Hearty Clam Chowder for a Stormy Winter Night

Hearty Clam Chowder
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I have always loved clam chowder, that is good clam chowder. The stuff that comes in the can, even the expensive stuff that comes in a can, just cannot compare to soup you make yourself. Homemade soup is just richer and tastier.

On Fridays, I usually spend time with my good friend and we talk about the current political climate. Well, the weather climate was so bad that we decided not to meet. I was out already in it, and I mean, it was cold, and very windy. The wind was so strong, I actually had to take cover under an awning and I thought it was going to bowl me over. I think this is one of the worst winter storms Los Angeles has had, at least in my many years here. When I got home, I was cold and wet and wanted something warm that would stick to my bones. Although I had originally planned on Lentil Soup with Cilantro, it just didn’t seem like it was a rib sticking as I wanted, and I decided on Hearty Clam Chowder instead.

I am going to make another cold weather dish, Boston Baked Beans, with the rest of the salt pork that I used in the Hearty Clam Chowder. Looks like I am prepared for this rainy winter in Southern California.

Hearty Clam Chowder YouTube Video


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Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef Burgundy

boeuf bourguignon beef burgandy stew
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Now that it is officially fall, and the weather has turned “cold” in California, it’s time to have stew. Last week I made Coq Au Vin, and I still had some wine left, so I thought I should continue with my French comfort food and make this lovely Beef Burgundy, Boeuf Bourguignon.

Similarly to Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguingnon is also one of those dishes that does well with tough meat, wine and long cooking time. The wine and long cooking time break down the meat so it is nice and tender. It also allows all the flavors to meld together nicely. Be prepared for this to simmer about two hours.

It is important with both dishes to get a decent red wine, not a sweet one! A nice Burgundy, Shiraz or Cabernet would do perfectly. You don’t need much, so there should be a nice glass or two for the cook, too.

Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef Burgundy YouTube Video


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Green Chili Pork Stew for Cinco De Mayo!

Green Chili Pork Stew

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Many years ago before the Food Channel because the Food Network, I happened to be watching some show and the guest chef made this most wonderful stew with country pork ribs, tortillas and a blender. I was so impressed with what he did that I went out, bought the ingredients, and made it the very next day. It was delicious, and became one of my favorites. It’s been so long that I don’t remember what it was even called, but I called it Green Chili Pork Stew.

It’s funny who your life changes over the years, different relationships, different priorities. You put your favorites away in some dusty mental attic to make room for all the other new and exciting foods. Then you find yourself on a cold, rainy day about to make Chili Colorado, when you spy some tortillas and decide at the last-minute to make that wonderful stew from so very long ago.

When I made this, I didn’t have country pork ribs, I had pork stew meat, which was just as good. However, now that I’ve had it again, I’m going to go out and get some country ribs. Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, but are instead contain parts of the shoulder blade (scapula).

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Yoghurt Lentil Soup

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Yoghurt Lentil Soup

I love living in Southern California. It’s not too cold, and it’s not too hot. It’s like somewhere that Goldilocks would like to live. We had a little bit of rain last night, and that gives me and excuse to make soup!

I wanted to make a healthy and hardy soup. It’s Friday, and in our house, we don’t eat meat on Fridays. We eat vegetarian or fish. Tonight, we’re going to have our Yoghurt Lentil Soup with Fish and Chips, so we’ll be a little British and a little Armenian. Why not? It’s good for you!

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Crab Bisque

Recipes in this PostCrab Bisque

I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.

After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.

I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.

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Oxen Shvantz Suppe – Braised Oxtails

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Ox-tail served over noodles

When I was a little girl growing up in Germany, when we had Oxen Shvantz Suppe it was always a real treat. Braised with wine for hours they are tender and juicy. They are wonderful on a cold, rainy winter day.

What are ox tails, you ask? Well, they are the tail of an ox or steer which is cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces. They are very meaty and make a nice gravy, all on their own. How do you eat ox tails? You get most of the meat out with your fork, then you pick the piece up and suck all the goodness out of the bone. A bone bowl is a good thing to have on the table when you are serving ox tails.

When you go to buy ox tails, be sure and get them from a reputable butcher. The bony part should be bright white, the sinew pink, and the meat should be nice and red. I was lucky, my butcher brought out a tail and cut it there in front of me with his incredibly sharp knife. You can’t get any fresher than that.

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