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Archive for the ‘Bulk Cooking’ Category

We had a Mom group get together at my place today. It was a lot of fun for all of us, but MY GOD that many toddlers in one place just creates chaos. Anyways, Bri-girl needed a Butternut Squash Soup recipe, and since she has tried mine before I promised to get her the recipe before she left. Needless to say in the mist of the gong-show it never happened. 

Now first a word about choosing a Butternut Squash. Butternut Squash is the one that looks like a penis. OK? Got that?  Now if you remember this perverted idea you should always get a good squash at the grocery store: the size of the balls don’t matter but you need a big penis. Get a big penis, you get a good amount of usable squash.
 
Now you want to use the part of the squash that less perverted people call “the neck” (or the “penis” as Bri-girl pointed out one day) and not the “nuts” where all the seeds are (see? it is a fitting analogy). You can either use a sharp ass knife and cut the skin off (the skin is thin but woody in texture, and yet again the penis analogy works….) to get at the meat or you can cut the whole thing in half, score it in a crisscross pattern pour a bit of olive oil on it and roast it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees to soften it up to get the actual squash out. I find the roasting yields a it more usable squash. I usually use 2 large squash for this recipe; that will get you 5 or 6 cups of diced squash, you don’t have to dice it small either big chunks will do fine.
 
The Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 5 1/2 (five and a half) cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash 
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder (I usually put more in like 1 1/4 tsp)
  • 6 drops Tabasco sauce 
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
The Method:
In a big ass dutch oven (which is a big ass pot to the unfamiliar cooks out there):
  • Melt butter, add onion and cook until transparent (10 minutes or so) 
  • Add flour and stir for 3 minutes
  • Add chicken stock and bring to boil, stir constantly (no clumps then)
  • Add squash, wine, bay leaves, curry powder and Tabasco sauce 
  • Cook until squash is tender
  • Remove bay leaves
  • Puree mixture (a hand blender will do fine if you have it) 
  • Stir in cream
  • Season with salt and pepper 
**** remember NOT to add the cream if you are going to freeze it, you can always add this when you warm it up later 
 
Serving suggestions: 
  • Add a couple handful’s of raw shrimp to a pot and saute them in a bit of soup, then add soup over top and warm up to serve. 
  • Extra hot sauce dashed on top of the soup is good…. real good.
The Results: 

edited to add the photo. 

 

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Moroccan Meatball Stew
Originally uploaded by SleepyNita

I thought I would start a new feature on my blog for us busy Moms and everyone else I know. Every Friday I am going to (try to) post a recipie that I like to make for my little family. Sometimes it will be plain old good food, other times it will be something you can cook in bulk and freeze for those crazier days, sometimes they are one pan meals (seriously who needs to drown in dishes too?); and once in a while it will be something that is super good that you can make on the cheap-cheap (gawd I love a bargin, even in the kitchen)!!!!!!! Or today, it fits all the categories! I will tag it under Friday feast for now, that way you can always hit that tag and see all the related posts.

Todays Recipie is something you can batch cook the main ingredient (which I totally suggest because any other way is a pain for this) and can be turned into two different meals for the family!

Basic Recipie – Moroccan Meatballs

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp crushed dried chillies
2 lbs lean ground beef
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup currants (little raisins)
1 large egg
2/3 cup fine bread crumbs
salt and pepper to tast.

Combine all ingredients, (and I actually prebake the meatbals in the oven so it cuts down on cooking times later on) make meatballs and freeze. For 2 of us I freeze 16 – 18 meatballs in each ziploc bag and this makes a decent batch of food leaving enough for leftovers for ManToy to take to work.

Make some Tomato, Meatball and Rice Stew

Thaw a portion of the meatballs and cook (or warm up in a pan of you precook like I do)

1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cup beef broth
1 28 ounce time of diced tomatoes – use juice and all!
1/2 cup long grain rice (no instant Uncle Bens crap here girls!)
1 Tbsp liquid honey
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Optional but tastey: 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Saute onion in small amount of oil until it is soft. Add beef broth and tomatoes (with all the juice in the can) to the onions and bring to a boil. Add rice, honey salt and pepper. Cook , covered for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Add the meatballs back ito the pan, add lemon juice (and optional mint) and stir well. Cook for 3 minutes until evenly hot. Serve.

Make some Moroccan Meatball Pitas or Wraps

I like to put the meatballis into a wrap with some sauteed peppers and onion, topped off with a little plain yoghurt. Makes a tastey lunch or a fast dinner!

The Nitty Gritty
I managed to score 10 lbs of lean ground beef for 10$ at a local grocery store on a super good special. With a bargin like this dinner worked out to about 4$ a night (including the rice, tomatoes, lemons and currants needed) and I could make about 16 dinners worth of meatballs for the freezer fom that 10$ of beef. Each batch I made fed the two adults and the baby (take the currants out for the little ones teeth) and leftovers for someone to take to work the next day.

P.S. Don’t mind the photo, my presentation sucks since my 22 pound Sous Chef (LittleMan) was hanging off my leg the whole time.

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