Cooking Successes<< Adam, March 29th, 2010 >>

I definitely want to post more cooking related things here.  Since we brought our puppy home I’ve done significantly less cooking, which is really unfortunate.  I was used to going to the grocery store on my way home from work to pick things up for dinner, but now the priority is getting home to let Rose out of her crate and take a walk.  By the time we get back, it’s pretty close to the time that I want to be eating dinner, and I’m only at the point of starting it!  Consequently, there has been a large reliance on Trader Joe’s in the past year.  I’ll make some posts about some Trader Joe’s favorites in the near future.

That said, here’s a few things I’ve made recently which have turned out OK.

First: Crepes.

Alright, so technically the two times we made crepes for breakfast Katie made the batter.  But we both actually made the crepes – this was a good learning experience, and really wasn’t very hard.  Maybe I don’t have a good “taste” for crepes, because I’m not very discriminating for whether they’re thin, thick, etc.  They taste pretty damn good no matter what.  I believe we made this first for Valentine’s day.  Toppings were bananas, strawberries, raspberry and strawberry jam, and Nutella.  I wish I hadn’t eaten the Nutella because I didn’t need to know how tasty that stuff really is.

Second: Hot and Sour Soup.

A coworker made this and it was damn tasty, so I had to give it a shot.  On the whole, I think it came out pretty well.  It wasn’t terribly complicated.  I took some super market help and bought a roasted chicken to be able to quickly shred into the soup.  The recipe doesn’t thicken like the hot and sour you’d get at Pei Wei (which amongst my friends is held as a favorite), but it still tastes quite good.  I think that the biggest mistake I made in my preparations was a direct result of not being able to find a can of bamboo shoots.  Since I couldn’t, I found a can of mixed stir fry vegetables; baby corn ears, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts.  While all of these tasted great in the soup, I felt like I completely lost the balance of broth to non-broth content.  Because of that, I felt like a lot of the kick from actually getting the hot and sour flavor was lost.  Also, the recipe is a complete lie in saying it serves four; as soon as you’re adding 6 to 8 cups of broth, you’re talking about a lot more than four servings.

Lastly, some breakfast improv.

One leftover bratwurst, plus two scrambled eggs, plus chipotlé salsa equals a pretty hearty breakfast:

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4 Responses to “Cooking Successes”

  1. Fish says:

    Do you get Cook’s Illustrated? There have been some amazing things.

    • Adam says:

      I do, actually; it was a Christmas present this year. I have, admittedly, been really bad about reading it and pulling recipes from it. Like I said, my cooking adventures have been much more spread out since we brought Rose home. Anything from recent Cook’s Illustrated issues that you’d recommend?

      • Fish says:

        The issue two ago (I think) with broccoli on the cover is full of win. I’ve done almost everything in it at this point. Of particular note is the fennel and sausage sauce for whole wheat pasta. I have some in the fridge now. When I can get home to look I can point out the others particularly a tomato sauce that is from before your subscription started.

        • Fish says:

          I don’t know how far back you’ve got but here goes. My policy is to do it their way the first time regardless of cost or time. Then I try different things.

          May/June 09: Quick tomato sauce is as good or better than sauces in restaurants despite using canned tomatoes. That was the point though, to get fresh tomato taste out of a can.

          January/February: Indoor pulled pork is very good, much like a restaurant. The beef stew is not worth the effort and tons of ingredients; good but not enough better than a good basic stew. Minestrone is quite good if you like all vegetable soups. Red beans and rice is good though you do need a good andouille. The beans do turn out very creamy. Cacio e pepe is amazing. I’ve made it many times now and so does Meredith.

          March/April: I’m going to do Tinga in a week or so for Cinco de Mayo with Meredith and her spanish literature roommate. I’ll report back. Beef Stroganoff is very good if you like stroganoff. I will be doing the pan roast fish soon for fish tacos (which we have done before but not with their technique). The first whole wheat pasta sauce is great but haven’t tried the secondary recipes. Meredith has made the polenta and liked it a lot, but I didn’t get to try it. Leek-Potato Soup is very good, surprisingly good really. Better than I’ve gotten in restaurants.

          May/June: I’ve only gotten to grilled asparagus in the new issue. Good but not a stunning improvement.

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