Last night, while we were watching No Reservations' episode in Mexico (I am thankful to have Netflix and option to choose what and when I want to watch, and no commercials!), the husband suddenly dropped: "I would love to have one of the mother-in-law soups. Sorrel would be so nice..." And he went on talking about Mexico.
I know he loves all food my mother makes, which I've learned to make a long time ago but often forget how delicious and great can be just a simple food. I often try to elaborate the dish, or create almost a restaurant quality meal, putting many hours into it. They (family) love it, they enjoy it, and then they ask to make next day something very simple, like baked potatoes, or sorrel soup.
There was an episode on No Reservation, when Anthony Bourdain has a talk show in one of the very upscale restaurants in New York. His guests were food writers, critics, Food Network celebrity. During one of the exceptional courses, he made a comment how great this place was and how far the chef pushed to create those fantastic dishes, and asked each guests what would be their last meal if they were to die next day. Guess what was the answer? Everyone would want to have a very simple meals that their mothers would make: macaroni and cheese, casserole, soup.
That moment imprinted in my mind so deep, that I've been thinking about it since. There is something about home cooked meals, unchanged for generations, cooked the same way for a century or more, that makes my heart smile each time I think about it. And I can never get bored of that food.
1 tbsp corm meal (for polenta)
2 Russet potatoes, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp sun dried tomatoes flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sorrel, shifonade
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2L vegetable or chicken stock, or just plain water. 2liters is about 1/2 gallon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oil in a cast iron pot (or any other pot of your choice) on a medium-high. Add chopped onions and sprinkle with salt, stir 1 minute and add sun dried tomato flakes, stir for another minute and add potatoes. Give it a good stir and add liquid of your choice.
Bring it to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt, stir, and taste. Adjust salt if needed. Turn the heat to the medium, add corn meal, and simmer until potatoes are done (about 10 minutes).
In the last minute add sorrel shifonade and turn the heat off. Add finely chopped parsley, cover and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
Serving suggestions: half of hard boiled egg, sour cream, lemon.
How often do you want a simple meal
from your mother's kitchen?