Monday, December 16, 2013

White Bean, Kielbasa, and Kale Soup

Ok, so I am a fan of big pot of soup. Its cheap and nice to have around for leftovers for a few days. I haven't tried freezing this one yet but its probably fine.

I think that any greens would work in this, especially spinach. I am sure collards or chard would work too, but I don't have as much experience with them. At the first serving, the kale still had a nice texture that spinach would lose pretty quick.

You could use canned beans in a pinch, but why not make your own? Its much cheaper anyhow, and its pretty easy. I use this method. The white navy beans I used needed more like 90-95 minutes, so don't be afraid to add a little more time once you check them and account for a bit extra time so you aren't eating late. The soup can always simmer longer if its done too early.

Home made chicken stock is so great in soups like this. Its really not that much more work! Plan a whole chicken for one meal (or put in the crock pot and shred for another meal) and then put the bones and some veggies or veggie scraps in a crock pot or stock pot and simmer over night. Strain in the AM and presto, stock for your soup. No more salty and pricey store bought broth. Here is more info on this. 

I came across this version of the soup and it had the addition of a parmesan rind. Its optional, but highly recommended. Totally worth buying the block of parmesan at the store. You know you can use the rest somewhere. Or better yet, just make a mental note to keep leftover rind in the freezer for times like this. 

Ok, on to the soup

White Bean, Kielbasa, and Kale Soup


1 package white beans (cannelloni, great northern, navy) cooked or 4 cans drained
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 package kielbasa, sliced 1/2" thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp thyme
Parmesan rind (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch kale, stem removed and cut into 1ish inch pieces

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the oil on medium.

Brown the kielbasa on each side. Remove. Add the veggies and cook 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the beans, broth, kielbasa, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and rind to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper (i used home made stock and beans, so I needed a good amount of salt)

Let simmer for 15-30 minutes (at least long enough for veggies to be soft)

Remove bay leaf and rind. Add kale and let simmer 5 minutes and serve.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Simple Herb Stuffing

Yeah, so I could be a smart blogger and post all these awesome recipes before the holiday that they would be great for. But I am just a mom and just doing this for fun, so you get what I make, after I make it. But trust me, this is so yummy and easy, that I will be making it for more than just thanksgiving.

I am not a fan of fancy stuffings. I like it simple and good. I think I succeeded.

You can use virtually any bread you like for this.

I didn't get a picture this time, but I will add the next time I make it

Simple Herb Stuffing

1 loaf bread, cut into 1 inch pieces (or buy the bag of unseasoned dried bread cubes if you must)
8 tbsp butter
2 stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced pretty thin
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 cups chicken stock (get the very good stuff at the store, or better yet make it yourself. Or veggie)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

If using fresh bread, spread onto a cookie sheet and let sit overnight to dry out. Or place in a 20 degree oven for 10-20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a pan. Reserve half of it for later. Add celery and onion to the existing butter and cook a few minutes until really softened.  Add herbs and cook 1 more minute. Add a little salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs into broth. Put bread in a large bowl and add onions and celery and the broth and mix very well.

Pour into a buttered casserole dish and pour remaining butter on top.

Cook in a 350 oven 45 minutes

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

A while ago,  I decided to cook a roast with little seasoning, shed, divide up, and freeze for later meals. This ended up being a great idea and I have since made french dip sandwiches and "philly" style beef sandwiches. I decided to use my remaining meat for this dish. You could easily use left over pot roast for this as well. Or you can throw a small roast in the crock pot to shred up.

And homemade enchilada sauce! Who knew it was that easy! Never buying it again!

Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada ingredients:

2 cups shredded beef
2 cups drained beans (black, pinto whatever. I used kidney this time.)
2.5 cups shredded cheese, divided. (I suggest cheddar, mexi blend, or pepperjack)
1 can diced green chills
8 tortillas (medium)

Sauce ingredients:
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flour
2 heaping tbsp chili powder
8oz tomato sauce
1 cup broth (or water in a pinch)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan over medium, heat oil. Whisk in flour and chili powder. Cook for 1 minute

Whisk in all other ingredients. Bring up to heat, and then put on low for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, beans, 3/4 cup cheese, can of chilis, and a few spoonfuls of sauce.

In a 9x13 pan, ladle a bit of sauce on the bottom. Enough to just coat the bottom.

Assemble enchiladas and place seam side down in pan.

Top with remaining sauce and then cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until heated through.