Today’s eats just absolutely killed it. Like, they made up for the entire rest of the sick/tired/working weekend.
First, the BF and I headed out for brunch at Union Pig & Chicken. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks, and with doctor’s appointments and bloodwork and yadda yadda yadda, it just didn’t happen. But we finally managed to get there today, and I’m so glad we did.
As I’d planned, I ordered the chicken & waffles. The BF, however, strayed from the expected and got the steak & eggs. One of us was super-happy with their meal (ahem… the one with a blog). The other was… underwhelmed.
The chicken & waffles plate was glorious. A light, fluffy waffle (not heavy at all) was topped with a fried chicken breast and leg and served with a hefty side of mac & cheese and a side of greens. I ended up eating all of the waffle, part of the chicken, and only a bite or two of the mac & cheese and the greens; it was a pretty hefty brunch. Thank goodness for takeout containers.
The steak & eggs… well, it was much smaller. Two small pieces of something vaguely resembling steak posed on a bed of pale homefries, and the eggs sat alongside. No word on how his meal tasted (though, I can’t imagine it was bad), but it was much smaller than we both expected. I ended up giving the BF most of my chicken leg and a bunch of the skin from the chicken breast to try to compensate (brunch survivor’s guilt).
Thanks to my ginormous brunch, I wasn’t hungry again until dinner. The BF had a hot date with another woman (his mom), so I was on my own. I decided to head to Lotus in the Strip and got some ingredients with which I could experiment. I knew I wanted Asian-inspired noodles, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.
I loaded up on fish sauce, tamarinds, bok choy, fresh Shanghai noodles, and fresh tofu. I never realized how cheap the homemade tofu is at Lotus until today – wow! When I got home, I started crafting some semblance of a dinner.
While the water for the noodles came to a boil, I heated up a heaping tsp of minced garlic in a sesame oil/canola oil mixture. Once the garlic started to brown, I added the tofu, the bok choy, almost an entire bag of TJ’s broccoli slaw, an entire bunch of chopped green onions, and some chives from the back yard. After everything cooked down for a few minutes, I added a drizzle of rice wine vinegar and then got to work on the tamarind sauce.
I put about 1/3 of the package of tamarinds from Lotus in the NutriBullet with about 1/2 c lime juice, 1/4-1/2 c fish sauce, and about a tsp of brown sugar. I added a bit of water since it was so thick, and then some Thai garlic chili paste for some extra flavor. After a few seconds, I had a very unappetizing-looking, yet very tasty sauce. I drained my noodles after they’d bathed for a few minutes in boiling water, and then dumped them in the skillet with the veggies. I added the sauce and then stirred everything up until all of the ingredients were lightly coated in the sauce.
I wish I’d written down the amount of fish sauce and lime juice I used, but I really just winged it. The result, though, was pretty spectacular – especially for something that came out of my kitchen. This dish has so much flavor; it tastes like it came from a restaurant where people actually know what they’re doing with the ingredients. The tamarind added a nice complexity to the sauce that I haven’t noticed in many other dishes; especially not in any dishes I’ve made. The only thing that wasn’t so awesome was the bok choy – I should have added it closer to the end. As it was, it cooked down a bit too much for my liking. Otherwise, though, I’m pretty darn pleased with myself for creating this dinner. I even made it look almost-pretty with some black sesame seeds (which, of course, spilled all over my kitchen floor) and some fresh mint. Boom.
So between my salty-sweet-crunchy-juicy brunch and my exotic-savory-sweet dinner, I feel like I’ve been around the world in flavors. Not a bad way to end a weekend. :)
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