Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chicken Soup... The Real Thing, Baby!

I was scheduled to play golf with hubby this morning, but his tee time was for 9:00 a.m. and I decided I didn't want to drag my bootie out of bed that early. So, I called one of the wives I normally play with every Wednesday & Friday, to see if anyone was playing. When she answered the phone, I could tell she was sick. Turns out she has walking pneumonia, so, as is my M.O., I offered to bring some of my medicinal chicken soup, made from scratch. She didn't decline, which showed me just how sick she is. Normally, she'd protest.

Lucky for me that I had all the ingredients, or she might not be getting it today, when she needs it, because I really don't like going to the store. Sick friend or not.

So, I thawed out a nice, plump little chicken from H.E.B. that I'd had in the freezer. I filled the dutch oven with water, added the chicken, yellow onions, spring onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, 3 cubes of chicken bullion & black peppercorns. Just before the water came to a boil, I turned the fire down to simmer and will let it simmer for 3 hours.

Once it has cooked for the 3 hours my Grandmother always adhered to, I'll let it cool for approximately 20 minutes, then pour all the broth through a colander lined with cheesecloth, for a nice, clear soup.

 Allow the chicken to cool for a bit longer, while tossing the stewed veggies, bay leaf, and black peppercorns into a bowl (that will later be taken out to the compost pile in my veggie garden) and I prepare fresh veggies. Chopped celery, carrots, yellow onions, garlic, and spring onions.When this task is accomplished, I begin picking the meat off the chicken bones, then chop it into bite sizes.

Put 1 Tbs. of butter & 1 Tbs. of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and saute the onions, adding the celery, carrots & garlic (but not the spring onions) after a couple of minutes & cooking a minute or so longer. I also add 2 Tbs. of dried parsley (since I don't have any fresh available).

At this point, I add the chicken and it's broth to the pan and bring it to a simmer, allowing it to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Just before serving, I add the thinly sliced spring onions.

Since egg noodles tend to soak up all the good broth, I cook the noodles separately in another pan, to be added to the individual bowl, upon serving. I usually serve it with garlic toast or, if I'm lucky, the HU makes his kick-ass cornbread that he does in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Or sometimes we just have saltines with it. Mmmmmm! Talk about comfort food, baby... this is it.

Okay, by now some of you may have noticed that I forgot to add the parsley and the spring onions before I took the picture. You would be right. However, since I didn't feel like setting up for the picture again, you'll just have to use your vivid imaginations, because I'm not doing it again, thank you very much.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fresh Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad... You'll Never Go Back To Canned

Several nights ago, I served grilled Ahi Tuna steaks, steamed fresh asparagus and baked potatoes. We didn't eat all of our tuna steaks and I couldn't bear to throw them out, so I covered them and stuck them in the fridge.

So, today when I started thinking about what to have for lunch I decided to make Ahi Tuna Salad. Now, I don't think I can ever return to the world of canned tuna salad. Crummy canned tuna, Bah! It just won't be the same. Using the fresh tuna makes the salad ever so much richer and more flavorful.

Here's my version. 

Ahi Tuna Salad:

1. Leftover grilled Ahi tuna (mine worked out to be about 2-1/2 cups)

2. Mayonnaise, to desired consistency (I use Hellman's Light because it's the least gagging of the lite mayos)

3. Dill Relish (Most people use sweet relish, but I prefer dill, sour puss that I am)

4. 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled & chopped

5. 3-4 large stalks of celery, chopped

6. Black Pepper, to taste

I place the tuna steaks in the bowl and tear them up with my fingers.
Next, I chop the celery and the hard boiled eggs, adding them to the bowl.
Then, I add the mayonnaise, dill relish and the pepper and toss until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Voila! I had mine with some wonderful little healthy crackers and it was excellent!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Barbeque Spare Ribs... Snooty Style!

Believe it or not, I have just found the perfect way to have Barbecue Spare Ribs and (my own secret easy recipe) coleslaw. It's so easy that I felt like giving myself a huge thump on the forehead for not coming up with this before. I guess some days are better than others when it comes to the functioning of my aging brain. Feel free to click on the pictures for a larger view.

So, come on all you culinary n'ere-do-wells. This is so easy that it will blow your mind. And if you're trying to impress a man... this should be your signature meal. Most every man likes barbecue... immensely. (Be sure to serve a bunch of paper towels that have been moistened and heated in the micro.) It's kind of like wearing Eau-De-Peanut-Parfum (as in the 2008 Super Bowl commercial). If you make it, they will follow. When I served this to Mr. Snooty, he was like a horned toad when you turn 'em on their backs and rub their bellies. They go into sort of a trance. He was putty in my hands. Lucky for him, I decided to not take advantage of his incapacitated condition.

I started assembling all the ingredients and preparing dinner at 5:30 PM. I was finished by 7:45 PM (with more than a few breaks). I'd say that's pretty damn quick for ribs & cole slaw, unless you happen to eat out. Frankly, we've been some places that we'd have been lucky to get out of, in that amount of time.

Barbecued Spare Ribs:


1 Rack of Pork Spare Ribs

Your favorite *rub*

Your favorite Barbecue Sauce


1. The night before you're having the ribs, coat the ribs in your rub, cover, and refrigerate.

2. The day of cooking, be sure to remove the ribs from the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling, to allow the ribs to come to room temperature.

3. Brush on desired amount of barbeque sauce, coating both sides.

4. Prepare gas or charcoal grill, according to directions. When you cannot hold your hand a few inches above the fire, then it's ready. I normally use the second shelf, putting hickory chips on the bottom shelf, to give them some smoke, when using the gas grill. When I grill them on the charcoal grill, I just add the hickory chips to the coals, once they are ready.

5. On the gas grill 2nd shelf I cook them approximately 10 minutes per side. On the charcoal grill I usually cook the ribs about 5 minutes per side.

6. When they have sufficiently blackened (to taste, of course), I remove the ribs from the fire and entirely enclose the ribs in foil, making sure the seal is tight.

7. I then place them in a pre-heated 375 degree oven, for approximately 2 to 3 hours.

8. When you remove them from the oven they will be so tender & succulent, they will almost fall off the bone.