Wednesday, May 06, 2015

"What's in the Refrigerator" Soup

I am sick and tired of throwing food away.  Even if it's just into the compost bin, I hate it.  So, in the spirit of "Clean Out the Refrigerator Quiche", I've been salvaging bits of veggies from the produce share to make soup about once a week.  It's a healthy lunch...and sometimes for me, even a quick breakfast.)  Here's this week's edition.  But remember, it's a technique, not a recipe.  Riff on it to your heart's content.

"What's in the Refrigerator" Soup
Servings?  Depends on you...

Take one link smoked sausage (I used andouille.) and chop into half-inch pieces.  Put in a stock pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely browned.  Add one onion, chopped; four stalks of celery, thinly sliced; and four carrots, thinly sliced. Continue to saute, stirring periodically, for 4-5 minutes.

Add one bunch coarsely chopped collard greens and one-half head of cabbage, chopped.  Stir until incorporated.

Add 6-8 cups liquid.  (I used a combination of storebought chicken stock and water.) Season with whatever moves you...a bit of salt and pepper, some Italian seasoning, thyme, a bay leaf or two.  Like I said, whatever moves you.  Bring to the boil and then simmer until vegetables are softened, about 25 minutes. (If desired, add one can of white beans, rinsed and drained, during the last 10 minutes of cooking.)

Enjoy with some crusty bread and feel superior because you didn't throw food away.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Momofuku Ssam Sauce

I've not been big on recipes lately.  Instead, have been experimenting.  Or just cooking simply with good ingredients.

But one way to add interest is new sauces and seasonings.  I wrangled an on-sale pork shoulder into the Dutch over last week for a braise and decided to make it Momofuku Bo Ssam style. Made the two sauces that come with...but did lettuce wraps instead of steamed buns.

And the wonderful surprise?  Plenty of Ssam sauce leftover.  I put it in a squeeze bottle and threw it in the fridge.  So far, it's been great on seared tuna, roasted asparagus and steamed new potatoes.  The possibilities seem endless. Post your ideas/successes in the comments below.

This one is definitely worth the trip to an Asian supermarket.

Makes one cup.

2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang) (Pictured.)
1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang)
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)