Stuff accomplished

February 12, 2017

So what it was 70 degrees. Soup and pimiento cheese was GOOD.

So what it was 70 degrees. Soup and pimiento cheese was GOOD.

I NEEDED a kitchen day. It had been way too long. And without time in the kitchen I get twitches. And other assorted involuntary motions. And that builds, and it eventually winds up like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

You don’t WANT me to stay away from my kitchen too long.

So today (now yesterday, as this was written last night), I started out with cleaning the damn thing, as I’d left the remnants of last night’s dinner (the first I’d cooked in what feels like ages) out on the stove. OK, that’s gone and those dishes are clean. Then it’s a shopping trip — liquor store, Aldi, Kroger. Fred’s for cleaning supplies (because I am still successfully avoiding WalMart).

And I got into the kitchen. Not as much as I’d wanted to get into the kitchen today, but then, my reach always exceeds my grasp. Sometimes by a whole lot.

I’d planned to make some bread dough for some rolls for Sunday dinner. Didn’t get that done. No matter; it can happen tomorrow morning (Note: it did!)  if I get up early enough. I’ve already set a pork roast to marinate in Cajun spices (the Who Dat’s proprietary blend), and I’ll put that in to braise in some Abita amber tomorrow. Will mix up some rolls, let them rise, cook some potatoes, maybe cook some beans or peas, and some frozen corn.  It’ll make dinner, anyway.

And I made an Instant Pot of vegetable beef soup and a quart of pimiento cheese. A pint of the cheese goes to Child A’s boss, who loves the stuff; the other pint stays with me, with the prospect of pimiento cheese and bacon sandwiches this coming week.

Speaking of bacon, Wright’s was on sale for $4.99 for a 24-ounce package at Kroger today. I bought four of ’em. Can’t beat that price, and I had a coupon for a dollar off one package.

The vegetable beef soup was a pound of stew meat, a quart and a pint of tomatoes, a half-pint of tomato sauce (all home-canned), two bags of frozen mixed veggies from Kroger, and two envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. It’s damn fine soup. It made, as it has a way of doing, a boatload of soup, so that’ll go in containers to either freeze or have later this week. Because, after all, I have pimiento cheese!

I had in mind to make bread, to replace that honey buttermilk bread that I have frozen in slices that I just do not like.But I didn’t get there. Perhaps next week.

The pimiento cheese is my old standard, sharp cheddar, Velveeta (or the Aldi knockoff thereof), mayo, a splash of cider vinegar, some sugar, some seasoned salt, some cayenne a jar of mostly drained ripe pimientos. A quart of finished product is at the outer limits of how much cheese one large (4-oz?) jar of diced pimientos will go. That would involve close to 8 oz each of Velveeta and sharp cheddar, if you’re keeping track. Or measuring, as you know I do not.

In the interest of being lazy, I went with some Louisiana hot sauce instead of cayenne. Didn’t get enough of it in there. This lacks a bit of heat. Still good, though.

Not a whole lot of cooking, but I did grocery shopping, too, so I figure that counts. Other than having forgotten the  Worcestershire sauce and the Dijon mustard, I managed to stock up on what I was out of.

So, upcoming days will feature some homemade bread, a braised pork roast, maybe some Vietnamese caramel fish (because I’m in the mood) and some Hello Dolly bar cookies, because I have been fixated on those, too.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em be thinking, too about what a sista can cook when it’s 75 degrees in February. This weather does not lend itself well to the braises and stews I love so much.


Still souping

October 26, 2016

Disclaimer. Photo from the Epicurious recipe I riffed off of. Looks pretty close.

Disclaimer. Photo from the Epicurious recipe I riffed off of. Looks pretty close.

I’m going to have to stop making soup. At present, I have on hand:

  1. The remains of the posole from last week.
  2. The remains of the beef stew from Monday.
  3. The big honkin’ pot of shrimp bisque I made last night and then didn’t want to eat dinner.

Got to quit. Not to mention it got hot again; 80 today.

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International soup

October 23, 2016

Tom yum soup with a poached egg -- tom yummy!

Tom yum soup with a poached egg — tom yummy!

I made my trip to the international market pay off with some soup the other day,  when I’d neglected to eat lunch until it was almost time to get ready to go to an early evening meeting.

Not wanting to deal with a growling stomach during said meeting, I decided to make a quick soup.

I had rice noodles; I had tom yum (hot and sour) paste; I had dried shiitake mushrooms. That’d work.

I boiled the rice noodles for just a couple of minutes, then drained them and rinsed in hot water, then dumped them in a bowl. More water in the pot, and in went a handful of dried shiitakes and four tablespoons of tom yum paste. Boiled THAT for another two of three minutes, and cracked an egg into the pot so it could poach. Gave that three minutes, and then gently poured it over the noodles.

Good stuff. I’ll do that again. Would have been even better had I cubed up some of the tofu I got to make ma po tofu, which I will attempt sometime next week, maybe. But I have lots of tom yum paste, and tofu is easy to get.

Asian noodle soups are great lunch dishes — quick, healthy, tasty. Probably full of every chemical known to modern man, but, oh, well. I have on hand the stuff to make pho and miso soups. (Now, if I could just master a good tom yum soup, I’d call myself successful.) I learned to eat miso soup with noodles and a poached egg for breakfast when I was in Japan, and I found that pretty good.

Speaking of eggs, my egg lady’s chickens apparently have gone on strike. I had to buy grocery store eggs this morning, which is NOT my preference. Granted, finding eggs at Aldi (can I just say I love that store, regardless of my fondness for my mega-Kroger) for 48 cents a dozen assuaged that hurt a bit. But I still have the international market quail eggs I need to boil today so I can make Scotch eggs, too. Some of those eggs will just go back in the fridge in the shell against the day I want to peel a couple, halve them, and drop them in a soup.

So if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em get hungry for some soup, come on up. I’ll stir you one up in a hurry.


Pork posole plus

October 20, 2016

soup-clip-artThe pork roast that keeps on giving has now given me a fine, fine batch of posole.

I don’t know why posole isn’t more popular than it is. Its cousin, tortilla soup, gets all the love. But posole, with its squeaky grains of hominy, embodies much of the same taste and texture, in a much more, to me, interesting fashion.

Particularly this batch. No photos, because, well, soup just isn’t that photogenic.

I have a great from-scratch posole recipe. But it’s been ages since I made it, and I wasn’t certain where I’d stashed it, so I went googling for one to give me a general guideline, as I knew I wasn’t going to go exactly by the recipe anyway. And I found one from Epicurious that included pinto beans as well as the hominy. “Well,” sez I to myself, “that ought to work.” And Self agreed it would, so we set about it.

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Some kinda soup

January 3, 2016

NOTE: This post has been hanging around in the “drafts” folder for a few weeks, at least since sometime before Christmas. You’re getting it today because I see little prospect of cooking anything today. Truth be told, I feel so rotten I see little prospect of eating anything today. Damn a sinus infection, anyway.

Soup. Good, solid, healthy, tasty bean soup.

Soup. Good, solid, healthy, tasty bean soup.

I can see the Instant Pot is going to enable even further my tendency to start out with a dish with no real idea where I’m going to end up.

I had been baking all day, and thus sampling and nibbling sweet stuff. I wanted savory. I wanted something that would stick to my ribs. I wanted something that would enable me to create a little room in the fridge.

I wanted soup.

I had beans in the fridge, the last of the Ojo de Cabra as well as a combo of Alubia Blanca and Domingo Rojo I’d cooked up for a salad that never got made. That would make a good start. Where to from there?

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French onion soup plus

November 19, 2013

Or, sorta like French onion soup, but it’s not.

Or, more stuff from the freezer.

Winter’s in the air. There’s been a heavy frost the last three nights, leaves are falling at an astounding rate, and it’s been overcast all day so it never warmed up a great deal.

It’s soup weather.

And necessity being the mother of invention, and having a thawed package of minute steaks in the fridge that needed to be used, what might have been French onion soup has evolved into — well, beef and onion and potato soup. It would almost be more like carbonnades a la flamande, but for the fact I used red wine instead of beer. (And there are no photos of it, because, well, it’s not photogenic.

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Making it up as you go along

November 11, 2011

Wherein this:

That's where I started. I added a few things.

Becomes the basis for this:

Yummy, warm, comfort good, this stuff is.

Because? Well, it sounded like it would be good. And it is. And it’s the kickoff to what I’m hoping will be a pretty significant culinary weekend.

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