I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Matter of Convenience

So many recipes to catch up on: there was a fabulous shrimp scampi pasta, a carnivore's take on Greens' Zuni stew (add pork), and the return to turkey burgers, this time vaguely South Asian/mid-East-style with Hamati bread, sweet and sour carrot sauce, a very tasty yogurt sauce, and thinly sliced cucumbers from our *new* CSA box.

Our major challenge lately has been getting food on the table quickly. I'm working more and we're inevitably rushing. We try not to rely on take-out and I'm constantly trying to redirect my brain from involved Cook's Illustrated dinners to quick, tasty sustenance.

The latest discovery is Trader Joe's pre-cooked rice. I wouldn't dream of heating it in the plastic pouch with all the phthalate hoopla these days. But a little diced onion, sliced mushrooms and water with the jasmine rice/quinoa/flax seed blend made for a great 7-minute pilaf on Saturday night -- a great product to have around for a quick side, and it went well with the more time-consuming roasted baby artichokes I inherited from my sister's fridge before she left on vacation.

I've also recently discovered the Asian American Food Company, source of delicious and convenient Chinese dumplings. In a little storefront on Noriega, they make the dumplings in the back room and sell them out of enormous freezers in front. The owner is incredibly nice and his website details the cooking instructions for all his products. We've had the boiled dumplings for breakfast with some fresh fruit, and for dinner with a stir-fried vegetable. Tonight I'm making a quick soup of their Shanghai wontons, some defrosted chicken stock and leftover sauteed pea shoots. If you open my freezer, you'll find bags of chicken and chive, pork and napa cabbage and lamb dumplings, as well as xiao long bao and a tryer pack of pork and cabbage potstickers. Delicious!

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