Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 52 - Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette, Steamed Asparagus and Bok Choy with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette, and Lemon Sorbet

I know the title of this entry seems a little redundant, but they're separate recipes!

If it's the weekend, it must be Marcy! I was going to attempt a somewhat fancy fish dish tonight, but Fairway just wasn't cooperating (no kumquats or lemongrass) so I threw in the towel and made one of my favorite non-book Martha recipes, Moroccan-Spiced Chicken. It's fast and easy and so delicious!

But I did do some Cooking School accompaniments:

Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette (p. 357)

I made a Martha green salad which I dressed in this vinaigrette. Incidentally, when I say "Martha green salad," that implies that I've actually washed and crisped greens vs. dipping into the mesclun mix basket.

I have two things to say about this dressing. First of all, in a rare departure from my usual, going-exactly-by-the-book M.O., I chose to decrease the amount of grated ginger in this dressing by half. After making a different Martha ginger dressing (from another book) which was inedible because of being over-gingered, I took matters into my own hands here. The result? Great flavor, just right, according to me.

However, I couldn't get this dressing to emulsify. I whisked, Marcy whisked. It would hang together for a minute, but then it would separate. Was it the missing ginger?

In the end, it didn't detract from the taste. The salad was delicious. But I wonder why the oil wouldn't cooperate...

Jeff: A- (did I do something wrong?)
Martha: A

Steamed Asparagus and Bok Choy with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette (p. 294)

I'd been avoiding this recipe because I didn't have a bamboo steamer yet, but then I reread the chapter, and Martha said it was OK to use my metal steamer insert.

Meanwhile, I COMPLETELY blew it. For some reason, these vegetables were outRAGEously undercooked. They greened up the way steamed vegetables do, and they were in the steamer significantly longer than Martha's timings, but they were barely cooked! Accordingly, the dressing couldn't really make any indentation. All you could taste was raw vegetables. Not good....

Jeff: D
Martha: A

Lemon Sorbet (p. 485)

Yes, I'm dipping my toes back into sorbet water, after my mango fiasco.

I'd been fantasizing about making a sorbet with another flavor involved, and I came up with Lemon-Ginger. So I made some simple syrup infused with slices of fresh ginger. (It tasted really ginger-y! Would it overwhelm the lemon?)

Then I juiced eight lemons, strained it and mixed it with the syrup, and did the dreaded egg trick. For the first time, the egg floated too high! So I juiced a couple more lemons, and the egg lowered a bit! Success!

Frozen, this sorbet is insane! Not insanely good, just insane. So extremely lemon-y - you've never tasted anything this lemon-y. The ginger taste is almost completely obscured by full-out LEMON! I don't think you could serve this as a palate cleanser. You'd almost lose your ability to taste after eating it. It's so tart and bright.

If you love lemon flavor, this is probably right up your alley, but for me, this is overwhelming. But I do appreciate the freshness of it. Now, is there a way to dilute this to the point where I could enjoy it...?

Jeff: A
Martha: A

PS I was a busy little bee yesterday. I also made Quinoa Muffins (delicious) and two Challahs (one plain, one with raisins) for the Mother's Day feast I'm preparing for Sunday. French toast!!

Until we eat again....

Marcy with veggies, Version 8.0

Quinoa Muffins and French Toast-to-be!


  1. Ever since you told me about that Moroccan-Spiced Chicken recipe, I've told so many friends about it that it's probably gone viral (in a good way) by now. I even made it as a last-minute dinner one night when Charles didn't feel like cooking! But hey, remember I told you I found a video of Martha cooking it with Audra McDonald (coincidence?)and Martha put some fresh lemon juice into the rub. It's not in the recipe! I looked for the video so I could post a link, but now I can't find it.

  2. Annie-
    I just found that video, except that it's Sigourney Weaver, not Audra. (Audra does a different chicken recipe with Martha.) But you're right - Martha squeezes some lemon into the paste! It looks like two quarters-worth. Next time I make it, I'm going to try that. Have you tried it already?

  3. Hi Jeff - Yes, I included the lemon juice and it was wonderful. By the way, the links you provided seem to be for the recipes but not the videos, unless I'm missing something. I had found the Sigourney Weaver thing when I was looking around, but I didn't watch it because I was so sure it was this one with Audra that I dismissed it as maybe being for another recipe.

  4. Oops, not sure why Martha's website doesn't have direct links... To see the video, try opening this link and then look to the right and click on the video "Chicken & Couscous, 1."