Saturday, September 24, 2011

Makin' Magic Outta Canned Goods - 12

This week's plan is:

Mulligatawny Soup in the Crock Pot

  ** With the cooler weather I'm already making all of the warmer comfort foods, and this will be my second batch of soup so far! Plus, I'm anticipating Doro Wat (an Ethiopian stew) and Broccoli and Cheese in the next couple of weeks (though I might try to find another recipe for the Broccoli soup...).
  ** The Hubs is a Seinfeld watcher, I am not. However, I do remember some of the more famous episodes. So, Soup Nazi? Yep, we're having Kramer's favorite soup. Can't wait to try it, Stephanie's crockpotting blog says it's awesome.
  ** Traditional mulligatawny has chopped apples and coconut milk in it. Some recipes say you can sub cream for the coconut milk, but I found a few recipes that skip it all together, so I'll be doing that. The Hubs is weird about cooked apples, so I'll be grating them instead of chopping them. I want them to disintegrate into the broth. Hopefully he'll fall for it! 

  ** The Verdict? Just ok. What's the awesome part of crockpot cooking? You can be sick on the couch all day and dinner is still made by the time you wake up from your nap! :( Anyway, the apples worked like I wanted them to, so that was nice. But the soup overall was lacking *something.* Couldn't be nutmeg, because that was already in there. Maybe adding bouillon in addition to the broth would have helped add some depth. Overall it was lackluster, and I probably won't make it again. In fact, I'm not looking forward to finishing the leftovers... 

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Marinated Mozzarella & Tomatoes
  ** Simple and satisfying. What more do you need?? Plus, you've probably heard me say The Hubs makes the best spaghetti ever. I'm really looking forward to it!
  ** Meatballs out of spicy Italian Sausage. I'll mix in some grated Parmesan cheese and minute rice for binder with an egg and the usual garlic and spices. 
  ** The Verdict? Stay tuned!

Oven-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Broccoli and Baked Sweet Potatoes
  ** Recipes for the Chops and the Broccoli are from America's Test Kitchen.
  ** Have you ever tried Roasted Broccoli? It's pretty much the best broccoli ever. The Hubs will tell anybody who will listen about how yummy it is. Here ya go: 

          Cut it into pieces, stems and everything. 
          Mix it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of sugar. 
          Bake it in a 495 degree preheated oven for 10ish minutes, until it starts to turn black on the edges.  
You'll never eat steamed broccoli again. I've recently used this same recipe for Brussels sprouts. They were good, if you love sprouts, you'd probably love them. We love broccoli.   
  ** I plan to use the same exact breading strategy for the pork chops that I recently used to make oven fried chicken since The Hubs said it was the second best chicken he's ever had (next to my Mayonnaise Chicken).
If you're GF, try breading your chicken, or chops or anything you're wanting to be crunchy with crushed up rice crackers! They're salty, and stay super crunchy. I've been using a cheese-flavoried variety that I found at Costco. Yum.
  ** The Verdict? Stay tuned! 

General Tso's Chicken with Rice and Broccoli (a.k.a. Chinese Chicken)
  ** Found an awesome ap called Food Gawker, from there I found an awesome blog called How Sweet It Is. Said blog quickly becoming my favorite food blogger. (She won me over with a Birthday Cake Martini involving cake batter and whipped cream flavored vodkas, the glass rimmed in rainbow sprinkles. Something tells me GF birthdays just. got. better.)

  ** Haven't had a bad recipe from her yet. Mostly Sweet Eats, cupcakes, milkshakes, and the like. But I'm always excited to see what crazy deliciousness she's come up with next. 
  ** I don't get to eat a lot of Chinese food, so obviously it's the ethnicity of food I crave most often, and have recently become brave enough to try some of the unique spices and ingredients. They're not flavors I'm very comfortable with, nor flavors I stock my pantry with, so I've had to branch out a little. 
  ** This isn't the first time I've made this recipe, and it won't be the last. I follow it to a T, only thickening the sauce to my liking, and adjusting the heat down a little. I've pan fried the chicken with the batter, and will be battering and deep frying this time. Believe it or not, deep fryer is way less mess. It would be just as good with grilled chicken, for a much healthier version. If you do that, I would definitely add a splash of sesame oil to the sauce for that authentic Asian flavor!
  ** The Verdict? Whoa buddy, this hit the spot. Crunchy, salty, sesame-ey, saucy. Believe me when I tell you: this is as good as takeout. Put down that paper menu. Stop. Make this. You won't regret it. 

Bon Appetit!

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