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Discover Downtown OKC dinner: Cheeze biscuits,savory healthful veg stew

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Change of season goodness for simple supper before the holiday. Stepping away from winter foods and on to spring, this stew uses tasty healthful combination of vegetables from world cuisines. Oklahoma City's Super Cao Nguyen and Buy For Less supermarkets often have all the ingredients cooks need for such. Discover these downtown OKC shopping gems and this downtown OKC dinner.

Biscuit recipe here: http://www.examiner.com/article/downtown-examiner-diana-s-winter-cheeze-...

For Savory Healthful Vegetable Stew

ONE 4 quart crock pot which is started the night before one plans to serve, if using the crockpot.

INGREDIENTS for BEEF STOCK

+++++ COOKS who wish to use a veg broth, can probably begin with one they have which is mild in flavor , or buy prepared.

1 small package of beef bones (these should be 3-6 in a pack, probably sliced shank bones, runs under 3$). These need to be rinsed to remove any fragments of bone, or debris. Pat dry with a paper towel and place either in the crockpot or on a baking sheet.

IF in the crock pot set the bones in the pot, as many as will fit. Add 1 cup of water and lightly salt and cook over night.

IF in the oven, wash and dry as above, and bake in covered casserole or cover with foil on a baking sheet, lightly salt and cook at very low heat over night ( 250 or so).

Remove from the cooking element, and then remove the marrow, and return it to the pot. Some people will reuse these bones for another stock another day. Since the crockpot only holds so much food, these bones will get another chance to serve.

So, in the crockpot now should be, about 1.5 c liquid or so.

Add the following to the beef stock

3 heaping Tablespoons of Herbes de Provence

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 small onion. (purple is showy) diced

2c washed and chopped baby bok choy, kale, or turnip greens ( springy greens that take awhile to cook)

1 c chopped carrot

1 c sliced radish, unpeeled

1 tarro root, peeled and sliced into shoestrings ( this is a little like a potato)

1/2 green plantain peeled and sliced and cut into wedges ( this looks like a banana but not)

1/2 jicama peeled and diced ( this looks like a turnip, but is very mild flavored)

1/2 sweet potato, peeled or not, diced.

Vary above shapes to make soup interesting.

Cover with fresh water, about 1./2" below the inner lip should work.

The soup will look lumpy, from the marrow, it is fine.

This can take anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours to cook, dependent upon how high the pot is on. Veg should be al dente.

This writer never turns OFF the pot, when bones extracted, and this keeps the heat while all other ingredients are added, so a little faster than cold pot.

(Consider if you want or need to skim the top of this soup for excess grease prior to ... do this with a spoon, or use a piece of bread across the top of the soup, and repeat once or twice with fresh bread.... it depends on if you intend to discard this fat, or use for something else HOW you do this, or IF you care to do it at all.. also some people will pour water into the stock at the very beginning, turn off the pot and let the fat congeal, and remove it that way. )

Adding 2-3 cups of fresh chopped spinach to make a POW green statement in this dark and lovely soup.

Serve with cheeze biscuits or crusty french bread or whole wheat pita. Matzo crackers would work and they are plentiful this time of year.

Both the biscuits and stew freeze well.

Freezing in 2c portions of soup allows this soup to be eaten at desired intervals as is, OR to trick it out as below. This soup is has a good bit of body due to the marrow and breakdown of the starches, which makes for a delightful soup, unlike any canned, and with less single texture than a puree.

Not much for the same dish twice, these options mix up and stretch that dollar in goodness.

SOUP REVISITED #2 Cabbage as the guest here

Bring the soup base to room temperature in the crockpot. Add 2 c water. Add 1 Tbsp onion, 1 c baby carrots whole, 1 c shredded cabbage, green or purple. 2 roughly chopped Roma Tomatoes. Definitely add 3 Tbsp pickled ginger vinegar and 1 Tbsp chopped pickled vinegar. 1 Tbsp Tamari. Begin at 8a on high and this should be ready by 12. Sour cream or cream fraiche with ground almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds for garnish.

Serve with apple slices,pita wedges or bagel chips with Tahini and lemon drizzled across them. Hummus and babaganoush if you have it work great too. Drop in a couple of olives and Middle Eastern gherkin dills and there's the feast.

SOUP Revisited #3 Mock Shepherd Pie

2c soup base at room temperature. Add 2 c water. This time in a saucepan on the stove. Bring this to a rolling boil. If you have leftover cooked beef or pork, this could be added at this stage. Steak, roast or such would work fine, as would 1 c chopped peppers and onions. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take a pouch of instant potatoes and mix with less milk than the package calls for. This writer used half a pouch, and eyeballed the milk. (This writer used #Idahoan Loaded Bake Potatoes, a 4 ounce bag and if one has real mashed potato that would be fine if not better)

So, mix the potatoes until just pulled together by the liquid. Let set for about 5 minutes or longer. This writer made the potatoes into dumplings, by rolling about a tablespoon of potato in damp hands. This probably makes about 10 potato dumplings. It is possible to just drop by teaspoonfuls..... into the liquid when boiling. Let the potato dumplings sit in the air, to 'dry" while the liquid working to a boil.

Once the liquid hits a rolling boil, reduce the heat to simmer and drop the dumplings in. Cover with a lid. The dumplings will take about 10 or 20 minutes to cook.
Serve hot, with a green salad or fresh pineapple, banana and strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing.

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