Spinach Soup, part 2. This time it's personal.
Saturday, October 22, 2005, 11:23 PM - soups
breakfast: More cold pizza. It's good stuff.
lunch: I can't recover what I ate for lunch. I'm pretty positive I ate something, but I don't know what it was... maybe it will hit me sometime around 4am and I can come back and edit. This is what happens when I eat by myself; the details become sketchy and there's no one to confirm or deny rumors of what I might have eaten. Although I'm feeling a bit peckish; it's entirely possible that I was irresponsible and completely forgot about lunch.
dinner: It was a gloomy, rainy, soup day today. We just made spinnach soup a few days ago, but there was still some spinnach left, so we made it again. I keep wanting to write spinnach. I've become entirely too reliant on those spell checks that underline everything in red. Back in the day, I could spell all by myself.
Spinnach Soup, revisited
1. fill a pot with water and stick 6 eggs in it. Also stick in an egg timer if you have one of those egg-shaped timers that changes color when they're done. Why 6 eggs? You might want to save some for later; they're good to have around.
2. In another pot, add chopped onions, cellery, and carrot. If you're me, you pulled these all out of your freezer. Add a dollop of bacon fat and sweat the entire mixture for a while.
3. Add a bunch of spinach and stir it around until it wilts down.
4. Add some chopped broccolli stalk (we used the flowery part last night).
5. Add water until it covers everything up.
6. Add 5 calamata olives---remember to take the pit out first. Why? We were trying to figure out what classic combinations went with spinach, and spinach and olive oil is the classic combination. So why not spinach and olives?
7. Add some hazlenut liqueur. Why liqueur? You always want to add some alcohol to soup... it makes it seem more full bodied. The alcohol will cook off. Why hazlenut? It seemed like a good idea at the time.
8. Add salt and coriander.
9. Heat to boiling, then turn the heat to low, put a lid on, and ignore for 30-45 minutes. You might want to check on the eggs at this point; they're probably done.
10. Remove the eggs from the pot and put them on a towel or something. While they're still hot, draw on them with a crayon. Draw smiley faces, or frowney faces, or vampire faces, or faces sticking their tongues out... this is to distinguish the hard boiled eggs from the raw eggs. You can draw on all of them, because it's fun, but you will want 2 eggs for dinner (assuming there are two of you eating dinner). I always try to use up the cracked eggs first. You should draw something distinctive on the cracked eggs. We draw faces with big, beady eyes.
11. Blend with immersion blender. The soup, not the eggs. Then put the soup back on high for a while; I have found lately that it is a little cooler than I like it when it's been ooooking on low heat for a while.
12. Chop up the 2 eggs you set aside for soup. Put the rest in the refrigerator; they're probably cooled off enough by now. Peel the eggs before chopping them. You'd think I wouldn't have to tell you this, but I once asked a friend to chop some garlic and he just took a knife and started slicing it without taking the skin off. Plus, chopping garlic is more fun when you violently whack it with the side of a cleaver. Whacking the eggs with a cleaver is probably a bad idea.
13. Dish the soup into bowls.
14. Put an egg's worth of chopped egg into each bowl. In retrospect, we probably ought to have blended this in, but I really don't know how the white would behave.
15. Put a piece of stale, rye bread on top of each bowl.
16. Put a generous amount of grated cheese on top of the bread... enough that some of it slops over into the soup. We used a the a pre-grated Italian cheese blend and then added chopped some sharp vermont cheedar because there wasn't quite enough grated cheese left. I thought they'd conflict, but they didn't.
17. Microwave so that the cheese melts. I realized after I microwaved them that it's winter and we could have just broiled them without any ill effects, but I'll have to remember that next time.
It was interesting, and not in a bad way. There was a lot going on. I liked it, but I wouldn't serve it for company. PD thinks the hazlenut liqueur added a weird taste, but I didn't notice any weirdness. Then again, I still have this dumb cold and I feel like I have a golf ball stuck in my throat, so maybe my taste buds aren't terribly reliable right now. If you decide to do this, y ou might just use vermouth instead of getting experimental.
Other Spinach Soups:
October 18, 2005
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Saturday, October 22, 2005, 10:10 PMWell, it's pretty clear that I'm not going to update the blog everyday. I thought I would, but I have realized I most enjoy doing it when I actually cook something interesting... there are only so many times I can log in and say "I was sick so I ate goldfish crackers." However, I have to play catchup just to make sure I have a record of the days where I didn't do anything terribly clever, just so I'll be able to look back later and see how un-clever I've been.
Thursday, October 20
breakfast: I don't think I forgot about breakfast. I definitely think I ate something. Whatever it was, I probably had tea with it. I might have had Ochazuke again. Who knows.
lunch: I might have had a bean burritto, but who can say? I need to be more responsible about updating.
dinner: buffalo chicken pizza with blue cheese dressing. I only had one piece; somehow buffalo chicken pizza is way more filling than any other kind of pizza.
Friday, October 21
breakfast: Cold pizza.
lunch: Orange chicken with fried rice from a chineese place we found by the laundromat. I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it reminded me of Lo Maine, which was the chineese restaurant by the landromat we went to in Maine. (Get it, mein, maine....) It's mostly a takeout place with a couple of tables in front, and you have to ask nicely to get chopsticks instead of a fork. It was quite tasty for chineese takeout. The servings were huge; we're going to have to split something next time.
dinner: We steamed some broccolli in the microwave and had it with the leftovers from lunch.
breakfast for dinner
Wednesday, October 19, 2005, 06:43 PM - comfort food, dessert, breakfast
We had ochazuke for breakfast. We both have this cough... we've actually been sick since I started blogging. Maybe if I delete it we'll get better, but that might anger the laser monkey. Anyhoo... what with trying to convalesce and all, we got going pretty late. This is by way of saying we started lunch at 5ish and then decided maybe it was dinner. Originally it was just going to be a light lunch because it was close to dinner time, but I guess it was a light dinner. It's too early to tell, maybe it was lunch and we'll eat dinner even later. But we had fake breakfast sausage, egg, and tomato.
edit: no dinner, but we had false pie for desert.
1. cook rice
2. put rice in bowl
3. add furikake---if you don't have any, substitute chopped nori, sesame seeds, salt, and maybe a drizzle of sesame oil.
4. add a couple of sour plums
5. pour tea on top. Today I used genmai cha.
Egg, sausage, and tomato
This is prepared about like you'd expect.
1. cut the fake sausage into patties.
2. fry fake sausage patties in olive oil until they're nicely browned on both sides
3. transfer the patties onto plates
4. break some eggs into the same pan and scramble. Some people think you have to scramble eggs in a seperate container and then pour them into the pan. That's just silly. You can whip them up just fine in the frying pan while they're cooking using the cooking implement of your choice. Then you don't have an extra dish floating around that has had raw egg in it. Since you're doing it in the same pan as the sausage, all the little sticky sausage bits that stuck to the pan will get mixed into the eggs. yum.
5. add the eggs to the plate.
6. cut tomatoes into wedges and put those on the plate
1. break 1 graham cracker into a coffee cup
2. add about 2 tbs of dark chocolate. This can be in the form of a handful of chocolate chips. I used two squares of a trader joes 80% cocomass pound plus bar. So they'd melt better, I cut them up.
3. top with another crumbled graham cracker.
4. pour amaretto over the top. probably a tablespoon or two. Enough for it to soak into the graham crackers.
5. microwave for 15 seconds or so. The cup should feel hot; the chocolate should be melted.
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.
oct 12 - oct 17 lots of eating out
Tuesday, October 18, 2005, 11:04 PM - high falutin'The inlaws were in town last week, so there was lots of eating out. I don't find I enjoy updating the blog when there's eating out, so I haven't. I'll do my best to remember what was eaten, though, just for the record. I won't bother with recipes---the dinners will all be high falutin'. You'll have to excuse me if I spell everything wrong here.
Wednesday, Oct 12
breakfast: no idea
lunch: still no idea --- this might have been the day I was really sick and slept really late and didn't think it was worth doing more than snack before dinner.
I don't remember the restaurant's name, but I know how to get there. It's called Nicole's or Nicky's or some woman's name starting with N's. It's on the east end of downtown albany & is in the oldest existing building in the area. Hopefully that's enough for me to figure out where to take the inlaws next time they're in town. Should you end up at a restaurant with the above description, don't trust the waiters about serving sizes. They'll tell you they are much smaller than they really are. If you order as much as they tell you to, you're in for a doggy bag.
bread & olive oil
split a pate appetizer
french onion soup
some variety of meat in some variety of sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrots with maybe some other vegetable
Thursday, Oct 13
breakfast: reheated some variety of meat in some variety of sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrots with maybe some other vegetable
lunch: we sort of skipped lunch due to a long roadtrip up north to look at fall colors. I am sure I got enough calories from cough drops during the drive to have that count as some sort of a meal.
dinner was at the Friend's Lake Inn, about an hour and a half north of albany.
bread with garlic and tapenade
espresso encrusted ostrich carpachio appetizer
venison with rice and some variety of vegetable
cheese plate with vermont cheedar, piave, and triple cream with crackers, rasberries, and granny smith apple
Friday, Oct 14
lunch: prosciutto sandwich from the deli by the laundromat
dinner was at Provence, which is in stuyvesant plaza, right near our apartment
trout with rice and asparagus
fudge cake with caramel ice cream
Saturday, Oct 15
I was sicker than usual; I slept until 4pm and skipped breakfast and lunch and just barely managed to get myself together for dinner. Dinner was at Ginger Man, which is in downtown Albany. I had french onion soup and duck with rice and mixed julienned vegetables. I didn't eat much.
Sunday, Oct 16
We did brunch at Peaches Cafe, which is also in stuyvesant plaza. I had a blueberry waffle and an egg over medium. It said in the menu that it was maine wild blueberries, but I think they lied and served the boring commercial variety of blueberries. It was still good. Dinner was half of the remaining duck with rice and mixed julienned vegetables.
Monday, Oct 17
Eating seemed like a bad idea; I snacked on goldfish crackers a bit throughout the morning. Dinner was leftover beans and rice.