Archive for Winter

Mom’s Oyster Stew


Oyster_stewCombine 2 tbsp flour, 1½ tsp salt, dash pepper, 2 tbsp water.  Stir into 1 pint oysters and the liquid.  Simmer over very low heat till the edges curl.  Then pour into one quart scalded milk (I use more).

Taste better if made the day before!

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Five Hour Stew


One of Mom’s recipes – really good on a cold winter day!  I also have added chopped fresh rosemary and parsley, as well as garlic.  I also have added red capsicum, cut into chunks.

2 lb. (1 kg.) lean beef (do not brown)
1 15-oz. (445 ml.) can tomatoes, or 1 pt. fresh chopped tomatoes with juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
6 large carrots, cut into chunks
3 medium potatoes, quartered
1 c. celery, sliced 1 onion, diced large
3 tbsp. tapioca
1 c. water 3 beef bouillon cubes
1½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a covered casserole; bake at 250° F (120° C) for five hours, stirring occasionally. If using a crock pot, cook on low for 8 hours.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole


As a kid I hated tuna and noodle casserole!  But this one is a much tastier version.  It would work well with leftover meat, too – I should have thought of that earlier for the leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

½ lb. curly egg noodles
½ c. dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
½ c. chicken stock, heated to boiling
¼ c. butter, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. whole milk, warmed
2 tbsp. dry sherry
½ tsp. fresh thyme
2 oz. grated mozarella cheese
10 oz. tuna packed in water, drained and broken into chunks
¾ c. frozen peas, thawed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F; grease a medium-sized casserole.

Cook the noodles until they are just beginning to soften to al dente.  While the noodles are cooking, soak the mushrooms in the hot stock for 10 minutes; drain, reserving the stock.  Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water, then return them to the pot.

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables soften.  Scrape the vegetables into the pot with the noodles.

Return the saucepan to the stove, and melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly, and appears to have grown in volume.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the warmed milk, reserved stock, sherry, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.  Stir in the mushrooms and reduce the heat to low; simmer the sauce for 2 minutes, until thickened.  Add the cheese a bit at a time, stirring until the cheese melts before adding more.

Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir well.  Fold in the tuna and peas; season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared casserole.  Top with a bit more grated cheese.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve hot with a crisp salad.

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Corn and Cheese Chowder


1/3 c. butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp. cumin seeds or ground cumin
4 c. chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 c. canned cream corn
2 c. fresh corn kernels
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 c. cream (optional)
2 tbs. chopped fresh chives to garnish

Heat butter in a large soup pan.  Add onion and cook over medium-high for 5 minutes or until onion is golden.  Add garlic and cumin seeds and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the potato, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add creamed corn, corn kernels and parsley; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes more.  Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and the cream if used.  Heat gently until the cheese melts..  Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped chives.

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Noodles with Zesty Italian Cheese and Fresh Tomato Sauce


Just made this for lunch, it’s delicious!  Used whole-wheat pasta, with Asiago cheese for the sauce.  It might be good with roasted red peppers instead of the tomatoes for wintertime.

Cheese Sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
1 c. grated sharp Italian cheese, such as Asiago or Fontina
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Pinch of nutmeg

Fresh Tomato Sauce:
½ large red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine (optional)
4-5 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 lb. noodles
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper
Fresh purple basil leaves for garnish

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter over low heat and blend in the flour, stirring for 3-5 minutes until well blended.  Slowly add the milk and simmer, stirring the sauce with a wire whisk until it has thickened and is smooth and hot.  Stir in the cheese or cheeses until they have melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.  Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg; set aside and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, lightly saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft.  Add the wine and the fresh tomatoes and toss together; cover and cook about 3 minutes on low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped fresh basil.

Toss the cooked noodles with the cheese sauce and serve with the fresh tomato sauce on top.  Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, and fresh purple basil leaves.

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Gratin of Pumpkin and Leeks


1 pumpkin (about 4 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½  inch chunks
2 leeks, slit horizontally, trimmed, washed, and cut into 2 inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
3 small onions, cut into ½ inch chunks
4 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ c. white wine or chicken stock
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. toasted bread crumbs
4 tbsp. butter

Put the pumpkin, leeks, carrots, and onions into a large roasting pan; drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the nutmeg.  Roast the vegetables in a preheated 375° oven for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

Add the rosemary, salt and pepper, and the wine to the pan and gently toss together.  Sprinkle the vegetables with the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, then dot with butter.  Bake in a 350° oven for about 20 minute or until the cheese is melted, the bread crumbs are browned, and the vegetables are very soft.

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Cheddar Cheese and Vegetable Soup


Surprisingly delicious soup, very filling and hearty.  I used brandy instead of the sherry because I had it on hand, but it was still yummy.

3 tbsp. butter
½ c. chopped onions
½ c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped cauliflower
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 c. chicken stock
1 quart milk
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
¼ c. sherry
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Tabasco sauce for seasoning
Worcestershire sauce for seasoning
Croutons for garnish
Shredded cheese for garnish

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and sauté the vegetables over low heat until soft.  Add the stock, milk, nutmeg, and pepper, and simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Purée the soup in batches in a blender; return to the pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat.  Gradually add the Cheddar cheese in batches, stirring well after each batch.  (Note: if cheese is added all at once, soup will become “stringy”).  Gradually reheat the soup, taking care not to boil; add the sherry, mustard, and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces to taste.  Garnish with croutons and more shredded cheese; serve immediately.

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