Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soup Season is Nearing

Today we got a little hint of fall in the air. It's been cool all day and overcast for most of it. Just one of those days when comfort food sounds particularly tasty. So I decided it was a good night for some soup!

On Monday night, we had company and I fixed a spiral ham. We had it for dinner that night and Tuesday night, and two lunches, before we ran out of slices. So, of course, then I chopped up the remaining ham and I made a stock out of the ham bone. Last night for dinner, we had steak, baked potatoes, and corn. I always make extra bakers, so we had 4 left, along with about half the corn.

So for tonight's soup.....First, I cut the potatoes in half and scooped out most of the flesh into a bowl. I then popped the skins in the oven to crisp up and turn into baked potato skins, a family favorite. For the soup, I melted a tablespoon of butter and whisked in about a quarter-cup of flour. I then whisked in about a half cup of milk and once that was nice and thick, added the potato flesh and mashed it up really well until I had a very thick base. I added in all the ham broth/stock and stirred it well to combine.

Once it started getting warm, I added some salt, along with the corn and all of the ham I had picked from the bone, as well as some of the chunks I had cut off first. I then added about a quarter cup of half and half to richen it up a bit.

This soup was soooooo good!! It was flavorful, just thick enough, and very hearty. We had it with the potato skins and homemade biscuits with the apple butter I made yesterday (from the apples I gleaned from my brother's tree!). It was a very yummy, very down-home country kind of dinner. Yum!! And just think...most people would have simply tossed out the ham bone. The horror!!!

You gotta love a dinner that is so completely cheap, yet so delightfully delicious! And you know I love leftovers!! :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Weird Concoction

Hello, everyone! I am still around...I've just been VERY lax in my blogging for awhile now! I am still using my leftovers in fun and interesting ways (there is one recipe that I MUST post one of these days), but I have just been neglecting this poor blog.

Tonight, I made one of my stranger dinners, but the kids absolutely loved it, which is a good thing! For dinner last night, I baked some bone-in chicken breasts in chicken broth, which I then made into a cream gravy with half & half and thyme. Good stuff! Alongside this, we had mashed potatoes with the gravy, and biscuits and green beans. It was a wonderful dinner, but I ended up with a few cups of mashed potatoes and almost 2 full chicken breasts left.

So today, I got a little bizarre. I thought about making creamy chicken enchiladas, but there really wasn't enough chicken for that. I contemplated making rice to stretch it, but then I still had those potatoes. Then the idea of mashed potato burritos came to me, and I devised our dinner. I took softened tortillas and placed some of the mashed potatoes on them, sprinkled with some cheddar cheese, then added the chopped cooked chicken. I rolled up, enchilada-style, and placed them in a 13x9 pan. Then I poured some of the cream gravy over the top and sprinkled on some more cheddar.

I covered with foil and baked in the oven for about 40 minutes on 350°. They got just a little browned on the edges and the cheese was all melty and they were very good! It was like a mashed potato burrito but with meat. My kids were actually surprised at how much they liked the strange new dish.

To accompany this, I steamed corn on the cob that I caught on sale this week, and buttered and oven-toasted some leftover hamburger buns. Happy kids, full tummies! And leftovers...vanished! :-)