Pumpkin Gumbo

I have made several different pumpkin soups. This one was a real winner! I know this is not the season for it, but the scraps of paper I wrote the recipe on just percolated to the top of the pile, so here goes.

Take 1 large pumpkin and remove the seeds. Cut it up and boil until soft in a stock pot. Remove pieces and puree in a food processor. Set aside.

Finely chop 1 large celeriac in food processor, then toss it into the stock pot to start simmering it in the reserved liquid from boiling the pumpkin.

Finely chop 1 fennel in food processor, including the fronds, and toss it into the stock pot.

Remove the stem from 1 eggplant, then finely chop it, peel and all, in the food procesor and throw into the pot.

Finely chop 3 leeks in food processor and throw it in the pot.

Slice 1 head celery and 1 pound okra in food processor and add to pot.

Add the pumpkin back to the pot.  Set it up double boiler style. Continue to stew.

In a large cast iron skillet brown ~3-1/2 lbs. of ground beef in 2 T olive oil.
Season it with 2 T salt, 1/2 T black pepper and 2 T basil
Add it to the pot and stir it in.

Add 2 t nutmeg, 2 t ground cloves, 2 t cinnamon and 2 T cocoa powder 

Stir regularly. Stew for a couple of hours. It serves a crowd in a very happy, healthy way!

pumpkins

 

 

Avocado Fried Rice

redriceThis is something I just whipped up this morning as a side dish for breakfast. It was so tasty, I made it for my main dish for lunch! It’s super easy. We had leftover red rice. It had been boiled with nutmeg in it to give it some added flavor. This morning, I put some sesame oil in the cast iron skillet and heated it up; cube a haas avocado and fry it in the oil, then add some olive oil, then add about  cup to a cup and a half of the red  rice. Fry it up on high heat, turning frequently, until it is the desired crunchiness or softness.

Bon Appetit!

Yellow Split Pea Ham Soup

A couple of weeks ago I made the best split pea, ham soup we had ever had. We had a shoulder ham with a good joint bone in it. I went to Assi Market (a Chinese supermarket) with my daughter and granddaughters to buy some seafood, gluten free noodles and green tea. Rather than making another stop, we looked for split peas there. The only selection they had was a four pound bag of large, yellow split peas. I normally use green, but these looked healthy, and convenient, so I went with them. This was the second stop. I had already picked up celeriac, onions, fennel, and garlic at Produce Junction.

Start with the Broth. In a 10 quart pot, simmer:

  • 1 ham bone
  • 1/2 celeriac, cut in chunks
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 tops & fronds of fennel
  • 5 cloves of garlic

Simmer until a nice aromatic broth is created. Strain the broth. Boil in the broth:

  • 2 pounds yellow split peas
  • 1 pound carrots, chopped extra fine in the Ninja
  • 1 large onion, chopped with the carrots in the Ninja
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

Add ~1 Tablespoon turmeric and generous grinds of black pepper. Add cubed ham back to soup. Warm a bit longer. Serve. It is thick and hearty, and oh so tasty!

Sweet Ginger Pepper Sausage Stir-fry

I can’t just leave well enough alone, as they say. When I am left to make dinner for the family, and there is one kind of meat thawed, by now, they are still expecting to be surprised. This night the meat was a pound of hickory smoked, 100% beef sausages from Shady Maple, Lancaster, PA. They were the size of 10″ long bratwurst. I cut them into 1″ to 3/4″ long pieces and started to heat them in a large, cast iron skillet in some olive oil. Immediately the quartered rings of a yellow onion were added, then the halved strips of a yellow, red and orange sweet peppers were added.

The heat is on. The juices are beginning to flow. But the dish lacks inspiration. So, I grab a bottle of ginger brandy and glug, glug, glug, glug. Yes. All four glugs into the pan, over the contents. Then I turn up the gas a little more. I go to the freezer and get out the frozen corn. I threw a couple handfuls of that into the pan. and stir that in. I keep cooking and stirring until the brandy has a chance to seep into everything a bit. Its alcohol is bubbling away, leaving sweetness and the ginger.

O man! It was good!

Quinoa Cocoa Cinnamon Avocado Mango

That’s about all you need to remember for this dish I created tonight. It was delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, no added sugar, and has chocolate.

cocoa-powderIngredients:

  • 3 cups organic quinoa
  • vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 6-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 4 Ataulfo mangos

In a large sauce pan, toast the quinoa in a thin layer of oil to bring out the flavor. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Add the water, cocoa & cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Pit & peel the avocados and dice into the pan. If they are ripe enough, wisk them into the slurry. Peel & dice the mangos & add them. Boil for about 6 minutes, then cover. Remove from heat and let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer it to a suitable bowl or casserole dish for serving  and cover and put it into the refrigerator to chill.

It is mildly sweet and goes well with salad and/or soup.

Ku méejtech uutsil!