Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cooking and Meals

It has been pointed out that we have been delinquent on updating everyone on our latest cooking adventures. Please accept our apologies as this was not intended. In fact, we have had some incredible success recently in the kitchen and have even had the camera out on the table on multiple nights to remind us to take pictures and share, but apparently that was too subtle for us because 2 hours later, we promptly forgot why we had the camera out, ate our meals, and then realized that empty bowls don't really give the reader a good sense of what the meal looked like.

You might argue that it lets the reader know that the meal tasted good, but that is not really the case as both of us have pretty healthy (see: large) appetites and pretty much any meal that is not atrocious will leave only clean plates behind.

Having said all that, here were our latest attempts

- Szechuan Spiced Tofu from Joy of Cooking
Very similar to MaPoDofu but American-ized. Michael was worried that it would not be spicy and flavorful enough, but it turned out just fine and he didn't need to add any extra hotness at all.

We have even made this a second time since it was so quick and tasted so good, but we used some red peppers from the store and they were a bit too much. Funny thing about those peppers, they were labeled exactly the same as the red bell peppers, but they were not the same beast at all. Now we know, and knowing is half the battle.

- Chicken Jhalfrazi from Best-Ever Curry Cookbook
Another rousing success. Chicken and spices and very, very nummy. We had hoped to make naan with this meal, but ended up cooking later in the day then we planned and the naan needed to rise for at least an hour, so we had rice instead. Michael did add a little orange zest (from an orange colored orange no less) which turned out well. Not spoiling this dish with naan attempt was probably for the best anyway. (see below)

- 'Spiced Lentils with Spinach' and homemade 'Naan' also from Best-Ever Curry Cookbook
Unfortunately this one did not work quite so well. We had slightly different dhal (Indian lentil) then the recipe called for and it absorbed the water faster than we expected so it got a little burned. And somehow the seasoning just didn't pull together, although we were able to fix some of that after we finished cooking by just adding things that made sense to us. Also the naan just didn't work at all. Instead of being puffed-up, flexible, yummy things, they were sort of a stiff, solid, doughy-mass things. It did taste all right as long as the person eating it forgot that it was suppose to be naan, or soft, or really tasty at all for that matter.


All in all we are pretty happy with the trials. Even that last one. After all, we have to have at least a few mistakes so that we have something to learn from....right?

We did get a one request to try to post the recipes so other people could also use them. Are folks actually interested in that? Inquiring minds want to know.

1 comment:

JoAnn said...

now i am hungry. for curry! and it's not even 10 am.

random tofu question (sorry if you have mentioned this elsewhere) - is tofu different there? i am thinking you probably don't get it in little plastic containers as one does here.

(i am pretty happy with cookbook recommendations, but good recipes, and cooking tips are always good).