Posts Tagged ‘Ham hock’

Someone once told me this story.

Once upon a time, a traveller entered a small village that was experiencing tough times. As he strolled through, he heard doors and shutters closing and locked. He stopped at one of the few doors still opened and asked if he could borrow a soup pot. The lady of the house reluctantly loaned him her most dented pot.

He went to the common well and filled the post with water, in the pot, he place a well-worn nail, and waited. After a bit, a villager came out and asked him what he was cooking. The traveller answered nail soup. The villager took pity on the traveller and bought out a scrawny carrot. The traveller gratefully accepted the carrot and invited the villager to share in his nail soup when it was done.

Soon, many of the villagers brought out what little scraps they could spare, the traveller accepted these gifts and the threw them all into the pot.

After a bit, the soup was done and the traveller invited all the village to share his nail soup.

Turns out, the stone soup was the best the villagers ate in a while. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Okay, not really relevant to these dishes, just sort of.

The Cat’s mother will sometimes give us vegetables she can’t use (either excess from neighbors or stuff she doesn’t care for). Making dishes from these parts can be challenging. But using my philosophy of throw everything together and hope for the best usually works. 🙂

Split peas, potato, and an onion. Added a section of ham hock and some frozen okra …

Ham Hock

Ham Hock

Ta dah!

Nail Soup, Mouse Version

Nail Soup, Mouse Version

Turns out, if onions are cooked very very very soft, The Cat can eat. Not to mention the onions were “de-weaponized”. Hee hee. 🙂

Mouse's Salad

Mouse’s Salad

The other half of the onion was sliced thinly and became the base of a sardine salad with sliced black olives and sun-dried tomatoes for The Mouse’s lunch.

Enjoy. Eat well.

The Mouse

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Ham Hock Stew

Back in December 2010, I had some ham hock stew from a take-out (see 22 December 2010 post). The “stew” was ham hocks in tomato sauce. I little too much meat for my tastes. I threw about half of the ham hock in the freezer to experiment on my own ham hock stew.

Last night, I put my own spin on the stew. I first simmered rehydrated soy beans for several hours, added a can of cooked dry peas (found in Asian markets, posted previously), and simmered a bit more. Then added celery seeds, chili powder, diced onions, carrots, and a can of diced tomatoes. I added the ham hock last, since it was already cooked. Salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar to taste. Simmered to blend the flavors and voila, my version of ham hock stew.

Ham Hock Stew, Mouse Version

Unlike the original, the stew is mostly vegetables. The ham hock is used mostly for flavor.

The Cat ate it with rice (and got to suck the bone for the marrow), I ate it with whole wheat bread. Both the rice and bread soaked up the soup/sauce well. A definite keeper. Maybe next time I’ll add either celery or head cabbage, or both.

BTW, I’m sending this post over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday feature.


The Mouse

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