Dec 10, 2008

Two good hearty winter recipes

I'm a "little of this, little of that" kind of cook, and the joke around our house is "Wow, I really liked that dinner -- too bad we'll never have it again!" because I never seem to make the same thing the same way twice. Lately I've been trying to write down recipes when we have a meal that gets raves -- just to show them we actually CAN have the same meal twice! So here are two recipes I came up with this week that got raves. HEARTY CROCKPOT LENTIL SOUP 1 ham hock 1 lb bag dried lentils 1 cup chopped onions 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped carrots 6 cups beef broth (can make it with beef bouillion) 1 can 14 oz tomato sauce 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 1 tsp black pepper ( or to taste -- I like black pepper!) 1 tsp oregano 1 can creamed corn Wash and sort dried lentils according to package. Put all ingredients except creamed corn in crockpot, stir slightly, cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Add water if lentils absorb too much liquid. Remove ham hock. Use potato masher to mash up some of the lentils (not all, because you still want some texture, but some as it will thicken the soup). Remove bits of ham meat from cooled ham hock and return to soup. Add creamed corn, stir and reheat on high for 15 minutes. (If you happen to have any ham diced up in your freezer like I often do, throw in a cup of diced ham about half way through the cooking time, or at the end when you add the corn.) I had accidently opened the can of creamed corn the night before, so threw it into the pot at the last minute just to use it up -- and it added a great flavor and a bit of creamy texture to the soup. Really was good! Serve with buttered corn bread or hearty pumpernickle bread. Leftover Turkey Faux Pot Pie 2-3 cups leftover cooked turkey 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup boiled onions (OR 1 cup frozen pearl onions OR 1 half cup chopped onions) 1 can whole potatoes, cut into bite size pieces 3-4 cups turkey broth 1 can cream of onion soup 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning (or Sage) Salt, pepper to taste 1 tube of Pillsbury Biscuits 2 tablespoons corn starch 1/2 cup cold water Place turkey broth in pan and bring to an almost-boil, add Cream of Onion soup and stir until sauce is smooth. Mix corn starch and cold water thoroughly, then pour into sauce mixture. Stir on medium high heat until thickened to good gravy consistency. Add salt, pepper and Poultry Seasoning. Add boiled onions (or frozen pearl onions) Remove from heat. In Pam-sprayed casserole dish, place turkey, frozen peas and sliced potatoes. Gently pour gravy / onion mixture over. Open tube of biscuits and split each biscuit in half (side to side) so you get two biscuit circles from each biscuit. Place biscuits around the top of the gravy mixture, overlapping biscuits slightly. Bake in 375 oven until biscuits are nicely browned -- about 15 to 20 minutes.

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