Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Salmon Chowder

Salmon Chowder
Salmon Chowder

One of my coworkers absolutely does not like salmon. This is foreign to me as salmon is my favorite fish. So, when a friend of hers brought her a bag full of fresh salmon, she happily passed it on to me. It has been one of the most lovely batches of salmon I have ever eaten. Fatty and nearly melting in your mouth, yet still firm, I'm sad to see that last of it go.

I took the last pound and stretched it with this beautifully simple chowder using ingredients I had on-hand. It was ready in a mere 25 minutes and consumed just as quickly. I may share, I may not.

Salmon Chowder

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6


4 slices bacon - diced
1 large shallot - chopped fine
1 clove garlic
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - scrubbed and diced (again, about 1/2 an inch)
1/2 cup red bell pepper - chopped
4 cups seafood or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 pound fresh salmon filet - cubed (about 1/2 an inch)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


1. Heat a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add bacon and render fat.
2. Add in peppers, shallot, garlic and potatoes and cook briefly.
3. Pour in stock, cream and chervil and cook until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes.
4. Add in salmon and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper (this will depend on how salty your stock was to start). Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Slow Cooker beef Ravioli Soup

Most really good soups are an all-day affair with some babysitting here and there. This one cooks for 6 hours all by itself before it needs any tending. It's hearty enough for a full meal on its own and uses frozen ravioli, one of the most versatile ingredients in a busy family's pantry.

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 7 hours and 30 minutes
Serves: 8


2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic - minced
1 pound lean ground beef
8 cups beef stock
2 cups baby carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound frozen meat-filled ravioli
2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste


1. Brown beef and onion together in oil, adding garlic at the end and stirring well. Drain well and pour into the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker.
2. Pour in stock and carrots and cook over LOW heat for 6 hours. Check carrots for tenderness.
3. Add ravioli, green beans, bay leaf and thyme. Switch heat setting to HIGH and cook for 1 hour.
4. Stir in tomato sauce and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and heat for another half hour over HIGH heat.
5. Remove bay leaf and serve.