My middle son is home for the summer. He’s working 5 evenings a week which means he needs a “big” lunch around 2pm. Right smack in the middle of my work day.
His temporary summer visit has caused me to make some adjustments and reorganize not only my work plan but also my life and kitchen plan.
Knowing in advance that my role was going to primarily be feeding and nurturing him, I geared up, got prepared, rearranged my client calls and podcast interviews and put my head down and went to work.
He has grown to love to cook. But juggling school, job, roommate drama and everything in between, it was clear that he needed a break. He had also been complaining about making the same old thing day after day and week after week and I wanted him to go back to his apartment and his life with a few new tools in his toolbox.
Utilizing the current issues of Bon Appetit, I earmarked a few recipes that have proven to be both good right out of the oven as well as a yummy leftover the next day. I have also scoured a few of my favorite food blogs and their Instagram accounts for inspiration. If you are in the mood to add a few new recipes to your repertoire, here are some highlights from our culinary experimenting over the past few weeks:
Mongolian Beef – We opted to add some blanched broccoli (add raw broccoli to salted boiling water for 4 minutes, then shock it in cold water). I followed the directions up until the beef. After you remove it from the wok, add the broccoli then saute for about 2 minutes. I added the remaining sauce back into the wok along with the meat. Turn up the heat to thicken. However, my son wanted the sauce a bit thicker so I took 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the pan and made a slurry with 1 tablespoon of or arrowroot ( you can also use cornstarch) and added it back into the pan. It was perfect!
Crunchy Baked Turkey Tacos – If someone asked me what would be my last meal, it would be crispy, crunchy tacos. In discovering these baked, crunchy tacos I have become somewhat obsessed. The leftover turkey meat is great the next day in a taco salad and this is something both you and your kid can easily make.
Aside from stepping out and experimenting in the kitchen, I was also a little bored with my weekly standard, family favorite salad dressing. My classic Italian, Mustard French Vinaigrette and my mildly “famous” Caesar (you can find this recipe in my e-book; Dorm Food Sucks And My Kids Are Starving here) are still fan favorites, but we needed something fresh and different.
As I sifted through my archives, I dug up this recipe from my friend, Cathy. I wanted to make a simple salad alongside these Grilled Pineapple Drumsticks and some smashed fingerlings. The dressing was a delicious forgotten find. The next day, I drizzled it over some sliced heirloom tomatoes, red onion and feta salad and it was the yummiest combo.
If you are a “prepper” like me, I suggest you add this to your arsenal and whip this up, store in the fridge and have on hand for some of your last minute, impromptu meals.
Have you tried anything new that I should know about? I’d love to hear about it. You can share in the comments below and if you do try this recipe and have an opinion about it, share that too!
🧑🍳Life is better one bite at a time.
P.S. If you like good stories about innovators, visionaries, artisans and chefs, tune into my podcast, The Power of the Pivot here.
If you are a foodie like me, you might like Elana Horwich’s story about how a trip to Italy changed her life and her food journey. You can listen to our conversation here.
Cathy’s 6 Ingredient Vinaigrette
¼ cup wheat free tamari (or soy sauce)
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. Sugar
1 t. Italian seasoning
¾ – 1 cup canola oil
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com