I love to create recipes out of the ingredients that I randomly purchase at the grocery store. As a wander aimlessly through the produce, something always grabs my attention. I often have no idea how I will use. I only know that I really want to cook with it. It also helps to pair them with items that you randomly have at home. Of course, that creates the other problem, “OMG, What am I going to do with that?”. This may occur after a very busy week and often happens as you find the “random purchase” in the refrigerator.
Don’t fret. I always think about how I have eaten the ingredient in the past in previous dishes. Is there a way to use in similar manner but with your own personal spin? Do you have an idea for a new way to present? At this point, I normally will open the refrigerator and do the “man stare”. This will normally jog something in the flavor brain. If not, a review of my dough bowl which houses room temp produce will yield an idea or two.
At this point, if I am still puzzled, I open a bottle of wine. This always resolves everything. If you find that you are still unsure how to use the “random produce”, pull out a cookbook or two. This will always unfog the brain drain. If none of this works, send me an email titled “The Man stare and wine failed, I need help with my pretty but random produce purchase.”
On my last grocery visit, my random purchase was leeks. Leeks are lovely. My dough bowl housed a bowl of beautiful potatoes from Sirmon Farms. They grow the best tasting potatoes. My garden had yielded a bell pepper. I grabbed an apron and selected ingredients. I sent out a shout out to Alexa for Paul Rogers. With the tunes in the back ground, I started chopping. Enjoy!
Potatoes, Leeks and Flavor, “oh my”
3/4 cup celery, chopped
1 3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
4 oz butter
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups leeks, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
4 cups small red potatoes, skins on & diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp hungarian paprika
1/2 cup half and half
In a sauce pan, add celery, bell pepper, onions, garlic and butter. Saute until tender. Meanwhile on low, add chicken broth and leeks into a pot. Once the vegetables are tender, add the flour and stir well for a few minutes. Then scoop a cup of broth with leeks and stir into saute pan and stir. Once items are blended well, add all to stockpot. On medium low, add potatoes and spices to stockpot. Stir as often as needed. Once the potatoes are tender, taste the soup. This will take about 20 minutes. Once tender, turn off heat. Mash a few of the potatoes in the stocktop and add in the half& half and stir.
The hungarian paprika that I use was handpicked in Hungary by a lovely friend. I was introduced to this flavor “POW” on my trip but had depleted my stash. It is wonderful. It lends to the full side of flavor. If the soup needs more spice after you taste, increase the amount of paprika slightly or add a sprinkle of cayenne. Enjoy!