A Never Ending Meal

You may find this post to be lacking in quality pictures - indeed it's not up to my usual standard. But I just love meals like this that seamlessly flow into one another creating one more delicious dish after another. This one is a good story, and I did get a few pictures, so I couldn't resist.

It started off with me coming home from work on a Friday night in August, tired, and not really wanting to cook. I'd caught a summer cold which I was mostly over, but I was still pretty low on energy. I pulled myself together, deciding that I could come up with something simple. This eggplant from the back yard garden and cherry pepper from the Main Street garden seemed like a good place to start. Since I was eating alone, I decided to just make something up - if it flopped, I was the only one who would have to eat it.

I chopped up the eggplant and the pepper along with some red potatoes freshly dug from our plot at Quann Garden. We've dug all the potatoes now, yielding somewhere around 20 or 30 pounds total. I sauteed all this in olive oil.

Now's when things get interesting. I pulled this leftover soup out of the fridge and added it to the veggies, making a kind of stew. This soup was delicious, and the product of many other delicious meals. I had made it a few days before when I was really feeling sick - sick enough to want chicken soup in August..... it consisted of chicken broth from a chicken we had cooked in Dave's new smoker a few weeks before, tomatoes and hot peppers from the garden, plus pesto from the garden that we made for another meal, plus some "white trash BBQ sauce" that I had made from a recipe of Dave's for yet another grilling adventure we had earlier in the week.

The BBQ sauce recipe comes from a book he got for his birthday, King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ, by Ted Reader. It's food porn at it's best - lots of crazy BBQ recipes, most of which involve wrapping something in bacon or other such deliciously decadent additions. Anyway, Dave went all out and made a recipe called "Beer-Can Chicken With My Soon To Be Famous White Trash BBQ Sauce" along with cheesy grilled mashed potatoes and a kale salad (I insisted on the kale, cause' a meal like that simply needs something green to balance it out!) Anyway, I made the White Trash BBQ Sauce, mostly following the recipe, or at least adding the right ingredients but in my own proportions. It included: ranch dressing, mayo, whipping cream, lemon juice, fresh herbs from the garden, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Did I mention it was a rich? There was quite a bit of it left over, along with basil pesto from another meal, so we mixed to two to create a dipping sauce for yet a third meal - a sauce that ended up being even more delicious than either of the delicious sauces that went into them. The leftover dipping sauce went into the soup..... it was just too got not to use up!

Here's the end product - an easy stew for a Friday night. I realised when it was done that almost everything in here is grown in my own garden. It's the culmination of at least 4 other meals.....I needn't have worried about it flopping - with such good ingredients, it's really hard to go wrong.

August Garden Stew
This is one of those recipes that totally depended on the meals leading up to it. I'll try to approximate it as best I can in a real recipe.

Chicken Broth
Fresh Tomatoes
Hot Peppers
Basil Pesto (hopefully homemade)
White Trash BBQ Sauce (see ingredients listed below)

Heat the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and cook for about a half hour, until they are tender. Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in olive oil, adding potatoes to the pan first, then when they are starting to get tender, add the eggplant, and then the peppers. When the veggies are almost cooked, add them to the broth. Add the pesto and BBQ sauce to taste.

White Trash BBQ Sauce
From 'King of the Q's Blue Plate BBQ' by Ted Reader. I suggest adding everything in amounts to taste. You'll never use all of this in the stew above, but it's a good sauce for almost anything, so I guarantee you'll use it up!

1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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