CHILE RELLENO CHICKEN SOUP; CORN BREAD
Saturday is the only day I came close to cooking anything interesting. THIS WAS INTERESTING.
The recipe I used called for roasted poblano peppers, which I’ve never used before. The supermarket’s labels weren’t clear, and I wasn’t completely sure the peppers I chose would be hot enough. They sure looked pretty, though, especially after roasting, which I did under the oven broiler:
Then I took off the seeds and stems and as much of the skin as possible, and put them in the blender, still worrying that it was going to be too bland.
As soon as I opened the blender lid, everyone’s eyes started to water and everyone’s nose started to run, and everyone in the kitchen started to choke and gag. It was spicy in the same way that the Grand Canyon is deep: Technically, that’s an accurate adjective, but you don’t really grasp the full import of the word until you’re standing at the edge and you can’t actually breathe for a minute.
I started to feel a little nervous about my soup at this point. But at least I knew I had the right kind of pepper.
So I got the rest of the ingredients in and let it simmer for a while, and once it was heated through, the retching subsided, and the kitchen smelled less like, “I said, LET MY PEOPLE GO!” and more like, “Perhaps we can market this as a homeopathic remedy for sinus patients.”
By the time I mixed in the cheddar and the cream cheese, it smelled like the place that poblano peppers go when they have been very, very good.
Verdict: I ate about three gallons of it. I had to steel myself before every spoonful, but it was magnificently worth it. If I serve it again, I’ll have something cooling to eat in between, like slices of mango. We made do with bananas.
UPDATE: Thanks to some sleuthing from my Facebook friends, I now know that these were most likely scotch bonnets, not poblanos. That explains a thing or two.
The corn bread, I made a double recipe of the one on the side of the corn meal canister, but I decreased the sugar a bit.
Also, if you run a pat of butter all over the top of the corn bread as soon as you pull it out of the oven, it gives it a nice sheen.
I like this cornbread recipe because (a) you make it all in one bowl; and (b) everything is in half, quarter, or whole cups. So if you have one of those kitchens where you know you have six or seven sets of cup measures scattered around somewhere, but all you can find is a quarter cup measure, you can still manage fine. If all you can find is a third of a cup, though, you are oodscray.
FAMILY BIRTHDAY PARTY!
Left the kids with three pizzas and Damien and Corrie and I went to my brother Jacob’s house for his birthday, where we had chicken and broccoli divan with rice. Must get my sister-in-law’s recipe — it was delicious. A happy day.
I hope when my kids grow up, they will have parties like this together, with tons of food and tons of kids, and a very pleasant doggie.
I brought four apple pies.
I’ve been having the worst time with pie crust lately, so I made a streusel topping, and it turned out fine. I also made twice as much as I need, so I have the extra stored in the fridge for later.
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
Rub the dry ingredients into the butter and cut with a butter knife until it’s all crumbly. Sprinkle over pies and bake as usual.
For Thanksgiving, I’m gonna try again to make a decorative crust, though. Here’s a short video with 20 ideas for decorative crimps on pie crust. A few are brilliant:
Also, I want that green bracelet.
BEEF BARLEY SOUP; BISCUITS (from a can)
I never get tired of this soup. Basic recipe here. This week, I used steak (which was cheaper than soup meat, in the quantities I wanted); canned tomatoes, red onions, mushrooms, barley, beef broth, lots of garlic and red pepper flakes and freshly -ground black pepper. Don’t forget, barley isn’t like pasta, and takes a good forty minutes to cook all the way through.
There should be a name for that sensuous moment when the first ingredients start to sizzle and the sound, smell, and sight envelop you in a cloud of fragrant soup anticipation.
I Googled “sensuous vs. sensual” just to be on the safe side, but let’s be honest, it’s kinda both. I really like soup.
My only comment about the biscuits is that some people live in houses where other people hear the oven timer beeping, and they just turn it off and walk away without telling anyone that the timer went off. This is not in the best interest of the biscuits.
HOT DOGS; CHIPS; RAW VEGGIES; LEFTOVER APPLE PIE
Tuesday was a blur. Much of this week was a blur. My husband said, “When I think about your afternoon driving routine, I just get mad!” I did chop up a giant platter of raw veggies, which we ate for three days for lunches and snacks as well as dinner. I’ll spare you the story of the French onion dip with the hole in the bottom, and of all the poor French onion dip-related decisions I made while leading up to the discovery that it was moldy anyway.
NACHOS; HOT DOGS; AVOCADOS; GRITS
My 13-year-old son was in heaven. Nachos and hot dogs? Nachos AND hot dogs????
Also, grits are the best. Little butter and salt? Num num num.
GRILLED CHICKEN AND SALAD; HARD BOILED EGGS
Chicken breasts were $1.77 a pound! Haven’t seen it that low for years. I made a quickie marinade out of veg oil, wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt, fresh pepper, and dried parsley, and was really surprised at how tasty it was. Just douse the chicken in the dressing and put it under the broiler for 20 minutes or so, turning it once. Let it rest a minute, then slice it up and serve it over a green salad.
This is my Meal of Great Virtue, with the lean meat and the fresh greens. The kids compensate by smothering it in creamy dressings.
I don’t know why I made eggs. I think I just noticed we had six boxes of eggs in the fridge, and that seemed silly. Anyway, we got all protetin’d up for the night.
I GUESS SPAGHETTI
I’m pre-resting on my laurels for all the wonderful things we’re going to have for Thanksgiving. I’ll probably do a food post sometime before Thursday next week, in case people want to share recipes before the actual day. That makes more sense, right?
Question of the week: Do you like Thanksgiving? Why or why not?