Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog the second....snow day

The snow day....the ultimate freedom of days for a child. The moment of homework..nothing but white is utter bliss. For me I joined in that joy and freedom from the second I saw the piles and miles of white that stretched out before my eyes.
I have very little interest in playing in the frozen tundra, perhaps I'll go for a walk later. But for now I am keenly aware that I have a free day to do some bonus cooking. The kids are bundled up and resemble Maggie Simpson in her starfish snowsuit. I have "Leftover chicken soup" cooking to help the thawing process after the playing ceases.


Chicken Soup:
Leftover Roasted Chicken
leftover roasted potatoes
Handful of baby carrots(10ish)
2 diced onions
2 celery stalks
3 sprigs of thyme

Place chicken in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Remove bones and meat. Toss bones away, and place meat into pot. Dice up veggies and pop into pot. Continue the simmer for 30 minutes. Add ravioli and cook until ravs are ready. Feel free to add any other veggies that may have been roasted along with chicken...I notices some asparagus, and cranberries floating around the soup.

Dinner for tonight is modified from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and her book The Italian Country Table.
Serves two
For a lighter main course, do this one-dish supper of pasta with greens, chickpeas and shrimp. If you prefer a strictly vegetarian meal, double up on the onion and the chickpeas, eliminating the shrimp.

Take care with chile. If it's too hot, it will overwhelm the dish. Use any medium-hot chile, like red jalapeños. Chop and measure everything before beginning the recipe. Cook the pasta, reserve some of its water, drain it and immediately start the sauce.

• 1/4 medium red onion
• 1 small Italian frying pepper, or sweet red bell pepper
• 1 fresh medium-hot chile pepper, stemmed and seeded (Italian hot peppers, cherry peppers, pepperoncini or red jalapeño)
• 4 plump black olives (Sicilian or Kalamata), pitted
• 1/2 pound fusilli pasta
• 3 quarts salted, boiling water
• 1 to 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 of a 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 big handfuls (1/4 pound, 2 tightly-packed cups) mixed young organic salad greens
• Dandelion or curly endive leaves, coarsely chopped
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 3/4 pound fresh jumbo shrimp, shelled and cut crosswise into thirds
• 1/2 cup snipped chives or thin sliced scallion tops


Chop the onion, peppers and olives together into 1/2-inch to 1/4-inch pieces. Cook the pasta in fiercely boiling water, stirring often until tender, yet firm to the bite. Remove 1/4-cup pasta water, draining pasta in a colander. While pasta boils, heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers and chickpeas, with generous sprinkles of salt and pepper. Sauté three to five minutes, or until onions are gold at their edges.
Stir in greens and garlic, cooking about 10 seconds, or until greens barely soften. Stir in shrimp. Cook a few moments till barely firm. The greens will be wilted. Blend in pasta water, scraping up glaze from the bottom of pan. Cook 30 seconds, or until shrimp are firm but juicy. Immediately toss with pasta and chives, tasting for seasoning. Turn into a warmed bowl and serve.

I am omitting the shrimp and serving grilled sausages and grapes drizzled with balsamic vinegar....but hmmmmm the shrimp sounds great for another night.

1 comment:

  1. Snow is very uncommon in South Africa, so I missed out on the joys of snow days. Maybe that explains it...