Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don't Try This At Home


Another crappy dinner served up the other night.

I go to the Goodwill bookstore down the road once a week or so, cause I don't want to miss out on any bargain books. They did just raise their prices recently and now a hardback book costs an outrageous $1.29! Anyway, I like to look through all the little cookbooklets like you find at the grocery store checkouts, with the mouth watering pictures of delicious dinners on the front to lure you in, the little cookbooklets that cost like $4.95 and never fail in suckering me in and buying them. But, at the Goodwill, they are only 29c (recently raised from 25c, the nerve!) and then I take them all home and look through them to pull out recipes that I might someday try. Not that I like to cook, I think we all know how much I really dislike cooking, but I do enjoy looking at cookbooks, as long as they have pictures, I don't like cookbooks with no pictures of how your food is supposed to look but never does. Kind of like the picture menu at your local fast food restaurant, your hamburger never looks quite as appealing when you unwrap it.

Anyway, I found this little cookbook compiled by home economics teachers, which I thought they got rid of a long time ago, but apparently somewhere in America they are still teaching cooking in 7th grade. The book promised recipes that use only 5 ingredients. So, I tried one.

If anyone ever tells you to take some boneless chicken breasts, roll them in flour and seasoning salt, fry them a little on each side, put them in a baking pan and put a mixture of sour cream and cream of chicken soup on top, bake, and then top with cheddar cheese and bake a bit longer, DON'T BELIEVE THEM THAT THIS RECIPE IS SO GOOD IT WAS SERVED AT A BRIDAL SHOWER AND EVERYONE LOVED IT. Because it is just not true.

But, I did try a make it your way soup recipe last night and it was actually edible and something I might make again. I do like soup sometimes but do not like canned soup, way too high in sodium and the meats in canned soup are always weird and I wonder what part of the cow or chicken it actually comes from. Homemade soup is not hard but it does mean cooking, but this recipe was fairly easy and kind of foolproof because you can use whatever you happen to have hiding away in the backs of cupboards and refrigerators.

So, you choose a meat, like chicken, pork, beef, ground meats, whatever, and you cut it up if necessary and cook it in a little oil in your soup pot until done, remove it, and then you:

Put in whatever vegetables you want, carrots, potato, zucchini, chopped up of course, and cook that for 5 minutes or so in a little oil until crisp/tender or whatever.

Then you put the meat back in and add either a 32 oz carton of beef or chicken broth, depending on the meat used, half of a 6 oz can of tomato paste, a packet of onion soup mix, and 1/2 tsp of your choice of dried herb, the suggestions in the recipe being rosemary, oregano, basil, italian seasoning, or crushed red pepper.

Bring all that to boiling over high heat and then reduce heat and simmer covered, for 15 minutes or so, or until any stubborn vegetables are done. Then add your choice of some canned beans, like kidney, black, navy, whatever, rinsed and drained, or some cooked barley, rice, or pasta.

Keep simmering a little longer until your beans or whatever are warmed up, add some salt and pepper if you want, and the soup is ready.

Here is the actual ingredient list and amounts in case I forgot something:
2 tbsp veg oil
8 oz meat
3 cups chopped veg
32 oz carton broth
1/2 6 oz can tomato paste
1 packet onion soup mix- packet size is 1 oz, you know the Lipton soup mix.
1/2 tsp dried herb
1 cup beans, pasta, or rice.

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