Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fast food

The dilemma of the working family has knocked home cooking off the map for millions of households. You get home late and tired; so much easier to grab some carry-out on the way home, or order a pizza, or throw a frozen lasagna into the oven. Plus, these things are far better in quality, price and nutrition than they were when I was a child, and in some cases approach home cooking in cost.

On my way home the other night I knew that I'd be eating alone, and thought about picking up a rotisserie chicken. But I thought I remembered that there was some leftover rice and fish, or maybe some of the chicken and squash. Besides, it almost seems like too much trouble even to go through the drive-through, let alone stop at the grocery store.

I got myself all excited about leftovers, but when I got home I discovered they were gone. I didn't even have enough food in the house to doctor one of the Thai Kitchen box meals. What I did have was 3 stalks of celery, a romano cheese, three tomatoes and bisquik.

I sat down to eat with the wonderful book of memory and recipes by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette.

Quick tomato soup, with cheese and garlic biscuits
3 large tomatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large clove garlic, crushed and chopped fine
1 small can or 1 1/2 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
parsley, salt and pepper

Saute the celery and garlic in a soup pot until soft. Core and seed the tomatoes, add them to the celery mixture and saute, stirring constantly, until it breaks down. Add the broth and seasonings, simmer for 30 minutes.

For the biscuits, add 1/4 cup of finely grated romano cheese, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic and 3-6 additional teaspoons of milk to the regular recipe. Bake as directed, adding time if necessary for the additional moisture.

Even with the 30 minutes simmering time, which frankly you could shorten, the whole thing took less time than it would have taken to pick something up on the way home.


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