Week 4: Ingredients You Hated as a Kid - Crab Cakes & Brussels Sprouts Slaw
My dad always oversteamed brussels sprouts when I was a kid. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized they didn’t have to be that way!
I also wasn’t keen on crustaceans until later in life as well, but for some reason I liked crab before I liked lobster. Go figure.
Thanks to Richard Blais, I combined my former enemies into one great meal.
Week 3: One Pot - Mulligatawny
Not actually an Indian dish, more like an Anglo-Indian dish based on Rasam. At least Colonialism leads to good food! There are a few variants on the interwebz. My version of the soup has: Chicken thighs, onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, garam masala, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, chicken stock, red lentils, coconut milk, granny smith apples and parsley.
The apples are a nice light flavor to balance the spices and the weight of the lentils. Great for January in the Northern Hemisphere!
Week 2: Polish - Kapusta
Kapusta is Polish for Cabbage, and boy, is this dish cabbage-tastic!
I started by boiling pork scraps (necks, hocks, odds & ends) in 4 quarts of water with a quartered onion. When the meat was tender I removed it from the broth, chopped it up, and strained the broth for later.
Next I sauteed garlic, a sliced onion, and leeks in butter. Added 1 shredded cabbage head, a 2lb bag of saurkraut, and a couple cups of the pork broth from earlier. Put a lid on it and let it simmer for a while until everything was tender. Mixed in the pork pieces, heated them through and served with kielbasa, potatoes and a super grainy mustard.
Tom’s grandma’s variation includes yellow peas and is the soupier version, but I can’t digest BOTH peas and cabbage, so I went with this variant instead.
Week 1: Eggs - Pasta Carbonara
It’s the start of a new year! This will be my third year cooking with the 52 Weeks of Cooking subreddit, and my second year as a moderator. I’ve been watching the traffic stats and all the first week submissions, and I’m definitely looking forward to 2014.
NOW! For the food!
I followed along with a Pioneer Woman recipe, but I fried the peas in with the onions and garlic rather than steam or boil them. It came out pretty slurptastic.
Week 46: Spanish - Paella
This is one of those dishes that EVERYONE and their mom has an opinion about what’s right and wrong. I read a lot on the internet, and I think I made a pretty good dish, considering I’ve never had real paella.
Also, please forgive the lack of rice in the photo. I had A TON of seafood on top. Trust me, it was delish.
I used: Chorizo, paprika, onion, olive oil, garlic, pepper, saffron (soaked in warm water), artichoke hearts, tomatoes, green peppers, sushi rice (because I couldn’t find the proper stuff), fish stock, clams, mussels and shrimp. Served with lemon & parsley.
I didn’t use chicken because I was trying to make this dish limited to 2 servings, and practically every recipe is for 6-8 (like the David Sedaris story). I accidentally bought so many mussels that I ended up steaming a bunch in some lemon water on the side to eat whilst the rest cooked. I then concluded that I don’t eat nearly enough mollusks or artichoke hearts.
Week 45: TV Dinner Inspired: Salisbury Steak
Using a Hungry-Man box as our inspiration, I made Salisbury steaks, mashed potatoes (sculpted into Devils Tower), southern style green beans and a beautiful mushroom-onion gravy.
I could probably just drink the gravy forever.
I don’t mind an instant meal once in a while, but gosh darn do they use a boatload of salt! I feel like a shriveled up snail after eating one.
Where was I? Oh yes. I’d make this again.
Week 44: Candy - Marshmallows
Using Martha Stewart’s recipe, I finally have firm marshmallows! It’s seriously too easy. They melt perfectly in my Nutella hot chocolate, and tomorrow we’ll try toasting them over our coil range. SUPER CLASSY!
I’d type more but I need to queue up the next couple week’s posts as I’ll be in CALIFORNIA for a couple weeks. YUP!
Week 43: North African - Mb’atten
Following this recipe, I made a Libyan dish. It’s mince lamb, cilantro, onion, and a bunch of spices. Then stuffed into a thinly sliced potato “pita”, lightly floured, then fried.
SO GOOD. The hardest part was slicing the potatoes. I ended up having too much mince mixture, so I ate that for breakfast one morning. I don’t believe in sticking to “breakfast foods” for the first meal. Don’t judge me!
Week 42: $10 or Less - Pea Soup with Ham Hocks
Ok I’m calling this week a fail. Not because the food was bad, but because I already did a Pea soup. I made the stock from the ham hocks ($4). Peas were $2.50, the carrot couldn’t be more than a dollar (I dunno, had them in the fridge already) and I keep onions and other misc. spices in my panty on the regular. Tom made some bread, which according to him is less than $1 a loaf. This meal made 6 servings.
Soup is always a good cheap meal since you can put anything in it. And it’s Fall, so it’s just a good idea period.
Week 41: Nuts - Pecan Pralines with Bacon & Coconut
This recipe was super easy to follow. I did add about 8oz of hickory smoked bacon, and half a cup of shredded coconut because I like salty chewy treats. I’m probably going to add these to my holiday treat repertoire.