Feb 14 romantic V-day dinner of buttermilk breaded chicken breasts, pierogi and cabbage
Feb 15 pizza with chicken, bocconcini, red onion, parmesan and mozzarella and chorizo soup
Feb 16 wings and snacks out due to late night at work
Still recovering from the GPI, I decided to play it totally safe for the rest of the week and make stuff that I knew every one would like.
I made pizza again, but used different toppings than last week. I used the leftover buttermilk chicken from Monday, bocconcini because Hank loves it, a bit of red onion again because Hank has suddenly decided he likes them so I want to use them as much as possible to cement their place in our diet before he can change his mind. Everyone was happy.
I had every intention of making risotto of some sort last night but we all worked too late so we went out with The Neighbours for our wing night.
I always make this soup with hot italian sausage so it was time to change it up a bit and try it with a mild chorizo. I also usually roast or grill the sausage and then slice into thin rounds but I took the meat out of the casing and browned it, along with the onion and garlic, instead. I was really happy with the flavour boost my minestrone got from the long caramelizing sauté that the veggies and pancetta received. I think it makes enough of a difference to take the extra step, as opposed to just dumping the carrots, celery and onion in the pot and cover with liquid right away.
I think that I really prefer to cook the sausage and then slice it. The flavour is the same but it's a texture thing and I don't like the texture of ground meat in this soup as much but it really had great taste. Shack didn't mind the sausage out of the casing at all though and let's be honest, this week is all about making the boys happy.
Chorizo Kale Soup with White Navy Beans (pretty sexy and inventive name, no?)
4 -6 servings
1 mild chorizo sausage
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1 russet potato, unpeeled and diced
1 russet potato, unpeeled and diced
1000 ml chicken stock
1/2 can white navy beans
handful of chopped kale
salt and pepper
1.5" square chunk parmesan rind
You can either cook the sausage first and slice it into thin rounds (grill it, roast it, pan fry it) or you can remove the casing and fry the sausage meat with a tiny bit of olive oil over med heat in your soup pot. After it's lost most of it's rawness, add the onion, the celery, the carrot and garlic, and turn the heat down a little bit. Let it cook, stirring from time to time to prevent any burning, for about 15 minutes. It should take on some nice colour by that time. Pour in the chicken stock (or veggie stock - you could use water but it won't be as flavourful), the potatoes and the parmesan rind and bring to a light simmer. Add the chopped kale and the navy beans and let simmer lightly for another 10 to 15 minutes.
That's it! It's fast and easy, doesn't require a ton of ingredients or energy and makes enough for four people to have a big bowl for dinner with some fresh bread. We just had a smaller bowl before we ate our pizza and I was left with enough leftovers to provide me with lunch all week.
Now that we have all recovered from the GPI, I can turn my thoughts to more adventurous flavours for next week. Well, they have recovered. I am still suffering from pine mouth, and although food and drink no longer tastes like rusty tin, everything still tastes faintly metallic. Sort of like instead of kosher salt, all of my food has been seasoned with a fine dusting of metal shavings. I will give the boys props. They have not been overly smug about the fact that they are not afflicted because they were smart enough to not eat the pine nuts.