Frankenspam Roasted Vegetable Soup

Frankenspam loves meat. But we love vegetables as much. Seriously, chop up any vegetable in your fridge and put EVOO, garlic powder, and salt on the them and stick them in the oven at 425* for 30-40 minutes. HELLO DELICIOUSNESS!!!!

I was watching one of those food shows the other night. By the way, I am for a new law that says NO food can be shown on TV after 8PM. Forget the nudity and cursing restrictions. Okay, especially nudity. Forget that restriction. Where was I? Oh, I can’t resist eating late at night as it is. Watching someone make Duck Pastrami on Triple D fires every single one of the 12 hunger cylinders in my gut. Want to help America with its obesity issue? Stop showing my fat ass food on a TV at night.

Anyhoot, I saw them make a puree vegetable soup. It was a complicated recipe of sorts. I thought to myself, as I often do, only person I know that listens to me…most of the time at least, I thought to myself this could be a ton easier and still taste delicious. I mean roasted vegetables, some stock, blend, season to taste…how hard could that be? This is another product that is so easy to “wreck”. Frankenspam Roasted Vegetable Puree Soup, let’s get this on!

Final product. Obviously whatever veggies you use has a ton to do with product color.

Get some veggies out. Whatever. But let me warn you, I under estimated how much soup this makes. HUGELY under estimated.

I used portabella mushrooms, butternut & acorn squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, broccoli, yellow squash, orange & green bell pepper, yellow onions and garlic.

Cut all of the veggies up into about 1″ to 1.5″ chunks. Assuming you know how to clean these. No seeds in the soup or pulp from the squashes! Once cut up, toss in EVOO, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lay out on foil on a cooking sheet.

Roast at 425* for 40 minutes. After that 40 minutes, turn broiler on and put some charred edges on these veggies. Swap out trays so each veggie gets its time under the direct heat.

Charred and roasted Veggies! Could eat just like this. And why shouldn’t you. Go ahead, steal a couple. I promise the soup will never know. You know the secret behind cooks not eating too much at dinner right? They eat while they cook!

We now need to blend these yummy morsels up. I made a turkey chicken chili a couple days ago and used bone in turkey and chicken. I boiled them a little and then boil their bones longer in veggie broth. I used that for this wrecked recipe session.

Blending is an interesting trick. You may have to keep adding more broth. Hell I ran out and had to use another 32oz of chicken broth (I was out of all others). Like I said earlier, I completely under estimated how much soup this makes. Once all blended and in large pot on the stove. Put on medium heat and add some spices. Add what you want. I added the following:

1/2 Pinch of celery seed
1 pinch of tarragon leaves (crushed)
1 pinch of sage (crushed/pulverized)
1 pinch of basil (crushed)
1 pinch of thyme (ground)
half of a bay leaf
1 pinch of oregano (crushed)
2 TSP of garlic powder
3 TBSP of Sweet Hungarian paprika
1 pinch of Tumeric

Let it stew on medium for about 15 minutes until it is bubbling good. Turn down to “3” or about 1/3rd heat. Add some milk, cream, or dairy to fortify it and give some creamy aspects. I used heavy cream. I kind of eyeballed this. I probably poured in about 3/4’s of a cup in my gigantic soup.

After a taste test, it was missing something. Hmmmm…

I threw in two cans of cream of potato. Hey, it is a MONSTER of a soup. HAHA

Threw some bacon in the skillet for a topping. Every time I make bacon I always have to cook something else in the bacon grease. Hey, the soup is pretty healthy, need some bad stuff to balance out the good stuff right? So I just canned some venison about a week and half ago. Lets make some venison with garlic and tomatoes spaghetti sauce with Penne pasta.

So there ya have it. I’ll lose the greens next time. No broccoli or green bell peppers. Maybe add some cauliflower and few other squashes. Cauliflower roasted is sooooo good. Venison pasta was good and garlicy. It was my first venison canning and I think I can change a few things next time and it’ll be so much better. Until next cooking session, stop following every one’s recipes and make your own food damn it! Happy Halloween if I don’t blog before then!

Did you keep the pumpkin seeds from those Jack O’Lantern?

I hope so! Simple recipe I have been doing every year for a couple of years after we carve our pumpkins. Except I change the spices each year.

  1. Boil some water with a tablespoon of salt. Enough water for all the seeds you have. We have two medium pumpkins. So you may need more salt with more seeds and less salt with less seeds.
  2. Let water cool.
  3. Put seeds in a container (I use a vacuum container). Pick out any seeds that look “sick” or unappetizing and get any pumpkin pulp out. I also put some garlic powder in the container once I am done getting the pulp and bad seeds out. Store over night.
  4. Next day, preheat oven to 300*.
  5. Put seeds in a colander and shake dry. Yeh yeh, they aren’t dry but get most of the water off. Now add whatever seasoning you want. I used more garlic powder (not a ton), some more salt, and a creole spicy mixture.
  6. Spread the seeds over a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread them out good. Try not to let them layer. Use two sheets if you have lots of seeds.
  7. Bake at 300* for one hour.
  8. Eat.

 

Put seeds in salty brine. Pick out bad seeds and pumpkin pulp.
Put on parchment paper. Spread out (not like in the pic!)
Finished product. Yummy and crunchy.

 

 

Chow Chow frankenspam style

For those that don’t know me, I am from Coalwood, West Virginia. Now I only lived there until 11 years old, but I do take pride in being from there. 30 years of being here in Maryland just can’t seem to wash it away either. I still have the best aunts, uncles, and cousins living there. I surely have my memories of growing up in tough financial times. Not to say I don’t have the memories of good either. I threw a rock AT the stream one time to try and splash my Uncle Greg. I can’t explain it, the rock never went to the water, just straight across the stream and nailed Greg right in the eye. LOL  At that age I couldn’t figure out if my grandfather was more mad about Greg’s eye or that he had to waste a good piece of meat laying it on his eye. Come to think of it, I think they had meat that night for dinner. hahaha!!  My mom and dad were able to escape the coal mine crisis of the early 80’s and find work here in Maryland. To top it all off I had a sister with Sickle Cell Anemia that would later need a life saving plasma transfusion. To which we later we found out was tainted with HIV. Another story for another time, but times were hard and as such we depended on dad’s gardening skills! I was so blessed to live with an awesome family and friends and as such never realized the difference between having it tough and having it good. As far as I am concerned, I had it good.

Now as a kid, I didn’t like lots of foods that I have come accustomed to liking these days. Ha, that’s all of us right? I used to spit the Lima beans out in my hand and try to feed to the dog. The damn dog wouldn’t even eat those things. I would smash them up under the table after mom and dad would leave me at the table to “finish my dinner”. I am still not a Lima bean fan, but if you invite me over I won’t smash them up under your dinner table either. Now if I figure out your dog is a vegetarian, well, no promises there. So I find it fun to listen and read online posts of old-time dishes and cooking procedures. They are always attached to great stories. Ever notice that? Food and good times go together. We even mourn the loss of our loved ones with food. There is nothing more attached to the very fiber of our past than food. Okay okay maybe that nasty dirty stuffed teddy bear you have hidden in your closet, but I am not blogging about that.

So one food I could never wrap my head around that all the “older” folk liked when I was young(er) was chow chow. I hated it. Which by the way, my theory on why kids never liked anything as kid, our taste buds actually WORKED. So now I am little older and taste buds are a little dead.  Let’s go down memory lane and make some chow chow. Now, depending on who you ask, the recipes are all over the place. Which is the signature line of frankenspam.com. So it seems fair to me anything goes with making chow chow. As long as you keep with using veggies that are associated with late season harvest. If you like it sweet, you’re probably from Pennsylvania and the hotter the chow chow the further south you go. It also seems Pennsylvania to West Virginia recipes had a more wet/thinner base where as the further south you go the thicker the base. I like the idea of a thicker base, but I am going to try my best to keep it West Virginian. So I am making two batches, one with smoked jalapenos and a few extra spices and the other what I’d call “normal”. haha.

Here’s the recipe(s).

Chow Chow Version 1.0 Recipe Click Here

Redneck Beef Wellington?

A good friend of mine is always posting those shared food pages or recipes on my Facebook page. (Don’t stop Linda, love the ideas!) Some of it looks great but I am just too lazy to give most of it a try. Some though, for some reason grab me enough to make me try them. She posted a meatloaf wrapped in crescent dough that intrigued me. I found what looks like the original post of this recipe HERE but I believe the post she sent me was some other person, kcameron17 or something taking claim to it. haha. Of course in the world of the internet, that person probably stole the recipe from someone who stole it from someone else who also probably stole it from their Aunt. Never the less, it had redneck written all over it, so I wrecked it. Here’s me trying it the first time, my way.

Alright, original recipe (original as far as I can tell) says this…
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopper mushrooms
1 cup chopped black olives
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp leaf oregano
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozz cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans crescent rolls

Okay, let’s get this out of the way,  HOLY CRAP! I didn’t realize it at first but this is a metric crap ton of food. Unless you have a family of 6, you can cut this in half, easy. Second, that first poster posted this as healthy, HAHAHAHAHA…where was I? Oh yeh…my wrecked recipe…

1/2 lb of grass-fed beef, 80/20
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of panko crumbs (I know, weird, but it’s my recipe)
1/2lb of bison. You shush! Just do it.
1 cup of Portobello shrooms
3-4 small sweet bell peppers. The little midgets, errr I am sorry, the little bell peppers. (later I found this dish to be too sweet. You might want to go with normal bell peppers or replace them with something you like that is less sweet)
Half cup of diced black olives
palm full of oregano leaves diced up
1/2 yellow onion diced up
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of crush black pepper
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (I didn’t use this, but I highly suggest something to help break up the sweet crescent rolls flavors)
Mozz cheese and cheddar cheese, as much as you like. Go easy. Most of our cholesterol intake comes from dairy products you know
1 can of crescent roll

The original recipe calls for raw meat and mix. Hey, it’s a meatloaf. Personally, I like to cook off some fat first. So, two pans, one to cook garlic and onions until they start to caramelize and the other pan to get the red meat products a touch over rare. I even like to use an iron skillet so I can put the heat to them to burn a little bit. Don’t do that with the teflon stuff. Oooof, hard lesson there. I went ahead and cooked everything in the skillet that I could. Shrooms, olives, small sweet bell peppers, and whatever else you want to add. Hey, throw some broccoli, bacon, spinach, or whatever you want in there. It’s a redneck meatloaf for crying out loud.

Once those things have started to caramelize or get translucent I put them all in a large mixing bowl. Drain off the red meat so the greases are not involved in this party and mix in the bowl as well. I stirred in 1/2 of the tomato sauce in the bowl with everything as well. Hell, threw in some mozz and cheddar as well. Not much though.



Alright, set that bowl off to the side and let it marinate while you get the dough spread out. Here are the recipe’s direction, “Unroll crescent roll dough and don’t separate. Lay end to end on top of wax paper and place second piece of wax paper on top. Now take rolling-pin and roll the dough out till it’s half the thickness that it was originally.”

HAhahahaha. Yeh, okay I didn’t have wax paper, because honestly, what redneck does? I threw some flour on the kitchen table and took a rolling-pin (I KNOW, I had one of these!) and roll that sucker out to about half its thickness. Now, it wasn’t easy. It kept wanting to separate at the dashed lines in the dough. You know that spot, where you are supposed to rip and make a crescent roll. LOL Once rolled out though, HOLY CRAP this thing is huge!!! Note to self, next time, on use half the can. Anyway, I rolled it out and placed the mixture on the dough and spread it out. Put some tomato sauce on it along with some mozz and cheddar cheese.

Now the instructions say to roll it up like a jelly-roll fashion, starting at the narrow end; use the wax paper to help. Or for us rednecks, aluminum foil. Place the seam side down. Place in a non-stick 9 1/4″ X 5 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ bread pan. HAHAHA Okay, don’t even try to pick this monstrosity up. Use the foil or wax paper to put it into the pan. In fact, next time I do this, I will put the pan on it upside down and use the foil/wax paper to hold it in as I flip it over. And if you took notes and only use half a can of crescent roll dough, now you can put the seam down. If not and you used a whole can of dough, good like finding a side without a seam.

Once you wrestle this pig into a pan, the instructions say to cook it at 375* F for 30 minutes. Instruction says to drain off any fat that accumulates and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Since my ingredients were already cooked and mine didn’t create any fat juices, mine took about 40 minutes. With no juices to drain off during the cooking.



All in all…very good and easy to make. Just a few surprises if you aren’t used to dough. Original recipe was way to large and I think the crescent rolls were way too sweet.  If I make this again, and it was tasty enough that I might, I would definitely add some spice to it. Or maybe change the dough to pizza dough or something. Redneck Beef Wellington, not too shabby. I liked it. Had tons of potential, even with me wrecking it. By the way, I forgot the eggs from the original recipe. HAHA