Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lamb Rogan Josh

An employee of mine once told me that I cook lamb more than anybody else he knows. Why not cook lamb? It tastes way better than beef, in my opinion. And you've got all the cool cuts - rack, shanks, chops, neck.

I've been craving stewy braisy things lately, which kind of sucks, since it's in the 90s, and doesn't start cooling down until at least 7pm, if at all. But, screw it, I said, and made Lamb Rogan Josh, from Vikram Sunderam, via Food & Wine.

This is probably the first time I've made an Indian dish that I was happy with. Not just "hmm, it's ok", but completely happy with. Tender lamb, tangy spicy sauce. Good over rice. And pasta. And then use the leftover sauce to dip tortilla chips into.

I'd love to show you a picture, but...I'd hate to show you a picture. I don't even want to try to describe what my pictures looked like.

Just trust me. This recipe rocks.

So, no photo of lamb rogan josh, but here's an egg I cooked for the animals.

Picture me (I'd be interested to know how some of you picture me!), sitting on the floor, surrounded by a yellow tabby,

a tan chihuahua,

and a brown lab/chow mix,

all vulturing for a piece of egg. And I better feed them in the correct sequence (big dog, little dog, cat), otherwise they'll get upset. Just when the kids are almost "all grown up", I realize I have 3 more that never will.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Youngest wanted yakisoba. I had never made it before, so I did a quick search, and found that the big bottle of Bulldog sauce in my fridge would work perfectly.

I cooked the soba noodles that I just purchased 48 hours ago (hint, foreshadowing), then rinsed them in cold water.

I stir-fried up some chicken, removed it to a plate, then stir-fried chopped bok choy stems, minced garlic and ginger, followed by some absolutely gorgeous brown beech mushrooms, and finally the bok choy leaves. Isn't it pretty?

The mushrooms were as local as you can get, grown right here in San Marcos at the Hokto Kinoko facility. Check out their cool shrooms! They're seriously delicious.

To assemble, I heated up a little more oil really hot. Added the wet noodles, a bunch of Bulldog sauce, a little soy sauce, and (of course) some Sriracha. Stir and toss, stir and toss. I was aiming for a little crispiness to the noodles, like you get with fried rice. (Unfortunately, that wasn't happening.) I added back the chicken and vegetables, along with a handful of bean sprouts. More stirring and tossing until everything was heated through.

Topped with sliced pickled ginger and chopped up nori. (Do you have any idea how hard it is to chop up nori? Even my ceramic knife had problems.)

Youngest said it was good, she plans on bringing the leftovers to school for lunch, her only complaint was that the noodles broke easily and she couldn't use chopsticks. I thought there was something off about the noodles as well, not just the breakiness, but also in their flavor. Hubby was super-impressed with the dish (he especially loved the mushrooms)....except for the noodles.

Maybe they were old? You'd think not, since I just purchased them (but dummy me didn't check for an expiration date). Maybe they were inferior? Don't think so, I picked the mid-price-range ones from Marukai market.

This was one of those happy-sad dinners - happy that I was able to cook something so delicious, but sad that it was tainted by crappy noodles. I'm definitely going to try again, I think with udon, but Hubby says I should just cook the chicken/veggies/sauce and put it over rice. We'll see.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beautiful Food

Since there's not much beautiful food going on around here lately, I thought I'd share this with you. Listening to it makes me hungry.

Beautiful Food, by Edan.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Asparagus, Cauliflower, and a Puppy

Once again, I'm too lazy to take pictures, edit pictures, etc. But "dinner" tonight was delicious. I feel sorry for people who scroll through a post looking for food pictures, then automatically click off if there aren't any. 'Cause they're missing out. 

Update 5/4/11: Added a picture of roasted cauliflower.

First, the happy asparagus. This works best with thin spears.
Soy-Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

Snap off the woody ends of your asparagus. Toss with olive oil, a little salt, and black pepper. Roast at 350-400 until it's done to your liking. Throw in a little butter, and equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
Next, the cauliflower. My Hubby and MIL who both hate cauliflower love this. Even Youngest eats it.
Roasted Cauliflower

Cut cauliflower into small pieces, thinner is better for good crusty browning. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until almost done to your liking, tossing half way through. Toss through some minced garlic and some grated parmesan, and return to the turned-off oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, add more cheese, and a handful of chopped parsley.

And, finally, the promised puppy. Complete with tiny goggles, tiny helmet, and a satchel to keep him safe. Happy puppy was barking ecstatically the whole way down the freeway. I wish I knew where the owner got the safety gear, because I'm sure my chihuahua would love a ride on our Vespa.