Tag Archives: Onion

Hardcore Hobbit: Sandson’s Famous Hardboiled Eggs

I’ve been waiting so long to do this one. When I first glanced at the recipe in LOTRO I knew exactly what I had to do for these eggs. I’ve been waiting for that perfect time of year to do this. In the game these eggs are made with eggs and onions. They are described as “what seem to be normal hardboiled eggs are really Farmer Sandson’s famous recipe!”. How do you make hardboiled eggs with onions, you may ask. Simple! We’ve been doing it in my family for years! Start saving your yellow onions skins! I think this method makes them taste better than your average hardboiled egg but then it could just be because they are pretty.

  • 4 white large eggs
  • 1-2 cups of dry yellow onion skins
  • COLD water
  1. Place the eggs in a medium saucepan. Fill with enough cold water to cover with an inch of water from the top of the highest egg.
  2. Add the onion skins to the pot covering the eggs.
  3. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil reduce the heat to medium and allow to cook for 10 minutes. The water will get beautiful and dark, that’s perfect.
  4. Remove from heat and immediately place the eggs into icy water to chill. This keeps those egg yolks pretty and yellow, instead of greenish. Chill for atleast 5 minutes. Longer is perfectly ok.
  5. Remove from the icy water, rub dry with a towel and serve! Or keep in the fridge with the shells on for up to a week.

Note: all the info I found for just one egg seems to vary. Check the package on your brand. For general info here is what I had: each egg contains 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 carbs, 0 fibre, and 7 grams of protein. Also, I am not declaring for any particular sports team over there. I had them on hand and I live in Victoria, BC…I gotta put the Vancouver team up there lest I possibly face some sort of lynch mob or something. Hope you have as much fun making these as I do!

BTW you can totally make more than four with the amount of dye those egg skins will give you. Just cool and start again.

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Hardcore Hobbit: Chicken Carrot Soup

So, here we are, all drenched from those april showers. It is still so cold out there! Must comfort our little hobbit selves with a bit of soup I say. In LOTRO chicken carrot soup is made from carrots, green onion, and chicken stock. To do something different with the soup I added some matzo or matza balls to it instead of noodles, rice, etc. All I did was use a mix and drop them in during the last 20 minutes of cooking. So delicious. If you havent’ tried matzo balls before you should really give them atleast one chance. They are delicious and filling! My husband has been asking when I plan to cook with them again. One day I will definitely have to make some of my own, for now I trust the mix. Another fun addition was the use of “carrot noodles” they make it so the carrot flavour is everywhere in the soup but more fun texture wise.

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 6 cups hardcore hobbit chicken stock
  • 150 grams shredded cooked chicken (may already be in your stock)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbl italian seasoning
  • 10 matzo balls (optional)
  1. Using a peeler shave the carrots into noodles. Cut the length if they are longer than desired.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the matzo balls to a crockpot. Cook low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Add matzo balls during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Makes 5 servings. Nutritional info does not include the matzo balls as they are optional. Each serving contains 66 calories, .6 gram of fat, 4.7 grams carbs, 1.2 grams of fibre, and 10.4 grams of protein. These servings are pretty big too! About 2 cups of broth and carrots. Plenty of room for a couple of matzo balls I say!

Butternut Squash Soup

My first taste of butternut squash soup was at a marche restaurant in Toronto. I was so blown away by its creaminess and flavour I worked hard to recreate it. I think I’ve come close and on top of that it is completely healthy. Theirs probably had cream in it but I have found that this recipe just doesn’t need it. It is tasty and creamy all on its own. Pair this with some fresh baked bread and you really have a heavenly meal. It’s a favourite of mine really, especially when it is cold and rainy. Which happens often out here!

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 bartlett pear, cored and chopped
  • 6 cup water or chicken stock
  • 2 purple basil leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and leeks. Saute until carmelization occurs.
  2. Add the squash, pear, stock or water, basil and pie spice. Season with some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the squash and pear are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender until it is smooth.
  4. Reheat the soup and serve.

Makes 8 large portions. Each portion (about 2 cups) is 72 calories, .8 gram fat, 4.4 grams fibre, 17.2 grams carbs, 1.3 grams protein. Calculated if water is used instead of stock. If you need a bit of extra creaminess a dollop of fat free sour cream is excellent in this. I don’t usually do that, made for a pretty picture though!

Hardcore Hobbit: Rack of Lamb with Mint Sauce

In the game this lamb dish is made with mint sauce, mixed herbs and rack of lamb. This is definitely a special occasion dish, I don’t know many people who have a rack of lamb on any old weekday night. It was definitely a hit, the lamb was so tender and the mint sauce drizzled on was just perfect! I can’t wait to do it again sometime. I’m hoping next time we can grill the meat. I have a feeling that grilling this will lead to epic levels of tasty.

  • Rack of lamb
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 tbl fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbl malt vinegar
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hardcore Hobbit Mint Sauce
  1. Puree the onion, garlic, lemon juice, tarragon, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender. Massage the marinade onto the rack of lamb and allow to sit, refrigerated for atleast 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F and heat a pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Sear the lamb on both sides in the pan. Move the lamb to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Cover the lamb with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Drizzle with a bit of mint sauce just before serving.

You know what. Just because this is a special occasion dish let’s not talk about the nutritional info just this once. Keep in mind though the more you trim some of that fat off your rack of lamb the healthier it is. Don’t trim too much off though or you will sacrifice flavour. Serves 4 ( two chops each typically). Amazing when served with a side of pan seared polenta and on a bed of wilted spinach as pictured.

Hardcore Hobbit: Barley Stew

Alright, it’s a barley risotto. So creamy, so nummy, and so filling. According to the game barley stew is made with barley and coney stock. Well, to me when you get a grain like that and some stock together it just begs to be made into a risotto. Yes the barley tells me to do things. You can hear it too…I know you can…don’t deny it. Granted, my husband claims I have already made barley stew…that one time I was a bit overzealous adding the barley to the soup. It was tasty yes but this is more elegant and involves mushrooms. What self-respecting hobbit turns down another opportunity for mushrooms? Exactly.

  • 1 cup barley
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 3 cup coney stock (any stock of choice works here too, chicken especially)
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 14 g parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbl dried parsley (more if using fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  1. Combine the stock and the wine in a pot and heat to near boiling. Lower the heat to low and allow to simmer. We want to keep that good and warm for when we make the risotto.
  2. Spray a pan and heat to medium. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until done. About 2-4 minutes depending on desired doneness. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan. Cook until the shallots begin to turn golden.
  4. Add the barley to the pan and toast for a couple of minutes. Stirring constantly.
  5. Now is the time to have your adventure in babysitting. Add the stock mixture one or two ladles at a time. Allow the liquid to mostly absorb before adding another ladle.  This process takes around 20 minutes, so be patient and keep stirring.
  6. After the last ladle has been poured in and mostly absorbed, add the parsley, parmesan, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

I like this topped with an additional tablespoon of parmesan but that is not included in the nutritional info. Serves four, each serving contains 252 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 8.5 grams of fibre. I know! Check out that fibre. That’s the reason why you feel so full after eating this side dish. You can serve this for two as a main dish. Prepare to be super full! I love risotto.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

We are still locked in those cold days of winter so we need something comforting and warming. I always shake my head when I see those frozen entree salisbury steak dinners. We can do so much better with just a bit of prep. You can even form these patties ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze them (as long as you started with fresh meat ofcourse). You could get this dish on the table in the time it takes to make one of those frozen dinners in the oven. Hehe, I can’t compete with the microwave. Want to know something interesting, they eat this in Japan. It is that international a dish, although out there they call it Hanbagu. I just like saying it, it makes me feel very engrish. Hanbagu is awesome! Fear the hanbagu! We love you hanbagu!

  • 400 grams extra lean ground beef
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 200 grams mushrooms
  • 2 pkg beef oxo, reduced salt
  • 1 tbl light butter
  • 2 tbl cornstarch
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbl montreal steak spice
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the beef, garlic, worcestershire sauce and montreal steak spice in a bowl. Form the mixture into small patties and set aside.
  2. Heat a pan to medium. Spray and add onions and mushrooms, cook until desired doneness, remove from pan. If you like a chunky gravy just set them aside. If you prefer a smoother gravy puree these with the water and set aside.
  3. Add the patties to the pan and sear on each side. Traditionally, you will finish cooking these in your gravy. If you are doing these remove them and set aside. If not, then cook until done.
  4. While the patties are searing or cooking. Add the cornstarch, oxo and butter to a small pot. Allow the butter to melt and stir to combine with the dry ingredient. Add the water or puree slowly, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Bring the sauce to a boil. If you had the onions and mushrooms set aside add them now.
  5. If you are cooking the patties in the sauce place them in your gravy now and allow to simmer covered for 20-30 minutes. If you opted for the cooked patties serve the sauce over the patties and enjoy!

Serves 4. Each serving of patties and mushroom gravy contains 291 calories, 18 grams of fat and 1.1 grams of fibre. Definitely one of those comfort foods, it may be low in calories but the fat is something you don’t want to do everyday. Tasty with rustic mashed potatoes (especially those royal mashed potatoes) and some cooked carrots.

Salmon Cakes II

This week I revisited my tasty salmon cakes. I made a small change to them but it was such a difference I just felt I had to share it. I just plain didn’t think it was possible for these to get even tastier. My husband made the suggestion of coating the cakes in potato instead of panko. They are much easier to coat now and the nutritional value of them is much better! This is definitely how I will be making them from now on. Look how pretty they turn out!

  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tins salmon, boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 shalot, diced fine
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbl panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup instant potato flakes (in a separate bowl)
  1. Combine all except the potato flakes in a bowl.
  2. Form into 6 patties (use an ice cream scoop as a measure)
  3. Dip the patties in the potato flakes.
  4. Spray a baking sheet and preheat your broiler a bit.
  5. Cook the cakes under the broiler for 4 minutes per side.

My original attempt is here: Salmon cakes

As you can see I changed the seasonings just a little and the coating. Here are the new servings! Makes 6 slider sized patties. Each patty contains 96 calories, 4 grams of fat and .7 grams of fibre. It’s just a small adjustment in the values but I think they make a nicer salmon cake. I find that the potato flakes are an easier coating to work with too. Win/win really! In the picture I served them with a sweet heat mustard. Num!