Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend cooking (and the return of Bobby!)

After a long 24 days apart, and an even longer 8+ months of non-stop travel, Bobby finally returned to Copenhagen mid-August! Despite the previously lovely summer weather, Bobby came home to lots of rain and strangely muggy weather. However, that didn't stop us from trying a new popsicle shop in town!
Bobby and I can both be homebodies when we're in Copenhagen, but we are trying to explore the city more and be more adventurous. What better way to start than with popsicles? Bobby ordered a pistachio ice cream dipped in chocolate and nuts, while I went with a mango and passion fruit sorbet dipped in chocolate. These were really good, and surprisingly inexpensive (by Copenhagen standards), so we will definitely be returning to try the other delicious flavors.
We received a very special (and large, and fragile) package in the mail! When Dad and Gloria last visited us, Dad took some measurements of a very oddly place wine rack in our kitchen (the rack is right above the refrigerator, so it's not only too high to reach, it's also exposed to the heat generated by the refrigerator. In other words, a very stupid place for a wine rack). Dad made this lovely stained glass piece for us to hang over the rack! Miraculously enough, the glass arrived in one piece. I think it looks great in the kitchen!
We picked up another bag of local vegetables. This bag included 2 zucchini, scallions, turnips (I know, not the most exciting), a lot of green beans (more exciting), carrots, salad, and some lovely little plums (did you notice the lack of potatoes? I think this might be the first bag we've gotten that doesn't include potatoes! And now I'm kind of missing them...). The plums were used right away to make a spiced plum sauce to go with roasted pork tenderloin, and some of the turnips were used to make a creamy turnip soup (I served both at a dinner party and didn't have time to take photos, but you can find the recipes here: turnip soup and pork tenderloin with plum sauce).
After visiting the States, Bobby and I both usually feel a need to detox from most American food. Since Bobby was in the States for 6 weeks, he really needed it! In fact, he came home with quite the sweet-tooth from eating so much processed, high fructose syrup-pumped food! So I decided to make us a meal that would fill us up with lots of vegetables, not be too warm with our muggy weather, and use up some of the vegetables from the week's vegetable bag. I used this New York Times recipe for cold noodles with grilled chicken and peanut sauce, though I made some changes (namely, I added a lot more and different kind of vegetables, and pre-cooked them... uncooked turnips and cabbage can do funny things to your stomach. I also used less chicken than was called for in the original recipe). I used my lovely mandolin to julienne some turnips, carrots, and zucchini, plus finely sliced green bell pepper and white cabbage. I quickly sautéed the vegetables, then let them cook, covered, with some soy sauce.
We don't have a grill, so I broiled the chicken. I used a few chicken legs and a thigh since it was what I had on hand.
I decided to add the green beans from the vegetable bag. I cooked them separately: using this recipe, I made some tasty, garlicky, spicy green beans which we eventually added to the finished noodle dish.
Once the rice noodles were cooked, I drained them then added the broiled chicken, green beans, and soy-glazed vegetables.
Next came the two sauces: a peanut sauce and a the dipping sauce.
Toss, toss, and try to not make too much of a mess.
The final product! Finished with fresh scallions, mint, and cilantro, this was a tasty dish that used 5 of the different vegetables from the vegetable bag (carrots, scallions, turnips, zucchini, and green beans). I'll admit that the dish took a good bit of work (you make three different sauces!) and time (make the sauces, marinade the chicken, cook the different vegetables, broil the chicken, boil the noodles), I think it was worth the effort. What else are Sundays for?

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