Friday, April 21, 2017

Ham and Potato Soup


Here's a hearty soup that makes good use of a leftover ham bone, especially if it's got some good meat on it!

Ingredients:

1 meaty ham bone, extra fat removed
Meat from the ham bone, about 1 cup of cubed ham
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced celery
4 cups water
1 cup peeled and sliced carrot
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

If your ham was salty, cover the ham bone with water, bring to a boil, then pour off the water and discard. This will keep your soup from being too salty. If your ham wasn't salty, then feel free to skip the first boil and begin with the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, just until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the water, along with the ham bone, and cook until the ham is hot. Remove the ham from the pot and allow to cool. Take the meat off of the ham bone, cube it, and return the ham to the pot. Add the carrots and potatoes, along with the bay leaf, and half of the parsley and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the remaining parsley on top of the soup, just before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Taste the ham before you cook it. If you find that it tastes salty to you, do include the first step. This will decrease the possibility of an overly salty soup, and reduce the sodium content as well.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Langostino Rice Bowls

Langostino is making its mark at restaurants, and in the grocery store, too. Imagine my surprise when I found a bag of frozen langostino at Trader Joe's last week! I scooped those up in a hurry. Langostino are a species of crustacean similar in taste to lobster, but similar in size and texture to shrimp. The tail meat comes in just the perfect bite size, ready to add to whichever seafood recipe you're craving. I've been craving a rice bowl (again), and decided to stir up this delicious concoction.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 thinly sliced green garlic or green onion
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1 chopped jalapeno (optional)
1/2 cup quartered mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced snow peas
6 oz. frozen langostino tails
1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Directions:

Cook brown rice. Prepare the vegetables, and thaw the langostino tails while the rice cooks. Thaw the tails by submerging them in cold water, and changing the water several times. They should take about 15 to 20 minutes to completely thaw. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil along with the onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the celery, snow peas, and langostino tails, and continue cooking for another minute or so. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and stock, stirring to combine with the vegetable mixture. To serve, scoop about 1 cup of rice into each bowl, topping each with about half of the langostino vegetable mix.

Serves 2

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Replacing some of the hoisin sauce and soy sauce with low sodium chicken stock really cuts the sodium content in a rice bowl. Also, the flavors of the fresh vegetables and langostino will shine through, and won't be overpowered by the strong flavorings of the hoisin and soy sauce.