Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Cooler temperatures calls for ‘winter food’

I grew up in the small town of Dickinson, Texas located between Houston and Galveston, attended Nursing School at the University of Texas, Galveston, moved back to Dickinson for a brief period, and eventually settled in the Golden Triangle of Texas.

The Golden Triangle is the areas in and around Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, Texas. The town of Bridge City is part of the Golden Triangle.

In the fall of 2008, “Hurricane Ike” caused massive flooding in Bridge City. Besides ruining our home and its contents, we lost family heirlooms, books, valuable papers and pictures which can never be replaced.

Following the storm, friends, Mitchell and Sunny Chesson, were kind enough to allow us to live in their lovely home until we made the decision to relocate instead of rebuild.  Although these and dear, lifelong friends are greatly missed, we feel blessed to have settled in the beautiful, friendly (now our) hometown of Minden, Louisiana.


Having lived close to the Gulf Coast most of my life, I had never experienced the seasonal weather changes as in the ArkLaTex.

I enjoy the lovely autumn colors, the frosty winters with sporadic snow storms, the lovely awakening of spring and then the sweltering summer. 

We all have suffered from the record breaking temperatures and drought this 2011 summer.  When it rained in the Gulf Coastal areas, we could expect the rain to stay all day and night. 

Here it seems when it does rain, it only lasts a brief time and then moves on. I guess that is what is known as “scattered showers.” I am sure you were as elated as we were for the recent greatly needed rain (PTL).

Following the welcomed rain along with dropping temperatures, looking out the window of our patio home it looked like winter. 

That helped me decide to cook this stew that I usually prepare during the chill of winter.

I have three recipes for Cowboy Stew and they are all tasty but #2 is the one I am sharing with you this week. It is my favorite and a KEEPER.

COWBOY STEW II

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One-half lb. lean ground beef
One-half chopped onion
2 green onions, chopped
One-fourth cup chopped bell pepper
One-half tsp. minced garlic in oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. chili powder
One-fourth tsp. sugar
1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes (I used fresh frozen
summer tomatoes, processed in blender)
1 (10 oz.) can tomato soup
1 (14 3/4 oz.) can whole corn
1 (15 oz.) can Ranch Style beans
6 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
One-half or 1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel tomatoes (optional)
Depends on how spicy you want or not at all.
3 cups water or enough to prevent scorching

In a 5 or 6 qt. Dutch oven or heavy cooker with lid, heat oil. Then add ground beef until lightly brown. 

Add onions, bell pepper and garlic; sauté until vegetables are soft. Add salt & pepper, chili powder and sugar, stir. 

Add tomatoes, soup, corn, beans, cubed potatoes and water. Stir all together and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently to keep from scorching. Simmer about 30 to 40 minutes or longer.

You may need to add hot water as it cooks down. Even better the next day.

 

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