Tuesday, August 18, 2009

meal plans

Dad's out and about again, this time to do some last-minute shopping for meals for the upcoming few days, and also to pick up some more household and Mom-related items.

It took a while for me to take stock of our supplies, but it was a useful exercise, as I now know what I hope to serve our guests tomorrow evening, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. Here's a quick overview.

Wednesday dinner:

Freshly made budae-jjigae for everyone but poor Dad, who can't eat spicy. Side dishes will include rice, dried seaweed, kimchi, and possibly some homemade oi-kimchi (kimchi made from cucumbers) as well. There'll be plenty of budae to go around. I don't think small when I cook.

Thursday breakfast:

A French-style breakfast as I remember it from my time in France, with some additions. Fresh baguette, buttered, possibly with jam or some other confiture on top, dipped into a bowl of warm, very chocolate-y chocolate milk. Plus some fruit and yogurt on the side.

Thursday lunch:

Barbecue chicken and coleslaw sandwiches, kettle chips, and homemade fruit salad.

Thursday dinner:

Shrimp and scallops with mashed potatoes and green beans. I admit I still haven't figured out how I'm going to prep the seafood; I was thinking of doing something bacon-wrapped, since we now have an obscene amount of bacon. We'll see.

Friday breakfast:

American-style this time: eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and French toast made from leftover baguette slices.

Friday lunch:

Samseon-jjajang, or three-seafood pasta in black bean sauce. Koreans call jjajang-myeon "Chinese food," but there's some debate over just how Chinese it is. Without a doubt, the black beans used in the black bean sauce are decidedly Chinese; I've had Chinese dishes in America that incorporated them. But how Chinese is the overall dish? Hard to say. Many Koreans reflexively call it Chinese, but it hardly ever appears on Chinese menus in Korea or America. One Korean woman who lived a long time in China (and who actually spoke better Chinese than Korean) told me that, in the region of China where she lived, jjajang-myeon was definitely a local dish, not considered Korean at all. China's a big place, so I grant that it's at least possible that jjajag-myeon is Chinese, but my own culinary ramblings lead me to believe it's not really that common a dish among the Chinese themselves. I could be wrong.

Anyway, alongside the noodles will be some mandu (dumplings, potstickers) with homemade sweet/spicy dipping sauce, some oi-kimchi to put atop the pasta, and some danmuji (sweet pickled Korean radish; see here).

Friday dinner:

FILET MIGNON! I'm still not sure how I'll be prepping this, but I'm thawing that monster out right now. The piece I have is about the size and shape of my arm, so there'll be more than enough for two families. For trimmings, I plan to accompany this with a vegetable medley atop a bed of couscous done up in butter and beef stock. Garlic will make an appearance somewhere.

I'm not planning desserts for any of these days, but we do have a whole rum cake waiting to be consumed, and strawberries that I can make into another lovely strawberry sauce.

Saturday breakfast:

How better to see off the relatives than with homemade Egg McMuffins and homemade fruit salad? One of the best inventions for making McMuffin-ready eggs is the microwave, which makes this task super-easy. Mix eggs and cheese, heat properly in the microwave, and you've got a crustless quiche that can be cut into little circles and placed atop English muffins along with slices of Canadian or American bacon. Bliss. Not for vegetarians.

Planning the meals is half the battle; prepping the food as far in advance as possible is also half the battle; and as Yogi Berra might observe, cooking the food well when the time comes is the third half of the battle. We'll see how this goes.


No comments: