Autumn Soup – a Very Reliable Form of Soup

My mom, Marilyn Hunter used to make Autumn Soup from the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and we loved it.  It was a pretty simple soup – but filling and delish.  I was pleased years later when I came across a reference to this soup while reading “A Girl Named Zippy” which is a wonderful autobiography by Haven Kimmel.

Haven grew up in Mooreland, Indiana and approached life with an irrepressible spirit.  She mentions that her friend’s mother made Autumn Soup, which she called “a very reliable form of soup.”  So if you get a chance, order the book, read it and make Autumn Soup to celebrate Marilyn, Haven Kimmel and reliable food!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
1 cup each chopped carrots and celery
1 cup diced potatoes (peel first if needed)
2 tsp salt
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
2 fresh tomatoes, diced

Heal oil in a dutch oven. Add ground beef and brown. Add onions and cook stirring frequently for several minutes. Add all other ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and serve.

Note: The original recipe called for six fresh tomatoes completely intact added to the pot. Each bowl would get a giant tomato smack in the middle of the bowl, but my Mom never made it like that, and six diced tomatoes would just be too much.

 

Warm Bourbon Sauce

This is a wonderfully boozy sauce that we love on Bread Pudding.  It’s from Emeril’s Louisiana Real and Rustic Cookbook.

Ingredients

4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
4 egg yolks, beaten in a small bowl

Melt the butter in a double boiler. Add sugar and whisk to dissolve. Add bourbon and whisk for one minute. Remove from heat.

Drizzle in several spoonfuls of the hot syrup into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return all to the pan, and continue whisking until the sauce is pal and slightly thickened. Serve immediately.

I store any leftover sauce in a mason jar, which I reheat by placing back in simmering water. If the sauce is too thick add a few drops of water.

 

Po’ Boys for a Crowd

how-to-make-a-po-boyThere was Moon over Bourbon Street at our house recently, and we served Po’ Boys for a crowd.

Making Po’ Boys is quite easy, and they are so tasty! We offered a choice of beef brisket or Cajun Roasted Cauliflower for fillings, along with fresh, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, Remoulade Sauce or Mayo and hot sauce on a split french roll.

We served the Beef Brisket in one 1/2 catering tray, and the roasted Cauliflower in another 1/2 catering tray. Both trays fit in one large tray, with 1/2″ of water in the bottom to keep them warm, with two tins of chafing dish fuel.

Each Beef Brisket 1/2 catering tray makes 16 – 24 sandwiches, depending on how much brisket people use. The Cauliflower is probably the same.

For each half tray, you’ll need

5 lbs. of sliced beef brisket (We used 2 packages of beef brisket from Costco.)
10 cups cauliflower florets, seasoned and roasted
3-4 sliced tomatoes
3-4 cups shredded tomatoes
Remoulade Sauce or Mayonnaise
Hot Sauce
18 French Rolls (Again, we used the french rolls from Costco.)

To heat the brisket, just add two packages (5 lbs.) of brisket to a 1/2 catering tray and add 1/2 cup water. Seal tightly with aluminum foil and bake at least 30 minutes. We warmed out trays up ahead of time and kept them in a warming oven.

For a vegan version, make only the Cajun Roasted Cauliflower, and serve with Remoulade Sauce or vegan mayo.

To serve, we kept a little sign by all the Po’ Boy fixings and let our guests assemble them. People loved them!

Remoulade Sauce

We served Po’ Boys for our Halloween get-together with a choice of beef brisket, or Cajun Roasted Cauliflower. Super easy and delish, especially with this Remoulade Sauce from Emeril’s Louisiana Real and Rustic Cookbook – though Remoulade is most often served with shrimp.

It makes quite a bit, but to be on the safe side I doubled the recipe.

Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
3 Tbsp whole grain or Creole Mustard
3 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

Buzz all in a blender or food processor until quite smooth. Keeps in a jar in the fridge for several days.

Delish!

Cajun-Roasted Cauliflower

cauliflowerFor a recent party, we served Po’Boys and for my vegan friends I made them with Cajun-roasted Cauliflower. It was crazy easy and makes a wonderful sandwich.

4 cups cauliflower florets
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Emeril’s Rustic Rub (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix oil and Rub in a large bowl. If you like things really spicy add 1/2 tsp more of Rub, but generally 1 tsp Rub is plenty.

Add cauliflower and toss well to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake 25 – 30 minutes tossing occasionally. You want the edges of the cauliflower to start browning up. Serve immediately.

Emeril’s Rustic Rub (From Louisiana Real and Rustic Cookbook)

8 Tbsp paprika
3 Tbsp cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp onion powder
2 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme

Blend well and store in an airtight jar. Will keep for a couple of months.

Spiced Apple Oatmeal

roberta-sorge-157246-unsplash

Gorgeous Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Still using up apples from an overly ambitious purchase and remembered that Lied Lodge in Nebraska City serves an apple oatmeal that is sweet, spicy and so good!

I’ve made many versions of their oatmeal, using apple butter and spices, but we really like this version where you make the applesauce right in the pan before you add the oatmeal. It’s slightly less sweet, but easy to add syrup, honey or brown sugar if you want.

Many recipes call for apple juice but I find this one so apple-y you don’t really need it.

Ingredients

2 apples, peeled, cored and grated. (I used Galas.)
1 tsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups water
2 Tbsp brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add apples, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vinegar. Cook on low heat stirring occasionally until the apples are soft, 7-8 minutes.

Add oatmeal, water and brown sugar and stir well. Increase heat until it begins to simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 10-12 minutes. Serve with a little half & half and a dusting of cinnamon. If you prefer it a little sweeter, drizzle maple syrup, honey or sprinkle a little more brown sugar over.

Note: You can use whatever oatmeal you have on hand. Just adjust cooking time accordingly. For very long-cooking oatmeal, keep an eye on the liquid and add a bit more water if it’s getting very dry. Also very tasty topped with chopped walnuts.

No time to cook the apples? Just substitute 1 1/2 cups applesauce for the apples.

You can also make this in a crockpot for overnight. Just cook the apples separately, and add everything to your crockpot the night before, set the heat to low and cook 7-8 hours.

Pan-Roasted Frozen Veggies

Ever commit to a giant container of something and then think, “Nope!”

I bought a huge bag of stir-fry veggies that just felt mushy to me when I stir-fried them. Rather than pitching the bag, I froze my fingers for 10 minutes sorting out the carrots, onions, peppers and mushrooms, then the green beans, and finally the broccoli and snow peas.  (I did toss out the water chestnuts which are kind of awful when frozen, and will cook the broccoli and snow peas tomorrow.)

This recipe is my fallback for veggies – it’s simple and always good.  Just needed to tweak it a bit to allow for the frozen veggies.

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, chopped into 1/2″ strips

Frozen veggies, rinsed and well-drained:
1 1/2  cups of frozen carrots
a little chopped frozen red pepper  – 2 Tbsp?
1/2 cup chopped frozen mushrooms
1 1/2 cups frozen green beans

1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
several grinds of black pepper

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Toss in the onion and cook for a few minutes. If you are using all frozen vegetables, next add them all except the green beans. Reduce heat to low, and saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to scrape up the bottom.

Add the green beans, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and black pepper and stir gently. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

The frozen veggies which feel very limp when cooked for a short time take on a brightness and sweetness with the longer cook time that’s pretty remarkable.

Note for fresh vegetables:

If you are using fresh vegetables, cook the carrots and green beans for a few minutes in a saucepan with water. Drain before adding to the skillet. If using fresh mushrooms, add them to the pan right after the onions and cook until they have released their moisture and then a little longer until it’s dried up a bit. Continue as directed.