Sunday, February 08, 2009

When Garbage Is Prettier Than Food

There is something So Wrong with my computer today. I can't edit photos in iPhoto (probably because I got a message asking if I wanted to upgrade to iLife 09, and I said no... so they put a nasty pox on my current iPhoto; I think so; could be).
I got a successful edit of this picture on Photoshop Elements, but when I sent it to my desktop, it kept coming out the unedited version.
Which is what you're seeing. Not bad. Could be sparkier, because that's the way I felt about today's cooking.
It was sparky.
I made a soup from peeled broccoli stems (oh, damn, I've lost you already, haven't I?), vegetable broth, red onion, minced garlic and a sort of russet potato. Broccoli and potato in about equal proportions. Salt, always. My vegetable broths have lots of herbal notes, so no more was needed.
You just throw all this stuff in a pot — start with the chopped (peeled!) broccoli stems, because parts of them can be tough; you might need to trim. Simmer, and then allow to cool a bit. Pulverize it in the blender, return to pot, and taste. Needs some fish sauce? Sure, squizzle, squizzle. A hit of lime? Nice. Maybe a little smoothing with some buttermilk. A shake of dried red pepper (not as hot as cayenne; you be the judge).
It came out very glossy, a tender beige-green, not so pretty... The drizzle of olive oil on top was a good visual, and a great mouthual. Still, just a little beige puddle.
But I kept thinking that if I were served this as an amuse bouch at Chez Swankypants, I'd be impressed.
Probably because les amuses are "free," and we like free stuff.
No. It was that good.


jimmycrackedcorn said...

No, you didn't lose me at broccoli stems! I made soup this weekend and that was the first thing I put into mine. They still had a nice feel to them after 3 hours in the crock pot...not mushy at all.

dancingmorganmouse said...

You won't lose me by mentioning the B word, love the stuff. I usually put the stems in with the trees if making green soup - so full of flavour.

Judith-in-Wales said...

The stem is the best bit of broccoli - I normally peel it and eat it raw while I'm preparing the rest for cooking!

el said...

My compost fodder is often more sparky than my soups so please don't feel you're alone there...especially pureed soups. Reminds me of the child's color-theory queries: what does x and y make, inevitably it's maybe the point is don't puree it all, or, well, just close your eyes and eat?

altadenahiker said...

I am making a big old pot of split pea soup, and it can handle any garbage at the tail end of my crisper. My mother made a Norwegian soup called (this is phonetic) Bitta Supa, which meant, pretty much, garbage soup. what you have left when you clean out the fridge.

Zoomie said...

All you needed for your beige puddle was one of Peter's beautiful serving bowls - his stuff always looks great on it!

peter said...

iPhoto = The Devil.

Broccoli stems = brothy gold.

That is all.

PS If you guys want some bowls so badly, call me already.

Kel said...

tsk tsk. thats not garbage thats worm food! and as for the stems, thats the bets bit around here, gotta keep slappin' away the hands at the chopping board.

cookiecrumb said...

Jimmy: That is so cool. The first comment, and you're a broccoli stem appreciator. Let us respect the broccoli stem. :)

Morgan: This is the first time I've ever peeled the stems. It seemed necessary.

Judith: OMG, I'm going to try that. I've got broccoli plants in the back yard that just about finished flowering, but the stems are still there.

El: If this beige-green soup were served in a small dose, in an expensive vessel, say, at Le Bernardin... it would be well received.

Hiker: My husband calls it "cream of the bottom of the refrigerator soup." I like Bitta Supa.

Zoomie: Watch out, you'll awaken his capitalistic tendencies... Oh, too late!! :D

Peter: I'm getting off iPhoto. I just always used it as my default, and for storage.
As for your lovely dishes, I just wanna make some of my own, dammit!

Kel: Not to worry. My compost heap is prettier than my food! (No worming here, of the un-earthworm variety. Just plain old heap pilin'.)

Sweet Bird said...

this looks tasty - and broccoli stems are delicious

cookiecrumb said...

Birdie! That was the compost picture. The finished food was... bland-looking. But acceptable.