Have I told you this story? “Ah’m a-splurgin’!” is what I said in my best Yosemite Sam voice to my daughter, as I grabbed a large bottle of hot sauce off the shelf at the supermarket, rather than our customary medium-sized bottle of hot sauce. Only problem was, it wasn’t my daughter. It was some stranger, who moved on quickly.
Anyway, this time we already had hot sauce, so I got steak.
Here’s what we had the rest of the week:
Grilled ham and cheese, chips
Got home late. Pepper jack cheese with deli ham on sourdough, pickles on the side. So good.
Korean steak tacos with pickled vegetables
This meal was the crown jewel of the week. I splurged on actual steak. The recipe, from Epicurious, calls for guacamole, but that seems stupid to me. Instead, I sliced up a bunch of cucumbers, carrots, and radishes, and set them to quick pickle all day in vinegar with a little sugar mixed in.
The vinegar turned pink from the radishes after a few hours! Should have saved it for salad dressing.
I cooked the steaks up under the broiler and then sliced it pretty thin. Outside would have been better, but it was still pretty damn good.
The flavor definitely permeated the meat, but it wasn’t as spicy as I hoped. Next time, I’ll either add more jalapenos, or maybe just have some hot sauce to shake over the finished tacos. The entire dish was quite sweet, which was not bad, but unexpected.
Next time, I’ll cut the carrots into matchsticks. The pickled veg were very snappy and good, though. We also had shredded red and green cabbage, chopped scallions, and spicy toasted sesame seeds.
I spent the day awash in color, and almost wasn’t hungry by the time the food was ready. Well, that’s a lie. I ate a ton. But I had fun chopping!
Verdict: Definitely going into the rotation. More spicy and less sweet, and thinner veggies would be even better, but it’s very, very good as is.
Hot dogs and chips.
I was doing something or other all day, I forget what, so that’s how dinner shook out.
Which, as a friend pointed out, is always preferable to weird ass-soup.
I had a sort of Italian Wedding Soup in mind, but didn’t really get there.
I started out with two pounds of ground turkey, which I made into small meatballs with two eggs and about a cup of bread crumbs, plus some herbs and minced garlic, and I boiled them in chicken broth. I should have used much more bread crumbs, because they did keep together, but they were just mushy and not great.
Anyway, in another pot, I sauteed some diced onions and garlic. I couldn’t find my carrots, but we had plenty of cabbage left over, so I chopped up a large handful of red cabbage and sauteed that, too. Then I added the meatballs and broth, a few big cans of diced tomatoes with the juice, and a big lump of frozen spinach, and added more water, and salt and pepper. Then I threw in some little shell pasta.
It wasn’t bad. You couldn’t really taste the cabbage at all. It was somewhat bland and incoherent, and I let it simmer too long, so the pasta got kind of flabby. So we had this flabby, incoherent, somewhat bland soup that wasn’t very popular, but you know what? It’s not healthy to identify with your meals, so I’m not going to. At least I don’t taste of cabbage. I mean it doesn’t.
Benny and I also made pumpkin muffins, not because they go with the soup. but because I’d been shooing her away all week, and we needed a little project together.
Chicken drumsticks, risotto
OH DID I MENTION MY INSTANT POT HAS BEEN RESTORED TO ME? I mean I have a new one. The lovely friend who sent me the first one sent a replacement for the one I boneheadedly melted. I’m so happy. I fired it right up to get some of my favorite butternut squash risotto going.
Turns out it tastes even better if you put the squash into the pot at some point while cooking the rice. No matter! I have an IP again, and all is well with the world.
It was the elementary school Christmas concert, so we rushed home, scarfed the chicken nuggets down early and rushed off, then filled up on cookies afterward. No concert pics, because they are all jerks.
I made the cookies Wednesday night. Nice, simple recipe for soft ginger cookies here. After the concert, I made chocolate muffins from a mix for Benny’s school birthday treat. She wanted snowflakes on them, so I grumpily made up a batch of this royal icing recipe.
I put them on a cooling rack, and then, ignoring every speck of wisdom gained from dreadful experience, and all the horrified screams of warning coming from my psyche, I thought, “Aw, they’re probably cool enough. I’ll just go ahead and pipe the snowflakes on now.”
Guess what? They turned out fine. THEY TURNED OUT FINE. Cute, even.
They dripped a tiny bit, but then hardened up nicely without really losing shape. Yeah, I bookmarked that royal icing recipe. It’s a keeper.
Lasagna! It’s Benny’s birthday, and that was her request. It’s a solemnity, which calls for meat.
I used a box and a half of noodles and layered them with 47 ounces of ricotta cheese mixed with salt and five eggs and four cups of shredded mozzarella, half a cup of parm (that’s all I had), and probably 2.5 pounds of ragu and 48 ounces of jarred sauce. I also poured in some water, as the internet suggested, to make the noodles come out softer. WE SHALL SEE. I may have eaten kind of a lot of ragu while defrosting it, and it has only increased in magnificence over time. This lasagna is a monster. A beautiful, beautiful monster.