Friday, December 13, 2013

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Basic Ingredients
Basic ingredients include an onion, some garlic, celery, broccoli, chicken broth or bullion, butter and not shown some milk and cream.
chopped onion and garlic
Chop the onion and garlic, saute in a large pot with the butter.
separate and wash the celery
Separate and wash the celery
chopped celery
Celery is chopped.
Celery added to the onion, garlic saute
Add the celery with the onion and garlic saute.
rinse and chop the broccoli
Rinse and chop the broccoli.
Add enough water to cover the celery/onion/garlic
Add enough water or broth to cover the celery/onion/garlic.  If using water add some chicken bullion.
Cover and cook about 20 minutes stirring as needed to make it nice and soft. 
after 20 minutes simmering
After 20 minutes simmering.
after 20 minutes simmering
After 20 minutes simmering.
Immersion blender
I use an immersion blender to smooth it out.  At this time first remember this is boiling hot.  It is okay to let it cool just to be safe.  You can use a potato masher or any other sort of practical instrument to blend it.  You also get to decide how smooth you want it.  Some folks like it smooth, some like it chunky.  Whatever you want is right!
I like it relatively smooth.  Remember you can always blend it more.
Milk and Cream
I add about 2 cups of milk after blending and it is off the heat.  Then about 1 cup cream.
This looks great.
This is the way I want it to look!
The final product, Cream of Broccoli soup
The final product, Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Since the milk and cream were added after it was removed from heat it is perfect temperature for eating right away.
I suppose a few croutons would look great on this.
But, I'm ready for dinner.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smoked Salmon Chowder

My dad loves to fish.  He loves to fish so much for retirement he lives along the Columbia River between Longview and Cathlamet WA.  It is a rare day when he is not fishing.  He loves salmon and steelhead fishing.  He also likes to smoke fish and cheeses. He usually smokes things pretty well.  They are smokey and drier then some people are used to. So I get the benefit of salmon, steelhead, harvest trout and some smoked foods.  This little tidbit was in my freezer.  I needed to use it up.
Particularly in winter months I like hardy meals that will make you feel full and, well, hardy.
I like my chowders thick.  Almost any ingredient I use here I would eat or drink individually.  
So, this chowder shouldn't have a chance to not be perfect.
I tried to pull up some carrots outside but the container is frozen so no carrots.  But carrots or celery could easily be added.  I used corn instead.

Smoked Salmon
Dad-caught and smoked salmon.
potatoes and corn
I used 5 potatoes that I bought on sale today.
It's Sunday before Thanksgiving so lots of basics for cooking are on sale.
The corn is just what I like from the freezer.  
potatoes, corn, butter and glass of wine
Potatoes, corn, butter and glass of wine.
The wine is just for me.
milk and cream
I'll be using some milk and cream.
I ended up using about 1 quart of milk and 1 cup of cream.
sweet onion
I almost always use sweet onions. I'm from Walla Walla after all.
Chopped that baby up and sauted in the butter in the big pot.
Chopped potatoes
Chopped up the potatoes.  I did these about 1/3 inch squares.
I think smaller (like this) cubes make for a better thick chowder and will cook faster than larger cubes.
You should cut the potatoes exactly how you like them.
Salmon Separated
I just use my fingers to get rid of the skin and shred the salmon.
Dad takes good care of me and removes most the bones when he fillets the fish.
I found just a couple.  
sauteed onions
The onions have been sauteed in the butter.
I like onions to sort of fall apart in this sort of soup/stew so I started cooking them first.
pepper bullion and salt
I like to add a little chicken bullion in most my soups.
I almost always use some sort of pepper.
I don't usually cook with salt.  I usually add it per serving if needed.
In this instance, I'm thinking there was enough salt in the brine my dad used before smoking the salmon.
But again, I can always add it later.
processing the thickener
To thicken something one common way is to blend flour and milk.
Almost anyone that has cooked has found ways to make your thickener lumpy.
What I do to prevent it is to mix a little milk into the thickener which in this instance is flour.
I blend it in this little thing then add more milk.  I also added the chicken bullion in here.  I only added about 1 teaspoon of that.  I know if it's not flavorful enough I can add more.
I used about 3/4 cup flour with eventually about 1 1/2 cups of milk.  
I've cooked the potatoes with the sauteed onions.
I've cooked the potatoes with the sauteed onions.  I let the cook till cooked.
All that is in this mix is the butter, the onions and the potatoes.
Mixed in the corn
After microwaving the corn (it had been frozen) I mixed it in.
added in the salmon
I added in the salmon.
At this point no thickeners have been added. Of course the milk and cream haven't been added either.
thickener ready to add
So this is the thickener just before adding it in.
Thickener added.
I added the thickener before adding the rest of the milk.  That way I knew it would distribute well.
milk and cream added.
About 1 quart of milk + 1 cup cream has been added.
I added some pepper in at this time.
At this point, cover it and allow it to simmer over low for about 15 minutes and it will thicken up.
If you want thinner chowder, use less thickener or more milk or other liquid.  
Final result.
Final result.  This is just perfect for me.  That is good because I'll be munching on this the next few day.
I did not need to add any salt.  I forgot my oyster crackers.  Oh well.
Tummy feels good.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Yellow Split Pea Soup

The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to cool enough to keep from burning you.  Most of the flavor is from the ham hock.  If you don't have a ham hock, you could use ham, bacon, little smokies sausages or any cured meat should work.

1 onion chopped into crock pot
Add 1 chopped  onion into crock pot
Add 12-16 oz of yellow split peas, rinsed.
Add 12-16 oz of yellow split peas, rinsed. 
Add a 2-3 cloves of crushed or minced garlic.
Add a 2-3 cloves of crushed or minced garlic.
Add some peppercorns.
Add some peppercorns.
Add ham hocks.
Add ham hocks.
Add water and a bay leaf.
Add water and a bay leaf.
Turn crock pot on to either high or low.  
Just checking at about 3-4 hours.
Just checking at about 3-4 hours.
Just checking at about 3-4 hours.
Just checking at about 3-4 hours.
Looks a little frothy - that's okay.
Home from work?  Soups done.
Home from work?  Soups done.
Add salt to each bowl as desired.  

Monday, September 30, 2013


package of hamburger
1 1/2 pounds burger.  
Chopped Onion
Chop an onion.
Garlic cloves
This garlic is small but I grew it.  
Garlic cloves and garlic crusher
I like this garlic crusher.  Do you have a favorite garlic crusher?
close up of garlic crusher
The little red bits fit into the metal grate to help clean it out.
Onion Sautee
Onion Sautee
Onions translucent to starting to carmalize
Onions translucent to starting to caramelize with the crushed garlic.  My oh my I love that aroma!
tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes
I use the diced tomatoes and a can of paste.  
Diced tomatoes added to onion/garlic mix
Diced tomatoes added to onion/garlic mix.  I don't like fresh tomatoes so I cook these till they are quite soft and some of the juice is reduced.
Adding the tomato paste
Adding the tomato paste.  Tomato paste is so intensely flavorful for a tomato product.  I love the taste.
Hamburger sautee
Hamburger sautee
Package of egg noodles
I usually use extra wide egg noodles.  Today I used about 1/2 this package.
boiling the egg noodles
Boiling the egg noodles - don't cook your noodles till you are ready to mix them in the mix.
Burger, onion/tomato and onion/garlic mixed together
Burger, onion/tomato and onion/garlic mixed together
Worcestershire sauce and cheddar cheese
To the burger/noodle/etc mix add in a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and about 4 ounces of grated cheddar cheese (about 1/2 this package).  I usually would grate my own but I had this and was lazy.
Goulash.  It looks better with the extra wide noodles but the flavor is all there.
end of season green beans
end of season green beans
prepared green beans and the chicken bouillon I use.
I boil the water for the green beans with some of this chicken bouillon.  
Goulash and green beans
Goulash and green beans.  nummm.