Beef Broth and Vegetable Soup

Beef BrothYou got a day? Good because when you have that day, this one is a must make. It is the process of making rich beef broth. Once you have the broth, use it how you would like, in my case I created my mom’s vegetable soup, however you could use it for the french onion soup as well. This recipe is extremely easy to make, however the only factor is time, and when I say time, I mean 8-12 hours. The broth literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and the rest of the time is letting it cook on the stove. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Large Soup Pot to hold everything listed below
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 4 Large Tomatoes
  • Bag of Celery, cleaned and base removed
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 bag of carrots, washed
  • Beef bones
  • Package of short ribs (I used boneless beef ribs as I wanted more meat)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Water

Vegetable SoupStart by rinsing your tomatoes, carrots, and celery. In your large soup pot, add everything. You do not have to cut up anything, nor do you have to remove the skin from the onion or garlic. Fill the pot with water and put it on the stove on medium heat. Once the soup has came to a boil, put it on medium-low heat, covered, and let this simmer for eight hours or more. Once the broth has cooked, strain the meat and the vegetables. I used a large spoon strainer for this process, making sure to get the bone out of the meat. I let this cool outside as it is cold in Wisconsin right now. In the morning, I took the solidified fat and threw it out.

This creates your beef broth.

For the vegetable soup, I brought the broth to a rolling boil, and then brought it back to simmer. During this time, I added the following ingredients for the soup, and stemmed away from my mom’s recipe as she does like adding corn or potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 pound of chopped, fresh green beans
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add these ingredients and let cook for an hour or so. I left the soup pot on simmer all day and fed many people, including myself several times over. This is an excellent soup and could be eaten with some great crusty bread, by itself, or with the pepperoni rolls. Enjoy.

Garlic Soup

Garlic SoupBefore I go on, this soup is a must make. Not only is it simple to make, but it is amazing in flavor. My parents have been wanting me to make a garlic soup recipe that they state is ‘out of this world’, and trust me, I think about it a lot, however I have yet to make it. Instead, I made my own. Simple ingredients, great flavors. Lets just say that my wife and I looked at one another and defined it as a money making soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads roasted garlic
  • 3 potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 2 Large Leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Large Onion (I used one medium yellow, and 1/2 medium red)
  • 8-12 cups of Chicken stock
  • Heavy Cream
  • Olive Oil

Garlic SoupIt does not get any easier than that. Start by peeling your garlic. I do this by separating the cloves (I wack them with my knife, which allows for easier peeling). Add them to a small bowl and toss with olive oil to lightly coat. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 and once heated, add the garlic to a baking pan, uncovered, and roast for 20-25 minutes. During the roasting time, chop your onions, potatoes, and leeks. You will want to make sure that after you chop the leeks that you clean them thoroughly as dirt gets between the skin. Once you have prepared the vegetables, heat a large soup pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and leeks and let them sweat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and the garlic, and bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for roughly 25 minutes.

Garlic SoupThe next step is to use a blender or an immersion blender to puree soup. Be mindful that when adding hot soup to a blender, to carefully not overfill, as well as use a towel to cover the top seal of the blender. Pressure can build up and explode, trust me, it has happened to me before. I actually used a large spoon that allowed me to strain the vegetables from the broth. I transferred the vegetables to the blender, then added a cup or so of the broth to move things through. You could get rustic here and let it go a bit chunky, however I pureed mine. Pour the mixture back into the soup broth, and bring back to temperature.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into your soup bowls and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top. You can serve this alone, or trust me, it would go good with pretty much anything onion, potato, and garlic go with. Enjoy.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked PotatoYou have to love the potato. You can shred them, mash them, fry them, mash them and bake them, and so much more. My family loves the mashed potato, and heck, I simply love most, if not all types of potatoes. In particular, I love the baked potato, especially with a steak dinner, or simply on its own, stuffed with broccoli and cheese, bacon, or whatever else you can load in there. Lately, I have had a craving for a twice baked potato, so with that said, you better believe that I made them. The process is so simple, yet the deliverable is so warm, and delicious.

  • Large Russet Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • Course Salt
  • Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Green Onions (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Heavy Cream or Milk

Twice Baked PotatoFirst preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the meantime, scrub the outside of the potatoes and thoroughly clean. Pat dry, and lightly rub olive oil over all of the potatoes. Take a fork and poke holes in the potato which will prevent the potato from exploding from the pressure while cooking in the oven. Cook the taters right on the oven rack for about 1 hour and twenty minutes, or until they are cooked through. This depends on the size of the potato so feel free to press on the potato around the 60 minute mark to check for softness.

Once cooked, remove them from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes or so.

If you are using bacon for this recipe, cook it during the baking time, or the cooling time, it is really up to you.
With a knife, simply cut the top 1/3 of the potato completely off, reserving the meat. With a spoon, scoop out the insides of the potato, making sure to leave a bit around the edges of the potato so it does not fall apart, and place the meat into a bowl. Do this with all of your potatoes.

Now, into the bowl add the butter, cream, salt and pepper, and green onions. Mash to the texture you are wanting. Twice Baked PotatoThen refill each potato boat with the filling. Add cheddar cheese to the top, and crumble the bacon on top as well. Return to the oven, however at a lower temperature, around 350 degrees, and cook for nearly 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and ready to go. Trust me on this one, they are awesome!

I am certain you could do whatever you want within these potatoes; adding different types of cheeses, vegetables, or meats. What do you put on your potato?

Curry

Curry Ingredients

My desire to dive into Indian cuisine has begun. I have been thinking about the food for a few weeks now, and a conversation was started with an employee at the Marquette University Law Library. Naimish and I have discussed food in the past, in particular restaurants around town, and grocery stores for Indian shopping. So after viewing foodtube.net a couple of weeks ago, and doing a simple search for Curry, my mouth began to water. Then, the light came on while walking past Naimish, and I asked him about curry. He discussed the regions of India and where the region he is from, they eat spicier food. The light got brighter as I love hot and spicy food. I asked him to send over his curry recipes, of which he did on Friday afternoon. I picked up a couple of the spices which I did not have in stock, and made his recipe for curry, without the eggs, of which his recipe was labeled as ‘Spicy Egg Masala’.

CurryI ate this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in a couple of different ways. Friday was with baked chicken, Saturday was with potatoes, and Sunday morning on top of a egg cooked over easy. As I could not compare with a curry from Naimish, the flavors were pretty awesome.

  • Onions – 2, medium size, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1. medium size, finely chopped
  • Green chilies – 2, medium size, medium hot, finely chopped
  • Fresh Ginger – 1-inch size, finely ground
  • Fresh Garlic – 3 cloves, finely ground
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala (Special Indian spice) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves – a small bunch or 2 teaspoons, finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or adjusted to taste
  • Warm water – 1-1/2 cups

Method: Heat a pan and pour in the oil. Put the onions, tomato, green chili, and ginger and garlic in vegetable oil to a turn it into a coarse paste. . Saute it till golden brown. Add the Add red chili, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala powders and saute again for another minute. Sprinkle a few drops of water at this time, if needed. Saute until the oil separates from the paste. Add the 1-1/2 cups of warm water, and the eggs and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce reaches the required thick consistency. Serve it hot with rotis, plain or jeera rice, or bread. Enjoy!