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.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 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?

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§ 9 Responses to Take-Out & In

  • I know the “you don’t want cheese on your pizza, you are insane” look you are referring to! I eat cheese but when a pizza has good toppings sometime cheese is overkill for me to I get cheese free. The worst is when Tate tries to get them to put my cheese on his pizza, they never get it right!

    • Allie says:

      Ha — your cheese on his pizza — love it! Uh oh, Dave might just love that too. 😉 That makes perfect sense to me; too bad the pizza guys never get it.
      You’re right, a really good pizza can still be really good without cheese.

  • Stef says:

    Congrats on the move! The recipes look amazing & am excited to try them at some point. P90x is great by the way, I’m sore most everyday from doing each workout!! Enjoy the day~

  • Christine says:

    Yum, the mochi waffles look delicious – that is something I’d really like to try. And I can’t wait to try out the pizza place with you guys whenever I get up there!

    • Allie says:

      They are really easy & delicious.
      If you don’t end up with people at your house for NYE, maybe you & Kim should come up here for the dropping of “the pine cone”.

  • Natalie says:

    You may have just changed my life! I had no idea you could STUFF mochi. I can’t wait to try this out…like tomorrow! In fact, if I would have seen this before dinner I probably would have tried it out 😉

    Thanks for the shout out. As usual you inspire me!

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