Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chicken Stock

stock
stäk/
noun

liquid made by cooking bones, meat, fish, or vegetables slowly in water, used as a basis for the preparation of soup, gravy, or sauces.

One of the staples most people already have a good recipe is chicken stock. This is definitely another great one to make and stick in the freezer, especially if you are trying to watch your sodium, homemade is always a great way to go over canned. Anyway below is a pic of my stock pot earlier this week. I picked up a deli chicken on close-out ($2.49!), and made sandwiches out of some of the meat, and then threw the whole rest of the chicken sans skin in the pot. Letting it simmer for 4-5 hours is definitely one of the keys to the really rich stock. I froze two quarts of it, and then used the third quart to make two quarts of gravy that I also froze. Not bad for a handful of dollars.

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What I used:

  • Deli roasted chicken
  • Celery sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Several smashed garlic cloves
  • Couple of shallots rough chopped
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh sage
  • Fresh thyme
  • Heaps of Water
  • Time
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Smoked Salmon Pasta

Pike Place Market
Web definitions
  1. Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. …

So last weekend we were up in Seattle visiting good friends and we started up a bit of a new tradition. We headed over to the Pike Place Market to pick up fresh ingredients for a meal. It was fun to wander around and being inspired for different meals. We went into this one planning it around smoked salmon. Anyway, we headed back to the flat and I whipped us up a what was presumably a good meal (the 1lb of pasta and .5lb salmon dish disappeared!)

 

Salmon Pasta

 

 

What I used:

  • Linguine
  • Basil
  • Beschamel sauce
  • Shallot and garlic
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Parmesan

 

What I did:

  1. Saute the diced shallot and garlic, remove from pan
  2. Make the beschamel
  3. Add sliced fresh basil, a couple squirts of lemon juice, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and the salmon broken up. Stir together.
  4. Add sauce into the pasta, add parmesan
  5. Serve with fresh basil.

 

Anyway, it turned out great, and was super simple to whip up. Could just as easily be made with chicken. Let me know how it goes if you try to replicate it Lindsay!

Bon Appetit!

 

Taco Soup

This a good one to do in the crock-pot while you’re away, or mix it up and cook it in the evening, for the next few day’s lunches. I really like the inclusion of the Ranch seasoning packet, I think I picked that up off of a Paula Deen recipe once. Anyhoot. Forgot to take a picture when I was cooking it, so here it is before I stuck it in the freezer. We love this one with cheddar melted in, a spoonful of sour cream and some crushed up tortilla chips.

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What I used:

  • Ground beef
  • Half an onion, diced
  • Diced garlic
  • Green pepper, diced
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Beef broth
  • Taco seasoning
  • Ranch dip packet
  • Frozen corn

 

What I did:

  1. Brown the beef, onion and garlic
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients
  3. Simmer until done (flavors are all blended)

Pretty darn simple. Even simpler in the crock-pot! Step one, then mix it all up in the crock-pot and six hours on low you have a wonderful soup.

Freezer Filling

I have a freezer in my garage. I love this freezer. I love stocking this freezer. My freezer is old. I am not actually sure how old it is, but here it is.

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Sometimes I do a big stock-up cooking day, but more often I just do a few things here and there as I am already making them, and then just stock it up that way. I freeze them in the house, and then just pack a bunch out.

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Here is a load I took out earlier this week. It included one loaf of sandwich bread, three baguettes, three portions of ground beef, two butternut squash soup bases, and two portions of cannellini beans.

Things I like to keep in my freezer:

  • Baguette and sandwich breads
  • Extra meats (a turkey, bacon pieces, ground beef and chicken are pretty standard.)
  • Seafood (a type or two of fish, scallops, etc.)
  • Beans (cannellini, kidney, black, pinto, refried)
  • Chicken and beef stock
  • Soups: Chili, Taco Soup, Potato soup base, Butternut squash soup, cream of chicken soup.
  • Wonderful Oregon Fruit: (blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries etc.)

Asparagus and Egg Pasta

Yes, yes, we know my Pasta-addiction is extensive, oh well, a girl’s allowed her vice I suppose.

Though I do enjoy making my own pasta, I do enjoy angel hair dried pasta on occasion, and one of my favorite ways is with the delicious combination of egg and asparagus. When asparagus is in season, this is a very cheap dinner, and super fast.

No recipe is really necessary for this one, just make some pasta, steam some asparagus, poach an egg and sprinkle the whole lot with parmesan…LOVE IT!

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Massaman Curry

cur·ry
ˈkərē,ˈkə-rē/
noun
  1. a dish of meat, vegetables, etc., cooked in an Indian-style sauce of strong spices and turmeric and typically served with rice.

So I love Thai food. After spending several weeks there a couple years ago there was no going back, I loved the cuisine. It is common as a farang to do a short cooking course. I certainly enjoyed the course, and even more the small cookbook that came with it. One of my favorites, especially on a cooler day, is Massaman Curry. This one is a pretty simple dish of meat and potatoes.

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What I used:

  • One can of coconut milk
  • Jasmine rice
  • Sliced beef
  • Diced potatoes
  • Massaman curry paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Fish sauce

What I did:

  1. Add a can of coconut milk to a wok
  2. Add several spoonfuls of paste, a spoonful of brown sugar, several dashes of fish sauce.
  3. Mix together and heat.
  4. Add diced potatoes and beef pieces.
  5. Cook together in the coconut sauce until cooked through.
  6. Serve over jasmine rice.

This is definitely one to make a big batch of, served mix through the rice the next day, it is a GREAT comfort food.

Enjoy, and bon appetit!

Chicken Cashew

My first cooking job was in a small lunch cafe here in Salem. One of the first things I remember making was something called Chicken Cashew, and it was served over a romaine salad, or in a sandwich. I LOVED that sandwich, and would eat it every day with a now discontinued Nantucket Nectar. Though I don’t remember the recipe, the general idea always stuck with me. Over the years I have created my own standard recipe, as well as other varieties (see Curry Chicken Salad). I tend to eat it over salad now, but when I make a new loaf of Sandwich Bread, I usually end up with a sandwich.

Sandwich with chicken cashew filling.

What I used:

  • Diced chicken
  • Diced celery
  • Cashew pieces
  • Onion/garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Mayonnaise

What I Did:

  1. Add them all together, mix and enjoy!

Sandwich Bread

It’s catch up time here on my blog as it took a bit to get the pictures loaded from the camera, so prepare for a few posts tonight.

Last Saturday I had some girlfriends over for “bread-making lessons.” This is my standard sandwich bread. I got the recipe from a friends mom, and it has been a staple in our house for years. I make two loaves at a time, then slice one of them for the freezer. If you are in a country with Great Harvest, this reminds me a lot of their white bread. I suspect it has to do with the awesome-ness of the honey. 🙂

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What I Used:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 1/2 T yeast
  • 1 T salt
  • 9 cups flour

What I did:

  1. Combine the water, honey and oil (I find using a Pyrex pitcher the best for measuring.)
  2. Microwave for a couple of minutes until quite warm and stir to combine.
  3. Add to a mixer and add yeast.
  4. Allow the yeast to proof for ten or so minutes.
  5. Add 3 cups of flour and the salt. Mix with paddle.
  6. Add 3 more cups of flour and mix again.
  7. Switch to dough hook.
  8. Add 3 more cups of flour until incorporated.
  9. Remove and knead for ages.
  10. Place into a greased bowl and let rise covered for 30 minutes
  11. Punch dough down, split in two, form 2 loaves
  12. Place loaves in greased bread pans, let rise covered another 30 minutes
  13. Cut three slits across the top
  14. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
  15. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before slicing.

It sounds like a lot, but it is actually pretty simple, and only takes two hours. Well worth it for the deliciousness. I will leave you with one of my favorite ways to enjoy it….

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Tagged ,

Beef Cannelloni

can·nel·lo·ni
ˌkanlˈōnē/
noun
  1. rolls of pasta stuffed with a meat or vegetable mixture.

So last week I continued my new love of stuffed pasta with a new dish, Beef Cannelloni. I was finishing off the “storm” fridge clean-out and had some ground beef and a bag of spinach. So I finally tried this out. This turned out well, and we used the rest of the innards for a lasagna-esque dish over the weekend.

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Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. Despite the hot mess of enchiladas that they appear to be, these actually turned out pretty great. (It was these pictures that made me decide that David is now my official food photographer.)

What I used:

  • homemade pasta sheets (eggs, salt, flour and elbow grease)
  • ricotta
  • spinach
  • beef
  • onion
  • garlic
  • seasoning
  • bechamel sauce
  • parmesan
  • red sauce (basic garden marinara from last summer)

What I did:

  1. Brown the beef with onion and garlic, set aside.
  2. Steam the spinach, and chop roughly.
  3. Mix Ricotta together with a beaten egg and cooled beef and spinach,  season.
  4. Cook to al dente pasta sheets, cut into squares.
  5. In casserole pan add a base layer of tomato sauce.
  6. Roll pasta sheets up with filling. Place in pan seam side down.
  7. Pour bechamel sauce overtop.
  8. Pour red sauce overtop.
  9. Add parmesan (I would have added mozzarella as well, but didn’t have any)
  10. Bake for 20min at 400F, let set for 10 minutes before serving (I can never do this last part.)

All in all I loved this recipe. I actually had some leftover pasta sheets and filling, and wish I had gone ahead and made one up for the freezer, but eh, live and learn. I got another dinner out of the filling anyway.

Beef and Broccoli

Besides Italian my other culinary love and go-to is Asian. I skew pretty heavy toward Thai, but mix in other cuisines here and there. Beef and Broccoli is a favorite of my husband, David, and is pretty cheap and easy for a weeknight dinner. Oh yeah and is of course delicious!

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Go ahead and start the rice first, because from start to finish this isn’t even 20 minutes!

What I used:

  • sliced beef
  • broccoli
  • 1/4 onion
  • soy sauce
  • sherry
  • oyster sauce
  • corn starch
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • beef boullion
  • jasmine rice

 

What to do:

  1. Cut up the broccoli and onion
  2. Slice up beef
  3. Make a marinade of: sherry, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cornstarch
  4. Cover the beef and mix it all up
  5. Heat a bit of oil, stir fry the beef
  6. Add the vegetables, stir-fry
  7. Meanwhile, mix the sauce with: soy sauce, oyster sauce, beef broth, cornstarch, black pepper.
  8. Add the sauce, and mix the stir fry all together,
  9. Serve over jasmine rice.