Sundaying

April 18, 2010

Hibernation

April 2, 2010

This blog is napping, as its author is distracted by all sorts of good and happy things.

Asparagus + leek +  mushroom risotto

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 cups water
  • .5 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bunch asparagus, grilled at 400F for 10 minutes
  • .5 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted
  • salt, pepper, parmesan to taste
  1. Saute the onion until golden brown.
  2. Add rice; stir dreamily for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the first 3 cups of water one by one, stirring regularly and replenishing the liquid as soon as it starts getting puny.  I know that this seems like a nuisance–but it won’t be, really, if you’re chopping the leeks and watching Rachel Maddow along the way.
  4. Dump in another cup of water, along with the leeks and mushrooms.
  5. You will know when the final cup is needed, just as everything is starting to look almost done.
  6. Top with asparagus and parmesan.

Clean or dirty

March 23, 2010

It’s a tough call.

Chicken tortilla soup

March 22, 2010

We traveled.  We came back.  We  experienced the same blizzard twice: once out west, for an entire day, and then again flying back into Chicago.  It was  really just one of those March snowstorms that only thinks it’s scary but can’t even make the snow stick for more than a couple of hours.  It did, however, provide us with some very turbulent moments over Nebraska (“I’m never-ever-ever flying again; you will just have to tell me what Spain is like!” was actually uttered, I’m afraid), along with a rather dicey landing at O’Hare.  We were ever so glad to touch down–but then, aren’t we, Mr. and Ms. Homebody, always speechlessly ecstatic to come home?  And what better way to celebrate than with a lazy day of coffee and naps and  movies and books and wine and soup?

Chicken tortilla soup

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lb frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • tortilla chips, avocados, cheese (I can’t possibly tell you how much you’re going to want)
  • oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper
  1. Saute the chicken and onion–with generous dashes of of paprika, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper–for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add water and tomatoes; bring to a boil; simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Toss in the corn, beans, and scallions (along with more spices, if needed).
  4. Serve with tortillas, cilantro, cheese, and chopped avocados.

Will you settle for this quickly snapped iPhone shot from this morning, taken while I was wearing a single sock and brushing my teeth?  I promise the dish is worth it.

Quinoa + lentils + walnuts

  • .5 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can lentils (but surely some of those tiny red uncooked lentils would cook in just delightfully if added during step 2… just make sure you add more water as well)
  • .5 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the onion and carrot for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the quinoa and stir for a couple of minutes, mostly because it’s just so lovely watching it get all toastedy.
  3. Add water; cover; cook on low for 10-12 minutes.
  4. When the quinoa is done, stir in the lentils and walnuts.

In other news: SPRING!  I know, I know–I have now jinxed it and the universe is already laughing at me as it plots a wicked blizzard in order to teach me a lesson. But oh!  I had a moment of pure bliss earlier today when, after stepping out of a store and instantly going into my defensive shoulders-to-ears posture, I realized that the air actually felt… nice.  And it smelled, as my friend put it, “almost happy.”

February graced us with:

  • 1 bout of stomach flu
  • 1 death in the family
  • 1 week of construction
  • 1 visit of Very Important Business Partners From Abroad

Here’s an example of what sustained us on those many nights when we barely had enough energy to wield a paring knife for 30 seconds:

Arugula + black bean + corn salad with roasted garlic

  • .5 lb frozen corn, cooked
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 fistful arugula
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
  1. Cut off the top of each garlic clove and drizzle with oil.
  2. Roast the garlic at 400F for 30 minutes.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, throw the corn, beans, and arugula together and top with avocado.  Splash with a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste.

Absent

February 14, 2010

It’s not been easy getting the new floors to match our kitty…

Back soon.

Last night, I informed Mr. Onepot that we were about to order Chinese.  Then, out of some poorly defined but quite persistent guilt, I found myself preparing the following:

Polenta+spinach+black bean strata

  • 3 cups water + 1 cup milk
  • 1.25 cup polenta
  • .5 large onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • .5 lb spinach (fresh, in this case, but surely frozen would also do)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 380F.
  2. Bring the water and milk to a boil.  (Remember that milk will trick you into thinking it’s nowhere near boiling, and then, in less than a second, puff up to an obscene height and spill all over your stove top.  So, sorry to say, you will have to babysit this just a bit.)
  3. Once it boils, stir in the polenta and salt.  Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring only occasionally.  (This you don’t have to babysit!  I’ve never understood why people complain about the intense attention polenta requires.  In the Old Country, we treat it roughly and it turns out just fine.)
  4. While the milk+water are heating up, start sauteing the onion.  Once it’s soft and happy, add the beans along with a touch of their liquid.  Season ever so generously with paprika and cayenne pepper.
  5. After the beans and onions have had, say, 5 minutes to get to know each other, turn the heat off, toss the spinach on top of them, and cover.  The residual heat will cause the spinach to wilt just a touch, making it more manageable.
  6. In an altogether unrelated bowl (oh, this is so not a one-pot dish), beat the egg and combine with the yogurt.
  7. Layer!  First the polenta, then the beany and spinachy mix, and finally the yogurty egg.
  8. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

(…In the end, I was so very glad we hadn’t ordered Chinese.)

Winter salad

February 5, 2010

Who says that winter is a wretched, terrible, not at all good time for salads?

Well, I do, most of the time.  But look!  This combo is pretty darn tasty.  And it’s so good for you that you can feel mighty righteous after eating it and justify just about any kind of dessert afterwards.

Winter salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 1 thimble-sized bit of ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • gorgonzola
  • curly parsley
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Of course, you know how to throw it all together without any help from me.  So I’ll just contribute this one nugget of wisdom: once you’ve cooked the quinoa, toss the chopped ginger and garlic in right away and let it all steam under the lid for another couple of minutes with the heat off.  This takes a bit of the zing out of the garlic.  Your coworkers will thank you for that if this ends up being your lunch the following day.