Tuesday, October 18, 2005, 11:24 PM - soups
breakfast and lunch: again, eating seemed like a bad idea. I snacked on goldfish crackers when I got really hungry, but that was it. I'm starting to get sick of goldfish crackers, despite their high placebo rating. I probably ate as many cough drops as I did goldfish crackers. I hate being sick. If I get through today without getting a strong message that eating is a bad idea, I think I'll have something more substantial for breakfast tomorrow.
dinner: spinach soup
We started with a dollop of bacon fat in a pan. We tend to strongly resemble vegetarians when cooking at home, but everyone who resembles a vegetarian but isn't ought to go buy a thing of bacon once in a blue moon and save the fat. It keeps a really long time in the fridge and a teaspon or so adds a lot of flavor to many recipes.
Then we added about half a cup each of chopped onions, carrots, and celery. These were all frozen. I don't know if you can buy frozen celery or not; I just buy celery once in a while and chop it all up and throw it in the freezer. We also found a bag of chopped parsley in the freezer. There was quite a bit, probably a third of a cup, maybe even a half. It was stuck in a big clump; after one injury trying to de-clump it, we just threw the whole thing into the pan.
We defrosted then sweated these in the bacon fat. The purpose isn't to brown them, so much as to have the veggies suck up the fat and the fat suck up veggie flavor and so on. Then we added half a bag of pre-cleaned spinnach. We also added the leftover, leftover rice from that duck dinner on Saturday that was too big. When the spinnach wilted down, we added just enough water to cover the vegetables and some salt and pepper. Then we heated it to boiling, just to make sure it was hot enough, then turned it to low, put the lid on it, and set the timer for half an hour.
Half an hour later, the timer rang. We weren't paying attention. So who knows how long it really ooked... maybe 45 minutes? We blended the soup with an immersion blender until it had a creamy texture. Then we added the leftover, leftover duck, which we'd diced. We gave it another 5 minutes (and even payed attention to the timer this time).
We split the soup into 2 bowls and topped it with a grated cheese blend. It was one of those Italian blends you buy when you go to the store and find they're out of parmesian. We microwaved it to melt the cheese; if we'd been high falutin', we would have probably broiled it to melt & brown the cheeze, but we didn't.
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October 9 -- Pizza
Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 05:09 PM - soups, breakfastI've been irresponsible the last couple of days... I didn't forget to eat, but I forgot to update the blog. Here's what I've recovered.
breakfast: fake sausage wrapped in pancakes
pancakes with fake sausage
We used up the last of the leftover pancakes. We wrapped fake sausage in them. It was the kind of fake sausage that comes in a tube and you have to brown it in a frying pan. It's good stuff.
1. Put some water in a pot.
2. add a bunch of onion, carrots, and cellery.
3. if you don't want it to ook forever, you can throw in bullion if you want it to taste like broth sooner.
4. add some spices. We used salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
5. Cook it until it boils, then turn it down to low and put a lid on and ignore it for half an hour or so.
6. Add frozen fake meatballs and noodles and let cook for about 8 minutes. These were pretty thick noodles; if I were using a thin noodle I might let the meatballs go for a while then add the noodles later.
We both felt sick and didn't want to cook so we ordered tomato broccolli pizza. I've had bad experiences with broccolli on pizza, but this time it worked out well.
Thursday, October 6, 2005, 07:23 PM - soups, flatbread, high falutin'Menu
For breakfast I had cottage cheese; for lunch, apple-onion blintz; and for dinner, carrot soup.
Um... about like you'd expect. Open container, spoon some into a bowl, salt and pepper to taste.
This looks impressive, but it was just a leftover fest. For leftover pancakes, see yesterday. I also happened to have apple-onion something-something sitting in the fridge from a few days ago.
To make apple-onion whatever, you'll need a granny smith apple and either one normal-sized onion or two small onions. This recipe made enough for 2 people to have with dinner and one person to have lunch.
Cube a granny smith apple. You can use a different kind of apple if you like, but it will be way too sweet. The cubes should be about a centimeter on each side. I didn't bother to peel it, but you might if you have way too much time on your hands and are particularly anal retentive (even I wouldn't peel it). Cut the onion into slivers. Throw everything in a frying pan with a bit of salt and olive oil and cook it until you feel like it's done. I didn't use a very high heat; the onions didn't carmelize or anything. Things just sort of heated up and sweated a little. Don't let the apples get too mushy, but you want them to be tender.
To construct your blintz, wrap some apple-onion mixture in a pancake. Put a slice of swiss cheese on top. Microwave until it's a good eating temperature. If the cheese doesn't get mostly-melty, zap it a little longer, or cut thinner slices next time. Any semi-hard to semi-soft cheese would work here; you want some flavor but anything really sharp would probably be too overpowering.
We're both still sick, so today was scrounge-around-and-eat-whatever's-left day. We'll probably have to break down and go to the store tomorrow. There were 2 carrots, 3 parsnips, and ginger in the vegetable drawer.
Put some water in a pot. I dunno how much water... maybe 4 cups? I don't know, 2+ servings worth of water. Make something up. Put the pot on the stove and turn it to high. Once everything is in and it's boiling, you'll want to put a lid on the pot and turn it to low.
While the water is thinking about boiling, prepare the carrots and parsnips. You can treat them the same way. Clean them then cut them into wheels and dump them in the pot. I try to make them roughly the same size. This is easy if it's just carrots (which it could be) but parsnips sometimes get much wider on top and much narrower on the bottom, so you'll want to do something about that when you chop them to make the pieces consistent. You could just leave the pieces wildly different sizes, but they won't cook as evenly. I'd care less if i was going to let it ooook a really long time, but carrot takes a long time to cook anyway and I don't want hard chunks in my soup.
Then I added a finger of ginger; this particular finger was about 3 inches long. Be sure to peel it well, because the peel get's really bitter and you won't be able to fish it out. I suppose you could use powdered ginger here, but I wouldn't have any idea what amount. We also added some frozen onion. I don't know how much, maybe a cup? Half cup? An eyeball's worth? It's soup; it really doesn't matter as long as it's yummy. Just make something up!
For what it's worth, if I were making non-scrounging carrot soup, I'd use about twice as much carrot and a decent sized onion. To get more bulk, we added a bit less than a cup of pea/carrot frozen mixture and about a cup of frozen carrot. Yep, we definately have to think about buying groceries at some point.
Season with a bit of salt, nutmeg, and cinnimon. Then let it ooook for about half an hour. The carrots should be ready to fall apart. I blended it with my happy new immersion blender that I got for my birthday. If you don't have an immersion blender, you could transfer it to a normal blender to blend it, or you could probably even moosh it with a potato masher. Or you could even have it un-mooshed. At this point you're going to want to taste it. Just dip in a spoon and see if it's seasoned properly. I had to add more nutmeg and cinnimon to get what I wanted.
At this point, if we weren't sick i would have added about a cup of cream or milk. However, milk products usually disagree with head colds, so I left it out and it was still pretty good. Since we otherwise didn't have any protein, i served it with hardboiled egg. I don't know that it went together as well as it would have in a different soup, but the egg was yummy and the soup was yummy.