What’s for supper? Vol. 115: If you believe in yourself, you can bibimbap.

I still want to talk about food.

Here’s what we had this week, with hardly any pictures, because I used my son’s camera for most of them, and he’s . . . somewhere.

SATURDAY
Oh, I don’t know. Hamburgers. Yes. 

***

SUNDAY
Bibimbap

When Benny was little, she used to call herself “Bem,” and so we did, too. Then I became aware there was a ubiquitous Korean dish called “bibimbap,” or “bibembop.” So we started calling her “Bem-bop.” Then we became aware there is a Japanese anime character called “Bem, the Human Monster.”

So  . . . . well, we were at the pediatrician’s for a well-child visit, and the doctor says, “I have a theory about the youngest child of big families. Does little Benny have a strange, complicated nickname?” And we had to confess that, yes, we call her “Bem-Bem-Bop, the Human Monster.” There’s a little tune, too.

Anyway, bibimbap (rice with meat and vegetables) is amazing. It’s fantastic. It’s the strongest it’s the quickest it’s the best! It’s one of those dishes that you can make with whatever elements you like, more or less. You’re supposed to have a stone bibimbap bowl, too (Affiliate link!), so you can serve it up in one big dish and keep it warm on the table. Apparently the rice on the bottom gets crunchy over time, which sounds lovely.

Our kids are much more likely to eat new dishes if they can pick and choose what goes into them, so I set out bowls and plates of ingredients, and everyone got some rice in their own bowl, added whatever they wanted, and then lined up for their fried egg topper.

I used up the rest of that lovely expensive rice we had for our New Year’s Eve sushi party and set out bowls of the following:
pickled carrots and pickled cukes (in the morning, I sliced them as thin as possible and set them in a jar with white vinegar and a few tablespoons of sugar, and they were quick-pickled by dinner time), raw bean sprouts, and spinach sauteed in olive oil and a little sesame oil. OH I’M SO FANCY. Oh, and sauteed mushrooms, too. I didn’t buy tree ears or any crazy Asian mushrooms, just regular buttons. And some sesame seeds and soy sauce.

I looked through recipes for meat, and they didn’t look great, so I went ahead and made gochujang pork again. I just sliced it up thin and let it marinate overnight, then fried it up at dinner time.

I also made some cheater’s kimchi. My source (oh no, I didn’t name her! Now I’m all discredited and whatnot!) says bibimbap isn’t really a kimchi dish; but on the other hand, bibimbap is whatever you like. So I made the fake kimchi. This is pure white lady food, and I don’t care who knows it. I squeezed out about a cup of sauerkraut, added some gochujang (chili paste) and some sambal oelek (also chili paste) (fine, I have no idea what the difference is. See: white lady), minced garlic from a jar, and squeeze ginger from a bottle.

So everyone got a big scoop of rice in their bowl, then piled whatever they wanted on top, and then got a fried egg with a runny yolk on top. So good.

SO GOOD.

And here, my friends, is a picture of Bem-Bem-Bop eating Bibimbap.

Ain’t she cute?  I got her that hat at the Salvation Army and she wears it all day long.

***
MONDAY
Onion soup; bacon cheese garlic bread

I usually make a very simple French onion soup using Fannie Farmer’s recipe. It does take a long darn time to caramelize all those onions, but I had heard you could do it quickly in, you’ll never guess, the Instant Pot (Affiliate link!)

I used these directions from Serious Eats, which explain the science behind what happens. You saute the onions in the open pot first, with butter, salt, and a pinch of baking soda (“Baking soda raises the pH of the mixture, which speeds up the rate of the Maillard reaction,” it says, and I believe it), then close the lid and cook it on high pressure for 2o minutes, then vent the steam. Then you open it and cook it some more while stirring until the liquid boils off.

The recipe says the onions will then be “ready to be piled on your burger, stuffed into your grilled cheese, added to your stews or sauces or gravies, spooned over your steak.” I guess? But it was basically pulp. It tasted wonderful, amazingly sweet and rich, but I don’t see how you could pile them on anything. It certainly didn’t save any time or labor, overall. Overall, I rate this technique an M for “meh.”

Anyway, I just added a bunch of beef broth, pepper, and parmesan and piled the soup into bowls. It was tasty.

One of the kids had been begging for onion soup (and I don’t want to believe it was only to annoy her sister, who hates and fears onions), but I knew we’d have a riot if I served it without meat. So I went with this ridiculous bacon bread stuff. You split loaves of french bread in half lengthwise, make it into long loaves of garlic bread, and toast it slightly (I SAID SLIGHTLY! Aw, dammit). Then mix together ranch dressing, shredded cheddar, and crumbled bacon, spread that on the bread, and put it back in the oven to melt the cheese. I burned the hell out of it, but they gobbled it up anyway.

***

TUESDAY
Scrambled eggs, sausage, harsh browns

This was supposed to be omelettes, but I just didn’t have enough life force, so it was just one big pan of eggs.

***

WEDNESDAY
Roast chicken drumsticks, mushroom risottto, salad

Small resurgence of life force. Not having made omelettes the day before, I had a bunch of mushrooms. So I sliced them and sauteed them in olive oil with diced red onions and minced garlic, salt and sage. Then I followed this reliable risotto recipe for the Instant Pot (skipping the butternut squash). It turned out great! Mushrooms and risotto get along so well, and sage was a good choice.

***

THURSDAY
Pizza

Burned the hell out of it.

***

FRIDAY
Spaghetti and meatballs

I have no idea why I wrote meatballs. I’m not making meatballs.

Happy Friday to all, even you rat bastards!

17 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 115: If you believe in yourself, you can bibimbap.”

  1. What is the pediatrician’s theory? Obviously it doesn’t relate to Benny anymore..but what is it? You didn’t tell us the end of the story!

  2. The ‘fake kimchi’ paragraph nearly had me crawling out of my skin at the sheer wrong-ness of it. But before I cast stones, my wife has been know to substitute Appalachian-style (southern, hot not sweet) chow-chow for kimchi in a bokembop.

  3. I have been craving French onion soup, and that bread sounds like a really excellent complement to it! Must make immediately.

  4. This week I actually made everything I planned to make:

    Saturday, chorizo-sweet potato enchiladas from the Budget Bytes cookbook, with some tweaks (two purposeful, one unavoidable)

    Sunday: slow-cooker quasi-cassoulet, from the Budget Bytes *website* this time, actually made Saturday.

    Monday: chicken tikka masala via jarred Aldi simmer sauce (complete with overly-vague directions)

    Tuesday: ravioli with Aldi squash-and-pumpkin pasta sauce

    Wednesday: my husband ate leftovers while the baby and I ate at a church thing

    Thursday: sesame pork, also via Budget Bytes (her sesame chicken recipe)

    Friday: Italian wedding soup that was, amazingly, neither from a Budget Bytes recipe nor from a jar of something Aldi sells. I tweaked this recipe, including using precooked frozen supermarket turkey meatballs instead of making my own: https://www.goodinthesimple.com/favorite-italian-wedding-soup-recipe/

    So that’s three Budget Bytes, two Aldi, one oddball recipe, one wild card. In conclusion, I love the Danger Mouse reference.

  5. Harsh browns sound delicious. I would make Bimibibap in a hearbeat if I thought anybody besides me would eat it; tonight I had hot and sour soup while everybody else had spaghetti.

    I knocked it out of the ballpark this week, I found two (TWO!) new recipes that 5/6 of the family liked. The youngest doesn’t count, he’s the original picky eater and has to be coaxed to try new things anyway.

    Sunday I made delicious Sloppy Joes in the crockpot; I haven’t had them since I was a kid and my mom used Manwich sauce; these were much, much better. Sweet and tangy, not very tomatoey, and everyone loved them. I found the recipe on a site that, sadly, is called “Recipes that Crock!” but it was good nonetheless. Had them with chips and coleslaw.

    Monday was leftovers? I think. I wasn’t going to the store until Wednesday thanks to the snow and freezing weather.

    Tuesday: I had forgotten to buy panko for the chicken parmigiana, but in the spirit of our pioneer foremothers, I forged ahead and made homemade breadcrumbs and the result was so delicious I see no need to ever buy breadcrumbs again.

    Wednesday: Steak Tips and Mushrooms (from the Damn Delicious site, again, unfortunate name IMO but good recipes) over egg noodles. This was a new recipe for everyone and they loved it. The youngest actually did eat egg noodles, and after we reminded him, by pointing to his “I Tried It!” chart, that he had tried a mushroom once before and claimed to like it. So he gagged one down. I take my victories where I can find them.

    Thursday: I was going out for a run around dinnertime, so ahead of time I made twice baked potatoes, which we just recently discovered and why have these not been in my life before? and left them with a note on how to bake them the second time, and my oldest and I went to the indoor track for a run and came home to delicious burgers cooked by my husband and the potatoes.

    Tonight was pasta. I am inordinately excited for Sunday, because I have a lovely pork shoulder that is going in the crockpot for pulled pork. I have never cooked with pork shoulder or made pulled pork in my life, but my husband says he likes it an awful lot and gets it when he can at eateries, so I’m intrigued. The butcher took an interest and advised me to put 1/4 cup or can of “any kind of soda” in with the recipe.

  6. I love white ladies! (One part lemon juice, one part triple sec, one part gin–like a sidecar with gin instead of brandy. And Lord Peter Wimsey orders one in Have His Carcase, so it has to be cool.)

    1. And I’ve been meaning to tell you, if you like Korean food you should make bulgogi! My husband has kind of a boring Midwest-influenced palate (his favorite dinner is pork chops) but even he loves spicy bulgogi: it’s a crowd-pleaser. Before the days of gochujang this was the Korean dish most likely to be introduced to Americans.

      https://www.marthastewart.com/1155369/beef-bulgogi-lettuce-leaves

      (Don’t be put off because it’s a Martha Stewart recipe. It’s pretty easy. I’ve doubled it, I’ve made it with cheaper cuts of meat, and I never bother to go buy bean curd.)

  7. Yeah, we have at least one weirdo nickname for all of ours. Nobody is safe.

    1.Chinchin, Chinnyboy
    2.Maxibadaxi, Bull in the China Shop
    3.Froofanoophi Fruchenska, Monsteressa, princess, P1
    4.Continababy (spoken with a very cheesy Mexican accent)
    5.Monkeyboy, Skinny, Jean de Quan (spoken with a Pepe La Pew French accent) Juan Pablo
    6.Chukas Mookas, Chookies (so glad he outgrew “Hitler”)
    7.DeTron Johnson (spoken with a loooong, African American, southern drawl)Xavetron, Mr. Johnson, little stinker
    8.Shashi, Charwees (also monsteressa), princess, P2

    If my husband wants to make me mad he calls me Mildred which makes me reply, “whatever you say Eddie.” It refers to his middle name, “Eduardo”. He thinks Eduardo sounds distinguished, while Eddie is cheap and crass, and therefore an insult.

    We ate a lot of soup this week. I’ve been going crazy making bone broth with different blended veggies w local bread
    We had big shrimp w/ rice. I stopped buying the precooked shrimp. The raw ones that you cook yourself have more flavor, and you can use their shells in a reduction sauce to magnify the flavor
    skirt steak tacos with all the home made trimmings, salsa, local tortillas
    Schnitzel and German potato salad. My kids do the happy dance when I make it.
    We tried octopus tacos at a bar I liked the micro greens on top, but I won’t crave them enough to order again. They weren’t worth the 6 bucks apiece either, but watching the local bar wildlife is. (We went to see “Three Billboards” next door, afterwards. So great.)

    Spaghetti with sauteed bacon, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, slivered brocolli, garlic, Tomato, cheese w 50/50 ground pork and ground beef.

    Colombian eggs. (scrambled eggs, sauteed w a serrano chili, bacon, tomato and cilantro)

    I’ve been making cheater Sushi: I buy the cheap tray of cucumber rolls and add my own raw salmon to the top. This makes DeTron Johnson teary eyed with gratitude.

    My favorite extravagance lately is the fresh squeezed OJ from Whole Foods. There really isn’t any comparison between fresh and pasteurized. I let Charlotte press the button and fill up the little container. She loves watching the orange get pulverized. But she doesn’t understand why we would ruin it with tequila. When we’re at the store she says “Yay! Can I make the orange juice for margaritas?”

    1. oh, bless you! That is actually my ten-year-old daughter. The perspective in this photo is a little weird, and she looks taller than she actually is. (I’m fatter than ever, oh well!)

      1. Well, she is the picture of you. I am sure you do not give yourself enough credit for running. God bless and protect all of you!

  8. I agree, Benny is adorable! Can’t believe she’s that big. I remember when you were pregnant with her. 🙂

    I’ve got to try Benny’s namesake dish. Sounds yummy! And the cheater’s kimchi, oh boy! I love kimchi and I’m all for trying this cheater’s version. Cheaper than buying the real stuff in a store.

    1. Oops, I forgot! I just added the link to the recipe I actually used. I forgot to mention the garlic and ginger. I’ve been buying minced garlic in jars and squeezable ginger in bottles. Easy peasy everything squeazy.

  9. The Bibimbap sounds and looks delicious. My husband gagged at the “runny yolk.” He’s never agreed with me that a yolky egg raises any food to a higher level.

    I’ve got a lot of leftover mashed potatoes (a failure to readjust my cooking after the older kids left after Christmas vacation), so I’m going to make a meatless shepherd’s pie for Friday dinner. Online vegetarians assure me that it will be delicious. I’m using a lot of substitutes and a lot of cheese, so it should be palatable.

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