Kabocha Croquette

Dinner: Kabocha CroquetteUsually, I only post about successful meals I make. But then everyone thinks all my meals are successful. Sometimes there are fail parties like this one.

Fresh after having a meal at Shojin, I declared that I could make a better croquette than them. With kabocha!

I made the croquette with some kabocha flesh (microwaved till soft), cooked brown rice, chopped and sauteed onion, and a dash of salt and cayenne pepper.  Unfortunately, the batter was too watery so it didn’t hold together so well.

This would be fine if I just deep-fried the heck out of it, but I wanted it to be healthy so I tried to bake it.  I formed the batter into round patties, dipped it in panko, and put it on baking sheets. Then I brushed cooking oil over the top so that it would brown.  I totally forgot to put oil at the bottom, so they just stuck to the baking sheet.  I don’t know why, but they didn’t brown at all. FAIL.

Luckily, I plopped them off the baking sheet and then just fried them in oil, which saved them.   The meal was a lot more work than I expected, but I guess that’s what I get for trying to be too clever by baking something meant to be deep-fried.

Oh and that cucumber thing at the bottom is just a raw cucumber with seeds scooped out, dipped in barley miso (morimo miso).  A sweet, refreshing appetizer to start off my semi-fail party dinner.

Dinner: How to Get Rid of Tons of Basil

My basil plant is exploding outside thanks to the hot weather and tons of sun.  I have to pinch off buds every other day to keep it from trying to have babies with itself.  It was getting massively bushy, so I trimmed it back a bit to give the younger, newer leaves a chance to sunbathe.  What do you do with a bundle of basil? Make pesto!

Dinner: Pesto Ziti

I made a pesto-ricotta sauce by sticking the basil leaves with half a container of soft tofu, some lemon juice, a clove of garlic, salt, and a tablespoon nutritional yeast into the food processor. I set it to blend, and started dribbling enough olive oil in to make a somewhat smooth paste.

Dinner: Pesto Ziti

To make the pasta dish more nutritious, I chopped up some greens (either collard or swiss chard, I forget which) and sauteed it with half a diced onion and some soy ground meat.  Then I dumped the cooked and drained pasta in, mixed it around, plopped on some of the pesto-ricotta sauce, mixed it, and called it a meal.

Unfortunately, I went a little pour-happy with the salt this time and the dish was super salty.  Other than the extra salt, the pasta tasted fine.

Super Productive Night Time!

APC New CuresOn some nights, when I get home from work, I just want to veg out and play video games, or if I’m feeling especially lazy, just watch TV. Tonight was not one of those nights.

I don’t know what got into me. Maybe the rushing “oh crap, gotta finish this up before I leave” half hour before leaving work revitalized me because I got a lot more done when I got home than I expected.

I made pasta from scratch: 1 part unbleached white flour, 1 part semolina flour, a pinch of salt, and enough water to form a dough. I re-potted my newest basil plant into my bigger basil planter. I got 1 hour of SFIV ‘training’ in. Oh yeah, did I mention I’m going to be in a Street Fighter tournament? I’m kind of scared. Maybe it’s not good that I picked such a low HP character, Chun Li.

Then I made corn salad with fresh corn on the cob. And then I swept the floor.

Ridiculous how much I managed to pack into a few hours. It makes me feel better about those nights where I’m just lollygagging the time away.