IF you think I'm going to post my secret Chili Recipe...
Talk to me on my deathbed.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Soup From Scratch

  • Ingredients
  • Making Soup Stock
  • Sauté
  • Wine for cooking?

1) Choose a type of fat
    graphic (17)
  • start with some type of healthy fat, like butter or olive oil.  This is to sauté (see sauté below) any root vegetables or other initial flavors.  
  • use what you have on hand that will mesh well with your flavors.  (olive oil if you wanted an “Italian” soup with a tomato base, and butter if you're making a cream soup. 
  • otherwise, it’s a toss-up.)
2) Choose your base 
  • see Making Soup Stock below
3) Choose your meat
If you want meat, that is.  
  • Choose whatever you like.  You’ll probably want this to match your base (beef with fish stock might not be such a great combination), but use what you have.  
  • you can use chicken stock in place of beef stock with great results, especially if you also added tomato.
4) Choose your veggies
  • Onion is a pretty standard because it imparts so much flavor.  
  • Garlic, carrots, and celery are all fairly common too — though not always used.  
  • There are also beans, potatoes, spinach, kale, corn, and so on.  Use whatever you have, and whatever you like!
5) Choose your spices
Sea salt and black pepper are your two most basic spices, so you will want to include them (well…at least the salt). Here are a few more popular flavor combinations.
• Celery seed, marjoram, thyme, parsley, and sage go well with chicken.
• Marjoram, rosemary, and thyme go well with beef.
• Basil, oregano or fennel can be a nice addition to tomato-based soups.
• Chilis need chili powder and perhaps cumin.
• Cream soups might benefit from a dash of parsley or thyme.
But, that’s just “common” ones – feel free to dream up any combination you like.  Remember to taste and adjust as you go, though.
Once you’ve decided on what ingredients to use, making soup is very simple:
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat
2. Sauté your aromatic vegetables (onion, garlic, celery, carrot) in your fat
3. Cook your meat if necessary (for example, stew beef)
4. Add your base (except milk or cream), veggies, meat, and spices
                              (see Making Soup Stock below).

5. Taste and adjust
6. Allow simmering for an hour or two
7. Taste and adjust again

Add any cream or milk just before serving and heat through

Making Soup Stock:
If you prefer making your stock/base instead of using store-bought broths etc.
What is stock in making soup?
Stock, sometimes called bone broth, is a savory cooking liquid that forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups, stews, and sauces. 

Making stock involves simmering animal bones or meat, seafood, or vegetables in water or wine, often for an extended period of time.
  1. Gather some vegetables and herbs. Onions, carrots, and celery give the stock a great base flavor, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables listed above. ...
  2. Coarsely chop all the vegetables. ...
  3. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. ...
  4. Simmer for about 1 hour. ...Strain and store.
You can dictate the character of your soup by how you decide to start cooking it.
1. Bold and sturdy flavors come from starting the soup by fast-browning the onions and some of the vegetables in good-tasting oil or butter over medium-high heat.
2. Mellow flavors are achieved with slow-stewing onions and key ingredients, like herbs, in a little fat in a covered pot over low heat.
3. Clear, true flavors come from simmering everything in liquid with no pre-sautés.

Thickening with Flavor
Cream soups were traditionally thickened with flour as well as cream.

For bean soups, crush a cup of the beans and return them to the pot.
With vegetable soups, stews, and meat braises like pot roast, puree a few of the vegetables that have been cooked in the pan liquid, then stir them back into the pot.

In many cream soups you can skip the cream and instead use a good-tasting potato for more substance.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Add all of the vegetables and cook until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes.

What do you sauté first?
Tip: To avoid overcooking and undercooking different vegetables, add those with longer cooking times in first, and put others in later. Veggies with longer cooking times: carrots, onions, and potatoes. Medium: broccoli and bell peppers. Short: mushrooms, tomatoes, and leafy greens.

(Begin by saute-ing garlic/onion/bit of chili - only add salt and pepper later if required.)
Wine for cooking?
Note: Wine is a powerful flavor booster because alcohol opens up flavors that neither fats nor water release. Also, red wine is high in umami, a chemical component of some foods which heightens flavors. So be generous with the wine. Use white wine in pale soups, red in dark ones, and anticipate 1/2 cup for every 8 cups of liquid. Contrary to rumor, all the alcohol in wine and other spirits does not cook off.
The most important thing to know is that the wine should taste good on its own. A poor-quality wine can ruin a great dish.
Luckily, there are great-tasting white wines for very affordable prices. So, eliminate anything labeled as “cooking wine” since it probably earned its title by being unfit to drink.

As a general rule, dry white wines (wines that don’t contain sweetness) are preferred for cooking lighter dishes such as chicken, pork, veal, soup, seafood, shellfish, and vegetables. Below are examples of these dishes paired with widely available styles of wine.

Try Herbal Dry White Wines
• Sauvignon Blanc
• Grüner Veltliner
• Verdejo
Sauvignon Blanc is a classic light wine with fruity, herbal and floral flavors that add an amazing dimension when cooking vegetables. It’s among the easiest wines to cook with, just splash the wine in the sauté pan to deglaze. (dilute meat sediments in (a pan) in order to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

The longer you cook the wine, the less alcohol will be in the dish. It can take as long as 2.5 hours of simmering to completely remove the alcohol.

Open, refrigerated white wine is drinkable for up to a week and suitable for cooking for two weeks.



  • google search
  • https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/basic-soup-improvisation 
  • https://winefolly.com/wine-pairing/dry-white-wine-for-cooking/ 
  •  https://simplebites.net/how-to-make-soup-from-scratch/ 

Remember these are my notes tailored from the above sources. Abbreviated for what works for me. see the original articles in full to tailor to your choices.    GlennDL

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Simple Pulled Pork

  1. 2lb pork tenderloin, butt or shoulder.
  2. bottle of barbecue sauce (18oz.)
  3. can of root beer (12oz.)
In a slow cooker:
  • place pork in slow cooker, pour root beer over pork and cook on low for 6 hours, covered, until pork shreds easily with a fork
  • remove pork to cutting board
  • drain and discard the root beer
  • Shred pork
  • return to cooker
  • poor BBQ sauce over pork and stir

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Glenn's Gumbalaya

Gumbalaya? Because it too hard to choose between Gumbo and Jambalaya.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Tasty Water: Hydrate

I've always had trouble drinking water. I could never stand the taste... except when I was extremely heated from the weather or working out and even then it glass of waterwas not good, just necessary. Thus I've always had a problem with dehydration.
Over the last year, I have drunk nothing but bottled water (following the minimum regime listed in the "Hydrate" post below) but even bottled water was not a remedy.
While looking for a probiotic to replace yogurt (settled on Kombucha) I started re-examining my attempts at increasing my water intake after I stumbled on an article about PH water that said water with a higher than 7 ph taste better. I tried Glaceau Smart Water (ph7.6) and sure enough, it was easier to drink. Over the last week, that's all I've drunk and it is still easy to down it. Going to try other brands with even higher PH levels (up to 10)
  • Alkalife TEN=             10
  • Essentia                     9.4
  • Evamor                       8.8
  • Icelandic                     8.4
  • Eternal                        8.1
  • Real Water                 8.0
  • Evian                          7.9*
  • Penta                          7.8
  • Dear Park                   7.8
  • Glaceau Smart Water 7.6
  • Voss                            7.6
  • Volvic                          7.5
  • Fiji                               7.3
  • Nestle Pure Life          7.3
  • Poland Spring             7.2

I composed this list because most waters don't put their PH level on their bottles.
Some will say their PH balanced, but it is unclear if that means they strive for a certain PH level or strive for an above 'neutral' PH level. So I don't think you can trust the 'balanced' label.
Most waters appear to be neutral or below. Below neutral is considered 'acidic' and above is considered 'alkaline'. Neutral is PH 7.0, so look for PH above that, the higher the better.
There are other advantages to above PH 7 waters besides improved taste. GOOGLE it.
*note: Always check the label. Looked at an Evian bottle and the ones that showed a PH level showed a level below that show in the above chart. Its not uncommon for a brand to have a mixture of waters in their line.
Copyright © 1992-2019 Glenn D. Littrell www.glennlittrell.com