This week’s recipes were OK. There were parts of each dish that were hits and misses.
Roasted Shiitake Bibimap w/ Sweet Potato and Pickled Cucumbers
This was a big one, for me at least. I don’t like mushrooms. I never have. I am incredibly good at detecting mushrooms in food. I can tell if you used cream of mushroom soup in a recipe, with those tiny tiny tiny mushroom spec of yuck.
Choosing a dish that had mushrooms as a main ingredient was a BIG DEAL. I was prepared to eat them and even if I did not like them, because part of using trying plated is expanding our culinary borders, and while I am never going to try a fish dish from them, I figured I could give non-white-button-mushrooms a shot.
We liked the dish. The mushrooms and sweet potatoes in the hoisin-like sauce were pretty good, and the rice vinegar pickled cucumbers were great. My egg frying skills are decent as well so that was fine. The rice was a bit bland. And so very starchy. I had to rinse the rice after cooking as well due to the amount of starch gunking it up, which of course meant the beef boullion cube I put in the water with the rice was basically useless. I had some scallions on hand, so I diced those up and stuck them in some rice vinegar also and we put that in the rice to help it out. Everything but the spinach was pretty good. Shmoo found the spinach to be very blah, and I thought it was on the bland side and just ok, and I had added some sesame seeds to mine to help it out a bit. (There was more oil than I needed so I cooked it in Sesame oil provided as well instead of just olive oil so there wouuld be more flavor but it just wasn’t very flavorful. Bland bland bland.)
Steak au Poivre w/ Crispy Fingerling Potatoes
This was good. Sort of. Again, hits and misses. Shmoo really loved the way the potatos were done. I thought they were tasty as well, but my favorite was the sauce for the steak, even though the dijon mustard that was supposed to come with that recipe was missing. I just stuck some normal mustard in there and made do, but it did bring up an issue I’ll mention down below. The spinach was, again, super bland. I had hopes that it would be better and that maybe it was just what it was paired with on the first dish, but nope, it was still very meh.
So, the thing I have now experieced is an ingredient being left out. This can be problematic.
Even if you have the proper ingredients on hand (as I would have if they had left out a bibimbap ingredient) you don’t really know how much is the correct amount because the recipes don’t give you amounts. You have the ingredients from the dinner kit pre-measured, so if you are trying to replace one or duplicate a recipe, it’s basically your knowledge and guesstimate from when you did make it, or a random guess based on the instructions.
Additionally, you may not have the correct ingredient on hand. We did not have dijon mustard. We have spicy tabasco mustard, and I have mustard I can mix up with mustard powder. Neither of which are dijon. No, I cannot pardon you because I do not have any Gray Poupon, etc. That being said, we did just fine.
Sunday night’s dinner was taking the good parts of the plated dishes this week that we liked and doing them our own way. Or my own way since I am the cook! We did beef tips in a sauce that was a riff off of the poivre sauce, and I did some non-fingerling potatos with that same method. I also pickled some cucumber in rice vinegar for our salad. Overall, it was a great dinner, and I liked trying the different takes on food we’d normally cook.