9:24 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves
Steak and Tomato Soup
(An Aaron Lazar special)
1 large Vidalia onion
One pound Portabella Mushrooms
2-3 large Chard leaves or similar greens
Japanese radish (Daikon or mild rutabaga would work)
Handful of fresh sugar snap or snow peas
Beef stock - either use 4 large cans of good stock or enough powder to flavor the broth
1-2 pounds of steak
1/2 cup Barley
1 lb. hard Tofu
1 pkg. fresh bean sprouts
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped Cilantro
3 cups Tomato based product such as frozen tomatoes, pureed, spaghetti sauce, salsa, etc. (A little ketchup adds a zesty flavor!)
Seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, Thai fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, salt, red hot pepper to taste
Saute one large thinly sliced Vidalia onion, one pound thinly sliced Portabella mushrooms, and a few cloves of garlic, chopped in olive oil. Add freshly ripped greens from two or three large leaves. (I used chard from the garden). Chop 1/2 fresh Daikon radish into cubes, add to fry pan (from garden). Add several handfuls of fresh snow peas, ends cut off but peas left whole. Start heating stock pot using good quality beef stock. I used four large boxes of liquid stock to fill the stock pot about 3/4 full. When onions are translucent, transfer all ingredients to stock broth. Cut 1-2 pounds sirloin steak into cubes. Saute in same fry pan, add just a little more olive oil if needed. Brown steak in batches and add to stock pot. Add 1/2 cup barley. Chop one pound hard Tofu into 1/2" - 1" pieces. Add to pot. Add one package fresh bean sprouts to stock pot. Add two - three tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro to stock pot (from garden). For seasonings I added the following: Garlic powder, onion powder, Thai fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, salt, red hot pepper to taste. Add at least three cups tomato base product such as tomato sauce, plum tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc. (even ketchup would work! I also cut up four ripe tomatoes into chunks and added them to the soup). Adjust ingredients for flavor and cook until barley is soft. This soup tastes best the next day after flavors have melded.
Essentially Yours - A Tall Pine Mystery - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds, A Book and A Dish
**Hurrying up the cement path, I climbed the stairs to the front door that lead to her kitchen and knocked on the glass, "Callie! Are you in there?" An answering whine came from Beau, who jumped up and scratched at the glass from the inside. I knocked again, tried the door and found it locked. Running around the back side of the house near the road I hammered on the door. "Callie!" In the distance, I heard some shouting down the road, but my tunnel vision didn't allow it to penetrate. Anyway, I figured it was neighbors arguing with each other over something stupid like a property line. I bent down to get her door key out of the ceramic turtle that lived under her shrubs, and opened the door.**
**I sank onto the bed and sighed. Callie never went out, so what happened to her? Had Willow called the copy again when she spied her sister on her way back in the pontoon boat? Had they come and picked her up and dragged her off to jail? Shutting Beau securely inside, I stomped toward her house. A siren screamed in the distance, growing louder with each step. A cop car screeched to a stop beside the ambulance. And a coroner's van rolled up behind them both. Oh my God. Willow killed Callie. She finally did it.**
Marcie, Callie and Sky, Callie's brother, have been friends since childhood. Whee you saw one you saw the other two. Marcie and Sky actually became more than friends. They became lovers. But this all ended when Marcie decided to pursue her singing career and Sky joined the military. Then Sky came up missing and assumed dead. Marcie and Callie continued to be best friends even after Marcie married Quinn. And when Callie received a strange package that was supposed to have come from Sky, even with her agoraphobia, Marcie was the first person she ran to.
Callie's sister Willow had always shown resentment toward Callie so when she saw her leave on the pontoon she knew she was without license so calling the police was the perfect thing for her to do. And now the police are at Willow's home and Marcie just knows that Willow finally lost it completely and killed Callie.
I really enjoyed traveling with Marcie and Quinn as they searched the Adirondacks trying to find their friends as well as the truth about Sky. Could he really be alive after all these years? The package sent to Callie contained bottles of oils. Some of which, due to his native American heritage, Quinn recognized as being great healers. But what is the connection? This book kept me on the edge from page 1. But why are the drug companies trying to stop the research behind the oils?
Is this a believable story? Very possibly so. For years I've believed there are cures for certain ailments but if released it would put a crimp on the drug companies. This story brings that possibility to life. And the oils have fascinated me enough to make me want to learn more.
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