Pickle Soup

picke-soup-photoWeird but good.  When I first read this recipe, I thought, Pickles? That’s sounds yucky.

‘Kitchen therapy’ and weird were just what was needed one morning when I had emotional child-rearing issues weighing on my mind.

 

Items marked with a * are my additions to the original recipe.

 

5 dill pickles, grated

4 tsp. butter (1 tsp. for saute pan & the remainder for the soup pot)

4 cups water

1 large carrot, chopped (* 6 small carrots)

2 celery stalks (* 3 stalks)

1 parsley root (* 2 parsnips substituted ), chopped

1 leek, chopped (* skipped)

1 potato, peeled & chopped

*1 tblsp. salt

 

Topping

sour cream

fresh, chopped dill

 

Over low heat, saute grated dill pickles in 1 tblsp. butter for 20 minutes. (This removes some of the ‘bite’ from the pickle giving it more of a mild vinegar flavor that adds interest to the soup.)

In a soup pot, combine water, remaining butter and chopped vegetables. Over medium heat, simmer till tender.

Add grated dill pickles, bring to boil & remove from heat.

 

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Sauce Series – Red Sauces – 2 of 5

Red sauces (tomato based) are some of the easiest sauces to start learning to make. Typically, they don’t require thickening agents and can be ready in minutes.

 

Quick Tomato Sauce

1 can condensed tomato soup

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp. salt

Pinch of pepper

¼ tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients and heat to boiling.

Makes 1 /4 cups

 

Quick Red Pasta Sauce

2-4 tbslp. Olive oil

6 cloves to and entire head of fresh garlic, crushed and chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes

Salt as needed

Italian spices

Sauté garlic in olive oil till just brown around the edges. Add the other ingredients and heat till bubbling. Server immediately over pasta

 

BBQ Sauce

1 can tomato paste

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. Caro Syrup, Molasses or Honey

2 tblsp. Vinegar

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch of pepper

Dash of red pepper

¼ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. mustard

¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Dash tabasco scauce

Clove of garlic chopped.

 

Dip meats in sauce before broiling, use as baste during roasting or BBQ on the grill.

 

Ketchup

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Check out the other videos in this Sauce Series

Sauce Series #1 – taste bud training

Sauce Series #2 – red sauces

Sauce Series #3 – brown sauces & thickening agents

Sauce Series #4 – white sauces

Mock ‘Chopped’ #5 – group cooking challenge how-to

Sauce Series – White Sauces – 4 of 5

White sauces are made with milk, buttermilk, yogurt, coconut milk, butter, other white liquids and thickening agents.

 

Basic White Sauce

2 tblsp. Butter

2 tblsp. Flour

1 cup milk

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually add milk and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cook an additional 3 minutes.

Use on seafood, vegetables, fish, or meat.

Additions to white sauce:

Chopped parsley 2 – 4 tblsp.

Mustard – 2 tsp.

Cheese – ½ – 1 cup grated cheese

 

Horseradish Cream Sauce

½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks.

4 -6 tblsp. horseradish

½ tps. Salt

Pinch of pepper

Serve with ham, beef or fish.

 

Makes ¾ cup sauce.

 

Lemon Roux

 

Pan Gravy

Approximate the amount of flour needed to thicken the volume of meat drippings available. Place flour in a dressing / gravy shaker or whisk with cool water and shake or blend till smooth.

To meat drippings (fat) [from a turkey, chicken, bacon, or roast] in a deep pan over medium heat, slowly add flour and water mixture. Stir continuously. After the mixture has thickened, continue cooking for a few more minutes to make sure that the raw flour taste has been dispelled.

 

Hollandaise Sauce

2/4 cup butter

1 ½ tblsp. Lemon juice

3 egg yolks, well beaten with dash of salt

Cayenne pepper

 

Divide butter in the three parts. Place one piece in top of a small double broiler, add lemon juice and egg yolks. Place over hot water (not boiling) and cook slowly, whisk constantly.

When butter is melted, add second piece. Keep whisking. As mixture thickens, add the final piece of butter.

Once the mixture is about as thick as gravy, remove from heat, add salt and serve immediately.

Can be used over vegetables (asparagus), fish, shellfish and poached eggs.

Lightly finish with cayenne pepper.

 

Makes: ¾ cup
Trouble shooting: If sauce is curdling, dilute by the teaspoon with hot water while constantly whisking.

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Check out the other videos in this Sauce Series

Sauce Series #1 – taste bud training

Sauce Series #2 – red sauces

Sauce Series #3 – brown sauces & thickening agents

 

Mock ‘Chopped’ #5 – group cooking challenge how-to

 

 

Gumbo

image by: Jmprouty, wikimediacommons

image by: Jmprouty, wikimediacommons

Okra as a thickener?  I must say it is a little ‘weird’ to observe the clear slime (mucilage) that interconnect slices of okra like spider webs when they are moved around in a saute pan. [It is also interesting to note that the viscosity of this substance increases with heat.]

No matter – the okra entertainment value is a ‘plus’ and it is delicious when combined with the other ingredients that make Gumbo!

 

Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo). – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basic Gumbo Components:

Sauce:

6-8 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 med. or lg. onion – chopped
meat | protein of choice chopped into bite sized pieces (my favorite is chicken thighs)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (regular mustard also works fine)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.

In a large soup pot start with 2 tbslp. olive oil . Add 1 large package of frozen okra (thawed). Saute until brown. Add whatever other vegetables you wish to include.

In the version pictured at the far right, I used broccoli, turnips, carrots, onions and green beans. Cut these into bite sized pieces and saute with okra for about 10 minutes. gumbo

Spices:
1 tblsp. thyme
1 tblsp. oregano
1 tblsp. basil
2-3 bay leaves
salt to taste

*2 bunches of fresh cilantro – finely chopped – added right before serving

To soup pot, add 1 large can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups chicken stock –  set on low while you work on stage two.

Stage Two:

In a saucepan, saute sauce mixture from above until meat is cooked. Add this to the soup pot.

Stage Three: Additional thickener – roux

In a saute pan, melt 1/4 cup butter over low heat. Slowly, whisk in 1/4 cup flour until it is smooth and smells slightly nutty (about 3-4 minutes). Add to soup pot.

Simmer until Gumbo is the consistency of gravy.

Shrimp_gumbo

“Gumbo isn’t so much a recipe as it is a state of mind, complete with secret language and poetic license.” – Peggy Lampman, author of Simmer and Smoke and culinary food blogger. [click here to see Peggy’s Gumbo ya-ya reicpe]

 

Slumgullion Stew – A Historical Mystery

Stew and the making of it has been going on for centuries.  Ancient Greeks (8th – 4th centuries BC) put ingredients into a stomach-like (paunch) of an animal and cooked it over an open fire.

Miriam Webster

slum·gul·lion    noun \ˈsləm-ˌgəl-yən, ˌsləm-ˈ\
Definition of SLUMGULLION
:  a meat stew
Origin of SLUMGULLION
perhaps from slum slime + English dialect gullion mud, cesspool

 

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

A variety of cultures lay clam to the name ‘Slumgullion’; English, Irish, Pirates, Pioneers and many more. Some folks have negative associations with it (Ancestral Dish?)‘Slumgullion’ denoted fish offal of any kind. It also has meant “the watery refuse, mixed with blood and oil, which drains from blubber.  Later, ‘slumgullion’ was the name for the muddy deposits at a mining sluice. And finally, it came to mean “a kind of watery hash or stew.

 

One of the earliest mentions of Slumgullion in literature comes from Mark Twain’s book “Roughing It” (1872) where it was a vile drink served at a roadside way station.

 

In 2013,  a visiting friend from the United Kingdom (Paul W.) described an ‘If It’s Stew’ that his mom makes. “Basically, if it’s in the refrigerator, it goes into the mix,” he said.

 

By all accounts, Slumgullion Stew falls into the category of a ‘clean-out-the-refrigerator,’ ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’  type of meal.

 

I think that there is no reason that the dish cannot be delicious and delightful as long as the preparer has a good sense about flavor, texture and spice combinations.

 

 

slumgullion mystery

 

Redfern Slumgullion Stew

1 large onion, peeled & chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
1 medium sized yellow beet, peeled & chopped
1 large turnip, peeled & chopped
4 medium sized yellow potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 can tomato paste
4 slices bacon – cut into small bits
4 tblsp. olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 pkg. Saag’s Asiago Fennel Chicken Sausage – cut into bite sized slices
salt & pepper to taste

Start with olive oil and uncooked bacon bits in a pot. Heat on medium heat until bacon starts to release it’s fat. Add all peeled & chopped vegetables. Saute till lightly browned.

Add tomato paste and chicken broth. Simmer for several hours until vegetables are done.

About 20 minutes before serving, add sliced Asiago Fennel Chicken Sausage and salt & pepper.

Serve with Baking Powder Biscuits.

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Historical research for Slumgullion Stew came about as part of a fiction series that I wrote (Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone).

Haylee is an illustrated, paranormal, adventure. A young woman struggles to understand and control an unusual power that causes her to steal something that should never be stolen.

In Haylee The Traveler (book #3 of the trilogy) , the main character is suddenly transported to San Francisco in 1849 where she directed to find another Traveler who carries a stone with answers to some of her problems.

Excerpt:

Maybel and Song from the Bella Union on Portsmouth Square. [ Fictional characters from the book Haylee: The Traveler, by Lisa Redfern ]

Maybel and Song from the Bella Union on Portsmouth Square. [ Fictional characters from the book Haylee: The Traveler, by Lisa Redfern ]

Stepping into the dimly lit interior, Haylee was assaulted by the smell of cigar smoke and cheap perfume. Underneath those layers of smells was the cloying scent of unwashed bodies.

Maybel led them through the room, winding between gaming tables crowded with men. A few women served drinks, one woman led a man up a set of stairs, and several more leaned over the balustrade at the top, wearing…not much at all. Haylee’s cheeks flamed.

Focusing her attention away from those disturbing sights, she watched the layers of clothing sway back and forth over Maybel’s behind. Haylee thought that the dress must be hot, heavy, and uncomfortable. She was glad to be wearing men’s clothes.

People glanced curiously at Homer as he clomped along in the rear. Moving through a set of curtains, they were led into a small room with only a few tables, one of which was occupied by a tall, thin man in formal attire and a woman dressed similarly to Maybel. The hostess’s eyes met the other woman’s. An imperceptible nod communicated across the space between the two. Maybel seated Haylee and Homer farthest from the couple.

A hearty Slumgullion Stew with biscuits arrived. It smelled wonderful! Haylee would have liked nothing more than to shovel it down. But she noticed that the woman at the other table, although chatting and interacting with her partner, kept sending quick glances in their direction.  The woman looked familiar but Haylee could not place where she could have seen her before. It made her nervous.

Eating slowly, pausing to put spoons of thick broth to Homer’s lips, Haylee surreptitiously studied the other woman as well. Dressed in a ruffled, deep purple gown, dark hair swept up on her head revealed clear olive skin. Tendrils that escaped confinement snaked their way along her graceful neck.

Her table partner leaned in close to whisper in her ear. She laughed, placing her hand on his cheek. He moved his head down to nuzzle her neck. Letting her head fall back, her eyes met Haylee’s.

Haylee could feel the burn of embarrassment scorching her face.

The man stood, making a curt bow to the woman as he took his leave. “Until next time, Martina.”

 

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More about Slumgullion Stew – History & Culture

Grim to the last drop. – Word Dective

In the 1880s, “slumgullion” was apparently also used to mean the watery refuse from processing whale blubber as well as the muddy sludge created by mining operations. 

The late Eric Partridge, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, sees the “slum” as being a variant on “slob.” A related word, “slubberdegullion,” meaning “a slobbering or dirty fellow.”

So the root sense of “slumgullion” appears to boil down to “unappetizing liquid concoction.”

The Lost Slumgullions of English – New York Times Opinion by Kate Manning

– Informative and entertaining piece about lost words in vernacular.

Slumgullion Fest – East Bay Express (Oakland, CA) – Pirate Food

 

 

A few more interesting Slumgullion recipes from Cooks.com

 

MOOSE SLUMGULLION
In large skillet or kettle
brown 1 1/2-2 pound mooseburger and
one large minced onion,
seasoned with a good sized slug of
garlic salt and
enough salt and pepper to suit.

When meat is nicely browned,
add a #2 1/2 can of tomatoes or tomato puree.

Simmer about an hour and add one package of previously cooked spaghetti or noodles. Season to taste and serve.

 

GRAMMA’S SLUMGULLION (TAMALE PIE)
Brown:
1 lg. lean ground beef, drain grease
Add:
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic

Cook 5 minutes – until onions are translucent.Add:
1 (16 oz.) can “Mexican” tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can cream style corn
1 (16 oz.) can pitted olives, drained
3/4 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Bake in casserole dish 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with grated Cheddar cheese and bake 5 minutes.
SLUMGULLION
Boil rice until tender, not mushy. Drain and shake-up fluffy.
In meantime, slowly fry plenty of bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Use fat to saute
finely sliced cabbage, onions, and celery until tender. Drain if necessary.
Make white sauce; add bacon to sauce and pour over combined rice and cabbage mixture. Stir thoroughly and add pepper – no salt.
SLUMGULLION
1 1/2 c. potatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 c. cabbage, sliced thin
1 c. diced onion
1 1/2 c. flour
1 lg. egg
Salt & pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 qt. water

In large skillet, cook potatoes, cabbage, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until tender. Add butter and cook until well-seasoned. Water may need to be added.In a small bowl, mix egg and flour with a fork. Drop onto boiling vegetables a forkful at a time. Cook about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Stewed Pheasant – Grandpa’s

Cut up pheasant into pieces (legs, wings, back, breast, etc.)IMG_0529

Roll in mixture of flour, salt and pepper.

Brown in oil in large pot.

Add
onions
chopped celery
tomato paste
bay leaf
dash Worcestershire sauce
dash of red wine
and chicken broth to cover and simmer until tender – at least an hour

 

Remembrance:

Mary (2nd Daughter, child #4):
I remember thinking stewed pheasant was really good but you had to be careful about the bones.  It was usually served with steamed rice. This transports me back to Mom’s kitchen on a cool November day.  I can see the pot with the glass lid and can almost smell it cooking.  Dad used to say that his mother was happy with any kind of game he brought home so it seems likely that Mom got a lot of her game recipes from Bushia.  Mom’s father was not a hunter but her Peterson uncles were.

pheasants pheasants2

Grandma’s Venison Stew

grands greats with kids IMG_0528Bay leaf – allspice
Check each piece of stew meat for tallow or hair.
Put 2 tblsp. oil in pressure cooker and brown slowly on med. heat while adding garlic, onions, celery, sprig of fresh parsley.
When browned nicely add 2 or 3 cups water, add peppers & put under pressure for 30 min.
Also before pressuring, add a few tiny tomatoes ( with skin removed).
After pressuring & meat seems tender  add more water, if necessary and thicken with flour/water.  Add salt.(can also add small amount of green peppers)
Serve with rice.
 10-30-89
Remembrance:
Mary (2nd Daughter, child #4):
Mom said that when she was going to meet Bushia for the first time she had in her mind that Bushia would be a little old Polish lady – wearing a babushka and a long, housewife type of dress.  Instead she met a very fashionable, lively person.  It was a big surprise!
from ray 9-2from ray 14-2