||[Dec. 4th, 2008|01:01 pm]
Few things are as comforting to the mind as the smell of a good soup coming from the kitchen.
We splurged on a spiral-sliced ham for Thanksgiving, and it was getting past the good slices by yesterday, so I cut out the bone and put four cups of mixed dried beans on to soak. When they'd doubled in size, I put them, half an onion, chopped (leftover from a different dish) , some peppercorns, some herbs, and the ham bone into one of the smaller soup pots and let it simmer overnight. I forgot to put in any garlic--I'm out of garlic at the moment anyway (how can this be? Out of garlic!)
The smell woke me up this morning. The pot-likker is thick and brown; the beans are soft and succulent. Also in the pot--scraps of the ham meat cut into chunks, and the drippings (including glaze) from the roasting pan the ham had been in. The bones are completely cooked out.
R- had two bowls for lunch; I had one. Yum. Not hungry now.
Part of this will go into storage containers for the freezer, and the rest will make supper tonight for R- and lunch tomorrow for me.
I haven't made soup lately, but earlier this week I made a CrockPot pot roast that James couldn't get enough of. (It was even better the second night, when I made a proper gravy from the drippings and wine.) Last night's supper was another CrockPot meal: Greek chicken and potatoes. Not soup, but both of them were dishes that were burbling away for hours and filling the house with wonderful smells.
Yeah, that burbling away with good smells thing is *wonderful*. I have an old Revere-ware slow cooker that my mother used, but I think I should get someone to check the cord before I use it again. It was a crockpot-like thing before there were crockpots. I could deep-fry in it too, if I were deep-frying anything these days. (Looks at self, shakes head.)
I just wasn't about to waste a ham-bone. Soup would've been better if I'd had two cloves of garlic and used a whole onion not a half, I think. Or maybe not...it was awfully good.
Sometimes garlic helps round out the flavor of things, but other times not so much.
My cast-iron Dutch oven's getting a workout lately, too. We discovered beef cheeks last month. (I know, I know, city girl didn't know about beef cheeks.) They were delicious when braised in red wine and tomatoes, along with chopped onions, carrots, and celery. The surprise ingredient for me was the cocoa powder, but that did something nicely smoky for the dish. The second time around we added garlic and decided the taste was just about perfect.
Shoot, I didn't know about beef cheeks. But that sounds *wonderful*. Where'd you get your beef cheeks and how many pounds went into that?
Sam's Club--the Round Rock location in the La Frontera site. I'm trying to remember how much was in a package ... I want to say twice as much as I used in the recipe. I believe that would make it 8 pounds in a vac-pack.
Speaking of the recipe, I talk about it here if you'd like to give it a go:http://community.livejournal.com/geek_cooks/48805.html
PS - We've also seen beef cheeks at our HEB, but in smaller packages.Edited at 2008-12-04 08:19 pm (UTC)
Mm, bean soup. My Mom sometimes makes a 10-bean soup with Christmas ham leftovers. I hope she does it again this year.
I'm out of garlic
Your words, they do not make any sense to me. o.0
Oh, Aunt Liz, that sounds wonderful!
It's starting to warm up over here, but nights are still cool, and thoughts of soup are still appealing.
How thick was the soup? Lumpy-eat-with-fork, sticks-to-spoon-but-plops, gouge-out-a-divot or pourable-with-chunks? And how much ham was left on the bone?
I may have to dig out my crockpot now. I know a Croatian butcher with their own smokehouse...:-9
My version I made yesterday was made with navy beans, smoked turkey, then after cooking for a few hours, (the beans were fresh frozen from our farmer's market last month) I added the garlic, onion & potato. The only thing I'd change is I'd saute the onions.
It was "don't drip off the spoon" thick, just the way I like bean soup.