Monthly Archives: October 2014

Oyster Stew

Since we’re coming close to Halloween, I’m going for something more fall-ish.  This is a dish I really like but don’t get the opportunity to make that often.  To be honest, I used to hate it because when I’d watch it getting made, the whole snot consistency thing of the oyster liquor used to skeeve me out.  Now that I’m older and I’ve had it several times without watching it being made, I really kinda like it.  It’s super simple and it’s hearty.  Very useful when I lived in the North, but now that I’m home, I need to run the air conditioner if I’m going to eat it.  Like I ever DON’T run the air conditioner.  C’mon.. this is Orlando we’re talking about here.  Home of the 3pm duck drowner.. and the concept of shoveling sunshine.

  • 32oz raw oysters with their liquor
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 medium skinned potato cut small.  SMALL. (ok.. I use red potatoes and don’t skin them.. but hey.. that’s me)
  • 1 small chopped leek
  • salt and pepper
  • scotch bonnet sauce (if you don’t have scotch bonnet sauce, tabasco works)
  • minced parsley (I use dried.  You can use fresh.  It’s really just a garnish)

Separate the oysters from their liquor and hold the liquor aside.  In a large pan, cook the potatoes and chopped leek in about 1 tsp of butter until they are cooked through.  Add the rest of the butter and the uncooked oysters.  Cook until the oysters are cooked through.  The edges will curl up when they’re done.  In a separate pot, on low heat, add the milk, the cream, and the liquor and slowly heat until hot.  Do not allow it to boil.  When the liquid is hot, add the oysters/leek/potato mixture.  While stirring, add a dash or two of hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  When it’s well blended, remove from heat and serve.  Garnish with parsley.

If you want a lower carbohydrate option, omit the potatoes… but hey.. live a little.

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Minestrone

Lunch. Happens every day. Gets surprisingly monotonous when you work from home. After a lot of cereal, peanut butter and jelly, and random other 2 second fixes, I found something a lot more hearty. Takes a little while longer to make, but it’s so very worth it.. and it makes a ton, so you can have it over a few days.

Minestrone soup.

I got this recipe from someone I used to work with, but as usual, it’s been modified.

1/2 pound of bacon, chopped into small pieces
one sweet onion, chopped
one large leek
one cup chopped carrot
one cup chopped celery
one tablespoon minced garlic
slutty olive oil
3 medium zucchini
2 small cans peas and carrots (can use frozen)
1 can cannelini beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
parmesan cheese
basil
oregano
salt and pepper

In a dutch oven, sautee the bacon until completely cooked. You can remove the meat if you like, but I leave it in. Add chopped onion, garlic, chopped celery and chopped carrot. Sautee until the onion is clear. Slice the zucchini and add it. Do the same with the leek – make sure you leave the dark green part and don’t throw it away – it adds a nice flavor. Add the peas and carrots, as well as the beans and stir thoroughly. Add basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Top with the undrained can of tomatoes. Bring the whole pot to the sink and add enough water until everything is just covered. When you put it back on the stove, add 1/4 cup olive oil and about 2/3 cup parmesan cheese. Stir then bring the whole thing to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce to a low simmer and let cook for about an hour.

Mmmm.. minestrone.

Stuffed Peppers.. or returning to the kitchen again

I’ve been traveling.  A lot.  My interest in the kitchen has waned as a result so I started to fall towards the whole takeout-delivery cycle of food.  It’s a bad place to be, so I’ve returned to the kitchen with a renewed interest in.. the crockpot.  Ahh.. pot roast.. or vegetable soup… or the bajizillion other things you make in a crockpot.

I came across a recipe from a paleo site.  Let me start by saying that I am not a follower of paleo.. but because they eschew grains and I live with someone trying to keep carbohydrates in check, they’re a great place to start for cooking ideas.. which brings me to this.  Stuffed peppers.

I made some modifications to the recipe and have put it below.  The first thing I want to say is do. not. cook. the. cauliflower. ahead. of. time.  That makes for mushy cauliflower.  Mushy cauliflower is icky and I disapprove of it wholeheartedly.

Second, notice.. no liquid.  Fear not.  The sausage provides the liquid.

Third, the original recipe called for cooking these badboys for 6 hours.  I cooked them for 4 and they were almost overdone.  I prefer some bite in the peppers.

These are quite filling.  When I made them, I made sides.. which remained untouched.  These are a true one dish meal.

  • 1 pound of hot italian sausage.  I got them and pulled the meat out of the casing.  Gross but effective.  For a less fun alternative, buy bulk sausage.
  • 4 assorted bell peppers. I went with 2 green, 2 orange.
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, grated or chopped into a “rice” consistency.
  • 1 small (8 ounce) can of tomato paste.
  • 1 small white onion, medium dice.
  • 1 tsp lazy man’s chopped garlic.
  • 2 tsp dried basil.
  • 2 tsp dried oregano.
  • 2 tsp dried thyme.
  • juice from one lemon

With a hearty menacing laugh, RIP the tops off of the peppers.. or use a knife.. it’s cleaner.  Seed them and save the tops.

Put everything in a large bowl and mix like it’s meatloaf.  Do not use a spoon or other utensils.  Practice your menacing laugh.  Mix some more.  When the mixture is fully incorporated, spoon into each of your empty soul-less peppers.  They’ll hold a lot so keep stuffing until they’ll hold no more.. then put the tops back on them and put them in a crock pot.  Cook on low for about 4 hours.