The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.

 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!

 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ollie's Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup

Yesterday I made chicken stock for use today in my old-fashioned chicken soup. Last night I separated the liquid stock from the meat and put everything in the fridge.

The nice thing about leaving the stock overnight in the refrigerator is that it separates fat from liquid. The fat rises to the top and is easy to skim off before you start your soup.

Most of the fat is skimmed off the top and the stock is ready to use.

Taking 2 large stalks of celery, I washed and chopped them into small pieces. It's a personal choice, you can cut the celery any size you like.

Next come the carrots. I like carrots so I used 2 - one medium and one large one. I'm fussy about how my carrots are cut so I cut them in the style you see here. You can cut them in rounds which is much easier and faster to do. It's your choice.

Onions are next. I used two. I like my onions chopped fairly small and in uniform pieces so the way I do it is to slice down the onion in one direction. I don't cut all the way to the bottom so the onion is still held together.
Next I turn the onion and slice down across the cuts I made previously. Again, I don't cut to the bottom so the onion is still held together.

Next I turn the onion on its side and slice across the first two directions I cut. This chops the onion into fairly uniform sizes. When I reach the bottom (which is still held together) I chop those on their own.
This is what I end up with. Fast, easy and creates fairly uniform size and shape pieces. Feel free to do your own thing!

Now I'm ready for the chicken I removed from the stock yesterday. I likely won't need it all. You can see in the picture how much there was. I will use about 1/2 to 3/4 of what you see here.

And here's the chupped chicken ready to go. When I'm chopping it up, I am careful to remove skin or fatty bits. Then I go through it with clean hands and make sure there are no bones left.

I toss everything into the crock pot and decide if I need more liquid. I might add apple juice or white wine plus as much water as I need to make the soup the consistency I prefer.

Other ingredients added at this time are 1 or 2 chicken cubes, 1 tsp fine herbes, and salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a finely chopped and mushed up tomato or two but today I did not have any so I added a tablespoon of ketchup for some tomato flavour. It's optional.

Here is my soup simmering in the crock pot. I'll set it on high and leave it for 6 hours, then I'll add 1/2 cup of rice or pasta and simmer for another 2 hours.

Serve it with hot buns or fresh bread and a salad and you've got a super nutritious and yummy meal. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making Chicken Stock with a Food Pod

This is my new Food Pod. I'm using it today for the first time as part of my Chicken Soup making routine.

First I roughly chopped carrots, celery and onion, then put them inside the Food Pod (in the ligher yellow part). I added a sprig of fresh thyme, then closed the pod (the darker yellow part with the long handle is the "lid")

The Food Pod can be placed in boiling water such as in a stew pot or chicken stock pot and left there while you make your dish.  That's what the long handle is for. You drape it over the edge of the top of the pot and put the lid on.

Apparently when my stock is done, I'll be able to remove the pod by it's handle and bingo, no messy vegetables to try to get out of the stock water.

Here's another picture I took of the Food Pod

The Pod sits beside my Crock Pot just before I put it in with the chicken carcass. I also put lots of salt, pepper, fine herbes and a bit of cumin in the pot with the chicken.

And here is the pod stuffed into my crock pot with the chicken carcass.  The Pod is supposed to hang nicely and float in the liquid but it was a bit squished and short of room here.

Next step - time to add the leftover vegetable water that I always save and keep in my freezer. I have several containers of vegetable water in the freezer and they all got added today.

After this mixture cooks on high for several hours and the meat has fallen off the chicken bones, I'll strain the liquid and have yummy stock for soup.

Then I'll let the meat and bones cool enough that I can strip all the meat and cut it into very small pieces. Using the stock plus a cup or two of the meat, and vegetables I'll make chicken soup - either with rice or beans or pasta. I'll write out the recipe for that in my next blog post

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rabbit Stew

My husband hunts for rabbit in the winter and I cook what he brings home. The main trick with rabbit is to marinade it for several days as it is a very dry meat. That's why it's low-cal!

Here is how we do rabbit:

In a large covered dish, mix 1 onion roughly chopped with 2 Tbsp of Pickling Spice, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 Tbsp. salt.  Add the rabbit which you have left whole or sectioned as you wish - I like to use whole legs, breast divided in two - basically fairly large chunks of meat on the bone. Cover with water. Cover the dish and put in the fridge for 3 days. Turn the rabbit daily. It will turn white so don't worry when you see this change.

After 3 days rinse the rabbit and brown it slightly in butter. Put the pieces in a casserole dish or a slow cooker. Add sliced or whole mushrooms (your choice, I prefer whole or halved), a chopped onion and 1 can of mushroom soup. I like to add a 1/2 cup of white wine. Add any spices you like - salt, pepper, some fine herbes - it's a personal taste thing with spices.

Cover the casserole dish for the first 30 minutes and bake at 350' for one hour (the last half hour is uncovered)

If you are using a slow cooker, cook it on high for 3 hours. I prefer the oven for this dish but try both and see which you like.

Instead of using the mushroom soup you can make your own gravy from the drippings in the fry pan after you browned the rabbit. My mother-in-law likes to roll the rabbit pieces in flour first and then brown them.

We like homemade thick crusty bread as a side dish with this stew but you could make dumplings or biscuits. I usually keep the vegetables pretty simple with this dish - plain carrots (steamed or boiled) are nice with the stew.