Last Week I Cooked….

Crispy wing with three-flavored sauce (from Simple Thai Food). These wings were a lot of work. They had to marinate, then be coated with flour, then rest, then be deep fried. While all that was happening the sauce had to be made and cooled. One of the ingredients for the sauce is tamarind pulp, which I couldn’t buy straight out so I had to hand squeeze it before making the sauce. I used brown rice flour instead of the white called for in the coating because it was on-hand, but most of it fell off in the frying process. After one bite, I would have done all of the work over again to have a second. They were seriously spicy, but with enough sticky sweetness to just mitigate the flame. I will crave these often, and make them occasionally.

Vegetal Matters - Last Week I CookedGlass noodle salad (from Simple Thai Food). This was a slightly sour salad with cooked and dried shrimp and ground pork. It was good, but any dish would be hard to follow after the intense flavors of the wings. I’m more excited to try other recipes in the book before making this one again.

Sichuanese Chinese chopped celery with pork. I’ve made this recipe with the called for beef, chopped chicken thighs, and now pork. Any which way it is absolutely delicious. Some of the ingredients go beyond the usual pantry items, but once you have them you can make this dish with ease.

Twice cooked chard (from Every Grain of Rice). This was a lot of greenery to go with the celery dish, but as I’ve come to expect from Fucshia, it was a full-flavored dish that brought out the best in the chard.

Sweet potato with Thai curry and coconut soup. Will put this together while I made the elaborate wings during the Superbowl. It is a hearty, vegan soup that takes a bit of time to put together (you roast the sweet potatoes first), but minimal effort beyond the chopping. It’s a great option beyond the usual vegetable and broth offering.

Vegetal Matters - Last Week I CookedPasta with red sauce and linguica. I had planned to make a curry from Simple Thai Food but when I got home from work it seemed like an insurmountable task. So I turned to the pantry and freezer. In the freezer I found some tomato sauce, the fridge had a sausage and butter, and the pantry contributed pasta and onion. It was simple, satisfying, and zero stress.

Pasta with yogurt and carmelized onions. I finally got the chance to try this recipe and… was good, but not mind blowing. Sure, using just yogurt for pasta sauce is pretty ingenious,  the caramelized onions add a perfect complementary sweetness, and really you only need 3 ingredients for the whole shebang. I’m happy to have this recipe in my back pocket for when I’m stranded with just these ingredients, but I won’t be going out of my way to regularly make it.

Acorn squash with chile-lime vinaigrette. The flavar of this was great…I just can’t get myself to love the texture of acorn squash. Maybe I didn’t cook it for long enough? I’ve made a very similar Ottolenghi dish with butternut that I liked much better.

Vegetal Matters - Last Week I CookedGrapefruit olive oil pound cake (from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook). This is probably my most repeated recipe from this cookbook. If you adore grapefruit, this cake is perhaps its most worthy showcase.

Belgian brownie cakelets. There was some disagreement in our house about the name of this dessert. To me, they definitely skewed more cake than brownie. I prefer a fudginess in my chocolate baked goods so I will try something else before making these again, but they were still just 5 ingredients and pretty good if you aren’t as picky about brownies (or cakelets).

Vegetal Matters - Last Week I CookedFrench toast with bananas. I can’t tell you the last time I cooked or even ate French toast. It was my favorite breakfast as a kid though, and one morning this week I indulged my craving. This won’t be my everyday breakfast, but I shouldn’t go so long without it.



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