A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Month: March 2021

Velvety Potato Leek Soup

What a tantalizing soup to serve with salad and a sandwich or just a crusty piece of bread!!!  Make it lunch or dinner….just MAKE it!   Blend the sweet delicate flavor of leeks with potatoes to create this creamy soup.  Velvety potato leek soup will quickly become a family favorite!

Have you cooked with leeks before?  They are a member of the onion family and look like a very large green onion.  Leeks add a mild yet sweet flavor to any dish.  You will, however, need to take time to clean them as dirt and grit get caught in the layers easily.  It is best to clean them by cutting off the end and then slice in half length-wise from root to top.  Pull the layers of the onions apart and run each under the water to clean thoroughly.

Velvety Potato Leek Soup Ingredients ~

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 2 Medium Leeks (sliced)
  • 1 Medium Onion (diced)
  • 3 Green Onions (diced)
  • 5 Russet Potatoes (peeled & sliced or cubed)
  • 32 Ounce Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions ~

Melt stick of butter in stock pan. Add sliced leeks, green onions, garlic and onion to pan.  Saute over medium heat until vegetables are translucent (be careful not to brown).

Add potatoes, thyme and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are softened (about 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of potatoes).

Using a food processor or immersion blender, blend about 3/4 of the soup until it is pureed.  *You can puree the whole batch, but I prefer to leave a small portion of it a bit chunky.  If you are using a food processor, ladel portions at a time to the processor depending upon the size of your processor bowl.

Return puree to pot and add heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over low heat until heated through.

Garnishments ~

  • crumbled bacon, bacon and more bacon!!!
  • shredded gruyere, parmesan or cheese of your choice
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • chives
  • cracked black pepper

Notes ~

You can omit the heavy cream or substitute half and half for a more low-fat version of velvety potato leek soup.  The soup will still have a creamy texture to it as the pureeing process creates a creamy a nice cream consistency.

Slice or dice the potatoes to your preference.  Whichever method you choose, you will not want them to be real thick or it will take longer for the potatoes to soften while cooking.  The picture belows shows slices, but I actually prefer dicing the potatoes.  Small chunks of potatoes give a nice texture for that 1/4 of the soup I do not puree.

Don’t let the idea of pureeing turn you away.  This soup is super easy to make and is well worth that extra step.  I love my Ninja.  Get your Ninja Mega Kitchen System Here!

  • Includes: 1500-Watt Motor Base, 72-Oz. Total Crushing Pitcher, 8 Cup Food Processor Bowl, Dough Blade, (2) 16-Oz. Nutri Ninja Cups with To-Go-Lids

As mentioned earlier, you can also use an immersion blender instead.  Check out the immersion hand blender here!

  • Hand-held immersion blender for mixing soups, sauces, smoothies, and more

Both of these gadgets have numerous benefits, you only need to decide which one works best for you!  In fact, maybe you already have one of these.  MAYBE, you have it tucked away and haven’t used it in a while.  Do me a favor, get it out and use it for this amazing recipe!

Serve this luscious soup with a leafy green salad or a side of pasta salad.  Add  some crusty bread that is great for dipping for a hearty and cozy dinner.  What’s even better is that this fun idea is coming to you right before St. Patrick’s Day.  Afterall, it is also called Irish Potato Leek soup!  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking ~

Mimi (Shelly)

 

 

Pulled Pork Table Nachos

Do you want to WOW your guests?  This recipe is just the ticket for you!  Eli got creative in the kitchen using leftover smoked pork.  The end result was this fun dish of pulled pork table nachos that were simply out of this world!

What are table nachos?  Spread foil across the kitchen island or table and start creating.   See for yourself…

The chef at work building delicious pulled pork bbq table nachos!

Smoked Pork Shoulder/Butt ~

The first step to this awesome recipe is the smoked pork shoulder/butt.  Pappy smoked this the day before and we used the leftovers for the nachos.

Ingredients:

  • 12 to 15 pound pork shoulder butt
  • Tony Cachere’s creole seasoning
  • Stick of butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Melt butter and mix with 2 tablespoons creole seasoning.
  • Inject butter mixture all over the pork shoulder/butt.
  • Let marinate several hours or overnight.
  • Cut diagonal lines through the fat cap on top of pork shoulder/butt.  Next, season liberally with salt, pepper and more creole seasoning, being sure to get seasoning down in the cuts.

  • Smoke at 275 degrees until internal temperature of 195 degrees (about 12-14 hours) if your pork is 12 to 15 pounds.  Mix cherry and apple wood chips for a subtle fruit taste.
  • Remove meat from grill with about 2 hours left to cook and wrap entirely in foil.
  • When meat has reached desired doneness, remove foil and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before shredding.

Now Back to the Pulled Pork Table Nachos ~

Directions & Tips:

You can, of course, make these delicious nachos without having made your own smoked pork shoulder/butt on the grill.   Other options of shredded pork is purchasing already prepared pork or you can also make your own in the oven or crock pot.   Substituting chicken or beef on your nachos would be great as well!

  1.  Spread foil across the table or kitchen island…covering a large area.
  2. Layer the chips across the foil.  ***Pro Tip***- Eli used several types of chips which added a fun variation of flavors.  You can be creative and use your family favorites, but I do think a variation is key.  The chips we used were:

(I have included the link above for you to check them out, but if you have an off-price retailer near you such as Marshall’s, you  can find them there for much cheaper!)

  • Corn tortilla chips of your choice
  • Fritos Scoops

3.  Top the chips with the pulled pork.  Be sure to layer this heavily over the entirety of the chip spread.

4.  Squirt the desired amount of barbecue sauce over the pulled pork.  One of our family favorites is Sweet Ray’s, but obviously you can use your favorite brand.

 

5.  Layer 1 can each of black beans and whole kernel corn.

6.  Top with melted cheese.   We love to make our own nacho cheese sauce with Veleeta, Rotel and diced green chiles.  It’s a crowd pleasing dip that you can cook over the stove or make in a crockpot.  ***See that recipe below.

7.  Finalize your nachos with garnishments for everyone to choose as they desire.  You can put in small bowls placed around the chips or layer directly on the foil around the nachos.  Garnishment ideas:

  • jalapeno peppers
  • tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • avocado slices
  • diced onions
  • black olives

Ring the dinner bell and let everyone graze!

Ingredients for Nacho Cheese Sauce ~

  • One 32-ounce package Original,  Mexican, or Quesos Blanco Velveeta Cheese

Velveeta Original Cheese

Velveeta Mexican Cheese

Velveeta Queso Blanco Cheese

  • Two 10-ounce cans of Rotel or One 14.5-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • One 4-ounce can green chiles

Cook over low heat while stirring often or add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low until melted.

Serving Options ~

It is always so much more fun to add festive tableware to any gathering.  I recently discovered Antique Farm House.  Their products are BEAUTIFUL!  I am loving these ideas…

Loving these stoneware pattern plates by Antique Farm House!

Mixing and matching the sizes and designs would be fun and festive!

 

Separate your condiment choices in this beautiful sectioned ceramic bowl by Antique Farm House

Use 2 or 3 long wood cutting boards from Antique Farm House to display your condiments and sauces!

While having great recipes is always key to any gathering, the finishing touches bring it all together for a memorable night.  Whether you are planning ahead for Cinco De Mayo or just doing Taco Tuesday, be sure to add these pulled pork table nachos to your next entertaining night!

Come back and tell me how your’s turned out!

Mimi (Shelly)

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