Saturday, January 21, 2012
Chunky Soup Nation
These photos are of that rara avis, the home cooked meal. It is a frittata , an egg dish baked in the oven. An oven omelette, if you will. I stuffed it with plum tomatoes, olives, yellow onions and garlic that had been sauteed in olive oil and flavored with sea salt and Italian seasoning. In her "The Classic Italian Cookbook" Marcella Hazan says the frittata is an Italian staple for a light supper replacing meat or chicken.
We Americans have our replacement for meat and chicken as well. It is the new civilian equivalent of the military's Meals Ready to Eat, the can of Chunky Soup dumped on mashed potatoes or rice- any kind of starch it can ride around the table on.I assume the potatoes and rice are instant as well. People too busy to do more than open a can are not going to hesitate at opening a pouch .
I expect the next Chunky Soup recipes we see will be featured on Super Bowl Sunday commercials, and they will involve pasta. Yet yesterday, on a display table at Publix, I saw cans of Chunky surrounded with something new. Small round loaves of bread that can be hollowed out like a pumpkin and filled with steaming Chunky. For the family hunkered down in the evening in their trench, watching whatever it is that cannot be missed, especially by wasting time in the kitchen.
Perhaps, since I will never win a Pulitzer for my fiction or a MacArthur genius grant for my poetry, I should seek fortune by writing a Chunky cookbook. Tuna A la Chunky-A tuna fish sandwich poached in undiluted Chunky. Rotisserie chicken stewed in a crock pot with Chunky, and served over hamburger rolls-
Alas, I am certain Campbell's has already published the cookbook,(so I still won't be making any money).
Here is the frittata recipe for someone who has an hour to spare in the evening. This makes enough for two.
Saute one diced yellow onion in olive oil until it is soft and golden. Season with salt and Italian seasoning then add 3 chopped fresh plum tomatoes, 3 diced cloves of garlic and a couple teaspoons of chopped green olives. Be sure you are using a saute pan with a metal handle that can go into the oven. Adjust seasoning and saute everything until the tomatoes are soft.
Now beat three eggs well and pour over the saute. Let everything cook a minute on the stove top, then put the pan in a 350 oven for ten minutes or so, until the eggs are set.
Then I suppose, you could dump a can of Chunky over it.