I got this cookbook for my bridal shower back in '02. It's supposed to be all simple and easy. I never made a thing from it. I stuck it in the shelf and finally pulled it out the other day. Some of the recipes sounded really good, so I decided it wasn't that bad...
As I flipped through the pages I remembered why it earned the place on the shelf in the first place. It has weird recipes in it with lots of lamb, weird fish, and of course Sauteed Kidneys. It says, "sauteed lamb kidneys are a popular dish for breakfast or brunch. Serve with paratas [spicy potatoes] and a fried egg." What? Kidneys are not (nor have they ever been) a popular dish for breakfast or brunch. Apparently a psychotic person wrote this cookbook. I have a hard time cooking with hamburger, chicken breasts, and other meaty items... now you want me to cut open a kidney? Like in AP Biology (yea, I said AP - hard to believe, huh)? Heck no. Seriously, I don't think you could even buy kidneys at the HEB. And you can buy weird stuff here in Texas. I bought some turkey necks (for gravy drippings at Thanksgiving), which were located near the chicken feet, below the chicken livers, and down from the tripe and ox tails. But never did I spy any kidneys. Who am I Jeffrey Dahmer?
Well... I decided I would give this cookbook a shot anyways. Some of the soups really did sound good - lots of Indian and Asian inspired dishes. Yesterday I made the Indian potato and pea soup. It was pretty simple: potatoes, onion, vegetable broth, spices, and a red chili. That's where I ran into trouble - the red chili. I didn't know what kind of red chili to buy. I looked all around the produce department and got the only thing resembling a red chile in the store - a habanero pepper. The sign above it read "medium heat" and I thought one little pepper in a whole pot of soup wouldn't be that bad.
So I start making my soup while Ben played with Lucas (after a long day of work on three hours of sleep). I cut up my pepper thinking to myself wash your hands, wash your hands after this! After I added my pepper I ran upstairs to google "garam masala", one of the spices I couldn't buy. Then I realized I didn't wash my hands. My face started burning like Satan was spitting fire at me.
I went downstairs washed my face off, and continued with my cooking. Then I tasted the soup and realized that it was SO hot that I couldn't feed it to my boys, so I started making macaroni and cheese.
Ben and I ended up eating the soup anyways. Ben just ate tons of bread and produced record amounts of sweat. I think it's a guy thing to sweat when you eat - my brother does it when he eats hot food, too.
Here's a picture of Ben's sweaty noggin. Notice the beads of sweat running down his face. After dinner Ben put Lucas to bed and then put himself to bed. He got a record 10 hours of sleep last night, which he greatly needed. I think I'm going to suggest that he do that once a week. He was so happy this morning after such a good rest. By the way, wikipedia says habaneros are "exceptionally hot." Thanks, HEB.