Tag Archives: Soup

Single food

13 Mar

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WAH WAHHHHH…. wrinkly chicken in a plastic pan! So hopeless looking.

I’d always avoided the rotisserie chickens at the grocery store because they had that weird hot-plasticy smell emanating from the hot case and their lids were always beaded in condensation which is kind of off-putting. I mean, typically I don’t want my food to sweat. Sweating isn’t delicious. But because of my recent poverty and adjustment to single life, I’ve turned to the unassuming rotisserie chicken somewhat regularly to feed myself. Granted, those wet-looking chickens festering in the red lights of the hot table reek of desperation, but there’s something to be said for them.

A) They’re cheaper than a whole raw chicken, and I don’t even have to set off the smoke alarms in my house while tampering with my lowly rental-house oven. That oven is fickle and in dire need of cleaning, and roasting a chicken is often an unpleasant affair in my home.

B) You can do pretty much anything with them.

The key with these chickens is to pick the meat immediately. If you wait until there’s a half eaten carcass in your fridge, all bone and tendons sticking out like your bedhead, you’re never going to want to finish the job, let alone eat the thing. Nothing is quite as unappealing as a cold, half-desecrated chicken with the skin all congealed and hanging onto the meat like a needy, weird boyfriend. I particularly like the job of picking the meat, since you get to get sticky and reward yourself with the tender oysters that pop out perfectly from the top of the spine. Those little morsels are the best part of a chicken, hands down. It’s also pretty satisfying to tear dead animals apart, especially if you’re about to eat them and especially ESPECIALLY if you’re feeling all weird from some funky man-problem you’re dealing with. Nothing says I AM A BEACON OF POWER like a carnage-pile on your countertop and a neat container of all the good meat-bits in a tupperware beside it. It just screams, “I was conquered by someone who knows what they’re doing!”

Or maybe I’m reading into it a little too much, I don’t know. I like to personify my food. I guess I’m lonely!? Or hungry. A little bit of both…? WHATEVER.

Anyhow, I made this soup with it and it was legit. And now I have SO MUCH CHICKEN in my fridge to make into any number of things for the next several days, so I’m frugal and healthy and efficient and a superstar of successfully keeping myself alive via food even though sometimes it totally feels like the odds are against me on that one. NO BIG DEAL! It’s the small victories, guys.

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Here, make some soup! Squelch your sadness with me!

-Two heads of baby bok choy, chopped
-Handful of shredded rotisserie chicken
-Chicken stock
-Ramen noodles
-Dash of fish sauce
-Some dashes of soy sauce
-Chili-garlic sriracha
-Regular sriracha, because one kind of hot sauce is never enough
-Cilantro

Simmer the stock! Add the noodles! Add the other stuff when the noodles are done! Now eat it! Congratulations, you just kept your blood sugar from dropping to dangerously low levels for another four hours… YOU’RE AN OUTSTANDING HUMAN SPECTACLE.

Introspection Zone

14 Oct

You know how when you’re super busy and doing somewhat monotonous tasks all day you get all heady and self-reflective and become that special brand of emo usually reserved for the 14 year-old inside of you that just discovered Elliot Smith? Well, today at work was like that. We were totally slammed from the moment I walked in, and although my hands were frantically at work and out loud I was barking out orders like a total maniac, inside I was all “waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh… WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!?” I couldn’t shake that feeling of total stuck-where-I-am-edness, and all that was running through my head for a solid hour or so was an exchange my mother and I had last time I visited. We were at the mall and I was groping all the beautiful clothes at Ann Taylor and my mom was like, “you’d look so good if you just dressed up like this mannequin here!” And I was all, “dude, I know. But I’m a filthy cook, it’s just not practical.” She kept mentioning that certain outfits would be great for my “profession,” which, theoretically I guess is a photographer, but honestly hasn’t made me any money in a solid six months or so. I shook off a feeling of inadequacy because of how I DO make money… but outside the store I proclaimed I JUST CAN’T WAIT TIL I’M RICH AND CAN BUY ALL THESE CLOTHES. And my mom was like, well you’d better get going on your entrepreneurial spirit that your father and I raised you with!”

Boooo. Hooooo. She’s right. I hate that. Because I’ve got ideas and I’ve got things I’d rather be doing! I’d kill to get the chance to work from home and make money from photography or freelance writing or illustration or whatever it is that I technically own a business for… but man! How are you supposed to start that?! Don’t quit your day job,” is the old motto, but if you don’t how do you make the time? As it is my only solace some days is the food I cook for myself when I’ve exhausted myself already from cooking for strangers. So on days like today, when you’ve begrudgingly accepted to have your work-week extended because you’re temporarily understaffed, when your other job forces you to clean houses on your “day off,” when you feel like your psyche has been assaulted with a lead rolling pin, then, well…

then you turn to crack cocaine.

HA. HA. JUST KIDDING. No, crack is far too expensive. Homemade pho is so much cheaper. And waaaaay easier to procure. Trust me.

Here’s a recipe. Except, head’s up, this really isn’t pho at all. One time I found some sort of pho-ish recipe on the back of a Thai Kitchen rice noodles box and followed it. It was awesome. These days I opt for the cheap as all hell rice noodles from the Asian market and have been forced to improvise the recipe from memory. So, here’s what you get. It tastes all sorts of good.

PHUN SOUP (see what I did there!?)

1.5 cups of chopped baby bok choy
1  cup sliced  crimini mushrooms
1 Tb fish sauce
1.5 cups of cooked shrimp (biggish, preferably)
2 Tb Sriracha chili garlic sauce
1 finely chopped spicy chili pepper
3 cups veggie stock
2 Tb soy sauce
T
wo handfuls of rice noodles (I have no idea how to measure this. I accidentally made approximately a million times too much last time, but that’s okay because it costs about a nickel)
Cut limes and cilantro for garnish

Bring a pot of water to boil and drop in the noodles, but they cook pretty instantaneously so test them immediately and drain when they’re soft (if you use the ultra thin ones like I do, it takes literally ten seconds or less). Divide the noodles evenly between two or three bowls, considering how hungry you/your greedy guests are. Save a little of the noodle water in the pot (a cup or so) and add the veggie stock and soy sauce. When the liquid is simmering, drop in everything else and simmer it all for about 7-10 minutes, just until the mushrooms are softish. Divide it all up between the bowls and you’re done. Don’t forget to garnish with limes and cilantro! IT’S IDIOT-PROOF. Probably. But not emo-kid proof… I do admit that I totally burst into tears about three bites into the soup. Look, maybe it had to do with the fact that my camera batteries had just died and I couldn’t photograph the meal, maybe it was because I was in the temporary throes of an existential dilemma, or maybe it was because I’m a big, dumb baby. Regardless, I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the taste. The taste was divine. Try it!

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