Serves 4-6

notes:  Depending on how your grocer trims their meat, all you’ll need to do is trim out the big hunks of fat. There’s no need to get rid of it all because you can skim it off before serving.  I used more Guinness and wine than called for (about 1 1/2 cups each) and decreased the broth accordingly. A little more Worchestershire sauce and some peas would be nice too.

Guinness stew

Posted by Mike on Friday, October 08, 2010 at 10:22 AM
Filed in: Soups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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So I’ve been dabbling with the whole Meatless Monday thing lately.  I’ve been noshing on salads and burritos because to me the idea of pigging out (pun fully intended) on factory-produced Boca or Morningstar Farms seems to defeat at least part of the spirit of the whole thing. Also it seems that a lot of vegetarian cooking can be time-consuming or expensive what with the roasting of the carb-laden root veggies and the purchase of vegetables that are more easily found at Whole Foods than your average grocery store in Upper Bubbastan.  I’ve found a couple of good-sounding fritter/patty recipes that I’ll be trying out soon, but this soup recipe that I’ve adapted from a 15 year old issue of Eating Well (?) was easy as heck, fast to make and only required a trip to the store for 2 ingredients.

Chickpea & Hominy Stew

2 tsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 minced, seeded Anaheim chile
4 cloves minced garlic
3 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
(15 oz cans or equivalent amount of soaked beans)
1 can hominy, your choice of color
1 can vegetable stock
2 cups chopped spinach OR
1 pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper, flakes or to taste


Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot.  Add onion, chile and garlic.  Saute until onion is just becoming translucent.  Toss in the next five ingredients (water thru broth) and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir in spinach, black pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes and simmer a couple minutes more to allow spices to meld.

Serves 4-6

chickpea and hominy stew

Soup Bowl:  Tuscan Orchard by Lenox.  Spoon:  Etruscan sterling by Gorham

Posted by Mike on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM
Filed in: Soups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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I don’t know why this is called Cajun Shrimp Stew except for maybe the original recipe calls for okra which just blech, ok?  I’m a good little vegetable consumer but okra and beets are two that I will never eat...I’m not so fond of eggplant either but neither here nor there. 

One of my friends ate a bowl of this at my house, liked it and revised it a bit.  She adds sausage and chicken to make it more of a semi jambalaya.  It’s a recipe you can do pretty much what you want with really.  It’s just so freakin’ tasty and easy and pretty much image everybody has most of the ingredients on hand.


1 small-ish onion, chopped
3 or 4 or 5 celery stalks, chopped
5 TBSP butter
5 TBSP flour
1 packet G. Washington Gold
white pepper
1/8 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste basically)
1 TBSP dry parsely or 3 TBSP fresh
1/2 tsp thyme—I use powdered.  You can use fresh but I never have it so I don’t know how much.  I don’t use regular dry thyme because it doesn’t get soft when it cooks and I don’t like how it kind of pokes your mouth.  If you do use it, use 1 tsp and kind of crush it up a bit.  Powdered thyme is stronger, obviously.

2 cans low or no sodium chicken broth
2 cans (or more if you like) minced or chopped clams with liquid
1 large can stewed tomatoes
Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce

1 lb shrimp, cleaned, tails off—I just use frozen large size shrimp thawed with tails removed


Melt butter and add the onions and celery.  Cook until translucent.  Combine flour, G. Washington and spices.  Add all at once to celery and onion.  Cook and stir 5 minutes.  Add broth and clams with liquid.  Add tomatoes and juice, breaking up tomatoes with your fingers.  Bring just to a boil.  Season with tabasco and RedHot to taste.  You can make it as hot or mild as you like.  Turn off the heat and add the thawed shrimp.  Let stand 20 minutes or so.

I serve it in a bowl over hot white rice.  Serves 4-6 people depending on how much you pig down.

You really have to try this though.  Whatever you add...chicken, sausage, yucky’s just a really quick to make, low prep, tasty dish.  Since you really don’t have too much of a recipe to follow, you can add, subtract and adjust pretty much every ingredient.  I love this stuff.

Posted by Donna on Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 02:07 PM
Filed in: Fish & SeafoodSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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Ok… I got this third party from someone else, so her notes are in brackets and mine are in brackets BOLDED


1 to 2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb ground pork)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cans of whole corn - undrained
1 can of mexicali corn - undrained (just any corn with like, onions/peppers mixed in) (I couldn’t find these either so I just used the 2 cans of corn)
1 to 2 cans of Rotel (if you don’t have it, use regular canned tomatoes) (I bought chili style peppers at Walmart—yummy!)
2 cans of Ranch style beans - undrained (I can’t always find these, so I substitute canned black beans) (I couldn’t find any of those kinds of beans so I just used good ol’ Kidney beans)


Cook the ground beef (I always brown my hamburger meat with onions and garlic - but that’s clearly your choice), drain the grease and return to the pot. Add the taco seasoning package and the ranch seasoning package and mix until the meat is thoroughly coated. Add all the corn (and juice), beans (and juice) and Rotel (or undrained diced tomatoes). Mix well and bring to a boil and serve. 15 minute meal.

(D Note:) NOW. When I make it, I usually add water to it as well to make it more like a soup. Especially if the cans of corn don’t have a lot of water in them. Allie says she’s also made it and let it simmer down until there was nearly NO fluid left in it and served on chips like nachos. That sounds good too, just haven’t tried it yet.

It’s easy to double or triple or whatever. And, it freezes well. And I suppose you could also make it with some other ground meat - chicken, turkey, etc if you were so inclined (I have not been so inclined....LOL).

I usually dip this up and coat the top of the bowl with shredded cheddar, plop a spoonful of sour cream in the middle of it and eat it with tortilla chips.

Tracy’s NOTE: I made it adding 2 tomato cans of water to it, and I simmered it all day. When serving I put the sour cream, cheese and crunched up the tortilla chips on top… so yummy!!!

Posted by Tracy on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 11:37 PM
Filed in: Soups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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So now that arctic temperatures have arrived it’s definitely chili weather.  This is based on a recipe that I found in a back issue of Eating Well or Cooking Light or something like that.  It’s rich, but not too spicy.  Also, if you reduce the liquid a bit more, it’d be awesome as a baked potato topping.  I also made coleslaw to go along with it.

Beef and red bean chili

2 cups dry red beans (1 pound)
10 cloves garlic; 3 left whole, 7 minced
4 dried ancho chiles
2 dried chipotle chiles
3 Tbs oil
2 lb stew beef cut into 1/2” chunks*
salt & pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
3 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs crushed red pepper
1 Tbs brown sugar
5 cups corn (or 1 lb frozen)

Throw dry beans in a medium pot. Add the three whole garlic cloves and 6 cups water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for about an hour.

Soak the Ancho and Chipotle chiles in 4 cups water for about 20 minutes, or until softened.  Weight down the chiles with a bread plate or saucer if necessary.  Pour off the soaking water and reserve.  You should have about 2 cups. Stem and seed the chiles and toss in the blender or food processor along with 1/2 cup of the soaking water.  Puree until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup more chili water if needed.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in shifts, transferring to a plate as needed.

Add onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until onion gets translucent.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot.  Add the remaining chili soaking liquid plus 2 cups water, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, 1 Tbs salt and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender.  beef n bean chili

Meanwhile, drain the beans.  Put back in their pot.  Add 6 more cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until beans are tender--about 1 1/2 hours. 

When beans and meat are both done, drain the beans and discard the cloves of garlic. Stir the beans and corn into the chili and simmer until corn is warmed through. 

Serve over rice.

*Having worked in the Meat Department at the Grocery Ranch™ I’m leery of generic meat products like stew meat, cubed steaks and ground beef because I’ve seen what goes into it.  Some of it is made with beef that you’d be happy to eat otherwise, but most of the time it’s made with the leathery, gristle-riddled trimmings that, to be honest, I wouldn’t feed to my dog.  I recommend picking up a nice chuck roast or if you want to cut out fat, a London Broil.  That being said, this could probably be made with chicken, turkey or even extra-firm tofu and still be damn tasty.

Presentation details: Chili bowl-Maddoxware for Cunard Steamship Line, Coleslaw bowl-Ming by Lenox, B.C. comic glass-a premium from some no-doubt defunct gas station

Posted by Mike on Saturday, January 09, 2010 at 02:02 PM
Filed in: EntreesSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
Comments (1)

I got tired of eating leftover christmas ham and didn’t really want to go the high fat ham salad route, so I raided the pantry and came up with this.  It’s healthy--low fat and high protein, but it tastes better than most healthy food. Lentils cook scary fast so you could probably also do this in about a half hour on the stove as well.  Serve with a salad and bread sticks.

Lentil Ham soup

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups water
1 onion cut into thin wedges
1 1/2 cup sliced celery
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 cup frozen corn
3 cups shredded spinach
shaved parmesan cheese

Throw the first nine ingredients into a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or 3 1/2-4 hours on high (estimated).

Stir in the corn about 1/2 hour before serving.  Immediately before serving, stir in the spinach.  Garnish with Parmesan if you have it. 

Posted by Mike on Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 04:32 PM
Filed in: Crock PotSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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The arctic winds, snow and cold on Wednesday night made it seem like a good night to cook up a big ole pot o chili and cornbread. I wasn’t in the mood for standard red chili so I decided to modify a regular chili recipe to make a white chili instead.  It didn’t turn out too bad.

Blond Chili


1 lb dry great northern beans, or
2-3 cans northern or cannellini beans
2 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2 inch hunks
flour for dredging, seasoned as you see fit
2-4 Tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
6 cups chicken stock (if using canned beans, you can get by with 5 cups)
3 cups shredded jack cheese


If using dry beans, place in a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water.  Soak overnight.

Dredge pork in flour mixture and brown in a large pot with oil in batches, using more oil as needed. Remove to a platter and set aside as each batch is finished.white chili

Drain beans if using dried ones. Heat 1 Tbs of oil in the same pot you browned the meat in.  Add onions and saute until softened.  Stir in the garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano and cayenne.  Saute for 2 more minutes. Add pork, rehydrated beans* and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender (about 2 hours).  Add 1 cup of cheese and stir until melted in.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse, then add to the pork/onion/stock mixture after it has simmered for an hour.  Serve when heated through or allow to simmer for up to an hour more.

Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve topped with the remaining cheese. 

Posted by Mike on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 12:04 PM
Filed in: PorkSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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I asked a friend of mine, Deb, to send me her recipe for what she said was The Best Ever cream of potato soup.  I pshawed.  I’ve tried lots of “best ever” food that was far from it.  But, as I soon found out, Deb doesn’t lie.  The following is my take on the recipe she sent me.  The original recipe can be found by clicking “read more.”


4-5 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced onion
1 packet G Washington’s Golden
1 qt half & half
1/3 cup flour
2-3 cans chicken broth
A handful or two of shredded (or cubed) monterey jack or white cheddar cheese
1+ cup(s) cubed ham

Cook potatoes in chicken broth -enough to cover the potatoes- til just not over cook.  Saute’ onions and celery in butter.  Add flour and G Washington’s.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stirring constantly with a wire whisk, slowly add half & half.  Continue to stir until thick and smooth.  Season to taste.

Mash cooked potatoes right in the pot with the chicken broth then add to the half & half mixture.  Cook stirring frequently until soup reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to low add ham and cheese and heat through.

Makes enough soup to feed four or 5 people as a main dish with leftovers.


•If you like your soup smooth, you’ll want to whip them using a mixer, adding the chicken broth to make a thick potato slurry.

•My ingredients picture shows both red and white potatoes.  This would be because I had a few red potatoes left in a bag so I used them up.  You don’t need multiple types of potatoes.

•If you think the soup is going to be to runny remember that potatoes are a starch and will thicken up immediately.  If you follow this recipe, it won’t be runny at all.  You might want to add some milk if you think it’s too thick.

•Do not eat a second helping of this (or any other creamed soup) unless you want to be a big useless lump sitting in your chair going all, “Uuuggghhh.  I ate too much.”

•I use ham from a boiled ham bone.  I buy ham shanks frequently.  They’re good for dinner, leftovers, soups, ham salad and a million other things.  I always keep a lot of meat on the bone when I boil it.  I boil the bone down for several hours.  I then remove the bone, cool it, pick the meat off and bag it up in various portion sizes.  I put the cooled pot of water that it cooked in in the fridge overnight.  The next day I take off all the fat (which will have solidified) and then I put the broth in ziplock bags and keep it in the freezer.  I use the broth for pea soup.

•My SIL said this is “Restaurant quality soup.” My husband asks for it now at least once a week.  I told him we would be dead from heart attacks brought on by high cholesterol within a month.  He’s only allowed to have it once a month.

•A pot of this would definitely feed a ton of people as a soup course.  It’s very hearty and filling.

Deb’s original recipe

Cream Of Po-Cheesy Soup

4-5 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup diced onion
4 tsp. granular chicken bouillon OR 4 crushed cubes
6 cups cold milk
1 cup flour
1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed ham ( optional, but suggested )

Cook potatoes in water til just not over cook.  Saute’ onions and celery in butter and margarine; Add flour and bouillon, stir to blend. Add milk to make a roux, stir until thick and smooth. Add cooked potatoes and 2 cups ( yep the 2 cups in the recipe ) of the cooking water.  Add cheese, stir til melted, add ham.

Posted by Donna on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 05:17 PM
Filed in: Soups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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I’m the first to admit that the ingredients don’t sound appetizing at all, but damn, this is good soup!



6 cups water
3 Tbs Dill
1 pound egg noodles, medium width
4 oz lean ground beef or lamb
1 pound bag California bled vegetables (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)
1 tsp ground cayenne
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs minced garlic
unflavored yogurt
dried mint


Bring water to a boil.  Add the dill and continue boiling for five minutes.  Add your noodles and continue boiling until noodles are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

While the noodles are boiling, brown the ground meat in a separate pan and drain off the fat. Add the ground meat to the noodles along with the vegetables, then add the cayenne, salt and garlic.  Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

To serve, stir about 2 tablespoons of yogurt into each bowl of soup and top with a sprinkle of mint.

Posted by Mike on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 08:17 PM
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2 Tbs olive or canola oil
2 strips bacon, chopped (optional, but if not using, you may need to add a skosh more oil))
3 cloves minced garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 or 2 pounds)* cut into bite sized pieces
2 cans diced tomatoes (flavored is okay)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 can chicken stock
1 or 2 cans cannelini or garbanzo beans, drained

chicken and bean stew


Heat oil over medium-medium high heat. Add chopped up bacon and saute until the bacon renders it’s fat. Add the garlic and vegetables and saute until the onion is translucent.

Add the chicken. Stir occasionally until the chicken pieces are opaque outside but not cooked through; about five minutes or so.  Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, and let return to a bubble.

Add chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the beans and simmer until they are warmed through. Remove bay leaves and serve. 

Alternately, turn the heat down until you’re ready to eat, and add a bit of water if it gets too thick.

*Yeah, I know that boneless, skinless breasts are the darling of the health-conscious, but in a recipe like this?  Trust me on the thighs. They’re much more tender, flavorful and less dry than breasts. 

Posted by Mike on Tuesday, June 03, 2008 at 02:47 PM
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Not So Wild Boar Ragout

ragout done
Wild boar isn’t all that easy to come by here in whitest northeast Indianapolis.  Go figure.

That’s the major, but not the only substitution in this recipe. 

1 large red onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 pounds boneless pork, cut for stew
28 oz can chopped tomatoes*
3 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 dried chili peppers, crushed
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves (not to be confused with the cloves of garlic)
3 sun-dried tomatoes, cut up randomly with a knife or scissors
3 anchovies, or 1 tsp anchovy paste
fresh or dried oregano, basil and sage
1 T or so balsamic vinegar**
salt and pepper to taste
pasta (fettuccine works best)
grated percorino, myzrithia or other hard sheep’s milk cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.

Bump the heat up to high, add the pork and sear on all sides.  Do not cook it through. Turn/stir it frequently just until it’s cooked on the outside.

Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaves, followed by the wine.

One ingredient at a time, stir in the garlic, crushed chilis, cinnamon stick, cloves, sun dried tomatoes, oregano/basil/sage and balsamic vinegar.

Put a lid on the pot loosely and reduce the heat enough to keep the whole mess just at a low simmer. keep it simmering for a minimum of two hours (adding water if necessary)and stir occasionally. The idea here is to get the meat to be falling-apart tender, and the longer it simmers, the more tender and broken apart it’ll be.

When the meat has pretty much lost all definition and most of the liquid has either evaporated off or been absorbed by the meat, it’s done.  It’ll kinda resemble the consistency of pulled pork barbeque, but not so long and stringy because it’s been chunked up for stewing (see note below).

Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, ladle over the pasta and garnish with the grated cheese.  Make sure to have some good crusty bread around to mop up the sauce too.

* I used a can of whole stewed tomatoes that I cut roughly with kitchen shears while they were still in the can. Fresh tomatoes would be exponentially better, of course.

** The original recipe called for red wine vinegar, but I’m a sucker for the depth that balsamic gives.

Note: This would also make an awesomely simple pork stew.  Just add the vegetables of your choice and don’t cook so long that the meat disintegrates

Posted by Mike on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 01:48 AM
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Potato Cheese Soup (not for the diet impaired)

4-6 medium potatoes (chopped into medium size chunks)
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped fine)
5-6 celery stalks (chopped)
3 medium size peeled carrots (chopped)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon season all
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup butter
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2 cans chicken broth

Chop your onion, celery, garlic and carrots and saute in the butter in a 5 quart pan. When your celery is just about done, add the two cans of chicken broth, your spices and chopped potatoes (I leave the peels on, feel free to peel yours). Add the cream and bring to a boil. Once it is rolling, put on a lid, turn it down to a simmer and let it go for about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 2 hours. Bring to a slow boil once more and thicken with the cornstarch (mix cornstarch in 1/2 cup cold water add slowly to the soup). Once thickened, remove from heat and slowly stir in the shredded cheese. IMPORTANT - add cheese AFTER you thicken otherwise it will all go to the bottom and not blend correctly. Walla, you are done. Enjoy!

Freezes well also. I store it in ziplock bowls for about a month. It will look something awful when you’re reheating it but once you stir it, it is just as good as the day you made it.

Posted by usedtobeme on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM
Filed in: Family RecipesSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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