Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good dinner

Last night we watched our neighbor's boy while the two of them went to an awards banquet. He gets along well with Sylvia, and keeps her occupied, so it's actually kind of nice to have him around.

Anyway, when I got home I was pretty hungry--we had no leftovers so I had oatmeal for lunch, which just doesn't stick with you all afternoon. I was therefore all for making something quick and easy for dinner. Something like rice and lentils, since that basically involves boiling water and dumping in a few spices. Derrick, as usual, wanted something a little more involved that would use up some of the perishable food we're shortly going to leave behind. Tempura, specifically. 'Cause it's so easy, right? You just dump some veggies in a batter made from flour, water, and egg, deep fry it all, and presto! tasty dinner!

Yeah, I've tried it that way before. It's not actually that great.

So, I made Derrick look up a better recipe than "flour, egg, and water," and started cutting up veggies. We had a lot of veggies--too may, I was thinking. We had a sweet potato, an onion, two carrots, and a head of broccoli, all for two adults and a couple of kids who typically don't eat much at dinner.

While I was in the kitchen, the kids pretty much kept each other occupied, though convincing them they could, in fact, share certain toys was, as usual, a challenge. Eventually I produced a few pieces of tempura and, even though Gareth had already eaten and Sylvia had shown no previous interest in food, I put out a few pieces for each child.

They were demanding more before I finished the next batch. The two of them were so into eating the batter dipped and fried veggies (even the broccoli!) I wasn't sure there would be enough for Derrick and me. About the time Gareth slowed down, he pronounced the food, "good dinneh."

Anyway, here's the tasty, wonderful recipe, modified from here:

Tempura batter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c cornstarch (which I finally found on the top shelf of the pantry--grr)
1/3 c ice water
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white sugar
1 tsp shortening
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening, then add egg and ice water. Beat until smooth. Dip cut veggies into batter and fry in hot oil (375 degrees F, give or take).

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