Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My dinner looked exactly like prison food, or what I imagine prison food looks like. Since I've never been in the joint, I can't be too sure. Staring into the large pot of it also brought to mind the scene from Oliver Twist when the poor, malnourished orphan boy begs, "please sir, I want some more." It was that kind of slop.

I consumed something approximately every 15 minutes over the long weekend. After all that overindulgence, I needed to get to the produce market ASAP and start ingesting fruits and vegetables, and soup seemed like an easy way to begin.

The base of this soup is roasted cauliflower and flagelot beans, flavored primarily with toasted fennel seeds and sauteed onions. I often get bored with soups that are completely smooth, with no chunks or croutons or something to break it up. After 5 or 6 spoonfuls, I'm over it. You know nothing new is going to happen. So, rather than puree the whole thing after it was cooked, I left some of the roasted cauliflower florets and flagelots whole and added them back into the rest of the puree. It sounds okay in theory, right?

Well, it turned out to look like a dirty mess. The caramelized bits of cauliflower and the jaundiced tinge of the vegetable stock made the whole thing way too yellow-brown, and there was no other color to set it off (read: I forgot to buy parsley). The texture of the puree was equivalent to really loose grits, as if you'd added three times the amount of liquid necessary to cook them. It was grainy no matter how long I whizzed it in the food processor.

It was an experiment gone awry, although it could have been worse. It served it's function as being a bowlful of cheap nutrients. I'd love to say that I will come back and try to revamp this idea, but I'd be lying. It's just that throwing random ingredients together, even if it comes out as prison gruel, it's kind of fun. And don't worry about me starving to death tonight, because I actually ate an entire bowl of it.

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