monkey munch

June 29, 2011 Comments Off on monkey munch

“Dad,” O said the other day in her pleading voice, “can you make me a monkey munch?”

“Sure,” I said, confident in my lunch-making skills.  “Um,” and here you have to imagine me suddenly trying to imagine what, exactly, this involved, “what’s in it?”

“Oh, it’s easy.  You slice up a banana?  And you spread one piece of bread with nutella?  And the other with peanut butter?”  O always masks direct orders as questions when she’s not sure the grown up in question is going to show any sort of willingness to comply.

“OK, sounds easy, then what?”

“Then you fry it in butter like a grilled cheese.”

What the hell?  Have these kids learned nothing from our three months of attempted healthy eating?  That sandwich is nothing but fat, sugar, and…awesome fried deliciousness.

Hey, I ran six miles this morning.  Monkey munches all around.  The bananas have potassium, after all.  And those are apple slices for dessert.

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iowa skinny–homemade

February 8, 2011 § 3 Comments

Yeah, baby.  That’s a genuine Iowa Skinny, made with love.

After the sojourn to the Suburban this week, I was determined to repeat the experience for the kids.  They’re Iowans, for crying out loud.  They must eat–and love–the official state sandwich, right?  OK, ok, they must try the official state sandwich.

Cook’s Illustrated included the pork tenderloin sandwich in its American Classics issue a couple of months ago, and after figuring out fried chicken, I thought this would be pretty simple.  The only catch was that we didn’t have a meat hammer, which we solved this weekend at the mall.  The kids and I tested out every meat hammer Williams-Sonoma carries (OK, both of them), and agreed on the cheaper, heavier, far more intimidating one.  (Who buys an aluminum meat hammer?)

The recipe was pretty simple–slice a tenderloin into quarter pound chunks, beat the bejeezus out of the chunks until they’re flat, then dredge them in the now tried-and-true flour/egg/Panko assembly line.  The only difference is that Cook’s suggested that in this case the egg dip be about half mayonnaise.  I hate mayonnaise.  Freaking hate it.  But we had half a jar left over from the cole slaw experiment a couple of weeks ago, and I was tired of seeing its grotesque, pale creamy self in the fridge door.  So I chunked the rest of it in, beat it with the egg, and got dippin’.

Cook’s typically replaces a soak in the deep fry with a shallower pan, so what comes out is more like a scallopine than a real fried anything.  That usually works fine, but I screwed up slightly and didn’t pound the cutlets as thin as the recipe assumed they would be.  So they didn’t totally fry on the sides, and I had to stand them on their ends with the tongs to get them crispy all the way around.  They were also just a bit underdone in the middle, so next time I’ll beat them even more senseless.

Verdict?  The kids ate them, but they fell into the “if I was on a desert island…” category.  So they’re really Californians (seriously–they were alarmed when I told them we were out of tofu tonight).  Still, O said she wants to have skinnies again soon.  Not because she was a huge fan, but because next time I told her she could swing the meat hammer.

Oh, and yes, the buns were homemade.  You had to ask?

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