Monday, September 27, 2010

Some Food I Made

You were missing the food-based entries, weren't you.

Anyway I wanted to talk about a couple of things I made a while ago.  Honestly, probably a month ago... but I took pictures with the intention of blogging about them.

First, homemade chicken soup.  You guys, if you have ever said "I can't make chicken soup from scratch, that is way too hard!" you are so wrong.  I figured out how to do it myself basically, with a tiny bit of help from a cookbook (reading a recipe to get the general idea).  It's super easy.  Furthermore, the way I make guarantees the best soup for even the pickiest people.  No floaty bits, no skin, and I'm guessing not a lot of fat either because I only use white meat.

I don't use a whole chicken either, but you could.  I just buy chicken breasts with back attached and do one of two things - either roast that with potatoes and carrots and eat part of the chicken but not all of it, or just boil it from the get go.  If you boil it right away you need to remove the meat AS SOON as it is done cooking (like 20 minutes about) otherwise all of the flavour will go into the broth and the meat will be tasteless.  This is why I like to roast it instead, and it's an easy way to get a lot of meals out of 6 dollars' worth of chicken.

Once you've got your carcass, remove the skin and put the carcass in about 6-8 cups of water with some celery, peppercorns or pepper, a couple of garlic cloves, a large onion, a few sprigs of fresh parsley, a couple of carrots, and a teaspoon or two of chicken bouillon.  Also add some salt (but you can add this later too when you taste it after it's cooked for a while).  Simmer this for about 4 hours, then skim the fat and strain the broth so you don't have anything gross in there.

Put the broth back into the pot with some chunks of potato, carrot, celery, and the cooked chicken (you can add the chicken at the last minute too to make sure you don't end up stealing the flavour from it).  Cook some noodles in a separate pot.  Boil the soup until the potatoes, carrots, and celery are just tender (don't overcook the potatoes or they will get an almost stringy texture).  Add the noodles, chicken, and some chopped fresh parsley.  Salt to taste and that's all you have to do!  It's actually super easy, really filling, and so delicious:

You could probably do the initial carcass simmering in a slow cooker during the day while you're out so you don't have to be around for the whole process.  Then you get home and have only about a half-hour worth of prep for amazing homemade chicken noodle soup!

Secondly, you may recall me mentioning sour cream salad in an older entry.  Hands down this is my favourite summer meal, and I had to take a picture of the best one I made this summer.  Everything was garden fresh.

All you need is:  romaine lettuce (or green leaf, any dark garden variety that isn't too crunchy - I don't like using mature storebought romaine for this salad), cucumber, dill, and green onions.  Cut them up, mix them up, add a generous amount of salt (this is the only thing I eat that I ever put salt on) and a generous amount of sour cream and I kid you not this is the most delicious salad in the entire world.

This particular salad was especially awesome because the cucumber and lettuce were slightly bitter, which goes really well with the dill, salt, and sweetness of the green onions.  And the sour cream just brings all of the flavours together perfectly.  How do more people not eat this salad, I am not sure.  But it's amazing.

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