21 April 2011

Double Take: Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus

What’s hoisin you ask? I have a friend who calls it “High Sin” because it’s so good that it must be sinful. It is delicious, if a bit sweet. It’s similar to a thick barbeque sauce, but it definitely has an Asian flair. I’m fairly certain hoisin sauce is available in most grocery stores these days, but it’s almost always cheaper (as much as ½ price) at Asian grocery stores. Never been to an Asian grocery store? I highly recommend checking them out. You’ll be amazed at what you can find there!

14 April 2011

Double Take: Julia Child’s Garlic Soup

Garlic soup with gruyere toast. 

We all know that Tabitha likes garlic, but I’ll be honest, I like it just as much as she does. The thought of garlic oozing out my pores does not scare me. Luckily, Bender likes garlic too; otherwise I’d probably up the creek without a paddle. When Tabitha found this recipe listed over on Hey, What’s for Dinner Mom? I was excited to make it. Despite Bender’s love of garlic, he doesn’t have a love of soup (well, minus my chicken soup when he’s sick). I knew I’d be making this one just for me, but decided that was okay. I opted to serve it with a roast chicken so I would have plenty of time to make the soup while the chicken was roasting away in the oven. My original plan had been to make it while he was out of town, but a cold threw me on my bum for over a week while he was gone. Talk about a bummer. (Luckily, I had plenty of Gilmore Girls to keep me company.)

Daring Cooks April Challenge: Edible Containers

Cheddar cup filled with refried beans, cilantro, and onion.

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Whoa. Edible Containers. At first it seemed quite daunting, but after much brainstorming (with the help of tons of suggestions from other Daring Cooks... and Tabitha), I settled on feeding the cravings I’ve been having lately: Mexican food. I don’t know what it is, but I always want Mexican food. I was also hosting a dinner party and serving carnitas, so I figured throwing a few edible containers in there wouldn’t hurt, right?

07 April 2011

Double Take: Almost Bourdain’s Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi tofu with fried basil leaves

Don’t let the T word scare you. I did until I was 16. Tofu never entered my house growing up, but once I tried it, I was hooked. And I blame this particular dish for hooking me. Agedashi is actually a very descriptive term: age means deep fried and dashi is a type of broth. So, agedashi tofu is deep fried tofu in dashi sauce. I typically order it as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants, but have had to go without since we moved to Germany.

I tried making it once before when we lived in the US, but it didn’t turn out quite right. The crust was off. And the crust tasted terrible. I wasn’t the master fryer then, and I suspect that my oil wasn’t quite hot enough. When I found a recipe that used a different coating (potato starch instead of corn starch), I decided it was time to try again. And I convinced (without much difficulty) Tabitha to try it, too.

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