Friday, July 22, 2011

Mea [maxima] Culpa

Do you ever do this? Do you ever wake up on the second day of a cold and feel a little better and pretend like nothing ever happened? I do it all the time. As soon as I'm a little better not only do I resume with all things active, but I'm even prone to pushing myself to make up for lost time. Last night I made an impromptu decision to go to my office and catch up on some work. My office, which in spite of the heat wave outside, is set to some unnecessarily arctic temperature that I can't control. So I sat there until 2am and edited poems and thought I was catching up. Well, let me tell you, when I woke up with a fever this morning that sense of achievement was not there... So I have managed to make myself sicker than I was to start with. Good job, right? I know.

I'm gonna call this recipe the Campbell Tomato Soup, not because it has anything to do with the soup manufacturer, but because I'm hopelessly addicted to punning, and the recipe was given me yesterday by my friend Lee Dylan Campbell. Since my soup-making style is usually inspired by the contents of my fridge and random, I decided to really stick to the recipe this time, for kicks. So here it goes...

The Lee Dylan] Campbell Tomato Soup
(recipe copied and pasted from facebook inbox message because I'm sick and I'm allowed to take shortcuts like that)

Chop and Sauté several fresh ripe tomatoes, a bunch of green onions, a yellow pepper, some tender celery and garlic. Black pepper, cumin. Add a generous handful of cilantro and the juice of one lime. When everything is pretty well cooked, add a big can of Heinz tomato juice (reduced salt kind) and either heat or chill – this works both ways. Add more cilantro if that’s your style, salt to taste, and a spoonful or two of maple syrup to balance the tanginess. A little hot sauce wouldn’t hurt either. Serve over a few corn chips.

Mina's sick note: thank you Lee for the soup recipe, Sarah, for offering to take me to the ER if my fever persists, Dale, for making me laugh, and Yalda, for reading me my horoscope. Now I'm going to eat some more soup and watch Christmas movies.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I’m sick. I’m sick, and two very strange things happened to me today. After having consumed only soup for something ridiculous like 4 consecutive meals, I thought, I’ll bake a savoury tart. Wait. Those weren’t the strange things. I thought I’d bake a tart because I had some lovely eggs, and some mean blue cheese. So forward I marched, to start on some pastry, chill it, then begin thinking up ideas for filling, and what did I find? You might want to sit down for this. I was out of all-purpose flour! And butter! I know! Impossible right? Today was the end of the world. I am writing to you now from the afterlife. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking clearly I went to hell if it’s 40 degrees out and I had to make a crust out of twelve-grain flour and olive oil… but it wasn’t bad at all! I swear. I know I’m sick and my taste buds (or judgement) can’t be trusted but I’m telling you it was kinda… good. Do you think it’s the 40degree heat and flu medication? Who knows...

Emergency Tarte Aux Oignons

1C 9-grain flour
Just under 1/4c good Olive oil
¼ C ice water
½ tsp salt
1tsp dry rosemary

1 Large Spanish/Red Onion
2 Large Portobello Mushrooms
3 good eggs
½ C Milk (if you use skim we can’t be friends)
½ C Yogurt
1C Ricotta
¼ C Crumbled Blue Cheese (or more if you like more)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a mixing bowl mix together the crust ingredients to make a pliable dough. Wrap in plastic and chill for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cut Mushrooms in strips and Sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper. Caramelize the onion to your liking. Drain any liquid from the sautéed mushrooms and mix with the onion. Set aside.

With an electric beater (or whisk) beat the eggs until they increase a little in volume. Add milk, yogurt, and ricotta beating on medium speed. Taste and season. Remember no one likes an under-seasoned savory tart.

Take out the dough and roll it out to fit your baking vessel. If it’s cracking leave it out to warm up a bit. That should help. There’s no butter in there anyway so no point in keeping it so cold. Once your baking tin is lined with your dough, arrange the onion/mushroom mixture in there evenly, then scatter some crumbled blue cheese all over. Finally, pour the egg mixture over everything and give yourself a round of applause.

Pop your tart in the oven and bake 45-55minutes. When the tart is ready, it shouldn’t jiggle in the middle. You’ll know. How is it? Am I losing my mind or is the cracker-like crust kinda cool?