Post # 60 Broccoli Mush

October 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My father-in-law (FiL) just had oral surgery and his mouth is very tender.  His surgeon instructed him to eat only soft things for a while, until his mouth heals.  So now I’ve got to figure out how to work his dietary needs into the routine while still putting out meals that partner/spouse and I enjoy.  Whee!

It’s not really that difficult.  We all enjoy soup and he can drink the broth and still get plenty of the nutrition from the rest of the soup.  The second night he was back I baked potatoes and he ate a medium-sized potato with butter and mashed to a smooth consistency.  He eats a lot of yogurt and ice cream and nutrition shakes.  However, today we did something that I thought was pretty inventive so I thought I’d share it.

Two days ago I was pretty busy during the afternoon so I planned a very simple dinner.  I browned several small chicken breasts in oil and garlic.  Once they were browned, I added a can of cream of broccoli soup and stirred it around to blend the flavors.  I added a teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder to give it extra flavor.  I covered the skillet and let the chicken cook until nearly done.  About ten minutes before the chicken was ready, I put a bag of frozen chopped broccoli into it and put the cover back on.  While that cooked, I made instant mashed potatoes.  Once everything was ready, I put the chicken on a small platter and let the broccoli and sauce cook uncovered to thicken a bit.  I then put that into a bowl.  Everyone could help themselves to chicken, potatoes, and sauce and veggies.  It all tasted really good and homey.  I put all the leftovers into one bowl, covered it and put it in the fridge.

Today, for his lunch, I made FiL broccoli mush.  I chopped the leftover chicken into small cubes (there wasn’t a lot) and then used an immersion blender to turn the potatoes, sauce, broccoli, and chicken into mush.  Ever use an immersion blender?  They’re a lot of fun.  You hold the end that has the motor.  A long covered shaft comes out and moves down to an inverted cup that covers the blades.  The cup has some elongated holes to allow the mixture in and out.  You plug it in, immerse it into the stuff to be blended (hence the name), and blend away until everything is the right consistency.

So I blended the heck out of this stuff.  I was actually quite surprised at how thick it was.  The starch in the potatoes really worked its magic.  It was like a green paste with tiny green bits in it.  Since I wanted it to be more soup-like, I added chicken broth since it had started out cooking with chicken in the first place.  While it was still cold, I added broth a little bit at a time and stirred with a whisk to blend quickly and completely.  Once it was at the consistency I wanted, I put it into a medium-sized pan and added some black pepper.  I slowly heated it till it was completely heated through.

I served it in a deep bowl.  I put a small amount of chipotle pepper powder in the bottom of the bowl, poured the soup over it, then sprinkled a small amount of the chipotle pepper powder over the top.  FiL really liked it.  He said the broccoli flavor was very intense and the chipotle pepper gave it a good kick.  He ate the rest for his dinner.  I tasted it and couldn’t taste anything but the broccoli.  It was really good.

I’ve used leftovers to make casseroles and soups in the past but never mush.  So now I’m wondering what else this mush could be used for, and what other kinds of mush I can create.  I imagine it can also be frozen quite easily.  Anyone got any suggestions for either uses or veggie combinations?

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