Sunday, April 24, 2011

Traveling and the Importance of Easy Meals

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     One of the only downsides about biking everywhere is the lack of long distance transportation. I can easily ride 10 miles on my bike to go somewhere, but that is about the upper limits of my abilities when time is taken into consideration. It's not too convenient beyond that. 

     The end of this past week and the beginning of the weekend were spent mostly in San Antonio with my lovely niece I had not seen in three years. She was able to catch up with her boyfriend and his family while Thomas and I were able to take in the sights of San Antonio. It truly is a beautiful city with a bit of old world charm. Because we had to be in town so early we were able to see it as few people get to, nearly empty.

     By the time we got home, we were all exhausted and wanted to do nothing more than go straight to bed. Dinner, however, needed to be dealt with. Two bags of 10oz frozen corn and a couple of potatoes to the rescue!

Corn Chowder with Roasted Potatoes
Serves 3

For the chowder:
2 - 10oz bags of frozen sweet corn
Handful of cilantro, washed, stemmed, and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Olive oil for frying
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp chili powder
2-3 cups water
1/4 - 1/2 cup soy milk
Salt, to taste

For the roasted potatoes:
2 or 3 small to medium potatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
Olive oil for coating
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne

Optional Toppings:
Shredded cheese
Diced green onions
Sour cream
Diced cilantro

First... Preheat your oven to 350*F while you prep the potatoes by washing them well, then dicing into bite sized pieces. Nothing fancy here, just keep them a uniform size. Toss together in a bowl with the diced onion, coat with the olive oil, then add the salt and cayenne before mixing well. Toss the potatoes in the oven on a foiled or parchment-lined baking sheet for around 25 minutes or until fork tender.

Then... While the potatoes are baking, you'll make the corn chowder. Start by heating oil in a soup pot and adding the onions to fry for around 5-6 minutes. Add the salt and other dry seasonings and mix well. Add the frozen corn and enough water to cover before bringing to a simmer. Carefully transfer around 1/2 of soup contents to a blender and blend, using the remaining water for easy blending. Return contents of blender to soup pot, add cilantro, and continue simmering. After 10 minutes of additional simmering, add the milk and turn heat off.

Finally... Remove the potatoes from oven. Ladle soup into bowls, top with roasted potatoes and any optional toppings desired.

     Because this recipe is so basic, there are many ways that you could make it your own. Try adding some salsa or chili garlic paste to the blender for a spicier touch, a can of chopped tomatoes with green peppers, or use a can of black beans instead of the second bag of corn for a slightly different soup. Make it yours!
- Patricia

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