Hey! Who’s fasting? Ready to suffer? Let’s look at some delicious food pictures. Here’s what we cooked and ate this week:
I think Aldi pizza?
We went to see Moe in The Winter’s Tale and needed something fast to throw at kids.
Chicken cutlets with basil; dinosaur cake
Sunday was Elijah’s birthday. Another (alleged) adult in the house! He requested Damien’s wonderful breaded chicken cutlets with the provolone on top and a little secret basil tucked inside,
with a hot scoop of slightly spicy marinara sauce over it all to melt the cheese onto the chicken.
I once again reassured Damien that this meal was totally worth the hours and hours he spends in the kitchen. I’m the only one who thinks this is funny, but I keep saying it anyway.
Elijah was reminiscing about the dinosaur cake with a volcano and blue Jello gazing pool I once made him when he was little, so Clara decided to recreate him.
And a very dinosaur birthday it was.
Rigatoni alla disgraziata
I knew there would be lots of leftover sauce and probably some leftover chicken, so I planned a new-to-us pasta dish for Monday to roll things over, and it was all very tasty.
Rigatona all disgraziata is not only the most delicious food you can have while still keeping meatless, it’s the most fun you can have pronouncing a dish while making reference to being wretched. That’s what the “disgraziata” part means: It’s “poor wretch” food, because it calls for mozzarella, but if you don’t have that, you can just use breadcrumbs.
If you do have mozzarella, though, you . . . well, first you toast up the breadcrumbs in a little olive oil (I used breadcrumbs from a can, but I do want to try homemade a some point), then you brown the eggplant in a lot of olive oil,
then salt it and add in the sauce that your husband has made yesterday (he used this Deadspin recipe).
Cook and drain the rigatoni, add in the saucy eggplant, mix in the toasted breadcrumbs, throw in some shredded mozzarella, and warm it all up together, and sprinkle some parmesan on top.
Here’s a more detailed recipe:
Jump to Recipe
I undercooked the eggplant a little bit, so it was a tiny bit too chewy, but this was still a monstrously delicious and filling meal, even without the addition of the leftover chicken, which I heated up and served on the side. Definitely going into the rotation for meatless meals. We also thought it would be nice if some crumbled Italian sausage happened to fall in.
Hot dogs, french fries, corn
I have no memory of Tuesday. Corrie has been packing cold, leftover hot dogs in her lunch all week, though, so I know it happened.
Garlic ginger chicken with mint; coconut rice; garlic string beans
My second foray into Indian cooking. This one was mildly disappointing, as the marinade for the chicken seemed exciting and tasted intense,
but the finished chicken came out much more mild. The ingredients are: Fresh ginger, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro and mint, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, coriander, turmeric (which I know I have somewhere, but I couldn’t find), and amchur, which is dried, unripe mango powder, and is super tart.
Here is the recipe from Bon Apetit. I must warn you to save the recipe if you plan to use it, because they now limit the number of free views.
You marinate the chicken, then brown it in oil, then cook it at a low temperature in a pan for ten minutes, then turn the heat off and let it finish cooking for fifteen minutes in its own steam.
This worked well enough, and the chicken came out extremely moist and tender. But I could tell that it wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped, so I cut it up and tossed it in the pan with the drippings, to coat all the pieces with as much flavor as possible.
And it was good! Just predominantly garlicky and gingery, and the rest of the flavor was harder to discern. I put plenty of fresh mint and cilantro on top to help it out.
I had some misadventures with the rice, as well. I used this straightforward recipe and made a big pot of coconut basmati rice in the Instant Pot. The second time I got a burn message, I transferred it to the stove and finished it there, where it cooked somewhat unevenly. Not terrible, but I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with rice! Maybe I need to try another brand. I’ve been buying basmati rice at Aldi. Anyone know anything? Tell me it’s not my fault.
For the string beans, I just drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, spread them in a shallow pan and shoved them up under a hot broiler until they were a little blistered.
Easy and tasty.
It was a good meal, just a little tamer than I was expecting. Onward and upward. I still have a shelf overflowing with Indian spices and I’m not discouraged.
None of my funny globalist tricks. No lemon grass or fish sauce or tree ears or balsamic reductions. I even got the crunchy shells that come in a box, which the kids think are a treat because I don’t usually get them because they’re noisy. Everyone was happy and loved me.
Mac and cheese
And there’s plenty of rigatoni left over, too. IN THIS HOUSE [extremely lawn sign voice] we eat five-day-old rigatoni.
We also add hot sauce and sometimes mustard to our otherwise pretty pedestrian mac and cheese.
Rigatona alla disgraziata
A hearty, meatless pasta dish with eggplant, breadcrumbs, and mozzarella
- 2 lg eggplants with ends cut off, cut into one-inch pieces (skin on)
- 3/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra for frying bread crumbs
- 3 cups bread crumbs
- 3 lbs rigatoni
- 6 cup marinara sauce
- 1 lb mozzarella
- grated parmesan for topping
In a very large skillet or pot, heat up a little olive oil and toast the bread crumbs until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Put the 3/4 cup of olive oil in the pan, heat it again, and add the cubed eggplant. Cook for several minutes, stirring often, until eggplant is soft and slightly golden. Salt to taste. Add in sauce and stir to combine and heat sauce through. Keep warm.
In another pot, cook the rigatoni in salted water. Drain. Add the pasta to the eggplant and sauce mixture. Add in the toasted breadcrumbs and the shredded mozzarella. Stir to combine. Serve with grated parmesan on top.