Gorgeous Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

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So, it’s the end of the week and you have a fridge full of leftovers…Sometimes all those leftovers need is a quick pick me up – like mushrooms and onions.

They are great with leftover mashed potatoes, perfect on all kinds of meats and my personal favorite – mixed with green beans or broccoli.

Clever…right? You’re welcome.

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Preheat the frying pan to medium high.

Add a couple turns around the pan of extra virgin olive oil. Probably one-ish tablespoons. Very technical I know…

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Drop in 1 carton of sliced baby belle mushrooms.

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Add one sliced onion.

Try and get all the onions in the pan – unlike me. I missed…

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Add 1 tsp of sugar.

I always add sugar anytime I make onions. It’s just one of those thangs man.

What can I say…I’m crazy like that.

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Add 2 tbsp of butter. Butter just makes life so much better.

FYI – My butter is always salted – always!!

So get this – All the hard work is finished.

I know…You have to love a recipe that is this easy and makes your home smell this good!!

Saute for 10 minutes on medium high – stirring only occasionally.

Drop the heat to medium low and cook for 20 more minutes.

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During the last 10 minutes of cooking add 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt. You can add more or less depending on taste.

But seriously don’t add too much salt…you’ll get all bloated then blame me and frankly I just can’t take that much pressure. So just don’t do it alright! Geez…

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Then you’ll get this!!

Time for a happy dance…

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That’s what Oso thinks of my happy dance…you can see it in his eyes, he thinks I’m nuts…

He’s probably onto something.

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This is optional – but highly recommended.

Turn the heat up to medium high.

Add about a splash or two of your favorite red wine to deglaze the pan.

Cook until the wine has incorporated into the onions.

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I mean…come on!!

Seriously, do you see the color of this dish – the caramelized onions and mushrooms.

Life is looking pretty good right about now.

So there you have it. Over and out!

Until next time…I’m off to dance with my kids.

Be Blessed, Stay Blessed and remember don’t forget to laugh at yourself or someone will do it for you.

Love, L.

Homemade Chicken Broth –mm-mm Good!!

Chicken Stock

I opened my freezer yesterday and to my dismay I only had one container of homemade chicken broth left.

How could this happen?  I swore I had just made some fairly recently.  I then hugged my last container goodbye, used it in my recipe and swore to avenge its death with a new batch of soup.

Here’s the recipe I use for Homemade Chicken Broth.

I’ve been using this recipe for years and it turns out perfect every time.

It just works and that’s what makes cooking super fun!

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First things First – The stock pot – Make sure it’s a Big Daddy of a Pot!!

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I use newspaper when dealing with the birds so I don’t get their yucky all over my cutting board and counter.

As you can see I also use gloves, I don’t like to get their yucky on my hands either, grody.

I always ask papi to remove the innards from the birds, unfortunately he was not home so I had to do it.

So I put on my big girl pants, sucked it up and went for it..

Gag me with a spoon, I actually positioned the garbage can next to the counter, closed my eyes really tight, reached in, pulled the innards out, gagged, tossed the insides away and covered them with paper so I didn’t accidental sneak a peek.  (I am just trying to be real here, not everything is glamorous in my kitchen).

Don’t be mad at me for not saving the innards – we all have our limits!!

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Meet Fred, Don and Jack.

You will need three whole chickens approximately 5 lbs each.

Note: They don’t have to be named Fred, Don or Jack any old bird will do.

Put them in your stock pot and get ready to cover them in deliciousness…

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And now the fixin’s’:  3 large onions, 8 unpeeled carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 4 unpeeled parsnips, 1 head of garlic, 10 sprigs fresh thyme, 20 sprigs fresh parsley, 25 sprigs fresh dill, 2 tablespoons kosher salt and 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns.

Please wash them first – except for the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, that might cause you some complications…

 

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Add the dill, you don’t have to chop it.  Easy breezy!!

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Add the parsley, so you see a pattern here…Guess what’s next.

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The thyme…

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Then the unpeeled parsnips.  I cut them in thirds.

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The unpeeled carrots, cut in thirds or fourths or fifths or sixths.

Really it doesn’t matter just cut them please.

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The cut celery.

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The onions – unpeeled and quartered.

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The entire head of garlic cut in half, skin and all.

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The kosher salt.

Look at those cute little boy fingers.  I love my boys helping in the kitchen!!

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The peppercorns…Do not add ground pepper – the peppercorns are for flavor only.  They will be strained once the soup is cooked.

You would end up with pepper soup if you did that!!  Then you’d have to sit and pick out all the ground pepper while thinking bad things about me and the whole process would take forever so kindly just use whole peppercorns and trust me.

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Water – 7 quarts.

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There you have it.  Give your spoon a spin around the pot…

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Put on a lid, turn your stove on high and set your timer for 4 hours…

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Ah, Ah, Ah – not so fast one more step.  Stay with me here or you’ll have soup boiling all over your kitchen.

As soon as it starts to boil turn your stove to simmer, take off the lid and let it go to town.

Now you can sit back, make some tea, grab a book and relax until your timer goes off.

Some delightful, delicious, wonderfulness is coming your way!!

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And there you have it, Perfection!!  Utter perfection!!

I promised you it would be great didn’t I?

Pull your soup off the stove and let it cool down.

Once it has cooled enough to reasonably handle then it is time strain your soup.

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The easiest way I have found to strain the soup is to use another stock pot and strainer.  This way you don’t lose any of the juice from the chicken and vegetables.

As you are moving the contents from one pot to another take a moment here and there to compress the solids.  This way you get the most bang for you buck of chicken stock.

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This is an optional step.

If you choose to save the meat which I hope you will.  Reach right in the pot as you are straining the solids and pull the meat out with two forks and shred.

This meat is extremely tender, juicy and full of flavor.  It will be great in all kinds of recipes.

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My largest strainer’s holes are quite large, this is why I take this additional step to make sure my stock is free of debris.

I think it’s worth it.

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And there you have it, the result of your labor.  Great job my friend!!

I am jumping up and down singing your praises because I am so proud of you!!

Once these guys are cooled they will go for a slumber directly into my freezer.  They will not pass go or collect $200.00 dollars!

So for now I hope you enjoyed my first recipe blog.  I was trying to make it simple enough so that even the most novice of chefs could follow along and the most advanced of chefs would enjoy the ride.

Remember, doing something imperfectly is better than doing nothing perfectly!!

Have fun in your kitchen, laugh at your mistakes, rejoice in your victories and remember when worse comes to worse you can always order a pizza!!

Until next time…I’m off to clean my kitchen.

Be blessed, stay blessed and remember if you don’t laugh at yourself someone will do it for you.

Love, L.

Homemade Chicken Broth

 Ingredients:

  •   3 (4 to 5 lb.) whole chickens – Don’t forget to remove the innards
  •   3 large onions
  •   1 head of garlic
  •   8 unpeeled carrots
  •   5 stalks of celery
  •   4 parsnips
  •   10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  •   20 sprigs fresh parsley
  •   25 sprigs fresh dill
  •   2 tablespoons kosher salt
  •   2 whole black peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Wash and chop the carrots, celery, parsnips, thyme, parsley and dill.
  2. Place the chickens, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsnips, thyme, parsley, dill, kosher salt and peppercorns in at least a 16 quart stockpot.
  3. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling, uncover the pot and place on simmer for 4 hours.
  5. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander.
  6. Optional step:  You can shred the chicken and save for future meals.
  7. Discard the solids.
  8. Place in containers.
  9. Use immediately or store in the freezer.