Saturday, August 24, 2013

Broccoli Chowder (or When You Have No Food to Cook In Your House And No Money to Buy Any Plus You Are Too Lazy To Leave The House)

This is not my proudest recipe. You may want to try it. You may not.

What to cook when you have barely any shit that constitutes food stuffs in your house and you have cancelled your debit card because you thought it was lost  while you were on a road trip but then you found it in between the seat and the hump box of your car and therefore are in a current state of having no money.

No cash, you say?  Why don't you just go inside the bank and withdraw cash like people used to in the 1970's? Why don't you use your credit card that you keep for emergencies and flight milages?  That would be really really great if I actually wanted to leave the house at all today. So, for those of you who are poor or have no money on hand, or so rarely used that aforementioned credit card that it actually was cancelled by the bank two years ago, or if you are just a reclusive weirdo (No judging, here. We folks at Cookings of Many Much Greatness are a loving and accepting community of feelz) than this is the recipe for you.

 I ended up with a spicy yet citrus-y broccoli chowder of sorts, which was actually was quite tasty. 

If there were an Olympics for making food out of a random/ nearby and nearly expired cupboard items, I might actually win something from someone.

I was going to make pasta, but there were no onions in the house, there were no kidney beans, and worst of all there was no red wine! I was going to have to attempt this culinary adventure .....



Noodles and jar sauce is just kind of yucky. I think you understand. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. It’s not really food unless you are doing time in the pen and you are trying to be creative about mixing your ramen noodles with a tomato like paste so that you don't have to go to the chow line and eat those mystery meat nuggets for the 40th day in a row.

The one ingredient that I did have on hand was crap loads of broccoli.  I mean, really, .... lots and lots of broccoli. I have no idea why. I think they multiplied themselves in the dark like little mice do in the walls when you are forced to sleep in one of those government group living situations.

I had about four tablespoons of olive oil left in the jar and only four and a half cloves of garlic. I wanted to use onions, but there were none. Who would’ve guessed that the lack of chopped onions could bring a tear to the eye as easily as a chopped one?

According to one chowder recipe I looked up I should use thyme, which was awesome since I had some amazing  French thyme!  And then I realized that, apparently, I had already used the last of that up. Oh.

Because I was in need of  some kind of spice, I *did*  find three old jalapeno peppers that were wrinkling in the back of the vegetable crisper and I gutted one of them with all the care and suspicion one might utilize in prepping a fish caught in the wild wilderness of the San Francisco bay. I then chopped it and then threw the other two away. I minced the garlic with a garlic press, I dumped all the olive oil I had in the pan with a little crushed pepper and some sage. Sage ought to be just as good as thyme, right? I mean, they *are* both green in an army sort of way.

After sautéing the items on the back burner (because I could not get the front one to light anymore and I was too lazy to get matches) I added some flour and stirred, then added more flour, and stirred – and continued to do this until it was as thick as a monkey's spunk. You don’t want to leave the pan alone at this point. It’s kind of the same as when you are breaking in a new whore. If you let her sit too long, she get’s bitter on you. If you aren’t hands-on enough, she will develop all kinds of crazy crusts and clumps and she will be entirely un-serviceable. All–in-all, it’s just not pretty. Keep your hand on the wheel, stirring that pot regularly. Then, and only then, can you proceed to give her some cream.

But I didn’t have cream. I only had milk. So that is what I used to loosen that thick flour. And then I loosened it more with more milk, and then some water I had put in my Better than Bouillon jar in order to utilize the remaining flavor scraps stuck to the sides. But it wasn't enough. I needed more bouillon, and I didn’t have any more, so I added some of the champagne I was drinking ( I forgot to mention that I found some leftover 4 buck Trader Joe's champers, didn't I?) which did not do anything for the flavor at all. And so I tried a little powdered mustard, which did help but did not erase the bland bitter flavour of that cheap booze which should only really be subjected to orange juice before being imbibed. But then I remembers that Braggs proudly proclaims that it makes a great tasting broth! YAY! Well, shit. I ain’t got no other options, so in it went along with the last remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese I had in the fridge. This did it quite well, but it still wasn’t enough. And that was when I remembered that we had super crappy beer in the fridge. Super crappy beer is only good for two things. Drinking in the desert sun at high noon and using as a soup base. I figured that I well fell into the latter of those two catagories and put about half that beer in with the food. The other half is still looking at me with it’s sad cheap beer eyes that say “Are you really going to pour me down the drain just because you aren’t in the desert and it isn't noon?” 

The natural accompaniment to both cheap beer and chowder is, … lemons!

Thank goodness  I have one withered old lime that has been living atop the fridge  for the last month! Because of it's age the skin had gone yellow which means it counts as a lemon.

So, that went in along with some basil and marjoram because, you know, what the hell. At least I have it. And then I put on about two heads of chopped broccoli, which will leave me exactly one head and a bunch of kale left to figure out what the hell to do with tomorrow.

I realize, after boiling a little on medium, that I need more cheesey flavor. This is a problem since I no longer have any more cheese. But I do have nutritional yeast flakes, the cheese of the straight edge community! It has all the flavor of cheese but it’s more like a super hero person/icon, instead. And with a little more Braggs to top it off, it was just perfectly zingy and salty and fresh and spicy- like a 1945 sailor you might meet on the docks of San Pedro who just got his first swallow tattoo, but might not have totally realized that he is gay yet.  Maybe with age it will mellow perfectly.

1 comment:

  1. I almost fell off my chair laughing. I would have to go out and specially buy most of these ingredients because I don't keep them in the house. Now I'm tempted.