February has definitely been a long month. It’s been crazy busy at work, and long days are ahead of me going into March. Every morning I wake up wishing it was Friday (or better yet.. Saturday). Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, and I’m extremely grateful that I was able to find a job when I did. Sometimes, though, I want to take Minh up on the plan to move to somewhere remote, where the cost of living is low, open up a small business, and wile our days away riding our bikes and cooking good food. I always think that if we had more time to put into it, we would be pretty competitive as racers… but work always has to suck up all the daylight hours. Thank God for daylight savings time coming up. I wish it were daylight savings time all year round.
Anyway.. the point of this post was not to complain about work. Actually.. the point of the post was share the only thing that I look forward to on Monday.. Monday Night Dinner with the girls. Four Mondays in February, and three have been documented for your reading pleasure.
First Monday was Michele. Her cooking extravaganza was not documented since she was already done cooking by the time I got to her house. We had a traditional Vietnamese family dinner with steamed white rice, steamed bok choy, and Dau Hu Xot Ca Chua (which is fried tofu stewed in tomatoes). It was her first attempt at making this, and it turned out great. Especially considering all the “motherly” guidance she got came a long the lines of “just add a little of this and a little of that.”
Second Monday was Lampa’s (/Preston’s) turn. We had a nice Salad Trio, Corner Bakery style. Preston made tuna salad and pasta salad, which was enjoyed with a spring salad on the side. Even had the sliced baguette and everything. Originally, it was supposed to be a tuna salad sandwich with pasta salad on the side.. but Lampa got creative with the presentation. It was (as all things Preston makes are) very tasty.
Third Monday, Anh Thu wowed us with our second round of Vietnamese Food this month. She made Bo Luc Lac, which translates roughly into “shaken up cow.” It’s stir-fried marinated beef (steak cubes, not ground) that is served over salad. Served with steamed white rice. Again, very good.. but then again, us girls, we love our Vietnamese food. Anh Thu went above and beyond with her dinner by providing dessert.. Banh Tieu stuffed with vanilla icecream. For those of you unfamiliar with Banh Tieu, it’s hard to explain. It’s a bit like pita bread, only fried and sweet with sesame seeds. Lampa and I had never tried it with icecream before. I’ve always eaten it straight out with no additives. Adding the icecream to it was delicious. It was like a Vietnamese icecream sandwich. The flavor of the banh tieu melded really well with the flavor of the icecream.
Last Monday of the month (last night) was my turn. I opted to make crepes, but uncomplicated ones. Main course was essentially a chicken salad crepe. But not your mayonnaise chicken salad that you get with sandwiches. This was more like a grilled chicken salad. For dessert, since I was making crepes, we had to have Nutella and crepes. Since it was my night, I can provide the recipe (the other nights are a little harder because I can only speculate on what actually went into the meal).
- Chicken: I sauteed up some thinly sliced chicken breast, but you can shred up rotisserie chicken or use grilled chicken.
- Spring salad mix (or salad mix of your choice)
- Sauteed mushrooms and onions (because I just love this stuff)
- Corn and sundried tomatoes
- some sort of light dressing
Mix it all up and wrap it in a crepe.
1.75 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 c whole milke
3 eggs at room temperature
5 T butter, melted, at room temperature (ish)
- Sift flour and salt together.
- Whisk eggs and milk.
- Mix together.
- Whisk in butter.
- Strain (if necessary) and chill for at least 2 hours or one day.
- Pour approximately 1/3 c of batter into a hot non-stick pan.
- Working quickly, swirl pan to thin batter and form a uniformly thick circle.
- Let sit for a little while to get a nice light golden color.
- Flip and color the other side.
- Slide onto a large plate.
Note 1: It may take a few tries to determine the exact technique to getting a successful crepe. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter, swirling technique, and time in the pan. Do not get discouraged if this takes longer than you anticipated.
Note 2: Crepes are really convenient to have around because you can wrap anything in them. I actually think that they are more versatile than tortillas because you can do sweet or savory, while as a tortilla is more or less stuck with the savory (burritos, salad wraps, etc). If making some to store, or if you have extras, store them separated with sheets of parchment or wax paper. Seal them into an airtight container or a large resealable bag (depends on the size of the crepe, but usually gallon sized will do the trick). Store in the fridge for several days, or store in the freezer for a few months. Next time you use them, just warm them up on the pan or in the microwave.
February Monday Fundays – Picture Gallery: