Tag Archives: sausage grease

Comfort Soup (Or, “Three Animals Walked Into a Crock Pot…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c lentils
  • 5oz canned chicken breast
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1c celery, sliced
  • 1c carrots, sliced
  • 3c kale, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp sausage grease
  • 1 large onion, thin-ish slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5c broth (I used vegetable despite the meaty base)
  • 1/2 c half and half
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

So it’s chilly, the wife is home sick and I’m not feeling too spunky, myself. It feels like soup time; not just any soup time, mind you — it’s comfort soup time. Start the onions and garlic out in the sausage grease… in the crock pot. Turn it on MH, stir and let sit for an hour or so. Turn off. Run those two godforsaken errands you don’t really want to have to drag your ass out of bed to do. Come back. Assemble!

Turn the crock pot back on to MH Stir in sliced carrots and celery. Cut potatoes into bite-size chunks and stir into the mess. And what the heck — drain that little can of chicken sitting in the cupboard and toss it in. Sprinkle on and stir in all the seasonings so that all of the soup bits are well-coated in the glory of flavor. Then enter your broth. After the first cup or two, stir in the lentils. Begin folding in little fistfuls of kale, alternating with the remainder of the broth. Bless the entire stew with half and half, cover, and let cook on M-MH until the potatoes are soft. All of the comfort of a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup with all of the vegetative nutrition of a salad bar — you’ll need all 5 spoons for this pot!

Tonight’s Lentils (ft. Cameo by Sausage Grease)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c lentils
  • 1/2 c kale, chopped
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1.25 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Let me just be upfront with what’ll go into your mouth: it is made. of. win.

This will be worth the effort, guys. Start off by hammering out the prep work: slice, mince or chop everything at your desire. I sliced everything thin and chopped everything kinda small… not really small like maybe an actual chef might, just small enough to be small without risking a digit. Start your grease melting on L, and when melted add in the onions, garlic and mustard seeds. Turn heat to M and toss everything to coat. Let cook about 3m at full heat, then add in kale. Stir and let cook for another 3-5m. Next, add in the carrots and corn. Toss everything together, stir in seasonings and cook another minute or so before adding in lentil, broth and corn starch. Turn stove to MH to bring everything to a boil, then reduce back to ML and cover. Let cook for 20-30m, or until lentils are tender and most of the liquid has boiled out. Serve over Basmati rice, then thank me. 5 spoons!

No Thanks to You, Parsley.

In my pantry today:

  • 1 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1/4 large onion, chopped clumsily
  • 1.5 c cooked lima beans
  • 1.5 c chopped parsley
  • 1 10 oz can Hunt’s rosemary & oregano tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • cooked angel hair pasta
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Ok, let me start out by being completely up front: parsley is unattractive to my palette. I’ve recently boarded the phytonutrient bandwagon and because of that am giving all manner of new-to-me vegetables a try. And parsley is losing the office pool. I do not recommend using parsley in this, and most other, dishes. The health benefits of parsley are well-known enough, and I do not deign to refuse it entrance to my kingdom on all counts… it did very well with the walnut pesto recipe, but when not ground by a food processor can be a little too prickly for the roofs of mouths.

Anyway, we’ve still gotta do this thing, don’t we? Start your sausage grease and onions in a cold pan heating to M. Once it reaches full heat and the bottom of your pan shows the slightest indication of browning, turn heat to L and gently fold in lima beans along with seasonings. Add the undrained can of tomatoes, mix gently enough not to puncture or smash your beans (that’s for later! with forks!). Cover and let simmer for as long as you’ve got, but enjoy at any point now with angel hair pasta and Parmesan cheese. Excepting the parsley (for which, you see, I did not allow room in these instructions) this gets 5 spoons.

Hot Oinking Limas with Kale

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c soaked extra large lima beans
  • 2 c raw kale
  • 2 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1 c dry basmati rice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced clumsily
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c water
  • 4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Rinse your overnight-soaked lima beans and start them to boiling. Start out on H and reduce heat, upon rolling boil, to M to let them simmer until done. Start your rice to soakin while you’re at it, then clumsily dice up an onion. In a large stockpot (I like using these whenever multiple ingredients are involved for I am irrepressibly graceless — please feel free to use a deep saucepan if you want to be, y’know, cheffy about it), get your sausage globs from the fridge melting. Add onion and mustard seeds, cook on M for a few minutes then reduce heat to L and add garlic and 2 tsp cayenne. Mix well then let mingle while you de-stem your kale.

Put oregano, turmeric, asafoetida, salt and 2 tsp cayenne in a measuring cup then fill with water to the 1/2 c line, stir and set aside.

Now it should be about time to cook the rice, so do that. When the lima beans aren’t shameful to your mouth, drain and set aside. Turn heat back up to MH on the stock pot. When it’s sizzlin real good, toss in the kale, sear it, then add the lima beans and toss. Pour in the 1/2 c seasoned water, then cover the pot and reduce to L. Let it all sit on L for at least 5m. Serve over Basmati rice.