Friday, December 12, 2008

Day Five - Thursday

Another good day. I think I'm getting used to this. I wasn't hungry, and the grouchiness about not being able to eat whatever I want has worn off. It's actually sort of amazing how soon that fades away.

Breakfast per usual, and there was enough leftover potato soup to have that for lunch today, which was a nice change. We're having Red Beans & Rice for dinner tonight (you didn't think we'd get through a whole week of eating on the cheap without that dish do you?). I mixed it up this morning and left it in the crock pot for the day. I started with an Emeril recipe, but it wasn't even close to recognizable by the time I got through it. If you want to see how to make this recipe for real, there's a link on the recipe title. Here's the mise en place for my sad version.

Red Beans & Rice
1 cup dried red beans
2 oz (slices) bacon, lean only, diced
1/4 c. onion, minced
2 tablespoons green pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
fresh ground pepper
4 cups water

I set the beans out to soak last night, and then this morning I sauteed the bacon, onion, green pepper, and garlic cloves over medium heat until the bacon was browned and onions translucent. I added this mixture to the crockpot along with the soaked beans, crushed red pepper flakes, basil, pepper and water. Then, like a complete idiot, I added 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mix. Sheesh. This is why I don't cook in the morning. So supposedly if you add salt before the beans are cooked they'll be tough and never get soft no matter how long you cook them, but it's not like I could fish the little granules out at this point so I just let it do its thing on low for the day while I went to work.

I had a work obligation in the evening so S. finished dinner. He made a standby recipe from S.'s mom. It came out fugly this particular night given some bread crumb issues so I'm not posting a picture. It will scare you, but here's the recipe. It's very forgiving, quite tasty, and if you have access to an actual spice cabinet quite amenable to spicing up.

Zucchini Fries

1 large zucchini
about 1/4 cup flour
two eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup bread crumbs
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut zucchini into steak-fry sized batons. Mix flour with salt and pepper (to taste) and lightly coat zucchini in flour. Lightly beat two eggs with a couple tablespoons of milk (or one egg and one egg white in our case). Toss zucchini batons in egg mixture and then coat with bread crumbs. Place zucchini on a lightly oiled baking pan and lightly drizzle with oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through, until zucchini are browned.

The red beans and rice were just fine despite the supposed fatal error of early salting. I added some more salt and "crushed 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot." I'm not really sure why you're supposed to do that, but I am good at following directions. Here's dinner (with the tumorous zucchini fries accidentally forgotten during the photo shot).

It was fine. Neither offensive nor terribly interesting. Given that the recipe is such a departure from any reasonable version of this dish I'm not going to hold it against red beans. The zucchini fries, on the other hand, tasted like manna from heaven. Yum. Vegetables.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and sugared sunflower seeds, one half apple (A. only)
Lunch: Potato Cheddar soup, slice bread, banana, apple (S. only), sunflower seeds
Snack: bread and peanut butter
Dinner: Red Beans & Rice and zucchini fries, 1 c. milk (A. only)

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