Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homemade Chef Boyardee: Beefy Macaroni Tomato Soup in a crockpot

My husband doesn't see it but this recipe has a certain Chef Boyardee nastalga for me. I started with a recipe for tomato macaroni soup but didn't have half the ingredients so I started improvising.

1 can of condensed tomato soup
1 can of water
1 can of died tomatoes
1 full size can tomato sauce
2-3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 lb cooked ground beef 

I tossed everything in the crock-pot on high for 3.5 hrs.

Then added:
2 cups chicken stock
4 handfuls of uncooked macaroni

Let cook till macaroni is tender. Enjoy:)

This recipe received 2 thumbs up!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

This year we had a blast with a cousin dinner for St. Patrick's Day. I think it might have been my favorite recipes so far!

I'm not sure I knew how delicious this stuff was until I started making it from scratch. I used Alton Brown's recipe again this year, but with a few tweeks.

2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter (omitted because I couldn't find it)
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries (
omitted because I couldn't find it)
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. (Mine was closer to 2 weeks) Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.

After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. (I felt last year that I could use some more flavor. So this year I added some mustard seed, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves inTo the pot as well) Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours ( I cooked mine in the crock pot for 5 hrs) or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

This stuff was amazing! I realized after I mixed all my ingredients that I was using a 1/2 t. Instead of the 1/4t. I thought I was. Thus everything had been accidentally doubled! What could I do? I double the remaining ingredients and made two. It turned out so well I'm glad I had the extra! I did sub the buttermilk for some homemade yogurt and milk.

Not my favorite recipe this year. Turned out really dry :(

These were delicious! I roasted the potatoes with a head of garlic and they turned out amazingly!

I used the transitional rye bread recipe from Peter Reinhardt's, whole wheat book, very much a do again. Made amazing Ruben sliders the next day.

I just used the basic recipe in Danny's veggie book. Basically, you boil a small amount of salted water, add the cabbage wedges, then cover to steam until tender. Then, I lightly salt and pepper.

I wish I had pictures but the food was so good, it just disappeared!