Friday, March 11, 2016

Simple Meals

Ingredients for quesadillas, salad, and stir-fried beef with green onions.
Cooking this week has been simple. We had quite a few leftovers and went out once, so I didn't do a lot in the kitchen.

Quesadillas are close to the simplest dish I know how to make -- I can't believe that I like them so much I even order them in restaurants sometimes. I keep my version basic: just some green chiles and melty cheese in a flour tortilla, fried to brown. Some restaurant versions get very fussy with the filling, like chicken in layers of sauce etc -- really, they should call them tacos or enchiladas or something. I like the original plain quesadillas. I served them with a bowl of lettuce, arugula, avocado, and cucumber; tomato salsa; corn salsa; and some stir-fried beef flavored with cumin, hot sauce, and green onions.

My quesadillas, ready to eat.
Green onions and beef.

Chicken with tarragon, capers, and lemon, served with green salad with artichoke hearts.
Another meal, shown above, was chicken breast cooked with white wine, tarragon, capers and lemon. Finally, the simplest and lightest of our dinners was a mug of mushroom soup alongside a vegetable salad dressed with kefir and goat cheese. For the soup I used the classic French onion soup recipe and added fresh and dried mushrooms before the long simmer. Serving the leftover soup at lunch the next day, I added a toasted English muffin with melted cheese and hot sauce.

Mushroom soup and an English muffin with cheese.
Note that I am incapable of making fancy squiggles from the Sriracha bottle.
Minnie Mouse is on the plate under the soup plate. Yes, I have Micky too.
No, they are not for children, they are for us.

I am not sure how my mushroom soup fits into the history of soup. In fact, I only just became aware that soup even had a history. However, I know more now because soup, also called pottage, frumenty, broth, and other names appears throughout the book I've been reading, Taste: The Story of Britain through Its Cooking by Kate Colquhoun. Serving a piece of bread or toast in the soup was common in the Middle Ages and Renaissance era. Over time, this "sop" of bread went out of style and was replaced by vermicelli, rice, or other starches. I'll write more on this book and its overwhelming detail about eating through 20 centuries in a later post, maybe after my culinary reading group discusses it.


Beth F said...

First, you can leave multiple links! I have no actual rules. :)

I've been curious about TASTE, and should think about getting a copy. I too love quesadillas and will order them in a restaurant. I know, kind of silly. The chicken dish looks great and what a super idea to use a cheesy English muffin to top your soup. I definitely need to try that.

Tina said...

We like quesadillas too. You can change up the ingredients, I use leftover steak or chicken or just make veggie ones.
I like your soup. You ought to hook up with Deb' Souper Sunday!

Unknown said...

Your dishes look great. I fell involve with cheese quesadillas the first time I had one at a restaurant. I don't make them at home - but should give them a try. Your book sounds interesting.

Kari said...

I love quesadillas too :-)

Claudia said...

I do enjoy quesadillas as well, though with fish, as I don't always trust the beef or pork you get in a restaurant. Your meals this week all look great!

My Cozy Book Nook said...

Quesadillas are my go-to food - at home and in a restaurant :)

The chicken dish sounds wonderful! I'm looking for lighter chicken dishes - and I love the taste of lemons and capers. I think I found my new recipe to try this week - thanks!

Margot said...

I don't know why I never think of making quesadillas. I always have tortillas on hand. You have inspired me to give them a try. Thanks.

Carole said...

I wouldn't have thought of putting a muffin on a soup! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

Vicki said...

Like Carole, I wouldn't have thought to put a muffin on top of a bowl of soup.

I love quesadillas too, they seem to be very popular don't they?

Deb in Hawaii said...

Looks like a delicious week. Mushroom soup is one of my favorites--hearty and perfect for a cold weather meal. :-)

jama said...

Yum, your quesadillas and mushroom soup and chicken look so yummy. Now I must look for that TASTE book!