Bacon Coconut Noodle

Bacon Coconut Noodle

There is always something great about making that first dish in your new kitchen. Learning the new space, finding out things that are great and not so great about it. Realizing things that you forgot to move or get at the store and making quick changes to the dish based on that. I made these bacon coconut noodles as the first dish at the place I moved into a few days ago and I am absolutely loving it. The kitchen and the noodles.

Pork and Summer Veggie Chili

Pork and Summer Veggie Chili

September is the time when I crave chili the most. I love a veggie packed chili, but this time of the year it is a shame to cook your veggies too long because they are so fresh and tasty! I decided to try and make this chili sort of backwards by letting the meat and spices simmer away in the crock pot all day and then adding the veggies at the last minute. The resulting dish was super tasty with a nice juxtaposition of deep slow cooked flavors and fresh light crunchy veggies.

Pesto Mashed Potato with Corn Zucchini Pork Hash

Pesto Mashed Potato with Corn Zucchini Pork Hash

I had some leftover pesto but it was only basil hazelnut and garlic, there was no cheese in it. I was brainstorming on how to repurpose the pesto, and because of the lack of cheese I was thinking of going Asian with it. Basil with a nut made me think that a vaguely Thai dish would work. I was thinking of mixing the pesto with some rice noodles at first and maybe popping some pork I had in the freezer on top, but when I was at the store, I was persuaded by the fresh summer corn and zucchini, and some really tasty looking potatoes. I ended up mixing the pesto in with mashed potato, and topping it with a mixture of the pork, corn, and zucchini dressed with some sriracha and fish sauce. It all came out fantastic, summery, and bright, and somehow light yet hearty and filling.

Romesco Udon With Tofuballs

Romesco Udon With Tofuballs

I saw this cool technique for making a veggie burger on Diners Drive-ins and Dives where instead of pressing the tofu before frying it, the chef pressed the tofu right on the grill. I knew I had to try this and the first attempt was making these veggie “meatballs”. When you press the tofu right on the grill you save a million paper towels, and you can just sort of leave it there and forget about it. It takes about an hour on a med-low temp and you only have to flip it once. The result is a really nice chewy tofu that adds a great texture to any vegetarian meat replacement. I served these tofu-balls with udon noodles and zucchini tossed in a simple romesco sauce.

Parmesan Baked Beans

Parmesan Baked Beans

As with most families these days, I have some vegetarians in mine. Being the conscious cook, I decided to try and make a vegetarian version of baked beans that would be so delicious that no one would miss the pork or even realize something was different. I based the beans off a hearty Italian tomato sauce, and added every non-meat based version of umami I could think of. Within 5 minutes of getting to the annual 4th of July party, my vegetarian aunt reminded me that she hates beans. Oh well! These beans were worth it anyways.