Simple chorizo, chickpea and corn soup

SAMSUNG CSC

This soup is simple. It is simple like the child of two cousins. Even if you are one of those less fortunate people who seem to display an unbridled level of devotion to the ancient art of fucktardery (when clearly your energy could be more wisely spent on the lesser arts of tapestry, or possibly midget throwing) you can make this soup. Even if you think you don’t have the time for cooking soups, you too can make this soup. I would suggest, that with the impending winter chill, you go out and buy yourself a slow cooker and chuck all the ingredients into that bad boy when you go to work in the morning and treat yourself to the beautiful chorizo-y smelling house and a great dinner when you arrive home… just pick yourself up a loaf of crusty bread and maybe a few homeless people to share it with on the way home…

I’m sure I have mentioned my views on the helping hand a good smoked sausage can lend to just about any meal… and I’ve harped on sufficiently about the powers of a good salsa verde… what more could you really want?

Foodisthebestshitever. Promoting easy-good!

A good start for your salsa verde… straight from the garden, I might add (yes, I am a wanker)
A good start for your salsa verde… straight from the garden, I might add (yes, I am a wanker)
A good start for any soup
A good start for any soup
A good dinner for me
A good dinner for me

Chorizo, chickpea and corn soup (for 4)
3 smoked chorizo sausage, diced
2 brown onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 ripe tomatoes, diced, or 1 400g tin diced tomato
2 cobs corn, kernels sliced from the cob
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon paprika (hot or mild or smoked. Whatever takes your fancy)
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1.25lt stock or water if that’s all you’ve got… or sand if you don’t have any water
Seasoning
Olive oil
Salsa verde and crusty bread to serve
• Sauté the vegetables and spices in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to soften and the chorizo is getting a little colour on it and is painting all of it’s lovely fatty red juices upon the canvas that is this soup
• Re-read that last sentence and then ask yourself this question, “Why the hell am I still reading this bollocks?”
• Add remaining ingredients, season and simmer for 30 minutes
• Check seasoning, get those homeless peeps cleaned up and ready for dinner and eat, garnished with a splash of salsa verde and a pile of crusty bread…

Some fried tortilla crisps could also find a happy home in this soup. As would some sour cream… shredded chicken… a little pickled chilli… avocado… feta…

Really healthy Asian mushroom broth

The title says it all. This soup sucker punched me in the face with clean and healthy… so I bitch slapped it right on the end of its dick and ate some sneaky Easter eggs. Nice work me.

To start with what you really need is a chicken stock (well, maybe that and a cure for the rash on your nether-regions. But I’m not a doctor so we’ll stick to the stock for now). Make that yourself. This is not the time to be a pussy about these things. How do you do it? Pretty effing simple actually. Surprisingly the main ingredient is chicken. Get a couple of chicken carcasses from your local meat market (not the Friday night one. There’s only dirty old broiler hens there) or a kilo of wings if you do all of your shopping at one convenient large super market chain that doesn’t deal with that sort of shit. Put the chicken in a pot and brown it off a bit. Add water (you have a tap don’t you? Or maybe you live in a slum in a third world country with nothing but your I-pad touch and a bowl of rice a day to get you by), veg and aromats and voila, you have your stock. Not so hard is it?

chop your vegetables. This makes it heaps easier to eat them...
chop your vegetables. This makes it heaps easier to eat them…
Almost ready...
Almost ready…
Let's eat!
Let’s eat! Nice photo blurry photo guy…

Asian Mushroom Broth
2lt chicken stock (calm yer tits, the recipe is below. Feisty little buggers aren’t you?)
¼ cup each shoa xing (google it) and light soy sauce
A large handful each of a few assorted Asian mushrooms (enoki, shemeji, shitake, oyster) cut to a similar size
2-3 heads of Asian greens (baby bok choy, choy sum, gailan, or even asparagus… even though it doesn’t really fall into the category of Asian veg), washed and cut into 2cm lengths
Sesame oil, chopped chilli and shallot to serve
• Bring your skimmed broth up to the simmer
• Add everything except the sesame oil, chilli and shallots. Simmer for 5 minutes
• Check seasoning, adjust with salt or extra soy if neccessary
• Ready your bitch-slapping hand to fight off the crazy healthy
• Serve garnished with chilli and shallots and a splash of sesame oil

 

It's not looking all that attractive yet, but by the time we're done you will probably be ready to take it out for dinner and a show and see where that takes you...
It’s not looking all that attractive yet, but by the time we’re done you will probably be ready to take it out for dinner and a show and see where that takes you…

Stock for the broth
3 chicken carcasses, browned in the pot
2 brown onions, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 head garlic, sliced through the middle horizontally
a few dried shitake mushrooms if they’re lying about in the back of your cupboard
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp with seed if possible
2 strips orange or mandarin peel
5 slices ginger (we have it going nuts in our garden at the mo’. It is soooo damn good when it’s young and fresh… insert your own dirty connotations here)
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
4 star anise
2 black cardamon
3 bay leaves
• Chuck everything the pot and cover with 3lt of water
• Simmer for 45 minutes, then leave to rest for 30 minutes or so
• Strain and skim off the fat and whatnot from the surface
• Pretty painless eh

Curried Zucchini and Red Lentil Soup for the flood

The flood waters they are coming up once again. Why? Well I’m no expert but I’m gonna put it out there that it has something to do with barometric pressure, precipitation and cumulous humongous… Probably some other stuff too. I should probably read a book about it.

Yep. During the night somehow, someone fed our weedy looking 14-year-old emo boy of a creek steroids and now that little bitch is hanging with the 17 year old footy jocks. It is swollen like a man-whores member, teetering on bursting like the ripe summer peach. Metaphorsarethebestshitever.

It is seriously pissing down right now*.

One thing I know in English is that it’s raining. I find a gentle summers rain on a tin roof to be quite therapeutic, and heaps cheaper then an hour on the psychologist’s couch or behind the red curtain at that masseurs hut in Thailand. But when that gentle rain moves into the realm of level 3 cyclone and the possible dawning of a new ice age, well… actually that’s still pretty cool by me. We just have to make sure the hatches are battened down, the hobbits are back in there cages and the chooks and ducks aren’t under the big tree in our backyard (fondly known as “the big tree in our backyard”), because that tends to shed a branch or two in the event of a storm. And it’s all out of little ones thanks to the last storm we had.

Waddayagonnado?

Make some bloody soup is what I’m gonna do.

This is a soup that I vaguely remember from the first kitchen I started cooking in, thank you Mr. Pete McGregor. That was neither a segue or an amusing anecdote.

IMG_4065
clearly this would be the ingredients
IMG_4069
add the lentils and shit
IMG_4074
puree that bitch. Are you drunk yet? I am…
looks good eh
looks good eh
IMG_3543
the steroid induced river. Normally that little puppy is a softly flowing stream about 4 meters lower

CURRIED ZUCCHINI AND LENTIL SOUP (enough for the whole neighbourhood to survive the impending flood)
6-7 zucchini, diced
2 brown onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped/crushed/sat on
a big assed knob of ginger, peeled and chopped/grated
1 cup curry powder
1 cinnamon quill
4 cups red lentils
3-4lt vegetable stock or H2O
• In a large heavy based pot sauté the onions, garlic and half a handful of seasoning in a bit of oil until it starts to soften up
• Add the zucchini and ginger and cook out for 10 minutes
• Add the curry powder and cinnamon and cook out for another 10 minutes
• Now add the lentils and water/stock and simmer on a very low heat for about 45 minutes. Keep it low because the lentils will catch quite easily when they start to break down
• Once it is all soft and lovely remove cinnamon quill and puree that bad boy with a stick wiz or in a blender or food processor, check seasoning, fix seasoning. Aaah, delicious
• Serve with coriander and chilli yoghurt (scroll down), or plain yoghurt if you are a pussy

CORIANDER AND CHILLI YOGHURT
500g natural yoghurt
1 bunch fresh coriander, the whole lot, washed and chopped
1-2 long red or green chilli, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
• Get your food processor back out and think to yourself you should have read t he whole recipe before you put it away
• Combine all ingredients, blitz, season, enjoy

*If that term came from people thinking rainfall was the pee-pee of the gods then those guys had a big night on the beers tonight!

Liz McGuiness gets Ducked…

The Ghost of Barney is turning 21 today. Well no, he’s not, he’s turning a bit over 40 but he likes to think of himself as a young, virile thing still, so we shall humour him! So as the dutiful wifey of said spectre, I set to thinking of an appropriate dinner to celebrate his milestone. I couldn’t think of anything really, so I turned to foodisthebestshitever and what do you know? They’d thought of it for me. Thank you chaps! Peking* Duck and Miso Broth with BBQ Pork accompanied by sticky rice balls, and some duck dumplings and fried chicken wontons as starters. The offspring are making a cake so that’s dessert done.

Let’s walk through the journey of how I got the ingredients – or as I like to call it, Liz’s totally awesome adventure through Chinatown, after which I may have bought a lychee juice box, when I should have been at work doing boring shit. Oh yeah.

First I got on the bus which stopped conveniently, just outside my work door and was also conveniently, air conditioned. I got off the bus and accompanied a large group of Chinese young people making merry all the way to the Asian supermarket. I love the ducks and chickens and bbq pork hanging in the window. I think it’s the only non-sausage, non preserved meats that I have ever seen in a shop window since 1979 when I went to see our local butcher in Wallumbilla. Yes people, that is a place – and what do you know, spell check knows it already. All hail spell check, for you art our new Lord.

Anyway, I left the duck til last and entered the Aladdin’s cave (what do you know, spell check knows Aladdin as well) of Asian goodness. Man I love Asian supermarkets. They speak of taste bud adventures, hidden gems and possible upset stomachs after you buy something that doesn’t have a speck of English on the wrapper and ingest it the wrong way.  Winding my way slowly through the higgledy piggledy (damn you spell check, you DO know everything!) aisles, I went so slowly so enthralled was I by the strange and potentially dangerous produce on offer, that I was passed by an old man with a Zimmer frame and one leg. My basket was loaded with all sorts of lovely jubblies (ha! Gotcha spell check!) and I carefully approached the doyen at the checkout.

After scanning all my goods, the doyen at the till asked me if I had a “buserwersadurkastan” or something. I instinctively said “sorry what?” and she said “do you have a buserwersadurkastan?” I said no, I was trying to give them up. She looked at me funny and turned to her comrade at the other till and said something in Chinese. I wasted no time and hurried off to choose my duck from the ones hanging in the window. I also couldn’t resist a fillet of BBQ Pork – you KNOW I love a good porking – and made my way back to boring work on another conveniently air conditioned bus. And then drank my lychee juice box which was delicious.

Now as luck would have it, the Ghost of Barney drove by my work and picked me up with my shopping and drove me home, saving me the inconvenience of walking anywhere in the heat. I introduced the duck to the family when I got home. The duck said hello politely because it still had its head and beak and its manners and the family thought the fact it still had a head and beak was a little bit distressing. More distressing than a talking duck it would seem.

the duck
the duck

I then went to work on de-skinning, deboning and mincing the meat from the duck for the dumplings and defrosting a chicken breast for the wontons. It took me a while to make up a couple of packets of the dumplings but it is well worth the effort as fresh dumplings are to die for. Just ask the duck. Anyway, because the dinner wasn’t until the next day, I put the dumplings on a biscuit slide with baking paper and popped them in the freezer. I used to do this with the dumplings and wontons in the restaurant I worked in and they come out a treat. To fill one small packet of wontons, I used one chicken breast, coriander, a small piece of chilli, garlic and ginger into the food processor and whipped that bitch’s ass until it was a chunky gelatinous mass. Then I laid each wonton wrapper out so that a corner was pointing towards me. Using two teaspoons, I put small heaped portions of the mixture into the middle of the wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into a glass of water and run it sexily around two sides of the lower side of the wrapper like you’re painting your lover’s nipples with chocolate. Then, unlike painting nipples with chocolate, take the point closest to you and fold it up to the top point, making a triangle. Starting from the filling, press the air out and the sides of the wrapper together, sealing the triangle. Pick the wonton up with the bottom pointing at you and bend the two outside points around together and seal with water. Yeah, like some tantric sexual position. You know you want to try it.

chicken wontons, deep fried and ready to be inserted into your face
chicken wontons, deep fried and ready to be inserted into your face

Finished! Deep fry these suckers and you have an awesome snack.

photo-4
mincey mince… drinky drink
duck dumplings
duck dumplings
steam those puppies and then put the in your face
steam those puppies and then put them in your face

The dumplings, I cooked in a small quantity of oil in a heavy based pan then tip in a half cup of water, put on the lid and steam them. These dumplings are also known as pot stickers – because they stick to the bottom of the pan. Duh.

The Ghost of Barney was well pleased with his meal, especially the broth – and the duck skin which I deep fried to make a crispy treat! Plus he digs my tantric sex moves. Sorry, too much??

 

*Pekin (as apposed to peking duck) duck is a breed of duck. Pekinging a duck is Pauly’s way of describing an individual of said breed that is going through the process of being killed, plucked, marinated, blowed, dried and baked. Pekinged is Pauly’s way of saying that the said duck is ready for his further cooking and consumption…

click here to be transported to Pauly’s world

Paul’s Caul… Like a duck out of china town…

Yeah you guest it, I’m Peking… its no surprise to know that I love duck, its so god damn tasty I salivate just thinking about it. In fact I’ll go as far as to say it may be the only animal that I regularly grab its whole carcass and viciously rip at its arse with my mouth, now if that’s not love then my whole world is topsy turfy.

I’d like to move away from my love of the duck for one brief moment only to wish you all a very happy new year, and apologize for my lack of posts… but rest assured I’m well and truly back and shall bring you people many recipes/stories/rants as the years moves on.

But what I’d like to see is lots more interaction, more requests, more naked pictures of your partner sleeping, all sent to us here at foodisthebestshitever… to be honest I’m not sure if you can send us stuff but I’m guessing you are all without a doubt more technically savvy then my self and will work something out.

Back to foul play, I will admit a few things to you all right here right now, I buy my ducks ready Pekinged (new word… BAM!) And I also wear t-shirts that are too small instead of working out… I have no issue buying my ducks as I cannot cook them as well as the magicians at ‘Good Fortune’ do. But I do however do things with that duck that they do not (get your minds out of the gutter) I sometimes make my Peking duck salad which I have given you before, or I may make a aromatic duck curry which I have also given you… or I could strip the meat and make Chinese taco’s.

Regardless of what you do with the meat, you will always be left with the ducks frame/bones/all round goodness.

So what to do with said bones?

Lets make the worlds easiest broth… yes this year will be full of massive calls!!!

Duck and miso broth

This recipe is so easy that it doesn’t require the usual recipe layout….

Step 1… whack the frame of 1 Peking duck in a large pot, with a couple of whole chilli’s ripped in half and 4 kaffir lime leaves

IMG_3438

Step 2… fill the pot with water and simmer for 2-3 hours

That is essentially the base for the broth complete, I did say it was easy ☺

IMG_3436

Now as far as items to go into your broth go, you can put whatever veg you want… I however choose;

Green beans- julienned
Choy sum- julienned
Spring onions- finely sliced
Ginger- julienned
Fresh coriander- torn
Fresh birds eye chilli- finely sliced

All of these ingredients can be sliced and placed straight into your serving bowls.

Step 3… to finish the broth simply strain the broth and stir in 2 tablespoons of miso paste (I like white paste but any will do), add 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce

IMG_3437

Step 4… pour the broth over the veg in the bowls

Now you can add what ever you like to this broth and it will be tasty, I added some sliced bratwurst last night and it was sensational, so empty your fridge into this beauty, as long as you don’t store medication inn the fridge because that could end badly.

This is great on many levels, its healthy, its easy and it uses up stuff that may have been thrown away… so in summary, you’re welcome ☺

china tucker… the food diary of my Italian born, Australian raised friend who sometimes lives in China…

“a Gitana (my friend’s name is Gitana) blurb on kung fu and food in china”

Last year, I trained in rural China at a kung fu school for four months. Despite the wonderful training with extremely knowledgeable Shaolin Masters and the attractiveness of simple living, being cooked for is also seemingly attractive… it is not simple and tasty, but the kind of simple that leaves one hungry, loosing weight, and sometimes depressed. So much so that I would often sneak out of school grounds to eat food that was shiny with MSG.

Breakfast:
Meal times were regimented and signaled with the loud shrill of a whistle. Each day started with an hour of tai chi and then breakfast at 7am. EVERY SINGLE breakfast was exactly the same. There were boiled eggs (the saving grace from a protein perspective, yet the “quality” of said egg is debatable), white and pasty steamed buns — a stodgy, difficult to get down item, made palatable by vegemite — highly processed sweet bread, and individually packaged powdered soya milk. These last two items were usually consumed together; both of which I was not interested in. Sanity was maintained by buying bananas and yoghurt. Tea, China’s national drink was nowhere to be seen.

Lunch:
After the morning’s training, the whistle would blow and hungry people would flock to the dining hall like scavengers, usually only to be disappointed. We ate white rice for lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. There were about five dishes on the table in the centre and knock yourself out, before someone else does. Being a vegetarian (actually pescatarian, but whatevs), my five usually became two. Anyway, the skerricks of “meat” were often not the kind of “meat” you could identify…


The photos show Tim and his face says it all: floating “meat” balls, beans stir-fried with no condiment at all, steamed potatoe with “meat” and, oh yeah, the only spice we encountered, star anise. Another lovely dish we had quite often, roughly chopped cucumber, half the dish is sprinkled with salt, the other half with sugar (not cool), some other veg with “pork”, and boiling water in the teapot. The colourful photo actually looks quite wonderful; it shows a “good” day. The fish mostly remained there; few were game to eat it. It tasted like gritty mackerel, the kind that makes you feel like you accidentally bit open a cod liver capsule and chewed some gravel as well… but the protein was necessary. Add a plate of overcooked sliced zuchhini, turned floppy, in a can of tomatoes, no olive oil, no salt = in what universe is this tasty? Slivers of brightly coloured pinky vegies. I still don’t know what these are, but they were edible and fresh. They are a dirt-tasting cross between a beetroot and a radish without the kick. Does anyone fancy a “meat” stick? Or, what about over stir-fried cauliflower and green capsicum in shitty Chinese oil; another favourite. NEVER be deceived by the pretty colours. On occasion, we were blessed and given some fruit, either banana or watermelon!

Dinner:
There is really not much to report as it was EXACTLY the same as lunch. At 6pm every day, we would press our faces up to the glass and wonder if anything was going to be different. Mostly, we maintained being unimpressed. Except on Thursday night; we would either get noodles floating around in their meat stock, or fried rice (as if we hadn’t had enough rice) and sometimes dumplings. Overall, there were dishes on rotation, but I reckon I had a total of about 15 dishes.

So, if this food sounds like your idea of “how to loose weight quickly” or how to “challenge your mental faculties”, or how to “learn to accept and not control everything”, or simply, “hell at the table every day”, saved only by good company and the odd slice of watermelon, then you’ll understand why one student left this message on the table one day; it means bu hao which is “bad”.

I know right, a little childish and not exactly the smartest way for good tucker to arrive in the future, but hey, a little delinquency never hurt right? Actually, I have friends in the industry, so it’s not the smartest move…

Before my monologue is complete, note that 1) simple food is part of the training, and 2) food in China can be wonderful, as these last photos show (couldn’t get more chilli if one tried; I loved it), no really, it can be salivating and creative. I would recommend the “training kung fu in China” experience to everyone and anyone and I have just returned from another stint, where I can report that the food was much better J