Tag Archives: Soup

Italian Style Meatball Soup

I’ve been neglecting my food related posts, so here’s an Emeril Lagasse recipe (with a few modifications that I made during a recent bout of cold weather).

Rather than just re-do the whole recipe here, I’ll provide a link to the original page:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/meatball-soup-3646042

Emeril is one of my favorite chefs. Almost every recipe of his that I’ve tried has turned out great. This one was no exception.

I didn’t even burn myself this time! LOL

I will add a couple of notes here however:

Emeril’s 2 can’s of low sodium beef broth, 29 ozs or 8/10 of a liter, are not near enough liquid to make this soup. With the amount of meat and vegetables that go into this, it’s almost too thick to be a stew with that amount of liquid. Even more true if you use dry pasta in the recipe.

Bottom line; plan on having about twice that much to get the soup at the consistency in the picture above, or at least be ready to add water.

You also might want to make a little more meatballs than the recipe calls for. This made a crock put full, as you all can see. That’s about 8 decent sized bowls of soup. There were only a couple of pieces of meatball left by the time we got to the last two bowls.

OH… and if you’re using a crock pot and dry pasta… The pasta will NOT be cooked in 15 minutes like Emeril says… More like somewhere around an hour and a half. I *did* add that in late also. Past experience has taught me that slow cooker soups tend to dissolve pasta if it’s added in right at the get go.

End Result:

I almost forgot…

A bowl of the soup finished, and topped with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and served with some garlic Parmigiano Reggiano toasted bread on the side. 🙂

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today is Meals Monday so it’s time to get this recipe posted. 🙂

First, credit where it’s due. This recipe is from the “Fix It and Forget It Cookbook” that focuses on cooking things in a slow cooker.

That’s the same wire-bound version I have. Many tasty and easily thrown together recipes in it. This particular recipe was contributed to the book by one Becky Harder from Colorado. 🙂 Proper credit given, let’s jump to the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

4 – Boneless Chicken Breast Filets

2 – 15 ounce cans of black beans, undrained

2 – 15 ounce cans of Mexican stewed tomatoes or Rotel Tomatoes

1 – Cup of your favorite salsa

1 – 4 ounce can of chopped green chilies (I prefer Hatch chilies)

1 – 14.5 ounce can of tomato sauce

1 – bag of tortilla chips

2 – Cups of grated cheese (Mexican blend, Jack, Cheddar or whatever)

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in large slow cooker.

Cover and cook 8 hours

Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite sized pieces, then stir back into soup.

To server, put a handful of chips in each individual soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese

PERSONAL NOTES:

First, this is simple and very flavorful. It really is a classic crock pot “fix it and forget it” meal. It’s one of my favorite meals in the cook book, and great on cold days.

This recipe makes a TON of soup. It’ll feel more like a thick stew when you stir the pot. I typically have to add a mix of chicken broth and tomato sauce after the first meal so that the remainder is a soup instead of chili. 🙂 Doing that, you can get 12 to 14 bowls of soup out of this.

I cut the chicken up ahead of time instead of fighting with it after cooking and making a mess. It’s worked out fine. Just remember the chicken pieces will shrink a little in cooking and size your pieces accordingly. If you like shredded chicken vs neat pieces, then you’ll have to shred it after cooking obviously.

There are tons of options and variations to the basic recipe. Some people add corn. Some people put avocado slices on top with the cheese. Some people put a quarter of a lime on the side to squeeze in some extra flavor. Another personal favorite is to top with a dollop of sour cream.

Normally I have a picture of the food up, but it’s been a while since I’ve made this. Chicken Tortilla Soup will show a million search engine hits anyway, LOL.

Salvaging a Horrible Meal’s Leftovers

I figured out how to beat my iPhone’s refusal to transfer pictures. Long story short, I did it via a Windows Explorer file move. So, my cooking posts will be a bit more frequent now. 🙂

Tonight’s post is a lesson in salvaging leftovers from a meal that doesn’t turn out. First, a brief backstory: My step brother was doing Christmas this year, so I did an early meal on Sunday when my brother and mom were coming over to attend Christmas Eve services with us (our church is huge so they have Christmas Eve services for a few days before Christmas). I did prime rib. It’s become a tradition, and they’ve always turned out. Then came this year…

I went to Costco to get the meat. Those who recall my meat shopping guide may recall that it’s one of the few places left in my area that I used to trust for meat shopping. Well, Costco pulled a fast one on me. First, there was a thick layer of silver skin on top that was hidden by the label. I should have noticed that the meat was too red also. Cherry red isn’t a natural color for meat.

Once I trimmed away the silver skin with a filet knife, I found brown meat underneath it:

Too late to take it back, and not wanting to fight the insane crowds at Costco, I decided to make the best of it. I cooked the prime rib as usual. It turned out pink inside too:

The above picture was taken the next day after the leftovers had been in the fridge overnight. None the less, it’s obvious the roast was a typical medium rare, None the less, the meat tasted like overcooked chuck roast and was a tough as shoe leather. My literally 400 pound brother only ate one slice.

Not wanting to throw out two thirds of a $70 piece of meat, I brainstormed on how to salvage it in ANY form. My final solution was to make three packets of McCormick’s Au Jus mix, then put that and the prime rib into the crock-pot slow cooker to try to simmer some life back into it. I used Au Jus mix instead of bullion cubes to avoid adding excess salt to the meat.

End result was that the meat was more tender and moist, but it also ended up being crumbly like a pot roast. That was strike two, but I wasn’t down yet…

I took 1/3 of the remaining meat and made cream of potato soup with beef:

A little cheddar cheese and sour cream added to it also. 🙂

Another third, I treated similar to pulled pork, and made into BBQ sandwiches:

Note that unlike many places that serve such sandwiches, I DO NOT drown the meat in sauce. I owe that practice to my Texas roots I suppose. 🙂 BBQ sauce, like any seasoning, should add to and compliment the flavor or meat, NOT hide it. If you’re getting BBQ that’s more sauce than meat, I guarantee you they’re not cooking the meat properly.

The last third is going to be made into shredded beef Tex-Mex food of some type. Tacos, burritos, or nachos. We haven’t decided yet.

I was looking forward to another meal of prime rib, and a prime rib sandwich or two. The meat was nowhere near edible enough for that, but a little creative thinking did enable me to avoid throwing out $40+ worth of meat.