I am a little confused. I drive home with the air conditioner on, yet wake up freezing my ass off, refusing to kick the covers off until the last possible moment. Such is an Arizona winter: 80 high, 50 low. (And yes, enough of the snickering, 50 is cold.) So when it came time, once again, to cobble together some sort of dinner for myself, this soup was what resulted. A simple, warming bowl of broth brought to life with chili, corn, and lime. The ultimate winter comfort food, transformed into a perfect marriage of solstices.
I almost didn’t write this up, as it doesn’t even a qualify as a recipe, but I figure I should be true to my life (i.e. fast, cheap, and easy) and post what I cook. And I figure everyone needs something quick to make in the 15 minutes between putting their kid to sleep and the beginning of Top Chef.*
Preheat a medium saucepan and one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Finally chop about a quarter of a small onion. Generally speaking I have some sort of onion end hanging around my produce drawer, and that’s what I used. Add to the pot, stirring while it cooks for a few minutes, or until the edges start to brown. (Normally I salt and pepper at this point, but as we’re using boullion, I would hold off until the end.) Add a minced clove of garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or so. Add a pinch of cayenne, a fat pinch of cumin and stir. Melt a cube of tomato boullion (found in the “ethnic” section of the grocery store) into the aromatics. Cook all of this over low heat for a couple of minutes, taking care not to burn anything or let it stick too much. Break 2-3 ounces of pastas (angel hair’s traditional, I keep linguine on hand) into three inch segments, and add to the pan, stirring to coat in the fat and allowing it to brown. Add 2 1/2 cups hot water, scraping the bottom of the pan while doing so. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes for linguine, or until the pasta is al dente. Add about a quarter cup of frozen corn and cook for another minute. Pour into bowl, squeeze over some lime, and toss in some sliced green onion. (Or cilantro, if you’re one of those people.) Eat.
I apologize for my blantant use of boullion. Except I don’t. Obviously homemade is better, and I do take the time to make my own quite often, but there really is a time and a place. Wednesday night ten minutes before my show just isn’t one of them. Sure, I may be bloated tomorrow from the pounds of extra salt, but no matter, Tom‘s out of town, and I’m not going to work tomorrow!
*SPOILER ALERT: What the FUCK were they thinking sending Jamie home? Obviously it should’ve been Leah, and a long time ago at that. And on a slightly grosser note that is so typical of me, I couldn’t help but think the noodles I was happily slurping up were not unlike those still-thrashing eels they were skinning… Delish.