September 15, 2008

cloudy with a chance of meatballs

If you've never heard of or read this book, shame on you.

I love soup. I can always appreciate a good bowl of soup, and with the cold weather coming (sooner than later hopefully), it's soup season and I want to learn and get good at making this tasty stuff. Soup reminds me of the story "Stone Soup." Now that was some damn good soup....

With my last free Monday for a while, I decided to make some tomato soup, from a recipe I read from the LA Times. I always end up making too much so this time I really rationed my ingredients, and came out with too little. So it goes.

First, I chopped up some carrots, onions, green onions, fennel bulb(a new ingredient for me, a bit pricey, but smelled good), and celery. I cooked it in a pan with some olive oil and butter, then added some cloves of minced garlic. I wasn't exact with the proportions for everything, and I"m going to make some adjustments for the next time I make this.

Next I diced some tomatoes, and added them into the mix. Into this, I added some salt, gin, sugar, pepper, paprika and lemon juice. I could smell the alcohol burning off and it smelled damn good. I added some red wine too for good measure. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to put it in, but I like using wine. I let this cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for a while until the mixture thickened a bit.

Last step was to take this stuff, put it into a food processor, and puree that sucka good. Then put it into a pot, and however much chicken broth you want. I used the low sodium/low fat, which probably wasn't as flavorful, but I wanted to taste the vegetable mix I made. Scoop, dish out and garnish with some basil.

The end product. As you can see, the consistency seems a bit off. I thought I had blended it long enough, but I guess not. It doesn't look too much like the LA Times picture. Maybe I should have blended it for a longer amount of time, or I should have added more chicken broth. I used about 3/4 of a can. There really wasn't much, as there was about two small bowls worth. Visually, I didn't like it because it reminded me of salsa or baby food. The taste was good though, although I thought it was a bit sour, which I was guessing from the acidity from the tomatoes, with not enough of the veggies to balance it out. I'm going to add some more carrots and sugar to make it a bit sweeter.

I bought a basil plant today. Hopefully I won't kill it. Basil is expensive at markets...running 3-4 bucks a pop. You get an okay amount of basil, but if you've ever gone to a farmer's market, you know that you get way more, for about a 1/10 of the cost.

I reckon that's all for now folks. Stay tuned for more. Next up: My first try with making hot carrots.

September 2, 2008

summer is almost over

and fantasy basketball season will be here soon!

had a bbq for labor day, and was mildly satisfied with the results. cooked up some rib eyes, rubbed with some sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt , pepper and mixd with some 2 buck chuck merlot and evoo, italian parsley and bay leaf and let it sit for a couple of hours. funnily enough, when i grilled it later, the meat kinda smelled like galbi. also grilled some zucchini, green onions, and corn.

i need to get into the habit of writing my recipes down. last year i found this really nice red wine recipe which i slightly modified and it tasted so damn good, but i never saved it and i can't find it anymore. i overcooked the ribeyes, i like them medium rare, but it came out more to a medium/medium well and a bit dry. my grilling experience isn't very much, and this was the first time i grilled rib eye. i usually like getting tri tip from costco. they were cut thinner than the tritip, so i knew that the cooking time wouldn't be as long. however, i had some problem with starting up the charcoal, and as a result, the rib eye came out a bit over cooked because i left it on too long. my first grilling experience was with gas grills at an apartment complex i used to live at, and man it makes things easier. but i do like charcoal grilling, and i'm learning each time i do it. also had some garlic/pepper burgers, which i bought, but woulda made if i had the time. made some spring rolls with carrots, cabbage, cucumber, mint, cilantro and basil. i'm getting a lot better at rolling them consistently...i've found the smaller i make them the easier it is to roll.

today for dinner i packed myself a turkey sandwich with a lemon/cilantro hummus spread on multi grain bread with tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and basil. don't get the turkey at fresh n easy. it's salty as hell, unless you like that. a boring dinner, but a nice break from the monotony of the library.

i took my dog on a walk today, and passed by this box, which i thought i heard some rustling in. i looked inside and there were these two pidgeons. i stopped by later to drop off a piece of bread, but they were gone.

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