Aldi occasionally carries an unexpected food. We bought a five pound duck and I recently let it thaw in the fridge. The duck in combination with my Nuwave oven created one of the best pieces of poultry ever seen in my kitchen. The skin was crusty with a layer of fat just beneath. It literally melted in our mouths. Every part of the duck was as juicy and moist as dark meat. I really impressed myself, which I know isn’t hard to do, but still. The thing that was so incredible about it, was putting the duck on the Nuwave rack, sprinkling ginger and pepper on it, and turning on the oven. Two and a half hours later we had supper. I love easy!
Alice came back this week. It’s a long story, but I’ll give you the version of pertinent parts. Parts that pertain to food.
Last week, Alice wouldn’t eat any of our food. Since she has only been in the States for a couple months, I can’t really blame her. I was scarfing down my homemade Five-Way Chili, an internet knock-off of Steak N Shake’s chili, mmm good. She politely sipped water. So when I knew she was coming back this week, I wanted to feed her. It was going to be supper time; I knew she would be on the bus for a few hours, and what do you do when you want someone to feel comfortable in your home? You feed them. So I went online and actually found a recipe for the Huushuur. I made it, and ‘Alice’ was so delighted, that she called the interpreter just to tell him that I made it.
Also, when I got her at the bus station, she gave me a package full of Mongolian chocolate. I had no idea. I’m so naive. I thought South Americans invented chocolate and only shipped it to North America. Oh wait, I have also heard of Swiss chocolate, and Belgian chocolate and German chocolate…I just had no idea that Mongolians might also enjoy that heavenly dark brown bliss. DH had a good description for it. He called it ‘earthy’. I agreed with the assessment. It was kind of chocolate covered brittle, with just a hint of melamine. Okay, that was probably unkind. I mean, I’m still eating the entire bag, so it can’t be that bad, right? Or is it the fact that I haven’t had a decent candy bar in like, three weeks. But while Alice doesn’t speak a lot of English, and I don’t speak a lot of Mongolian (Huushuur, Buuz, Benno Benno), we both love our chocolate, and our meat pies.
I was exceedingly happy and gratified when she asked for four more Huushuur to eat after she tasted the first one. Here it is:
2 1/4 cups regular flour
half teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
Mix that up into a dough, roll into sixteen small balls and let rest for two hours.
Mince garlic and onion (I used my MINI-CHOPPER!) Mix in with your ground beef. When your dough is done sitting, you roll the balls out into cute little pancakes. You put a couple tablespoons of your meat mixture on half, fold over into half-moon shape, crimp edges, and deep fry. They were pretty easy, and pretty tasty. It suggested serving with soy sauce, but we just ate them plain.
Last week I made Macaroni Meat Bake. I boiled egg noodles, because I didn’t have elbow macaroni; I used Aldi brand luncheon meat instead of Spam, and used a can of cream of celery, because I didn’t have Campbell’s Cheddar cheese soup. Can I even call it the same thing since I substituted a bunch of ingredients? I wish I could tell you it tasted great, or that it tasted terrible, or that my family loved it. But this is what happened.
I had a guest. From Mongolia. I mean, she didn’t just get here from Mongolia, it was a roundabout way, and it’s a long story that I’m not going into, but she was here, and folding my laundry, and I was cooking supper. It was going to be a busy evening, because E had a concert, and my Mongolian guest, I’ll call her Alice, was getting a ride somewhere, and the boys, Dale and Bob, had a party to go to. So I made the Egg Noodle Speat Bake, put it in the oven, and it was done right on time. So, DH was home, and I was planning my evening around shuttling Alice to where she needed to go. Thankfully, she had given me some “Hoe-schoor” to eat. I don’t know how to spell it or anything, but it was very tasty. Ground beef and cabbage and onion in a kind of pita-like bread dumpling. So Alice and I went our merry way. I showed up late to E’s concert, found DH, found a good friend dandling Tori on her knee, and Farley was oh so happy to see me too. I asked DH if he enjoyed supper. He said everybody just kind of fended for themselves. Hmm. Lovely concert, horrible weather outside. Horrible for driving, of which I had a bunch more to do. I had to pick up the boys and a treat and get gas et cetera. Finally got home. The next morning, I asked E if she told Dad about supper. She said, I told him you made it, but I didn’t know where it was!” So I opened up the oven, and there was the Egg Noodle Speat Bake, untouched, unpreserved. Did I mention how good the Mongolian Dumplings were?
We bought a Nuwave oven. We actually researched it and everything, then found the best deal in town and went and bought it. It’s a behemoth to keep on your kitchen counter. It doesn’t actually cook faster than a conventional oven, except for smaller portions, because you don’t have to preheat, which is super annoying, IMO.
What I really love about it, is that DH cooked dinner the other night, and it was great. I wandered aimlessly around the kitchen because there wasn’t anything for me to do. Then I sat down to eat, had a delicious barbecue chicken meal with mashed potatoes, and I hadn’t touched any of the food beforehand.
So the moral of the story is, DH enjoys the new cooking gadget, so I don’t have to.