01 April, 2009

Weeknight Recipes For the Inept, Exhausted, and/or Lazy

Candid Engineer and Science Mama are posting up easy recipes for busy scientists. Because I'll forget to do this later, I offer you 3 now.

1) Idiot's Jambalaya
2-4 chorizo sausages, depending on how chorizo-ey you want it
8 rashers bacon
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 bag frozen chopped bell peppers (0.5kg worth), or 3 chopped fresh
2 medium taters
2 stalks celery
1/2 white onion or 1 cup spring onions
1.5 cups rice
1.5 cups chicken stock, or whatever else stock you want
some shrimp (optional)
chicken (optional)
other veggies (optional)
ham (optional)
1. Get a big pot. Get a bowl and a knife and a cutting board, too.
2. Dice onion, place in pot and coat with oil (canola works well).
3. Squeeze the chorizo out of its casing into little wads and on into the pot.
4. Dice the bacon evenly (1cm square) and add to the pot.
5. Mix the oil over everything and fire the pot! Cook on medium-high until the chorizo is browned through. This will smell absolutely delicious.
6. Remove everything from the pot with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl.
7. Saute any other meat you're adding in the leftover chorizo-bacon-onion oil. Remove that, too, when it's done.
8. Now is a good time to wash off your cutting board.
9. Dice potatoes (also 1cm square) and celery (~3-5mm across longitudinally split stalk). Put them in the pot and stir them into the chorizo-bacon-onion oil.
10. When the celery is semi-translucent, dump in the bell peppers and can of diced tomatoes (don't drain). Stir.
11. Add the beans (drained and washed with cold water and drained again). Stir.
12. Add your spices. I use about 4 tablespoons Tabasco, 1 tablespoon red pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoons paprika, and 1 tablespoon garlic salt. Stir.
13. Re-add your set aside meat and onions. Stir (now is a good time to start the corn bread if you're also making that).
14. Add the rice and the chicken stock, stir, and let boil for 2min.
15. Cover and reduce heat to a giggling simmer.
16. When the rice is done and has absorbed the stock, it's done.
17. Serve with cornbread and nosh happily.

Yields 4 Toaster Servings, which probably means 8-10 Normal People Servings.

Why is this an easy recipe? It only uses 1 pot and requires practically no skill. It does, however, take about an hour, but you can walk away and let it saute or simmer rather frequently.

2) Fried Chicken and Greens
For the chicken:
lots of skinless chicken
flour or cornmeal
some oil (canola recommended as vegetable oil is too heavy)
crushed Doritos (optional, hat tip for this idea)
1. Beat the eggs in a bowl.
2. Put flour or cornmeal in a bowl.
3. Add 2 cups oil to large pot with lid, heat on high until oil begins smoking.
4. Dredge chicken in flour or cornmeal.
5. Dredge dredged chicken in eggs.
6. Re-dredge double dredged chicken in flour or cornmeal (or in the chip crumbs, if you're using Doritos [which can seriously be done, even with Nacho Cheese])
7. Place gently in hot oil.
8. Fry until light brown on all sides.
9. Remove to plate lined with paper towels to drain away excess oil.
10. Sprinkle desired seasoning on top (Lawry's works very well).
11. Note, if you want really fizzy fried chicken, you can mix eggs with a non-sugary carbonated beverage, such as soda water or beer.

For the greens:
1.5kg greens (equal parts collard greens, mustard greens, and chard)
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 cup stock
black pepper, red pepper, and hot sauce
barbecue sauce (optional)
bacon fat (optional)
ham bone (optional)
1. Put everything in a big pot.
2. Simmer over medium heat for 1h, stirring occasionally.
3. Serve.

Yields 1.5 Toaster Servings, which probably means ~4 Normal People Servings. Best served with home-made macaroni and cheese or roasted taters.

3) Sausage Ragu
4-5 spicy Italian sausages
2-3 zucchini, halved coronally and/or sagittally and sectioned transversely at about 0.5cm
0.5kg washed and cut mushrooms
~500ml marinara sauce
1 can sliced black olives
3 cloves diced garlic
0.5kg dried pasta
shredded mozzarella (optional)
grated parmesan (optional)
1. Add diced garlic and liberal olive oil to a large and deep saute pan (skillety thingy, but not a wok).
2. Squeeze sausage out of casings into little wads (this can also be done by slitting the casings longitudinally or by just squeezing it all out in 1 big wad and making little wads with your spatula during Step #3).
3. Turn on high heat and saute until sausage is evenly browned and done in the middle.
4. Add zucchini.
5. Add mushrooms and black olives as soon as the zucchini gets shiny and sweaty.
6. Saute until zucchini is lightly browned.
7. Turn heat down to simmer and add marinara sauce. Stir.
8. Add basil, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and a very tiny amount of thyme. Stir.
9. Bring pot of water to a boil and make the pasta while the ragu/sauce simmers.
10. Serve ragu over pasta, top with cheeses if desired.

Yields 3 Toaster Servings, which probably means about 6 Normal People Servings.

So yeah, that's just about my entire culinary repertoire. I can also make a decent chili and homemade soup, and hashbrowns, but that's about it. Enjoy (or else)!

It should be noted, however, that I always use chicken sausage and turkey bacon for these recipes. I suppose if you really wanted to you could use soy substitutes for any of the meat ingredients above, although it would probably have a very different mouthfeel.

1 comment:

Ambivalent Academic said...

Sounds delicious Toaster!

Can I make a self-indulgent request? The white text on black background kills my eyes...I want to read your blog more but dude, it hurts. Please take pity on my poor migrained self and but a dark text on a lighter (but not white) background. Sincerest thanks.