Waste not, want not

So, I’m trying to teach myself how to cook. Of course, that’s only fun if you’re being creative. For that reason, I try inventing my own recipes. So far, I’ve had some success. Here’s a trio of companion recipes.

On today’s menu is the attractively titled Vegetable Rind Soup, Chicken and Peppers and Roasted Veggies.

This recipe started out as just the Chicken and Peppers. But I like the challenge of using what I have instead of going out and buying ingredients, so I made the other dishes with the leftovers.

Fair warning, when I’m cooking someone else’s recipe, I like explicit instructions. When I cook my own, everything just kind of happens. Still, these culinary masterpieces are worth trying.

And they’re healthy too! (I think.)

Alright, we’re starting with the entree, Chicken and Peppers.

Here’s what you need:

Chicken stock
Paprika Pepper
Ground Cumin
Boneless Chicken Breasts
Bell Peppers
White Onion

•    Combine one part Tabasco sauce with three parts chicken stock. Add paprika and ground cumin.
•    Soak chicken in marinade.

* Preheat oven to 425º F.
* Tear off 4 pieces of foil, each approximately 12 inches square. Spray the inside of the foil with vegetable or no-stick spray. Place each chicken breast on a prepared foil square.
* Slice and dice the veggies as desired. Save all the scraps, caps, odds and ends.
* Combine sliced jalapenos, bell peppers, onions and cilantro in a bowl, and then top each chicken breast with the vegetables.
* Fold all edges of foil together tightly to seal. Place on a large baking sheet and bake in prepared oven. Large chicken breasts bake approximately 25 minutes; 4 to 5 ounce chicken breasts bake for approximately 20 minutes.
* Open the packages carefully when serving as they will contain hot broth. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving plate. The broth can now be spooned over the food
* Top with avocado. (I’ve never actually done that, but it seems like it would be good.)

Now, for the soup. I really don’t know what I’m doing here. I’d never made a soup, until I made this. So, I’l just tell you what I did as best I remember it.

Here’s what you need:

The veggie scraps from before
Seasoned Salt
Ground Cumin
Cilantro Flakes
Paprika Pepper

*Take your leftover veggies from before: the caps ends and core of the bell pepper, the onion ends, everything (and feel free to add better parts too; I was just experimenting with turning compost into a meal.) Add chicken stock. (I just dumped in what I had left from the first thing.) Add water. (I just added enough to make it look right.) Add cumin, seasoned salt, cilantro flakes, salt, pepper and paprika. I made seasoned salt the base seasoning, so to speak.

Vegetable Rind Soup

*Put the soup on the stove, and let it boil.
*Cook up a batch of rice.

*Boil soup at least until bell pepper caps are falling apart and only the stems remain. Dump in the rice, keep it boiling, and don’t worry about burning anything. I just monitored and stirred. It’s done whenever you think it is.

Last but not least, the roasted veggies.

I couldn’t sleep, so I got up at 6 a.m. and looked for a roasted veggie recipe. I didn’t see anything useful, but I read that you’re supposed to use olive oil. That’s the fundamental kind of thing I wouldn’t have even realized. Once I knew that, I thought I could figure out the rest.

Here’s what you need.

Vegetable Oil (I didn’t have any Olive Oil)
Bell Peppers
Seasoned Salt
Ground Cumin

* Preheat oven to 375º F.
* Coat pan in vegetable oil
* Combine sliced bell peppers and jalapenos in the pan and drizzle with vegetable oil (or maybe don’t, I think I used a bit too much oil)
* Dust with seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the slightest bit of cumin. Slide everything around and stir it up some but leave as a single layer. Place in oven.
* Chop and add chives after 10 minutes. (The accidental theory behind the delayed addition of the chives is that they’re so small and thin they’ll burn before everything else is done. In actuality, I just decided to add them after about 10 minutes.)
* Let cook for another 10 minutes. Stir and shake regularly.
* Taste. If it’s done, it’s done. (I had one lone piece that was more well done than the rest, and it may have been the single best piece.)

And there you have it, a meal.

Published in: on August 29, 2008 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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