Tuesday, July 31, 2007

i feel like the "hillbilly housewife"

i eat the same stuff a lot. preparation is noteworthy though.

1 fist sized hunk of frozen ground beef
1/2 half a frozen jam jar of tomato sauce
half an onion, diced
cooked pasta
garlic salt

threw everything into a pot without thawing and simmered for half an hour before dumping on top of pasta. if you call melting a jar-shaped chunk of frozen tomato sauce "simmering".

point of this: illustrate how i use old jars to hold food and keep food in 1-3 meal sizes in sandwich bags separately for easy preparation. space is tough to find in a fridge when sharing it with 3 other people. pitchers and tall kimchee jars make great containers for soup. small used up caper jars and such are really good for holding freshly made salad dressing, sauces, etc. also good for storing leftover coffee for the next day's reincarnation as iced coffee. it's also fun to drink out of jars...

hummus. kind of. not really.

since i like hummus and it's a great source of fiber and protein, i decided to try making some myself. the market stuff is usually too chemically for me.

didn't quite follow a specific recipe, but combined a couple. i took a double handful of dried chickpeas and soaked them for a day in a jar of water. rinsed them out, then simmered for an hour with some salt. skimmed off the flotsam and jetsam at the top. drained peas, then used a potato masher on them. this.. was a bad idea. it was really hard to mash.. and all the recipes ask for using a blender or food processor. which i don't have. i added the juice of 1 lemon, half a cup of olive oil, 3 medium sized closed of pressed raw garlic, salt and pepper. i didn't have any tahini so i used toasted sesame seeds (i also need a mortar and pestle) and a few drops of sesame oil instead.

the taste.. seemed ok. it's not as zesty or sesame seedy as restaurant hummus.. and it was definately chunky and grainy, even after 10 mins of mashing. so it's not really hummus except for the fact that i started out intending it to be. but it was edible. i think next time i'll just skip the paste texture and just put my garbanzo beans to better use in a salad or soup.

french bread dinner


ahh, another uncolorful brown food dish. but brown is tasty. so i have my camera back, and i guess that leaves me no reason to not post again. my schedule's also slacked a LOT so i'm happy and having a real summer break!

as i haven't shopped for food in over a week, i didn't really have much left in the fridge for dinner tonight. i did have half a loaf of really dry, stale french bread (almost week old), half an onion, and some leftover meat from a potluck at home. being ghettofabulous and not wanting to waste semi-edible food, i sliced up the bread, dipped it into a mixture of borrowed egg, milk, water, salt and pepper, and cooked it int he frying pan. just like savory french toast. made the bread crunchy on the outside, moist and dense and soft on the inside. better than i'd expected on a whim.

next was the half an onion. sliced it, and sauteed it with a mixture of salt, chinese white pepper, and 5-spice powder. if that sounds like asian S&P, you're right. onions tend to get soggy 'cause i don't like the bite of them. i can't wait to try frying something S&P. usually more than a couple tbsp of oil intimidates me.

partways through looking at slices of brain in class, i got a really big hankering for pork rinds. guess what i got at breaktime. i don't usually eat stuff like that, but i think once in a while (say a year or so) is fine. what's really really really tasty that i'll definately eat more than once a year is fresh chicharonnes from the mexican meat market somewhere in pomona. the crispy skin layer.. the fat layer (not to be eaten), and the suuuper delicious meat make it... *starts dreaming* yumm...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

shirataki noodles

shirataki noodles 1 pkg
couple slices of presliced sirloin that was on sale at zion korean market
half an onion, thin wedges
soy sauce

heated a pan with a little bit of vegetable oil in it. tossed in the beef when it was good and hot and cooked for a min or so. tossed in the onions and let those cook underneath the beef for a couple of mins, adjusted heat to simmer. splash of mirin (2-3 tbsp?). larger splash of soy sauce (3-4 tbsp?). i think all recipes i found said to add dashi, but i didn't feel like making any so used water (~1 cup). simmered for almost 20 mins. now you have crazy chewy noodles. i like the beefy taste, but the beef comes out a bit tough at the end of that simmering. the piece i fished out and munched on early on was perfect. now.. how do i get the beefy flavor in without turning my meat tough?

whilst that was cooking, ate some bread (b/c shirataki noodles have no calories, i would starve if that's all i ate) and prepared this cucumber salad.

3 persian cucumbers sliced bite sized
grated daikon (from the rest of the hunk i didn't use in soup)
1 green onion sliced
some cilantro
1 korean pepper sliced
little splash of soy sauce
big splash of rice vinegar
some fish sauce
some ginger, grated
sprinkle of sugar
little bit of sesame oil
a few tbsp of water

poured straight from bottles, etc into a tupperware with the cucumbers. close lid. shake.

simple soup

1 lb pork meaty bones (i used spareribs)

1 foot long length of a big daikon

salt to taste

rinse meat. boil a large pot of water, drop the bones in and boil for a few mins, then turn down the heat to very low and simmer. skim off the froth and other undesirable junk from the top. i hour before done, drop in cut up pieces of daikon. i think i've seen any size from .5 inch cubes to fist sized chunks. today, i favored inch thick pie wedges 'cause i like bite sized nuggets of daikon joy. it doesn't really matter how you cut up the stuff in the pot as long as it fits, i think. total simmering time was 2 hours. really should get a crock pot. i guess other people would call it broth. but i always grew up calling it soup.

i found the recipe below online. it sounds so gross that i'm willing to try it. the ground beef and onions sound good.. by themselves. the next question is, where do i get the canned chinese vegetables and canned bean sprouts? fresh is easy.. but canned?

1 1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey, optional
1 can V-8 juice or tomato juice
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 can bean sprouts, drained
1 can Chinese vegetables, drained
2 stalks celery, diced
1 med. onion, diced
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 can French style green beans, drained
Cook ground beef and onions. Drain off grease. Add all other ingredients and simmer 45 minutes. Keeps well in refrigerator.