Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A few good meals

Had a few more recipes this week that were good enough to share:

Saturday we had Indian food: Matar "Paneer," which wasn't really paneer because paneer is a kind of cheese (which Luke and I are going to make sometime soon), and this recipe uses tofu. So maybe Matar Tahu? I'm not sure. Anyway, I like making Indian food because we get to use all those spices that taste and smell so good, but that we don't use very regularly- curry, garam masala, turmeric, coriander. This recipe had all of 'em, and the mix of flavors was very good (if you're from Utah: this reminds me of something from Curry in a Hurry). If you look at the instructions, you'll see that this was an easy meal to make; my only addition would be to the instruction about letting all the spices absorb: after adding the spices, let them cook together for at least ten minutes. The texture and flavor will be better because of it. I kept tasting every couple minutes, and the longer they cooked together, the better. Oh, and don't skip the step about pressing the excess water out of the tofu- it makes a big difference.

(My broken camera has an especially hard time with browns and yellows. You know how Indian curries look. This was like that.)

On Wednesday, we had a southern meal: catfish po'boys, okra, and baked yam wedges. I chose the meal with Luke in mind- this is the sort of comfort food he loves- and I knew it was a good choice when he talked about it for days before we made it and kept telling me, while it was cooking, how excited he was. The po'boys were a recipe from the Martha Stewart cookbook I got for Christmas from Marina, my mother-in-law. The okra was like I've never had it before, with a very interesting flavor (halfway between southern and Indian), with none of that okra slime (which really ain't so bad, but I know some people hate it). Luke, who doesn't really like okra, was crazy about it. The yam was just cut up and shaken up with a little oil and some salt and pepper and then baked at 450 for twenty minutes, stirring a couple times. The whole meal was very good. "It's not the best meal we've ever cooked," said Luke, "but it was just perfect." And then all night he kept telling me how happy I make him.

On Thursday we had broiled black pepper tofu and soba noodles with vegetables (we left out the mint). In years of eating tofu fairly regularly, I don't remember ever eating it like this- as a simple main dish, not just a part of a sauce or curry. I liked it! The lemony dipping sauce was good enough that Luke later used it as a sort of au jus sauce for a sandwich. The noodle salad was good for dinner, and then again for leftovers the next day. This dinner convinced me that we need to find more recipes that use sesame oil.

There were some recipes we planned but didn't try because stuff came up (I spent a couple days with my mom and sisters, and went out with Barbara, a mentor/friend/professor). So this weeks meals will be easier to plan!

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