Archive for October, 2008

No Croutons Required: Split-Pea Soup

No Croutons RequiredWow, check it out – it’s already the 20th of the month. This has been a long, busy month at work, and it’s only getting more so. But it’s a good busy. But it means I haven’t had a lot of energy for blogging. I cook and take pictures, but they don’t always make it into the blogosphere. This one did, though! 🙂

This is definitely not one of my favorite dishes, but Dan loves a good split-pea soup when the weather gets cold, so baby, this one’s for you – all of it 😉

One of our exchange students, Josi from Berlin, gave me Alton Brown’s “I’m Just Here for the Food” for my birthday a couple of years ago. This recipe is from that book, and it’s probably one of the easiest recipes I know of. Here goes:

Alton Brown’s Split-Pea Soup

18 oz. dried split peas
1 finger-sized piece of salt pork (Dan likes porky goodness, but this is optional)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup each chopped carrots, onions and celery
2 quarts chicken broth
1-1/2 tbsp. miso paste

Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and set it to high. Cook for 6 to 8 hours until the peas have softened. Really, that’s it.

And here’s the delicious (according to Dan) but not real appetizing-looking (to me) result, garnished with a little sliced green onion:

Split Pea Soup

This is my entry in No Croutons Required, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen.

GYO: Fried Rice with Bok Choy

Grow Your Own 2008I still have some basil and a few green tomatoes in the garden, but a couple of weeks ago, we started our fall garden, including onions, a variety of lettuces and bok choy.

On Saturday, Dan came in from the garden and asked me what I had planned for dinner. I hadn’t really planned it out, but when he told me some of the bok choy we planted was ready to use, I decided to make fried rice with some leftover white rice I had in the freezer; I thought, this would be great with crispy baked chicken and a Chinese-inspired dipping sauce. We also have a few pimento peppers left, so I added those in, too. I looked at a few recipes and then got going. It turned out really well.

Bok choy

Fried Rice with Bok Choy

2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1 small red and 1 small green pimento or bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups leftover cooked white rice (leftover works better than fresh, because it’s more dry, so it browns better)
5 large leaves and stems of bok choy, leaves julienned and stems sliced crosswise

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat oil in saute pan or hot wok over medium-high heat till it shimmers. Add onions, peppers and garlic and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir well. Add sliced bok choy stems and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and rice and stir-fry 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Fried rice with bok choy

This is my entry in the food blogging event Grow Your Own, which celebrates growing or raising fresh ingredients. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by A Laboratory in the Kitchen.

A visit from Dad and Nickie

My dad was here visiting for several days, and we had a great time 🙂 He brought his yellow Lab, Nickie (not sure of the spelling), who, after a few days, made friends with our black Lab, Pippen. We took them to the beach one day, and they loved it. Here’s the dogs at the beach, and Dad with Nickie just before they took off to visit my uncle George.

Nickie and Pippen at Virginia Beach
Dogs frolicking in the surf

Dad and Nickie
Dad and Nickie taking it easy

Lovely heirloom tomatoes, all the way through

Some people have asked me about the heirloom tomatoes we grew (with plants started by my co-worker Dan) this year – what color are they on the inside? Pretty much the same as on the outside 🙂 So here’s a photo of them, all sliced and ready to be made into salsa.

Sliced heirloom tomatoes

The red ones are Vintage Wine and the yellow ones are Kellogg’s Breakfast. Both are sweet and delicious 🙂

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