GRANNY’S HAM & TATER SOUP

GRANNY’S TATER HAM & TATER SOUP
6 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped small
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1 ham steak, fat trimmed and diced
5 cups HOMEMADE chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped FRESH Italian leaf parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup butter
12 ounce can evaporated milk

  • Melt butter in large saute or stock pot.
  • Add carrots, shallots, leeks, potatoes and celery, sauteing 3-4 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock and parsley.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add stock and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  • Add ham pieces and evaporated milk.
  • Season to taste and simmer 10-15 minutes more.

NOTE: This recipe is also delicious and gives you a smoother texture if you mash or slightly puree the vegetables before adding the ham pieces.

BEEF (PRIME RIB) BARLEY SOUP

Snowy and cold this winter? It is here! Warm up with a hearty bowl of this beef barley soup using your leftover Christmas prime rib. These tender bits of prime rib with the hearty barley, pair perfectly with a traditional mirepoix of vegetables for one SUPER delicious bowl of soup. If you don’t have any left over prime rib, it’s just as good substituting steak tips, stew meat or even browned ground beef!

I made up this recipe when I got my Christmas wish and we got snow for Christmas (and then some). I was originally going to try and do some after Christmas shopping, but decided to make soup instead. We did splurge on our traditional prime rib for Christmas day and the butcher did cut it much smaller for me and yet we still had leftovers! And even more leftovers. So at the price of beef this year I am determined to find multiple ways to use every piece with no waste.

The butcher always cuts the bones off for me and then ties them back on so I save the bones for soup later in the spring, but this year I’m even adding the fat pieces to the bone bag to be boiled down for some tasty broth 😀

BEEF (PRIME RIB) BARLEY SOUP

Prep Time 15-20 minutes    Cook Time 1 hour    Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

1/2 stick salted butter
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced red onion or shallot
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
4-6 cups homemade beef broth (depending on your desired thickness)
4 cups SMALL chopped prime rib
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup barley

  • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the celery, carrots, and onion, cooking 5-6 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
  • Add in garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add in beef broth, prime rib, Worcestershire sauce, liquid aminos and barley.
  • Simmer 45 minutes or so over medium heat until the barley is tender.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with some nice sourdough or crusty bread.

Turkey Tetrazzini ~ Memories past

This recipe was originally posted in January of 2010. BUT, it needed a MAJOR picture overhaul!! I’ve also made a few updates over the years to make the recipe more “scratch made”.
When I was a kid and just starting to do the majority of the family cooking we had a set group of recipes that were the “weeknight” recipes. One of those recipes that was especially popular during the holidays was Turkey Tetrazzini. We also substituted ham and chicken for the turkey throughout the rest of the year.

Back then I prepared the recipes exactly as they were written and they were okay, but the Tetrazzini recipe used ALL Velveeta and canned mushrooms and stuff I wouldn’t think of putting into my body now so it was my goal to create the same recipe in a more health oriented way, but still easy for a weeknight meal.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI
2 tablespoons butter
1 LARGE bunch green onions OR 1 LARGE shallot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped small
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken in half and cooked al dente
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded turkey pieces**
1 can cream of celery soup (see soup substitutes)
1 cup WHOLE milk
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt butter in a skillet.
  • Saute onions and celery just until tender.
  • Add soup and milk, stirring to blend. Cook just until thick.
  • Add cheddar cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • In the bottom of an 11×7 baking dish scatter first the pasta and then the meat pieces.
  • Pour soup mixture over top.
  • Top with Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes.

NOTE: ** ham and rotisserie chicken work well too

Casseroles tend to call for a can of some form of “cream of” soup.  Since those soups tend to be full additives and preservatives I came up with some quick and easy substitutes that are homemade as you needed.

CREAM SOUP SUBSTITUTES

Do you hate buying canned soups for use in recipes? Do you want something healthier and less costly?  These recipes make perfect substitutes for 1 can of soup.

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk or other liquid (as specified in variations)

  • Melt the butter in heavy saucepan. 
  • Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly. 
  • Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid. 
  • Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.

VARIATIONS

  • Cream of chicken: Use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup chicken broth as the liquid. Add 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning or sage.
  • Cream of celery: Saute´ 1/2 cup chopped celery and 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion in the margarine before adding flour. Use milk for liquid.
  • Cream of mushroom: Saute´1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms and 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion in margarine before adding flour. Use milk for liquid.
  • Tomato: Use tomato juice as liquid. Add a dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Cheddar cheese: Use milk for liquid. Stir into the finished sauce 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard.
  • Cream of shrimp: Drain the liquid from a small can of tiny shrimp into a measuring cup. Fill cup with milk to measure 1 cup of liquid. Add a dash of pepper, onion salt, curry powder, and paprika to the finished sauce, and stir in the shrimp.

ROASTED TOMATILLO CHILI

ROASTED TOMATILLO CHILI
10 tomatillos
1 jalapeno
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons red chile flakes
3 cups homemade chicken bone broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can small great northern (Navy) beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped FRESH cilantro
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken OR 2 cups diced cooked tri-tip pieces OR crumbled cooked ground beef
sour cream, garnish
grated cheddar cheese, garnish

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Peel papers from tomatillos and wash well.
  • Wash jalapeno halve and seed if preferred.
  • Arrange tomatillos and jalapeno on baking sheet.
  • Roast 15-20 minutes until tomatillos burst and brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool.

 

  • Heat avocado oil in soup pot over medium heat.
  • Sweat onions, red pepper, garlic and spices 5-7 minutes.
  • Chop tomatillos and jalapeno. Add them to soup pot.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  • Add chosen meat pieces.
  • Add stock, tomatoes and drained beans. Simmer 20-30 minutes more.
  • Fold in cilantro.
  • Serve with sour cream and grated cheese.

BEEF VEGGIE SOUP

This is one of those soups that everyone of a certain age has had! During a simpler, more frugal era this type of soup was a staple on the dinner table, especially in the fall/winter months.

Ground beef was the lesser expensive meat choice and the soup was a great way to use up veggies at the end of the week. Once the flavors meld together no one cares that they were the former beauty queens that were now the  less than pretty wilting ones from the crisper bin.

BEEF VEGGIE SOUP serves 6
1 pound ground beef
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 LARGE carrot, diced
1 can Green Giant white shoepeg corn
2 cups frozen green beans
15 ounce can stewed tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Basil
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup DRY red wine
8 cups beef bone broth**
1 cup diced potatoes, optional
1 cup prepared pasta, optional
1/2 cup raw rice, optional
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced, optional
Grated cheese, as a topping

  • Brown ground beef over medium high heat in a large soup pot.
  • When beef is just about browned, drain off most fat and add onions, carrots and celery, sweating for 4-6 minutes.
  • Add garlic, garlic salt and onion salt, stirring to blend.
  • Add chopped stewed tomatoes with their juice, Basil, Parsley and FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Simmer 3-4 minutes.
  • Add broth, wine and potatoes or rice if using.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add corn, green beans and mushrooms if using, simmering for 15-20 minutes more.
  • If using pasta add prepared pasta and simmer 5 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve with Honey Beer Bread.

**I made this broth with beef bone marrow bones and end of the season tomatoes.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER

Ever wondered what the difference is between a soup, a stew and a chowder?

A soup is usually made with stock or broth and can have vegetables, meat or fish as ingredients and is generally not very thick.

A chowder may have the same ingredients as a soup or even a stew, but is more chunky, creamy and thick. It is often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers, biscuits, or a roux. A chowder is also usually made with fish and corn.

A stew is committed by sweltering in a covered pot.

When I make bone broth I use the carcass of the rotisserie chicken and often use whatever vegetables I have around in the bin that a wilted or such. This time I used a bone broth made with end of the season tomatoes which added a GREAT flavor to the chowder.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 pound bacon, diced
1 LARGE yellow onion
3-4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 stalks celery, halved and thinly sliced
1 LARGE carrot, diced
3-5 small mini peppers, sliced thin
3 cups FRESH or frozen white corn
2-3 cup diced rotisserie chicken pieces
3 1/3 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade bone broth)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 cups grated cheese of choice (I used FACE ROCK sharp cheddar)
Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, optional – see note

  • Melt butter in large stock pot.
  • Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, sauteing 5 minutes or so until carrots are starting to soften.
  • Add bacon and continue to saute 10 minutes until bacon is browned.***
  • Add peppers, corn and 3 cups of the chicken broth, bring to a simmer10-15 minutes.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Whisk the remaining chicken broth with the cornstarch until smooth.
  • Add roux to pot and blend in well. Simmer a few minutes more.
  • Add half and half, stirring well.
  • Add cheeses and stir to melt.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and simmer 5-10 minutes more.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve.

***NOTE:

  • If bacon has a high fat content, trim some of the fat off to prevent your chowder from becoming too greasy.
  • A splash or two or three of Frank’s original hot sauce can really amp up this chowder.

TUSCAN CHICKEN VEGGIE STEW with CHEESY SCALLION SODA BREAD

TUSCAN CHICKEN VEGGIE STEW with CHEESY SCALLION SODA BREAD

TUSCAN CHICKEN VEGGIE STEW
1 red onion, chopped small
4-6 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/4 cup avocado oil
3 celery heart ribs, FINELY diced
2 carrots, FINELY diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped small
2 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped rosemary leaves (optional)
4 cups chicken stock**
4 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces
1-2 cans cannellini beans, drained WELL
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup Arborio rice

  • Heat avocado oil over medium heat in a large cast iron saute pan or enamel covered cast iron.
  • Add onions, red pepper, garlic and black pepper and stir 2-3 minutes.
  • Add celery, carrots, bell pepper and tomato paste.
  • Season generously and saute 4-5 minutes.
  • Add herbs, stock tomatoes and cannellini beans.
  • Simmer at least 45 minutes to an hour. It tastes better the longer it simmers. 🙂
  • 45 minutes before serving add chicken pieces and rice, stirring to combine.
  • Simmer until rice is tender.

**NOTES:

  • I like to use homemade chicken tomato bone broth from the end of the garden season.
  • Because it tastes so much better the longer it simmers, it makes a WONDERFUL slow cooker dish.

CHEESY SCALLION SODA BREAD
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large bunch green onions, halved and sliced thin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4-1/3 WHOLE milk, depending on consistency
1 LARGE egg

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients.
  • Cut in softened butter.
  • Add cheeses and mix until crumbly.
  • Add onion pieces and mix until well distributed.
  • Whisk egg into whole milk and heavy cream.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing dough just until it comes together.
  • Form into a LARGE round or 4 small rounds.
  • Transfer to baking sheet lined with a SILPAT.
  • Slice an X into the tops for venting.
  • Bake 1 hour.
  • Let cool 15-30 minutes before serving. The centers will continue baking during the cooling time.

NOTE:

  • If making into smaller rounds or roll size, adjust the baking time accordingly. For 4 rounds I bake 45 minutes. For 8 rolls I bake 25-30 minutes.

This meal is a

CARROT COINS

I ORIGINALLY posted this recipe in 2012, but I’ve been making it since the 80’s, but boy did it need a serious photo update. This recipe makes a great side that lasts several days or even weeks with a great vinegar base.

CARROT COINS
40 ounces +/- canned sliced carrots, drained
14 ounces +/- canned baby peas, drained
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup**
3/4 cup vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider and it is just as good)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup avocado (neutral flavored) oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Whisk together soup, oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. 
  • Add carrots, peas and onions. 
  • Chill overnight so flavors blend. 
  • Serve cold.

**I replaced the canned soup with the following recipe:

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk 
dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and seasonings and cook until bubbly. 
  • Add tomato puree’ and blend well.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk in liquid. 
  • Return to heat and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened to desired consistency.

49er CHILI & CHILI DOG CASSEROLE

Like most men, my husband LOVES chili dogs. But, we don’t eat much bread these days. So, when I saw Sandra’s recipe for Chili Dog Casserole it was right up our alley! The only thing I did different was make a batch of 49er Chili! 49er chili is an OLD scrap of a recipe I found on one of our recipe box searches in antique stores. This casserole really is like having your chili dog and fries, all in one spot and gets rave reviews from everyone. It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, church potlucks or backyard get togethers.

CHILI DOG CASSEROLE
6 hot dogs your favorite brand, sliced into small pieces
15 ounce can chili or 1 1/2 cups homemade
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained WELL (I used spicy seasoned)
1 cup shredded or very thinly sliced, carrots (optional – hubby didn’t care for them)
12 ounces crinkle cut French fries, frozen
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Spray a 9 x 13” baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium sized skillet, saute the sliced hot dogs until nice and fragrant and seriously browned. We like them really charred 😀
  • In a medium bowl, add the hot dogs, chili, tomatoes, and carrots.
  • Stir until evenly combined.
  • Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  • Evenly arrange French fries in a single layer on top of the hot dog mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cheese on top of the fries, and bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Chile is one of the oldest dishes around and dates back to the Aztecs in Mexico. I assume this one received its name after an old gold miner’s recipe. I have revamped it a little as time went by, but we love it.

49er CHILI
2 pounds SMALL lean beef pieces or ground beef
1 clove garlic, FINELY minced
1 medium white or yellow onion, FINELY chopped
2 teaspoons chile powder
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups tomato sauce/puree
3/4 cup room temperature beer
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar

  • Combine the beef, onions and garlic in a large dutch oven and brown SLOWLY.
  • Drain off any excess grease.
  • Return meat mixture to pan and add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

1 LARGE can chili beans (optional)

  • Stir in beans if using and and simmer 15 minutes more.

2 tablespoons corn flour
1/4 cup water

  • Whisk corn flour and water together.
  • Stir corn flour mixture into chile.
  • Simmer 20-30 minutes more.

Shredded cheese
Chopped onions
Sour cream

  • Serve HOT with topping of choice.

RUSTIC CASSOULET (slightly updated)

RUSTIC CASSOULET
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces**
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
1 pound Johnsonville beef sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1/4 cup FRESH minced Italian flat leaf parsley
28-ounces whole peeled tomatoes (seasoned, if you can find them)
14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
1 cup Moscato white wine
1 +/- cups chicken stock
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs (fresh are best – I make them from baguettes )
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and ground black pepper
2 cups pasta of choice (optional)
Crusty French Bread (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Brown the bacon until browned and crumbly in large saute skillet/dutch oven. 
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Add chicken and sausage pieces to bacon fat and brown on all sides.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from fat and set aside. 
  • Add the shallots, cooking 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic, sauteing a few minutes more until fragrant.
  • Add white wine and chicken stock, bringing to a boil. Turn heat off.
  • Add tomatoes and beans. 

  • Add meat back in.
  • Mix together crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, thyme and 1 tablespoon melted butter together until well blended.
  • Spread crumb mixture over the top and bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake 5-10 minutes more until browned.

NOTES **

  • I sometimes cook the chicken thighs whole and then shred them – just depends on my mood.
  • You can change this into a thick soup/stew by eliminating the bread crumbs and adding 8 ounces (2 cups) of macaroni during the last 10-15 minutes. I then serve it with crusty bread for dipping.

TOMATO SWEET POTATO BISQUE with BACON JALAPENO GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS

TOMATO SWEET POTATO BISQUE adapted from CARLA HALL
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium sweet potato 
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced 
1 rib celery, cleaned and diced 
1 sweet onion, FINELY chopped 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons FRESH thyme leaves
14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 
4 cups unsalted vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup heavy cream 
Micro greens or chopped green onions, for garnish 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Place the sweet potato on a baking sheet and bake until soft, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool, then peel it and roughly chop it.
  • Heat avocado oil and butter in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until the onions just turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nice and brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Stir in the cayenne pepper, tomatoes with their juices and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the roasted sweet potato.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until silky smooth.
  • Return the soup to the skillet and heat on low.
  • Stir in the cream.
  • Season to taste and serve hot with the micro greens or sliced green onions and
  • Croutons.

BACON JALAPENO GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS
2 slices bacon per sandwich, cooked crisp
FRESH sourdough bread
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1 SMALL can diced jalapeños, drained well
QUALITY medium cheddar slices

  • Beat together the cream cheese and diced jalapeños.
  • Butter the outside of the bread slices.
  • Spread one slice with the cream cheese jalapeño mixture.
  • Lay bacon pieces on top of cream cheese mixture.
  • Top with cheddar cheese slice and other slice of bread, buttered side out.
  • Place the sandwich in a nonstick skillet and turn the heat to medium-low, cooking and turning occasionally, until the bread is toasted golden brown and the cheese is completely melted through.
  • Cut into croutons.

CREAM SPRING SOUP

CREAM SPRING SOUP
2 cups chicken stock
4-6 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, cleaned and diced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped chives
1 teaspoon FRESH chopped rosemary leaves
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon mushroom umami herb (I get Simple Organics at Kroger)

  • Combine the above ingredients, bringing to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

1 cup cooked macaroni
1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 SMALL can of evaporated milk

  • Stir in heavy cream and macaroni, heating through.