Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pork chops and rice

Our friend and house guest, Tatiana, treated us to Southern-style fried pork chops and rice Sunday night.

I have to say, I've never known pork chops to be especially tender or tasty, but this girl's chops turned all my pork misconceptions on their heads. The key, she says,is in double-dipping them into a mix of flour, cayenne and season salt, then frying both sides in oil about an inch deep. What doesn't taste good fried in oil?
She also served cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The veggies in the photo were my doing, of course.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Korean ramen and fishcake soup

Summer doesn't seem like the best time for a steaming bowl of fishball goodness, but it's been cool here this week. So why not?

I'm hooked on "healthy" ramen noodles. You probably didn't know that they made those curly instant noodle bricks without all the msg, fat and sodium that have endeared them to budget conscious college students. I had been buying "Smart Choice" ramen at Kroger, but they stopped carrying them a couple months after I discovered them. They're great because they cook in boiling water in 60 seconds and have 3 grams of fat per brick as opposed to the 20 grams in the real stuff. They also taste good. Granted, you can tell they don't have all the hydrogenated oil of the original, but it's nothing a dash of sesame oil or canola oil can't cure.

I was moping about my discovery and subsequent deprivation when my mom came to the rescue, in usual fashion, by finding them in the Chicago suburbs and buying all 50 packages on the shelf. I'd been living off those noodles for a better portion of the year, but finally finished them last month. This last visit, she brought a new kind of "healthy" ramen... called HooRooRook. I don't know if that's some kind of Korean onomatopoeia or what, but these noodles are even better than the Smart Choice. They've only got a gram of fat and they come with a packet of seaweed and other tasty seasoning bits, a better flavored soup base and a tiny packet of (sodium rich, I'm sure) brown pasty stuff to stir in at the last minute. Smart Choice came in beef and chicken noodle flavor and I usually threw out the packet and just dressed the noodles in teriyaki or soy sauce and a little bit of vegetable oil or toasted sesame seeds.

If you get your hands on some HooRooRook, or any instant noodles, I recommend boiling them with some chopped cabbage and frozen assorted fish cakes for a quick and satisfying meal. Mmmm. I kinda want some right now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009