Posts tagged ‘beef’
Well, it’s been two weeks since the start of my preschool year, and my new routine seems to have thrown me off my blog-game just a lil bit. Please don’t check how long it’s been since my last post. The ironic thing is that we have kept up with the cooking and photographing and kitchen firsts over the last few weeks (in fact, we’ve been cooking a lot!), I’ve just let them lay dormant in the camera for far too long. But no more! With this post, I am hoping to jump back in to the swing of things. I’m positive that wrangling preschoolers, cooking, and blogging can co-exist!
Anyways, here’s a kitchen first I’ve been hanging on to for a little bit. Pastitsio turned out to be one of those multi-first meals, in that I’ve never had pastitsio before, we worked with lamb for the first time, and I grated fresh nutmeg for the first time (don’t ask me why I’ve never done this before– silly, huh?). Now that we’ve tried it, it seems to me that pastitsio is sort of like a fancy-fied, Greek-style hamburger helper (dare I call it lamb-burger helper?), but in a good way. Whatever you call it, pasta + cheese + tomatoey cream sauce + ground meat = one tasty homey meal, and all I can say is if actual hamburger helper was this satisfying I would be picking up some boxes and adding it to my dinner repertoire. This is definitely a good meal to warm you up on an autumn night.
There are, again, two kitchen firsts this time around. The first is the making of something pickled! I mean, I guess we made kimchi before, but that hardly seems to be in the same category as these quick red onions. I normally have a pretty so-so reaction to pickled red onions– they strike me as a little slimy and boring, neither a detriment nor an asset to whatever I might eat them with, but these quick pickled ones from America’s Test Kitchen were totally amazing. They had that all-important pickly, briny vinegar flavor, but with just enough sweetness to appeal to people that usually don’t like pickled things. They had a little heat from some jalapeno, but not too much, and they managed to be softened from the pickling liquid but still keep a little bit of crunch! They are so good I could snack on them plain, but I won’t, for the sake of my breath. Also, they are much better on tacos.
The second kitchen first is me deigning to allow a foul, nasty ingredient into my kitchen. Cilantro! Cilantro seems to be a very polarizing ingredient in the food world, and while I’ve heard that you can train your palate to accept cilantro, I have no desire to do so! That is, except for the times that I’m trying to enjoy Mexican or Thai food and cilantro sneaks in to mess up my otherwise delicious meal, or the fact that, despite my undying love for mangos, I have never been able to enjoy a mango salsa due to the ubiquitous sprinkling of cilantro. So actually, maybe it would be in my interest to at least be neutral about cilantro…I guess if anything can accomplish that, it’s these steak tacos.
This is one of our favorite recipes, and I’m actually kind of shocked to realize that we have not made it in the six-plus months since I started the blog! We got some good top sirloin on sale this week and a really nice looking bunch of chinese broccoli from the farmer’s market, and there really is no better thing to do with those ingredients than sizzle them both up in a blaze of seven-flavor glory.
This week, despite the totally un-May, un-barbecue weather around here, we decided we were in the mood for some burgers. We found some super cute slider buns at the store, so although I intended to go for a Korean inspired burger that would certainly not qualify as a traditional “slider” (which I gather has a specific composition and way of cooking that shouldn’t be confused with any old miniaturized burger) we decided to go ahead with the mini burgers idea and whip up some awesome Korean condiments to match.
When I’m not much in the mood to cook or I don’t have a particular recipe in mind for dinner, I tend to vaguely crave something savory and maybe spicy, often something noodley, with both meat and a generous vegetable presence, all in one dish for simplicity. But usually I can’t really synthesize my feelings of “ooh, this sounds good” and “ew, I really don’t feel like that” into an actual meal plan or even something I can go order. Stephen has recently pointed out that when I’m in one of those lazy-and-hungry-but-with-vague-cravings moods, I usually end up begging him to get some kind of asian take-out. But in a town of relatively few yummy asian take-out establishments, you exhaust your options relatively quickly and are forced to face the fact that it really would be easier and cheaper in the end to just make something yourself. Enter this recipe.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with a lot of asian-inspired recipes, and I really enjoyed this one both for the chance to use a new vegetable (chinese broccoli, or gai-lan) and the fact that it accomplishes savory noodley meaty and veggie-ness all in one dish. It’s easy, requires only three main ingredients (besides the sauce stuff), and with a minimum of effort brings about all the savory yummyness of something you would pay someone else to make with all the better-ness that comes from making it yourself.
Ever since Stephen returned from Japan, I’ve been hearing about MOS burgers (mosu baagaa!). He claims that it is THE PERFECT BURGER. Like, not just the perfect fast food burger, but like the most satisfying burger he has ever had. If you have discussed Japan at all with Stephen since his return, you have probably heard about them. We were talking about Japan just yesterday and, of course, they came up two sentences into a serious conversation about jobs and the future:
Stephen: We could consider going to Japan to teach, if I can’t find a job here.
Sara: That would be pretty cool, especially if the job market stays so crappy here in the States. It would be nice to do some more traveling.
Stephen: Yeah. Plus we could get MOS burgers!
My, we seem to be roasting quite a lot around here, don’t we? Especially considering that roasting meats is not something that has typically been in my cooking repertoire, at least until recently. But I’ve discovered that roasting can produce wonderfully tasty results with shockingly little effort. It does take a bit of time, depending on the meat and the size of the roast, but it is nearly all hands-off time. Rub it with something tasty, pop it in the oven, take it out of the oven, rest it, eat it. Only one of those things actually counts as cooking as far as I’m concerned–the rest is just moving around, looking at, smelling, and most importantly eating, delicious meat.