Thursday, January 12, 2012

Turbo Cooking: Hamburger Stack Casserole, Split Pea Soup with Potatoes

My little girls were very tired this morning, and so I had a reprieve while they took a morning nap.  It allowed me to get soup on in the crockpot for supper, and and got a  roaster full of casserole in the oven to slow cook for lunch. 
Turbo cooking is putting together several dishes at the same time.  It is multitasking at it's finest in the kitchen.  I got all the dishes done, made oatmeal for tomorrows breakfast, and got lunch and dinner ready. 
I personally don't eat oatmeal, but my little kids, and my son Joel really like it.  I can go ahead and cook the old fashioned, or Scottish oats and put them in a container to cool and store for tomorrow.  When I go to make breakfast tomorrow, I'll peel and chop an apple, and add some dried fruit:  cherries, prunes, apricots or raisins.  I'll saute them in a little butter, and add milk or water just to cover to stew them.  I'll add a spoon of sugar and some cinnamon to the stewed fruit, and bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat to simmer.  When it looks like the fruit is tender, I'll add in the cooked oatmeal.  It gets topped with a pat of butter, and another sprinkle of sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup.  This is very filling and much tastier than those little packets of mush.
While I am waiting for the water to boil to make oatmeal, I can put together lunch and dinner.  The ingredients are similar, so I save time doing it all at once. 
I am also washing dishes as I go along, so that they are all done when I finish making meals! 
Split Pea with Potato Soup

1 pkg dried split green peas that have been washed and picked through for stones
1 onion chopped
3 carrots peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery
4 potatoes peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves diced
1 quart water
1 T ham soup base
1 T chicken and tomato soup base
1/2 tsp thyme
1 quart/box beef stock

Place all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Right before serving, blend a couple cups of the soup in a blender or food processor.  Add this back to the soup to thicken it.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste at this time.  Soup base, especially ham is very salty, so you don't want to add salt at the beginning of cooking. 

Hamburger Stack Casserole

1 onion sliced in 1/4 inch slices
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 carrots peeled and sliced
6 frozen hamburger patties
1 quart/box of chicken stock
2 C water
3 T cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh bay leaves
sprig of fresh rosemary

Grease casserole pan with butter, and add each vegetable in layers.  Tuck the herbs down in the pan, and top with chicken stock and water with cornstarch.  Salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid, and bake at 325*F for two and a half hours, or until potatoes test done.  Serve hamburgers open faced on a piece of garlic toast, with vegetables on the side, and gravy over the top.

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