Fennel Stew

Fennel is a fun veggie that is under-appreciated. It is delicious and warming. Fennel is also great for nursing moms! I made this in the crock pot, but the stove top is great too.

1 bulb fennel with stem and fronds, chopped
1 lb red potatoes, large dice
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3+ cloves garlic, minced
2 TB savory
2 TB tarragon
1.5 liters stock
1/3 C olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a crock pot on low and let cook for 4+ hours or simmer one hour on stove top.

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Turkey Chowder

I’m on a mission to keep your family from saying “Turkey again! Ewww!” so you can eat up all your food, waste less, be greener, and impress them with your versatility and kitchen prowess.

Soup base:
1 Turkey carcass, meat trimmed
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic left whole

Cover carcass ¾ of the way with water (about 8 cups). Boil this (right in the roasting pan if you’ve got a nice one) covered until liquid is cloudy and carcass is falling apart, about 1 hour. Remove carcass, bay leaves, and garlic cloves. Separate out 4 cups of soup base for future deliciousness. It freezes well. Little floating bits of meat should stay in the pot. You can also make this in your crock pot. Allow soup based to simmer for about 2 hours.

Add to the pot:
2 cups left over corn
2 cups left over white potatoes (au gratin, mashed, hash browns, or how ever your family prepared them)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup left over carrots
¼ cup diced onion
2 cups left over turkey, shredded
1 TB Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Depending on the thickness you prefer, you may need to add back more of the soup base.
Bring to a boil then simmer 20 minutes or until celery is tender. Awesome served with cheddar croutons.

Slice left over rolls or bread into ½ inch rounds. Top with shredded cheddar and bake at 375 degrees while the soup is simmering. Croutons are ready when cheese is bubbly, bread is crispy brown.

Crock Pot Beef Provencial

Here is a SUPER SIMPLE SUPPER for my sister, a med student with no time! I sent this recipe to her undergrad uni’s cafeteria, and they loved it. Here’s a crock-pot version for people with no time to cook, med students and moms alike.

Start with a fresh cut of beef that’s ideal for your crock pot: chuck, brisket, round, and rump roasts are most common. A large family sized (6 qt) crock pot can usually hold a 2 lb roast. Look for good marbling and not a lot of thick fat. When you remove a good roast from the package it should feel “good” to squeeze, not too hard or to squishy. A squishy roast will fall apart quickly. A hard roast will end up dry. Rinse the roast under cool water.  Shake off water and place in crock. Drizzle a little EVOO and rub in to coat. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and rub in.

Now toss in:

1/2 lb red potatoes, washed well and halved

1/2 lb baby carrots (so you don’t have to clean or peel them)

2 leeks washed very very well to remove sand. Cut leeks in half long ways and rinse thoroughly. Cut in 2 inch chunks.

2, 12 oz cans diced tomatoes. The Muir Glen garlic fire roasted tomatoes are very flavorful.

1/4 Cup red wine or red wine vinegar

1/4 Cup herbs de Provence

2 Cups low-sodium or home made beef stock as needed

I make sure there are some tomato and other veggie bits UNDER the roast to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the crock. Pour the beef stock in last. The roast should just peek out the top of the liquid by an inch or two. Depending on the shape and size of all the food and crock pot, some may need a little more or a little less.

This will cook on medium in about 6 hours. If you’ll be out of the house for more than 7 hours, cook on low.

If you wish to thicken the cooking liquid into a hearty gravy, remove the roast and veggies. In a small bowl add 3 TB corn starch to 1/4 Cup cold water. Whisk to dissolve starch. Whisk starch mixture into hot crock of cooking liquid. Mixture will thicken up rapidly.

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