"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Elusive Recipe Found: Tomatillo-Chile Soup

I'd made this soup and liked it and scoured the Net for the recipe but it's not there; it's in Mollie Katzen's 1997 cookbook Vegetable Heaven. One of your neighbors probably grows tomatillos. Or you can buy canned and try this puree-style soup. Serve with cubed avocado and tortilla chips. Makes "six intense servings." Freezes well.

Tomatillo-Chile Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
4 medium-sized fresh poblano or Anaheim chile peppers OR 2 bell peppers plus 1 seven-ounce can of diced green chiles, chopped
2 heaping Tablespoons of minced garlic
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2  Tablespoons chile powder
2 or 3 cans of tomatillos, drained, washed, and chopped; or 6 cups chopped fresh tomatillos
4 cups water
2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey

Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add to the onion saute the chiles (and/or peppers), garlic, salt and chile powder and mix well. Then cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatillos, cover, cook for another 10 minutes or so. Add the water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 miniutes longer. Puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. Add sugar or honey to taste, and correct the salt if desired. Serve hot.

I note on my recipes the dates I cook them. This recipe is marked 2/14/00 and 3/16/03. And now that I've found the recipe at last -- again and more often!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pasta with 0 Calories is Here

Shirataki noodles, made from yams, have 0 to 15 calories and 4g carbs per serving, and you don't have to boil them. Discovered through the popular diet books Wheatbelly and Hungry Girl, I found them refrigerated near the tofu at Wal-Mart and bought 4 eight-ounce packages of different brands and shapes, spaghetti and fettuccini. Most have 0 calories; the 15-calorie "Pasta Zero" brand includes a bit of chickpea flour to make it opaque and slightly more familiar to Americans. Forget portion control: I eat the whole eight-ounce package just as I used to eat eight ounces of pasta daily until my cardiologist said to cut it out.

Shirataki noodles make one demand: They must be rinsed right out of the package. Those imported from Japan have a smell considered enticing over there but Americans call it fishy. Be brave: It rinses out in a colander or strainer in 1 minute. Then heat a non-stick skillet and toss the noodles over medium-high heat 2 minutes until they're dry. They are ready. Or you can heat them in a microwave for 1 or 2 minutes, or boil them for 3 minutes, as if they were ramen. They are bland so I sauce them up with Alfredo sauce (pictured), the only calories in the whole pasta bowl, and as I said I eat the entire half-pound package myself knowing my noodles are calorie-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, fat-free, soy-free, low-carb, and vegan, and it doesn't get any better than that.

Pictured is Nasoya brand Pasta Zero Plus shirataki fettucini, $1.97 for 8 ounces.