Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Cooking When It’s Cold

The clenching cold weather is suddenly upon us in the Northeast. It makes one dread to step outdoors even to get into a car, which is ironic for me because being cooped up indoors leads to a path of annoyance and crankiness. In an effort to make this imprisonment productive, I plan the Sunday dinner.  It’s the only day with some possible “down” time.

Because I am not a chef, recipes are my friends. As one who is regimented and organized, I, along with these formulas, have formed a natural bond to produce a rather good meal when the effort is put forth. The process begins with a search usually on epicurious.com or in a cookbook coated with a light layer of summer dust, sitting on the book shelf. The stomach’s mood of the day usually dictates the search words. Tummy said “shellfish” today. While the thought of consuming paella or gumbo or jambalaya pleased me, the time investment wasn’t as appealing on this blustery day. IMG_6101

So I found something not just simple but full of texture and flavor: shrimp with roasted cashews, celery, scallion, mushrooms, peas, chicken broth thickened and parsley with a 45-minute cook time. I counted on at least an hour to compensate for some dilly-dallying, some dancing and singing along to my ipod, a peek at 60 Minutes in the neighboring room and careful execution. I follow the recipe exactly, and because of that, I have never made a bad meal. On the contrary, this was quite good.

I made a bed of jasmine rice – my low-level creative addition – and laid the shrimp mixture neatly upon it, only to be tucked into my now warm belly. Maybe cold Sundays don’t have to be so bad. Oh yeah – then there’s clean up.

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A Stranger’s Seafood Chowder

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I’m very organized and probably a bit too regimented – I like recipes…good recipes. So I want to start by thanking Brenda for helping me have a delightful dinner. I don’t know who Brenda is, or if her name is really Brenda, or if Brenda is a “she”, but let’s say she provided me with the tools for a very delightful seafood chowder. It’s exactly what my stomach desired on this cold evening – the smoothness of the cream, the different textures of the meat (seafood), the crunch of the chopped celery and the warm bread, and the bite of the cracked pepper. Okay, so I embellished on it ever so slightly. http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1748,134176-240199,00.html
 
The chowder was so good that I spread the love and snuck out takeout containers filled with it for friends to have. Either they were just being kind or they enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks Brenda, wherever you are.