Plated Catchup 2, Weeks 18-28

Between this post and the last one, we are now all caught up and hopefully the weekly posts will pick up again on a more regular basis.

Week 18

Cuban Beef Bowls with Mojo Sauce and Avocado Pineapple Salsa
Not a bad dish. We would have used a different rice. The Avocado Pineapple salsa was VERY DIFFERENT. Not bad per se, just, VERY DIFFERENT.

Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt-Roasted Cauliflower and Cilantro Mint Chutney

This was a bit of a disappointment because the tandoori was the spices not the cooking style, and I had chosen this to maybe learn more about Indian cooking styles. Throwing chicken in a pan with some sauce is something I can already do. The yogurt mix on the cauliflower was messy to do, and the cauliflower ended up being oddly textured. Flavor wise it was just lacking.

Week 19

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce and Crunchy Slaw

Shmoo really liked these, in fact he finished mine for me. I didn’t dislike this dish, I just don’t like fish. But the tilapia was not offensive in general as far as fish goes, and I ate more of these than I did the Teriyaki Salmons a few weeks back.

Balsamic Steak Sandwiches with Creamy Horseradish
This was ok. We weren’t impressed, but it wasn’t bad. The balsamic didn’t really stand out as a flavor and the horseradish was weak.

Week 20

Savory Gruyere Bread Pudding with Spring Vegetables
This was a miss for both of us. It’s just not our flavors I guess and the texture needed some help also. I really wanted to come out of this with a decent understanding of savory bread puddings, but mostly I just think no, it’s not a thing now.

Cuban Beef Piccadillo with Spinach Rice
We liked this. We’ve made it twice since. Mostly because it’s easy and the basic ingredients were things we had on hand. It’s like Italian style sloppy joe on rice. Easy, filling, done.

Week 21

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Arugula Salad
The salad was better than the peppers. Shmoo loves stuffed peppers and he was disappointed with this. I tolerate them and found it lacking over all. The salad was decent, but we aren’t huge quinoa fans, and the flavor was just lacking.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Pizza with Shaved Parmesan
This was really good, but it was SO MESSY. We got it because it was a grilled dough and we’d never done that before. But it was a lot of work for a pizza. I spent a lot of kitchen despite him being the one “cooking” the chicken and pizza dough. We came nowhere close to finishing this meal. There was just too much food.

Week 22

Vietnamese Shaking Beef over Glass Noodles

We both really liked this. It was a pain in the ass to eat because the noodles were so long, and things just didn’t incorporate very well but the flavors were awesome. I just remade it with different noodles (Thai vermicelli) and we decided the glass noodles were a better choice after all so we won’t be subbing those going forward.

Falafel Spiced Chickpeas with Eggplant, Naan, and Israeli Salad
It was messy because of all the toppings on the pita, and we have determined we don’t really like eggplant; we should probably stop trying. The toasted chick peas were awesome. Tasty and crunchy.

Week 23

Coconut Curry-Crusted Cod with Jasmine Rice
It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t really great either. I was disappointed in what they called a “crust”, because the whole fished is not crusted, it’s just some stuff on the top. The rice had carrots, peas, and spinach in it and still managed to be bland.

Fontina and Brie Grilled Cheese with Fig Compote and Frisée Salad
This was great. We both loved it. Well, not the frisée salad, that was a waste of an ingredient. But the grilled cheese itself, super tasty. The fig compote was both in the sandwich and on the side, and while I personally think a longer cooking time for that would have made it better and more compote/preserve like in the more traditional sense, it was still super tasty. We are planning to do this again but it’s going to take finding the right bread to do it on. One thing I learned from this one however, was using mayonnaise on the outside of the bread instead of butter for better browning. It wasn’t bad, but I’m a butter girl, so when we do this for ourselves it will likely be with butter.

Week 24

Greek Horiatiki with Marinated Feta, Za’atar Naan, and Toasted Chickpeas
I liked the salad that came out of this, but mostly it was like the Falafel dish from week 23 but without the eggplant. So we liked it, but it was not AMAZING.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage with Asparagus Hash and Sunny-Side Up Eggs
We liked this. I learned that breakfast sausage is just ground pork with breakfast sausage herbs in it. I know that sounds obvious, but I mean, really, that’s it. I feel like could easily make my own now in the future and will no longer seek out a special kind of sausage for a recipe, instead I will just get plain ground pork and season accordingly .

Week 25

Provençal Zucchini and Potato Gratin and Butter Lettuce Salad

This was… not that great. I really wanted to like it, but it needed more seasoning or stronger flavors over all. Aaaaaand the butter lettuce. It was so gritty. I mean, GRITTY. I had soaked it for 20 minutes head of time, then swished it and rinsed it thoroughly and then put it in the salad spinner and it was still gritty as hell.

Lamb Kebabs with Papas Bravas and Mint Chimichurri
So damn good. The lamb was mixed with beef to keep it from being too overwhelmingly lamby, and the Chimichurri was perfect amount of mint. One change we had to make was not putting the almonds in the kebabs, but there was extra red onion so I put those in for that little bit of texture instead. We recently remade this dish , exactly the same way, I just added a few more things to the salad. We’ll definitely do this again.

Week 26

Coconut-Poached Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Crispy Shallots
The shallot was bad. I ended up replacing it with some dried shallots I had in the cabinet, so not as good as it could have been because they had to be rehydrated and then fried, so that was odd. Plated did give us a credit for the bad shallot though, so there’s that. This was ok, but it could have used some heat. Curry or a pepper or something. The Thai chili that was in it was not very present. This dish was OK, but it’s not one I’m looking to remake.

Grilled Steak with Potato Salad and Charred Zucchini
Who doesn’t like grilled steak? Same with the zucchini. The potato salad was done differently than I’d ever done it before, so I learned a new method from it but it’s not my preferred way to do potato salad. (The instructions had you mix all the wet in a bowl and then put your potatoes in it and coat them, so it had a lot more sauce than my family based recipe). I’ve done the potato salad again this one once since, because this method really lends itself to smaller one meal amounts of potato salad where as my traditional family recipe does not.

Week 27

Peruvian-Style Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salad and Ají Verde
The grilled avocado was surprisingly good. The aji sauce was very fresh tasting, and it was a pretty good salad over all.

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders with Carrot Fries and Greek Yogurt Ranch
Thanks to a co-worker of shmoo’s also doing plated, we knew the buffalo sliders were going to need some help in the spicy department. We provided that help. I used double the sriracha in the ground chicken mixture, and then added our own buffalo sauce from the fridge. Carrot fries are weird. We didn’t hate them, but I am not going to make them again.

Week 28

Korean Steak Tacos with Kimchi

We liked this. It was very flavorful. I did not cut the meat against the grain like I should have because of the way the filets were sent to us, and that made it a little chewy to eat, but otherwise, all good. The butter lettuce in this one was not gritty and there was so much of it, we had a huge salad a few days later.

Chicken Bruschetta with Balsamic and Shaved Parmesan
This was good though nothing like we expected. I wanted to try this because I wanted to see how someone else made bruschetta. It involved way more cooking than I would have thought was necessary. Cooking the tomatoes and onions made them a lot sweeter than what I would consider a traditional bruschetta flavor to be. The balsamic glaze was pre-made and you just squeezed it over everything. It was flavorful, but again a bit sweeter than I would have expected. We’ll continue to make bruschetta in the future, but probably not this way.