Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My new right hand man (thing)

Wow, I tried out my new gadget yesterday. Does it ever cut down on my work/time commitment to food prep! Holy. Smokes. I made borscht, from a recipe I got from the most AUTHENTIC SOURCE--the family that hosted me as an exchange student in Russia. Usually chopping 2 heads of cabbage and 2 onions, and grating 4 carrots and 2 beets is pretty labourious, but yesterday I was seriously bored between steps because my food processor does all the chopping and grating in about 5 seconds. Wowsa! The best best BEST part? Dishwasher safe. Oh, yeah. I ran it thru the dishwasher and it was sparkling and ready to grate cheese for the supper I made. Then I ran it thru the dishwasher again and it's nice and sparkly again. Here's some pix of my handiwork;

and the recipe for borscht;

1 small head green cabbage
1 small head red cabbage
2 small onions, or 1 med/large
1 or 2 cloves garlic
4 carrots
2 beets
1 litre soup stock (I use organic vegetable base soup stock, but traditional Russian recipes call for beef)

Place soup stock in pot, add 2-4 cups water to allow for reduction, put on low heat and let simmer.
Chop cabbage and fry in vegetable oil on medium heat with salt and pepper until desired softness. Add to soup stock.
Chop onions and fry in vegetable oil until soft. Add to soup.
Mince garlic and and add to soup directly.
Grate carrots and fry, add to soup.
Grate beets and fry, add to soup.

Simmer for about 40-60 minutes and serve with a spoonful of sour cream in the middle. Tastes fabulous and authentic with rye bread.

My dinner was pretty good, too, although the boys were squeamish.
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1 chopped roma tomato
1/3 cup onion, fried to soften with 1 clove garlic
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup frozen corn
2/3 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 fried mild Italian sausage
1 tsp dried mexican chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano

mix ingredients together in a casserole dish, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Add 1 cup grated cheese to top and cook another 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly (not too bubbly).
Both boys whined and cried and tried to negotiate NOT eating this dish, and supplemented their dinner with peanut butter bread (although required to eat some of the casserole before getting bread). Brent and I loved it. Pretty much I make what I like and don't care if the boys like it or not. I like dishes with all food groups mixed together. The boys hate that. Maybe when they are teenagers they will start to like my food?
I have a sneaking suspicion I may be getting better than my husband at general duty cooking. He uses his imagination for special meals, but not so much with day to day stuff. He also doesn't plan ahead (I plan my meals down to the spices and garnishes a week in advance and shop accordingly) so sometimes doesn't have the ingredients for his ideas. And my favourite food group is vegetables, but he sometimes forgets that food group altogether, and when he remembers he uses frozen peas/corn even when the crisper is full of fresh vegetables. ??????????? This is a turn of events; he was our cook, and good at it, for 5 years! In fact, once when Ayden was 3 1/2 or so I made dinner one night and Ayden asked me, "What are you doing, mommy?" When I replied that I was making dinner he laughed at me and said, "You're not the supper maker! You make funny jokes, mommy."
Brent still cooks 50% of the time. I still don't like it much. But I'm getting better. And I LOVE to EAT, so I'm motivated to discover and create good recipes. I'm at the point now where I can make recipes up, or modify something I've made before to something even better. What a surprise. I can cook!

1 comment:

Tonya said...

Eric is a "chef", I call myself a cook. When we met, I ate tater tots for supper. He would make chicken strips, pasta and steamed veggies. Plus, he can create anything with seafood - YUM. But, over time, I've had to learn how to cook. He's still better at it than I am, but I do the majority of the cooking. Mostly just because he isn't home in time to make dinner!

I replied to your comments to me on my blog. I should have just e-mailed you, but you know, no brain here!