Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mutant "Minestrone"

For the record: I have been cooking, albeit mostly repeating old recipes and sometimes being too lazy to update.

I've become addicted to Annie's Organics Minestrone (despite its deplorable lack of animal protein), and so resolved to make some minestrone of my own. Alas, things didn't quite turn out the way I'd planned: the term minestrone is in scare quotes because had to make do without things like a mirepoix or fresh herb; also, the current proportions are more familiar as pasta sauce or tomato-garlic soup. So far, the resultant concoction on my stove tastes fine, but could taste better. Meh as it may be, here it is for my records and to build on.

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6-10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 oz. proscuitto
  • 1 medium-sized potato, cubed
  • 1 28-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed or chopped
  • 1 14 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 can shoepeg corn
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat till onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add proscuitto and saute for 3-5 more minutes.

Add potato, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir for one minute more.

Turn heat to high. Add tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer for about 15-25 minutes, when tomatoes have started to break down. (At this point, I also threw in 2 cubes of sugar because it was too sour without the counteracting notes of the celery and carrot).

Add kidney beans. Return to a boil, then to a simmer. Add corn 5 minutes before everything's done.

Will wait for this to age a bit before figuring out what I want to do with it. Seems certainly good enough to eat while watching the NYY-NYM game tonight, though, and to take to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Adobo, Part II

This is the second in a series of cook-by-the-book attempts to establish a new adobo baseline recipe. It's taken from Filipino Cooking Here and Abroad. I've never used sugar in an adobo recipe before, but now I see the advantages to it - this iteration tasted wonderfully complex even without the browning and before being stored for the night.

Future mods? More garlic, maybe a bit more sugar. And definitely some chicken livers. Had some gizzards but figured I'd save them for a night when I'd more time to cook.
  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken legs (with some of the backbone and delicious kidneys)
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (approximated several grinds)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (2 lumps)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients but the oil in a pot and let stand for at least 30 minutes, turning the chicken now and then.

Bring to a boil, then simmer till the chicken's tender (about 30-45 minutes - could have been done sooner, but Colbert's first Iraq episode was on so I let it ride).

[Didn't do this part, but intend to next time.] Reserve sauce. Brown chicken in vegetable oil, then move to plate.

Pour off some oil if you wish, then add sauce to the pan. Raise heat and stir until the sauce thickens to desired consistency.

Serve with chicken over white rice.