Cream of Potato and Celeriac Soup

Here’s a good soup if you live in colder climes, and have a CSA basket and you are like wtf is a celeriac?

Celeriac is a tuber veggie that tastes like celery.

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That is Celeriac, well a chunk of it anyway.

So I make, cream of potato and celeriac soup out of it.

You’ll need:

1 small onion minced
3 cloves garlic, or less minced
4 rashers of bacon cut up, or more, whatever
3med russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
A hunk of celeriac root (because they’re big) about 1/4 of it, peeled and diced.
2 cups of chicken stock. (Home made is the best option)
2tsp (or more if you like it) summer savoury
2tsp of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter (optional)
1/2 cup of cream or milk

First: heat your pot over med high heat. Dump in bacon and cook til crisp, remove from pot to drain, leave fat in pot. If not enough fat for your liking, add a bit of butter. Dump in onions and garlic. Sautée until you can smell the garlic cooking.

Dump in potatoes and celeriac. Toss around for a min then dump the stock in. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until fork tender.

Grab a handy dandy stick blender, or if you are feeling daring dump it all in a normal blender, and blitz the shit out of it. Add milk, thyme, savoury and bacon. Return to heat and simmer for another 5 minutes to give the herbs time to infuse the soup.
enjoy

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This is what it looks like.  It’s darker than normal because my base stock is darker than the stuff you get from the grocery store.  I used a combo of Chicken/Duck stock for this soup, home made, I call it Chuck Stock.  Tasty and rich.  

Stock 101

Aaalrighty.  We all know that the foundation of a great sauce, or soup, is a great stock.  Now, we usually get the stuff in a can or a box, or even worse, cubes, from the grocery store, because making stock?

Ain-t-Nobody-Got-Time-Fo-Dat-sweet-brown-meme-oh-jesus-its-a-fire

 

Well you’re wrong if you think that.  Simply, if you have a slow cooker, or sleep you have time Fo dat.

Here are some basic recipes.  Note: The vinegar is one of those MUST DO  because it helps leech all the minerals from the bones and aids in the dissolution of the cartilage.

CHICKEN STOCK 101

Ok y’all, this is pretty simple. You take 2 chicken carcasses, as in what’s left after you eat most of the meaty goodness off of the birds, and chuck it in a pot with a few carrots, some celery sticks some onions, and garlic all chopped up. Fill with cold water then dump a few tablespoons of white vinegar.

Cover and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and simmer for 24hrs, strain and bottle, voila stock done. Freezes well.

The vinegar leeches the minerals from the bones, and the 24hr cooking time renders the cartilage and collagen (including the glucosamine) into the stock. Creating a cheap glucosamine suppliment.

You can use this for turkey (1 carcass) as well. Btw don’t be afraid if it turns into a glop of gel, that’s good.

Best results are obtained with free range birds.

To remove fat easiest chill in fridge and remove solidified fat

 

 BEEF STOCK 101

A few beef marrow bones, no meat…
A few pounds of meaty beef bones, like the stew ossobucco or short ribs.

First, put the marrow bones in a crock pot and barely cover with water, add vinegar. Let soak for 2hrs, while soaking, bake the meaty bones in the oven for the 2hrs. Remove the meaty bones and put in the water, deglaze pan over high heat with water, scraping all the bits off the bottom, empty into pot.

Add the carrots, celery onion garlic and a bundle of fresh thyme. Cover, and cook on low for 3 days, replenishing the water as needed.

Strain, and chill to remove fat, bottle and freeze

Fish stock:

take the bones and head of whatever fish you want to use (white fish like cod and halibut are best) and put in water with veg and a titch of lemon juice. Simmer for 3 hrs,strain and bottle and freeze. (We don’t do this one due to allergies)

Now:  here’s the fun bit.  For Turkey, Duck, and other Fowl and/or Rabbit, you follow the Chicken cooking method.

For Pork/Ham, you follow the Beef method

Easy peasy!

Sea Salted Caramel Awesome Cookies

These cookies are – in a word – awesome.

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago, and I can’t express enough how much Somebody *really* liked them…so much so, that He seemed to insist on an offering of the first dozen of them as soon as they came out of the oven 🙂

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup butter, softened

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 1 large egg

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 tablespoons milk

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 package of butterscotch instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce pkg, or 4 serving size pkg)

* 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour

* 30 soft caramel candies, unwrapped

* 2 tablespoons sea salt

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  (Please note: If you don’t have parchment paper – which I didn’t – you can lightly grease the cookie sheets with Crisco shortening before putting cookies on the sheet.  Be sure to re-grease with the shortening between batches, though, otherwise the cookies will stick.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and milk; beat until mixed.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix and flour.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

4.  Shape the cookie dough into one-inch balls.  For each cookie, flatten one cookie dough ball into the palm of your hand; place caramel candy in the center, and wrap the cookie dough around the candy.**

5. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets about two inches apart. You can either sprinkle the cookies with the sea salt…or you can take each cookie (before placing it on the cookie sheet) and dip it lightly into the 2 tbsp of sea salt that you have poured into a small bowl or dish, before placing it on the cookie sheet.

6. Bake 10 minutes, or until the cookie edges are light golden brown.  Sprinkle with additional sea salt, if desired.  Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes 30 cookies

** I used Werther’s Soft Caramels which are long and somewhat rectangular; I had difficulty trying get the cookie dough to completely surround the caramels.  And whatever caramel is exposed during baking will melt out and around the edges of the cookie and burn.  So what I did was before trying to wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, I rolled down the squared edges of a room temperature caramel so that the  caramel was more rounded than squared…and that made for much less caramel spurtage during baking.

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Here is the first batch — which I offered to Loki — because 1.) He seemed *really* excited about these and it seemed that He didn’t want to wait for them to cool; and 2.) He seemed to prefer that most of the first batch were a hot caramel mess. ❤

As well, I made another batch of these, and took the rest of those to a Yule ritual the next day – along with 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies – and these caramel cookies were gone within 15 minutes or so.  They taste incredibly awesome.  I would so make these again 🙂