Eating with Missionaries #3
Last week we had to abort out Guinea/Mali combo meal because Chris was too sick to participate. So this week when Chris picked up the cookbook to look and see what we wanted to cook this week, he noticed that I had left it open to the Japan section. The recipe submitted by CRWM's Michael and Kim Essenburg had looked interesting and simple. It was white rice, with three different kinds of toppings, the first ground chicken topping flavored with sake, soy sauce and ginger juice, the second was sweet scrambled eggs again flavored with sake and soy sauce and the third simply fresh boiled peas.
We schedule our E.W.Missionaries meal for either Thursdays and Fridays so we can use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Today I picked up a 2lb bag of fresh peas from the Weaver Family's booth at Farmer's Market, and picked my first ever bottle of Sake at one of the local liquor stores. On a different week would have use market fresh eggs too, but I had dozen left this morning so we used 6 of those.
Once we got home and we unloaded our groceries, we set to work. Aay quickly focused on shelling peas, a task she took very seriously, and which she performed well for over 20 mintues. She tried to school Zee is the proper sequence of shelling and sorting peas and use of the various bowls, one for the discarded pods and the other for peas. Before Aay could grow frustrated with Zee's decidedly independent approach to pea shelling (part snacktime, part confetti party) Chris came to her rescue by drafting Zee to come help him crack the eggs for the Egg Topping and to help him mix them up.
We ended up getting a little ahead of ourselves and had the scrambled eggs and chicken done before the 2 cups of peas finally got boiling and the rice was ready. We simply kept the warm in the oven till we finished up the other two.
As a family we all really liked this dish. It was quick and simple thing to make, and with the exception of the sake we had all the ingredients on hand (and we could have done without the sake as the recipe provided the alternative of using a dry white wine instead). It was a very child-friendly dish since each element of the meal was cooked separately and picky eaters would be able to at least find one segment of the meal appetizing. Aay our resident picky gourmet, chose to only eat the rice and peas while Zee woofed down the chicken, rice and peas while only picking at the egg topping. My favorite topping was Chicken one. I have never cooked with ground chicken before and I liked both the texture and sweetness. I am not sure if Japanese people keep the topping separate from each other once they start eating but I enjoyed trying them separately at first and by the end combining them together for new texture & flavorful combinations. This now ranks as our second most favorite E.W.M. meal, but the one that we are mostly likely to share with others, since our favorite, Pineapple Curry, might overwhelm those not fond of spices. If our Church ever decided to hold fundraiser meal based on this cookbook, I would recommend this dish be on the menu, since it would be easy to prepare for a large number of people and has a high likelihood of pleasing a mixed crowd.
World Missions Cookbook is available from the CRC publisher Faith Alive: International Cuisine...From the Ends of the Earth. It is reasonably priced: $8.50 for the cookbook, $6.50 for a CD or $11.50 for both.