It's good to experiment with food, I think. Also, sometimes, you THINK you have a can of chiles in the pantry, but it turns out that you're wrong, so it's also good to be flexible. Such was the case with this dish, above, which I think started out to be Pork Chile Verde but ended up just being a really nice braised pork. I had the right spices, but not the rest of the ingredients. I seasoned the pork with a Mexican spice blend, thickened with a little flour, and poured in some chopped tomatoes and a bottle of beer. I let that cook down until the pork was very tender and served it with rice. It was great.
Yesterday we let the the Waiakea Lions cook our breakfast at their annual Chuckwagon Breakfast. Still a deal: $6 and we couldn't eat it all. After that, we hit the garage sales. Don't laugh, but I bought an iron. It's in excellent shape, and it was a dollar. A dollar. I really hate ironing, but heck, if I have to do it, I'd like to use good equipment.
I cheated a little in the "What We're Eating" segment in that last night we already ate one of the menu items. I tried out a Stovetop Lasagna. Mr. L found this recipe somewhere on a blog he follows and so we decided we'd try it. I usually shy away from recipes where you cook things all in one pot, because the pasta, or rice, tends to have a different texture. Such was the case with this, although it wasn't so much that I didn't enjoy it. I did have to tweak it a little. First off, I thought it needed more liquid. My noodles just weren't cooking, and the mixture seemed dry. I ended up using a cup and a half of water and I added a half a can (the tomato sauce can) of red wine. You need to keep stirring -- the noodles want to stick to the pan. It seemed creamier than a traditional layered lasagna; maybe that was from the ricotta being stirred in. I'm not sure. Lastly, it's just not as pretty when you serve it. A traditional lasagna is really nice-looking; this just . . . isn't. But that's OK, because when was the last time you made a "lasagna" in about 20 minutes? There is the beauty of it -- plus, it tasted like lasagna. So, I'd say, this is worth a try.
Tonight, Sunday, I'll be trying to create a quinoa-mushroom-vermicelli pilaf. Who knows, it may have been done before. People are very creative with quinoa. I plan to saute' the mushrooms, quinoa, some shallots and vermicelli in butter and then add hot chicken broth. I'll top with sliced, toasted almonds. And maybe some parmesan. That will go with a recipe of Mark Bittman's: Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley.
Anyway, here is how things look for this week:
Saturday: Stovetop Lasagna, Zucchini, and Salad
Sunday: Mark Bittman's Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley, Quinoa-Rice-Mushroom Pilaf, Tossed Green Salad with Cilantro-Avocado Dressing
Monday: Creamy Bacon Carbonara with Chicken; Zucchini
Tuesday: Kalua Pork with Cabbage; Rice
Wednesday: Lindstrom "Biff" with Red Potatoes (see previous post)
Thursday: Salmon; Rice; Broccoli
Have a great week, everyone!