This week began with another helping of lunch soup. I just can't help my soup cravings when the temperature is below 60 degrees. I made a New England-style turkey chowder. After cooking some onion in butter in a pot, I added some chicken broth, 2 diced potatoes, salt, and pepper. After cooking for about 15 minutes until the potatoes were tender, I stirred in some cubed turkey I had grilled up with garlic powder and rosemary. I dissolved cornstarch in 1% milk, then added this to the soup to add a thick, creaminess. I did have to doctor up the soup a bit with some more spices, but, in the end, it came out nicely, filling me up all week long.
This dish is Chinese (I believe) and it is called lion's head. The meatballs are made of a combination of ground pork, scallions, flour, egg whites, rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. They were cooked in a pan until browned, then added to a pot with 4 heads of bok choy, halved, and 3 cups of chicken stock. Bring the stock to a boil and simmer everything, covered, for about 40 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through, turning halfway through cooking. The bok choy turned out nicely cooked and the meatballs had a surprising amount of flavor from all of those varied ingredients. The overall taste was a slightly oniony, gingeriness. These would be good as a smaller appetizer size as well if you want. The steaming also helps them keep moist.
I'm not normally one for fresh green beans. Their flavor is usually too strong for me. But this recipe made them not only edible, but enjoyable. After blanching and shocking the green beans, I cooked some sliced shallots and garlic in a butter-olive oil combination until they were tender and fragrant. To this I added a can of tomatoes, allowing the mixture to cook for a few minutes. I added the beans back in and cooked them for about 10 minutes more. At the end, I added some dry white wine, basil, salt, and pepper. The tomato and onion flavors helped to improve the green beans, and the wine managed to add a slight sweetness to it all that was both surprising and delicious.
My graduate school program had recruits in this week and I made them these coffee crunch bars. The recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine, who adapted it from a friend of one of the authors who adapted it from her grandmother. They are like a cookie bar that is cooked for a bit longer without as much leavening agent. Brown sugar adds some depth of flavor and espresso powder compliments the chocolate chips. After baking the dough as a giant cookie, you slice it into bars and allow them to cool. While cooling they crisp up very nicely, making an all-around delicious dessert that is good pretty much any time of the day.
My mom sent me a recipe for an individual chocolate cake that you make a) in a coffee cup, b) in the microwave, and c) in 5 minutes. Here's the recipe:
2T cocoa powder
3T vegetable oil
3T chocolate chips
1 dash vanilla extract
In a large coffee mug, mix dry ingredients. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, and mix one last time. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Allow to cool and devour. If you want to present this outside of the mug, you can grease the mug but you would have to mix the ingredients separately. The cake comes out decently, though the top is a little dryer and the chocolate chips tend to accumulate at the bottom. But, if you are hell-bent on eating some chocolate calories, at least this is for 1-2 people as opposed to making a whole cake and eating a lot more. This recipe could probably be easily tweaked to make different types of cake, making it the most dangerous recipe ever...