Continuing with the theme of cleaning out the fridge from the last few weeks, I have had some cans of IPA sitting in the fridge for months now. I don’t particularly like beer, and IPAs are the worst of the bunch, so they weren’t likely to disappear unless I used them for cooking. Enter – beer braising. In this case, bratwurst, which are a natural complement for beer. I just added a few classic German sides – potatoes and sauerkraut -and it was a meal. It may be June, but it sure feels like October!
As another offering at my birthday tea party, I decided to use up some of my remaining chai masala spice mix (leftover from previous recipes on this site) to make a twist on a traditional English egg custard tart. Egg custards are sweet and wobbly, and a perfect backdrop for stronger spice flavors. Given the obvious nature of this combo and the fact that India was once a British colony, it’s easy to see why this dish works so well.
When I was a kid, I didn’t exactly like Lipton noodle soup, but it was always there for me on a cold winter day after playing in the snow. One day, I looked at the back of the box and there was a recipe for pizza soup, aka put pepperoni and cheese in your chicken noodle soup. Despite how bizarre this COMBINATION sounds, it was actually a revelation, and I remember making it all the time. I hadn’t thought about that soup for years, and then the other day it just struck me again, and I knew I had to try to recreate it as an adult dish for this site. Trying to relive childhood is always a risk, but that’s the point of what I’m doing here, right?
This recipe comes from a new game I’ll be playing on this site, called Random Number Generator (RNG, Results Not Guaranteed, get it?!). As you know from my previous posts, I have a book called the flavor bible that I’ve been using a lot in my recipe creation to figure out what flavors go together. This book lists ingredients in alphabetical order, and has 374 pages. When I play the RNG game, I will use google to randomly pick one of those pages, and I will have to make up a recipe using at least one main ingredient from that page. This week, the page was 366, and the ingredients were Vinegar and Vodka. Being an overachiever, I decided to do both, using the shrub method that I have recently been experimenting with (Vinegar) to make a Vodka-based cocktail.
For my 30th (!) birthday, I had a tea party/picnic with a bunch of friends. I made tons of sweet treats (recipes to follow), and this is one of my favorites. Chocolate peanut butter bar recipes are ubiquitous all over the internet (such as this one) and for good reason – they are easy, they BALANCE salty, sweet, smooth, and crunchy, and taste just like peanut butter cups. To make the recipe my own and satisfy a peanut-allergic best friend, I ADAPTED my favorite recipe, replacing the peanut butter with tahini. The result still satisfies all of the same cravings, with additional smoky complexity from the tahini that will wow your guests.
In follow up to the Miso-Wasabi Coleslaw recipe from Saturday, here is the rest of the plate – Soy-Marinated Salmon with Black Lentils and Sauteed Kale. The inspiration was the same – cleaning out the fridge. In this case, I used a bunch of fridge ingredients in the marinade and the kale, and added black lentils from the pantry for heft.
This was one of those cleaning out the fridge recipes, which is a great start to recipe creation. You will probably recognize many of these ingredients from recent recipes I’ve posted on here. The available ingredients led me to asian, so that is what I went for with the overall dinner. Below is the slaw recipe, which ADAPTS one of my favorite mayo-based dressings, but recipes for the rest of the plate will follow on Wednesday!