Food in Changing Times: Bone Broth, Meat Stock: Part II – Pork

Is:  Grain and gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, nightshade-free.  

bone broth, pork, stock, recipe

Pork bone broth/stock, defatted, and aliquoted out to a few containers for freezing. Add salt and appropriate seasonings prior to use.  This is concentrated, you may wish to add water depending on intent.

I’ve used pork stock in previous recipes which I will try to remember to link below, but I’ve never used it in an Asian-based recipe, as of yet.  Today’s recipe is based mostly on the Chinese approach, but I describe both.

For European recipes, the principles are the same as the chicken/poultry bone broth/meat stock post I made this past week, except that you cook this longer.  8 hours of a light simmer is good, in a crock pot, and oh, 4 or 5 or so hours in a range-top pot.  Otherwise, just follow those suggestion on that page.

The pork I use has all come from a pastured pig from a Connecticut farm.  I obtained half of a pig last fall from that farm.   I am not convinced that supermarket pork is as healthy, nor that it was raised humanely.  So when I run out of my pork supply, that’s going to be it, here.  (Until if and when I can get more.)  No interest in purchasing Smithfield or other mega-suppliers of pork products.

pork stock, pork bone broth, Chinese, Western, Onion, recipe

Simmer, simmer…

You can also use roasted and browned bones and carcass in the European-based stocks, but Asian typically does not call for browning.  I will admit in this upcoming recipe, where I will be making an Asian-infused stock, I do have some leftover roasted bones that will be added, so this won’t be thoroughly authentic, and the stock will thus be a bit darker than preferred.  But my goal when cooking this recipe is to make something I can save and set aside for my future goal of.. making Soup Dumplings!  (Expect that one early summer – it will tie together the soup, the meat inside and the dumpling wrap itself.  This delay gives me time to fine-tune the dumpling portion.)

pork stock, pork bone broth, Chinese, Western, Onion, recipe

Bone and onion removal.

Since my purpose in making this one is indeed to learn how to make soup dumplings, I need to be sure there is plenty of collagen that will gel up when in the fridge.  (How did they get that soup in there?!?!?! – it’s in gelatin form when being added in…)   So I added in a pig foot (not smoked).  You could use a hock, or a goodly portion of ribs with some meat and cartilage.  If you don’t plan on making soup dumplings – just use whatever you have around your freezer.

No scallions nor green onions here, but I do have a couple onions that are rather old and, ahem, sprouting their own!

Made Sunday, 4/5/2020.

bone broth, pork, stock, recipe

This is the stock, cooling prior to de-fatting the upper surface.

Bone Broth /Meat Stock:  Pork 

  • Pork bones, some with a bit of meat, definitely include cartilage.   If available, use a pig’s foot or ham hock (un-smoked).  
  • Water to cover.
  • Alliums – one onion, chopped into quarters, or go feel free to use a couple shallots or one or two leeks.  Most traditional are green onions/scallions, a good bunch.  
  • Splash of vinegar (rice vinegar for Asian, apple cider or red vinegar for Western).  
  • Optional slivers of ginger for Asian, say about the length of the tip of your thumb.
  • Optional celery, for Western.  Three good stalks.

Amounts of things will vary depending on how much pork you have.   I cook these stocks up when I discover that the stock makings are overflowing my freezer.

You can pre-thaw, or cook directly in your stock pot, crock pot, or Instant Pot.  Today I am using the crock pot.

Add everything you are using into your crock or other pot.   Again, no salt until ready to use.  The stock pot will cook down quicker than the other two types of pot, so watch the water levels.  I don’t add salt at this point (this is why I don’t use smoked ham, plus it adds a flavor that I really don’t want in Asian cookery.   Which is what I’m doing, as mentioned, with this batch.

Let it go and simmer!

Crock pot:  6-8 hours, low.
Stock pot:  4-5 hours, simmer.
Instant pot / pressure cooker:  I’d appreciate it if one of my readers can tell me what they use for timing,  since I don’t own one.  You’ll get credit here.

In the crock pot depicted here, I used 1 pig’s foot, and a variety of bones.

Decant and strain out solids.  If you wish to cook down to a more-storable volume, do so; you can always add water when re-constituting for whatever soup need you may have.

Place in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight), then scrape off the fat layer that will form on top.  You can always reserve this as a type of lard for cooking, but I wouldn’t consider this part great for baking.   (In fact, I discarded this, this time.)

I freeze the stock until I need – and this is also when you add the salt (when volume is adjusted), other seasonings and spices, and whatever other veggies you want.  

Oh, my post about how to render lard… I’d do that with completely unflavored pork lard, and the most important part is the leaf lard that surrounds the kidney – this part has no porky flavor, and is terrific for bakers to use.


For Western cooking:  This would be a great base for a split pea soup (here you can add tiny bits of diced ham).  Or a barley soup.  I could also see this as a variant for a minestrone soup.  Or, you know, just simply dollop out a ladleful of this as is (well, add to taste some salt and ground pepper), and have it as a healthy and nutritious broth.

For Eastern cooking:  You’ll get the Chinese soup dumpling recipe when I get around to making that.  I could also see this stock being reserved as a base for a Vietnamese pho recipe.

recipe, pork, stock, bone broth


NEXT WEEK:  Vegetarian/Vegan Stock!

PAST POSTS IN THIS SERIES:  OVERVIEWPOULTRY STOCK OR BONE BROTH.

Meanwhile, stock up on other great recipes at:

 

 

 

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Breakfast: Greens, Bacon, Egg

Contains:  Eggs.  Is:  Quick and easy.  Potentially Paleo (depending on the bacon).

Breakfast, recipe, swiss chard, greens, bacon, eggs

A happy breakfast!

For the greens, I used Swiss chard, which I’d obtained form Misfits Market.  I also had “second breakfast” of half a small Misfits Market grapefruit.  (These seem to be more or less the size of oranges…)

The bacon came from a gift box that my brother sent me back at Christmastime.  The eggs, well, they came from my back yard hens.

I make a serving for one, as I live alone and right now I have to hunker down as one.  (For some foods I am cooking for multiple meals in order to make leftovers, but I’m not really fond of leftover scrambled eggs.)

For most folk, I probably added in too many greens… but I ate them all!  Adjust to your desire and availability.

recipe, bacon, eggs, greens, swiss chard, breakfast

Bacon with greens.

Cooking greens could include that Swiss chard, kale, collards, cabbage, bok choy.  If you use spinach remember that one shrinks down a lot further than any of the above – and is ready a LOT sooner – in fact I’d add that one in while the eggs are cooking.  This will also be true of the beet or turnip greens.

I don’t need to add salt to my scrambled eggs, and I’m content with the salt for the overall dish that comes from the bacon.  You choose your method.

Cooked 3/26/2020.

recipe, breakfast, greens, swiss chard, bacon, eggs

Nearly done! Note, I don’t like the frenetic  Gordon Ramsey style of scrambling or the results – I like them gently folded with large “curds”.

Prep Time:  5 minutes.
Cook Time:  15-20 minutes. 
Rest Time: none.
Serves:  1
Leftovers:  The veggie portion can be re-heated. 

Breakfast:  Greens, Bacon, Egg

  • 1 slice thick cut bacon.  (2 if thin is what you have).  Tear into segments of 1/2 to 1 inches in length.  (1.25 – 3 centimeters)  
  • 1 small bunch of greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards, cabbage, bok choy, spinach, turnip greens, beet greens…)   Coarsely chopped.  You can use half or a third of a bunch… “bunch” doesn’t have a measurement term!
  • You may need a little cooking oil as an adjacent to the bacon grease.  Or to start off harder stems.  
  • 2 eggs, beaten. 
  • Ground pepper.  
  • Optional dried herbs as you are inspired.

For a tough-stemmed leafy green such as Swiss chard or kale, chop the stems to 1/2 inch or less, add some cooking oil (perhaps two teaspoons) to the skillet.  Bring to a medium/medium high heat, and add the stems of these, only.  Sauté  for about five minutes.

Then add the bacon.  Stir occasionally until the bacon is nearly cooked, then add the leafy part of the greens (this just applies to Swiss chard, kale, collards, cabbage, bok choy, and similar plants).  You can add stems of less tough greens as well, here.

Stir.  Add about 0.25 cups of water in order to soften Swiss chard, kale, or collards – other greens are not likely to need this.  Stir further, until the water is evaporated off.  Add in your chosen seasonings.  

Push everything to one side, make sure there is some oil or fat on the open side of the skillet, add in the eggs, and gently scramble them.  Lower the heat to medium or low medium.  If you haven’t used the leafy greens listed above, now is the time to add spinach, beet or turnip greens, if that’s what you are using instead.  Any of these veggies will be fine just wilted.  Add them to the bacon side of the skillet, mix separately from the eggs.

Add ground pepper as desired, and/or any herb/spice you are having a hankering for.

Plate and enjoy

Oh yes, if you are scaling up for multiple people – just cook the eggs in a different skillet than the bacon and greens!

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PS:  I’d hoped to have done an April Fool’s dish for today, but alas for some reason, inspiration fails.  But maybe I can make a breakfast roll?

NOTING: DO NOT make others go without so you can stock.  We really are all in this together.

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Shared at:  Fiesta Friday (co-host: Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook).

Shared at:  What’s For Dinner?  Sunday Link Up.  Although this is “What’s for Breakfast?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Food in Changing Times: Bone Broth, Meat Stocks: Part I – Poultry

Contains: Potentially, there may be nightshades such as peppers, depending on “Flavor Profile”, see below. Is: Gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, Whole30.

This is taken and re-written from an earlier blog post of mine. I ended up using most of my stash of chicken bones and parts I wanted to add back for my hot and sour soup recipe earlier this year, as well as using up some of the previously-frozen stock. I am accumulating more chicken parts, but in the interim the photos I include here today are recycled from the earlier post.  So, no, I didn’t physically re-create the recipe just now specifically for this post – I’m re-building my collection of bones and carcass (broken down for space reasons) and adding to the stash of chicken feet I still have.

The goal here is to promote a waste not, want not approach to leftovers in these trying times.

Back in 2014, I had bones left over from a local farmer’s ducks I’d purchased, so I’d added them in. Feel free to be happy with whatever avian bones with a little meat you obtain.  While I recommend poultry raised in humane, semi-organic, free range circumstances, these days use what you have available.  It’s all good.

Poultry, Bone Broth, Turkey, Duck, Chicken

Poultry Bone Broth, beginning of cooking process

There are two main routes you can go here:  (I have done both, choose what works for you.)

  1. You can make the stock or broth, and sieve out the bones, any included vegetation, and meat, and save it that way.
  2. You can pick through everything tediously in order to save bits of meat and onion (without bone or cartilage).

Making bone broth is something I’ve grown to love over the last ten years or so. It is so rich and tasty; and yes, in a pinch for a specific recipe, you can use one of those boxed (preferably low-sodium) broths you find in the supermarket — but this is so much richer, more delectable, and certainly more healthy!

This isn’t going to be a recipe in the sense that I give you precise measurements for things. It will simply be what I’ve discovered to be “best practices”, sometimes several “best practices”, to get the most out of my leftovers. What I do recommend is that you cook it with the minimal amount of side ingredients, since that will increase your flexibility when it comes to making soup, stews, or other dishes, using this creation. This is simply a highly nutritious base rich in bone-healthy gelatin and various minerals. (This may look complicated, because it is a long post, but seriously, it ain’t!! It simply comes with options and explanations!)

Poultry, bone broth, recipe, turkey, chicken, duck, soup

This particular one is made from bones from one duck, one chicken (and possibly more), and three turkey thigh bones. TURDUCKEN SOUP!

Also note that no one bone broth will taste EXACTLY like a previous batch — part of this is due to the fact that a little of the flavors you originally cooked your birds with will carry through, plus you will have different ratios of types of bone available. This is fine!

THE BIRDS: What you need at absolute minimum is your poultry carcasses (chicken, turkey, duck, quail, game birds…). I save them up until I have “enough” or until I want to make freezer room for other stuff — or if I have a big Holiday bird carcass raring to go. (Storing a whole turkey carcass taxes freezer space, so I’d go with it immediately.) It’s too late for this past Thanksgiving season, but more holidays are coming up. A lot of people do make a Christmas turkey.

Yes, you can start with a fresh new chicken, and simmer it, without making a meal or so out of it.  But in these times I especially think it will generally be more useful to save the bones along with some attached meat for this purpose.

I don’t use brined poultry – at least to me the level of salt in that runs against the ambiance I want in my broth, where I can add salt later on as I choose, and as my recipe may indicate.

chickens, poultry, homesteading, prepping, preppers, emergency

These are layer chickens plus their two roosters – The big guy in the back was born in the coop and as long as they all get along, he’s going to remain. If not?  Well… 

Ideally the poultry should come from healthy, pasture-raised stock — you don’t want to be leaching nasties out into your broth from the joints and bones, if you can help it. You want to use the bones, and do include some meat — even if you choose not to eat any of the meat itself later; it will add more richness to the broth.

AND, if you find chicken feet — add them! Don’t be scared of them, they’ve been cleaned. (If not, clean them yourself!) Many of the folks who raise pastured chickens will have a side-supply of chicken feet. Ask. This is a rich source of healthy collagen. The Asian market is also a good source of these, but in that case I have little idea of their background. Check your personal priorities regarding this. Wing tips also add collagen.

Also, add pan drippings if available (I typically de-fat them in the fridge overnight before freezing or use). I’ll usually pass on adding heavily spiced pan drippings, depending on my planned uses for the future stock. (Those heavily spiced pan drippings will make for some good yum gravy, so don’t think they’ll be wasted if you don’t want them in your poultry stock/bone broth…)

For an additional depth of flavor, you can always roast the carcass/bones in your oven. If at high heat, I’d recommend covering them with foil — burning them will impart nasty unwanted flavors, and by keeping them covered, some level of steam protection is provided. At a moderate heat, you can go either way. Just watch them! Searing portions you haven’t already cooked for a previous meal in a skillet is also an option — this works for the chicken feet, certainly. But it’s not essential, but simply another tool to explore in your bone-broth arsenal. For a delicate, French-style consume, this is probably not the ideal way to go, but, honestly, you know best what you prefer to find in freezer or fridge.

VEGETABLES: Commonly, at least in Western cookery, is to add onion, celery and carrot to the stock pot. You may find other veggies, perhaps on their last legs in your fridge to add, but I’d steer clear of items from the broccoli family (kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and so forth) for extended cooking (they’ll eventually impart bitterness to the mix). When you get around to making soup from some of the actual stock, you can always add those veggies in, then. I’ve used parsnips in place of carrots with great success. I would avoid adding potatoes or sweet potatoes — they’ll just disintegrate, and turn everything, including the taste, murky. Again, save those, should you wish them, for actual soups or stews.

OTHER INGREDIENTS: I add about 2 teaspoons or so of apple cider vinegar to each gallon of water. This helps pull the minerals and other nutrients out of the bones and joints. You could add lemon juice instead. This small amount won’t really affect the flavor.

A bundle of thyme is not amiss, but not entirely essential, either. A touch of ground pepper (white or black) is fine, too. White is better if you care about not seeing it in the broth. Basically, KISS — Keep it simple, stupid…

Whatever you do, DO NOT add salt! That’s for whatever recipe you use the stock in, later! This stuff is going to cook down. And, you’ll want enough water to just cover your carcass and other bones. As the stock pot method of cooking cooks down, the bones should collapse, so if you need to replenish water, you will need less than originally.

Homesteading, poultry, bone broth, stock

The laying flock, left to right: Roo, Yin, Lentil, Yasukai. The nearly white bird is Chickpea, and you see Buckaroo just below her. Off to the far left is the tail end of one of the Orpingtons. I think the unseen Celeste is nearly in my lap! (The meat birds are currently in the freezer.)

FLAVOR PROFILES:  If I’m just setting this up for no specific future recipe, I’ve mentioned that I use minimal additional ingredients – say the onion and just enough vinegar that it can’t be tasted but will bring minerals out of the carcasses.  But if you have a pretty good idea, here are flavor profiles for various cuisines:

  • French, or in Western cooking, general:  A mirepoix – add onion, carrot, celery to the stock pot / crock pot.  I have substituted parsnips for the carrots simply because I like parsnips better.  Although in mirepoix form you really can’t tell the difference.  PS, fresh thyme is also usually added.
  • Cajun/Creole/Louisiana bayou:  The Holy Trinity – add onion, celery, bell pepper instead.
  • Southeast Asian:  Add scallions or onions, ginger.  Add scallions in late.  Items such as fish sauce are often important but I don’t add this ever at the stock making stage.  Don’t use roasted bones.
  • Japanese:  I’ll touch on these when I get to both the Vegetarian Stock / Soup bases and the Seafood Stock / Seafood bases.  Not pertinent here.

If you have shallots or leeks available, you can always sub for the onion or scallions, especially if the latter are not.

THE STOCK POT: Yes, you can use, and I have done so, a crock pot. My difficulty with the crock pot is that the stock doesn’t cook down and evaporate off nearly as much as I’d like, and so I have storage difficulties unless I later transfer the stuff to the stock pot to cook down the water — thus dirtying two pots. However, the plus point of the crock pot is that you don’t have to stay around and watch it, like you do a stock pot. Yes, sometimes things get a bit exuberant and you may need to add more water to a stock pot! So see lower, if you are planning to crock pot this broth. But if you are cooking atop your range:

THE INSTANT POT:  To date I don’t have one of these.  But this WILL cook faster, and also since it is enclosed, the stock won’t cook down as fast as I’d like, but again there are work arounds here.

COOKING THE BROTH: I bring it to a boil, remove any foam generated (this keeps the broth from developing bitterness, and helps with liquid clarity — although personally I really don’t care if most of my broths are crystal clear). Reduce to a simmer, cover but not tightly, and let it simmer away. Check periodically to see if extra water is needed.

I let simmer for about two hours, then I remove from heat and allow to cool enough that I can pull off some actual meat, reserving it aside to add back later should I wish (I usually do). The bones should have collapsed down in the pot — you certainly don’t need to add as much water as originally! Return to the range and simmer for another hour or two. Strain and toss away the solids that remain from this (I do save the onion fragments) — at this point any remaining meat will be typically unpleasantly tasteless and dry.

I allow to cool, (optionally adding back in the reserved pieces of meat), refrigerate, and the next day I skim off any fat before using (or freezing) the stock. The stock will typically end up twice as concentrated as you will need — which helps with storage. I’ve sometimes concentrated it three-fold — you just please make sure not to burn any of it as the off-flavors will go through the entire pot. (Yes, I have done this. Ack, ick.)

Bone broth, soup, recipe, poultry, turkey, duck, chicken

Some broth at the end, with poultry chunks returned to it. It is fairly concentrated.

If you use a crock pot, start it at “high”, and check back every fifteen minutes or so when the pot gets hot, and skim off any foam. When that’s done, you can let it cook – at “low” for about 2 – 2.5 hours, when you remove any meat you want to reserve, then let it continue crock potting at “low” until about the six-hour mark or so. Obviously, it’s not going to concentrate down much, so you probably won’t want to water soups down you make from it. (I still wouldn’t add much, if any, salt to the crock pot method — recipes you make later from the broth will dictate how much you will add.) Again, refrigerate to collect any fat at the top, which you can easily scrape off and dispose of.

I don’t yet own a pressure cooker, so I have no advice for that.

Bone Broth, Soup, Recipe, Poultry, Chicken, Turkey, Duck

After allowing to chill in fridge overnight, remove any excess fat from top. Note the rich, thick, gelatin to the left, where the fat has been removed.

You are done! Fill a few freezer containers, leave some in the fridge, check your favorite chicken soup recipe and add your favorite veggies plus this instead of the boxed stuff. For a nutritious beverage, warm up a mug-full with a little salt (NOW you can add it!), and whatever seasonings appeal to you at the moment. Tarragon? Cumin? Both? Choose. Or, mix with some steamed mushroom juices (I needed to make stuffed mushrooms recently… roasting shrooms for about 15 minutes prior to stuffing provided for a good amount of mushroom juice). Mushroom essence provides added unami. Or, maybe you could add a dollop of fermented miso paste and wakame seaweed. Or, perhaps, drizzle it and some water (and a pinch of salt and a crushed clove or two of garlic) into a frying pan, and water-sauté some kale and/or miscellaneous cooking greens.

Bone Broth, Soup, Poultry, Recipe, Turkey, Duck, Chicken

A little broth while I work on this blog post. I simply added salt, ground pepper, and savory to this cup; plus a bit of extra water. Heated and enjoyed.

In your fridge, it should last a good 4-5 days. In the freezer, a good eight or ten months.

PS: as an aside, some people will save duck or chicken fat, to fry with or other purposes. I DO save duck fat, but I have to be absolutely certain about the past history of that duck, before I’d considering doing so. I don’t bother with the rest of it. (This may change, now… but my home grown birds really have very little fat…)

Anyhow, happy bone broth (and future soup, etc.) makings with your leftover poultry bones and excess pan drippings!!!


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Food In Changing Times: Bone Broth, Meat Stocks, Vegetable or Seafood Stocks: Overview

NOTES:

  1. Not everyone will have the same food resources, so I am working with those I do have.  Amounts and ingredients will be approximate, and changeable depending on what you have.   Generally, they’ll be more directives and thoughts rather than actual ingredient amounts.
  2. The basic point is to avoid wasting foods during this time of grocery uncertainty.  TBH I’ve been making some of these recipes for ages.  Reserve the bones and scraps in labeled freezer bags or other suitable containers in your freezer.
  3. These recipes will appear on Sunday mornings as far as possible.  I have a stash of recipes I largely made awhile, perhaps a month or more ago, that will still appear on Fridays or such.  (Mostly things made that didn’t fit into the Whole30 January or the Greek February themes.)  I will probably making more of those dishes, as well.

The follow-up post is the first of  five planned recipes (or more appropriately, general guidelines).  They are all all gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30, but the first three are not vegetarian or vegan.  (That will follow after these are posted.)  Seafood and shellfish stock will be posted on a further date.

The poultry post will appear in five hours here.

My goal is to post one recipe (or suggestions for each recipe)  each consecutive Sunday. Today the Poultry one will follow this post.  The seafood ones may need a little more time before I can post those, but we shall see.

homesteading, bone broth, stock

Starting to freeze up a new stash of bones. This is lamb, and will be combined with beef when it is time to make bone broth again.

The three meat recipe profiles: 

  1. Poultry Bone Broth, or Stock.   This will most likely contain chicken, but you can include turkey, duck, quail, or game birds.  Considering the delicacy of rabbit, I’d be tempted to put this in here as well, should I come across any.
  2. Pork Bone Broth, or Stock.  You can include wild boar, hog or anything related to pigs here.
  3. Beef Bone Broth, or Stock.  You can keep this just with beef, or you can  do as I do, and add bison, goat and/or lamb to this stock, as they’ll cook similarly.  The flavor profile may change, especially if you add in venison or elk (which I have yet to do, but I certainly would).  (I am debating if I would put squirrel into this pot, or into the poultry one.  Squirrel profile is a lot like the dark meat of chicken, but seems to me to be hardier just from eating non-broth squirrel recipes.)   For those who don’t consume beef, the lamb and goat will be just fine and hearty anyway, following these thoughts.

The vegetarian recipe profile:  

  1. Vegetable Stock.   In this case, you reserve the ends of vegetables you remove – onion peels, ends of whatever veggie you are chopping up for stews or whatever.  The basic thing is that the odd parts you are saving MUST be clean, and not going bad.  Softer, perhaps, than you’d might like to eat in normal circumstances, but not “off”.  Obviously, this is not a “bone broth” – and you won’t get that thick unctuousness  that comes from animal gelatin, but when I write this up I will post suggestions.  In my case a lot of my vegetables will come from the allium family, as chickens should eat very limited quantities of onions and so forth.  But for the purpose of this blog I am putting aside some more variety to improve this stock.  Also, reserve mushroom stems, even the inedible ones such as found on shiitakes.
homesteading, bone broth, stock

A pack of frozen veggie parts for future veggie stock. I see parsnip tips, bell pepper, and onion in here.

The seafood recipe profiles:  

  1. Shellfish, only.  Think shrimp/prawn shells, lobster shells and their butter, crawfish remains, the juice from clams or mussels and other bivalves.
  2. Finned fish, only.  The skeletons of fish, especially white fish, with a little meat attached.  The heads – removing and discarding the gills – the gills will make your broth bitter.
  3. You can actually combine the above depending on what you are making…  Or, frankly, upon what’s available.

With stock and/or broths, I tend to cook them down to save space in the freezer.  You can always add water as needed for an individual recipe.

So anyhow,shortly the first in the series will be posted (Poultry).  Enjoy and yes, you can be creative with the ingredients you have to hand!

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South Indian Egg Curry, with Veggies

Contains: Nightshades, eggs, coconut.   Is: Originally intended for festival of Holi, gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, paleo, Whole30.

Everyone out there… stay safe.  Even if you think you aren’t at risk, some of the elderly or folks you know with pre-conditions (even if they never told you about them) might be at risk.  Don’t panic, but simply be sensible, and considerate of your neighbors.  

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An adaptation of a south Indian egg curry recipe. I added extra veggies that were giving Use or Lose vibes.

Back when I broke my ankle, one of my work compatriots sent over a dish of egg curry.  She hailed from a northern region of India, so this recipe won’t be exact as to what she made for me during my recovery.  I loved the dish.  It was the only time in 66 years of living that I’ve had an Indian egg curry – until then.  It just never seemed to appear on menus at the Indian venues I visited.  While unfortunately the Indian festival of Holi is now over, I’m doing what I can to make a good Indian curry dish featuring eggs… and I’m using my own home grown eggs here.  This is my source recipe:

https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/spicy-andhra-egg-curry-south-indian-egg-recipes/

Indian, egg curry, vegetarian, recipe, eggplant, peppers, Paleo, Whole30

Veggies cooking.

I’ve modified it.   I’ll set up the recipe so you can follow how I actually created it.  I also had an eggplant that I wished to use and enjoy before it goes bad, so even though the source inspiration linked to above uses no eggplant – I’m putting that purple nightshade in here.  Yes, I know, two eggplant recipes in a row!  I also added a bell pepper.  I also have no cilantro (coriander leaves).  I need to order seeds so I can grow my own, although I’ve had bad luck with that in the past.

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“Put de tomato in de coconut…”

Basically I did follow most instructions – noting that the recipe author provides alternatives at many stages.  Yes, I added more coconut milk inadvertently, and thus had to cook the liquid down furthur – but the dish works!

As a reminder, this recipe is vegetarian, thus suitable for those of you who observe the Catholic Lenten restrictions.  Although some eastern Mediterranean countries will also frown on the eggs.

I am physically sharing this dish with a friend.  We ate it with rice she cooked at her place – so that’s why the rice isn’t in the photos I took before I left with it to bring over.

Cooked 3/20/2020.

Indian, egg curry, vegetarian, recipe, eggplant, peppers, Paleo, Whole30

Prior to the addition of coconut milk

Prep Time:  30 minutes, more or less. (excluding egg boiling and eggplant resting)
Cook Time:  About 30 minutes.
Rest Time:  Unnecessary.
Serves:  4.
Cuisine:  South Indian inspired.
Leftovers:  YES!

South Indian Egg Curry

  • 4 hard-boiled/cooked eggs, peeled.  (I used five…)
  • 1 small European style eggplant.
  • 2 tablespoons high temperature cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, chopped.  (Mine were frozen; you could do one or the two,  if fresh.)
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • One half a bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 green chili, diced (I used one poblano, de-seeded and chopped)
  • 1.25 teaspoons garlic ginger paste.
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped…. I used one cup of an open can of already chopped, diced tomatoes, since there are no fresh tomatoes worth eating  here — eyeballing an equivalent amount.
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes.  
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric. 
  • 3/4 teaspoon red chili powder.  (I used cayenne)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala.
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
  • Salt as needed…. start small, work up.
  • 0.5 cups water, as needed.  (But see below.)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk, the stuff in a can.  Guess what – I used the whole can.  400 grams.  But the recipe turned out fine anyway.   If you use 3 tablespoons, then up above use 0.75 cups to 1 cup water, as needed).
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro / coriander leaves, chopped.  (I so wish I had, but consider them optional.  Especially for those who consider them soapy.)

Remove bitterness from eggplant by slicing it in half, and letting it soak with salt for at least an hour, over a colander.  Once that’s done, wash off the excess salt.  Set aside.

Cook those eggs, score them lightly around their surfaces.  Set aside.

Mix the tomato and coconut together.  Optionally, you can puree them, but this is not necessary.

Heat a large skillet with your cooking oil to medium high.  Toss in the cumin seeds and allow to roast for about two minutes, or until they sizzle, but before they burn.  Add the curry leaves in fragments.  This will only need a few seconds to cook.  Then, toss in the onion, stir, and allow to turn translucent.  This may take ten minutes.

Then add in the peppers and the eggplant, continue to stir fry as they soften, another 5 or so minutes.

Add the garlic ginger paste, and sauté until the garlic loses that raw aroma.

Add the tomato/coconut flake mixture.  Mix briefly, then add the spices:  chili, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, salt.  As needed, if things start to dry too much, add water.

Add the eggs, and allow these to cook in for a good five or so minutes, so that juices can penetrate the slits in the eggs.  Stir gently so as not to break up the eggs.

Make sure everything is melded well, then add the coconut milk (either the 3 tablespoons, or that entire can).  Mix gently further, and if necessary, reduce liquid to a curry consistency at a low simmer.

Serve over rice, topping with optional cilantro.

Indian, egg curry, vegetarian, recipe, eggplant, peppers, Paleo, Whole30

 

 

 

 


About Holi:   This year the date was March 10th, next year it will be March 28th, and in 2022 it will almost share March 17th with St. Patrick’s Day (another occasion I had a recipe in mind to make this year but didn’t get to in time…)  – but it falls the day after, on the 18th.  Holi, or Festival of Colors, is a lunar celebration so the date will vary from year to year.  This site here will provide a good starting point for investigating the occasion. I mention March 17th here as there are typically activities that happen on the eve of Holi.


Sending this blog post over to:

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reviewing: A Couple-Three Home Delivery Food Services

The three main services I am investigating today are so totally different.  Only the Dinner Thyme one  comes with meals sans subscribing that you prepare according the instructions, and it vastly differs from subscription sources such as Hello Fresh or Green Apron, as there is NO subscription involved, and you can order as much as you want in one shot as it all comes frozen.  Frankly, atm I have no interest in trying the regular subscription services, although later on I could see doing  one of them simply as a one- or two-off for the sake of reviewing for this blog.  The other two I mention here:  Misfits Market gives you fruits and veggies without any recipes, and PeaPod is a supermarket delivery service I found useful back in the day when I had a broken ankle and was house-bound in the Danbury, CT area.  Again, you use your own recipes.

For the international readership, I fear this is just pertinent to the US.

Also, at the end of this I will mention a couple of local farm aggregate/delivery services, one for Connecticut (I’ve used it in the past) and the other for Massachusetts (which I’ve just placed my first order with, and should receive later this week).

Except for Dinner Thyme, ALL these sources provide food you cook up yourselves any way you want.  Which might potentially save you moolah – or gas/petrol, after all.  

NOTE:  NONE of these services know that this blog exists, much less that they are  being reviewed.  There’s NO funding  or supporting by any means whatsoever from them.  

And no, I didn’t start investigating these due to COVID-19.  Dinner Thyme and Misfits Market I started to explore earlier this year out of sheer curiosity and not wanting to drive for fresh veggies if I didn’t have to waste the gas; and PeaPod is something I used back in 2015/2016 when I needed to deal with not being able to drive at all after an accident.  But these are all options if you are interested.   However note that as scale of medical and sanitary supplies ramp up, UPS and other major carriers may lessen the priority of delivering these things, even though this is food.  For the Connecticut farm fresh delivery service, I know the owners hire their driver (who may also be a co owner??) directly.

Since I am already talking about Dinner Thyme now, let’s continue:

Dinner Thyme:

One order of a variety of meals to arrive the week of 2/25 (they ship, at least here in New England, on that date.  I’d ordered a couple days earlier.)  Food is supposed to arrive in dinners or meals for two, and from what I heard from an online friend, are easily separable into servings of one if desired.  There were something like 67 mains and 26 sides (via rough count) one could order the day I ordered.  They are all sent frozen, which means items containing veggies that are best eaten crispy are not optimal to order – fortunately many of the choices I saw were frequently veggies that are fine when not crispy, ie spinach.  I did avoid ordering spring beans and the like.  You’ll still need to source your own crispy salads!  And, alas, the only time you can get the dark meat of chicken is if you order wings.  (So… I did.)

I ordered several items, and I’ll review the first four I tried, here.  Two mains, two appetizers.

ERROR!  Something happened to the shipment when it hit Renssaler, NY and it did not arrive.  The box apparently got compromised, so Dinner Thyme sent out a replacement for arrival 3/3/2020.

Dinner Thyme review, Cauliflower, Shrimp

Dinner Thyme Cajun Blackened Shrimp over Cauliflower, with bell pepper, cooked here

Which arrived, and I put everything into the freezer except for the Blackened Shrimp over Cauliflower “Grits”, which I decided to eat for lunch on the 5th.  Reading the instructions, for this one I thaw most of it, but two components (the cauliflower “grits” and the green bell pepper) stay frozen until the moment of use.  So yeah, I did that.  I picked this recipe to purchase because it was low carb.  I followed the instructions other than I started the “grits” part cooking BEFORE the shrimp and peppers – as I don’t like either of those overcooked.  This made two servings.  They did give me the option of saving half the shrimp and half of the “Lemon-chive Vinaigrette” dressing for putting together the second portion, but I ended up making this all, all at once – to reheat leftovers lightly for Saturday’s breakfast.  Spice level was mild; if I order this again, I’ll add a little more chili from my own spice rack, but even as it was, it was flavorful.   The only seasoning that seemed off was that lemon-chive vinaigrette – a little too sweet for my taste, but it mixed in well with the rest of the meal so I didn’t particularly notice that.  The peppers thankfully had more body to them than I expected. Maybe because of the fact I went slightly out of order on their cooking sequence.

Dinner Thyme supplies everything (for this dish) except salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter. (I admit I used avocado oil instead of the olive…)  They do encourage you to use their recipes as guidelines – which I’m quite happy to do.  I did get two separate meals out of that dinner.

dinner thyme review, chicken wings

There were more wings on the rack, but it was a LATE brunch and I forgot the camera until now…

My second dish from Dinner Thyme:  Buffalo Chicken Wings.  Which is part of their appetizer menu.  I cooked as directed, although since I cooked the wings on a rack I decided not to flip the wings at that halfway cooking mark.  These are indeed spicy, but you can control some of that spice level.  I liked the fact these tasted great, and had NO breading to get in my way. These are meant as an appetizer. It comes as two servings, but you could up this to three depending on what else was for dinner.  Since I only had two meals that day, and dinner was going to be horridly late (as in around my usual bed-time), I ate this as a whole brunch.  I do understand these folk do try to source from farms that are more or less responsible.

review, dinner thyme, chrispy artichokes

The failure. “Crispy” artichokes. Too much breading to begin with.

Up next are the vegetarian/vegan Crispy Artichokes.  This is another side. They come with corn starch, an ingredient I’m not crazy about, but we shall do this.  Dinner Thyme supplies the artichoke hearts and the corn starch mix, and you supply the olive oil, salt and pepper.  As this was to cook at a high temperature, and I don’t buy non-virgin EVOO, I went with my favorite standby, avocado oil, and used the minimal amount as described in the recipe.  At least, the corn starch should supply the “crispy” part…  RIGHT?

Severely disappointed with this dish, after the previous two.  The choice of a different oil should not have made a difference in the cooking regard here. I added neither salt nor pepper – I don’t think either would have made a difference in helping it.  Maybe the pepper…

But.. the corn starch coating didn’t truly brown up enough to be crispy,  and while I love sourness and a good vinegar taste to many of my foods, the artichoke hearts were a little past the proper (even for me) optimal vinegar taste level.  I know this was supposed to be at some “wannabee crispy/sour level”, but this side dish did not, sadly, work for me. Another ten minutes might have made some browned crispiness, but I don’t think I’d care. Okay, it’s vegan, but that’s not enough to help this encourage this for anybody.  Vegan or not.

Another main dish I tried for this blog post was Cherry Pork Medallions with Asian Edamame.  They ask you to thaw all the ingredients except the edamame – I suspect that is something that by cooking it at the last minute helps preserve some more solid veggie texture.   There are two separately-frozen pork loin medallions, so you can make this on different nights if you are eating alone.  The rest you will have to divide half and half, should you choose, but that looks easy enough.   Again I decided to cook this all at once, not worrying as I’d have the leftovers re-heated for breakfast.  This turned out very tasty; alas I didn’t get photos – but my rendition looked very much like the source packaging photo.

DinnerThyme review, Shrimp, cauliflower, chicken wings, home delivery

Images to show you what these meals when prepped by DinnerThyme look like.  These two were awesome in my kitchen.

Dinner Thyme, review, Crispy artichokes

This was supposed to be how the artichoke side was to look. Ahem, not.

Other things I picked up but have not tried (they’re still in the freezer):

  • Orange-Glazed Salmon over Wilted Spinach
  • Mushrooms and Artichokes Pasta with Marsala Wine Sauce (vegetarian)
  • Bayou Jambalaya
  • Buttermilk Pancakes (vegetarian breakfast)
  • Sautéed Spinach (vegetarian side)

I suspect the sautéed spinach will be a waste of time and money – it is so easy to get a frozen package of the stuff and sauté it yourself with things to hand, but for whatever un-recalled reason, I ordered that.  I suspect it was because I was trying to find more sides I really wanted to eat.  It might be good as all-get-out, but I’m sure I can do just as good with a frozen supermarket package.

I do like the convenience that they come frozen, and that  you can pull them out and eat when you want.   It’s probably not a service I’ll avail myself of, often – but then again unlike a large portion of the population, I enjoy just getting out there and cooking in the kitchen!  But, if you need this, or have nights of limited time – the service is there.  They are usually, but not always, accurate about cooking time.

One thing that is a super WRONG thing about this service:  Prices say “portions”.  Which means if you were to serve this individually.  Actual costs are for the dual meals delivered.  I am, for this reason, probably not going to deal with this site longer.  I didn’t even notice this serioiusly wrong stickler thing until today.  Ultimately:  their food by and large is good – but the price is high.  Depends on what you might be craving, as this COVID thing continues.

Misfits Market

misfits market first package

First shipment: Onions, blue potatoes carrots, kale, Jonagold apples, tangerines, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, turnips, Anjou pears, radishes. Radish greens went to chickens, as did two small carrots.

Based on others I’ve talked to, Misfits Market is a good source for home delivery produce.  They take somewhat-off veggies and fruits, pack them off, and send them to people who are willing to pay for potentially-blemished items.  Which may often just end up in some industrial-sized compost pile.

My idea when I signed up, was to use this service until mid-June, when our local farmers’ markets open, and until when (as I hope) some of my own home-grown produce appears.  This is still my plan, but no idea if this is going to be viable, considering the world as current.  Underlying my decision to subscribe is the fact that it’s a long haul back and forth to the nearest supermarket, and having fresh produce around is lovely.

I’ve gotten four shipments to date.  I ordered them to come in their smaller ordering box, every other week.  After the first shipment, it is possible to order your boxes to some degree to your veggie/fruit preferences.  Or you can add things on.

There have been a few items in the fruit department that died within a couple of days, but this wasn’t typical.  I have yet to see some of those fun shapes that appear on the advertisements, but those would be just for the amusement factor.  Grapefruits are indeed a lot smaller than anything you find in a supermarket, but still are good.  You can let them send you a random selection, or you can choose items within categories – this latter option apparently wasn’t available for my first shipment, but I may have missed that.    Prices are reasonable considering the convenience if you don’t want or can’t get to the supermarket.  I’d certainly go more local (and including into my own planned garden) with the arrival of fresh veggies as winter and early spring go away!

But do see at the bottom for ways to support and enjoy veggies raised locally (some local farmshave green houses and hoop houses I currently lack, plus you’ll get some variety.)  National sources are not your only answer.  

misfits market, food delivery service

Fourth order from Misfits, Cabbage, string beans, apples, limes, tangerines, bell peppers, mini bell peppers, turnips, butternut squash, oyster mushrooms.

 PeaPod Delivery

At least in the northeast of the US, PeaPod has contracted with Stop and Shop, a large grocery chain, to provide food delivery.  They don’t deliver (yet) to my current home, but I did make use of them when I had my broken ankle back down in Connecticut  autumn 2015 into winter 2016.  They’re not a subscription service, you order as you need. and what is REALLY good if you have a broken ankle and cannot access the UPS/FedEx drop off point in your driveway (or pick anything up to bring inside, since you are on crutches…) is that they have their special PeaPod drivers get your signature when the food is delivered.  Really good when you are a shut in!  They’d bring the boxes in and set them on my dining table, and I could certainly go from there!

Food isn’t the entire Stop and Shop supermarket experience, but you get just about everything you need, and also a selection of the non-food essentials (dish detergent, possibly toilet paper, etc.) that is in any supermarket.  In Connecticut you can even opt in for beer.  (This might be state-specific for legal reasons…)  I do eat a lot of fresh veggies, seafood and meat – decided not to chance the seafood for the duration – I only pick seafood if I can SEE it first!  The only bad call was the lamb shoulder chops, which if I’d seen those in the store, I’d have kept walking.  Way too fatty.  Otherwise they did a good job picking.

I was perfectly capable of cooking food even with the broken ankle – I had a couple of kitchen chairs with rollers, so it was sort of like using a wheelchair, and pulling myself up to stand briefly on one leg if I needed something from an upper cabinet.  The one major thing I didn’t need (or want) Home Health Care to do was cook for me…

They didn’t always have everything, even if the supermarket itself probably did – I really wanted something turkey-wise for Thanksgiving, and so a friend picked up turkey thighs for me, since I am no friend to the ALWAYS dry turkey breast meat.  That recipe is back in the past here on this blog

It’s not a service I want to rely on for regular or weekly meals, but it certainly was quite beneficial when I was laid up without wheels or without ready access to my (much lower than the main portion of the house) drop-off driveway.

They also are more limited in their delivery areas in the US.  I tried to check if they’d deliver when I got laid up post surgery at my current home in the winter of 2018, but they didn’t, despite the two cities neither of them being THAT far from my home having Stop and Shop supermarkets.  Their loss…



These are a couple of local farms aggregator/delivery services:  They pick up foods from local farmers (meats, veggies, sometimes even seafood), and deliver to your home.  You may even find “value-added” products such as jellies, cheeses, maple syrup and such.  Other states (or sections of states in the case of larger states) probably have their own.  Google for them!  As the season warms up, more choices will be available.

CT Farm Fresh Express: (For Connecticut).

 CT Farm Fresh Express delivers weekly, and is non a subscription service – you order when you can, they set up the delivery date (back when I used it, it was Thursdays).  There’s a delivery fee based on your distance from point of their base location.   Check to see current policy, however, as the Massachusetts one below is offering free delivery during the current pandemic.  Leave out a cooler if you will be gone for the day, or rent one from them.  Or just let them know you’ll be right back.

Mass Food Delivery: (For Massachusetts).

They deliver weekly (by Friday).  Free shipping appears to be available during the current situation, using their coupon code.  Mine should arrive this week.  They called yesterday telling me the golden beets were out and could they substitute with the regular purple beets… I said sure, send purple.  I think it good they let you know and you have the chance to sub or get a refund.



This is shared with:  Farm Fresh Tuesdays, What’s for Dinner – Sunday Link-Up, Fiesta Friday (co-hosts Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons).

 

 

 

 

Posted in Commentary, Cooking, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Coconut Clam Chowdah, er Chowder

Contains:  Coconut, shellfish, nightshades.  Is:  Dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, Whole30, a play on New England clam chowder. 

I went down to the local Mom and Pop grocery, hoping on a lark to find scallops (and a couple other things, considering we’re semi-shutting down commerce in the area due to the beer-named virus of recent impact – which meant I really didn’t expect to see scallops).  No, there weren’t any , but there were chopped clams in liquid, that I decided might fulfill my seafood jones, and which I could use to the food challenge on Cookingbites.com this round.  I was surprised to see these chopped clam-bit morsels… but who can resist, especially a seafood lover such as myself?

Cooked 3/19/2020.

clam chowder, recipe, coconut, clams

A different take on clam chowder: couldn’t resist the find or the opportunity. PS, the photo garnish is parsley since I didn’t have cilantro. 

Hmm, the challenge involved coconut – I do have another entry upcoming, but we have unlimited entry potential if one discounts personal time available to make things.  Okay, let’s make a play on the standard New England Clam Chowder, but let’s make one that the lactose intolerant and the dairy-sensitive can eat and enjoy, assuming of course that coconut is potentially on their dietary plates?   This is even gluten-free.  And since I am already ditching the dairy for this (rendering this NOT  a true New England clam chowdah), I’m going to modify the flavor profile somewhat.

I have bacon (my brother sends me some) but as I was not certain where in the freezer it was, I went with uncured belly strips from the pork farm share.  Not quite the same, but this is not a true New England variant anyway.  Considering the coconut.

Obviously in these times today, if you can’t find, say, za’atar, punt and do as you wish to make this (or any other) recipe work the way you can.  It will all be good.

Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Cook Time:  30 minutes.
Rest Time: no.
Serves: 2-3
Cuisine: A mish mash of New England and Asian.  So, who knows?
Leftovers: Sure.

Coconut Clam Chowder

  • Pork belly strips, about 4 ounces, coarsely chopped.   Thick cut is best.
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt.  
  • 120 grams of chopped white or yellow onion.
  • 8 ounces chopped potato – a yellow variety is best.  Peel or not as you choose.  If you use a thick skinned potato such as the Russet, do remove the skin.  
  • 2/3 cup of the water the potatoes were cooked in.
  • 1 can coconut milk, whole fat  (13.5 oz / 400 mL)
  • 300 grams of fresh (or canned) previously chopped clams, with their liquid. 
  • 1/4 teaspoon za’atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon rogan josh
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt.  
  • Lime wedges for garnish, cilantro/coriander leaves if handy.

Cook the pork belly with salt in a fry pan, about eight minutes.  I used Chicharron salt but regular is fine.  Let them get a little crispy.  You do not need to add oil.

Add the onions, and cook another ten minutes, stirring as needed.  Onions should be a little brown, but definitely translucent.

In a separate pot, boil the potatoes in water, about 15 minutes.    Remove from heat, and chop them down to about 1/4 inch segments or so.  Add them to the pork belly/onions.  Reserve the potato cooking water.

In the soup pot, add the coconut milk, the reserved potato cooking water, and all the herbs/spices.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a moderate simmer.  Add the clams and their juices.  Allow to meld and simmer for five more minutes, taste and sample the broth for seasonings, adjusting as desired.

Serve in soup bowls, with lime wedges that folks can optionally add to the soup.  And with that optional cilantro.


recipe, coconut, clams, clam chowder, dairy-free

Practicing Virtual Distancing at:  Fiesta Friday, co-hosted by Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.  Also at:  Farm Fresh TuesdaysWhat’s for Dinner – Sunday Link-Up,  and Full Plate Thursdays.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Seafood, Soups & Stews | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments