Pasta salad with all the good things

This pasta salad contains all the best things in the world. It was also utterly emotionally exhausting. During the making of it, I:

1) confronted the possibility that my cat is sick
2) lost my cat in my (300-sq-ft) apartment and was convinced he had gone somewhere to die.

He’s not dead, but a visit to the vet is definitely in the cards. (And he won’t take medicine—he’s aggressive and only eats one kind of dry food, so there’s no way to trick him—so I don’t really know what I’ll do if he’s sick. FREAKING OUT. SOMEONE HELP.)

I started out by preparing my one pound of chicken thighs—skin-in, bone-in. I did this because the happy chicken was too expensive unless I bought the most labor-intensive kind. I still have no idea how I made this edible; I tried to watch videos about how to remove the bone from chicken, but it just freaked me out more and wasn’t helpful. It was all, find the joint, and then put your knife in, and do something magical, and all of a sudden your chicken is perfect and cooked and already eaten.


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Mushroom soup!

So today I had planned to make Smitten Kitchen’s mushroom soup, which looks wonderful and lovely. Then I was at the grocery store, and the shitaakes were all, “HAHA, we are ten dollars a pound!” and I was all, “HAHA, fuck you!” So I didn’t buy them. Well, I bought .3 pound, and now I don’t really know why, since I can’t make the Smitten soup.

I have just spent a very long time looking at all the mushroom soup recipes on the Internet, and figured I might as well do this one. I’m sort of nervous. I only have horrible-quality grocery-store sherry (obviously, because why in God’s name would I own high-quality sherry????). So it might suck. Ugh, but then what do I do with the shitaakes? I hate soup. I will think about this while I eat a rustic lunch of bread, cheddar cheese, and grapefruit juice from the container. (It’s 4:09 PM, by the way. I can’t remember if I have time stamps on this thing.) (I’ve only been awake for three hours.)

OK, I have mused on this, and have decided to cook the shitaakes and freeze them, and then they can become a delightful pasta dish sometime in the future. You’re welcome, Future Julie. I feel you have to have a really unpleasant, hubristic personality to adapt an Anthony Bourdain recipe. It’s just not a good idea. I am going to scale it up a bit, though, because it’s only four servings, and presumably appetizer-size servings. (Wow, that makes the amount of butter required nine tablespoons. That is so not happening, good lord.)

OK, my one and a half onions are chopped (actually one normal-size one and two insanely tiny ones), and three tbsp of butter are melting in the pot. My cat is meowing very sadly.

The onions softened in the butter (smells amazing); I quartered or halved the mushrooms, depending on their size, and then added them and the remaining 5 tbsp of butter—I opted to just use a stick. I’m also following Serious Eats’s version of this recipe, by the way, because Epicurious’s didn’t tell me what to do with the mushrooms at all, slicing-wise, and that made me nervous.

I’m listening to the Splendid Table podcasts, which I highly recommend you do every time you cook. It makes cooking seem so important. She also has kind of awesome guests… for some reason Ty Burrell was on. It was weird.

Anyway, things are a-simmering in butter. I figure it’s OK because the recipe doesn’t have any cream. And it smells great, for some reason. Oh I’m so antsy.

Now the parsley and chicken broth are in; I brought it to a boil and reduced to a simmer; and so it shall remain for an hour. I’m leaving it uncovered because the recipes had no mention of lids, but this seems unusual to me, and I am not without concern.

Things are still simmering. The Splendid Table just went on a thirty-second spree of really awkward sexual innuendos. đŸ˜¦

Right before blending.

One hour later: Soup is done! I blended (blent?) it, and chose not to take a picture. Well, OK, I’ll take one. But it looks bad. It’s really, really rich-tasting (in a good way, but woah so much butter!!!) and I didn’t even think it needed salt (particularly since cooking sherry has tons of salt); I added a bit of pepper. Now it’s re-simmering. Soon it will go in Tupperwares. The end. Full review tomorrow.


Oh, and here’s Fitzpatrick, since some of you don’t are about food. Enjoy him while he still lives with me. Sob sob sob (someone might adopt him).