Three days of scrubing, dusting, vacuuming, and shuffling around luggage later, I´m finally out of my apartment complex...and into my parents house. What a joy. Just kidding, but at least I have a full kitchen. The past few days I have been successfully whipping up whatever I feel like. But it´s only successful when my dad doesn´t tell me "It´s too healthy". Mom will always like my meals, though...
My first attempt of the weekend was also my first attempt at making meat in years. (I was a vegetarian through high school until I went to Europe, go figure). Cooking it, meat from any animal, was never my specialty, but some how I found myself sifting through the meat section at my neighborhood Von´s. The chicken was about to expire and the beef (was it beef?) was, well, I´m still deciding. And just as I was about to run from the clutches of the pork sirloin that wanted to swallow me whole, I spotted a 1 lb package of meat that had an image of the Wyoming Rockies on the front. Turns out it was bison meat from Colorado. (Um, Colorado doesn´t have bison, so it must have been imported from Wyoming, obviously).
It was ready to expire and half off. I tossed it in the cart and froze it until I could find a recipe. Never do I remember seeing bison meat in the grocery stores in Wyoming. It might be more popular up north but I´m a "city girl" from Cheyenne. Bison meat has always been a delicacy in the area, saved for long-standing traditions, like Cheyenne Frontier Days (the longest running rodeo in the world. We´ve seen everybody from Wild Bill Hickok to Annie Oakely to Buffalo Bill. It´s our pride and joy).
Being a Wyoming-ite, I guess I should have made something more traditional, shame on me. I made Middle Eastern Bison Meatballs with Cilantro-Yogurt dip instead. Google it. It was fabulous.
My next endeavor was to use up all the cilantro and mint I had leftover. Add some lemon, cumin, red chile flakes, pine nuts/walnuts, and some extra virgin olive oil and you have yourself a meal fit for parents with exotic tastebuds.
Now I haven´t baked in years and after a certain age it never really interested me. Flour everywhere, mediocre cupcakes from a box, thunder thighs--who wants all that? I learned in Budapest that I´d prefer to sit at a café overlooking the Danube while I dine on strudel and café Melange. But the thought of trying something new (and having my parents around to test it on) inspired me to try this bit out:
No eggs, coconut milk instead of cows milk. Add just at a touch of cinnamon, serve with vanilla and a sprig of mint and voilà.
Tomorrow I´m planning on roasting some chicken and putting it over spinach with a homemade strawberry vinaigrette. And avocados, possibly one of the only foods I missed while in the Old World.
You know I still consider myself a vegetarian? I might want to rethink that.