Meal #65: Steak

Yes, another one. This time with a different vegetable though. So it totally counts as a new and unique meal. And I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, which happens every time we make steaks. But just imagine the same thing, but rawer.

Finished Product

Delicious as always!

Meal #64: Lemon Bars

Ok, it’s not really a dinner meal, but we’ve been on a lemon bar obsession for a few weeks and figured that qualified them for posting.

Ingredients

  • Lemon juice and lemon zest, preferably from real lemons
    • This is the second or third time we’ve made lemon bars, but the first time that we had a proper lemon juicer. So we discovered that maybe two lemons is too many due to how lemony the bars turned out. But after eating a few, and a few more, we got used to it.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs

Finished Product

A lemon bar isn’t the most photogenic dessert, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste – they’re surprisingly addictive and it’s hard to make a batch of these last longer than a week. Really have to master portion control or you’ll find yourself making more sooner than you’d expect.

Meal #63: Ratatouille

I don’t remember if we’ve done Ratatouille on the blog and we’re not popular enough for web searches to turn anything up, so a disclaimer that we’ve made this before. That said, it turned out even better this time around.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Ground beef
  • Salt & pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Tomato soup
  • A lot of careful slicing of the ingredients with a mandoline

Finished Product

This ratatouille was so tasty it could easily have been confused for a dessert – a confusion which may be enhanced since we made it in a pie dish. We had enough ingredients to make two of these, but chose the prettier one for the picture. The light veggies are balanced by a heavier soup, with a hearty taste throughout.

Meal #62: Woohoo Steak

If you’ve played The Sims, it’s not that.

If finding good deals is wrong, we don’t want to be right. Sometimes we scout for the manager’s specials at our local discount grocery*ahem* Whole Foods, yeah – and sometimes our scouting pays off.

For the uninitiated, the manager’s specials (labelled woohoo items via obnoxious sticker) are foodstuffs on the precipice between the modern American palette and food that is slightly stale so let’s ship it to UNICEF and call it a day.

When we get lucky, quality cuts of meat will be woohoo’d and we’ll get a great deal on what would normally be a pricey steak.

We were just so excited about this rare opportunity that we didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the ingredients, but I promise they were something like this:

  • Steak
  • Arugula
  • Almonds
  • The Shire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

Finished Product

Full disclosure – we’re pretty biased toward our own food – be that as it may, we think homemade steaks (when done right) are usually better than what we find at many local steakhouses. They’re also much more economical, especially if you have the patience to wait for some good deals. The hardest part is timing the cooking, but once you’ve mastered that it’s only a few simple steps away from a gourmet steak and a simple veggie side.

Meal #61: Shrimp Gumbo

Gumbo is good, shrimp is good, together they’re great. It’s no surprise that this humble sea snack is often an ingredient in gumbo recipes. This gumbo has a number of ingredients, but it was worth it in the end.

Ingredients

  • Shrimp
  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic
  • Jalepeno
  • Onion
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Celery
  • Cajun powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley flakes
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Chicken broth
  • Cumin powder
  • Diced tomatoes and juice
  • The Shire sauce
  • Bell pepper

Finished Product

Even though our shrimp came from a premade shrimp cocktail dinner platter, we gave it the VIP treatment and it tasted just as hearty as the good stuff from the freezer aisle. Once we move somewhere within 100 miles of saltwater we’ll not only be totally cool coasties but our shrimp dishes will taste even better than they already do.

Meal #60: Potato Balls

We could boil them, mash them, or stick them in a stew, but today we’re making them into balls.

Ingredients

  • Bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Potatoes
  • Egg
  • Cheese
  • Green onion
  • Butter
  • Milk

Finished Product

These follow a similar philosophy to our chicken wings – instead of frying them, we baked them. This approach has an impact on how the breading turns out, but it’s more of a personal preference and less of a rule. Our potato balls were everything we dreamed potatoes could be.

Meal #59: Sushi

Time for a classic. Although this might already be on the blog, sushi is deserving enough to be promoted again. Usually we’ll go out for sushi, but if the mood strikes we’ll roll our own.

Ingredients

  • Dried seaweed
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Imitation crab
    • Believe it or not, there are actually different qualities of imitation crab available. Taking one step up from the basic version made a huge difference in the taste and texture
  • Soy sauce
  • Zucchini
  • Carrot

Finished Product

Sushi is one of those foods that we often leave to the experts. We like to think most of our dishes are a grade above typical restaurant fare, but sushi served at dedicated sushi shops is truly on another level. Maybe we’ll get there one day – but homemade is still delicious.

Meal #58: Homemade Hummus Wraps

We also made some homemade hummus raps if you’re interested – get in touch.

Having never made hummus before and upon informing a friend of the fact, we were told in no uncertain terms that we must try it. But we weren’t going to just make hummus without also making an entire meal planned around it. So, we decided burrito-style wraps would be the best way to incorporate our creation.

Ingredients

  • Cherry tomatoes
    • Certainly different than the baby tomatoes I mentioned in the last post, which was definitely not a clerical error
      • Ignore that the box is the same and has fewer tomatoes in it this time
  • Arugula
  • Big tortillas
    • This would just be silly with the small ones
  • Cumin powder
  • Olive oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Random leftover chicken chunks
    • Not optional

Finished Product

It’s not technically the finished product since the final step is to roll them up into little cozy burritos, but that wasn’t going to make for a very interesting picture.

The crispy zucchini in the middle of these wraps anchored the various vegetable flavors, but the hummus was the star of the show here. These tasted just as good if not better than most veggie wraps – the hummus acted almost like a salad dressing.

Meal #57: Chickpea Curry

Hey what’s the difference between a chickpea curry and a green eggs and ham? I’ve never had a green eggs and ham! Today we’re cooking up a spicy meal in our classic style – on rice.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans
    • If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use both
  • Ginger root
  • Tikka masala
  • JalapeƱo
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric powder
    • Or “numeric” powder if you’re my auto-correct
  • Bay leaf
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Onion

Finished Product

The texture will vary between “chickpeas” and “curry” depending on how soft you cook your beans. Adjust to taste, we wound up somewhere in the middle. Can’t go wrong with curry – this was on the level of the other curry-style dishes we’ve made here.

Meal #56: Ramen Burger

A staple of young adulthood are the Ramen noodles – but it’s not obvious quite how versatile they can be. We were inspired by a trip to New York last year and finally had a chance to create something we thoroughly enjoyed – the Ramen burger.

Ingredients

  • Ramen noodles
  • Homemade burger patties (spiced with Jalapeno peppers)
  • Eggs
  • Arugula
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Finished Product

It may look like there’s an odd mix between the dry noodle buns and the juicy burger – but upon slicing in to the creation the textures turn into a wonderful symphony. This was a quick and easy homemade homage to the tasty meal we had at the Smorgasbord.