Friday, December 18, 2009

Baby it is cold outside

I sit on my sofa, a throw draped over my shoulders and a cup of hot tea within arm’s reach. Yes, winter is here even if the solstice has yet to arrive. My farmer’s market has shrunken to a small contingent of hardy vendors offering yesterday’s haul from the sea, root vegetables that cellar through the winter as well the Amish table filled with Moon pies, and farmer’s cheese.

I troll the market these days walking away with an apple or two, some pears, a bunch of kale and perhaps, parsnips. During the peak of the season it is easy to derive ninety percent of my foods locally, but now it is the complete opposite. Fortunately, I have squirreled away a freeze full for just this time – much to my partner’s annoyance. While he may complain about the lack of available space for his pint of ice cream he does not seem to be riled by the meals it helps produce. Now, I can live with the constant digging through, and re-organization of my freezer. What gets me is going to a grocery store to items to flesh out my creations. I walk around and around in a haze, finding it difficult to hear the siren’s call to eat.

Inevitably I settle on mushrooms, celery, jicama, or baby arugula all in the hopes to put something on the table, and making sure what I have stockpiled doesn’t run out too quickly.

Chorizo and Potato Stew – yields 4 to 6 servings
1-pound chorizo – sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion – cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3-garlic cloves – roughly chopped
3-celery ribs – cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2-cup canned tomatoes – drained of juice
1/2-pound potatoes (preferably Yukon gold) – cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a 10-inch skillet or a wok over a medium heat, and add the chorizo. Brown the chorizo well.

Once the chorizo has browned add in the onion and celery. Brown the onion mixture then add the garlic, tomato and potatoes. Pour in 1/4-cup of water. Cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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