Choripan

So, I don’t have a picture for this meal. I apparently only took a pic for my Instagram account and for some reason my phone didn’t save the original picture. It’s not even in my Google Photos so either there was a interwebs fail or a phone fail. Clearly there was not a fail on my part because I’m perfect. If you want to see what I’m talking about, you can visit the Eat 52 Weeks Instagram account.

This was by far the easiest meal I’d made all year. At least I think it was, I made a lot of food and my memory is not good. But really, this could not have been easier. I’m still going to link the recipe but I’m also going to post it here because it will take me a minute:

– Heat buns

– Slice sausage

– Carmelize onions

– Put sausage and onions in buns

– Add chimichurri sauce

– Eat

To be honest, the chimichurri sauce took a bit of time but not that much. So if you want a quick, awesome, delicious meal, make choripan.

It gets its name from two of its ingredients: chorizo (sausage) and pan (bread). It’s one of the most popular meals eaten in Argentina and is considered a street food. Sidenote: I made a lot of street food last year and my question is, why doesn’t the US have all this awesome street food? You know what we have in Austin? Hot dogs. You can argue we have a lot more due to the ridiculous amounts of food trucks we have but no, you would be wrong. Street food is served from a cart, not a truck, and is not gentrified.

We loved it! Yeah I forgot to make sides so all we had that night was the choripan but we were okay with it. The girls didn’t like the chimichurri sauce but the baby kept asking for more sausage. And the four year old kept asking for more bread. Of course. I will make this during the summer and probably pair it with the Korean potato salad because awesome deserves to be surrounded by awesome.

Recipe

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Stamppot

Two weeks behind; I’m getting there!

This was the beginning of Dutch week. To be honest, I’ve never had an interest in the food from the Netherlands but we do have a friend who is Dutch and I did this for him. Hi Bob! Bob and his wife, Nicole, currently live in South Carolina but we met them a few years ago through mutual friends when they lived here in Austin. Through the years they have become some of our favorite people and I always look forward to seeing them when they come down to Texas. They usually make a couple of trips a year, one earlier in the year and then another later in the year. They came down during the summer but I had already booked the Netherlands for the winter so I told them I’d cook for them when they came back down. And that was the plan.

Well, then Nicole went and got herself a lucrative contract with a gallery in New Orleans and now they can’t travel as much. Way to go, Nicole! Of course I’m kidding, it was/is an amazing opportunity for Nicole and we are so very proud and happy for her! My friend is famous! If you’d like to check her out (and you really should!) please visit her website or The French Art Network, with whom she works. Saying Nicole is talented is an understatement and I’m constantly in awe of her work. I bow down at her abilities. I am not worthy!

But I am worthy of this meal! Stamppot was a suggestion made by Bob, who said that unfortunately the Dutch aren’t known for their food. We had other friends live in Amsterdam for a bit and they agreed, their favorite food to eat while living there was actually Indonesian. Well I had already done Indonesia so “boring” Dutch food it was.

This was far from boring! It’s really easy to make because all you do is boil and them mash veggies. A child could make this. Well, a child with a good handle of cutlery because you do have to chop up a lot of veggies beforehand. The cool thing about stamppot is that it’s very versatile. From what I gather, you just need to have a couple of root vegetables and a green and you’re good to go. I used potato, sweet potato, turnip, carrot, leek, and cabbage. Bob made a kale stamppot a few days later that look amazing so I will definitely try it kale next time. The recipe called for rookworst, which is a Dutch sausage, but I couldn’t find it so I used kielbasa. Bob suggested smoking it next time to get a richer flavor and to also use a sausage made by Salt Lick, a local barbecue place.

I ate multiple servings of this and I was stuffed afterwards. The girls did eat this as well. The four year old picked at the stamppot but really enjoyed the sausage; the baby stuffed her mouth with both. James also liked it but said it was heavy. It was but that didn’t stop me! I ate it for lunch the next day, and the day after that, and was sad when it was gone. I had planned on incorporating it into our Thanksgiving dinner but I forgot about it until later. Whoops! This would be perfect for the cold weather weare (finally!) experiencing here in Austin so I’ll probably be making this again soon. I’ll just have to make sure I go for an extended run beforehand so I don’t go into a carb coma.

Recipe

Black Bean and Sausage Soup and Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry

I am still a week behind, yay! Luckily I’m taking this week off from cooking so I can catch up. I’m still cooking, but not specifically for the blog. I am toying with the idea of creating a separate page for my off week meals because 1. they’re easier and 2. I get to experiment. I will probably only post one or two meals because the point of having an off week is to give myself a break from posting and planning but some meals are meant to be shared. I’m just not 100% sure I want to do it because off weeks are when I catch up and do admin work and adding new posts kinda defeats the purpose. Also, is there even a desire for it? Would the five people that read this blog really enjoy it? Five people, feel free to leave input.

Last week we ate Brazilian food, specifically food from Rio de Janeiro. I found a couple of Brazilian cookbooks I liked but My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook stood out. It’s very colorful (I most definitely judge a book by its cover) and I really liked Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s personal anecdotes that accompanied most recipes. The stories weren’t long or complex but I did feel like I was transported and was able to clearly visualize the story being told.

The soup was incredible! The recipe called for linguica sausage or chorizo but I used kielbasa. Being in Texas, I have access to Mexican chorizo but Mexican chorizo is very different from Spanish chorizo, which is what I assumed was closer to what she used than Mexican. Mexican chorizo is spicy, greasy, and crumbly; Spanish chorizo is cured so it’s closer to salami than Mexican chorizo. I love Mexican chorizo and if I could, I would eat it more often but it’s messy and not the healthiest food. The best foods are hardly ever the healthiest. I did a bit of research and saw that kielbasa was pretty close to linguica and it was right there in front of me at HEB so I went with it. The recipe said to crumble it up but I just sliced it. Easy peasy.

I also used dried beans instead of canned because canned beans don’t do well in soups. They get mushy and it really messes up the composition. If time allows, I always prefer to soak my dried beans for a few hours and then boil them. They get soft but very rarely break up the way canned beans do.

The baby loved the soup. Here’s proof. And yes, she’s shirtless. When we have particularly messy meals, I strip her down to nothing but a diaper. I am not about the laundry life!

The puff pastries were really good too! Baby was not a fan of those but the oldest one did enjoy peeling away the sheets of pastry. I would add more cheese next time because I felt they weren’t oozy enough but other than that, I loved them. They weren’t too heavy and I felt they went very well with the soup. The soup was just a little salty, probably because of the sausage, but the pastries helped calm it down. I actually ate one for breakfast the next day, heated it up in the oven for about five minutes at 350, and it was heavenly.

The meal was great and made us very anxious for the rest of the week. I’m just going to leave it at that.

Recipe, Recipe

German Lentil Soup and Sausage with Onions

I proposed to my wife that I make one dish every week and do some research ahead of time, but we sort of ran out of time last week (now several weeks! – sorry about the late post) and she suggested this dish because it is “easy”. My cooking skills fall somewhere between horrible and non-existent with the exception of spaghetti (it’s damn good!) so this was not “easy”.  Also, I’m neurotic and get stressed out easily so I ending up pacing around the kitchen muttering a bunch of expletives to myself.  Honestly, I probably looked and sounded like a crazy person half way through the preparation.  In the future, my focus will be on quick meals – about a half hour or less- since honestly I don’t like spending this much time preparing dinner.

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By the way that’s not me above- way too calm.

The second part of my dish was Sausage with Onions.  However, due to anxiety with all the ingredients in the above dish, I somehow mixed up hot dogs which were supposed to be used for the German Lentil Soup for sausage and ending up frying them out of order.  Not a big deal to fix, but the wife was not happy because she said she told me this but I wasn’t paying attention – story of our lives.  This was actually super easy if the selective listening hadn’t kicked in.  

Eventually, the lentils finished steaming and the sausage with onions baked and we had a happy household dinner – minus the 3 year old who doesn’t eat anything but 4th of July food.  My wife even said it was “pretty good.”  Personally, I thought it was a pretty solid meal too!

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Recipe