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.

Korean Flavored Octopus and Gnocchi

Korean Flavored Octopus and Gnocchi

The premise of this dish was to to create a textural study between 3 different gummy ingredients, braised octopus, potato gnocchi, and korean rice cake. All 3 of these things can remind me of each other, so I thought it would be fun to put them all together in a korean flavored sauce. It came out pretty tasty in the end, but I don’t feel that I fully achieved what I was going for. The main issue was the size differences between the 3 main ingredients. I was aiming to make them all a similar size and shape but failed. Regardless, if you like octopus you will enjoy this dinner, but on a normal night I would make it with either gnocchi or rice cake, and not both.

Chicken Fingers… with Spicy Club Sauce

Chicken Fingers… with Spicy Club Sauce

Fried Cheese… with club sauce. Popcorn shrimp… with club sauce. Chicken fingers… with spicy club sauce! I had no idea what club sauce was, but I imagined it to be like a cross between bbq sauce and cocktail sauce. The internet didn’t really help me in figuring out what it was, so I just made it how I wanted it to be. Honestly I thought the sauce was awesome, but the people I was with apparently don’t really like horseradish, so they didn’t enjoy the sauce as much as I did. I probably should have asked them before I dumped a bunch of horseradish into the sauce!

Portuguese Peas and Eggs

Portuguese Peas and Eggs

Normally at dinnertime I don’t like eggs to be the main thing that I am eating. I love them in my dinner, just not as the focal point. For example, I wouldn’t want to eat just eggs and bacon, or an omelet for dinner, but toss a fried egg on top of a burger, or crack a few eggs into a stir fry, and i’m all over it! This meal however, changed my whole perspective on eggs for dinner. I wasn’t super excited for it, because of my weird eggs-for-dinner hang up, but it was one of the most satisfying dinners I have had in a long time.