Friday, August 27, 2010

Food in Review

This week had a bit of a theme, though I didn’t realize it when I put together the meal plan. It’s sort of funny how I can tell what sort of mood I’m in by what I plan for our dinners. This week, it was 100% comfort foods!

Sunday: Dinner was comfort food, all right, just not typical comfort food for Texas. I made homemade paneer out of organic whole milk. The process was lengthy, but not at all difficult. It yielded a tiny blog of really excellently-textured Indian cheese. I made the paneer very early in the day while making my oaties and Kelsey balls so that it could press out then sit in cold water, as recommended by the instructions. Our patience was rewarded, as Alton would say. I paired the paneer with simmered lintels, carrots, curry powder, garam masala powder (I know, I know….the husband is allergic to cinnamon; but only when he can taste it if you catch my drift), onions, and Greek yogurt and served it over brown rice. We ate it while watching Aarti (the winner of the Next Food Network Star) in her debut show! Totally appropriate, I think.

Monday: This one is a complete southern classic: fried green tomatoes. I stumbled upon beautiful, huge green tomatoes at the farmers market last Saturday and snapped them up with a squeal of delight. This confused my husband greatly. When I exclaimed “FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!” at him….he still looked utterly confused. Oh right. You don’t know good southern food unless I’ve fed it to you already. I followed Emily’s recipe for the tomatoes to the letter. On the side, I made grits (which was actually yellow polenta but other than color, I can’t find a difference) mixed with bacon and a little parmesan topped in a homemade fresh tomato relish which was simply onion, fresh diced tomato, red pepper flake, garlic, salt, pepper and dried thyme. The tomatoes were crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and oh-so-tart. The grits and relish were hearty and soul-soothing. I was in heaven. My husband, however, said he could live without fried green tomatoes in his life. Grits, however, are a keeper.

Tuesday: German was the order of the day. I sliced up and pan-seared the lovely smoked German pork sausages I’d gotten from the farmers market. The guys at Rehoboth Ranch in Greenville, Texas, make a mean sausage. It was honestly one of the best we’ve had in….well maybe ever! I highly recommend it! I served it with sautéed sauerkraut and brown mustard. On the side, I made a casserole version of hot pepper poppers, since these little peppers were just too small to stuff. I know…I tried last Friday and failed! This side had all the stuff I put in my normal poppers, just layered. I added cous cous to the bottom of the casserole pan to hold the peppers in place. Poppers are my husband’s ultimate comfort food.

Wednesday: Time to bring out the childhood favorite: tuna noodle casserole and mac and cheese, together at last! Lovely, large whole wheat shells were mixed with hickory smoked tuna, peas, and homemade cheese sauce. The sauce is a simple gravy with three left over cheeses from the farmers market mixed in: gruyere, gouda, and garlic cilantro cheddar. I topped the casserole in panko crumbs and parm for crunch and baked until the top looked golden. We ate the entire pan!

Thursday: Fake-it takeout was in order. Well, don’t you find take out comforting? I know I do! We went with a simple veggie friend rice. I sautéed some tofu, again using Emily’s tutorial. This time I added a little marinade to the tofu beforehand of soy, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha. Once it was done, I set it aside and stir fried the veggies and rice. They also got doused in soy, rice wine vinegar and sriracha. My veggies consisted of half a bag of cole slaw mix, shredded carrots, onions, and peas. I combined everything; added two scrambled organic eggs, and called it dinner. This is my favorite at-home Chinese dish!

I’d love to hear some of your meal plans and ideas… that I can use them in my planning, of course! I mean, obviously I love trying out other people's ideas and mixing them with my own.

And Riley says "Happy Friday!"

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