On Saturday we stocked up at the farmers’ market and corner store, so I was well-prepared for a round of cooking on Sunday. It’s not so often that I cook three totally different foods in one day, but each of them was comfort food, in its own way.
Comfort food one: curry. Here’s what happened, as it often does: I was reading a book (Agatha Christie). I read “curry”. I felt an overwhelming urge to cook curry. I waited a week or two. It finally happened.
Nothing much to it, just some chopped veggies cooked in a bit of oil and water with some salt, sugar, and curry powder.
Comfort food two: padlizsánkrém (egglpant cream). Another recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Every time we go to Transylvania, it’s inevitably one of the foods we are served, and I’ve always wanted to recreate it.
Verdict: meh. What a lot of chopping and roasting and peeling and mashing for so little finished product. And it was bland. Even the onions and garlic had a sort of washed-away flavor. Next time: use fresher veg, use more garlic, chop into chunks only and then just blend it all together.
Comfort food three: tuna noodle casserole. This might be my number-one comfort food. Of all time.
It took me while to figure out how to make a healthy version of this. Using the traditional can of cream-of-mushroom soup was out, because not only it it not available in Hungary, even if it were I would still want to make it from scratch. I’ve made a lot of other cream-of-whatever soups before, and it’s not hard. But I have a thing with mushrooms. The taste is fine, but i’s a texture thing… the way they squeak between your teeth is like eating Styrofoam. So I’m unused to cooking with them, which means that poor Tomi was subjected to a barrage of mushroom-related questions.
me: Are these washed?
me: Are you sure? Will you wash them for me?
me: Is this bit edible? What about this one?
T: It’s fine.
me: What about this one?
T: It’s all fine.
me: I don’t like the look of that one piece.
T: Okay, I’ll take it away (munch!).
me: How do I chop them?
me: I mean, can you eat all of them?
T: Yes (still munching).
T: (wordless munching)
Until I finally ended up with a giant pile of mushrooms.
After this picture, I decided I didn’t like the big chunks and went to town on them with the cleaver until they were all pretty finely chopped. Then I fried and boiled them life out of them, until there was no teeth-squeaking-ness left, and then added the flour and milk to get to cream-of-mushroom soup. After that, it’s just a “dump recipe”: dump in the cooked pasta, dump in the peas and tuna, stir, and enjoy.