Today is a day of moderate success. I start the day with a Cherry Crisp. Fresh fruit is such a treat that I usually just eat it as is. But we have that ice cream, and it's nice to have a treat on the weekend, so Cherry Crisp it is.
I start with a Martha Stewart recipe but it seems overly complex, so I turn instead to the best basic cookbook anyone could ever own, How to Cook Everything. Of course there's a basic, non-hysterical recipe for Apple Crisp [pdf] there, so I use that instead.
I have less fruit than he calls for, so I cut the recipe roughly in half and cook the crisp in a bread pan I omit the lemon juice (not sure if that applies to sweet cherries or not), coconut and nuts and use whole wheat flour instead of white. The crisp, served with some of the birthday ice cream, is good, not great. I think the lemon juice would have improved its flavor.
For dinner, I go a little insane. I decide that fried rice would be a nice variation on the stir-fried vegetables theme, and I want to use tempeh instead of tofu. In looking through recipes, I read that the traditional Indonesian marinade for tempeh is salt water, not soy sauce, infused with pressed garlic and coriander. I'm out of coriander, but I cut up the tempeh and place it in a bowl of salt water and garlic.
In my reading about Indonesian food, I keep coming upon references to Kecap manis; Wikipedia suggests some vegetable stock flavored with molasses as a substitute. I decide to mix some soy sauce with molasses and use that to flavor the dish.
There's nothing really wrong with any of that, except for the fact that during this entire invention process, I keep framing the dish as "Indonesian Fried Rice". It's not until I'm actually cooking it that it dawns on me that what I'm making is American Fried Rice with a little molasses mixed with the soy sauce.
The dish itself is not bad, but not great either—just like our brunch. I put a little dish of "Thai" carrot pickles next to each plate, and they really are not very good. I'm not convinced about that salt—these seem much saltier than I think they should be. I eat all of mine though.
I have some new cooking projects to pursue now, sometime or another: carrot pickles, especially Southeast Asian carrot pickles, in their many varieties, and Indonesian Food.
Saturday total: $5.90. Remaining weekly allowance (estimated): $17.96.
« Read the previous entry [ 05.20.07 ] Read the next entry »