tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

27Mar/120

I am Pork Lion, Hear Me Roar

Dear E,

Sorry for the delay! Stupid computer problems have kept me away.

A few weeks ago it was our turn for dinner. I asked N if he had any ideas for dinner and he said, "anything, but can you take care of it?" Okay then!

I decided on a stuffed pork tenderloin with vegetables. Simple but not too lazy!

leeks, mushrooms, shallots

I really liked the leek, shallot, and mushroom stuffing (epicurious recipe). I swapped out shiitakes for criminis, as I felt they would work better (plus N doesn't like shiitakes).

For some reason tying up meat always makes me feel accomplished and fancy.

pork loins stuffed and tied

Unfortunately G was sick! When I discovered that you would be arriving solo, I decided to make half of the asparagus. You hear that, G? You rate an entire extra pound of asparagus! 🙂

plated

I threw together a super thin jus-that-was-supposed-to-be-gravy (oops) and some garlic mashed yukon gold potatoes. I don't roast the potatoes before mashing like you do, but I do boil the garlic with the potatoes and I leave the skins on. My grandma makes the best garlic mash... I try to copy her.

plated

We split Southern Tier's Choklat Stout, all agreeing that it would be delicious in a chocolate cake. Mmm, chocolate cake...

choklat stout

After dinner we played a few rounds of Uno...... I almost don't want to admit it. I was hoping to play Ra again, but not with three people. Maybe next time!

Hope to see you this weekend!

Administrivia note: I fixed the problem with disallowing comments on older posts.

Filed under: dinner review No Comments
4Mar/120

More …

Hi J -

I think I am still feeling... the deep-fried-bday-hang-over. But wait, there is more ...

 Apple Fritter breakfast while I write this post. Mmm.

This is one tasty apple fritter. I strongly concur that N is good with the deep frying.

Back to dinner ...

I don't know the reason I decided on beef again, after CFS dinner last week. Perhaps I was replaying G's general sentiment that I do not cook beef often. Some type of braised beef I thought ... On Wednesday, I cut up a brisket and marinated the big cubes in the usual suspect of soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. I was still unsure where the dish is going. The next day, I browned the meat and asked your thought on braise vs. curry. You were very helpful and decisive - curry it will be.

browned meat deglaced with wine + stock & curry powder + chili garlic sauce

I left the pot on simmer for a couple of hours, with the exhaust fan on high, there is still a faint curry smell around the house. On Saturday, chilled and rested, I removed the layer of fat*, broke up the large cubes, added vegetables - onions, daikon, carrots, a can of coconut milk an hour and half before serving. After an hour of simmer, the vegetables were still crunchy. Yikes. My fear the vegetables may be too mushy were unfounded. I turned up the heat slightly, put the meat back in, and hoped for the best.

In the meantime, I made some plain rice, reheated some fried tofu, steamed some store bought dumplings, and stir fried some bok choy.

funny shaped rice

Phew, the vegetables were ok, and I have plenty of sauce to pour over the tofu. Yum. Personally, I would make a whole meal with just the sauce, vegetables, and tofu ...on rice.  But that's just me.

After dinner, we played G's favorite, Acquire. I think he felt the worse out of all of us, even with my allergy self and your day. It was a very active game, with a lot of takeovers! I earned the highest personal return $43,600 and still lost the game to N!

I'm growing mochas!

We wrapped up the night with mocha beans and some girl scout cookies. Thanks for bringing the bean game over. I should really deal with that one missing card...

-E

*Unlike N, who is organize and trims meat before cooking. I am lazy.. and prefer to skim fat after cooking.

Filed under: dinner review No Comments
2Mar/121

Deep Fried Goodies and Greenies

Happy March, E!

Phew! It's been quite a week over here. Snow, sleet, rain, sun, rainbows! Seattle, don't ever change.

Last weekend we celebrated your birthday (if belatedly)! That means we have to have something crispy and deep-fried and something full of creamy, tasty fat-- am I right?

Well, we did exactly that with an addition of tasty raw greens:

kale & brussels sprout salad
kale and brussels sprouts salad

I found the recipe for Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad on epicurious. It was published in Bon Appétit November 2011, as part of the Thanksgiving menu. The reviews on epicurious are overwhelmingly positive for a RAW lacinato kale and brussels sprouts salad, and I found that interesting and appealing.

A couple of mods: I used less olive oil in the vinaigrette, less cheese in the salad, and more brussels sprouts than specified. Brussels sprouts were shredded in the food processor and that worked GREAT. I held back about 1/4 of the kale/brussels sprouts mix and tossed the salad with the vinaigrette ~3 hours before dinner in an effort to tenderize the greens a bit. Then I mixed the held aside greens into it before serving. I don't think I would add the vinaigrette that much earlier next time unless I were feeding people who dislike crisp salads. That said, reviews said that the salad held up to being dressed and sitting in the fridge for up to a week, so I don't think it hurt the texture that much.

As N said, "add it to the rotation!" I'll make it again.

Speaking of N, while he grumps a little bit about deep frying stuff, he is good at it and does seem to enjoy the actual frying.

chicken fried steak fingers
CFS fingers

For you, CFS eating champ, Chicken Fried Steak fingers! N seasoned the meat and the flour and dredged it a couple of times in order to get the appropriate amount of coating.

E's plate
plated, with red dots of Frank's Red Hot

Along with the salad and CFS fingers, I tossed some potatoes with some rosemary and roasted them, nothing fancy. I liked the CFS because it turned out fairly tender on the inside. Yum. We were still left with lots of leftovers, despite my worries that we wouldn't have enough chicken fried steak!

After dinner we gave our stomachs a break and played a little bit of Uno before birthday dessert.

tiramisu
tiramisu

Tiramisu. I bought the lady fingers though I'd like to try my hand at making them-- next time. I'm glad I bought the lady fingers though, because I had a recipe picked out, but I noticed that the recipe on the back of the lady fingers bag looked more traditional, so I made that one instead.

While assembling, I was worried about the lady fingers losing their integrity, so I dialed back the amount of liquid I soaked them in too much, giving it a weaker espresso taste than I intended. Even though the tiramisu sat overnight, the lady fingers still had a bit too much texture to them when we chowed down on it on Saturday night. When I had a little piece of the leftovers on Sunday after my hockey game, their texture was perfect. Next time I would either let it rest for two nights after assembling or use a bit more of the marsala-espresso-brandy-vanilla liquid to drench the lady fingers.

Of note -- the Alessi lady fingers have a side that is sugared and a side that is plain. To help with the cookies not falling apart, putting the sugar side down (so the plain side is the one that gets the liquid) is the best option.

Some silly present opening happened...

Pickle This!
Pickle ALL the Things

Lots of coffee and another round of Uno later... Happy (much belated) Birthday, E!

Filed under: dinner review 1 Comment