Friday, February 10, 2012

What did I eat this week?

I have decided to keep a food diary and recap my weekly culinary attempts.  Let's see if I can remember...I know I made a throw together kind of pasta dish. I didn't feel like marinara so I threw a couple of glugs of olive oil in a pan and added fresh tomatoes, garlic, and dried chillies, heated this up gently and added some cooked spaghetti and just tossed it around with a little pasta water and shredded parmesan cheese.  Turned out rather well and made for a satisfying meatless Monday night dinner. I am trying to go meatless at least one day a week.  On the other hand I also made some great peppery steaks with roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic one night this week.  One of my favorite meals.  Because I have been sick as a dog with a horrible cold and throat infection, I spent two days eating a huge batch of chicken soup I made. My chicken soup starts with boiling whatever parts of the chicken you like to eat, but must include the bone as this makes the best base for any soup or stock.  To this chicken and water I add, salt, pepper, sliced onions, minced garlic, saffron and/or turmeric because I like that yellow color in my chicken soup.  After or when the chicken is almost done I peel my root veggies. I love to add, potatoes, batata (white sweet potato), taro (very little because my mom is the only one who eats this stuff, it tastes like rotten potatoes.  If you have ever had poi then you know), and green and ripe plantains.  The ripe plantain adds a nice touch of sweetness but it must be yellow with very few black dots, if it is too ripe it will become mush.  I boil these in salted water because I never add root veggies to boiling water.  They should always be started in cold water in order to cook evenly.  They boil in the salted water until almost done then I add them to my soup along with some diced carrots.  When this is done I shut off the heat, but leave it on the burner, and add some pasta.  That is my chicken soup and I never give quantities because I think cooking is personal and should be adjusted according to taste. It isn't like baking which has to be precise.

I made some banana muffins and these turned out great.  I followed a basic muffin recipe and just switched out some of the ingredients. I swapped the butter for oil and sour cream that provided plenty of moisture and a lovely tang to balance those overly sweet mashed ripe bananas.  I also added some mini semi sweet chocolate chips, that I always have on hand, and created a lovely crumb topping with brown sugar, flour and butter.

I haven't baked in a while and it is because it has been unseasonably hot even for South Florida and you really don't want your oven heating up the house.  So what else did I make this week...I am making burgers tonight.  I will put these lovely patties on Hawaiian sweet bread buns.  I love this stuff.  I also make my take on bahn mi on this bread it is absolutely delicious, soft and ever so slightly sweet.  I will season the ground chuck with salt, pepper, some minced garlic and onion because I find that the minced veggies keep the meat moist.  After these patties get fried I will top with lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup (food of the gods!), mustard, sliced Vidalia onion and cheese.  I will serve with oven fries both regular and sweet potato fries.  If I remember anything else I will add to this post.  Cheers! Happy eating.

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