We really hit some high highs and some low lows this week, speaking in terms of foodwise. Here’s what we had:
Sugar rub chicken, brats, mahogany clams
Damien made dinner, with some help from Corrie:
He put some brats and some clams on the grill:
and when the clams opened, he served them in a sauce of white wine, onions, and melted butter. Still the greatest way to end a Saturday afternoon; still too slimy and weird for the kids to want any.
He made a rub for the chicken thighs:
Brown sugar 1.5 cups
White Sugar .5 cups
Chili powder 2 table spoons
Garlic powder 2 table spoons
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
When the flames died down, he shoved the coals to one side and laid the chicken on the other side and put the lid down, and let it cook slowly. This makes the meat sweet and moist and gives the chicken skin a remarkable caramelized crust that you need to have in your life.
The brats were the vegetable.
Steak was on sale, so I was powerless not to buy several pounds of it. Damien made another rub and grilled it lovely and rare:
I sliced the meat and set out bowls of mixed greens, blue cheese, and sliced Granny Smith apples. This dish is actually supposed to have pears, and I will admit that pears are really superior here; but the apples were good.
Very good indeed. I put wine vinegar on mine. Any slightly sweet, non-creamy dressing would go well.
I don’t really remember Monday, but I’m pretty sure the kids made supper. I think I put oil and chili lime powder on some chicken breasts and put them under the broiler to cook, but I think they did the rest. We like quesadillas with cheddar cheese, chicken, and sliced jalapenos, with salsa and sour cream.
Hot dogs, cheezy weezies
I remember even less about Tuesday. There was a lot of driving, a lot of running, a lot of rain, and a lot of writing.
Pesto chicken burgers with sweet roast peppers; crispy circles
I had high hopes for these sandwiches. They were good, but a little bland for our tastes. First I put a bunch of peppers on a pan and put them in a 500 oven for about 30 minutes, until they were soft and a little charred.
Then I let them cool, then pulled off the skins and scooped out the seeds and cores. This is very satisfying and entertaining.
Then I sliced them up
and added a little olive oil and freshly-ground pepper. I served the peppers on the sandwiches, which were on Kaiser buns with sliced, roasted chicken and pesto sauce.
I made the pesto sauce with, um, a jar of pesto from Aldi. I know, I know.
1/2 cup mayo
fresh ground pepper
It was probably too much yogurt and I don’t know why I skipped the salt; and why no garlic? I don’t know. And we were out of lemon juice (but had three bottles of lime juice). It would have been good to chop the chicken and mix it with the sauce and let it sit for a while, but I was afraid the kids wouldn’t eat it.
A pretty sandwich, but it needed more texture and sharpness. Maybe some capers and red onions? Cheese?
The peppers are pretty, but also disappointingly bland. Help me out! Help this sandwich out. I want to like it. I want to like all sandwiches.
The blight man was born for, with apricot
This pork I bought had been hanging over my head like a, like a hanging pork. That’s ominous enough, isn’t it?
Pork was on sale, so when I was planning the weekly menu, I looked around for a new recipe, and found one that tantalizingly already had the carbs toted up. Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad. Okay, sure, it looks a little peculiar, but maybe people will eat it, YOLO and whatnot. I even bought the right kind of cabbage, $1.99 a pound.
But the pork that was on sale didn’t look great, so I got more expensive pork. And the cabbage was more expensive than I expected, so I figured we could have noodles or something? Noodles and cabbage and almonds, with apricot? YOLO?
You can see where this meal is headed already, right? It was doomed. I sliced the pork up thin, but then decided that I didn’t like the sound of cucumbers and cabbage together; so I veered again, and after heating up the pan I started making a completely different recipe, distinctly non-Asian. Not even faux diabetic Asian, but faux. . . German? I don’t know. I did know I had apricot jam, so I made this Budget Bytes recipe for sauce.
It gives you the choice of topping chops with sauce, or cooking the chops right in it. Only it called for chops, and I had already cut the meat in slices, and anyway, someone had left the Dijon mustard open in the cabinet for three months, so I threw that out and used regular mustard. Then I started some rice cooking, because I had a hunch we might need it, and we were out of noodles anyway.
Then I cooked up the meat in a skillet, then added the sauce. It didn’t look too terrible, really, and there was a chance a few good sports might eat it, especially over rice. I completely forgot about the cucumbers. Where were the almonds? I couldn’t find them, and a little bird told me to stop looking, because this probably wasn’t going to be a dish that deserved almonds.
Then, just when it seemed possible that all was not lost, another little bird, a real bastard of a little bird, was like, “Hey, this could just be a stir fry! Throw the chopped cabbage into the pan, and stir it up, you witless dinner monkey! Stir fries have mustard all the time! More cabbage, more! And now put a lid on it.”
You may or may not be aware, but when you heat up a chopped Napa cabbage, it sweats about six gallons of water.
So here’s what I put on the table:
Not with a bang, but with soaking wet cabbage and little bits of apricot. I wearily nodded toward the pizzas in the freezer, and they ate them. With rice.
Despite my unbroken record of making flawless dinners, the kids liked the idea of taking turns planning and making dinner each week. Sophia came up first, and what she wanted was tuna noodle, so that’s what we’re having.
Oh, Damien said I had to tell you about the squid jerky! Well, there’s not that much to tell. In the morning, I found and opened up Kyra’s package of smoked, dried squid, and, although the taste was not great, the smell was really dreadful, so I ate the rest of the package so it wouldn’t stink up the kitchen, and then I spent the rest of the day pooping. What top eleven things are the matter with me, would you say?
In my defense, eating the squid jerky was an entirely new experience for me. My brain couldn’t decide if it was candy, or fish, or waxy string, or what, and kept demanding additional data, so I kept eating it. Then I went for a 2.5 mile run in 93% humidity, with optional hill at the end.
And now my story is all told.