It’s starting to feel like Fall finally!

I love soup and Split Pea is comfort food for me.

It’s a slow simmer in the crock pot so once you done the prep it’s a straight shot all by itself for hours.
This recipe is how my mom used to make it, there are variations where leeks and carrots are used but it comes out too heavy for me.

Oma’s Split Pea Soup

This recipe is for 4 people with enough left over for another meal. Reduce the peas and water by half if making it for 2 people or if you want no left overs.

2 bags green split peas (or 2 pounds)
1 medium sized celery root
1 pound beef shank
1 package salted pork
1 smoked sausage

Rinse peas, place in crock pot ( I have a 6 quart one)
Clean celery root by peeling it,cut celery root and salted pork in chunks
Add celery root, salted pork and beef shank to the crock pot
Cover with water, stirring a few times to get the peas wet.
Cook on low until peas fall apart, 6 hours depending on your crock pot.Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom or sides.
Remove bone and salted pork.
Using a stick blender or food processor blend the soup until smooth.
Cut up smoked sausage and add to soup.
You can cut up the salt pork in small pieces and add it to the soup. Be aware you need to let it sit for a little bit before you add salt in order not to oversalt it.
The soup will thicken if refrigerated, when reheating add some chicken stock to it and heat it slowly.

Enjoy!

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Winter asks for stew.

My new pan is going to get used again today for a great favorite of mine growing up.
My mom wasn’t the most creative cook and she tended to cook things longer than intended sometimes resulting in very tender vegetables.
So one thing she did well was stews because they could simmer for ever and still come out pretty good.

Goulash is a different dish in Europe.
The American dish uses ground chicken or beef, my recipe uses beef chunks left to simmer slowly over several hours.
You can use regular paprika powder, I’m using smoked paprika which gives it this smokey flavor.
I had small portabella mushrooms I added per request of my daughter.
Sour cream added to the dish at the end makes it creamy and very tasty.

Goulash

1 pound of stew beef
2 tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
2 tbs butter
2 bay leaves
1 can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
2-3 tablespoons of paprika
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) can of diced tomatoes
(optional) 8 ounces of mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
2-3 tablespoons sour cream

Cut up all vegetables
Saute meat in butter
add onions, mushrooms and tomato
Add salt, pepper and paprika and mix well
add diced tomatoes, chicken broth
bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for at least 4 hours.
taste and add spices as needed.
before serving add sour cream

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!

Tools of the trade.

E. asked me yesterday what use she would have of the crock-pot her mom bought her for Christmas. Was it going to gather dust or would she find it helpful as she worked long hours.

When we moved to the US I was introduced to a new way of cooking food: a crock-pot (slow cooker)
These were unknown to me but I’ve grown to love and use my crock-pot a lot.
So much so that I bought a second, smaller crock-pot.
Not only do I use them for soups, there are stews too. We cook our ribs in them and nothing is better than coming home to a house that smells like slow-cooked food.
Summer is the only time the crock-pot gets a break, fall and winter I tend to use it a lot.
So the answer E is yes, you’ll be very happy with this Christmas present!

For ideas look at the blog by Stephanie O’Day who in 2008 decided to cook all her food in her crock-pot for 365 days.
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
Today here is one of her recipes I’m sure I’ll make soon.

Day 74.

There is nothing better than french onion soup. Nothing!

This is ridiculously easy to make, and tastes like it belongs in a french restaurant. This is a good dish to simmer all day long while you are at work, or while out and about saving the world.

The Ingredients.
–2 cans of beef broth
–3 T butter
–2 yellow onions
–1/2 T granulated sugar
–1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine would probably work)
–1/2 t kosher salt (you might need more if your butter isn’t salted)
–slices of brown rice bread (or french bread)
–gruyere cheese (swiss could work too)

The Directions.

–heat your crockpot to high and plop your butter in to start melting
–slice the yellow onions into rings
–break up the onion slices with your fingers, and rub them around in the melted butter
–add the beef broth, sugar, salt, and sherry
–cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12. It takes a while for the onions to get translucent and pliable

before serving:
–preheat oven to the broiling option
–toast 4 slices of the bread that you are going to use. That Trader Joe’s brown rice bread needed to be toasted twice in my toaster to get to the desired crunchiness.
–cut gruyere cheese into slices
–put the cheese onto the toasted bread, and carefully float the bread and cheese on the top of the soup
–remove stoneware from crockpot and place the UNCOVERED stoneware into the oven
–broil for a minute or two–the cheese should be all melty and turn a golden color

ladle into 4 bowls.

Recipe by Stephanie O’Day

Turkey Leftovers?

We survived Thanksgiving with only a pound of turkey left over.

Now what to do with the left-overs?
One thing I do every year is make a big pot of soup.
You can do this the day or so after or freeze the carcass and at a later date defrost and use.

I see the stock as a blank “slate” you can add ingredients to or keep it traditional.

Turkey “chicken” soup

Carcass, wing and thigh bones
Enough water to cover the bones
Cut up carrot,onion, salt and pepper
A bouillon cube, this you can find in any grocery store. Mine is from Knorr.
Noodles, those big fat ones would be good.

noodles
Poultry seasoning, I buy mine for the bird and keep some aside.

Cover the carcass with water
Add carrots, poultry seasoning,onion, salt, pepper and bouillon cube.
Let simmer on stove or crock pot 6-8 hours
Remove bones and strain the soup into a clean pan, I use a clean dish towel
Clean the meat of the bones
Return the meat to the soup and add noodles
Flavor with salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low heat until the noodles are cooked

Enjoy!

Reason #1000 why I love my slow cooker.

This is my“slow fast food” because you can make it ahead of time and will be done when you come home.
This is a recipe we took with us from the Netherlands.
It’s tasty, good for a cold day and very popular in this house.
The 14 year old with the hollow leg fights us over the onions, it’s that good.
No worries about the beer and kids, the alcohol burns off as soon as it gets heated making it safe to feed your kid.

Beer Brats and Onions

1 sausage per person
2 medium onions cut in slices
2-3 cloves garlic
1 can beer (I’ve used Guinness, gives it a sweet flavor)
3 tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

sauté onions, garlic and sausage in butter until brown.
add can of beer and salt and pepper
transfer to crock pot
cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes.

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