Aug 21 korean short ribs
Aug 22 curry chicken udon noodles
Aug 23 dinner out
Aug 24 late night chinese with both of the men in my life
Aug 25 Onigiri
I was supposed to have my kitchen counter repaired on Tuesday so I planned on going out for dinner. It really would be impossible to cook in there because my kitchen is about 2 sq ft and I only have two counters and if Bob The Builder is working on one of them, there wouldn't be room to swing a cat in there.
Of course, the repairman didn't get around to my place on Tuesday and I had nothing ready to prepare for dinner so we went out anyway. My kitchen counter was now being fixed on Wednesday. That meant that Wednesday, which was the day I planned on cooking , would also be a non cooking day but I have to post Thursday AND Thursday afternoon I am leaving to go out of town for the weekend. I am going out of town all by myself (to attend an exiting multiple day Indian wedding so it is going to be nothing but food, food and more food - maybe some champagne to wash down all the food) until Sunday so unless I cook something Sunday evening after I get home, I will most likely have no recipes but lots of great stories and food porn to show you on Monday. For all of you mothers, I think you know why I bolded ALL BY MYSELF IN A BEAUTIFUL INN WITH A BIG BED AND ROOM SERVICE AND A BOTTOMLESS HOT WATER SUPPLY AND A BIG BATHROOM AND I WON'T HAVE TO SHARE THE BED WITH ANY STINKY BOYS. Exited, am I !
Anyway, whether I am here or not, The Kid has to be fed. The Neighbours are keeping an eye on him until his father stops working late Friday night but he is getting himself up, dressed, getting his lunch together before catching the bus to camp on Friday morning and then coming home after camp on his own. I will be able to see him off on Thursday morning but he will be coming home on his own after camp and this means there needs to be something for him to eat for dinner (The Neighbours are taking him out for dinner Friday).
One perfect thing I could make ahead of time and leave for The Kid to eat is onigiri. I had some leftover curry chicken from our curry chicken udon noodles and used some of that to stuff in them. If you have never tried onigiri, they are just japanese sticky rice (the same rice you use to make sushi but you don't season it with the vinegar/sugar mixture) that you put in a cute, little mold, fill with a bit of meat or fish or something and the wrap in a strip of nori (the seaweed sheets you use to make sushi). You can use anything to fill them, even tuna salad or some ham and it makes a really easy lunch item to pack for your kids too. I make california roll onigiri on mornings when I am too lazy to make actual california rolls to pack in his lunch. Have I mentioned how spoiled my little prince is? This is really more of a snack food or a lunch treat but in this case, it made the perfect make ahead dinner for a rice loving kid. A bonus was that it didn't require any re heating, i.e. the use of any potential house burning down appliances.
|my onigiri mold|
makes 4 med sized onigiri
1 cup sushi rice
1 cup water
a couple tbls of cooked, leftover meat or seafood (curry chicken and cabbage in my case)
furikake to taste - my kid loves it so i use a generous amount but you can just use a light sprinkle
1 sheet nori, cut into strips (the sheets have a light cutting indents so just cut along those lines, about 1/2")
I use a rice cooker for my rice. Put the rice in pot and rinse it in cool water four or five times until the water runs pretty clear. Cover with water and let it sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes or up to about 30 minutes to soak. Drain that water and then add a fresh cup of water to the rice in the pot and cook in your rice cooker.
While the rice is cooking, get your stuff together.
Cut up your leftover meat or fish or mock crab or whatever you are going to stuff these things with into little pieces. Cut your nori strips and set aside.
When the rice cooker turns off, let it sit for 10 minutes to steam before removing the lid. When that is done, take off the lid, remove the rice and put it a shallow bowl and let it cool until it's just nicely warm. This is when you sprinkle in the furikake (you can skip this too if you or your kids don't like it) over the rice and gently fold in in.
*please excuse the terrible how to photos - I had to make this at the crack of dawn and it was dark so I had to take them with the kitchen light on.
|fill part way with rice - make small indent|
|add a bit of your filling|
|cover with a bit more rice to fill mold loosely|
|push down lid to compact the rice|
|finished with nori wrapping|
rinse your mold and the mold lid under warm running water and don't dry it off. Pack some rice into the mold so it covers the bottom and is starting to come up the sides. Lightly press a well into it with your thumb and put in a bit of filling - not too much or it will not hold together after. Cover the filling with some more rice so that the mold is loosely filled - not too tightly packed in or when you press the lid down it will ooze out and the filling might seep out.
There is a little flap in the bottom of the mold and you push that in and it pops the onigiri right out. Because it's still warm, the seaweed will stick right to it and hold itself to the rice.
That's it. If you are eating it right away, you just serve them as is. You can serve with any sort of dipping sauce or just a bit of soy sauce. The Kid eats them plain or sprinkles even more furikake on them. These were perfect because I made them before catching the train, wrapped them lightly in saran wrap and left them in the fridge along with a salad (undressed so that it wouldn't get soggy - he can put the dressing on when he is going to eat it) and he can eat something other than the twenty rice cakes he would have called dinner if left completely to his own devices.