Sunday, December 16, 2012

pork and udon soup recipe and this week's meals

I haven't posted lately but I have been cooking - although nothing worth writing about, mostly old standbys like spaghetti, breakfast for dinner, or turkey tacos, etc. However, this weekend, I did manage to make a new recipe: pork and udon soup.

It's a meal that you need to make in two steps. I did it over two days.

Day one: I roasted the pork. Very easy but it required about 3.5 hours in the oven.
Day two: I chopped the veggies and threw the veggies and pork in broth to simmer for a half hour to make the soup. I also boiled the noodles separately. I didn't have any udon so I used somen and that worked fine.

Overall, I would say that the broth is not as rich or complex as ones made from scratch but the soup was very filling and good for about 40 minutes cooking time - much of that time was made up of leaving the soup to simmer on the stove rather than active time.  The soup seemed much less Japanese as the udon in the recipe would suggest but tasted more like pho especially since the recipe recommends garnishing with bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime. The toddler picked at it since she didn't like the look of the shitake, cabbage, or carrots, but she ate the noodles. The husband gave the soup an "A."

This week's meal plan (although I'm not sure I'll get around to cooking the sinigang):

  • spinach and cheese lasagna rolls
  • matzoh ball soup, latkes, and smoked salmon and mache salad (I made the soup last week but never got around to making the latkes during Hannukah)
  • slow cooker beef and black bean chili
  • sinigang na baboy (a pork and tamarind soup with napa cabbage, taro root, green beans, tomatoes, and onions)

Tiffanie: what are you making for holiday dinners?

Tempted though I am to just make desserts and get take out Chinese food, I may just cook a real holiday dinner. What are you doing?

Tiffanie: this week's menu

That white bean escarole soup with orzo was really delicious! I never made the pumpkin soup, so it's on the plan again this week. I'm also snack parent for preschool on Thursday, so I have planning around that, too.

The plans:

  • linguine with sauteed chard and Field Roast sausage
  • pumpkin soup, homemade bread with cherries and walnuts, wild rice pilaf
  • vegetable chili, corn bread, roasted sweet potatoes. This will be for two dinners; a different side vegetable, maybe some cabbage salad or avocados.
It's a CSA box week, so I'll know soon what I'm getting on Wednesday. That'll inform the meal for the rest of the week, since there will be greens in it.

For the preschoolers and parents... I'm thinking I'll be progressive and make a big batch of the pumpkin soup. It is very simple, just onions and a bit of ginger sauteed in olive oil, then you add broth, some cut up potatoes and squash, and a bay leaf, and simmer until soft. Then puree and add soy milk. I can serve this to both the preschoolers and the parents. For the kids, I think I'll also offer bagels and cream cheese.  For the parents... a baguette sliced up, maybe a baked oatmeal? I do love baked oatmeal. I should really make it for home sometimes. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

After all that rain, the weather is now sunny and cool. I'm craving warm food!

The plan:

  • taco night, as usual, with mushrooms. Also going to make Mexican rice, the type with tomatoes. Love that!
  • my old favorite, tofu mushroom potato stew with miso gravy. This is a two-meal dish, so one night will be over rice, with roasted brussels sprouts. Another night will be over pasta, with a green salad or sauteed chard.
  • mapo tofu, with rice, and onion pancakes, and roasted seaweed. I need to visit Ranch 99 for my onion pancakes and silken tofu...
  • pumpkin ginger soup... I have two red kabocha squash on my counter, so this will use one of them. I may even make my first loaf of bread for the winter, perhaps with cherries and walnuts in it. 
  • if I can find some escarole, I'd love to make a slow cooker white bean soup, with some orzo and escarole stirred in at the end. Such a fantastic thick soup... perhaps I'll get some Field Roast sausage to fry up alongside.
Today I made a batch of dough for St Lucia buns, from the King Arthur Flour recipe on the web. It's a yellow dough, with lots of milk and butter and eggs. You roll bits of dough into a snake, then shape a compact S. Two golden raisins are tucked into the folds, then brushed with egg white and sprinkled with coarse sugar. The kindergarten class will be making these tomorrow, and I felt I needed a practice run. I'm happy to announce they are good -- slightly sweet, fairly dense, very pretty color. The original recipe uses 1/4 tsp of saffron to add color to the milk, but as I ran out of saffron, I decided to try 1/8 tsp of turmeric. It worked very well; the turmeric is not detectable by scent or taste. Just a lovely yellow color!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jolene: this week's menu

Last night, I made "Tilapia en Papillote" - meaning something (tilapia) cooked in parchment paper.  It took about 4x as long to cook I think because I used a hybrid - aluminum/parchment paper mix. Turned out pretty good with sliced tomatoes, yellow squash, zuchinni, a sprinkle of salt and Penzeys "Mural of Color" seasoning, and feta cheese. Also, steamed some brussel sprouts as a side.

Made a friend of a friend's recipe of mac n' cheese. It called for a stick of butter, 8 cups of cheese (cheddar and mozzarella), evaporated milk, and elbow pasta. I think the box stuff has got to be healthier than this concoction, but it sure tastes good.

I have makings for vegetable lasagne tonight, which I haven't started... Boca burgers as back-up and some frozen TJs fettucini alfredo meal, too. Not feeling food inspired at the moment. May make "Silician style halibut" later this week. More later...

p.s. Bought the Cuisinart waffle maker at a sale last week, but also have the Caphalon version on its way -- will be returning one.