Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dinners for the Week

We have been eating well lately! We had a lot of luck with the new recipes last week & I even snapped some pictures of one meal.

Chawan mushi, 1

Chawan mushi - Ok, I’ll admit it. I partially wanted to try this because it can be so pretty with every arranged in the little ramekins! I mostly followed the above recipe but with a few additions from others I’d marked. I definitely wanted some shrimp at the top, peaking through, so I ditched the crab & added two shrimp per ramekin. I also added chopped up two baby spinach leaves to each dish.

So I arranged the chicken, mushroom, and spinach on the bottom, a couple of shrimp on top, then poured in the egg custard mixture & steamed until set. The egg is mixed with a little soy sauce, salt, & dashi (broth) so it is nice & savory with the texture of a soft boiled egg.

Chawan mushi, 2

Unfortunately there was a lot of watery liquid floating around with the egg & I think using frozen & thawed chicken & shrimp was my mistake. I also think my ramekins were a little small because there was little room for the egg & I ended up only using about half of the mixture. (I poured that in the the ramekins later & steam the mixture by itself & had no issues with it setting. Very tasty!)

Walnut & Miso Dressing - On the side I made some roasted green beans with this Walnut-Miso Dressing which turned out incredible. Ground walnuts with miso, mirin, soy sauce, and some other seasonings - it really packed a ton of flavor in every little bite. This would be great on chicken or other veggies - we only ended up using half of it & I scooped up the rest with veggie crisps for a snack later on.

For the green beans I just tossed them with a little olive oil, spread them out on a cookie sheet & baked at 425 F for 10 minutes. Then you give the pan a little shake to turn them & cook 5 minutes more. I forgot to toast the walnuts before grinding them for the dressing, but it was already so packed with flavor I don’t think I was missing anything. I probably won’t bother to do it in the future either!

Walnut & Miso Green Beans

The sauce does look a little pale & odd on its own though, similar to a hummus.

Walnut & Miso Sauce

Bulgogi - This is a Korean dish with beef served over rice & what turned out to basically be a teriyaki sauce with lots of sesame seeds & green onions. But it is a really good sauce - I had a little left over that I mixed in with some noodles for lunch and it was so tasty I had to make a 2nd batch for future lunches. The only thing I changed was using a little less green onion. It was a little too salty so next time I would drop 1/4 cup soy sauce.

Crispy Edamame - I have to agree with a lot of the reviews that said this ended up being more chewy than crispy, but it wasn’t a bad texture. The taste was a little bland but better with a squirt of lemon juice. It was a nice change from just heating up the beans with a little salt & so I will probably try something similar again, but I wasn’t particularly in love with this recipe.

We also ended up with some last minute additions ~

Hot Bacon & Swiss Dip - Made this one night we had some friends coming over and it was amazing. No changes except that I didn’t have quite enough mayo. We tried it with Ritz & tortilla chips & preferred the 2nd.

For some reason this dip seemed very light, even though its loaded with cheese & dairy, which I can only assume is because the cream cheese is warmed. There also did not seem to be a lot of it (we could have probably eaten a double batch!), even though I know there was plenty - based on the measurements it makes a little more than the chicken & cream cheese dip I talked about last week, which we would have struggled to finish. Perhaps the ‘light’ taste tricks you into thinking you haven’t eaten much!

► Popsicles! - I’ve made several batches of these lately, experimenting with pudding & Jell-o, and have many more planned. These are definitely going to get their own post soon!


This meals for this week are ~

Perfect Paella - (pictured above, makes 2 dinners) I’ve never had Paella elsewhere to compare this to, but this recipe I adapted from a vintage recipe card is insanely good! It does take several meats to make, but bone-in chicken thighs are usually cheap, and we always use the other ½ lb. shrimp and 1/2 lb. kielbasa for two other meals. 3 meats for 4 meals is not bad at all!

► Pan fried kielbasa with squash, zucchini, and onion with some rice on the side. (To use up that sausage!)

Chicken Taquitos - Made these pretty recently but we couldn’t resist when we realized we already had every ingredient except for the tortillas!

Chicken Cobber Casserole - Love this recipe, but we do change the amounts around a bit, so I’ll need to type of a new version of this soon. (Basically we double the bread, 1.5 x the stuff you toss with it, and replace half of the white wine with chicken broth)

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