This was wonderful. I'm making more this time because I'd love to freeze some of it.
I forgot to say the most important thing. These are delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
I'm very happy about this recipe and this column. I have one question though--
I ended up with a lot of extra rice even though my meatballs were coated very well. Does this happen to you, too?
Supper in Philly is the place that most recently impressed me with a creative dish.
My V-day ice cream would have to include honey and nuts (to refer to my honey's quirky personality, not anything else, ahem).
I've just recently realized how right everyone is about bacon! How'd it take me so long to figure out?
When good melons are in season, it's with melons. In this weather, I'd want to give it a try as a topping on flatbread, though.
I'm a sucker for chocolate pudding, but I'm not sure that counts as a confection. I've also been keeping a chocolate with salted almond bar in the cupboard for dessert "emergencies" lately.
When we were vegetarians, my sister and I used to make a roasted vegetable tart with (store-bought) puffed pastry crust and a layer of mashed sweet potatoes on top in lieu of turkey for our small family gatherings. It's seasonal and can be shared with carnivores, too. I can't find the recipe online, but something similar might work.
Side dishes are tough because there can be bacon in the brussel sprouts, meat stock in the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy, etc. If you have pescetarian and halal side dishes, then go for that!
Stews, braises, and casseroles would make sense to me. Although my one serving job echoed the experience of the other commenters who worked in restaurants that didn't offer staff meals.
Yes to the lamb-averse friends! I find it strange, but hey, I grew up on sheep farm so I guess lamb is a nostalgic comfort food for me. Maybe that's the key-- we need to start 'em earlier. In any case, this recipe sounds delicious! I like lamb with fruit, but love it with rosemary.
Just a thought here (don't know if you've already tried this)... you could hull and freeze the fresh berries and then thaw them in a colander over a bowl. They'll release a lot of juices while keeping their fresh taste. Puree or mash the berries to put into the ice cream while it churns and use the liquid to cook down into a strawberry syrup. I've used a similar method successfully (substituting mascarpone for some of the cream). Good luck!
2 things have made a huge difference for me no matter which recipe I'm using-- use only bleached cake flour and weigh and sift instead of scooping and dumping the flour.
I like the King Arthur Flour recipes for cakes, and I love this buttercream recipe from epicurious.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coffee-and-Mocha-Buttercreams-350917
Noodle bowl-- I like them with veggies (spinach or arugula, carrots, brocolli) and udon in a bit of broth or water. You can flavor it with soy/miso or teriyaki sauce and add a little sriracha at the end. It's comfort food. You could add a protein if you wanted, but with the mushrooms you don't really need it.
Girl and the Goat. I have been wanting to go back to visit Chicago again, and reading about that restaurant makes me want it to happen soon.
I love garlic scapes! (It's the top of the garlic plant with a bud or flower on it. Farmers cut it off so that the plant will continue to put its resources into the root.) The pesto is great and freezes well if you have too much. You can also add it chopped to a dish at the end of cooking to give a light garlicky flavor to omelettes, sautees, soups, etc. I think it's great on top of flatbreads, too.
Looks like you may already have your shopping list. I'm enjoying imagining what it's like to taste some of this stuff for the first time again. Here's what I'd recommend if you haven't already gone.
Pad thai ingredients (that you won't find elsewhere):
thick rice noodles, fish sauce, tamarind paste
wonton wrappers (I prefer the extra-thin ones), garlic chives (they look like regular ones but 4x bigger), chin-kiang black vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, garlic-chili paste (just use a tiny bit instead of a lot for flavor if you don't want it to be hot). There are tons of recipes online using ground pork for the filling base.
Just pick a few noodles that look tasty. I like green tea noodles and soba (buckwheat). You can throw in some veggies and a protein and make a broth flavored with miso, soy/ginger, or teriyaki if you want.
This one's a little more complicated, but you can also get the ingredients for fresh spring rolls:
rice paper wrappers, rice vermicelli
How about chopping them up and adding to homemade granola with some other dried fruits?
I love the suggestions you've already gotten for bok choy in a noodle dish (I love a white miso+stock broth with some garlic and a touch of soy for flavor), soup, and bok choy saute.
If you definitely have too much to eat, I'd wash, dry and chop the bok choy immediately and stick it in freezer bags uncooked. It can be added to soups or stir fry later. (It's a different texture, but still good.) I also love to have frozen caramelized onions for when I"m short on time.
It does sound like your heart's not in it right now. If you're feeling really busy, maybe you should give yourself a break from cooking or ask for help.
I had a string of absentminded mistakes a few months ago in and out of the kitchen. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what. It turned out that I was pretty significantly anemic. I doubt it's the same for you, but if it keeps up, you might check out any underlying problems. I hope next week is better!
I just wanted to add that soup and salad or soup and sandwich combos are perfectly healthy and filling quick meals. Penne with vodka sauce is another of my go-to quick meals. I'd throw a loaf of crusty bread, bagged salad, and some decent pre-made soups on the next grocery list.
If you're looking for meats, how about throwing a pork shoulder in the crock pot or dutch oven until it's falling apart and making some quick tacos? I'd use corn tortillas, a handful of cilantro, the pork, a dollop of sour cream, and a squeeze of lime. I think that meal would take 5-10 minutes of active cooking time and several hours of passive time.
Favorite? That's a tough one. I think kaju mutter paneer may be the top contender for favorite.
Thanks again for all the suggestions! I just got back. (I had a great time, of course.) I stopped at Cochon Butcher for a mustard and a fennel sausage. I also picked up a box of Pralines. I tried to make myself say Prah-lines, but I felt like such a fake that I just stuck to my Yankee accent and said Pray-lines in the end. I bought a few other things that didn't even make it home.
Pralines, mustard, red beans, olive salad, king cake and a muffeletta for the plane. Sounds great! I'm less sure about how the roux and boudin will travel, but that doesn't mean I won't try. I love chicory, but coffee does not love me, so I will have to steal a sip of a friend's cafe au lait and eat an extra beignet instead. Thanks for the ideas!
For drinks, it's important to put the sugar in solution so that you don't end up with sweet sludge at the bottom of the glass after the simple syrup is chilled. Most people simmer the syrup for a few minutes (1st method), but this can change the flavor slightly. Some recipes I've seen recommend a modified version of the 2nd method you mention. Put the sugar and water in lidded jar or shaker and shake it for a minute or two. This method works better for a 1:1 solution and will produce a cleaner flavor because the sugar won't caramelize at all. (Some simple syrups are 2:1. I prefer to simmer those.)