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Old 11-17-2015, 06:31 PM   #11
inkfreq   inkfreq is offline
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Last night I prepped for tonight's dinner, a slow roasted pork roast. Tonight I am going to prep for the nest dinner using the leftover pork roast, a navy bean and pork roast soup.

This is my easiest recipe. It takes almost nothing to make, but is one heck of a delicious meal.

I start by breaking down the leftover roast. Unlike a fresh ham, this is going to be a stringy meat because it was a slow roasted pork butt, so it won't make for neat little chunks.

I pull it apart, and slice it down to size. It requires no additional seasoning, and is simply ready to go.

I soak the navy beans overnight. In the morning before work I will pick the beans, to take the little casing off.

Into the crockpot we go:

Leftover Pork Roast
Navy beans (16 oz. package, soaked overnight and picked)
10 sprigs fresh parsley (I grow mine in the kitchen window sill)
2 sprigs fresh Thyme (Grow this myself too)
4 cups Chicken Stock
4 cups cold water
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, halved and then sliced
2 bay leaves, whole
2 cloves roasted garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss that all in the crockpot before work, and set on low heat.

This also works amazingly well with ham hocks instead of pork roast. If you have a ham hock, and a pork roast, it's the best there is.

I buy my pork roasts when they are on sale, and stock them in the freezer. They cost me about $12 each for a really big one that gets divided among two meals, one roast and one soup.

So the total cost for this easy to cook and delicious soup is only about $10 for all five people in my house, after herbs and ingredients.

I get away even cheaper, because I make my own chicken stock and can it up.



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Old 11-18-2015, 02:11 PM   #12
Gulo Blue   Gulo Blue is offline
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I do wash out the cheesecloth. Honestly, I'm too cheap to keep buying it.

I rish it out very well in hot water, and then I use one the wife's nylon bags.. the ones they use to wash out their super-delicate nylons, and toss it by itself in the washer on hot water and hot rinse.

I get maybe 20 uses out of them before I do have to toss them and buy new ones.
I hadn't thought of that. I have a beer brewing grain bag I could probably use that way. Or maybe I could weigh it down with mugs in the dishwasher.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:19 AM   #13
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Tonight will be a very simple Spaghetti, slow cooker style.

I will use Mild Italian Sausage for my protein. That goes into the crock pot on low heat. Over that I add my homemade spaghetti sauce which I can about twice a year when tomatoes go on sale in Arizona, fresh oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme.


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This recipe is for a LARGE quantity of sauce, and then canned into quart size jars, so bear that in mind.

25 pounds tomatoes
4 large green peppers, seeded
4 large onions, cut into wedges
4 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

The green peppers and onions need to be very finely chopped. This is one of the few times I break out my food processor because I just can't chip it fine enough by hand without losing digits.

After chopping, I get my canning pot boiling.

Bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

I add all the ingredients to a large stock pot except the lemon juice. This is going to simmer for hours until it reduces to the right consistency, usually about three or four hours, but on a really cold day, it's taken six.

Then I add the lemon juice. The bottled stuff has the right acidity for canning. Fresh lemons sometimes do and sometimes don't have the right acidity, so I don't risk it.

Can away.

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Now, most people will tell you that you need to blanch the tomatoes by boiling them first in order to peel them. Bah... hogwash. Much easier way is to cut them in half, and using the palm of your hand for pressure, run them across the large hole side of a cheese grater.

The skins peel right away and you're left with just beautiful tomato pulp for sauce.

Remove the Italian Sausage from the crock pot and slice into medium slices, and then re-add to the sauce.

In the last 10 minutes before it's time to serve it all up, I boil my noodles. If I am not working that day, I will make my noodles, but usually if I am doing the crock pot, it's because I am working, and I use pre-made noodles.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:36 PM   #14
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Well, I got sick yesterday and today and it derailed my week of slow cooking. Tonight the wife ordered pizza since I am down with some kind of "crud".

However, tomorrow I hope to be better, and good enough to work on my Jambalaya. If I can, I'll post details here.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:35 PM   #15
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My Jambalaya, as promised... it's a really easy dish to make.

For the ingredients:

32oz Chicken Broth
5 Andouille sausages (polish works if you don't have access to andouille)
4 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
3 cups long grain rice
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 yellow onion, medium
4 Celery ribs
3 cloves roasted garlic
2 cans of diced tomatoes in juice
Cajun Seasoning


Get your pan for the sausage and chicken nice and hot. Once it's hot and water will dance off the surface, add some olive oil. Just a few tablespoons for cooking the meats.

While that is all heating up, dice your onion, and both bell peppers, and celery. Normally in cajun cooking, they only use green bell peppers, but I like green and red to add a splash of color to the dish. mince your garlic nice and small.

About now you should be able to add the sausages and chicken thighs to the skillet and get some color on them.

Place the veggies in a saute pan with butter, and saute them until the onions are translucent.

Add the veggies to the crock pot, along with the diced tomatoes and 4 cups of chicken broth. Add the rice over top of that.

Remove the sausages when they are barely firm. They will not be cooked through, but they will be firm enough to slice. Slice them up and add them to the crock pot with the veggies and liquids. Add in the garlic.

Pull the chicken into small pieces and add to the pot. Add three tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning, and salt to taste.

I usually like to add about a pound of medium shrimp as well, but it's optional. My wife hates all seafood (I hate my wife) so I have to cook the shrimp for about 5 minutes and add to the pot at the end, after I dish her up.

Place this on low for about 6 hours, then set to warm until ready to eat. The liquid should be fairly well soaked in, but you don't want the Jambala to be dry, so periodically you may need to add more broth during the cooking process.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:20 PM   #16
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Cajun Seasoning
I feel like this part requires some specificity.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulo Blue View Post
I feel like this part requires some specificity.
Just a bottle of your favorite Cajun Seasoning. It's a spice.

Two tablespoons is usually enough for most folks in a this recipe. I use a LOT more in mine because I like it spicy.

I also usually add cayenne, but I realize most people don't like Jambalaya that hot. It's really not supposed to be a spicy dish.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:50 PM   #18
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Today was a big crock pot full of Fully Loaded Potato Soup. I have to make mine gluten free for the wife, but it's really easy and super delicious.

You need:
5lbs. of potatoes, cut up, but not peeled. Dicing them really small is the best for this.
Fresh chives
Fresh green onions
Yellow onion (medium)
1lb. bacon
64 Oz. Chicken Stock
2 cups milk
10 cloves of garlic, whole
block of Sharp Cheddar (shredded if you are lazy or handicapped)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet or dutch oven (dutch oven works best if you have a nice campfire style cast iron model) cook the bacon to the firmness you prefer. I like mine nice a crispy. Start out by cutting it into 1/4" strips, and sprinkle them apart, and then fry them up.

When you are done, drain off all but about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease. Add in your dice onions to that. Cook until they are translucent. Takes about 5-6 minutes. When you have about two minutes left on them, add in the 10 cloves of whole garlic. You don't need to mince the garlic this time.

Put the 5lbs. of potatoes in the crock pot and add the bacon, and the onions and garlic with whatever bacon grease you have left in the pan you cooked it in. Add the chicken stock to cover the potatoes. Add two cups of milk.

Dice up your green onions, about half the bunch and dice up the chives, again, about half the bunch.

Set on high. It's going to take about 4 hours at this point, so go watch some sports and try to avoid the Honey-Do List. Enjoy the day.

After 4 hours, check the potatoes. If you can easily push a fork through them, you're ready to go.

With a measuring cup or soup ladle, drain about half the crockpot into a blender, potatoes and all. Blend the hell out of it until it's nice and creamy. Add that back to the crockpot.

This will give you a nice chowdery texture, but leave some potatoes in the pot too. If you didn't dice them real small, use a potato masher to break them down a little.

Now slice the rest of the green onions and chives, and shred the sharp cheddar with a grater using the large holes.

Garnish the top with a pinch of green onions, chives, and sharp cheddar, and if you dig it, a dollop of sour cream.

You have a delicious potato soup, fully loaded.

Last edited by inkfreq; 11-22-2015 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 11-22-2015, 08:51 PM   #19
inkfreq   inkfreq is offline
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and on the issue of the potato soup... this pot had to be the best I have ever made. I think I've had five bowls so far tonight, and it's just sooooo delicious.

I have an 8 quart crock pot, so I make large batches at a time. I like to leave it on warm until it's gone, and occasionally add water as it gets thick.

Nothing better on cold days than just having a nice bowl of potato soup at the ready any time you want it.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:48 AM   #20
Gulo Blue   Gulo Blue is offline
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and on the issue of the potato soup... this pot had to be the best I have ever made. I think I've had five bowls so far tonight, and it's just sooooo delicious.

I have an 8 quart crock pot, so I make large batches at a time. I like to leave it on warm until it's gone, and occasionally add water as it gets thick.

Nothing better on cold days than just having a nice bowl of potato soup at the ready any time you want it.
OK. It's a busy week, but you've got me wanting to make the time to do this.

I'll cook my bacon in the oven though. When I'm adding bacon to a recipe rather than just eating it alongside some breakfast, oven bacon is just easier. You do it all at once rather that a skillet-full at a time.
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