Thursday, March 18, 2010

the gift that keeps on giving

Due to having a day with NO PLANS, something that causes me a great deal of angst (I’m a compulsive planner!), I set out this morning to make myself a rockin’ About Me page. Then I got so ambitious that I decided to do one with my Favorite Recipes as well. I’ve gotten questions about both the recipes I’ve invented and the recipes I tend to use over and over (for example, yesterday’s pita bread). From now on, when I say I made “my favorite ____”, unless I say otherwise it will be on that page!

So check out About Me to find out a bit more about Lele:


And Favorite Recipes to find some of my best eats, with recipes created by both me and other genius foodies.

carrot apricot muffins

Onto the food.

What is the eponymous gift that keeps on giving?

Chinese delivery.

Monday was one of those nights- my mom worked 12 hours (7 to 7) and I’d had an attack of productivity and spent the day doing gym, bank, car panic (it’s okay thank God), and intense library-ing.

We decided to give ourselves a nice break, and Hunan Kitchen was happy to oblige.

What we got:


Curry shrimp (okay, mostly onions, but the shrimp were GIGANTIC and fresh and awesome and the sauce was like buttah)


Szechuan green beans (theirs was really good! Not greasy! And the green beans were big and fresh and firm and awesome)

And our fave:


Eggplant with garlic sauce. Mmmm velvety goodness.

Here is a plate I ate, along with the free crab rangoon and rice that came with it.


This is in no way meant to be a portrayal of how much I ate, just an overview of what there was :D

Okay, so, we had obscene quantities of leftovers. Of everything.

The leftover eggplant went to work with my mom. Homegirl loves her some eggplant.

The shrimp met its demise shortly after that. Tuesday’s lunch:


Why yes, those are more leftovers, in the form of the last of the barley risotto. I know technically one dish was Italian and one was Chinese, and I am usually loath to mix ethnicities (wow how xenophobic of me, culinarily) but the Chinese use barley and Lord knows the Italian use shrimp, so I feel like they got along.


It is a testament to the deliciousness of the curry sauce with the shrimp that it got me to eat bamboo shoots. I had always found their texture repulsive previously.


And yes, I also ate my risotto with chopsticks. Chopsticks are fun :D

I asked my Asia family if I used them right and they were like “Eh, nobody really knows a ‘right way’. It’s ‘right’ if you don’t drop your food.” And I don’t! So I consider myself proficient!

One of the more interesting projects was the rice the rice (We got 3 large boxes- the two of us ate like 2/3 of one  box the first night).

What to do with leftover white rice? Duh. Rice pudding. I decided to go with a chai-spiced variation.


Rice and currants:


Plus hot water that I steeped with cinnamon, sugar, ginger, cardamom, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg:


Into this!


Oh my God I love my crockpot. It is like 100 years old.

I ended up adding some milk and honey and vanilla and more cookage on low.


Mmm rich and luscious. I put it into the freezer. My house is already dessertified. It’ll be a nice treat in the summer (do other people love cold rice pudding?!)

Finally a (messy but tasty) attempt to recreate something awesome I ate in Taiwan- a pancake-type thing.


So I saved some of the leftover onions from the curry shrimp. I tossed those in a hot, cooking spray’d pan with garlic and a buncha Napa cabbage.


I let that cook down for awhile and then added my “batter”:


1 egg+ 1 t. soy sauce+ tofu (5 oz or so), pressed and crumbled+ 1 T whole wheat flour

I put it in the pan and it was supposed to set up but… didn’t. And yet, it was delicious.

Particularly topped with lotsa Sriracha!


With the last of the green beans, rice, and crab rangoon the last of the Chinese leftovers finally were finished.


Aint no food goin’ to waste in my house!


Karin said...

Great pages! I've wanted to make a recipes page for ages too :). Your chinese food looks great!

Molly said...

THAT RICE PUDDING LOOKS AMAZING! What a good use of left over :o) I love your idea. My mom use to always take our left over rice and pour milk over it with sugar and cinnamon. Oh that was good!

I am about to check out your new pages! Way to go!

Ana said...

I love rice pudding! When I made a cup of quinoa I ended up with way too much so I decided to make quinoa pudding (no food wasted ;)) . As much as love rice pudding I can't believe I have never made any. Awesome job on the pages!

brandi said...

aren't crockpots the best? I love mine too.

Kasey said...

Love you About Me page! And all your eats look great. I had chinese last night :)

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

AHHH! Eggplant with garlic is my ALL TIME FAVORITE chinese take-out dish! I also had it from a Thai restaurant once, which was completely delicious, and completely different from the chinese version. In the Thai version they loaded it up with mint, which was SOOOO good! ok, now I'm drooling...

Also, I'm right there with you on the cold rice pudding, especially in the middle of the summer. I might have to copy that recipe and make me some soon too! :D