Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'm spending this last week of the year being homey. Which is not to be confused with being homely.
Homey: comfortably informal and inviting; cozy; homelike
lacking in physical attractiveness; not beautiful; unattractive; not having elegance, refinement or cultivation.

What I mean to say is, I'm spending some time at home at this week, making my place warm and cozy, comfortable and inviting, and part of doing that is cooking up some yummy food. Yummy is kind of a homey word itself. When you read a restaurant review, you see words like "delicious" and "tantalizing" and "excellent". But rarely do you see "yummy". And yet, as a home chef, I cannot think of a better word to describe the taste of cookies, cupcakes, stews, soups, bread puddings, and roasts that come from my homey kitchen.

Homey is like homely in that it is not aspiring to be elegant, refined, or cultivated. It is only aspiring to be yummy. It makes you feel good, and that is often just enough.

Happy New Year and enjoy this homey recipe for Pork and Wild Rice Soup. I ended up overcooking it a bit, and it turned into less of a soup and more of a pork and wild rice dish but the flavors are solid, and extremely yummy.

Pork and Wild Rice Soup (Cooking Light)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup brown and wild rice blend
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 sliced peeled avocado
  • 24 baked tortilla chips
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides. Remove from pan. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add rice, onion, garlic, and chiles; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add pork, 1 cup water, oregano, broth, and beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in cilantro, juice, salt, and pepper; simmer 2 minutes. Top each serving with cheese, avocado, and chips.

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