Day 7 – What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you read food blogs or would you ever consider writing one?
Read more: Day Seven of Summer Camp: You May Feed Me http://creatingmotherhood.com/2011/07/07/food-glorious-food/#ixzz1RRHp7r1W
Ok – food to me is not just a topic, it is life. I read cookbooks like novels and discard everything I learn, I subscribe to multiple cooking magazines, and get food e-mails. I do not however read food blogs because quite frankly writing these summer camp blogs is the most time I have spent on a computer in ages, and I don’t really like being on it. But to stay on topic:
For Breakfast – if I could have anything I wanted it would be… the most simple and delectable turkey sandwich ever. Mmmmmhmmmm. Ciabatta bread spread with mayo and dijon (or pesto if it’s basil season), herbed turkey breast sliced super thin, lettuce, tomato and avacado. That is all. I hate cereal, I don’t enjoy french toast or pancakes. I like eggs but prefer them in a scrambled egg sandwich or in egg salad with curry and mayo and yes, piled into a sandwich. I am a sandwich kinda girl!
For lunch it would be soup. My homemade chicken soup loaded with fresh garlic, ginger, black pepper ,cayenne and thyme, some cut up celery, carrots and onions and whatever greens I may happen to have in the fridge and of course chicken. I can make an entire soup pot full and eat the whole thing myself. It’s funny how much I love food and yet how simple my tastes run on my favorite things in the world. Maybe it is comfort.
For dinner- if it had to be only one thing it would be – Mexican pulled pork with soft flour shells, homemade pico de gallo, homemade gaucamole, and a dab of sour cream served with refried black beans and homemade spanish rice. That to me is heaven. Of course so is homemade pizza, lasagne, gumbo, boulliabaise…. I mean seriously, I love food.
I try to cut down on processsed food, the majority of what we eat is homemade, but some things like velveeta mac and cheese – just can’t get by without it! And if you turn that mac and cheese ino tuna casserole – mmmmmmm…. I really am a very simple girl – hahahahaha.
This summer I was talked into cooking for a couple of families once a week. We live in a very small town and the restaurants here are all shit! So they asked me to once a week prepare a meal that they could take home to their families and have a restaurant experience. It has been challenging but as of this week I think I have got it down! And just so you know, next weeks meal is: Swiss chard wonton raviolis with marinated vegetable salad on greens and rhubarb strawberry cobbler – the majority of which will be harvested by me from the organic farm I volunteer to work on weekly. Oh YEAH!!! Loco for local!!! So glad growing season is here! And I will even share a recipe with you!
Mandy’s Gumbo – and this is a secret so don’t tell anyone!!
Get yourself a big cast iron dutch oven. Pour in a cup of oil (I prefer canola but anything that has a high smoke point will work), let that get really hot. The way to test it is to drop just a tiny pinch of flour in it and if it sizzle and dissapears then it is ready. Then slowly add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour as you carefully whisk it so lumps don’t form. Continue to cook and stir constantly until the roux becomes a deep chocolate brown or mahogany color. This can take upwards of 45 mins and yes your arm will get tired! You can make it lighter if you like but remember the depth of color adds depth of flavor (I will add that if you start to see black specks your roux has burned and you have to start over). Once you have the roux ready immediately dump in your holy trinity – that is 1 cup each of chopped onion, celery and bell pepper plus about 3 cloves of garlic chopped. Stir constantly until your veggies get soft. Then dump in a big can of diced tomatoes, a regular can of tomato sauce and a small can of tomato paste (and here’s a little secret, sometimes I put the tomato paste in before I add the veggies to let that tomato taste get good and caramelized). Now you want to season the gumbo. And I am a BIG BIG fan of Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning – I eat it on everything along with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. So just season it to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, really anything you can get your hands on! If you have creole seasoning use it, just remember that it has salt so keep tasting. And as you cook the flavor intensifies! Alright now, let this concoction simmer for about an hour stirring every once in a while. Meanwhile start to get whatever meat you want ready. I sometimes do shrimp and crawfish tails if I’m feeling wealthy. Or smoked sausage (andouille if you can find it) browned off with cut up chicken meat also browned with salt and pepper. Also start your rice. I have found that white rice tastes the best. I normally eat brown rice, but it does not jive with the gumbo flavor. Right towards the end of the hour throw your cooked meat or your fresh seafood into the gumbo and give a good stir, you should feel it thickening up and oooh I can almost smell it now!! Get a big bowl and a big spoonful of rice, pour a ladleful or two of gumbo over the top and sprinkle on some chopped green onions. Serve with hot sauce, sliced baguette and a simple green salad – and a cold beer if you have a mind to! Oh Lawd – ENJOY!!!!