Happy Friday! Happy Friday indeed.
As if a long, rambling post about some stranger’s dinner weren’t entertaining enough, today’s post comes with a little bonus game: A scavenger hunt. Yeah!
One of these photos has something in it that doesn’t belong. Did I notice it while I was cooking? No, I did not. Did I notice it while I taking the the photo? Again, not at all. I will give myself credit for managing to notice something was amiss before any foreign objects went down my gullet, so I have that going for me. I remember when I swallowed a penny and the doctor said my mother had to, well, find it, and she was pretty mad.
You know, this is the only way to start off a food blog. The only way.
Anyway, the thing. The pearl of great price. The fiendish thingy. See if you can spot it! See if you can guess what it is! See if I care!
Here’s what we ate (and almost ate, before we were like, “agghhh, what is that??”) this week:
Oh wait, first, last week, on Friday we had pepper and egg sandwiches and fruit salad. Quite tasty. All I did was cut up two red and two green bell peppers and a sweet onion, fry them in olive oil until they were somewhat soft, and then scramble about ten eggs into it
and serve scoops of it on soft rolls with a little salt.
We had fruit salad as a side dish and it was a nice little meal.
Always glad to find another meatless meal that’s reasonably popular. You can definitely add cheese to this sandwich, but it didn’t need it to be hearty and filling. I had mine with a dash of hot sauce.
Chicken burgers and chips
Busy day, easy meal. I had mine with bottled aioli. I took a picture but it looks gross, as anything dripping with aioli is likely to do.
Hot wings, hot dogs, droopin’ onion; strawberry ice cream, chocolate M&M ice cream
Sunday was the Super Bowl, which we didn’t care much about, but it’s fun to make football foods. Except that we were all exhausted, so it was only a little bit of fun. I cooked up some hot dogs, Damien made hot wings with celery and blue cheese sauceJump to Recipe
which turned out very tasty indeed
and I made an onion blossom which turned out . . . edible. I have an onion blossom cutter that I use once a year. It’s usually a happy occasion, as you see here (you will not be able to see the video below if you have an ad blocker on):
because I am easily amused; but I dunno what happened this time. I lost the directions, I wasn’t paying attention, and I was just so freaking tired, so I cut the end of the first onion off, and of course there was nothing to hold the petals together, so it was just a loose collection of onion fringes.
Luckily, I had bought two onions, and I figured out my mistake with the second one. But don’t worry! I also managed to screw up the batter somehow, so even though the second onion got cut right
it definitely did not fry right
Ah well. I ate it! Don’t get me wrong, I ate it.
I also ate a bunch of hot wings, goblin style.
For dessert we had two kinds of ice cream, one batch of strawberryJump to Recipe
with additional sugared strawberries on top, which turned out well even though I wasn’t paying attention and used all cream instead of cream and milk
and one batch of chocolate M&M. I used the Ben and Jerry’s recipe for chocolate ice cream and, you’ll never guess, I messed that up, too! Everyone said it was good, but it’s really not supposed to have flecks of chocolate all through it. OH WELL. I’m the only one who was complaining.
Butter chicken and rice
Monday’s dinner went much better. I made butter chicken using this easy recipe from RecipeTin Eats. Or maybe all butter chicken recipes are easy, I don’t know.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs were on sale, to my delight, so I cut them into bite-size pieces and marinated them in a marinade made of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic.
Ghee is super expensive right now, so I used butter to cook it in (and you know, it’s not called “ghee chicken,” so there you go) (yes I know what ghee is). I melted a bunch of it in two pans, added in the chicken and cooked it through,
then stirred in a punch of tomato puree and heavy cream, a little sugar, and some salt. HOO HOO.
And that’s it! Such fun to stir the white cream into the brilliant yellow turmeric marinade and red tomato puree. You let it simmer for a while and then serve it over rice.
I know I bought some cilantro to garnish it, but it disappeared into the bowels of the refrigerator and has not emerged.
This is just a mild, cozy, warming, pleasant curry that about half the kids liked, which is pretty good. I thought it was completely delicious. Great comfort food.
So here’s an Indian food question for you: If I’m serving Mexican food and I want the whole family to eat it, I’ll make it mild, and people who like it hotter can add tobasco sauce or something similar to their portions. Is there something like this I can put on the table to hot up Indian food? Some of us really like spicy food, but I don’t necessarily want to make the whole thing spicy.
I was actually feeling a little gloomy about this meal. Pork was super cheap so I felt like I had to buy it, but I was not looking forward to producing something that smelled amazing but came out super bland. WEWLL, for once throwing random things into a pot paid off. And for once, I wrote down what I threw in.Jump to Recipe
I cut the pork into chunks and seasoned them heavily with salt and pepper, and browned them in oil. Then I chunked them into the Instant Pot and added a can of Coke, three quartered clementines, a few bay leaves, about a tablespoon of cumin, and –here’s the key — three large, extremely occult-looking dried chipotle chili peppers I found in a bag.
I closed the vent and pressure cooked it on high for 24 minutes and hoo man. That meat was ready to collapse.
I picked out the bay leaves and orange peels and peppers, which, in retrospect, I could have cut open; but they were sufficiently spicy intact
pulled out the meat and shredded it, and made one pan of meat on tortilla chips with sharp cheddar cheese with jalapeños, and one without.
That meat was so good! Sweet and spicy and flavorful. I skipped the sour cream and salsa, because I just liked the meat so much. I was terribly pleased. Nothing sadder than flavorless pork, but that day, we were not sad.
Tuesday was Valentine’s Day but I had to take a rain check on Damien’s offer of dinner out because I’m on official band nerd and it was practice night. It was, however, very romantic when he replaced not one but two broken refrigerator door shelves, which somehow broke even though the Frigidaire company makes its components out out of only the finest eggshells held together with fairy spit. He glued one back together with Flex Paste, and the other one is just some random stick.
I guess it’s a PVC pipe? I cannot tell you how much it has improved my life to have these shelves back in my life, so everything isn’t all stuffed into the main body of the fridge, rolling around and crammed in sideways and upside and all horrible. It was like the third world in there.
Kofta meatballs with yogurt sauce, Jerusalem salad, giant taboon
Ground beef was also on sale, on account of the football, but again I was feeling a little glum about my prospects with it. We’ve had hamburgers, and spaghetti and meatballs, and meatball subs, and meatloaf, and Korean beef bowl, and bleh, I’m just tired of it all.
SO, encouraged by my success winging it with the pork, I pulled out all the spices I could find that looked middle eastern
and dumped them into the ground beef, along with some eggs and panko crumbs. This time I didn’t write anything down, but basically if it smelled good, I shook some in, and if it smelled really good, I shook a whole lot in. I made about 40 large meatballs and put them on metal racks on a baking pan (to be cooked at 400 for about 25 minutes).
(Koftas are actually ground meat formed around sticks and grilled or roasted. My kids just simply absolutely cannot get over how turdly they look, though, so I make them in meatball form.)
Then I made some nice yogurt sauce with fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic and a little saltJump to Recipe
and a Jerusalem salad, with tomatoes, cucumbers, a little red onion, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, and fresh mint and parsley.
This was going to be the entire meal, just the salad and meatballs and sauce; but I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a piping hot taboon bread. But we didn’t have bread flour, and also I needed to make a few extra stops, so I didn’t think I would have time.
WEWLL, it turns out I can do my afternoon errands and run to the supermarket and get home at 4:15, wash up, start the taboon, and still get dinner on the table at about 6:15. How about that! The dough needs an hour to rise, and then it needs a little resting time, but especially if you are making one big slab of bread, rather than individual portions, it’s incredibly non-fussy. Especially if the people eating it are non-fussy.
Is this what taboon is supposed to look and taste like?
I HAVE NO IDEA. But it was 6:15 and I put out a piping hot flatbread and a tray of sizzling, savory meatballs, and by gum, people ate that supper.
Gosh, it was delicious. The meatballs were juicy and fragrant, the bread had a light, salty, tender crust and pillowy insides, the Jerusalem salad was fresh and piquant, and everything was set off beautifully by the cool, sour yogurt sauce.
I set out more chopped parsley and mint to sprinkle on top of everything. Just a joyful kind of meal.
I couldn’t remember how many pizzas we eat these days, so I made four. I made one pepperoni, two plain, and one with fresh garlic, a lot of feta, red onion, and spinach, and some olive oil drizzled on top.
Really good stuff. I love a pizza that has a softer cheese under a layer of mozzarella.
At the kids’ request. Damien and I may sneak out for a belated Valentine’s taco or something. I’m very fond of him, you know.
So next week is vacation and Corrie and I are going to tap some maple trees.We have surprisingly few on our property, but there are a few. We’ve tapped trees before, back when we homeschooled. It’s fun, if you’re easily amused. We got some silicone tubing and you just drill a hole in the trunk and cram it in, and collect the sap in a milk jug over the course of days or weeks, depending on how many trees you have and how much you want. Sap is really just barely sweet. It takes forty gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup! Then you boil it down and evaporate most of the water, leaving the sugar, and that’s maple syrup. I expect to get about half a cup of syrup this year.
The other thing is, we looked around the house and thought the main thing that was lacking was four pekin ducklings, so Damien went out and ordered them. He’s going to start building a duck house this weekend, and we’re going to have a brooding box innnnnnn the bathroom, and we’re going to have a movable duck run, and, that is the plan! Get ready for a lot of viaduct jokes, although I will tell you right up front, I don’t really know vi.
Don’t forget the foreign object scavenger hunt! If this were a proper food blog, there would be a prize, but I think I’ve been pretty open about what kind of operation I’m running here.
Hot chicken wings with blue cheese dip (after Deadspin)
Basic, tasty hot wings with blue cheese sauce
- chicken wingettes
- oil for frying
For the hot sauce:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/8 cup tabasco sauce
- 1/8 cup sriracha sauce
- vinegar (optional)
Blue cheese sauce:
- sour cream
- blue cheese
- optional: lemon juice, mayonnaise
- celery sticks for serving
Fry the wingettes in several inches of oil until they are lightly browned. Do a few at a time so they don't stick together. Set them on paper towels to cool.
Melt the butter and mix together wit the rest of the hot sauce ingredients. Toss the wings in the hot sauce.
Mix together the sour cream and crumbled blue cheese. Use a food processor or whisk vigorously to break up the blue cheese. You can add lemon juice or a little mayonnaise to thin it.
Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.
Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Ice Cream
For the strawberries
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1-1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the ice cream base
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
Hull and slice the strawberries. Mix them with the sugar and lemon juice, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.
Make the ice cream base:
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for two minutes until fluffy.
Add in the sugar gradually and whisk another minute.
Pour in the milk and cream and continue whisking to blend.
Put it together:
Mash the strawberries well, or puree them in a food processor. Stir into the ice cream base.
Add to your ice cream maker and follow the directions. (I use a Cuisinart ICE-20P1 and churn it for 30 minutes, then transfer the ice cream to a container, cover it, and put it in the freezer.)
- 3-4 lbs pork butt/shoulder, trimmed and cut into pieces
- salt and pepper
- oil for frying
- 2-3 oranges or clementines
- 3 chipotle chiles
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 can Coke
Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Heavily season the pieces of meat with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides.
Transfer the meat to the Instant Pot. Add the Coke and the rest of the ingredients. Close the lid, close the valve, and cook on high pressure for 24 minutes.
Discard bay leaves and orange peels, remove meat from broth, shred, and serve.
You can make separate pieces, like pita bread, or you can make one giant slab of taboon. This makes enough to easily stretch over a 15x21" sheet pan.
- 6 cups bread flour
- 4 packets yeast
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Mix the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer.
While it is running, add the olive oil. Then gradually add the water until the dough is soft and sticky. You may not need all of it. Let it run for a while to see if the dough will pull together before you need all the water. Knead or run with the dough hook for another few minutes.
Put the dough in a greased bowl, grease the top, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot for at least an hour until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400. Put a greased pan or a baking stone in the oven to heat up.
If you are making separate pieces, divide it now and cover with a damp cloth. If you're making one big taboon, just handle it a bit, then put it back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let rest ten minutes.
Using a little flour, roll out the dough into the shape or shapes you want. Poke it all over with your fingertips to give it the characterstic dimpled appearance.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until it's just slightly browned.
- 32 oz full fat Greek yogurt
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Use for spreading on grilled meats, dipping pita or vegetables, etc.