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Monday, November 2, 2009

wan is a ghetto gourmet

the bean liked the hello kitty ring i brought back for her from my HK extravaganza.

she kept looking at it, pointing and saying "kitty!" and giving her kisses.

it was pretty funny to watch.

so with my endless recaps last week of my jam-packed weekend, my cooking escapades got lost in the shuffle. i had some winners and some definite losers, which is always a bummer, but at least i can start deleting bookmarked recipes.

i'd had this recipe for
pork tenderloin with cream sauce saved for ages. but after eating pulled pork for a solid week after the bean's birthday bash, i didn't want to make anything piggy for a while. last week, i finally decided our pork prohibition was over.

it was a pretty easy recipe - cook some sliced mushrooms in chicken broth, slice the pork thin and coat with some seasoned flour, brown slices in a bit of melted butter and olive oil.

i decided to steam some asparagus to go with it. you know, to make it a healthy dinner.

pull the meat out, add a little cream and parsley to the pan, cook to thicken, put it all together, and simmer. yummy, easy, and bean-approved.

i was craving brownies and peanut butter. so i put out a call onto the nest's cooking board and decided to tackle this brownie recipe with peanut butter frosting. a little investigation proved that the recipe would yield a ridiculous amount, so i not only halved the recipe but quartered it to make it fit into my little 8" square pan.

i thought it was a little weird to coat the chocolate chips with flour before adding to the batter, but i guess it's to help keep them intact while baking? i don't know. i just followed the instructions like a good girl.

it only took 20 minutes in the oven for my batter to go from this:

to this. in fact, i'd caught a whiff of burning chocolate before i realized that the cooking time also needed to be cut down. yikes. i managed to yank the pan out of the oven well before it turned into charcoal, and in fact didn't find any actual burnt parts. yay!

but the brownie blunder didn't stop there. oh, no.

i like to consider myself a fairly experienced baker. i've been successfully producing treats from my kitchen since i was eight years old (granted, the first thing i ever made was from a mix, but i was still in single digits there, people), and i'm pretty stinking familiar with the way shit works. and yet for some reason, this stupid peanut butter frosting was not turning out right at all.

see how grainy it looked? it wasn't smooth and gooshy like it should be. i scraped the whole mess into the trash can and started over - with the exact. same. results. i was pissed.

but i tasted it and it was actually really delicious, so i slathered it on.

but it's all about presentation - and texture. while the whole thing had great flavor, the grainy appearance and mouthfeel of the brownies was a huge turnoff. and so today, about five days later, the pan sits on the counter still practically full. damn. i'm going to go home and toss that shit out and find something else to make. brownie FAIL.

i also decided to try this recipe for korean-style short ribs. i'm all about testing out fun-sounding crock pot dishes, and since the hub was a big fan of the bulgogi that i used to buy at trader joe's (stop snickering, my asian readers), i thought this might be a winner, too.

let's face it, crock pot meals aren't pretty. but i still took a picture of the end result for you, because that's just the way i roll.

it was a'ight. i wasn't a huge fan, as it lacked flavor and oomph, and i practically had to beat the hub over the head before he would admit that he didn't love it, either. heh. oh, well.

at least when i made spaghetti and meatballs for last night's dinner, it was a hit. i used my favorite sauce recipe, which has become a staple in the wan house, but i found only half a package of spaghetti noodles in the pantry. after a bit of digging, i managed to scrounge up a box of mini bow ties too, so i just cooked them together and served it up.

ding ding ding! at last, i redeemed myself in the kitchen as everyone enjoyed the fruits of my labor.

and now, a funny. remember the restaurant challenge i did a couple of months ago for a freebie cookbook? well, i'm doing it again. and check out what i'm waiting to receive in the mail:

one, two, three, four. everybody on the floor. wan's kitchen is a gangsta's paradise.

and you know you can't wait to hear all about it.


  1. That pork dish looks fucking amazingly tasty. I just bookmarked this to make for when, you know, I can eat butter again.

  2. Sorry the short ribs recipe didn't work out. It's kind of a fussy one for the crock pot, so I'm still on the look out for a better one.

    I'm going to try that marinara recipe soon. It looks good!

  3. My husband says the Bean and I can hang out and wear our rings together :X

  4. My frosting looks like that when I overmix it - it causes the ingredients to kinda separate.

  5. I think I want to make that pork dish. Mmmm!

  6. The Outdoorsman makes fabulous K-BBQ, funny enough :)

    I am strangely very sad about your brownie fail. I know how hopeful one gets when tempted with something that yummy and when it doesn't turn out, it's such a bummer!


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