One of my preferred salads at Safeway is their orzo salad. I had decided to make an Italian dinner, so I thought I would make something similar using the Italian grain farro. Daughter Miriam always wants things vegetable forward. As I planned my salad, I added more and more vegetables.
I was planning two dishes for Sunday’s dinner that I needed Italian dressing for—a farro salad and a roast chicken—but I did not want to use bottled dressing. While I looked at several dressing recipes online I did not really follow any of them—I was just seeing what they considered the range of herbs to use might be. Many of them included powdered garlic and onion, but daughter Miriam is “off” these ingredients, so they have been omitted.Note Feel free to add them back, if you wish.
Wife Jan has a former student coming in as a guest speaker. When he was a student he had a chance to take some of my monkey bread home to his son. he asked if I would make more—how could I refuse?
I had been planning to make cheese fondue for a Sunday dinner when Daughter Miriam begged off at the last minute. While I had not yet grated the cheese, I was left with a whole loaf of French bread cut into little cubes. I needed to think of something to do with these, if I was not going to dip them into melted cheese sauce. I could make salad croutons, a cheese strada, or bread pudding. Wife Jan is very fond of bread pudding.
Note: While none of us children copied down her recipe, this close to what my mother Claudia would have made as I was growing up.
Karl’s Bread Pudding
1 cup half and half cream
2 Tbs. butter, melted
2 Tbs. Karl’s Orange Infused Sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. nutmeg, fresh grated
½ tsp. kosher salt
Pinch cloves, ground
1 loaf French bread, cubed
½ cup currents
1. Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk them lightly.
2. Whisk in the cream and melted butter into the eggs.
Tip: The butter will most likely congeal into little lumps, but do not be concerned with this.
3. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
4. Whisk to mix the ingredients.
5. Add the bread cubes and currents.
6. Fold the bread and fruit into the wet ingredients.
Note: This mixture will be really wet. This is as it should be.
7. Pour the pudding mix into a Pam-ed, or buttered, casserole dish that is large enough to take all of the pudding.
Tip: You want at least a quarter of an inch between the top of the pudding and the lip of the casserole. Otherwise, it might spill over onto your oven as it bakes. I always bake with a large baking tray on the lower rack to catch any drips. It is easier to clean a baking tray than a whole oven.
8. Let the pudding stand for ten to 15 minutes.
Tip: This rest allows the bread and almond meal to absorb some of the excess liquid.
Note: My mother would usually prepare the dish to this point the night before and let it soak, covered, overnight.
9. Cover the casserole with the lid—if it has one—or with aluminum foil.
10. Preheat the oven to 350° F
11. Put the bread pudding in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Tip: Until the center no longer jiggles loosely, but it is still not completely set.
12. Remove the foil and switch the oven to broil—still at 350° F.
13. Broil for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
14. Let the pudding cool for ten minutes and scoop out to serve warm or chill completely and serve as slices.
I am doing a barbecued bulgogi tri-tip for our Sunday meal. This popular Korean dish is usually made with thinly shaved marinated beef and then grilled with onions. Daughter Miriam is off garlic and onions—I also did not want to spend time par-freezing an finely slicing my meat—I would have to adapt my recipe to her needs. I finally decided to marinate a whole tri-tip, barbecue it, and then slice the roast at the table.
I am doing a barbecued bulgogi tri-tip for our Sunday meal. To go with the Korean main dish, I decided to make a potato salad with napa cabbage kimchi as my starchy dish. I decided I needed another vegetable dish and I found a recipe for oi bokkeum—stir fried cucumbers. I first had fried cucumbers in China, so I thought I would create my own Korean stir fry sauce.
Poké is an Hawaiian dish of seasoned raw fish. By itself it is not a full meal, it needs a starch and vegetable side dishes. Normally, I would set these each out in separate bowls, so my diners could take as much or as little as they wanted of each item. However this time I thought I would get a bit fancier. I decided to turn this meal into a Japanese-Hawaiian fusion as a poké chirashi sushi—scatter sushi. Chirashi sushi is sushi rice with various ingredients attractively scattered over and around it.
Poké is an Hawaiian dish of seasoned raw fish. I have hesitated to make poké as a main dish, because of the expense of buying enough sushi grade ahi from the local Japanese markets for a good sized serving for each of five people. I found an inexpensive source for ahi at my friendly local Hawaiian market—Kumar’s Island Market. I ended up buying 2 pounds. When I told my son-in-law Chris about this he asked me to save him a half a pound for his own poké recipe. Chris went to graduate school in Hawaii for three years, so he knows poké.