Monday, January 19, 2009

The Reluctant Housewife

So as many of you know (and secretly despised me for) I have been spoiled rotten these last few months and have had little-to-no household responsibilities to attend to. But as all good things, the shirking of chores thanks to my “semester of seven classes” excuse has officially expired and I now, quite reluctantly, return to my housewife-ly duties.

Yes, Gloria Steinem I know this may not be what you had in mind for my generation but I (wisely and bravely) plan to turn this boring task into an opportunity...an opportunity to share my trials and tribulations, (and let's face it potentially disastrous outcomes) with the rest of my friends in an effort to save them time, provide them with inspiration, or at least a good chortle at my expense.

What did I make this weekend? Corn & Cheese Chowder and Sweet Potato Muffins...

Read on for the recipe, revisions and results:

Corn Cheddar Chowder

Prep time: 15 minutes (or 45 depending on how long it takes you to chop an onion, cry, wash your face, rinse and repeat)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8ish

Recipe:
  • 3 ¼ oz butter
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup canned creamed corn
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Directions (and Revisions)
1.Heat butter in heavy based pan. (Revision: there's really no need to use that much butter unless you're a Paula Deen devotee, so I suggest maybe a bit of grapeseed oil and a tablespoon of butter or so) Add onion and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until golden.

2.Add garlic (Revision: bring on the garlic, what's one little clove gonna do for you? I say double or triple that and kiss the cook!) Add cumin seeds and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly (arm workout: bonus!)
3.Add chicken stock. (now I do suggest using homemade chicken stock and will provide a recipe for my favorite later this month, but if you insist on the store bought because you're not a slave to the kitchen like some of us, sigh, I like Pacific free range low sodium chicken broth) Bring to a boil, add potato, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for ten minutes.
4. Add creamed corn, corn kernels and parsley (umm all I got's is canned corn kernels and that's ok, I used two cans worth for this recipe and substituted cilantro for parsley because I like it better) bring to a boil once more, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add cheese and cream and season to taste. Heat gently until cheese melts. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped chives.(Revision: I used a hand held blender to cream this soup when it was done and if you plan to enjoy this for a few days don't add the cheese, skip the cream altogether, instead add the cheese as you reheat it and maybe add a delicious chicken apple sausage to go with it)


Review: This was delicious! Perfect for a cold winter night. I have to warn you the soup is pretty sweet, it is corn chowder after all, so you might want to season it with red chili flakes or cayenne pepper for some sweet and spicy balance. I will make this one again!



Sweet Potato Muffin
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes + 10 minutes cooling

Recipe:
  • 6oz sweet potato
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup finely grated Cheddar cheese
  • 3 ¼ oz butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Directions (and Revisions)
1. Preheat oven to 350F, brush melted butter or oil into 12 deep muffin tins (or use spray)
2. Finely grate sweet potato. Sift flour into large mixing bowl. (If you don't have self rising flour you can always add a little bit of baking soda to the mix)
3. Add sweet potato and cheese, stir to combine, make a well in the center.
4. Add butter, egg and buttermilk to dry ingredients (Muy importante: make sure the butter has cooled...otherwise you get pre-cooked egg) Combine ingredients.
5. Spoon mixture into muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Turn onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with butter. (Revision: or with honey butter, melt butter and add honey to it in either a two to one or three to one ratio, yummy)


Review: Eh. The muffins came out underdone in the middle and were rather bland...I can think of better uses for sweet potato, like baked fries, yummy!


1 comment:

Kate said...

That looks amazing. Cant wait to try it.