Posted by johngl
Lots of Alcoholian readers have the misconception that I only eat stuff that takes days to prepare, is fancy, complicated, or otherwise unapproachable for a more normal home cook. Granted, not everyone has a sous vide rig, seven grills, and enough knives to outfit an entire battalion of chefs. Most of the time we do eat quite simply.
This was actually what I call refrigerator soup: stare into the refrigerator and see what comes to mind.
This time, I noticed a still-sealed quart of homemade rabbit stock, about a third of a grocery store rotisserie chicken, one lone carrot, an avocado, and some leftover chicken and rice.
Rabbit stock? How many normal home cooks have homemade rabbit stock in their fridge?
Okay, so you have me there, but chicken stock can easily be substituted. You could even use the stuff that comes in a carton!
So anyway, I headed to the pantry and rooted out a cup of long grain brown rice and a cup of quinoa. Splitting the quart of rabbit stock, I got two sauce pans going with the brown rice in one and the quinoa in the other. Both take about the same length of time to cook, though the rice is supposed to rest longer.
While the rice and quinoa were simmering away, I separated the remaining rotisserie chicken from the bones. I saved the bones, skin, and misc. parts for stock. Let’s not be wasteful, okay?
I peeled the carrot and grabbed an onion from the wine cellar (not at the same time). I plucked a couple of good-sized garlic cloves from a head I keep in my home crafted garlic keeper.
Digression: If you’ll notice, I also keep fresh ginger and shallots in this thing. Yes, it’s a flower pot. The lid is made from a flower pot saucer. I got the idea when looking through a catalog and seeing a ventilated ceramic keeper similar to this selling for $30. I went into Lowe’s one day and noticed the ventilated pot (there are four of those holes) for $2.50. The saucer was about 80 cents. The knob was $1.05. I washed it (the pot, not the knob), let it dry, sanded it with fine sandpaper and sealed it with two coats of food grade linseed oil that I keep around to season my steel and cast iron pans. It works like a charm (the Keeper, not the oil, but the oil works like a charm, too). Time invested to do the work: about 15-20 minutes. And I didn’t have to pay shipping.
Where was I?
Oh yeah. I chopped the carrot, onion, and garlic and tossed them into a preheated pan containing a tablespoon of safflower oil (anyone know what a safflower is?). I sprinkled on a little salt and then went to wine cellar to get a quart of chicken stock. It ages amazingly well. I grabbed the 2005 vintage…a good year. Yes, I’m kidding. We buy the packaged chicken stock by the case and store it in the wine cellar. I don’t always have time to make fresh chicken stock.
I dumped the quart of prepared chicken stock in a pot and heated it to boiling. In went the leftover chicken and (short grain sweet brown) rice, the rotisserie chicken, and the carrot, onion, and garlic mixture. I also spooned in some of the rabbit stock infused long grain brown rice and quinoa. Why? Because it was there.
Giving things a taste I thought, “Hmmmm, perhaps a tortilla soup kind of twist is in order…”
I grabbed about a tablespoon of cumin, a heaping tablespoon of Masa Harina, and a teaspoon of taco seasoning and tossed the whole mess into the soup.
Avocado. The soup needed some green.
I grabbed one, diced it, and popped it into the soup. Adding some salt, pequin pepper, and black pepper to tweak it, we were ready to eat.
Topping it with a healthy dose of cheddar cheese, the improvised tortilla soup was dinner worthy. I ate two bowls. Actually, I ate the soup that was in the bowls, not the bowls themselves.
While what I do may seem fancy, complicated, and time consuming, you, dear reader, actually only see about 10% of what we eat in any given week. I’m the food iceberg I guess.