Take-Out & In
16 Thu, 2010 § 9 Comments
Pizza seems to be the quintessential “moving day” food. With Christine’s help, we even found a pizza place that offers vegan pizzas & local, seasonal ingredients: New Jersey Pizza Company.
The “vegan” pizzas aren’t anything fancy, but at least they seem open to a request to leave cheese off — which usually wins me the are-you-Crazy? glance — & they even offer vegan cheese. The in-house crust, made daily, is fresh & amazing: slightly crisp yet still soft on the inside. They also have a house-made mozzarella which Dave quickly approved. My vegan calzone hit the spot.
Our quick-assembly cardboard box dining table fit right in with our “moving day” theme. All that was left was something cold to wash it down.
We bumped into a woman at the store looking for a saffron-infused beer, & I was more than happy to help her find it. If I had to choose only one spice for the rest of my life — which would just be cruel anyway — it would be saffron. It’s difficult to describe what saffron tastes like, so I tend to agree that “to taste saffron is to know how unnecessary words are in the vocabulary of joy.” Honeyed musk just came to mind, so maybe that’s a good description.
We almost missed the “cold” part of our drinks, because we didn’t realize the fridge was off. Nothing a quick chill in the freezer [while roasting a side of broccoli] didn’t remedy.
I usually go for a glass of wine & am a dark beer gal when I grab a beer, but I enjoyed this Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Brewery. The bitterness of the barley played well with the subtle sweetness of the honey & grapes as well as the delicacy of the saffron. I don’t really think of beer as an after dinner drink, but this is really nice!
That was our take-out…& while it’s easy to get caught up in the take-out mood during move-in week, we opted to quickly fill the pantry & cook a delicious meal that still satisfies that mood.
Natalia discovered mochi recently & reignited my excitement over what has sort of become a staple in our home. This kicked me out of my typical mochi waffle mode & has made me think of other ways to use it.
Mochi Dumplings are a favorite.
I really want to love dumplings when we dine out, but they are usually somewhat of a disappointment to me; they are generally too chewy, & it’s rare to find them without pork. I love this so much more than any I have ever tried at a restaurant.
Baked mochi creates a dumpling that is chewy on the inside but still crisp on the outside. They make a quick & versatile meal; you basically make stir-fry then stuff. It is a perfect way to use up aging produce & the best method I have found to sneak cabbage into Dave — mwahaha — he didn’t even taste it! Plus any excuse to make peanut sauce rocks.
Cabbage & Leek Stuffed Mochi
filled 12 mochi dumplings
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- 1 leek, thinly sliced into half moons
Saute ~3 minutes.
- 10 small, baby bella mushrooms
Remove & discard stems [save for other use — I fed these to Eisley].
Thinly slice caps.
- ½ a small head of cabbage, sliced thinly [~1 cup] or other winter green
Add mushroom & cabbage to skillet & saute 8 – 10 minutes.
Deglaze with braggs or tamari if needed.
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 daikon radish, grated
- 1 T mirin
Add & saute 5 – 8 minutes more, or until tender & most of the liquid has cooked out.
Stir in sesame seeds [ground sunflower seeds are a good substitute if you happen to forget sesame seeds like I did].
- 1 12-oz package of mochi, cut into 2″ squares & baked according to package directions [I really like the super seed one by Grainaissance]. Should make 12 squares.
[I put the mochi in the oven around the time I add the cabbage & mushrooms.]
Allow the puffed mochi to cool enough to handle.
Carefully slit each one open with a knife & use a fork to stuff with stir-fry. This is a bit sticky & awkward; they don’t have to be pretty — they will still be delicious.
- 3 T coconut milk
- ¼ C natural peanut butter [we like chunky]
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes [a nice sub for red chili sauce a.k.a cock sauce]
- 1 T honey or other sweetener
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest [I would have preferred lime juice, but a lemon was all I had. I just used the zest to give it a hint of citrus without making it too “lemony”]
Combine all ingredients in a blender & puree until smooth.
What is your favorite take-out?
What is your favorite homemade take on a favorite take-out?