Broccoli Smoked Catfish Cheese Soup

I used one of the broccoli crowns tonight. I was thinking broccoli cheese soup from the start, but still hadn’t used the smoked catfish I made last week in the Flower Pot Smoker. Why not combine them?

Broccoli Smoked Catfish Cheese Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup flax meal
2 cups broth
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup shredded carrots
1 broccoli crown, grated
2 smoked catfish filets, chopped
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Heat the butter and coconut oil in a cast iron Dutch oven. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden. Add the flax meal and cook. Add the broth and milk. Add the carrots and broccoli. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add in the catfish, when it has heated through stir in the shredded cheese. When the cheese has melted, serve.

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Sausage again…

I made another batch of the Chipotle Cumin Turkey Sausage, this time using freshly roasted whole cumin seeds. I liked it even better. Still haven’t gone the home ground turkey thighs route, I bought some free-range organic ground turkey from US Wellness Meats so I used some of that. This one is definitely a keeper. We had it with the zucchini from the box, sliced into rounds and roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. It browned up enough to remind me of the way my mom used to do it, dredged in flour and then pan fried, salt and pepper when it came out of the oil. It was delicious but it is nice to not have the flour element and still get (pretty much) the same flavor.

Honorary box ingredient?

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Since I made the flower pot smoker in order to process a box item (jalapeños), can I brag on other things that it does? Pictured here are some catfish filets that I smoked yesterday. They came out so pretty I had to share. They will be used in a fish chowder along with the zucchini from the box. I should have saved the leek for that, but I already used it in a beef stew last night.

Used the FPS again….

Last night I came home from work a little early. Since dinner was going to be salmon, I thought there would be plenty of time to do it on the smoker. So I fired it up, salted and peppered the salmon portions and into the FPS (Flower Pot Smoker) they went. It was 7 before I went to retrieve them (3 hours at about 200 degrees), and they probably could have come off sooner, but they were still moist and very flavorful. A salad from the box (baby lettuce mix, cucumber, and grape tomatoes) and dinner was served. Only down side is the skin was nothing to write home about (when I pan fry them, the skin comes out nice and crispy). Kind of rubbery, not yummy at all.

Had to use a Chipotle right away….

A pound of ground turkey that was supposed to be a Greek meatloaf got re-purposed after I saw how awesome my chipotles looked. Had to use one right away (you know, to make sure they were really good and hadn’t morphed into something nasty on the grill. Uh-huh). So I did a riff on my Mom’s Italian Sausage recipe, using the turkey instead of pork, crushed chipotle instead of crushed red pepper, and roasted cumin instead of fennel seeds. Ratios stayed the same (although I didn’t measure the chipotle, just used one whole pepper, stem removed. It looked about right, maybe a tad more than a teaspoon). I have to say it was nothing short of amazing. We will be having this sausage again (very soon).

Chipotle Cumin Turkey Sausage

1 lb. ground turkey (I used store-ground this time, the 85/15 one, but I think I’ll get thighs and grind it at home with a coarse die from now on. It would have benefited from the extra texture (and I would have had bones for making stock with))

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. crushed chipotle pepper (or thereabouts, this is the most flexible of the measurements, more pepper, more heat, less pepper less heat, do what you like)

1 1/4 tsp. ground roasted cumin (I wanted to use whole cumin seeds but I didn’t have any. Amount is the same for seeds as ground. I will probably procure some whole cumin for the next batch)

I mixed the spices together with a little hot water to dissolve the salt and rehydrate the pepper a bit before adding it to the ground meat. Mixed it all together and let it sit in the refrigerator a few hours until dinner. Just made patties and cooked them in a little coconut oil (even 85/15 turkey is a little too lean). Very good.

We paired it with the green beans from the box, roasted in the oven with a little green mole spice on them, and some guacamole. Ole!

The ratio above makes it possible to mix up the spices in bulk and use the mix at a rate of one tablespoon per pound of meat. I do that with the Italian sausage spices all the time and even use it at the same rate to crust pork chops with. Italian sausage flavor without all the grinding and stuffing.

15 and a half hours later…All done!

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That went well. The Tabasco peppers stayed on the branch, but still dried all the way through. They all look and feel perfect, dried to the brittle stage. Can’t wait to use them! The smoker held a steady 180 degrees through the night. As you can see, the chunk of pecan didn’t have any trouble making it through the night, although the visible smoke did slack off after a while (still had plenty of scent though).

Peppers in the smoker…

Got the smoker temperature control lined out. Bought a 1000w dimmer and installed into the extension cord. The slider seems to be perfect for holding the temp where I need it to be. Put the peppers on when the smoke started going good, holding the temp on the low side because I’m more interested in drying the peppers than cooking them. Keeping it around 170 degrees. Added a few extra peppers from the garden. The green ones are from the box.

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