Have you tasted fresh corn-on-the-cob? It is certainly is a Midwestern food and maybe across the USA. In farm country it is the hit of the season with farmer’s markets flourishing along the road sides. Indiana serves the corn cooked in a husk to carry and eat as fun food at county and state fairs.
How-to preserve that wonderful taste all winter.
Select fresh corn. The husks will be removed to prepare the ears of corn for parboiling.
The best time to get fresh corn is early in the morning after it has just been picked. Plan on processing it when you get home to maintain the freshness and the milk in the kernel of corn. I prepare 12 ears at a time.
Remove the corn husks and the silk. Rinse well.
Removing the corn husks
Cutting corn off the cob.
Now the corn is ready to be put into a large pan of boiling water. Cover and scald in the boiling water for 4 1/2 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath. The corn is then ready to cut kernels off the cob and package for freezing.
To freeze corn on the cob, after scalding, cooling and draining, put the ears of corn into plastic freezer bags to store in your freezer.
Savory Baked Sweet Corn
cookbookinabox® has other delicious and great corn recipes.
Meatless Navy Bean Soup and Corn Bread”Back in the olden days” it was said that Monday was wash day and Meatless Navy Bean Soup was the day’s meal.
Meatless Navy Bean Soup
Pressure cooker speeds up the cooking.
A pot of beans on a busy day is a good day’s meal . I like to cook the dried navy beans in the pressure cooker then store in pint jars ready for use in soups, stews, with vegetables or baked beans. I do not put meat in bean soup, mainly for health reasons there is no ham. Though wouldn’t ham, bacon, pork or even chicken be a good addition? That gets to be your choice.
Canned Navy Beans
A good use for the pressure cooker:
Presto Pressure Cooker
This was 1 1/2 cups of dried navy beans, soaked in 4 cups of water for 4 to 8 hours. After they are drained, I put them in the pressure cooker add enough water to cover about 1/2 inch, no salt or seasonings at this time. They are cooked for 11 minutes under 15 lbs. of pressure. I turn off the heat and let the pressure come down slowly before opening. I like a softer bean for soup, the reasons for the longer cooking. This makes 2 pints of beans and the broth. Best to follow your pressure cookers instructions. OR simply buy 2-3 cans of navy or great northern beans.
Cooked mixed vegetables for soup
Mixed vegetables for soup
I like to add onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, carrots, one small potato and fresh grated ginger to soup. These I cook in a little water in the microwave on high until almost tender. Now I am ready assemble the Meatless Navy Bean Soup. The final addition to the soup seasoning is a natural mesquite liquid smoke.
Benefits of making home-made Meatless Navy Bean Soup
The great benefit of making any soup is the freedom to substitute or make changes as you prepare. Now of course there are times when making a specific recipe is the goal. That is the fun and challenge of cooking.
The Beef-Barley Soup the plan forf the day using some left over roast beef. I like to “re-purpose” meat into soups. better known as left-overs The seasoning on the meat is additional seasoning and flavor for the soup. We like our soups thick and chunky, rather than pureed. There are many delicious soups when using variety in the grains, pasta, and vegetables with or without meats/poultry.
This beef had a rub of thyme, onion powder, course pepper and kosher salt when it was roasted. Two cups of the cooked roast beef was cut into 1/2 inch thin pieces for the soup. Onion, celery and mushrooms provided the vegetables to the grain of barley. In this soup, rice or vegetables could be used instead of the barley or stew meat
There is healing power in eating barley providing vitamin E, the trace mineral selenium and compounds that have antioxidant benefits to increase disease protection. Eating barley can help lower cholesterol, reduce the formation of blood clots, improve digestion, and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. (Selene Yeager and Editors of Prevention, The Doctors Book® of Food Remedies, Rodale Inc., 2007 p.73 ff.
Two Menu Suggestions……. to serve with Beef-Barley Soup
Carrot, Pineapple, Mandarin Orange Gelatin Salad
Serving of Apple Cobbler
Cabbage Apple Slaw-Netta Belle’s Choice
Loaf of Classic French Bread
Julia Ann and cookbookinabox® in partnership with Netta Belle’s Choice® Spices, bring you great recipes, outstanding herbs and spices for your cooking experience.
Snow Days are good days for hearty soups to warm you
such as White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup
White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup
White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup is a good to have on hand in the freezer or a full pint jar setting in the refrigerator with soup ready to heat for a lunch.
I like to have soup available for quick lunches, so when I make soup, I make 8 cups from the recipe. It is usually very thick with vegetables or the main ingredients. Because it is extra thick, I will add extra 99% fat free natural chicken broth when I reheat 2 cups of White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup.
Home cooked White/Navy Beans
Preserving the extra soup
The pictures of the white beans illustrate my home cook and canning. After the kettle of soup has cooked, I put the White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup into clean pint jars, seal, let cool to room temperature and set the jars in my refrigerator. It helps to have an extra refrigerator on hand. These jars of soups are usually used in 2 weeks or less. If frozen in freezer bags or plastic freezer containers, the soups could be kept longer.
Benefits of eating White Bean-Spinach Vegetable Soup
The choice of vegetables can vary with your likes or preferences. This is an excellent way to meet the dietary requirements of 5-13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Although fruit does not go in the soup, you have snacks and dessert with your meal. The beans provide fiber and protein, carrots provide vitamin A, peppers contain vitamin C, potatoes are high in potassium and spinach if rich in folate.
In the Italian tradition, lentils-sausage stew was our New Year’s food for luck. It seems across the continents good luck is thought to be prosperity, good health, happiness, success and longevity. We aren’t Italian, we wanted to try another tradition to celebrate the New Year’s. It would be interesting to prepare the New Year’s evening menu recipes from around the world which are noted to be Lucky New Year’s Food.
Here is my suggestion for your 2017 New Year’s Menu celebration.
Italy: Cotechino con Lenticcjie, pork and lentils American South: Black-eyes peas, Hoppin’ John, cooked greens Japan: Toshikoshi Soba, long buckwheat noodles Ireland Buttered Bread Sandwiches Spain: 12 grapes referring to Champagne Berlin: Berliner Pfannkuchen, jelly doughnuts Greece: Vasilopita, a New Year’s Cake with a coin hidden in it. The person getting the coin will have good luck all year.
Slow Cooker Red Lentils-Sausage Stew
Red Lentils-Sausage Stew
Slow Cookers or Crock-Pot cooking are great for winter hearty stews, soups or casseroles. Red Lentils-Sausage Stew is a good example of easy meal preparation. We had a romaine tossed salad, crusty garlic bread, Cinnamon Apple Sauce and Brown Sugar Marble Pound Cake om/crock-for desert. No Champagne, however, we did have some Soft White Wine by Oliver’s Winery. It was a quiet and satisfying New Year’s Eve. Looking forward to 2016 offerings.
Cooking from scratch can be time consuming, there are just times when short cuts are necessary. Ta Da!! Ginger, Tomato and Lentil Soup.
A can of tomato soup is handy to have on the kitchen shelf for a quick lunch. I have a husband who prefers a thick soup. So tomato soup at our house may have various flavors and additions. Usually I will add angel hair pasta, rice, beans, or left overs of an entree or vegetable. This time it was a deliberately planned new recipe.
Cooking lentils and onion
In the pantry was a bag of red lentils. So that was the beginning of thickening the soup. Cooking lentils does not take a long time, about 20 minutes for 1/3 cup of them. I add finely diced onion and minced garlic. All into the water to heat and simmer to soft lentils. Instead of draining the water, most was absorbed into the simmering.
Next I added the can of tomato soup, 1 can of water, maybe a bit more later, the freshly grated ginger, oregano, salt and pepper to cook an additional 15 minutes.
While the soup was simmering, I fixed a fruit compote of mixed canned and fresh fruit with yogurt on top, decorated with a walnut half. Supplied some crackers and lemonade. There was a quick lunch for 3 or 4 in less than an hour.
Chicken, broth, noodles and vegetables creates a delectable Chicken Noodle Soup
This summer I prepared for the family reunion a crock pot of simmered chicken breast with minimum seasoning. This was to meet dietary needs of those who could not tolerate garlic, barbecue sauce, diabetic, or need for fat free foods. I bought six large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed off any fat, and cooked them in the crock pot with one 14.5 ounce can Swanson 99% Fat Free Chicken Broth and water to partially cover the chicken. I cooked it in the crock pot to take and serve at the reunion. What was left over, I drained and froze to use later in casseroles and Chicken Noodle Soup.
Home-made Precooked Chicken Breasts and Broth.
Those precooked chicken breasts did not last long. It was just too easy to go to the freezer and thaw one or two breasts for a quick evening meal. The next time I prepared the chicken breasts, I seasoned them with Netta Belle’s Choice® Flavour-Enhancer Spice Blend. Into the slow cooker I added 1/2 cup sliced onions, 1/4 cup finely diced celery, arranged the seasoned chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and added the one 14.5 ounces can of chicken broth and water to almost cover.
Chicken Breasts seasoned with Netta Belle’s Choice Flavour-Enhancer Spice Blend
The chicken was cooked on high for about 3 hours until meat tested 165 F. The tender flavorful chicken breasts were frozen and the broth was put into three pint jars to store in the refrigerator. This makes such a rich and low fat broth to use in sauces, for risottos, rice, vegetables or soups
Cooked chicken breasts ready to freeze; canned broth.
Chicken vegetable soup is good, but isn’t chicken noodle soup suppose to be the answer to what ails you? So this is was the inspiration for Slow-Cook Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.
Although I do a lot of cooking, there have been some recipes I just don’t attempt. Noodles has been one of them. I guess the first endeavor they turned out tough and like shoe leather or leather shoe strings. So some years later, I thought I would try them again. This time it was success. Using my mother’s recipe from her cookbook recipe box, I made noodles.
Home made egg noodles.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon milk or teaspoon more if needed.
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted flour
Beat the egg in a medium size bowl. Mix in the oil and milk. Add the dry ingredients and blend with a fork. Work the dough into a ball. Lightly flour bread board and roll out thin. Cut into 2 inch strips, layer and cut into narrow strips. Allow to dry.
Note: My preference is a wider noodle, 1/2 inch. Drying time is about 1-2 hours before using them. What is not used, I bag and freeze. This makes a small batch of noodles.
Potato and Crab Meat Soup that I make isn’t the real discovery. Though a trip to Charleston, South Carolina was such a discovery of the beautiful, colorful city of many little flower gardens. There was a flower tucked into any place there was dirt, between houses, alleys or an empty spot. It was fascinating to see all the brass door knockers and historical homes. It has been many years since the visit, I hope it is the same.
Also enjoyed a hearty bowl of crab meat soup made with the “real stuff” such as Atlantic crabs and cream. The rest of the meal has been forgotten. Soup set me out on a search for a Charleston Cook Book. I came home with TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF CHARLESTON COOKING, 1976. There was a recipe for “She” Crab Soup. There was no way to duplicate the soup, however that did not stop me from trying an adaption or was it inspiration.
This recipe does not do justice to the original Charleston recipe, though enjoyable as a warming winter soup. My husband’s family use to have oyster stew on New Year’s Eve. We are not into oysters, so on our New Year’s Eve we have the Potato and Crab Meat Soup, a fruit salad, cake and a glass of white wine.
Potato and Crab Meat Soup a holiday evening celebration.
Chili soup is an all time favorite and one popular for contest of “Who makes the best Chili”. Chili is a favorite at my house, however, having tried the Mediterranean herbs, Italian Chili Soup has become our favorite. It seems once away from the hot pepper spices of chili powder it is hard to go back to the hot, spicy and spirited chili. But we like chili!
This is a hearty soup for winter or for a summer luncheon, particularly when fresh corn is available from the local Farmer’s Markets. I am an advocate of using fresh vegetables and fruits. That is the advantage of living in small rural areas. However, I have seen Eataly NYC via of the internet. That is on my bucket list.
When I can’t get the fresh corn, the next best is the frozen bags I have in my freezer. I never freeze enough; end up using grocery store frozen corn. Just not the same, it does not have the milk scraped off the cob as for cream corn.
A Summer Time Treat, fresh corn.
Removing husks and silk from the fresh corn.
Parboiling fresh corn on the ear.
Cut the cooled corn kernels off the cob. Scraping the cob will get more of the kernel and juices for creamed style corn. Pack the corn in plastic freezer bags or pint hard plastic container.
Roasted Red Peppers ready to peel the charred skins.
Roasted Red Peppers
Roasted Red Peppers are a favorite to have on hand in the freezer. I clean and cut them to remove seeds and flatten for broiling about 15 mintues until well charred. Cover them with aluminum foil for another 15 minutes will loosen the skin for easy peeling. Best to wear gloves to prevent staining or burning your fingers. Lay them flat in one layer in freezer bags makes it easier to remove to use in soups, salads, stews, with vegetables, and meats. They are tasty heated with olive oil, oregano flakes and balsamic vinegar for a side dish vegetable.
A serving of Corn and Mushroom Chowder
Netta Belle’s Choice Herbs and Spices
Netta Belle’s Choice of Herbs and Spices
Flavour-Enhancer Spice Blend Pacific Ocean Sea Salt Granulated Black Pepper Oregano Flakes Crushed Red Pepper Whole Rosemary
cookbookinabox® in partnership with Netta Belle’s Choice® Spices, bring you great recipes, outstanding herbs and spices for your cooking experience.
Summer is a great time to have a vegetable soup with all the fresh foods from the garden. This is when I wish I had a garden, but love those farmer’s markets on Saturdays mornings. I also like to go visit the markets at farms to pick out from their bounty.
Summer Vegetable Soup is healthy and hearty. This soup is without meat, I do use one teaspoon of olive oil to sauté the onion, garlic and celery. I use low-fat chicken broth; vegetable broth would be good to use in this. Chopping up the vegetables is the most time-consuming; I like them close in size for even cooking. When short of time, I will prepare the day ahead, cook for about 15 minutes, allow to cool and put in refrigerator until ready to heat. The next day, I put it in the crock pot and cook on low until all the vegetables are tender.
More broth or water can be added to make it a thinner soup. It does make a large quantity and it freezes well.
Since it is only my husband and myself in the home, when I make soup I will put the simmering soup in pint jars to refrigerate to use later. The lids usually seal, but since not processed in canner, the soup should be kept refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.
I like to serve cornbread and a orange-pineapple jello salad with the soup for a light lunch with friends.
Enjoy a healthy and hearty Summer Vegetable Soup even in the winter time.
cookbookinabox® in partnership with Netta Belle’s Choice® Spices, bring you great recipes, outstanding herbs and spices for your cooking experience.