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What's Cooking Suzanne?

By Staff
Suzanne Langcuster
Franklin County Times
We thought you might need some more Halloween treats this week since the time is so near plus, some nourishing comfort foods for cool weather.
One of our favorite meals when fall arrives is chili. It is quick and easy to prepare and can be refrigerated or frozen for another meal, and that really helps me.
You can buy your ground round (to cut down on fat) when it is on sale and make a big pot of chili and freeze it in individual packages or bowls until needed for a meal. Be sure you have plenty of crackers to eat with your chili and grated cheese to put on top of it while it is still hot.
Sauerkraut and Ribs
2 qt. sauerkraut
2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 lg. onion, diced
1 lg. unpeeled apple, cored and diced
Water (enough to cover sauerkraut)
2 lb. pork ribs
Preheat oven to 350. In a large roaster, combine sauerkraut, brown sugar, onion and apple. Add enough water to cover sauerkraut mixture. Place ribs on top. Cover and cook or 4 hours. Check occasionally to be sure water continues to cover sauerkraut and add more water, 1 cup at a time if needed. Uncover ribs and cook for an additional hour. Serves 6 to 8.
Bacon Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes
Follow basic recipe for preparing potatoes to mash. Peel and boil them until ready to mash. Use red potatoes. Cook eight slices of bacon, crumble and set aside. To drained potatoes, add warm milk until you get desired consistency, salt and pepper and mash. Stir in 3/4 c. crumbled Blue Cheese, 1/2 c. bacon crumbled and 3 T. chives. When ready to serve, sprinkle with 1/4 c. Blue Cheese, 1 T. chives and remaining bacon.
Suzanne's Chili
1 lb. ground chuck or ground round (round is better for you)
1 lg. yellow onion (chopped)
2 garlic buds (chopped)
1 can tomato paste
1 can beans (You may choose the kind of beans you want. I use red beans, kidney beans, black beans, northern beans or chili beans. You may use a little of all if you like a lot of beans in your chili. If you are making a large pot of chili the beans will help you make more.)
chili powder
Add a little vegetable oil to a skillet and stir-fry your onions and garlic. Don't let garlic get too brown. You might stir the onions first and then add garlic to stir-fry. Put your meat in the skillet and stir-fry it with the onion and garlic. This gives the meat a good flavor, and onion and garlic are good for you. When meat is brown and cooked, add one can of tomato paste with one can of water mixed to the meat mixture. Stir all of this together. You may want to sprinkle the chili powder on the meat while it is cooking.
Be sure you do this sparingly. Add beans and let it cook 10 or 15 minutes more until all the flavors are mingled.
This is what makes the chili so good – put it up in refrigerator for another day. All those good flavors mix, and it is even better the second day. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be doubled so easily. Hope you enjoy like we have through the years.
Dressed-Up Tomato Soup
1 (10 oz.) can tomato soup
1 can 2 percent low fat milk
10 grape tomatoes, halved
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (1 oz.) mozzarella cheese stick, cut into 6 pieces
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place soup in saucepan. Add milk and whisk well. Add tomatoes and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add bacon, mozzarella cheese and spinach. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes two servings.
Asian Mushroom Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
2 portobello mushrooms, caps peeled, cleaned and thinly sliced
5-ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 small shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and left whole
Outer leaves of 1 small Napa cabbage or 1/2 large cabbage, leaves roughly torn
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise then in 1/2 crosswise, and very thinly sliced
2 good handfuls snow peas
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Dark sesame oil
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic and ginger until browned. Combine the broth, soy sauce, and fish sauce (optional) to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients, except the snow peas, scallions, and sesame oil. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the snow peas. Cook for just a few minutes longer, until the snow peas have softened but are still bright green.
Add the scallions to the saucepan, remove from heat and ladle into serving bowls. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil over the top of each serving.
Meatball Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands, with their juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Italian Essence or other dry Italian seasoning, plus 3/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup, and more for garnish, optional
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta shape for soups
3 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Place a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the chopped onion and celery to the pot and cook and stir with a wooden spoon until the vegetables are soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and their juices, beef broth, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon of Italian Essence, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Bring to a low simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the broth simmers, make the meatballs. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, 1/3 cup Parmesan, bread crumbs, 3/4 teaspoon of the Italian Essence, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Using clean hands, mix until thoroughly combined.
Divide meat into tablespoons and roll into smooth balls with your hands.
Set the rolled meatballs aside on a plate or other flat surface. Wash your hands.
Carefully add the meatballs to the simmering broth. Gently stir, so as not to break up the meatballs Add the remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
Add the ditalini and spinach to the hot soup, stir well, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Stir in the chopped basil and serve the soup in wide bowls, garnished with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.