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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumn

I love autumn. It's my favorite season, even if the end of it is ugly. And today I am rocking the fall/harvest vibe. Right now I've got all four burners on the stovetop going, and a G+ friend in my What's for Dinner? circle asked for recipes. So...

Boiled eggs
This one is pretty easy, but we boil a lot of eggs (I'm mildly allergic to milk, so eggs are an easier quick protein than cheese), and we've discovered the best way to make them easy-peel; about halfway through the boil add a shake of baking soda to the water, and when they're done, run the whole thing under cold water until the eggs are cool. This may explain my water bill.

Laston's Work Lunches
He likes to vary these, but in general they include (white) meat, veggies, beans and spices. Today's batch is thusly:
  • 3lb pork tenderloin, in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, chunked
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans Cuban-style black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2lbs frozen mixed veggies
Usually this requires a fair amount of spice. But the Cuban-style beans are a bit spicy and the Chipotle Tabasco could come from Safeway any time between 11 and 3 Pacific. I brown the meat and onions and then add the rest, bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.

"Camping Soup"
So named because one could take it camping and cook it all day over a fire; the only thing requiring refrigeration was the meat. We use it more commonly in the fall now, and I associate it with something hot to eat before trick-or-treating. Mom uses ground beef but I prefer stew meat. It's another throw-it-in kind of recipe, and today's version is...
  • 1lb stew beef, browned
  • 1 onion, diced and browned with the meat
  • 1 large can beef broth
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can wax beans
  • 1 large can kidney beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 handful (half a cup?) pearl barley
  • 1 bay leaf
Brown the meat and onions, and toss it all in the slow cooker. It's very important not to drain the canned veggies; the water from them helps make the broth.

Jenn's Jewish-Asian Fusion Sick-time Soup
Jewish because of the chicken-soup stereotype. Asian because of the flavors I put in it. Sometimes I get frozen won-tons but I didn't have time today. Also out of pea pods.
  • 1 quart chicken broth (today I'm making my own,  with chicken thighs, water, lime juice, garlic, onion, ginger, and celery)
  • Chicken (um... today is three thighs' worth)
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 can shiitake mushrooms, drained
  • 1 handful (half a cup?) white rice
  • Soy sauce to taste
Make the broth as above (it's reducing as I type), dump the lot in a slow cooker (Laston's mom got me a triple-crock-pot a couple years ago and it's my best friend), and enjoy!

There it is, folks, Jenn's autumnal comfort food.