Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heather's meals

Some recipes from my friend, always, remember to use approved oil or sub butter or coconut oil instead. For gluten free, sub tinkyada noodles and gf flour

Okay here are a few to start with:

To make the following recipes, you will need to know how to make a roux (Most of you probably know how to do this, but I understand these recipes might go into a cookbook for young women, so I'm including the instructions). It's easy - melt one stick (1/2 C) butter in a pot over medium-high heat (I use the 7 on my elecrtic stove). Once it's melted, whisk in 1/2 C white flour and let it bubble for a minute or so. This is your roux. If you want to double these recipes, you should also double your roux - it's always equal amounts butter and flour.

"White Soup"
(Chowder base)

about 8 cups of milk

Once your roux has bubbled for a minute or so, keep the stove on medium-high heat and add about 1/2 the milk. Whisk it in and then stir just every now and then until it starts to bubble. The soup needs to bubble a little, but not boil, in order to thicken. Stir it all the way down to the bottom so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. When you notice it start to thicken you can add the rest of the milk - keep it bubbling and keep stirring.

With this chowder base you can make all kinds of different chowders. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add them to the chowder base when it's ready. These recipes are the way I make them, and you can add or subtract anything you want.

Basic Potato Chowder:

4-5 potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg bacon, chopped small (use approved or omit)
1 can corn
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic, etc)

Cook the bacon first - then you can either drain the grease or cook the other ingredients in it. Add the potatoes, celery, onions and seasonings and cook until the veggies are done. Add the corn, then add the whole thing to your chowder base. Let it all simmer together for at least 10 minutes.

For Clam Chowder, add 2 cans of clams. I like to use the juice as well, but you run the risk of getting sand in your chowder :) If you don't like that idea you can dump the juice and rinse the clams first. You might also add some spinach to the recipe.

For Chicken Chowder, add 2 cans of chicken, or cook and chop at least 2 chicken breasts.

For Hamburger Chowder, use at least 1/2 lb of ground beef and don't use the celery or celery salt. Flavoring the meat with Worchestershire sauce and seasoning salt while it's cooking is very tasty. I like peas or spinach in this chowder, in addition to the corn. Corn is a chowder classic.

And since I think it's a crime to eat chowder without corn bread, here is an excellent Western corn bread recipe (as opposed to a traditional Southern corn bread "cake" that is made with bacon fat and sometimes fried on the stove top):

Homesteader Cornbread

1 1/2 C cornmeal
2 1/2 C milk
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 C white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pout the batter into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

The next recipe also uses the roux, and comes with a story :)

This is called "Wild Horses" in my husband's family (and now ours), but it's really just biscuits and gravy. They call it "Wild Horses" because whenever the kids would come into the kitchen while my mother-in-law was cooking and say, "what are you doing?" she would give some ridiculous answer, like "wrestling greased pigs" or "rising wild horses." In the case of this recipe, the name "Wild Horses" just stuck :)

No, they don't have any recipes called "Greased Pigs" ;)

"Wild Horses"

about 4 cups milk
seasonings to taste

Make it the same way you make the chowder base, but you want it much thicker so you don't use as much milk. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add to your "gravy" when it's ready.

Some of our favorite "Wild Horses":

scrambled eggs and sausage
tuna and peas
hamburger and corn

Once your gravy is ready and full of yummy things, you break up biscuits in your bowl and pour the Wild Horses on top. It's very hardy and warm and filling.

As an added bonus (lol) here is my favorite drop biscuit recipe:

4 C white flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C oil
2 C milk

Preheat oven to 450. Combine dry ingredients, then stir in oil and milk just until it's all moistened. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 until the biscuits are golden brown around the edges - about 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 32 biscuits, depending on size.

Leftover biscuits can be used for dessert, warmed up in a bowl in the microwave with butter and honey, syrup, jam or brown sugar and maybe some fruit on top. MMMMmmmmm.....

I'll post more recipes later - I just got a houseful of visitors :)

- Heather McKay

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