Today I have been cooking

I set up batter bread last night, so we have a loaf of freshly baked bread.

I roasted peppers while I was waiting for the bread to rise & after the bread baked (the oven was already hot).

I finished the apples I had in the dehydrator and started another pot of apple butter.

Tonight we’ll have roasted pepper soup, salad, and HM bread for dinner. In the meantime, the last of the apples are slated to be turned into cider. I am glad. Frankly, I’m getting just a bit tired of apples!

My next food project is broccoli. I tried to buy some yesterday when I did most of our weekly shopping, but there just wasn’t any? [Well, I found one scraggly package of organic and about 2 smashed packages of conventionally grown. Even frozen there wasn’t much!]  I guess everyone and their uncle had the same idea I did, that brocc0li/cheese casserole would be lovely this week.

Ah well.  .  . I have ground beef/pork mixed for albondigas soup, which I’ve been craving! I’ve never made it before, and I don’t think any of the rices I have qualify as “short grain,” which is what’s specified in at least two recipes.

I think I’ll just use some of my broken jasmine rice, it’s the oldest rice we’ve got, and so should be used first anyway. The grains aren’t full size, so if the reason for the “short grain” rice is that bigger pieces won’t cook through, that should take care of it!

Now that I’ve written about this, I think I’ll make the albondigas instead of the pepper soup. I like both, but I really, really have been wanting albondigas, for a couple of weeks now. Hmmmmm.

P.S. After I wrote this, I went looking (again) for an albondigas soup recipe, like what I remember growing up in Southern California. Nope. Some are closer in some ways than others, but none of them seems exactly “right.” So, as usual, I’m faking it.

I’ve found recipes using either beef broth or chicken stock. Since what I remember is either a very light beef broth or a stock made from the meat drippings (beef & pork, I swear it has to be or maybe just pork?) and I have no beef broth, the broth will be made with chicken stock and pan drippings. Some recipes call for canned tomatoes, my stomach & memory say no. There’s tomato powder in the meat mix, but no tomatoes in the stock.  I’m doing onions, celery, broth, drippings the meat/rice balls, and herbs, cilantro and maybe cumin? We’ll see!

I have a real love/hate for this kind of cooking!

I have a definite idea what is “right,” and no real idea how to make what I want. All of life is editing sometimes! You add this and take away that: stuff, knowledge, people, writing, work, and cooking. I’m winging it. I’m sure it will be edible, but it likely won’t be what I want. It will be closer than no albondigas soup at all however!

One response to “Today I have been cooking

  1. My albondigas soup recipe (if you can call it that!)

    Earlier last week I bought 1 lb ground pork and 1` lb high end ground beef. I made my usual “meatloaf mix” from them: add 1 egg, some tomato powder, 1/2 lg onion (or 1 med or sm) chopped, 1 stalk minced celery. I divided it in 1/2. Half of the mix was put in the fridge for the soup. The other piece was also divided in 1/2, so 1/4th of the original mixture was formed into meatballs & we ate them over noodles with pan gravy that night. That night I also put the other 1/4 of the original mix into a loaf pan and baked it while we were eating dinner (it was really thin). We used it to make meatloaf sandwiches off & on for the next few days.

    The mix that stayed in the fridge was made into soup tonight. I added about 1/4C broken jasmine rice and 2Tbsp cilantro to the meat. Form into small (bite size) balls.

    I browned about 2/3rds of them about on 2 sides. [There were conflicting instructions: the rice must be precooked/use raw rice only; brown the meatballs, simmer the meatballs gently as they fall apart otherwise.] So, I compromised. I HALF browned about 2/3rds of the meatballs, just slightly browned the rest of them. Then I put them in a sauce pan with all their drippings & 3T or so carmelized onions (I do this in the crockpot, makes about 1 qt) I got tired of sauteeing onions at the beginning of nearly every recipe!), 1 sliced carrot, 1 sliced celery rib. Cover meatballs with water. Simmer about 20 minutes. Taste broth. Add beef soup base (forgot I had it!) to taste, I used about 1 tsp. Cut a meatball in half. Is the rice cooked? (It was.)

    Simmer about another 20 minutes.

    Two things about seasoning: I do NOT cook with salt & pepper (shock!) DH loves a lot of pepper and I like a lot more salt than he does. The answer is to cook without either and we dose our own. After I added salt & pepper, it still needed — something — so I sprinkled some cumin on top. THAT WAS IT! The magic ingredient, the elusive not quite pork broth, not quite beef broth I always loved was the taste I never knew I’d had as a kid: cumin. So add about 1 tsp cumin to the broth with the beef base!

    All of this goes to show you how completely disorganized a cook I am, or haphazard I suppose is a better way to put it? My best cooking is all seat of the pants stuff!

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