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Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's Cooking

In conjunction with my new resolve to stick to my diet (which I was on for 2 successful weeks before Christmas, and then conveniently forgot existed until after the new year), I've been on a cooking kick. Laura is partly to blame for this, too, since she posted the recipe for this split pea soup on her blog. She found it on Epicurious. Instead of the linguica or andouille sausage that the recipe calls for, I used Italian sausage (I tend to like it better than other types). It also calls for kale, which I'm 99.99% positive that I have never purchased nor cooked with before. It also always reminds me of that episode of Cheers where Woody does the commercial for Veggie Boy (they start talking about the kale 1 minute and 7 seconds into the clip).

Despite the color in the photo, I'm pretty sure this isn't radioactive.

The soup was surprisingly delicious! I was worried that it might be bland because there are so few ingredients. It's not. I think cooking the peas with the sausages infuses the broth with a lot of their flavor. I think I'm going to have to make this soup one of my staples, since it gives me an excuse to pull out my immersion mixer and the pureed peas did not trigger my IBS like the canned split pea soups that I enjoy(ed). It also cooks up really quickly.

Later in the week I decided that it was high time I put my crockpot to use again. I found this recipe for French Chicken Stew that I thought I needed to try. So I did. I prepped all of the ingredients the night before, threw them in the pot, then stuck it all in the fridge. Before leaving for work, I placed the crock into the base and turned that sucker on. I almost forgot to plug it in, but averted disaster by realizing that the cord in the outlet behind it belonged to a different appliance. Remember that I was doing this before I had any coffee...

After a long day at work, during which I kept noticing that my hands STILL smelled like the onions I had chopped the night before, I finally made it home and was greeted at the door by the succulent aroma wafting from my kitchen. And my cat. (Clarification - she greeted me, not her odor, which is anything but succulent).

This greeted me when I came home. Hi chicken!

After a long day at work, during which I kept noticing that my hands STILL smelled like the onions I had chopped the night before, I finally made it home and was greeted at the door by the succulent aroma wafting from my kitchen. And my cat. (Clarification - she greeted me, not her odor). All I had to do with stir in the jar of pasta sauce and enjoy. This was really good, and different from the stews that I usually throw together in my crock pot.

I'll make this again, but I will use a different pasta sauce to stir in at the end. I think that the one I used overpowered the herbs that are used during the slow cooking process. I also couldn't used bone-in thighs and simply removed the skins at home. The bone-in thighs also keep the chicken together (mostly) when portioning this out into servings (important for me when I'm actually tracking my Weight Wacthers points - this came out to a Points Plus value of 5, based on 6 servings, since my 2lbs of chicken was only 6 thighs). The meat falls right off of the bone though, so it's easy to remove it before eating.

It photographs well, too, doesn't it? This is after adding the tomato sauce.

Speaking of removing the bones, I did so and tossed them into the trash can. The next day, I come home from work to see my trash can laying on it's side on the kitchen floor, spilling trash onto the tiles. Just past the rim of the can was a chicken bone missing one end, with the marrow exposed. I didn't bite the end of that bone off, kitty, or knock that trash can over, so you've got some explaining to do! Luckily, I had emptied the trash just before I started making the stew, so there wasn't much in it, and not much to clean up. Regardless, I didn't expect my cat to forage through my garbage.

2 comments:

Fluffycat said...

That chicken stew looks delicious. I keep meaning to start using my crock pot again. I am sure by the time I find it, it will be hot again and I won't want any savory stews.

Sailorchick said...

Glad you liked the soup! It's a favorite of ours