Saturday, April 30, 2011

ambrosial april!

ambrosial april!
Ambrosial? Clearly, I'm running out of adjectives that are synonyms for "delicious".

Anyway, here's how we can summarize our eating habits in April (sing to the tune of Duck Duck Goose): Carb Carb Carb Carb...Salad!

Seriously, if making these food collages each month does one thing, it's highlight the shortcomings in our diet. Hi, I'm Rachel and I'm a carboholic. I say it every month, but look: puff pastry, pizza crust, fried chicken breading, hot dog buns, tart crust, quiche crust, bread, SALAD (but with croutons...and also cheese. And bacon bits.), pasta, more quiche crust, buns, cake! Oops. But it was good, oh so good. And I managed to make both an international meal (England/Ireland) and a bread of the month (Hot Cross Buns).

Now that the weather is finally getting nice, we're out on the patio and using our grill once again! Hallelujah! Mostly just burgers and dogs and our favorite - grilled pizza, but I'm looking forward to more and more grilled meals and evenings on the patio drinking wine and hanging out by the fire.

Our best meal this month was hands down the night we invited a few friends over to watch the game and for some reason decided to make an Asian-themed meal. It was a hare-brained and last minute idea. (Luckily, our friends are very patient with our culinary experiments and don't complain when the food prep takes ten times as long as anticipated or we wreck our kitchen in the process and end up eating at the counter among a pile of dirty dishes at 10 pm when the food is finally done!) Larry and I both love Asian food and have a cabinet full of exotic oils and pastes from our occasional attempts to cook it, but our previous attempts usually taste rather Americanized and not at all like what you would get at a Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese/Japanese restaurant. Larry made twice-fried Korean Fried Chicken which was an extra challenge since we rarely fry food for several reasons:

1. It is unhealthy.
2. It is scary.
3. It uses and wastes an ungodly amount of oil.

But Larry knocked this fried chicken out of the park. The secrets? Use a thermometer to regulate the temperature of the oil. Use a large deep pot. Don't skimp on the oil. Fry the chicken twice - this makes it extra crispy and totally awesome. After frying, the chicken is then tossed in a sauce made from gojujang, a spicy Korean chile paste. Seriously, I am not usually a fan of fried chicken or of gnawing meat off the bone, but this recipe blew my mind and my tastebuds. A top ten recipe for sure.

My contribution to the night was Spinach and Pork Wontons, which were surprisingly easy to make and fun to fold. And also delicious. I am now a little obsessed with wontons (I want to fry them next) and am on the lookout for more recipes.

And see that pic in the bottom right corner? That is flourless chocolate cake with BOURBON ice cream (which may be one of the most awesome things ever!) - both made by one of our friends. Luckily for us he left us the leftovers. The next day I topped it with strawberries and promptly fell over in diabetic shock. Sinfully delicious!

What we were eating and cooking this month: burgers/hot dogs/pizza on the grill, carbs, English/Irish food, Asian food, bread, and since no month is complete without trying at least one recipe from Smitten Kitchen, this Cauliflower and Carmelized Onion Tart.

What Larry was eating this month: Pie.

(In his defense, if there were ever a pie truck in my general vicinity during lunch time, I too would have two pieces of pie for lunch. Alas, we don't have food trucks out here in the suburbs.)

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