Happy Friday! But first, a word from the ducklings:
Seriously, that’s what they say. Peep peep! Peep peep peep! Or sometimes, Weep weep! Weep weep weep!
They’re terribly shy, as you can see:
and they don’t fit in at our house at all.
It’s quite sad, how neglected they are.
They still only eat something called “protein crumbles” and they are VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT and also VERY EXCITED ABOUT GETTING FRESH WATER and then they fall asleep. AND THEN THEY WAKE UP AND PEEP PEEP PEEP!!! and then they fall asleep again.
And that’s duck news! We had something a little more elaborate than protein crumbles this week, as follows:
Burgers and chips
Cooked outside! It’s finally warm enough, hooray! Damien cooked the burgers outside and they were juicy and delicious.
Speaking of outside, I have such big plans for our yard this year. I’m moving the garden beds I built (and really kicking myself for putting rocks on the bottom layer for drainage. I PUT ROCKS IN THE DIRT. On purpose!!!) to the other side of the yard, and planning a little patio encompassing the St. Joseph garden and the young peach tree. It is going to be so bougie, you will throw up, I’m telling you. Cannot wait. Those tacky cafe string lights and a little propane fire pit and everything.
Spinach salad with hot bacon dressing; matzoh brei
New recipe! I slavishly followed this recipe from the delightful Sip and Feast, which hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Well, I used about twice the amount of bacon it called for, actually. The salad is baby spinach, red onion, mushrooms, and chopped bacon, and you mix it with a hot dressing made of bacon fat, olive oil and wine vinegar, sautéed minced shallots, honey, dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and a little grated cheese.
So the spinach wilts a bit when you pour some of the hot dressing on, and then you toss it and let people add on more dressing if they want. Oh land, it was so good.
I sprang for good ingredients, thick bacon, freshly-grated cheese, actual shallots, and so on, and it was just wonderfully savory and tangy, with a fantastic array of textures. It was easy to make, and tasted like it came from an expensive restaurant. I only wish I had sliced the mushrooms thinner. They were a bit too chunky and sort of interrupted the flavor party, but only slightly.
I also made matzoh brei for those who wanted it. Matzo brei is a weird little recipe that everyone should know: You take a sheet of matzo, break it into chunks in a bowl, and pour hot water over it. Let it sit for thirty seconds or so, and then press the water out. Then beat up two eggs, stir in the drained matzo, and fry the mixture up in some hot oil, turning once, until the edges are crisp.
People sometimes eat matzoh brei with jelly, or cinnamon and sugar, or any sweet breakfasty way you can think of; but I vastly prefer it savory. It’s so good just with salt and pepper, hot out of the pan, with the little morsels of still-crisp matzoh poking out of the egg.
This is the best way to approach a box of matzoh:
@simchafisher660what’s in the box?♬ original sound – simchafisher660
Oh nooooo! That can’t be kosher! Better find another box.
(I’m not really on TikTok, not really. Just trying to figure out where to put the ten thousand little duck videos I now have. I did notice that, after finally managing to retrain myself to turn the camera sideways to take videos, I guess now you’re supposed to not turn it sideways for TikTok. Whatever! Shame on you! Where’s my cane!)
I also made some ice cream, and it turned out weird, and I don’t know why.
I made the same recipes I’ve used many times, Ben and Jerry’s strawberry ice cream, and Ben and Jerry’s sweet cream base with M&M’s stirred in. They just didn’t freeze in the ice cream maker, and so when I put them in the freezer, they came out a few hours later more like ice milk, with shards of ice surrounded by fast-melting cream. The taste was fine, but it just wasn’t ice cream. I have no idea. An ice cream mystery. The only thing I can think of was the cream was a little old, but it smelled and tasted fine. I dunno.
Chicken quesadillas with spinach and caramelized onions
I had four chicken legs, which I skinned, drizzled with oil, and sprinkled heavily with Tajin seasoning, then roasted.
Then I shredded the meat. I forget why, but I found myself with a little extra time before dinner, so I sliced up about five onions and caramelized them. Then I made up quesadillas to order. Only a few people chose all the available options (chicken, cheddar cheese, fresh spinach, and onions) but those who did were rewarded with a tasty treat indeed.
Quesadillas are something I never had or even heard of until I was in college. I realize these aren’t authentically Mexican or whatever, but they’re delicious. What do you like to add to yours, besides cheese?
Corn dogs and chips
Tuesday was Corrie’s little play, in which she was Mother Rabbit. She told Peter and the others to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden, but did they listen? THEY DID NOT.
How the tables have turned, Mother Rabbit.
It was super cute, but between having to be in another town at 5 and various other people needing to be in yet another town and picked up in another town, respectively, at 5:30 and 6, it was beginning to look a lot like corn dogs.
I love corn dogs. If corn dogs were the only thing America had ever invented, it would be enough. That and Magic Eraser.
I planned banh mi for this week because I thought we’d have leftover chopped liver to put on the sandwiches. But I forgot to tell the fridge-cleaning kid not to throw the leftover chopped liver away! It was a liver tragedy. Luckily, banh mi on its own is still delicious.
Speaking of liver tragedies, I gained a bunch of weight when I started taking Lexapro for PMDD back in November or December. It works great for PMDD, which is actually life changing, but I gained 15 pounds, and that was a bummer, but, now I’m finally tapered off Lexapro (I’m trying Prozac) and it is time to get my punk ass in gear again, by which I mean I can’t just wander around the house eating everything I find and saying “ooh, I hate these meds, they make me gain sooo much weight.”
What I’m trying to tell you is that, I’m really trying, and by the time dinner came around, I was SO HUNGRY, so possibly that’s why these sandwiches seemed so good.
Another possibility is that they were just damn fine sandwiches. Maybe both things can be true.
I marinated the meat for about four hours, and I cut up a bunch of cucumbers, chopped up a bunch of cilantro, did a quick pickle of some carrots and radishes.Jump to Recipe
I actually pickled the carrots for a few hours, then just before dinner, I re-used the brine to pickle the radishes, which I had sliced very thin
but not before having a larf over the branding
I mean, yes, I paid for them, so I should hope. Next time, ask me! I will come up with a better name! Sunny Day Radishes! Fatso’s Radishes! Chompsville Radish Farm! Mrs. Rabbit’s Radish Party! Those are all better than what they actually went with. But nobody asks me.
Anyway, pickled radishes will turn a pretty salmon pink if you let them sit for a couple of hours,
but if you slice them thin (I used the long, flat holes on the cheese grater), they do take on flavor right away.
I set out mayo, sriracha, and sriracha mayo. I forgot the jalapeños, but nobody complained. We again had a sort of rolling dinner because everyone was going to and fro all evening again, so I toasted a length of french bread and heated up some meat in the microwave, then assembled my sandwich, and it was just perfecto.
I only had half the amount of fish sauce the recipe called for, and you know what? It was better. So I have amended the recipe to show that.Jump to Recipe
I also used more pepper, just because I was having fun turning the crank, I guess, so I amended that in the recipe, too. I am a whimsical food god and with a careless swipe of my finger will change the recipe of banh mi at will, just try and stop me. If you are still reading, put an X here [ ] yes [ ] no
My plan was to serve ramen the day after the banh mi so there would be leftover pickled vegetables, but they all got eaten. Oh well.
I had some boneless pork ribs and sliced them into strips, sautéed them in chili oil, and then doused them with soy sauce when they were almost done cooking.
I ended up with that, some nice sprouts, plus shredded cabbage left over from last week’s fish tacos, spinach left over from the vast quantities of spinach I buy every week because I’ve become a spinach fiend, some crunchy noodles, some boiled eggs, and various sauces and some sesame seeds.
It’s a decent meal.
I like to line the bowl with spinach and pour the hot ramen on top of that, so there is a tasty treat waiting at the bottom. I really am a spinach fiend.
One of these days I’m actually going to make a good ramen broth, rather than using the little packets, but I know it will spoil us all, and we won’t be able to go back, and then I’ll lose another easy meal, and I’m not ready for that! Don’t take away my protein crumbles! Peep peep peep!
Mac! and! cheese!
Just because it’s been a while.
In closing, let me say: PEEP PEEP PEEP PEEP PEEP! Hope you are same.
Pork banh mi
- 5-6 lbs Pork loin
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 minced onion
- 1/2 head garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 tsp pepper
Veggies and dressing
- Sriracha sauce
Slice the raw pork as thinly as you can.
Mix together the fish sauce ingredients and add the meat slices. Seal in a ziplock bag to marinate, as it is horrendously stinky. Marinate several hours or overnight.
Grill the meat over coals or on a pan under a hot broiler.
Toast a sliced baguette or other crusty bread.
quick-pickled carrots and/or cucumbers for banh mi, bibimbap, ramen, tacos, etc.
An easy way to add tons of bright flavor and crunch to a meal. We pickle carrots and cucumbers most often, but you can also use radishes, red onions, daikon, or any firm vegetable.
- 6-7 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 lb mini cucumbers (or 1 lg cucumber)
For the brine (make double if pickling both carrots and cukes)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar (other vinegars will also work; you'll just get a slightly different flavor)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
Mix brine ingredients together until salt and sugar are dissolved.
Slice or julienne the vegetables. The thinner they are, the more flavor they pick up, but the more quickly they will go soft, so decide how soon you are going to eat them and cut accordingly!
Add them to the brine so they are submerged.
Cover and let sit for a few hours or overnight or longer. Refrigerate if you're going to leave them overnight or longer.