Hot and numbing wings and lo mein. I didn’t even watch the superbowl…but I will use any excuse to make chicken wings. These were crisp on the outside, and moist on the inside. I honestly would have liked them a bit spicier, but maybe my chili flakes are past their prime. The extra fridge space these need for a day is definitely worth not having to bring out the vat of frying oil. I’ve made this lo mein many times, and this go I used broccoli instead of cabbage. I find them slightly under-seasoned as the recipe is written, so I usually add a bit more soy sauce.
Cheesy polenta with sauteed onions, kale, and beans. This was what I meant to make last week when I forgot to buy cornmeal. I used a mix of cheddar and mozzerella in the polenta because there were bits of both languishing in the fridge. I used some schmaltz to saute the onions (saved from the chicken wings), then added in the kale to wilt. When the kale was cooked I added a can of kidney beans, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Winter squash soup with curry and coconut milk. This is the only butternut squash soup I love. The coconut milk negates the grainy texture that butternut soup can sometimes have, and the addition of the sour fish sauce and spicy sriracha balances the sweetness.
Just a reminder that wheat toast with peanut butter, honey, and sea salt is a simple delight (especially on a snow day).
Dan dan noodles and fish fragrant eggplant (both from Every Grain of Rice). These dan dan noodles are epic. Spicy, numbing, salty, with a nice richness from the sesame paste. Fish fragrant eggplant is the greatest use of eggplant’s absorbency and meaty texture. I forgot how long it takes to fry the eggplant before you stir fry it though. Definitely give yourself 30 minutes for that step.
Pasta with spicy Italian sausage, peppers, and onions. This is a childhood favorite adapted from a pasta cookbook my mom had that had a recipe for every day of the year (maybe this one?). It was made with wagon wheel shaped pasta, so we always refer to it as “wagon wheels,” even when you make it with another shape pasta (as I did here, because wagon wheels proved hard to find). You saute about a pound of sausage then remove it from the pan. Add some olive oil to the fat and 2 Frenched onions (yes, it looks like a lot of onion). Saute until browned, and then remove from the pan. Add 2 sliced red bell peppers and saute until limp. Add a whole bunch of minced garlic (at least 3-4 cloves), a lot of salt and pepper, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like). Saute for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant and then add the onions and sausage back to the pan. Drain your pasta and add it to the pan, along with some extra olive oil if it seems dry.