Time to Hit the Grill

pork kabobsIt’s that time of year that I like to try cook EVERYTHING on the BBQ. But I still try to plan ahead with these meals too. As most of my meat I buy in bulk, I like to separate the meat into serving size portions for the family (ie. family of 4, 4 chicken breasts to a ziplock bag) and add these super tasty marinades) to the bag.

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Perogie Soup

perogie soup copy
Ingredients
3 lbs. approx russet potatoes
3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb sliced bacon cooked and crumbled
4 cups milk (2% or skim)
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 can [14.5 oz] chicken broth
1 8 oz light sour cream
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
6 chopped green onions + extra for garnish
5 Tbsp butter
2 minced shallots/red onion [about 1/3 cup]
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground mustard
1+1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

This is a great recipe to reach for if you have tons of left over baked potatos. Or if you’re planning on making potoatos for supper any how, make a few extra. If you don’t have potatos already made, lets start from the beginning.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes, and remove any blemishes. Leave the skins on. Pierce with a fork, then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 1-1 1/2 hours until fork tender. Remove from the oven to cool down.

In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve 2 tbsps of bacon grease and discard the rest. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside for later. Add the 2 tablespoons of bacon grease back into the pot and cook the 2 finely minced shallots until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Make sure you don`t over cook. Add the green onions and cook until tender. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.

Assuming your pototos have had a chance to peel, cut each potato in half and scoop out the potato with a spoon. You can also chop up the pototo and add the skin into the soup as well, but I prefer a creamier soup. Take this opportunity to mash or stir your potato to the consistency you like. I used a potato masher to break down my potato. Add your can of broth. Remove from stove while you prepare the sauce for the soup.

Now in a medium stove top pot, melt the 5 tablespoons of butter then add 1/2 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard and black pepper to taste. Stir with a whisk until flour becomes a paste and slightly cook the flour.
Gradually whisk in the 4 cups of milk. Make sure you completely incorporate the flour mix into the milk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the flour has cooked. The sauce will appear thick.

Add 1 1/2 cups of low fat half & half and 3 cups of shredded cheese. Feel free to keep a bit out of the recipe to top the soup with later. Stir until the cheese has completely melted.

Add the sauce mixture into the potatos and place back on the heat. Add in the cooked bacon. (Reserve some if you wish to garnish with later) Bring the mixture up to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes. You can adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more chicken broth or milk. Also adjust for taste, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
Once soup is completely heated through, serve in a bowl and garnish with any of the following: chopped green onions, shredded cheese or bacon.