The lovely Ms. P. posted some celery and potato soup yesterday and it looked so delicious I made my own. First time! So good!
Celery and potato soup
2 slices bacon
*** or ***
2 T butter or olive oil
1 c. onions, diced
1 heart of celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
4 c. broth
4 c. water
2 large potatoes, cubed
Herbs you enjoy in soup [I used thyme, parsley, and sage from my garden, a big handful of cilantro from the farmer’s market]
In large pan, brown bacon or butter/oil.
Add onions, then celery, then bell pepper. Sauté to brown a little then turn down and cook about 20 minutes til tender. if it starts getting dry, add a little liquid. Puree in blender.
While you’re waiting on that, get out your big stock pot and bring broth, water and potatoes to a boil. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. I threw in a handful of coriander seeds, too. Turn down to a simmer and cover.
Add the puree in, too, once that’s ready. Once the potatoes are all tendaroni, use your masher or hand mixer to break them down.
We had ours with sourdough toast.
Some recipes I like that I was telling J. about at coffee yesterday:
Zucchini Crab Cakes. These are super delicious and EASY and healthy except for being fried, but that just makes them that much more tasty. Serve with Creole-style remoulade [there are a million ways to make this; I mix catsup, mayo, seedy mustard, cayenne, and whatever else to taste].
Beer pizza dough. Chad makes this once a week, he rolls out two doughs and we put our own toppings on. Mine usually has some or all of the following: pesto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh mozz, parmesan, prosciutto, garlic, olives, oregano and basil, red pepper flakes, whatever else is around. Here are some photos from Tuesday’s batch. Do not view on an empty stomach.
A dinner I made last week, everything was quick and easy and delicious.
Chop up 4 slices bacon, crisp in tall pot, add in about 1/3 c. shallot or onion, cook til translucent, add 2-3 bags fresh spinach and toss until steamed to taste.
Fish with Onions and Mushrooms
This was super good and easy, recipe from John Ryan
1 slice bacon
1 cup sliced onion
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 fish fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon butter
Crisp bacon, set aside, then sauté the onion until translucent, add mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the mushrooms are almost cooked, add the wine and vinegar then simmer half the wine away.
Lay fish on top, cover, and maintain a steady simmer 5-10 minutes until fish is done. Remove fish to warm platter. Stir butter into pan drippings [this is where i squeezed in half a lemon, but it was overwhelming and I would skip this step next time, or use less] then pour over fish and crumble bacon on top.
This may not be entirely accurate:
Cooked rice in rice cooker with half water, half stock, a smidge of saffron, a handful of pistachios, a drizzel of olive oil, and…some kind of herbs, I don’t remember which. There was no bacon in the rice.
what are you making today?
two dinners I made this week, that both turned out really, really well:
while boiling trottole [which is this crazy top-shaped pasta they had at Safeway, photo, i am SO going to make some mac & cheese with it]:
halve and brown sausages [check kind with Chad, they were TJs chicken with fennel & red peppers & ?] then cut into chunks.
sauté 1/2 c. diced shallot or onion
add jar of TJs red pepper & artichoke tapenade and sausage & simmer
serve over pasta with grated parmesan.
veggie version: skip the sausage, and parm if you’re more like that.
2. pork tenderloin
butterfly pork tenderloin
sauté diced shallot
mix in bowl with olive oil, cumin, turmeric, coarse salt.
spread on butterflied tenderloin, roll up, wrap with bacon and secure with toothpicks
place in pan with carrots [chopped into chunks] and mushrooms [small, whole] on each side
put slice of bacon across top of veg to keep them moist.
bake at 450° ~45 min til interior temp is 160°.
served with a baked potato though a baguette would have been preferable.
This was SOOOOOO good and ridiculously easy, it literally took me about 10 minutes.
Gnocchi with Creamy Arugula Pesto
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s 30-Minute Suppers Spring 2009
2 c. lightly packed baby arugula
5 T olive oil
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
[I was out and used cashews instead, still delicious!]
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
2 lb. vacuum-packed gnocchi
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T lemon juice
Process arugula, oil, 2 T nuts and garlic in food processor until smooth. Heat pan, add a bit of oil, and sauté gnocchi until bottoms are slightly brown [or you can boil it. I like the crispy bottom way]. Add cream and bring to simmer over medium-high heat until cream is slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in pesto, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken and dumplings
1 lb. chicken breasts
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. sliced carrots
1/2 lb. mushrooms
6 c. chicken stock
Thyme, rosemary, basil, other herbs of choice, chopped
Salt and pepper
Dumplings: 1/2 c. milk and 1-1 1/2 c. pancake mix
Sauté chicken til cooked. Cube.
Sauté onions in dutch oven. When translucent, add celery and carrots. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock, mushrooms, herbs, chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix milk & pancake mix, should be doughy. Form balls and put on top of stew once boiling. Lower to simmer, cover, and cook til toothpick stuck in dumplings comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Eat.
Chard with garlic and raisins
Rinse and strip two bunches chard off stalks. Spin off excess water and chop up. Sauté 6 cloves diced garlic in 2 T olive oil in large pot about 30 seconds. Add half the chard, toss, when it gets a bit wilty, add in other half and toss. Throw in a handful of raisins and toss some more. Cover and lower heat, steam 5 minutes til chard is soft.
Cook in this order:
Roasted potatoes and mushrooms
Wash and cube a pound or so of potatoes. Place in casserole with 1/2 lb. button crimini mushrooms. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices, then toss. Cover with foil and cook at 450° til tender, about one hour.
Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin
Butterfly 1 lb. pork tenderloin [how to], sprinkle with salt, pepper, and spices/herbs you like. Roll up, and place in lightly-oiled casserole. Slice some bacon in halves, wrap these over the tenderloin and secure with toothpicks. Cook at 450° until center of meat reaches 160° [mine took about 45 minutes].
Heat a couple T. butter in a dutch oven. Slice 1 lb. carrots into sticks about 2″ long [I quarter on the fat end], add to pot, then coat with honey. Toss, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes til tender.
After about six months of cooking, starting with absolutely no knowledge at all of anything domestic, Chad has officially surpassed my culinary skills.
I had to wait til midnight to eat but it was totally worth it.
If you’re a veggie, don’t look.
Today we made a menu for the week for the first time in ages, bought far fewer groceries than we usually do [planning! it works! who knew!], and for dinner made pizza [Chad has become THE best pizza maker ever, click through on the photo for what went on mine] and Brussels sprouts* [D swore she hates them but ended up picking the leftovers out of the pan. HA! It’s totally the bacon.] and it was soooooo good. Lousy picture but worth documenting nonetheless:
* I think lexica is the one who shared this recipe: cut the ends off the sprouts and halve, toss in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake. I went the stovetop route because the oven was full of pizza, then I tossed in some chopped-up leftover bacon and cooked for a couple minutes.
And here are some of the trinkets I bought at the swap meet yesterday:
Also today I did another thing from my extremely detailed list of every single nook and cranny in this house that I am going to clean, sort, and purge the hell out of. One a day hopefully. Today was the cookbooks, got rid of a bag full. And I got my Yelp elite status for 2010 which means more awesome parties with free food and booze.
– write and send cover letter [my first since 2000! what!]
– mail rent
– farmer’s market
– I might go to a happy hour meetup, or I might chicken out because I will only know one person there, but I am determined to meet new people, so I think I will go.
Wednesday is coffee with J.
This week is going well so far [*knock*], how’s yours?