Spicy Corn Chowder

I felt that last night I needed something new to eat besides pureed soup.  I have to say that I am not quite ready for it yet but this soup turned out great.  It’s been raining a lot here in Colorado and the soup just hit the right spot in this weather.

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These are all of the ingredients I will be using for this ninjatasitc soup.

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You will want to start off by cooking some bacon until all of the fat is rendered out.  I prefer to cook it in the same pot as I am making my soup because I hate doing dishes.  I also cook my bacon low and slow to render all of the fat and I think it gives it a crisper feel when you are finished.

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This took about 20 minutes on low heat.  That bacon looks so tasty.  Don’t eat it though.  We need it for later.  You should have about 4 tablespoons of bacon grease.  We will use this for cooking the onion.

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This is one medium onion that has been cooking on medium for about 5 minutes.  As you can see, the onion is starting to turn translucent.  Now is a good time to season with salt and pepper, however much you like.

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Next you add your jalapeno and garlic.  Sauté for about 2 minutes, just enough to make it more fragrant in the kitchen.  I normally would have used one whole jalapeno, seeded but I did not have any on hand but I did have a huge jar from Costco for nachos.  Feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

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Next you add 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and cook until it gets a slight blond color like above.

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These are my potatoes chopped up small.  This is a chowder so you don’t want huge chucks of potatoes. I used 3 small russets but you could easily use red potatoes.

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Next you want to add the 4 cups of chicken stock, potatoes, and simmer for about 15 minutes, just until the potatoes are getting soft.  Then as shown in the picture above, you add 1 cup of heavy cream, 16 ounces of frozen corn, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 2 bay leaves.  Simmer together for another 20 minutes.

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Here it is after all of that simmering.  It’s not a thick soup but if you want to thicken it up, you could add a little cornstarch.

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Chop up your crispy bacon and top your soup with it.  I also added a little green onion as garnish.

Spicy Corn Chowder
4 pieces of bacon (thick sliced preferred)
1 medium yellow onion
Salt and Black Pepper
1 small jalapeno, chopped seeds removed
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups of chicken stock
3 medium russet potatoes
1 cup of heavy cream
16 ounces of frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves

 

Fry up the bacon over low to medium heat until all of the fat is rendered out and crispy.  Chop and set to the side for garnish.

Add the onions and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the jalapeno and garlic and sauté until fragrant about 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and mixed completely.  Cook until the flour is slightly blonde in color, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken stock and potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Add the cream, corn, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves.  Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.  Pour into a bowl and garnish with the bacon.

 

 

 

Rosemary White Bean Soup

This dental procedure has really set me back on what I can eat.  I’ve already devoured the broccoli cheese soup from a few days ago.  Yesterday, I decided to make a bean soup and here are the results.

First, you need to soak your beans for at least 6 hours.  Preferably overnight as it makes the cooking process go faster.

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Chop up 3 to 4 medium sized yellow onions.  This recipes uses a lot for the flavor and the sweetness and not just because I love onion.  Pour in your 1/4 cup of oil and cook these over low to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.  They should start to turn translucent.

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Add about 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and continue to cook over low to medium-low heat for 3 more minutes.  Add your salt and pepper as well.

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Add your beans, rosemary, chicken stock ( I used leftover homemade vegetable stock), and bay leaves.  Cover and bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the beans are tender.

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Once the beans are done, it is time to blend up the soup.  I used my trusty ninja immersion hand blender but you can easily use a food processor or standard blender. Just be sure to blend small batches as you don’t want a soup explosion on your ceiling.

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I garnished mine with a little green onion.  I bet some cheddar cheese and a little sour cream on top would go quite well with this.
Rosemary White Bean Soup

1 lb of dried white cannellini beans
4 cups sliced yellow onion (3 to 4 medium onions)
1/4 good olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of rosemary
2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a good sized bowl, cover the beans with water and allow them to soak overnight.

In a large pot over low to medium low heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for 3 more minutes.  Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaves.  Cover and bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the beans are tender.  Remove the bay leaves.  Use a food processor or immersion blender and puree the soup until a nice and smooth consistency.  Serve with your favorite garnish.

Ninja Broccoli Cheese Soup

 

Tomorrow I embark on a journey to the dreadful dentist.  This will be the first time I’ve ever been put under anesthesia for any kind of procedure.  Needless to say, this ninja isn’t exactly comfortable about all of this.  I won’t be able to eat solid food for at least a few days.  This dilemma forces me to look back on my ninja training and ask, “What would a ninja do?”  A ninja would make a few days worth of soup to ensure he is prepare for the next ninja mission and that is what I set at to do today.  I bring you broccoli cheese soup.  I made a double batch so if my ingredients look like a lot, that is why.

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First you need to chop up about 1 cup of onions.

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In a medium pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  Add your onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (this is the secret ninja ingredient), and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.  Then add your garlic, thyme and cook until it smells like a ninja.

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Add your flour and cook until it is well blended.  About 2 minutes.

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Slowly add your chicken stock and whisk constantly while brining to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

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Add the broccoli and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes.

Next I had to get the cheese ready.  I love cheddar cheese so I by this at Costco because I can get a 2 lb block for almost the same price as 1 lb at the grocery store.  My father bought me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas last year.  He also sent me the shredder attachment shortly thereafter.  I’ve never used it and actually had forgotten that it was sitting on a shelf in the basement getting all lonely.  I decided today to try it out for the first time.  Man, I realized I have been missing out on so much shredding power.  It would make the ninja turtles jealous.

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The beefy shredder attachment on the mixer.

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The first opponent, 2 lbs of pure cheese muscle.

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Winner!  KitcheAid Mixer with Shredder attachment!  I didn’t realize it would be this much.  The whole process took less than 5 minutes.

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Once the broccoli was tender, it was time for my next battle.  I had to blend the broccoli and for this I choose the immersion blender as my weapon of choice.

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The broccoli was no match for the immersion blender.  Add your heavy cream.  Next I added the cheese to get it melted.  Now you really have to stir as it’s a lot of cheese.

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The soup is finished!  I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow once I am able.

 

Ninja Broccoli Cheese Soup

 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar

In a medium pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.  Add your onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (this is the secret ninja ingredient), and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.  Then add your garlic, thyme and cook until it smells like a ninja.

Add your flour and cook until it is well blended.  About 2 minutes.

Slowly add your chicken stock and whisk constantly while brining to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes.

Blend the broccoli and for this I choose the immersion blender as my weapon of choice.

Add heavy cream.  Stir throughout.

Add the cheese to get it melted.  Now you really have to stir as it’s a lot of cheese.

Serve in your favorite bowl and eat like a ninja.

 

Frugality with your Vegetable Scraps

Everyone loves to save money.  If you don’t, then you are not a part of my ninja clan.  One way you can save money in the kitchen is to save all of your vegetable scraps.  This will also lead to some good eats (Alton Brown oh yeah!).  I make soup quite often as it is an easy meal and it leaves you with a simple feel good kind of feeling.  A lot of soup recipes call for chicken stock as a base but you can always substitute vegetable stock and if you must, add some chicken flavor boost or some chicken broth to get that chicken kind of flavor.  Whenever I cut up an onion, carrot, celery, etc, I put the scraps in a zip lock bag and throw it far into the freezer and save it for a soup filled day.  You can take this bag of scraps and boil it for about an hour and develop some deep flavors to add to all of your soups or any recipe calling for stock.

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Here is my stock pot full of leftover vegetables that would have just been thrown out.

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My stock after I strained it.  This will be going into some broccoli cheese soup later instead of chicken stock.

 

Weekly Menu 9/8 – 9/14

I am having dental surgery tomorrow so the menu for this week is going to feature items that I think I will be able to eat easily and also make Mrs. Ninja and mini ninja happy.  Hopefully I will be able to take some pictures and make a few posts while I am recovering and taking some awesome medications to assist in my speedy ninja recovery.

Sunday
Hamburgers and Brats
Ranch Beans and Fried Potatoes

Monday
Broccoli Cheese Soup (Making this one today so I can take it easy tomorrow)

Tuesday
Leftover night

Wednesday
Spicy Corn Chowder (Hopefully this doesn’t kill me)

Thursday
Spaghetti with leftover Poor Man’s Awesome Spaghetti Sauce from last week that I froze
Garlic Bread

Friday
Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Creamed Corn and Peas

Saturday
Grilled Chicken Legs
Mac and Cheese
Mixed Vegetables
Homemade Rolls

BBQ Chicken Leg Quarters

There is something about manning a grill that brings out the most primal needs within a ninja.  Fire, smoke, and the smell of charcoal makes one just realize, yes I am a man and more importantly I am a ninja.  I decided to grill some chicken leg quarters and they turned out to be divine.  I’m always using my grill on the weekends and this weekend I decided to season my chicken with Big Ron’s House Seasoning.  This stuff is amazing.  It tastes absolutely wonderful on anything and everything.  I think if my wife sprinkled some all over her before coming to bed, she might just get a little more ninja foreplay.

To start things off, I like to brine my chicken.  Today’s ninja brine was:

1 Gallon of water
1/2 Cup of Kosher salt
1/2 Cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons of garlic
2 Tablespoons of oregano
1 Tablespoon of black pepper
5 dried chili arbol
1/2 Cup of apple cider vinegar

Mix all of this together in a big enough pot to hold your chicken and bring to almost a boil.  The salt and sugar should be dissolved completely.  Let this cool down and add some ice cubes to make it cold.  Add your chicken and place in the fridge until you are ready to grill.  I would suggest at least an hour but no more than 24 hours in the brine.

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The chicken is really happy right now.  It is coated in Big Ron’s rub and the smell is turning on my ninja prowess.

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On the grill at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until done.

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Chicken leg quarter pron just for you.  I was so excited to eat this that I didn’t take any photos of the sides or my plate.  Sorry but a ninja has to eat.

 

 

Steak Night

I love steak.  I could eat it a few nights a week but unfortunately, I’m not a baller so I can’t afford it as often as I would like.  I have found a way to make a cheap steak for those of you that want to eat cheap like a ninja.  When you go to your grocery store, look for Chuck Steak and not the steak cut from chuck roast.  When I purchase it here, it is $2.29 a lb and I consider that to be a bargain when compared to $10.99 a lb or more for ribeye or New York strip.  If you take the time to season this steak well, it will be quite tasty and still pretty tender.  I have a needle meat tenderizer that I use so if you want to eat cheap meats like a ninja, pick one up.  Here is one like the one I have, Jaccard Supertendermatic 48-Blade Tenderizer .  It’s cheap and gets the job done like a ninja should.

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Here are my steaks.  These for steaks were less than $5 dollars.  That is a ninja steal!  I have seasoned them with a good bit of salt, pepper, and a tad bit of garlic powder.

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I have the squash soaking in milk getting ready for the fry of their life.

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This is the breading for the squash.  It is 1/2 cup each of flour and corn meal.  Then I would guess about 3 tablespoons of Tony’s Cajun seasoning.

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I nice pumpkin beer while we wait.

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Squash is all fried up.  Ninja circles.

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I forgot to take my camera outside while I was grilling.  Here are the steaks right off the grill.  I used my Bubba Keg and grilled them 3 minutes per side at 600 degrees.

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This is the plate I fixed for my mini ninja.  He likes his steak a little more done and I have to cut it to bite sized pieces or he won’t even eat it.  One day he will become a ninja like me.

Poor Man’s Awesome Spaghetti Sauce

I love to make spaghetti sauce or as some call it, gravy.  When you read this, you may huff and puff when you see how I made this.  I mentioned yesterday that I am on a goal to eat cheap this week and tonight is no exception.  The commissary had some cheap sauce on sale so I decided to give it a whirl.  Here we go, off into the wild spaghetti yonder…….

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As you can see, that Del Monte Meat sauce is just staring at you in the background and you have to tell yourself this can’t be good.  That can was on 50 cents and my Jewish blood said get it you cheap bastard. Not pictured here is red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.  I forget to set them out as I prepped.

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Chop up a medium onion and man do I love these!

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Fresh basil  from the garden just waiting to make this sauce happy.

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1 lb of frozen turkey because I need to keep my nerdish ninja figure in check.  I added this after sautéing the onion for about 8 minutes.

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After the turkey is browned off, I added 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  I then cooked this off for about 3 minutes to work in the garlic and paste real good into the turkey.  I also added 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  I normally add a quarter cup of red wine to most of my sauces but unfortunately we are out of red wine.  If you find this too acidic, add a tablespoon of sugar as well.  I love vinegar.  It’s my southern genes.

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Here I have added the tomato sauce, Del Monte Meat sauce, 1 tablespoon of oregano, and the chopped basil.

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Here is the sauce after it has simmered for 30 minutes.

I then served this over some tortellini that I had purchased from Costco awhile back.  On the side was some frozen garlic bread that I baked in the oven and I forgot to cook my baked potatoes.  Sad panda.

Chicken Tacos

I think that one of my favorite things to eat are quite simply, tacos.  I love a street style taco and will almost always try a new taco truck or stand that I drive by.  My favorite has to be lengua tacos.  Most Americans don’t like this and my family fits into that group.  So tonight as a part of my goal to eat cheap this week, I made chicken tacos out of the leftover rotisserie chicken from last night.

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Start off by sautéing some onion.  Man do I love some onion.

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Chop up your leftover chicken or if you are using fresh just chop it up bite sized.

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My secret ingredient to chicken tacos is adobo chipotle peppers.  I have one left over from chili night so here it is, all chopped up ready for chicken taco glory.

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Now take your package of taco seasoning, add a cup of water, and your adobo chipotle chili.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.

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I like beans and these were on sale for 50 cents.  I will be able to keep the fleas out of the bed tonight!

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Once your chicken is done, assemble your tacos.  I like some cheddar cheese and sour cream with my chicken tacos.  I also garnish with some green onion.  If I had cilantro on hand, I would have used that.  Enjoy!
Chicken Tacos

1 lb of fresh chicken cut into bite sized pieces OR
Leftover rotisserie chicken
1 package of taco seasoning
1 adobo chipotle chili
1 medium onion chopped
tortillas or taco shells to serve in

Sour Cream, cheddar cheese, and green onion for garnish

 

 

Mexican Rotisserie Chicken

Who doesn’t love rotisserie chicken?  I could eat this every single week.  It’s cheap and I can almost always make a second meal out of this the next day.  Just what, that’s just what I did to this chicken but more on that later.

 

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This is the chicken after I rubbed it down and tied it up and place it in my magical Ronco rotisserie.  I just love to set it and forget it.  I made up an injection which I will post down below and then rubbed the outside with olive oil and used taco seasoning as my rub.

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This is starting to look good after 45 minutes in the rotisserie.

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My wife went to a scratch and dent store and picked up this dressing.  It calls for a can of chicken broth.  I figured this would be a good meal to serve it with. As it turns out, this is pretty damn tasty.

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Here is the chicken after an hour and a half in the rotisserie.  Let it rest for about ten minutes before you carve it.

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My meal for the night.  Rotisserie chicken, cranberry stuffing, peas, and broccoli rice.

Mexican Rotisserie Chicken

Remove innards and wash chicken then pat dry.
Inject with your favorite injection (mine is below)
Truss the chicken for your type of rotisserie
Rub the outside with olive oil and taco seasoning
Wait patiently for the magic to happen

Marc Is A Ninja Chicken Injection

Half a cup of butter
6 ounces of apple juice
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of Tobasco sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder

Melt the butter in a sauce pan but do not boil.  Add the remaining ingredients and heat just enough to dissolve the spices.  Let cool to room temperature and inject in your chicken or pork.