Monday, May 14, 2007

mother's day

We had D's family over for a mother's day/dad's birthday celebration. Apparently these were amazingly "nam" - Toisanese for tender. I just heard the word a lot from across the room.

soy-braised short ribs
D's parents won't really eat anything that isn't Chinese (or even Chinese-ish, which is how I'd characterize this dish), and I wasn't exactly up for making a 10-course Chinese banquet, so a big pan of short ribs would have to do. I think it went over well.
[short ribs, soy sauce, xiao hsing rice wine, sherry, rice wine vinegar,brown sugar, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper]

roasted asparagus & cherry tomatoes
The asparagus looked so chirpy at the market, so I grabbed two bunches. Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, with the halved cherry tomatoes, it was a bright counterpoint to the very heavy ribs.
[asparagus, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper]

roasted baby potatoes
D was extremely skeptical about these - but I'm pretty much a sucker for anything cute and round. They were quite tasty - sweet and tender on the inside, with a slight chew from the skin.
[baby potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper]


Blogger Unknown said...

Need help:
1. how should I store my knives? i can't use a magnetic holder b/c I know I would bump against one and it would drop and cut off my toe.
2. i have dried french bread. i'm going to make bread crumbs, but then what could i make?
3. i'm going to a picnic this weekend. any suggestions on what to bring?
thanks sue!

24/5/07 05:57  
Blogger sue said...

gracie, you could just call...

1. a countertop knife block is easiest, but takes up a lot of counter space. they have in-drawer knife holders that also will do the trick, if you have the drawer space. hm, maybe i'll switch to one of these, too.

2. french toast! eggs + milk, and maybe a teeny bit of sugar. soak the break, and fry in lots of butter. serve with maple syrup. or you could make a bread pudding (which is almost the same, except you bake it.)

3. potluck or individual portions? If it's a potluck, make mom's potato salad. otherwise I'd do my favorite tomato/mozzarella/basil sandwich (you should make it with bigger pieces of mozzarella than I did in the picture) and bring some kettle chips and grapefruit soda.

anyone else have suggestions?

24/5/07 10:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Grace (and congrats)!

You've probably used up all your breadcrumbs by now, but for next time, maybe you could use them in a pasta dish. Just fry the breadcrumbs up with a little olive oil and/or butter and any herbs you have on hand. Then toss them into some kind of stringy pasta and whatever meats you like. (We usually use broiled chicken.) The breadcrumbs cling nicely to the pasta and add lots of flavor and texture--sort of like Italian "ants climbing a tree." (Except these ants are not pork. Nor are they ants. They are breadcrumbs.)

You can also use breadcrumbs to, uh, bread things like chicken or pork chops. Dredge the meats in seasoned flour, briefly dip them into beaten eggs, and then pack on the breadcrumbs. To avoid burning and achieve the desired juicyness, I usually brown them in a pan for a few minutes and then bake them until done. You can also skip the browning part and just bake them on a greased baking sheet which is healthier but slower. (Think Shake 'n Bake.) This avoids having a pan stuck with breadcrumbs and some semi-naked, embarrassed-looking meats. But then, I have a rather lame pan.

And as an alternative for breadcrumbs, try croutons. Just toss them in a little olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper and bake them at a low temp until they're nice and dried out. (I've done this with leftover slices of multi-grain, nutty bread and I rarely even add oil or seasoning!) Even if you're not a salady person, you can eat these croutons as snacks.

Of course, I seldom have leftover french bread because I toast chunks of it with cheese--which is what Heidi would do. Yum!

I hope this isn't too overwhelming!

31/5/07 22:33  
Blogger Unknown said...

daphne, no thank you!!! the sad part is that after all of this, i went home ready to make my breadcrumbs. and i asked chih, where's that baguette? chih: oh, i threw it in the trash. grace: oh. oh well. i was going to make breadcrumbs. i even posted on sue's blog for recipes. chih: oh...well i think you can still fish it out of the trash.

but thankful for all the ideas, particularly the pasta one. i tend to waste bread pretty often so glad i'll have a reason to reuse!

2/6/07 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stale bread makes stale breadcrumbs. French toast is a good use.

Even better, you can try freezing the bread you don't think you're going to use, rather than letting it go to waste. Say, freeze half a baguette, if there's only two of you eating it.

It's pretty easy and relatively quick to thaw bread, esp if sliced before freezing.

I've never put breadcrumbs in with pasta, nor even seen it done (is it an East Coast or trad Italian thing?) but it sounds really good.

12/6/07 23:57  

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