Saturday, March 8

On food!

Last night we went to our favorite Italian restaurant. Mr. kenju's brother is visiting and he treated - which is always nice. I wrote about this place recently. This time I ordered the calamari, and I was a bit disappointed. Previously, the calamari was tiny, crispy and salted to perfection. This time, it was larger and a bit soggy. However, I can tell you that the margarita made up for it! The drink was so strong that had I had two of them, I wouldn't have known what I was eating!

Below is the eggplant saltiletto. Very thinly sliced eggplant covered with prosciutto and mozzarella cheese, capers and sliced tomatoes. It did not disappoint! I may try to make this at home, but I'll use Monterey Jack cheese (less salty) and leave out the prosciutto, since it is not good for Mr. kenju's diet.

This is the calamari. Each of those larger rings was about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. I think I prefer the smaller ones. It was tasty, but not as satisfying as before.


I had lunch with Alice yesterday (Anna's mom) at Chipotle, and mentioned that I had made a big pot of soup for my brother-in-law, who is seemingly always hungry and very appreciative. Alice expressed an interest in my recipe for the soup I make with anything I find in the refrigerator or pantry. Of course, there is no recipe, but I can tell you how I made the latest batch.

I thawed two large skinless chicken breasts (from Costco) with no fat. I washed and broiled them for 16 minutes, sprinkled with no-salt-seasonings and cracked pepper after spraying them with high-heat Pam. I cut the breasts in half first, since they were so large in order to minimize the broiling time. If you do them for longer than 8 minutes per side, they'll be dry and tough.

While the chicken was cooking, I put 2 cans of fat-free vegetable broth into my large stock pot/dutch oven. I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of black-eyed peas, about 1/2 cup chopped onion, 3 carrots (cleaned and chopped), 3 ribs celery, some left-over steamed broccoli and more water, about 2 cups. I usually add some green beans and corn, but not this time. Then I peeled and chopped 4 medium potatoes and added them. I let that simmer for about 30 minutes, after adding a palm-full of Sylvia's Secret Seasoning and coarse black pepper, with a dash of Mrs. Dash for good measure!

Sometimes I make a large pot and freeze parts of it for another meal. I don't use potatoes if I know I am going to freeze some or all of it - I use rice or barley. If you freeze it in small containers (maybe 2-3 cups worth) they will thaw quickly and you can have soup almost at a moment's notice. I'll try to remember to take a photo of the soup when I serve it today. Enjoy!


gautami tripathy said...

This post is so edible! Thanks for the mouth-watering recipe. Glad Michele sent me your way today.

JeanMac said...

Let us know how the eggplant dish turns out - looks like pizza to me! Must be delicious

Diane Mandy said...

Have you ever tried Piccola Italia in Cameron Village? Love that place!

gautami tripathy said...

MIchele sent me back again to drool over the post again. Thanks!

Jamie Dawn said...

All this talk of food is simply delicious!!
Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures.
I went out to lunch today and had chicken fajitas.
They were yummy!!
Your soup sounds tasty. I loved homemade soups of all kinds. They always taste so good and the house smells good while the soup's on.

Anna said...

OK, so I couldn't get past the part where you went to Chipotle with my mom! I am so jealous! One, because you were with my mom...two, because that is my favorite place to get burritos! Have you had their gaucamole? SO GOOD! My favorite!

I hope you two had fun!

Maria said...

I love making soup and always make large quanities to be frozen for later meals.  My freezer is filled right now with containers holding servings for two of chili, lemon chicken soup, and beef vegetable soup.  I like my soups with lots of meat so that the protein keeps me from having late afternoon hunger pangs.

aprilbapryll said...

I've never been fond of eggplant, but I'm certain it's because I've never had it made properly. Hope yours comes out great!

Michele sent me tonight!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This recipe made my mouth water, and it is 1:10 in the morning, really NOW, 2:10AM) It really sounds quite wonderful, Judy.....!

Too bsd the Calimari was not as you hoped....Maybe next time. That Eggplant dish sounds delicious, too! YUM!

BTW: You can now hear the 4 songs I recorded back in 1956 & 1958...."Alexander's Ragtime Band" is there, and I remembered you saying you liked that song a lot!

Sonia said...

Hummm! The eggplant saltiletto looks yummy!

PI said...

I must see if our Italian does the eggplant dish. Just what I like. Your soup I would call a stew - which is an ever popular meal. I want a margarita:)

Shelly said...

Oh, bummer about the calamari. Great calamari is always so delightful, but soggy or rubber-bandy is always such a disappointment. I know it's a challenge to get it just right, you made me want to go get some at the Greek restaurant in town.

Shephard said...

I love a big pot of soup. :)
I've never heard of "a rib of celery." Is that a southern term?
~S :)