chowder-hound

I usually reserve the majority of my soup eating to the fall and winter because I hate to be hot.  Once the temperatures outside breach 80 degrees I fall back on quicker meals – burgers, salads and things that cook in under an hour.  Somehow this soup sneaked past my internal thermometer and we ate it for dinner a couple of weeks ago.  It is the product of a pin from the blog, eat, live, run and can be found here.  She mentions that it is made better by bacon grease and in general that seems to be the way of things.  I don’t shout bacon from the highest mountain but we do seem to eat it in a variety of different ways.  I think it would also do well with butter if you are not inclined to eating pork.   This chowIMG_3378der is differentiated by roasting poblano peppers (another thing that should be most eaten in the fall when they are fresh from New Mexico) and then cooking down the potatoes. We ate this soup for a few days and it was pretty good if not a bit standard.  I’m not really jonesed for summer and am already glad to have crossed the summer solstice and heading for fall.   I am planning some Southeast Asian soups for this summer that I am looking forward to though-Tom Ka Gai and Malaysian Laksas.  I think their spicy heat will be cooling and right for the dog days of summer.

down in lunch lady land

excessive ingredient alert!  This is only an alert.  I was seduced by the cover and heft of a cookbook a year or two ago by Guy Fieri.  You know him, bleached blond spikes on dark roots, bling for miles and host (former?) of Minute to Win It!  He wrote and/or inspired a cookbook called Food, Cookin it, Livin it, Lovin it.  It has spin of fun graffiti style art and lengthy ingredient lists and is kind of bar food that tastes good because it’s fried or has cheese in it.  I have been on a only cooking stuff that is easy kick and somehow I diverted into this.  10 hundred (copyright that!) ingredients and deep frying.  For the love of all that’s holy.IMG_3414   Anyhow, I made Guy’s Sloppy Joe’s with Maui Onion Straws. Spicy-spicy and faintly sweet ground meat simmered down to a thick paste and topped with fried sweet onions.  We used Vidalia’s instead of Maui’s-it being Florida and all.  We used Martin’s potato buns and the recipe fed us 3 or 4 times.  We could have easily halved it but since you are going the distance on measuring and pouring ingrediants you might as well be all in.  I guess all those ingredients melded together in the pan to create something better than the sum of their parts.  Deep frying isn’t really my favorite and to cut down on the process I used a stovetop pot and shallow fried just to ease the mess.  The onions were seriously awesome.  I think that adding fried onions is roughly the same as adding bacon.  Anyway, I have had the song by Adam Sandler in my head for days now and you would be well served to not go watch this link but run to the store and get the ingredients for slop-sloppy joes.

*this is my four hundredth post-who would’ve thought?

absurdly addictive asparagus

well, that’s what food52 said. I don’t know if that was exactly true or not but this recipe is really great and I am already planning to make it again so you decide… A changeup from our usual oven olive oil tossed oven roasted asparagus, this one is pan fried and has lots of simple little add-ins that bring on flavor in a new way. We had this veggie with another pinned recipe for cacio e pepe – which is a pasta dish with exactly 4 ingredients (water, pasta, romano cheese & pepper-soo easy!!!) so I cooked up the veg while Z made the pasta and dinner was served.IMG_3393 I am fairly sure I could eat this asparagus dish on it’s own too for lunch and be a perfectly happy camper. It is filled with good things like pine nuts, prosciutto, leeks. orange and lemon zest. Even if it feels a little absurd – it is awesome!

khooing over Rachel’s food

during Christmas time I dvr’d the show, Little Paris Kitchen Cooking with Rachel Khoo.  Rachel Khoo is the most delightful British girl living in Paris cooking some semblance of French food with her own twists.  I’m not sure Parisians want things with a twist but they may be more flexible than I’ve been led to believe.  I kind of think in general, thiIMG_3203ngs have been perfected to a certain standard in France and that is how they are expected to be.  But again, she is a gorgeous girl with the cutest accent.  Stew = schtew.  I love that.  She cooks everything in a tiny – microsized really, kitchen.  She has basically two burners and a toaster oven.  She has a tiny little dutch oven and I think only one electrical plug.  I wanted to eat her food so I ordered the cookbook from Amazon.  Ah, marketing.  The first thing I made was an easy little croque madame.  Basic white bread (they have that in France?) is rolled out, buttered and pressed into a muffin pan.  An egg, gruyere studded bechamel and black forest ham are dropped in and the whole mess is baked for 15-20 minutes.  A perfect Saturday morning breakfast with the buttery toast and cheesy sauce elevating my usual egg on an english muffin.  I’m looking forward to future meals in this grand little scale.

super delicious and an admission

Pinterest is a love hate thing for me.  I love it in that it actually does inspire me to cook and create.  I try not to pin anything that doesn’t link back to a solid recipe in the case of food photos because I don’t claim to be a recipe developer, rather just a solid home cook.  I think that my Pinterest record is pretty dismal though and that there is a pretty high failure rate in either myself or the Pinterest pinned recipes.  I have realized that I don’t always cook to the recipes.  I will read them and generally follow the amounts specified-if they make sense.  Early on in my cooking I realized that chef driven recipes can take days to prep so I had better be prepared for that on the front end..  I can usually tell what won’t work or isn’t a classic ratio.  But… I don’t keep track of how I tweak and change things – not enough to be helpful anyway.  So, from this day on, I vow, that if I recommend a recipe, I’ll note how I made it work for me if it doesn’t on it’s own.IMG_3195

So, I made this recipe for cucumber salad recently and it is a total winner.  I have ‘cooked’ Indian food before and found it complicated and felt it was out of my reach to do it really well.  This little salad totally expanded my view and makes me think about giving it a second (or third or something) chance.  It was simplicity in itself and although it has a few ingredients well worth the price because there were plenty left for future salads.  It was spicy and cool at the same time as well as sweet and salty.  We will eat this again and again.  I used English cucumbers and was well pleased with the result.  I had only one cucumber so it may have had a slightly higher dressing and accompaniments to cuke ratio than the recipe states.  I also was generous in my coconut and peanut measurement. Pinterest wins today.