Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feeding Friends

Lately I've had reason to bring some meals to friends of mine who have become house-bound by health issues. Cooking and delivering food is one of my favorite ways to show love to a person. I thought it would be nice to share some easy and yummy recipes that I've whipped up these past months.

Southwestern Chicken and Rice
serves 4
Just make a cup of brown rice according to package directions and set aside. (When it's done cooking, you should have three cups of cooked rice.) Then brown three or four chicken breasts in olive oil in a big skillet or fry pan, add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1 can chopped/diced tomatoes, and simmer until chicken is cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, cut them into fourths, plop em back into the pan and stir in your rice from earlier. Mix in about 1 cup of shredded taco cheese and season to taste with pepper or hot sauce, and you're good to go! Takes about 45 minutes, all told.

serves however many you wish
This is so simple, it doesn't even deserve a recipe. Purchase stellette (star-shaped) or another tiny pasta. Simply boil the pasta until it's tender in chicken or beef broth instead of water. The pasta will plump up and have all that broth-y flavor instead of being so bland.

I borrowed this idea from Jaques Pepin because it is brilliant. Jaques tells us to keep a used, washed paper milk container in the freezer. Then deposit the following into it when it naturally occurs: vegetable ends, onion skins, chicken bones, veggie peelings, bean ends, that little tip on a head of garlic that looks goofy, etc. Add a little water after you put each item in, so the whole thing freezes into a block. When your container is full, (this takes about 2 weeks at our house), tear the box off the block, making sure no paper has stuck to the ice, and plop it into a big pot of water. Add a pinch of the following: salt, pepper, a savory herb like oregano. Add a bay leaf. Boil all this down until it reduces to about half the original amount of liquid. Then strain off the solids, reserving the liquid that's left behind. That is your broth, and it will be pungent, beautiful, and very rich. I have served this to my daughter when she's had a head cold, and it comforts and soothes her soul, as well as providing a very digestible source of nutrition. Good stuff!

Enjoy and may blessings of good health rain down upon you!

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