While cooking our breakfast on Saturday, I saw that Heather had put the potatoes on the counter, meaning that we should eat them soon, and not forget about them in their normal storage place.  I asked Jonathan how we should cook the potatoes for dinner, and he said that we should make "Chinese salad".

I hadn't ever eaten chinese salad so I asked him how it was made, and he listed a number of ingredients.  When we actually went to cook dinner, I had a recipe called Panned Potatoes and Onions, and I guided Jonathan somewhat towards following that recipe a little bit, but he came up with most of the ingredients, though I eventually denied the requests for more ingredients as the list got longer, and it was more about naming anything he could see, rather than his original list.

His ingredients were: potatoes, carrots, an egg, milk, tangerine oil, onion (pronounced un-guinz - I was having trouble spelling that, and Jonathan volunteered the 'g' and the 'z' - "un-ginzzzzz, with a z"), and fresh ginger.  I suggested butter, water, pepper and parsley, and they all happened to be in chinese salad as well.

We put approximately two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan (originally Jonathan thought a wok would be appropriate).  Jonathan turned on the stove (possibly for the first time in his life), and stirred the butter with a spatula.  At one point, somehow the butter ended up on the spoon holder; I think probably because he was patting the butter instead of stirring.

I chopped up the ginger (about a quarter-sized piece), the onion and a couple of potatoes. Once the butter was melted, we added the ginger and onion, and Jonathan stirred that around pretty well. Then we added the potatoes, and he originally thought that the pan was too full, but after watching me stir them around, decided it would be alright for him to stir, and although he didn't spill any, he was fairly close to pushing potatoes out of the pan until I showed him how to scoop them and flip them over.  He added the tangerine oil, a fairly big squirt of it from the eyedropper, all in one place, instead of the more traditional way of spreading the oil around (although who am I to speak of "traditional" when I haven't ever made Chinese salad before).

Then we added the forgotten carrots, and then an egg, and I think we decided that three eggs would be better, so added those as well.  Oh, Jonathan did say that it was important to have "somewhat rough" eggs - I bought some eggs last week from a farmer's market, where they had "rough" eggs for half the price as their regular eggs.  I asked what was the difference, and the lady said that the shell was rough.  I said that I didn't usually eat the shell, so those would be fine.  She said that most people didn't, and actually, these particular "rough" eggs weren't all that rough.  They are somewhat speckled, but looked more normal than some of her other varieties, which included white, light brown, dark brown and green.

After the eggs were cooked, Jonathan added a half cup of water to finish/boil the potatoes.  Then some milk, pepper and parsely, to make a sort of cream sauce.

We ate the Chinese salad with Aunt Sarah's Spinach Rollups (which Jonathan also helped make, although a little harder to keep from eating too much of them as we made it).


When we got home from church this afternoon, someone had been grilling, so I thought it would be a good idea for us to grill dinner as well, so we went to the store to buy various vegetables. We ended up also buying some scallops and added in some already bought Omaha steaks as well.  Since Linda posted her grilled vegetable recipe, I figure I'll post the one I did as well.  I put the potatoes (notice a trend in our cooking?  We had fried potatoes this morning with our pancakes, and now all of the potatoes are  gone - and since the 10lb bag is cheaper than the 5lb bag, I bought a 10lb bag at the store today) and scallops in a minced garlic and italian dressing marinade, and since both bottles were emptied, I swished water around to get the remaining dregs, and dumped the water in as well.

Heather found a meat marinade packet in our cupboard, and I mixed that up with water, red wine vinegar and oil, and put the two chopped up steaks in the marinade.  The marinade made the steaks turn brown, so it was hard to tell how far along they were when I was cooking them later.

The rest of the vegetables (radishes, a yellow squash, a green pepper, a red pepper, a light green hot pepper, two bunches of broccoli), not including the forgotten carrots and onions since they were in the fridge and everything else had recently been purchased, so was out on the counter.  I made up a marinade of lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, and "Key Lime Margarita Hot Sauce With Fresh Cilantro".  The charcoal started nicely with our electric started - I am not usually able to get charcoal working very well - Dad always started it at home, and I don't know if he has ever had it not work - I at least figured out that I am not patient enough, and if I wait longer, it works out better, but the electric coil always works perfectly, though this time it blow the GFCI breaker, and so I had to plug it into a non-GFCI outlet for some reason.

I think I didn't put enough charcoal in, and so by the time I had cooked three batches of vegetables, and the scallops and potatoes, I didn't think there would be enough heat for the steaks, so I cooked them inside.  The steak marinade ended up very salty, so I should probably stay away from the pre-packaged dry marinade mixes.  And not all of the scallops were all the way cooked through, but since the person who cares the most about undercooked food (Heather) doesn't particularly like scallops anyway, I figured that was alright.

Jonathan was disappointed there wasn't any more steak, but everyone enjoyed the meal. 

Posted by Jon Daley on May 6, 2007, 8:48 pm | Read 5875 times
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So - how did the "Chinese salad" taste? Or was that part intentionally left out? :)

Posted by Dad-o on May 6, 2007, 9:40 pm

I almost added that at the very end, when I was writing the "everyone enjoyed" the grilled vegetable part. Yes, we all liked the "Chinese salad", so we will be keeping track of this recipe for later - and I suppose we will now have to call it "Chinese salad forever, and people will wonder why it is called such a thing.

Oh, I also forgot that when Jonathan was explaining to Heather that we were going to have Chinese salad for dinner, he said, "It is Chinese salad, except there isn't any salad". (where I think "salad" is defined as "lettuce" in that sentence)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 6, 2007, 9:52 pm

I would imagine that the one who would most object to "rough eggs" would be the hen.

Charcoal cooking must be a lost art. When we were first married, we used only real wood charcoal (never briquettes), started using kindling, NEVER, EVER lighter fluid. That's the way Porter's dad did it, and therefore that was the only possible way, you know! Later we were given an electric starter and were glad to use that. Then we let our standards slip and occasionally used briquettes, as long as they didn't have lighter fluid in them, though we may even have let that slip once or twice, too. Now we are very happy with a gas grill, and Porter's dad even uses one at the Maggie P! I think the food tastes just as good, but I do admit to missing the smell of the real wood charcoal.

What is the world coming to?

Posted by SursumCorda on May 7, 2007, 7:26 am

I haven't made those Spinach Roll-ups in ages! I'm glad someone else is trying them. I'll have to add them to the rotation.

Posted by dstb on May 7, 2007, 2:51 pm

"I suppose we will now have to call it "Chinese salad forever, and people will wonder why it is called such a thing." -- it can go down in the Annals of Family Mysteries along with the name of Eggs Presnor.

Posted by SursumCorda on May 7, 2007, 3:46 pm

I love Jonathan's sense of creation! Chinese salad cracks me up.

(Oh, and I'll second the motion about rough eggs affecting hens more than anybody else!)

Posted by MichaelQ on May 7, 2007, 10:35 pm

We found an easy way to start charcoal with no lighter fluid, courtesy of Alton Brown (of the Good Eats show on the Food Network). You soak a paper towel in canola oil, put that under your briquettes, and light it. It never fails to work, and you get none of the gross lighter fluid smell.

For steaks, we find that the best seasoning is the simplest: olive oil, fresh garlic, kosher salt, and fresh-ground pepper. Very tasty.

Posted by Kimberly on May 8, 2007, 1:51 am

Then there's always the philosophy that a good steak needs no marinade nor seasoning -- indeed, should have none, but be allowed to reveal its own glory.

That said, Outback's horseradish crust that you can get on their steaks is pretty tasty, and my sister makes a great marinated steak. But generally I prefer a good piece of meat and no gilding the lily.

Posted by SursumCorda on May 8, 2007, 7:32 am

I do wish you would publish the recipe for Eggs Presnor...every time I need it, I can't find it, so always check the net, and yes, it's here in two formats, always on your website, with the mention, but never the recipe, so, I end up having to call Judy, who, I know has it...
Merry Christmas to all, both young and younger at your house. We are off to Jessie's tomorrow.

Posted by Nancy on December 22, 2008, 12:03 pm

the recipe

Posted by joyful on December 22, 2008, 5:42 pm
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