Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Soup

It's been a lovely Tuesday. I woke up to a purring cat and a boy friend on the verge of a cold which is kind of exactly how I like him... I love taking care of people, especially Adam, so I immediately jumped on the opportunity to make some chicken soup.

The best part about this soup is that all of the ingredients cost $12! It's also enough food to feed 6 or a sick boy for a week. Anyway, with a little guidance from Dawn, I made it through the grocery store in 10 minutes with the following...

-a small chicken (about 2-3lbs)
-1 package of baby portobello mushrooms
-1 large carrot
-2 yellow onions
-1 package of bay leaves
-1 bunch of garlic
-1 bunch of celery
-1 bunch of parsley
-1 box of orzo

When I got home I cleaned the chicken, put it in a pot and covered it with water until it was about two inches under. I quartered an onion, halved three celery stalks and added them to the water along with 3 cloves of peeled garlic and 3 bay leaves. I also added quite a bit of salt and pepper. After the water came to a boil I turned it down to a simmer and let it cook for about two hours. During that time I finely chopped another onion, 3 large cloves of garlic, the carrot, 3 large celery stalks, 6 mushrooms (sans steam), and about 2 tbls of parsley.

After about two hours the chicken should be falling off the bone but still take a fork to it to check out the meat and give it a little taste. With a ladle, fish out every bit of chicken, onion, and celery and put it on a separate plate. All you need is the meat from the chicken. While the chicken is cooling you can add all your other vegetables to your broth as well as about a tbls of black pepper and salt. You'll probably end up needing even more salt and pepper to taste when serving. Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, use your hands to pull all the meat and give a taste to your cat if you want him to love you forever.

When you've added your chicken back into the mix let it simmer for about 45 minutes (the longer the better). In a separate pot boil water and cook your orzo but just enough for the people you plan on serving right then and there. I don't ever actually add the orzo to the soup. It just ends up absorbing too much broth and getting soggy. When the orzo is done cooking I add about 2 tbls to each bowl and then pour some broth and the soup mixture over it. Salt and pepper to taste. A little hot sauce is also a great addition.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving In The Berkshires

I know it's two weeks late but I had an AMAZING Thanksgiving. Adam and I took the train up to The Berkshires on Wednesday, spent three hours grocery shopping, and made a beautiful dinner with my mom. There were three different pizzas. The first one was covered with sweet potato, carmalized onions and a blue cheese blend. The second, a margarita and lastly one with beets, goat cheese, pecans and red sauce. Dawn (my mamma) made a last minute contribution of mussels which she steamed with garlic and wine. This was a great way to kick off the weekend.

The next morning I woke up bright and early and started prepping for the big meal. I prepared the filling for stuffed mushrooms which I mentioned in an earlier Thanksgiving post, baked chestnuts for the brussels sprouts (also mentioned in that old post) and made the filling and crust for a pecan cobbler that I found on a blog I follow called Homesick Texan (no connection). Some changes had to be made... For starters, to make the brown rice in the stuffed mushroom a little more flavorful I cut the water in half and used a veggie stock , in the brussels sprouts I added some brown sugar to the butter to make it feel a little more Christmas like and I couldn't find sorghum syrup so I used half corn syrup and half molasses. All of theses adjustments were totally successful and I strongly recommend them.

It was a cozy evening. The whole weekend was full of warm meals, family, wine and laughter. Totally the ideal weekend in the country.