Friday, May 27, 2011

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

I'm taking a vacation day today, so I'm just taking it easy, and eating when I want to. Gonna have a swim later. For lunch on a lazy day like this, I love to make bruschetta. Today I put together a very simple one to top my crostini. (Crispy, crusty bread. I grilled some Asiago Cheese bread last night with our shish-kabobs, so the leftovers are crostini today.) I cut up some grape tomatoes and fresh basil, tossed them with olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Heaped it all on my bread and toasted it in the toaster oven for several minutes, broiling for the last few. After it came out, I shredded Pecorino Romano cheese on top. At that point I sometimes put it back in the oven to toast the cheese, but didn't want to this time. Remember--it's my day off! Something else I usually add but didn't this time is fresh, minced garlic. It gives it such a great pop. If I don't want it too garlicy, I have been known to just take a cut clove and rub it all over the bread before it goes in the oven. Not nearly so strong that way. I think everyone makes a bruschetta similar to this. I just love the freshness of the tomatoes and basil. I also love using roasted red peppers too. And I think the Pecorino Romano is so good; you don't always HAVE to use Parmesano Reggiano. Though it is equally as good.
Here's to the lazy, hazy summer days to come. Happy Memorial Day!

And happy eating.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Office Lunch

One day this week I decided it was time to clean out the office freezer. I didn't bring lunch and didn't want anything that was in my "back up bin." With 5 different food personalities in the office, we can get quite a conglomeration of items in the fridge and freezer. And as time passes, we forget (especially) about stuff in the freezer. We even forget who brought what. So I went looking to see if there was anything salvageable for a lunch. I found two frozen veggie packs, a tilapia fillet, and some scallops. I thought soup would be the most likely thing to make, so I rummaged through the cabinet and found a packet of chicken broth, some dried herbs and some pre-cooked rice. The frozen veggies had veggies of course, but also barley and beans for more starchy filler.
After verifying that no one was claiming any of it (I knew the scallops were mine), I threw everything but the scallops and fish in the crock pot. Yes, I keep a crock pot at the office. Hey, you never know. I have an electric wok and we have a George Foreman grill, and our standard microwave and
toaster oven. We're set for anything.
So a couple of hours on high and it was starting to smell pretty good. I added a little more salt and some grated parmesan, then close to time to eat, added the scallops and broke up the fish and added it.

Sara stirred. (I tried to give her more credit than that, but she insisted.)
Brent donated a loaf of bread that had a few pieces left, and I made croutons out of it in the toaster oven. They were a good topping for the soup. So that's the way it went. Office lunch out of basically anything. And more room in the freezer.
Moral: don't be afraid of coming up with a soup. Soup is large and roomy. You can add to it. And it's very forgiving. Just don't put anything in it you wouldn't eat otherwise and you're safe.

Happy eating!