G.W.’s Good Grub, Lesson 50, Umami Continued


I have for you, my friends, another soup that uses umami to add robust and exiting flavor to your cooking.  This soup is far different that the last one in that it is hearty enough to be a meal.  It’ll warm your belly on a cold day, and make you feel all cozy.  You’ll think the world has just been made a better place.

What’s that Frank?  You say you ate so much canned soup as a boy that you really don’t care for soup any more?  Well believe me, this soup is nothing like the canned varieties you ate as a child, or even what today’s canned offerings give you.  You’re going to like this soup.  In fact, if you make it, that wife of yours just might want to snuggle up on the couch with you, and watch a hockey game.  Now that takes some good soup.

Now, let’s get cooking.

Tools: 3 quart pot, sharp chef’s knife, cutting board, large cooking spoon.

Ingredeints:

On Saturday, I started thinking about what I could throw together for lunches I could just throw into the microwave at work. I thought to myself that a good soup was in order. I looked in the refrigerator for possible leftover candidates. A couple of days back, we had a cheaper cut of beef steak. As my wife won’t doesn’t care for the gristle and fat, I had cut that portion off of the steaks and placed it into the freezer for a future soup. The week before, we had pork chops, with one chop left over, clearly not enough for a meal for my wife and myself. I found some cooked green beans, and cooked cauliflower that we’d had a couple days back. I knew that I had what I needed for some great soup. Here’s what I made.
Ingredients:
1 pork chop, with the bone
¼ cup fresh cauliflower
1/4 pound chuck steak, or sirloin, cut into half-inch cubes.  Don’t discard the fat or gristle.
2 carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
½ cup fresh green beans
¼ cup sauteed mushrooms
1@ onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, peeled, and chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. bacon fat
3 cups water

Cut the pork from the chop and cut into half-inch cubes. Cut the beef into small pieces. Peel and slice the fresh carrot.
Melt the bacon fat in a three quart saucepan. Add the pork and beef, and fry over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and gently boil (simmer) for 30 minutes. Serve hot with buttered bread.

May your hot things be hot, you cold things be cold, and your cheddar at room temperature.

G.W.’s Good Grub, Lesson 44– Fruits & Vegetables, Corn II


In our last lesson, I spoke more about what corn is, and exposed you to various ways to cook it.  So for today’s lesson, I will give you a lab exercise, in other words, I give you a recipe to make that features corn in a truly wonderful way.  Janet, what’s your favorite way to eat corn?  On the cob. with butter and salt.  That’s definitely a favorite of many.  Bill, how about you; what’s your favorite way to enjoy corn?  You like it mixed in to a salsa.  Interesting, and tasty.

So, have any of you had corn pudding?  No?  well you’re in for a treat.  This dish will combiner a couple of techniques that we have used.  We will be using flour and eggs to thicken the dish into a firm custard with great flavor.  If your enjoy comfort food, then this recipe is for you.  But I won’t tell you to make it often.  This is a dish to make for a special occasion, such as Thanksgiving, or a holiday.  It is rich and high calorie.  But then again, so is lasagna.

Veronica, do you have your 8X8 casserole dish, or a 9 inch cast iron pan?  Good girl.  We are ready to start making our corn pudding.  Here are the ingredients:

6 tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

5 large ears of corn, husked (If fresh corn is unavailable, use one 15 oz. can of sweet corn, and creamed corn.)

Preheat your oven to 350′ F.

If using fresh corn, coarsely grate 3 ears of corn into a large bow.  With a sharp knife, holding the remaining ears, one at a time, vertical, slice the corn kernels into the same bowl.  if using canned corn, and cream corn, simply pour each into the bowl.  Melt the butter and add it with the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the corn, and stir together to form a batter.  Pour the batter into the buttered casserole dish, or cast iron pan.  Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Serve directly from the pan or casserole dish with some good, fried chicken, or come country style pork ribs. 

And I know that some of you won’t yet know how to prepare fried chicken, or country style ribs.  We’ll get to that when we start talking about meats.  So this dish would be great to take to a pot luck, or family gathering, where everyone is bringing something.

Our next lesson will feature our final corn recipe.  What will that be?  Hmmmm.  I think we’ll use a kind of corn that you may be unfamiliar with.  I’m thinking that hominy will show you just how versatile this veggie is.

Until then, remember, eat healthy, eat well.  And don’t forget my favorite quote: “There is no success outside the home that can compensate for failure within the home.

G.W. North