Smokey Robinson’s Seafood Gumbo and this week’s thoughts

There are two reasons for this post, one of which is that I have a Ganglion Cyst inside my right wrist (I’m right handed) and have next to no movement available. Plus it hurts like a demon 24 hours a day. So, I won’t be up and about much for a week or so.
And the second reason is, “take a look at that creepy image of Smokey!”
That’s just plain wrong and I want to thank Meathead for noticing it in our local Safeway and allowing me to make fun of his lunch today.

We all probably have a very good idea of how this tastes, yup just like that. We’ve definately had worse though, much worse. Such as those individually wrapped microwavable cheese burgers or microwavable deep fried cheese sticks. “Take a look at that creepy image of Smokey! That’s just wrong.”

Meathenge’s Vegetarian Mushroom Soup

For many years I’ve had a philosophy about vegetarian food. I haven’t shared it yet because it really never came up before. After reading through a few good vegetarian cook books, it was time to use it. Uh, my philosophy that is. Good vegetarian meals can be excellent, oustanding even. So, I figure. If you have an oustanding vegetarian dish, add sausage and it’s even better. And that’s where this recipe came from. Welcome to Meathenge’s Vegetarian Mushroom Soup – with Sausage.

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Trader Joe’s Jarred Cuban Mojito Sauce

Please excuse the images if they look a bit off, in some way. I have no idea. I’m making this entry from my laptop and these lcd screens blow for photographic work.
Maybe a month ago Gramma K picked up some of this Cuban Mojito simmer & marinade from Trader Joe’s. She and Gramps thought enough of it to mention it to me, so I asked Mama to get us some. It sat around in the cupboard for quite some time, well … a month. I had a day off yesterday, so decided to give it a shot. Man, everyone is glad I did. What a really nice & easy, yet tasty meal it was.

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C&O Railroad Split Pea Soup – Circa 1940s / 1950s

Earlier this month I was perusing some new food blogs. I’m always amazed at how many are up and running, how many are derelict and how many new food blogs are popping up on a monthly basis. Some interest me and some I pass over. It isn’t personal, but I just don’t care much about vegetable technology tossed over … whatever it was. One caught my eye, there was a recipe from the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio) Railroad during the 1940s & 1950s. The first ingredient was and IS, lard. Okay, you got me. I’m interested. I’m piqued. Thank you Karen from Let’s Play Restaurant! for putting this up. Split Pea Soup? Didn’t interest me until I saw the Lard.

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Round Steak & Gravy with Onions

Last Friday I was perusing Chuck’s Gumbo Pages for something to cook over the weekend. Many of his recipes require quite a list of ingredients, some of which are out of season here. Such as Crawfish (that’s pronounced CRAW fish, not Cray). That was okay because I stumbled upon his recipe for Round Steak & Gravy with Onions. It sounded rich, hearty and something I could tackle without spending all day in the kitchen. But what caught me was the opening paragraph;
“This is Cajun food at its simplest. You’ve probably never heard of this dish, nor are you likely to see it on a menu or in a cookbook. However, as Cajun cook and food writer Marcelle Bienvenu said, it’s almost certain that if you asked any native of southwest Louisiana “who lives along Bayou Lafourche or Bayou T

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

This last saturday I had two reasons to make a Gumbo. The first reason was that the blackeyed peas came out so well I wanted MORE. And the second reason was my sister had been to the Ferry Building over in S.F. and picked me up a few gorgeous Andouille sausages. I had most of what I needed right there.

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Pork Chile / Chili Verde

Once in a great while I will follow a recipe. Usually I find myself flipping though maybe a half dozen and seeing what I like and don’t on each one. So far, I’ve done very well this way. For whatever reason this last Sunday foodtv dot com had just what I thought I wanted. Sure it made enough for 20 servings, but I was feeling up to the task and went shopping first thing in the a.m. And true to my way of shopping it took no less than 3 grocery stores to render what I needed, mostly because it was 9:15 Sunday morning. I was on a mission.

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Mrs. Meathead’s NOT Low-Fat NOT Vegetarian SPOOKY PUMPKIN SOUP

Now, these are all just guidelines for measurement. The recipe is my head, and I just do what seems right, and what tastes good. The rest is up to you.
1 small pumpkin (I think we got a small 3 pounder)
1 lb real good smoked ham
4 stalks celery
1 onion
1/2 bag bunny baby carrots
1 fistfull (one girly handful, mind you) fresh (!) oregano
1 fistfull fresh sage
1 fistfull thyme
1 entire garlic thingie
1/4 tsp creole seasoning or just cayenne is ok
1/2 cup white wine (or it could been alot more, we just kept pouring)
6 cups real honest to god homemade chicken broth
1/2 pint heavy cream
Gut pumpkin and slice up into big wedgies. Baste each piece with olive oil covering all exposed pumpkin bits. Put on biiig cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for hours, or until it softens. At some point cut the top off the garlic clove and put in foil, covering with olive oil and put into bake until real soft with the pumpkin.
When the pumpkin is soft, let it cool, it really hurts to try and wrastle the skin off when it’s real hot.
Dice onion, carrots, celery and herbs, creole stuff and sautee in olive oil and, if you’re daring, a little butter.
Peel the skin off the pumpkin wedgies and cut into large chunks, put in pot with sauteing veggies, start adding your broth and wine, enough to cover the pumpkiny bits.
Cook for 30-45 minutes until the pumpkin is turning to mush. Then put mixture through the blender until smooth. Add back into pot. Dice ham into 1/2 ” cubes and add. Start adding the heavy cream, chicken broth, and more wine, stirring constantly over low heat. Keep tasting until it’s good.
That’s it! Ready to eat!

These are scary food pictures. The real deal looked and tasted great!

Turkey Soup

Making turkey soup can be a dicey situation at best. The gravy and stuffing can be so rich, the skin to die for and the meat tender and yummy. And yet, when you boil down the carcass, add your goodies … well the damn thing is tasteless.
Here’s how I handled it this time. Instead of doing the whole carcass (too darned little tiny bones to pick out) I just cut off the pieces I wanted and tossed them into a large pot with water just barely covering. Sure you can simmer the poor thing for 15 hours if you want to. But I simmered it for about 30 minutes, just enough so the meat was barely coming off the bones. Yanking out the pieces was easy and trimming off the flesh was even easier. Back goes the meat into the broff.
Dice up the carrots, celery, onions and tons of fresh garlic (look close I had roasted garlic as well). Sautee the suckers in olive oil, butter, sage, salt/pepper until the onions are clear. I suppose that’s called sweating. Add to the simmering meaty broff. Oh and if you have some nice fresh Italian parsley, add that.
I suppose one of my secret weapons for turkey soup is having leftovers from a traditional turkey meal. This means gravy and dressing. Add all the gravy you have and enough dressing to thicken it a bit. These last two ingredients really dial in the turkey flavor. I suppose it would be fine without, just not nearly as rich.
Simmer the soup maybe 40 minutes, maybe even 30 would be fine.
Get some crusty bread and make it go!