kitchen dregs

Last night I was tired and not in the mood to cook anything.  I didn't really have anything good in the fridge either...a few old and rotting vegetables, some broth, leftover enchilada sauce, and a small amount of monterey jack cheese.

Weighing a too-soft zucchini in one hand and a wrinkly red bell pepper in the other, I had an idea that was crazy enough to make me want to cook again.  I rummaged for an ancient onion in the back of the cupboard and pulled down my masa mix.

Corn masa, for those that don't know, is used to make corn tortillas, tamales, and pupusas.  And I decided to try and make Masa-ball soup (inspired by matzah-ball soup).

I sautéed the onion and added the chopped-up bell pepper and zucchini (with the bad parts cut out).  Part of the trick with aging vegetables is to cook them until they are soft enough that you can't tell they were wilted in the first place--soups are excellent for this.

I added the chicken broth I had on hand, and some water (and salt) to add more volume.  Then came my favorite part: adding a few spoonfuls of the leftover red enchilada sauce!  This gave it the perfect flavor.

The masa balls I made were much smaller than typical matzah-balls, mostly because I knew the masa was going to be denser.  I think it would have been better if I had added eggs to the masa (which is usually just the mix and water, sometimes with a little oil too) to lighten it up, but I didn't have any on hand.  I could have also made tortillas and fried them, but masa-balls were so much simpler, faster, and more puny.

I dropped the masa-balls into the soup and cooked them until they floated and served the whole shebang topped with grated cheese.  And it was pretty darn good.  I love finding ways to use the dregs in my kitchen.

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