Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

Scalloped Potatoes And Ham

Tonight’s dinner was something we have had many times- scalloped potatoes and ham. Comfort food.
I pulled leftover ham from Easter out of the freezer for this dish and used my very last onion. I use onions a lot I guess. This is the recipe I used->  http://www.food.com/recipe/scalloped-potatoes-and-ham-5194
I followed the recipe exactly except I did not have green pepper so put in 2 cups of frozen cut green beans instead. It is tasty either way.
This took almost 2 hours total to prepare and cook. I made the full recipe for just 3 people so we have a bunch of leftovers to have for lunches or put in the freezer.

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Not My Mother’s Potato Soup

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When I was growing up we often had a very simple potato soup. My mom would cut up potatoes and  onions and put them in a pot with water and boil them. She would add salt and pepper. She would add some milk. Occasionally, she would add cooked ground beef. That was her potato soup. It wasn’t bad but very simple.

My older sister worked in the kitchen of a nursing home in high school and college and she brought home the idea of adding cheese to potato soup. Cheese! I love cheese and started making the soup with cheese and adding canned cream of mushroom soup.

I stopped using canned cream of mushroom soup several years ago and just began looking for a better way to make my potato soup. There are a ton of potato soup recipes in cookbooks and on the internet. I took ideas from several sources. In my final version, I kept the cheese but added things like celery and carrot and chicken broth. I added different spices like dill weed and cayenne pepper. I started cooking the onions in butter before adding them to the soup.  Here is my version that has come so far from my mother’s simple potato soup.


 

Lounmoun’s Potato Soup

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

3 oz carrot, chopped

3-5 oz celery, chopped

4 c water or chicken broth

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 T  butter

3 T  flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dill weed

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 c milk

8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan over medium heat put potatoes carrots, celery and water or broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove vegetables and reserve liquid.

Add butter to pot and melt over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne and dill weed. Cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk while whisking. Bring to a low boil and cook 2-5 minutes until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add reserved vegetables and stir. Gradually add reserved liquid while stirring until desired consistency is reached. Makes about 6 servings.

Note: If you have leftover liquid you could freeze it to use in other recipes. I used 1/2 to 3/4 of the reserved liquid in my soup.


 

I took some poor pictures of the process tonight to include in this post. I cut the celery, onion and carrots toward the smallish side with my food processor so my people will eat them. You could have bigger pieces of those vegetables if you prefer.

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potato chunks, chopped carrot and celery

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vegetables and broth

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onion and flour mixture cooking

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after adding the milk

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adding the cheese and vegetables

We had our soup with a crusty rye bread. Hagbard said, ” Thank you for the tasty soup. It was souper!” 🙂

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas & Roasted Potato Slices

It was a stormy night and dinner was pork carnitas and roasted potato slices.
I got this recipe from http://therecipecritic.com/2015/04/slow-cooker-pork-carnitas/ and the only change I made was to increase the salt to 2 tsp and bake my pork at the end instead of broiling. You can skip that step but your meat will be drippier and messier to eat if you do.
I love using my slow cooker and this is a great recipe for it! It was especially great tonight as our power was flickering on and off just before dinner. I was really glad the pork was already cooked and the potatoes did not take long.
Everyone in my house really likes this pork. It makes quite a bit and you can use the meat in other dishes like sandwiches, empanadas, taquitos or whatever you like. Hagbard is already looking forward to bbq pork sandwiches made from the leftovers. I’m putting a bunch of the meat in the freezer for other meals.

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
4 pounds pork shoulder roast
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¾ cup orange juice (2 oranges)
¼ cup lime juice (2 limes)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, quartered

Combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub spices on the outside of the pork shoulder. Combine orange juice, lime juice, garlic and onion in slow cooker. Place pork on top. Cook on low for 8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Shred cooked pork. Heat for 30 more minutes. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a baking sheet.  Cooked in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings in a tortilla.

Roasted potato slices are very easy to make and are one of Amethesto’s favorite side dishes. I sprinkled some taco seasoning, salt and pepper on my potatoes this time but you can use other seasonings.

Roasted Potato Slices
1 medium russet potato per person
Salt, pepper, herbs, spices to taste
Cooking spray

Heat oven to 400 °F. Cut potato into 1/4″ slices. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange slices so they do not overlap. Spray tops lightly and sprinkle with seasonings. Bake 25-30 minutes, turning over and seasoning the other side at the halfway point. You can also cook sweet potato slices this way.

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Greek Potatoes and Salad

Tonight’s dinner was lemony-garlic roasted potatoes accompanied by a Greek inspired salad. My recipe developed from several sources over time.
We have had these potatoes alone, with chicken, hummus and pita chips, baked feta cheese or eggs. They take just a few minutes to prep for the oven and are very filling.

Greek Potatoes
2-3 white potatoes- cubed or cut in wedges
1 onion- diced or sliced
1/4 c olive oil
2 cloves garlic- minced
1/3 c water
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put onion and potato in an 8″x8″ baking dish. Mix together the remaining ingredients, pour over potatoes and stir.
Put in 425°F oven. Bake 20 minutes, stir and return to oven for 20 more minutes or until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is gone.

Our salad tonight was baby spinach with black olives, tomato, feta cheese, hard boiled egg, red pepper flakes and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Some time ago a read a tip on the internet that if you chew gum while chopping onions your eyes won’t water. I happened to be chewing mint gum tonight and my eyes did not tear up at all. So this tip is worth a try I guess.

Happy Friday!

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