Menu of the Week Feb 22: Umami

We have a yummy menu planned this week.  I guess my cooking mojo is back, I didn’t realize it left, but it was sort of half hearted for a while.  Manda of Asparagus Thin is hosting this week and has picked umami as the secret ingredient.  The menu of the week ingredient has definitly morphed into a concept vs an ingredient and I love the challenge.  I think most of our dishes this week have an umami component to them, perhaps that is why I am so excited about this week’s menu.

steak with bordelaise sauce and pomme frites

Sunday:  Grilled steak with bordelaise sauce, homemade pomme frites, grilled asparagus (grass fed burger for Eby as he doesn’t like steak).  I used my gluten free demi glace (in the bordelaise) that I made a while bake and it was tasty!  We have the pomme frites technique down and they were perfect!

Monday: Pozole with a chile de arbol sauce and  sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, chopped onion and cilantro for garnishes.  Some locally made fresh salsa and chips on the side.  Pozole is the epitamy of umami for Mexican dishes with it’s savory full of flavor broth.

Tuesday: Thai fried rice and Tofu Lard Nah served over the rice instead of noodles as I have a big batch of leftover rice.  Plenty of umami in this dish.

Wednesday: Crispy sticky roast 1/2 chicken with smashed new potatoes (purple ones) and tomatoes.  Using one of Jamie Oliver’s tempting recipes for this dish.  Will roast some broccoli too.

Thursday: Beef Bourguignon and braised collard greens.  I will base my recipe off of Ina’s and Karen’s.  Must get this dish in before it warms up and it looks to be a cold week.

Friday: Mahi mahi with hazelnut romesco,  potatoes and winter slaw.  I finally found some piquillo peppers to use.  We have mahi mahi in the freezer, but if halibut goes on sale, I will use that.


Happy eating!

i’m out

Menu Swap Dec 8th Bitter, no not me, the ingredient

The secret ingredient is not an ingredient this week, it is a taste:  bitter!  I think it is great, we are moving on from grounded items to the philosophy of eating this week.  I love bitter things, and sour things too.  Our lovely host this week is Manda of Asparagus Thin, who ironically has a new job as a cake decorator, ironic because it is not a GF bakery, but maybe it will be soon!

Saturday: Spicy grass fed beef and chorizo chile with hominy and cheese arepas

Sunday: Spinach and cheese stuffed shells (Tinkyada) with tomato sauce

Monday: Vietnamese Banh Xeo with our pork, bean sprouts, onions and nuoc cham dipping sauce.  I love these coconut rice crepes!

Tuesday: Lunch:  beans and greens – let the bitter begin! I have to make this for lunch as Eby will never eat it with beans in it.

Dinner: 1/2 organic free range chicken (raised by my bro) roasted on a bed of leeks and served with a dijon cream sauce, brussel sprouts (also a bit on the bitter side)and salad.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunch:  At a convention – crossing my fingers the chef pulls through with GF meals for me.

Friday:  My birthday!  Giant shrimp with dill butter as an app or maybe dinner and perhaps a gluten free pizza from the new place on the other side of town.  Feuerzangenbowle for after dinner – a German version of hot spiced wine with kick.

i’m out

Menu Swap of the week: Cabbage!

I happen to have a savoy and a purple cabbage in my fridge right now. Handy. I had no idea cabbage was going to be the “secret” ingredient.

Natalie is back hosting the menu swap at Gluten Free Mommy so skip on over and check out her site and all the delish sounding menus on the other sites.

Monday: Mediterranean spring

Seared scallops and lemon asparagus risotto (based on Jamie Oliver’s risotto recipe). Asparagus season is in full swing finally in MI. Garden green salad with vinaigrette.

Tuesday: Frenchie bistro

Chicken almondine revisited: Garden herbs, garden baby spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts in an almond crust with a brown butter lemon sauce. Sides: Stewed tomatoes provencale (from last year’s garden)and roasted potatoes with rosemary and cracked pepper.

Wednesday: Where in the world?

Unstuffed cabbage rolls – I made some traditional stuffed ones last fall – never again! This will be more like a casserole with cabbage in between the fillings (ground pork? tomato? rice? fish? mango? potatoes?chiles?). Ethnicity of the meal – to be determined. Most cultures use cabbage in one form or another so this should be a fun experiment. Please weigh in with your ideas! Perhaps it will end up like the insides of a delicious pork cabbage spring roll with mung noodles and dried mushrooms…

Thursday: Taiwan

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken I found this recipe linked in a blog over a year ago, bookmarked and am finally getting back to it. Unfortunately I don’t yet have enough Thai basil growing in the garden to supply 2 cups, so hopefully I find some at the farmer’s market on Wed. This will be served with a side of Kai Yang Bai Cai or otherwise known as sauteed cabbage with ginger.

Friday: West African

Mafe : West African meat in peanut sauce using our grass fed beef and stewed collard greens from the garden.

Garden update:  Everything is planted except the cucumbers.  We are harvesting the lettuce for the first time this eve and have been eating our fresh garden herbs all year long (I brought most in for the winter and put them out again as soon as it warmed up), but the chives are back with a vigor now!  The asparagus and rhubarb I planted last year are giving us an occasional tasty treat, but they need to grow another year before either is bountiful.

i’m out

Kale Chorizo Potato Soup – Caldo Verde

kale, chorizo, potato soup

Oh this was delicious! I could go for some right now. It must be lunch time. Smokey and spicy.

kale, chorizo, potato soup

Kale Chorizo Potato Soup (Caldo Verde) This soup is really easy.

1 large onion chopped
1 large bunch of kale, washed and cut into bit size pieces
3 medium potatoes cut into large pieces – skin on – it is the healthy part after all
8 oz Spicy Chorizo split in 1/2 and then sliced into 1/4 inch slices (half moons)
1 tsp smoked paprika (there should be plenty in the chorizo, but if not, add more)
8 oz of diced tomatoes (one cup of canned or fresh – optional if you have tomatoes on hand)
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3-4 cups Chicken stock
Fresh cracked pepper
salt to taste

Sautee the onions in some olive oil and then add the chorizo and let it render a bit. Add your garlic and cook for a minute. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender.
i’m out

Lard Nah

Tofu Lard Nah

I love lard nah and have based my recipe on this one but this time I thought I would try it with tofu, the first way I ever had Lard nah in a Thai restaurant many years ago in Chicago.

Here is what I did:

2-3 Tbs of Ginger Soya Bean sauce – if you can’t find any GF yellow bean sauce or soy bean sauces – use Miso, it is the same stuff, just in a paste. Ginger is not in any lard nah recipe, but it sure tastes great in there, brightens it up and it was the only yellow bean sauce I could find, so that is what I use.

2 Tbs of Gf soy sauce – mushroom flavor if you can find a GF version, I can’t

1 Tbs of sugar or 2 if you like your Thai sweeter

1 package firm tofu – marinate in garlic chile sauce and a dash of tamari

3 Tbs of tapioca starch in 2.5 cups of water

4 cloves garlic minced

1/2 package wide rice noodles or enough for 2 people

2 Tbs of gf dark soy sauce, if you can’t find one, then use regular and add a dash of sugar

1/2 collard greens/chinese broccoli, kale, whatever you have that is dark green and from the cabbage family -chop into large pieces

1 onion cut in half and sliced like a julienne but more rustic (not traditional, but more veggies are always good)

mushrooms one handful, quartered, if you have them, these are not traditional, but since I couldn’t use mushroom soy, I put these in.

Soak your noodles in really hot water until they are softened and then drain them. Toss with a tad bit of oil to keep them from sticking and then toss them in a non stick skillet or wok with some oil and the dark soy sauce and fry them until they get a bit crispy and set aside.

Fry up your tofu till it is crispy and set this aside. I a large pan, sautee your garlic, onion and mushrooms. Add the tapioca water and then yellow soybean paste, soy sauce and sugar. Add the tofu back in and add the collard greens. Put a lid on the pot so the greens steam. Once the greens have barely cooked through, adjust for sweetness or saltiness by adding more of what you like, then pour the lard nah over the crispy dark soy seasoned noodles and enjoy.

Now, I have made the lard nah with pork twice before and I think the pork complements the greens better than the tofu. When using the pork, I follow the recipe that I linked to above but add more garlic and use whatever Gf yellow bean paste I can. I can’t find the jar I originally bought, so I will be switching to miso paste soon. The first time I had this at a Thai restaurant, the noodles were really nice and crispy, sort of dipping them in a deep fat fryer, I have not been able to replicate this at home. If you do, let me know how you do!

lard nah

This is a pic of the first lard nah I attempted last fall with pork, tofu and garden greens

 Ginger soya bean sauce lard nah rice noodles Tofu Lard Nah

i’m out