All the stockings were hung in the entry with care... we don't have a chimney so the pups improvised.
With temps hanging below 0* (-18*C) and wind chills even lower this past week, it's been hearty meals. Oh, heck, this morning was -21* (-30*C). We call that "brisk".
One great slow cooker dish, a good soup, and a eggy breakfast for Christmas morning.
Crock Pot Gumbo (The Lexingtonienne Blog) gluten free option**
A co-worker brought this to a potluck and it was a MUST HAVE recipe. Seriously good. An so simple! Chop meat and veggies, set aside. Make the roux, put in slow cooker, plop meat and veggies on top. Walk away. Come back 8 hours later and add the shrimp. Make rice and eat! Omit cayenne pepper if there will be little tastebuds and serve with some hot sauce along side for adults. Just...yum.
1/4 C canola oil (I used rendered goose fat)
1/4 C all-purpose flour (**or gluten free flour mix)
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb Andouille sausage, cut into bite-size pieces (I used polish sausage)
1/2 medium to large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C frozen cut okra (or more if you’re an okra lover)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small can mild diced green chilies, undrained
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
black pepper to taste (but be pretty generous)
1 tsp Creole seasoning, such as Zatarain’s (If you happen to have it. If not, you’ll be fine without it.)
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and cooked
The recipe author notes: A roux is an equal mix of flour and fat (either butter or oil), and it basically thickens and helps to flavor a dish. Depending on how long you cook your roux, it can be either light, medium, or dark. If your roux begins to burn at all, there’s no saving it. You’ll need to throw it out and start over. It’s disheartening, but it’s not the end of the world. To help prevent this from happening, you will need to:
- Make sure your heat is not too high.
- Stir constantly.
- Remove from heat before you think it’s quite done. The heat from the pan will continue to cook and darken the roux.
In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat (closer to medium than high), combine oil and flour to make your roux. Whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the roux becomes fragrant and just begins to darken. Turn heat down to low and whisk constantly for several more minutes, or until the roux is about the color of peanut butter.
Pour the roux into the crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT shrimp. The mixture will seem all raw and gross at this point. Trust. Stir and cover. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. (But if you don’t quite have 7-9 hours, you can cook it on high for a shorter amount of time. Author noted she did high heat for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, then turned it down to low for a couple of hours. It’s a crock pot; you can’t go wrong.)
When you have about 20 minutes to go, add the shrimp.
Serve over rice.
Spicy Ham Soup (Ckng Lght, April 1995) gluten free
This turned out good, but the Husband and I were both wondering where the "Spicy" part was. I used almost a whole jalepeno and I could not say this was "spicy". Some siracha sauce was necessary to bump things up. Other than that, a decent soup - hearty ham and tender beans in a tomato broth lightly seasoned with parsley and basil.
- 1 1/4 cups dried navy beans
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (18-ounce) ham bone (from an 8 1/2-pound cooked low-sodium ham)
- 2 cups finely chopped Maple-Glazed Ham (about 9 ounces)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.
- Drain beans, and return to pan. Add 2 quarts water and next 8 ingredients (water through ham bone). Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Remove from heat; discard ham bone.
- Place 2 cups of bean mixture in a blender, and process until smooth. Return mixture to pan; add ham and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until heated.
Ham and [Swiss] Quiche (The Lexingtonienne Blog, Lightly adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
**gluten free option
I made this Christmas morning, making kitchen nice and warm while temps outside were in the 3* (-16*C) range with snow lightly falling. A few modifications that I noted below, the most notable being I did use Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere as I didn't like the Gruyere brand the store carried.
- 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked according to package directions **gluten free crust optional
- 1 egg yolk (I put egg white with rest of eggs)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Cup chopped ham
- 1 Cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup goat milk)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
1) Brush the baked pie crust with the egg yolk. Spread the ham on the bottom of the pie crust, then top with the grated cheese.
2) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour on top of the ham and cheese.
3) Bake until the filling is golden brown and set. Joy of Cooking says this will take about 25-35 minutes, but it does takes closer to 45 minutes (I baked mine for 50 minutes).