Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dinners for the Week(s)

We tried quite a few new recipes the last two weeks! Two weeks ago we made ~

► Burgers with side salad and Elote (Mexican corn on the cob) - Justin had fun grilling at our new place! For the Elote we grilled the corn & then you coat it with a sour cream, mayo, and spice mixture and top with Parmesan cheese (or Cojita cheese, if you want to be authentic). The sauce has a strong lime flavor to it, which was a little odd at first, but by the next day I was craving more!

► Pot stickers, egg rolls, and rice (2 dinners) - This was all pre-made frozen stuff, but still tasty.

General Tso's (2 dinners) - I make this with green beans instead of the snap peas (usually too hard to find or two pricey) and it is such a good recipe!

I attempted to make Ginger Scallion Noodles on the side but the 'sauce' was basically *just* minced ginger and green onions. I like both of these in recipes, but don't particularly want to eat them alone. I took a taste of the sauce, gagged, and decided to whip up a batch of the delicious sauce from this Bulgogi recipe. (To make just the sauce I'd recommend leaving out the oil and only cooking it for a few minutes)

Chicken Sukiyaki

And 2 more new recipes last week ~

Chicken Sukiyaki (pictured above, 2 dinners) - I needed more miso so we took our first trip to the local Asian market. It's so nice to have one nearby!! While we were there I picked up the ingredients for this Japanese recipe, including some crazy items I haven't tried before.

The broth was delicious! At the top you'll see we had a lot of chicken, then working clockwise there are strips of tofu, sliced napa cabbage, shredded burdock root, shitake mushrooms, sliced green onion, and konnyaku in the center. The burdock root was as tall as Orson & took a while to prepare. The texture was similar to bamboo shoots and mostly had the flavor of the broth. Konnyaku is made from a yam starch & sold as noodles or a block (which I sliced & twisted for this recipe). It also takes the taste of the broth or sauce & is added for its texture, which reminded me of the chewiness of squid.

Meatball Pie - Several years ago I bookmarked this Spaghetti Pie, which is basically cooked spaghetti mixed with an egg mixture that is cooked until firm & cut into wedges to serve. I was intrigued but it seemed a little too plain. Then I saw this new recipe, which tops the pie with pasta sauce, cheese, & meatballs & I quickly added it to the line-up!

This was really good but I will definitely be making changes next time. I thought the noodle layer was too thick & needed some sauce mixed in for flavor. There are also some steps that could be simplified - you add a layer of sauce, a layer of cheese, mix the meatballs with sauce & cheese & layer that on top, and then top with more sauce? Next time I'll be mixing that all together and adding it as one layer!

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