RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘Homemade’

For the love of soup (and homemade stock)

10 Apr

I love soup!  I fell in love while I was in culinary school.  I made potato chowder and all I could think of was watery mashed potatoes.  I was amazed when I tasted it, such a basic recipe but so creamy and full of flavor!   As I went from restaurant to restaurant I branched out more and more.  The last place I worked, the evening “chef”  made beef vegetable, beef vegetable and beef vegetable soup.  It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t anything special and finally I got to show my stuff and snuck something else in.  I had to fight tooth and nail to get him to stop making this stuff in 5 gallon buckets (seriously).  When I went on vacation, I would make batches of soup up and freeze them so he wouldn’t make anymore beef vegetable!

I have recently started making more soup at home.  It is frugal and so yummy and healthy. What I make most frequently is Chicken Vegetable with Brown Rice-pretty basic, but easy to make and the kids like it.   I often make a roast chicken in the crock pot, so here are a few tips on being frugal with your time and budget.

Take a whole chicken and pull the skin up and rub seasoned salt under, reach back into the legs, get it all over.  Place in your crock pot with a half cup-cup of water, maybe some veggies if you’d like, but you don’t have to.  Cook it for 6-8 hrs on low, 4-6 on high.  The juices make a great gravy, if you don’t do gravy, leave the liquid in the crock pot.

When it’s done, Take the meat off the bone and stick the bones back into the crock pot.  Fill with water to cover the bones and throw in any veggie scraps you have around, some salt, a couple bay leaves and peppercorns.  Cook on high for another 6 hours or so (even low overnight).  I just strain mine through a colander into another pot, then dish it out into small containers.

Maybe I’ll share some of my soup recipes soon, I’ll think about it….

*TIPS*

Washed out Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter jars-GREAT glass storage containers, we’re getting away from plastics here.

When I’m making soup, or anything else with celery, onions or carrots, I put the scraps into a ziploc in the freezer, when it’s time to make stock, I throw the veggies in my crock pot with the bones and put the bag back into the freezer, ready to fill again.

 
No Comments

Posted in Cooking

 

Homemade French Fries

02 Apr

These are good and fairly easy.  I didn’t think I could make really good french fries from scratch, even though 5 Guys does…..I googled a recipe and tried it not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised!  I’ve had lots of potatoes and no french fries in the house, so we’ve had these 3 times already.  I made them with red potatoes once and they weren’t as good as the russets.

Here is how I’ve been doing it:

Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch strips and put into ice water for about 10 minutes.

Heat oil on medium heat, put the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil, if it bubbles up around the handle, it is ready to fry.

Place your first batch of potatoes onto paper towels to remove excess water, then place into pan.  Fry about 10 minutes, they will float when cooked through.   You are not browning them at this point.  Remove from oil and place on another set of paper towels.  Fry up the rest in as many batches as you need to.

Turn up the heat to med-high, wait a minute or so, and place some of the fries back into the pan (I’ve found you can fit a bit more in this stage).   Cook them until they are brown and crispy as you’d like them, put onto paper towels and let them drain a bit.

Salt or season them as you like and enjoy!
A few tips:

I used about a 2 inch deep pan and only had about an inch of oil in it.  Obviously you could use more and cook more fries at a time.  I did 2 batches for 4 people and had plenty.

Also, if you use your oil often for fairly clean foods (like french fries)  you can reuse it.  Restaurants use the same oil for about a week (depending on how busy, but I’ve found that to be a general rule) it more has to do with how much it is used and what it is used for not how old it is.   Breaded items like chicken and fish will get the oil “dirty” quicker.  After it cools, I put mine into an old glass jar, I’ve used it 3 times now and it still looks good.  It’s a good idea to strain out some of the little pieces left behind, but not a big deal.  I”m not sure how long to keep it, but I would say at least a few weeks.

 

3 Grain Waffles

16 Mar

Before I had kids, I was a chef.  I ran the kitchen at an old mansion turned restaurant  for breakfast and lunch .  Our big deal was waffles, and not  your ordinary waffle.   A huge Belgian waffle,  piled high with strawberries, fresh fruit, pecans, ice cream, whip cream, or chocolate chips. You could get any of these or all of the above, then top it off with gooey, warm, homemade caramel syrup.  Besides the fresh fruit, there was nothing healthy about these.  At our house, we do these super yummy 3 grain waffles.  I’ll be straight and say the hubby does not approve, but I think the pickiest of kids would like these, mine all love them.  They’re a great finger food for babies babies who are at this stage.   My littlest had nothing to do with baby cereal, these were great for him to get a decent breakfast.  I make a double batch,what we don’t eat goes into  Tupperware or Ziplock and into the freezer, pull one out when I need one and stick it in the toaster and that works for me!

3 Grain Waffles

Mix:

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1/4 C rolled oats

2 TBS  ground flax seed

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

Then add:

1-1/4 Cups low-fat buttermilk (I usually use regular milk)

2 TBS maple syrup

1 LG Egg, lightly beaten

1 TBS canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and let set a couple minutes.  Cook according to your waffle makers directions.  This recipe also makes great pancakes.   Serve with butter  and maple syrup, or Strawberries and Chocolate Chips, or Whip Cream, or…..you get the picture.

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We are That Family