I got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store the other day. I love these things because I can get one and pretty much eat it all week. Sometimes I turn what’s left of it into soup, like so…
- one chicken carcass, skin, bones, and all–if there’s still huge chunks of good meat on it, like whole legs and whatever, that’s fine too
- Enough water to cover it in a big pot
- One can of Ro-Tel, drained
- One can of corn, drained
- A couple of carrots, sliced (or not)
- Garlic, minced
- Half an onion or so, chopped coarsely
- A handful of tortilla chips (get good ones, ffs don’t use Doritos–I like blue corn ones)
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese
- Avocado chunks
Break up the chicken carcass if the wings and thighs are still attached and chuck it into a big pot. Add enough water to cover the chicken bits, turn the heat on medium-low, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Taste the broth once in a while and salt or otherwise season as required.
When the broth is to your liking and whatever meat is left on your carcass is falling off it, there are two ways you can deal with the hunks of chicken carcass:
- Strain with a colander
- Fish everything that isn’t meat out with tongs–or at least attempt to, then get annoyed and just start grabbing everything and putting it in a big bowl
Either way, go to work with a fork or two to separate the meat from the things that aren’t meat. Put the meat back in the pot with the broth. Dispose of the bones, skin, gristly bits, and any other things you don’t want to eat.
Dump in the Ro-Tel, corn, carrots, garlic, and onion. Cover and simmer gently until the carrots are tender. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
Grab a bowl and a big handful of tortilla chips. Break the chips into bite-size pieces and put them in the bottom of the bowl. Ladle some soup on top of them. Add avocado chunks, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheese. Put it in your face.
BONUS RECIPE: the shameful MacGyver Cuisine version!
Pour chicken broth (or water and a chicken bouillon cube) in a bowl. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of chunky picante sauce. Nuke till hot. Add tortilla chips, avocado if you have it, sour cream, and cheese as in proper recipe.
…sacrificed, of course, to my tastebuds.
As you may recall, I’m growing mint plants outside. And the regular mint plant just ’sploded into leaves a couple of days ago, after I’d cut it back, and I needed something to do with those leaves that wasn’t a mojito or a mint julep or tea.
Enter one pound of ground lamb.
Mush ground lamb up with garlic, minced onion, and a small handful of fresh mint and basil and a little salt and pepper, let sit in the fridge for an hour, then crumble into a hot pan and brown. Slather some hummus on a pita, dump yummy browned lamb on it, and then top it with chopped olives and tomatoes and feta and a big blob of tzatziki sauce (and I am sort of but not really ashamed to admit I heard a chorus of angels singing when I discovered that Kroger does in fact have actual Greek yogurt and I would not have to settle for the lame watery shit you get with Dannon and the like) and om nom nom.
In other news, I’ve been doing my part to remedy the severe dearth of Hetalia gifs on the Internets.
The other day I was sitting at my mom’s house watching the Food Network while some clothes went through the washer, and Giada was making this farfalle with broccoli in a really simple olive oil-butter-garlic-red pepper flake-anchovy sauce.
A word about me and broccoli: when I was a child, as most children do, I would not have eaten broccoli if held at gunpoint and ordered to do so. Sometime in my teens, I acquired a taste for broccoli-cheese soup–but there would be a pile of stalky bits at the bottom of the bowl when I was done, as I could not deal with any broccoli parts that had to be chewed. And then this past Thanksgiving I was steaming up some broccoli to throw into the broccoli-rice casserole and all of a sudden it was all I could do to not open up the steamer and just start shoveling broccoli into my mouth. And ever since then, this has been me when faced with a plate of freshly-cooked broccoli:
Seriously, I don’t know what the hell happened, but all of a sudden the smell of cooking broccoli makes my stomach go OH HOLY SHIT WHERE IS IT SEND IT DOWN NOW NOW NOW.
…anyway, you can imagine my reaction to a dish involving pasta, broccoli, and parmesan cheese being prepared on TV right before my eyes.
The problem: this dish contained anchovies.
I do not do anchovies. Are they in Caesar dressing? I don’t know, but if they are I can deal with it in that form because there’s nothing that looks like fucking anchovies in it, but I do not do anchovies.
Also, I don’t have red pepper flakes. And I have goat cheese, which melts down into the most wonderful creamy sauce when it touches something warm.
So I altered the recipe. And added some things. As is always the case in the Chaobell Test Kitchens: serves one really hungry person or two nominally-hungry people, fuzzy measurements, add or omit shit to taste, your mileage may vary.
Farfalle with Veggies and Chicken in a Goat Cheese Sauce
- A cup or so of farfalle (bowtie pasta, or whatever kind you like)
- Two big handfuls of broccoli florets
- Plenty of salt or chicken soup base to add to the pasta water (I use mostly kosher salt, with a couple wee scoops of this neat sea salt with Italian herbs I found at Target–it has a teeny metal scoop in the jar)
- A few tablespoons of olive oil
- A pat of butter (or suitable substitute–for once my precious Brummel & Brown’s yogurt-based fakebutter actually works pretty well here)
- A clove or two of garlic, chopped up
- A small handful of chopped onion
- One diced Roma tomato
- About 1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- A sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan
- Meat, or not (preferably pre-cooked)
Set your pot of water to boiling and add plenty of salt or chicken soup base. When it’s at a good rolling boil, dump in your pasta. Let it boil while you chop up the broccoli–not too finely or it will sort of disappear, leave it nice and chunky. When the pasta is about five minutes along, dump in the broccoli.
While the broccoli and pasta boil, chop up your garlic, onion, and tomato. If you’re using a precooked meat like the rotisserie chicken Kroger had for $2.50 today, go ahead and chop that up too. If you need to cook your meat, now is the time.
When the pasta is tender, get it out of the water. The broccoli may still be a little crunchy. This is fine. It will finish cooking in the sauce. Save about a cup of pasta water.
Now throw the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium-high heat; when it’s nice and hot, add the garlic, onion, and tomato. Cook till the onions are clear and the tomatoes are bright and mushy, then dump in the broccoli and pasta. Cook till the broccoli is nice and tender, then turn the heat down to low and dump in the goat cheese and any meat you might be using. Watch as the goat cheese magically melts down into lovely sauce. If things get too stiff, add a splash of pasta water.
Dump into a bowl, sprinkle with a little parmesan, and eat.
And it’s supposed to stay a while! Now hopefully, it’ll stop just long enough for me to run and then ride to work tomorrow. And then again in the afternoon so I can go get a new brake cable and then go get some things to make Purple Taters Au Gratin and then go home.
Speaking of the purple taters, they taste about like regular potatoes. Except prettier. Last night I made some hash with one of them and some of that huge bell pepper and those yellow tomatoes and some prosciutto and some other stuff, and it was great. Tonight I made some veggie and shrimp curry with another purple tater. And I ate the last of the bacon chocolate. ;_;
In other news, I got Okami yesterday. It is so good and so , so pretty. ♥
So today Mom calls me. “I NEED VEGGIES,” she says. “Let’s go shopping!”
“…okay!” I say.
She comes to pick me up and goes “O HAY wanna go to Central Market?”
“EEEEEEEEEEEE,” I say, because I’ve never been there.
And so, off we go.
Let me tell you what I came home with:
- three white peaches
- one orange bell pepper bigger than Spazz’s head
- one bunch of bananas
- one pint of bright yellow cherry tomatoes (they had some awesome heirloom tomatoes, but they were a little pricey and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to eat those huge motherfuckers before they went bad)
- Three purple potatoes (!!!)
- Two bottles of strawberry Ramune
- One can of wasabi peanuts
- Two boxes of wafer-thin little cookies (one chocolate, one cappuccino)
- one thing from the bakery that was labeled as a pizza crust; there were samples of it out there and it was really more like a really flat loaf of lovely soft white bread with cheese baked into it
- possibly some other shit I have forgotten about
I wish they would build one of these closer to home, oh man.
So I’ve been experimenting with smoothies as dinner for the last few days, mostly because we tend to eat Big Food for lunch at work and I really do not need Big Food for dinner and I get really tired of the standard bowl of soup, small sandwich, or bowl of leaves;partly because by the time I get home most days I don’t feel like cooking a fucking thing more complicated than scrambled eggs or the aforementioned soup, sandwich, or leaves, let alone something for dinner and something for lunch the next day.
I got this nifty little Hamilton Beach single-serving-size blender over the weekend. It is tiny, but it is mighty. When I first took it out of the box, just for shits and giggles, I threw four ice cubes straight from the freezer into it and hit the button, and in a matter of seconds I had a few spoonfuls of unflavored snow-cone. Nice. Also, when you’re finished blending whatever you’re blending, you just pop the cup off the blender and drink right out of it.
So here’s what I had for dinner tonight: a banana-chai smoothie.
- One banana, sliced and frozen (very important that it be frozen)
- About 1/4 cup plain almond milk (vanilla is fine too)
- A tablespoon or so of wheat germ
- One scoop of vanilla protein powder (I have this kind, it’s fairly cheap as tubs of protein powder go and it’s got other stuff that’s good for wimmens in it, and maybe it’s just all the other shit I’m whirling up with it but I don’t notice any weird taste with it like I sometimes get with other protein stuff–actually, it’s quite good)
- A tablespoon or so of Pacific Chai instant chai tea latte
- A good squirt of honey
Notice what isn’t on the list: ice cubes. With the frozen banana, you don’t need them. You don’t want them.
Throw everything in blender, buzz. You’ll know when it’s done because the frozen banana just kind of ’splodes into lovely ice-cream-like stuff. Frozen banana >>>>> ice cubes, seriously. You may need a spoon. It is delicious and surprisingly filling.
Aside from the chai experiment, I’ve also had a banana mocha smoothie (squirt of chocolate syrup and single-serve packet of instant coffee instead of honey and chai mix), a strawberry-banana malt, and a plain old vanilla-banana malt.
There was also a rather… strange concoction in the smoothie cookbook I picked up off the impulse buy rack at the grocery store: cucumbers+buttermilk+green onion+dill. Yes, as a smoothie. It was… well, I wouldn’t drink one every day, but it was interesting. Kind of like watery Ranch dressing.
So I haven’t really bothered making fun of the National Organization for Marriage, otherwise known as NOM, mostly because they practically parody themselves and they do it so masterfully you really have to wonder if at any given moment they’re going to bust out Guy Fawkes masks and go LOL J/K SUP /B/.
So as you might know, they decided to name their anti-gay-marriage campaign “Two Million For Marriage”… abbreviated 2M4M. Yeah, I know. If you are thinking that sounds like an abbreviation used in certain personal ads of which NOM would probably not approve, you’d be right.
Which is lulz-laden enough. But it gets even better. You see, NOM made one crucial error… they forgot to secure the domain name before they made that announcement.
For dinner tonight, I made ramen with green onions, avocado and boiled egg slices, and broth that did not come from that sodium bomb disguised as a flavor packet.
Fuzzy measurements as always; this is for one big bowl.
- Oil and mirin for sauteing onion and garlic
- A handful of sliced onion (fairly thin)
- About 1/2 tsp minced ginger (pickled is fine, that’s what I used)
- Minced garlic, up to a clove or so
- About 1 1/2 cups water
- Memmi soup base (or dashi if you have it), about 3-4 tbsp (more or less to taste)
- About 1/2 tbsp. miso
- 1 tsp sweet Thai chili sauce if you have some, if not just leave it out
- Half a sheet or so of nori
- 1 egg
- 1 package GOOD ramen (not the 10-for-$1 shit, look in the Asian food section and get the Sapporo Ichiban–it’s all of half a dollar more, good grief, you can splurge), throw the flavor packet away (or use it on something else later, whatever, you won’t be needing it here)
- 1/2 avocado
- Green onion, chopped
Heat up some oil in a pot and throw in your onion, garlic, and ginger; add a splash of mirin and saute until the onion goes a little brownish around the edges. Pour in water, scrape good brown residue off bottom of pot and mix it in. Add memmi/dashi, miso, and Thai chili sauce if you have it, stir well, bring to a boil. Put the whole, unbroken egg in the pot, throw some nori in (leave it in big pieces, you’re going to fish it out later) cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently for twenty minutes or so. Check on it once in a while to make sure there’s still plenty of liquid and roll the egg around a little.
After the twenty minutes or so, take out the nori, take out the egg and peel it (don’t cut it up yet), and return the whole naked boiled egg to the pot to soak up flavor. Go ahead and put in your ramen noodles now. While they’re cooking, slice up the avocado and chop up the green onion.
When the noodles are as done as you like, dump the soup into a bowl, slice up the egg and lay it and the avocado slices on top, and sprinkle green onion over it all. IT IS DELICIOUS.
WHOSE TURN WAS IT TO KEEP PETA FROM DOING STUPID SHIT ON THE INTERNET THIS WEEK
FESS UP NOW
Nah, I haven’t played it, but I’ve seen enough secondhand description of it to not feel like wasting my precious dialup tubes on waiting for it to load. I’ll poke it if I get bored at work tomorrow and have met my werdz quota on NaNo and SS*BB stuff.
- Go to store
- See packages of two little skewers with four bite-size chunks of bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin impaled on each skewer: $4
- Decide that gyudon sounds tasty tomorrow and these little chunks would be awesome for that
- See that rice cooker pot still needs soaked and washed
- Decide cooking rice the old-fashioned way sounds like too much trouble
- Decide to use noodles instead
- Grab a package of somen noodles
- Make gyudon
- Throw handful of somen noodles in
- Make faces at somen noodles, wish you had gotten soba or udon instead
- Pick out delicious onions and meat chunks, scrape lump of somen noodles off into trash
…by which I mean, I made gyudon for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch and it was delicious. I even posted my recipe. YES, I USED A DAMN FILET, THEY ARE JUST THE RIGHT SIZE AND $4 AND THE DELICIOUS BACON CHOPPED UP AND ADDED TO THE BROTH WAS AWESOME. (warning: I’m still farting around with some new templates there, site may be kind of butt-ugly)
And out of my $50 scratch-off prize, $40 of it went to putting a new tire and tube on the bike after a blowout on the way home Friday. :cuss:
Fortunately, the guys at the bike shop had not much going on yesterday and were able to change my tire in just a couple of minutes. And the new tire is the sort they put on police bikes. I’m going to take it back in next weekend and have one put on the front, too.
Because I am always the last person ever to try anything anywhere, I just discovered that mojitos are awesome.
And if you take Bacardi frozen mojito mix + 2 cans water and leave out the rum, half-fill a glass with the resulting mixture, and top that up with some sort of lime soda (my preference is for this “Crystal Clear” stuff they have at Kroger instead of Sprite or whatever, because they have actual Key Lime flavor), you have basically the best hot-weather drink EVER. I want to drink this by the gallon. :9
A second lime+minty goodness experiment has also gone well. 1-liter bottle of aforementioned Crystal Clear key lime soda (or equivalent) + 2 mint tea bags poked right into the bottle (herbal or actual tea, both seem to work fine) + an hour or two for the tea bags to soak = mojito soda. Not nearly as sweet as the Bacardi mix version, very light and tasty, zero calories.
Either way, yeah, just hook me up an IV of lime, mint, and ice. Rum optional.
I made two dishes from that silicone cup cookbook for dinner: the scalloped potatoes and the roasted butternut squash. Actually, I made the potatoes in miniature cake pans instead, because they were to be my main course.
On the potatoes, I ended up adding some onions and leaving the ham out (the recipe didn’t call for it anyway), and adding some asiago cheese and bread crumbs on top. The butternut squash recipe called for pine nuts to be sprinkled on just before serving. I left those off and gave them a sprinkle of cinnamon instead. I also added a little water to the bottom of the cups just in case the (yogurt-based) butter (substitute) wasn’t enough to keep the squash from drying out.
The potatoes could have probably used a little more liquid, but they were excellent.
But the squash… the squash…
Look, folks, I’m not a big squash person. I really don’t care for it that much. So when I tell you this squash was awesome, you have some perspective there. Seriously. I do not use the phrase “off the hook” often. This squash was off the fucking hook. In fact, here’s a diagram to show you just how far off the hook this squash was:
I could live on this squash. And then in researching things to see how else one might prepare it (pie, man, pie would be great), I found out that apparently butternut squash is actually pretty much interchangeable with pumpkin for a lot of things. Except it’s A HELL OF A LOT EASIER TO PREPARE.
But uh, anyway, yeah. SARAH HAS GAINED A LEVEL. SARAH HAS LEARNED NEW SKILL: “COOK BUTTERNUT SQUASH.” And now one little pan of scalloped potatoes and two little cups of pumpkin pie-candied squash are packed for lunch tomorrow. :9