Yay for Family Time, too!

Last week also saw my spouse and I visiting my parents. I was raised on a relatively mellow-tasting, healthy diet, similar to what I helped my mama make below. Lots of steamed stuff, and delicious tofu.

Dinner prep with Mama: green beans, fish, thousand year eggs, scallions, and tofu.
Dinner prep with Mama: green beans, fish, thousand year eggs, scallions, and tofu.
Dinner by chef Mama: thousand-year egg & tofu, steamed green beans, baked fish, and tofu miso soup (also: leftover pot stickers).
Dinner by chef Mama: thousand-year egg & tofu, steamed green beans, baked fish, and tofu miso soup (also: leftover pot stickers).

The next night, I made dinner in honor of my father’s birthday. Fell a little short on supplies cooking away from my kitchen, but I made do.

Baked Chicken
Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts
olive oil & butter (melted)
dried marjoram
dried rosemary
honey
salt & pepper

“Steps”
I preheated the good ‘ole toaster oven to 400 and oiled up the pan. I rinsed and dried the chicken, brushed it with the butter and oil mix, and sprinkled a generous amount of marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper. Then I baked it for around 40 minutes, dripped a little honey on top on impulse, took it out around 10 minutes later.

Dinner prep: the chili oil is actually home made from a friend, just stored in that bottle..
Dinner prep: the chili oil is actually home made from a friend, just stored in that bottle..

Charred Green Beans
Originally from a Seattle Times 2008 article, modified for what I had on hand, and to keep the garlic in the roast.
Serves 8

Ingredients
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder (substitute shown above: home made chili oil)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 large or 4 small garlic cloves
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Coarse kosher or sea salt

Steps
1. Combine vegetable, chili and sesame oils in a microwave-safe container. With the flat of a chef’s knife, smash the garlic cloves; remove and discard peel and add garlic to oil. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Let sit while you prepare the beans.
2. Top and tail green beans, rinse them thoroughly and then whirl in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread beans out in one layer in two rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle oil over beans and toss beans until all are coated with oil.
4. Roast beans 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size, stirring and rotating pans halfway through. Beans should be browned in spots and beginning to shrivel. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels.
5. While beans are roasting, toast sesame seeds in a skillet over low heat, shaking pan and stirring frequently until fragrant; then remove from heat.
6. Sprinkle hot beans with sesame seeds and coarse salt to taste. Serve immediately, or store in fridge then serve at room temperature.

This week’s trial recipe rating:
Novelty Rating:
3 of 5 stars
The chicken was palatable, and I was happy it turned out okay, but was not remarkable. I’ve been making those green beans since 2008, they are in the regular meal rotation, so the only novelty is how tasty they are.
Likelihood of Repeat: 20%
Likely not to repeat the same ad hoc chicken, likely to repeat the green beans, but they weren’t the trial factor here.

Dinner in the tiny rice bowls I grew up on. Not visible: rice.
Birthday dinner: baked chicken, charred green beans, and brown rice (not shown), served in the tiny rice bowls I grew up with (excellent portion control technique).

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