tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

25Feb/110

Funny you should ask …

Hi J -  Welcome back! I made a ground beef dish last week. We invited coworker-D, who you met,  and coworker-N, his gf, and their two canines over.

This is one of G's favorite dish - curried beef with rice noodles. That is a copious amount of cilantro on my plate.

First, I separated the cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped the stems with garlic into a paste, and set the leaves aside. I sautéed onions, when nicely translucent, add the cilantro stems & garlic paste.  Browned the ground beef, added the onion, cilantro & garlic, with Chinese curry powder, a little rice vinegar, and dark sweet soy sauce.  Lightly fried the rice noodles, stirred in beef & sauce. Voilà!  I served it with sautéed choy sum with ginger, and chili sauce. Oh! I also made ginger-limeade, booze optional.

After dinner, we played Puerto Rico. D, found a 34 min video on YouTube.

It is a long game, made longer since we were learning - 2.5hrs+. The object is victory points, which you earn by farming, processing, and shipping products from Puerto Rico.  You may also trade, to earn monies, as part of operating expenses. It plays a lot easier than I imagined. It has a lot of depth, no dice roll, and good art.  It requires a lot of keep-track-of and paying attention. It is a fresh game, with interesting mechanics. Everyone who played it, even the newest gamer, coworker-N's girlfriend, enjoyed it a lot.

It was a fun time, but not nearly as fun as  I imagine Hawaii was for you and N. 🙂 We also had another game night with some good ol' standbys - country ribs, corn bread and slaw,  and played Acquire. I did not get a pic of the board, but we ended up with two dueling conglomerates.

P.S. Other dishes with ground beef we can think of ... in no particular order: lasagna, shepherd's pie, stroganoff, sloppy joe, flautas, meat pies (in various region/ethnicity). Hrmph, we will keep thinking on that.

23Feb/110

Ground Beef Brainstorm

Hi E!

I would like to enlist your help.

N estimates that we have 70 pounds of ground beef in the freezer from our quarter cow. I'm not sure it's quite that much but I also haven't counted. So far I've used 3 pounds to make two batches of chili.

meat
ground beef shelf, in 1lb packages

Other ideas in mind for the use of lean, grass-fed ground beef:

  • hamburgers (duh)
  • chili
  • taco meat
  • kofta/kefta kabobs
  • kotleti
  • meatballs (meh)
  • Bolognese sauce
  • meatloaf (bleech!)
  • stuffed vegetables (cabbage, eggplant)

N has often complained that ever since I started feeding the dogs raw ground beef, I stopped making us dinner with ground beef. The reality is that I am not much of a fan of any of ground beef patty type items other than hamburgers. I think all of those years of being a vegetarian and also avoiding red meat are catching up to me as well.

Other ideas?

Filed under: planning No Comments
4Feb/110

Power Out

Dear E:

Happy New Year!

N was tasked with planning dinner for this weekend and he happened across this beer-braised beef recipe that won him over with its "bacon pestata."

I made quite the face when he said the words "bacon pestata!" But I reminded myself that it was N's plan and I know he can make it work.

plated
N's plate

N used a chuck roast from our 1/4 cow and generally followed the recipe. It smelled really good while it was cooking, but there is simply no way -- even with an addition of fresh parsley -- to make roasted beef look good. I found the meat to be very tender and tasty on its own, but didn't care for the sauce. I also didn't realize it was going to basically end up as another POT ROAST and so I was sort of disappointed!

I loosely made shallot and balsamic brussels sprouts, which I liked but not as much as plain ol' roasted brussels sprouts.

I also made mashed potatoes at N's request, using potatoes from the farm share. I didn't realize they were variegated red on the inside until I quartered them! Mashed up, they became pink. I boiled the quartered skin-on potatoes and crushed cloves of garlic until soft (~20m), drained and added a touch of butter, sour cream [instead of milk/cream/more butter], prepared horseradish, and salt/pepper. I like my mashed potatoes textured, which is why I leave the skins on and mash them by hand.

For appetizer, N decided that since he was making a roasted beef product, he better also make something that you would like. When he picked up the 1/4 cow, our friend E suggested that N use our cube steak to make chicken fried steak fingers!

I think this was a fairly brilliant idea (from the perspective of someone who hates CFS), but I was worried that it might overcook the steak too much. Lots of crunchy crust, though!

cfsfingers_DSC_6676
chicken fried steak ... fingers!

N cut the cube steak into strips, dipped them in flour seasoned with salt and lots of pepper, dipped them in egg, and then dipped them into flour with even more pepper. LOTS of pepper. He deep fried them for about 5 minutes I believe. They turned out crunchy and I was quite impressed with the coating. I still hate the texture of cube steak though!

I tried to convince us to try a new-to-us game, Saint Petersburg (BGG). By the time we got around to game playing, N vetoed the new game. Boo!

power out uno
Don't use digital photography to capture an analog moment.

In retrospect, it was good we didn't try to play Saint Petersburg because the power went out shortly before 11pm, in the middle of Uno! We were able to continue, though green and blue sure look similar under candlelight.

Next time I swear we'll try a new game and no! more! pot! roast!

Filed under: dinner review No Comments