Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Bento-ver Backward to Get These Together

At 3:55 pm yesterday afternoon, while I was driving to pick up my daughter, she called to ask if it was possible to put together a Bento Box lunch for her first day of school the following day. She exclaimed, "I have all the recipes and ingredients and it will be...." How am I supposed to say no to this?

It was a pretty stressful day, work is great but this time of year is always stressful compounded by the fact that every computer on all three campuses is in the process of being replaced, we are short-staffed, and on top of that, I got other things my brain are trying to process. If you read yesterday's post, you'll see that the stress was taking a good shot at me, but I won that battle!

Anyway, I looked at Vickie's ingredients and recipes and we went to to markets to get things and make compromises and the cook in me made some mental modifications so that I can stretch my creative muscle. We arrive home shortly after 5pm and got started right away.

First up was the Japanese potato salad and I also got the rice going for the sticky rice cakes (or whatever they were actually called). My creative input for these two dishes included using cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar in the potato salad and because I didn't have "sticky" rice and didn't want to spend $7 on the smallest quantity that either of the two markets sold, I had to strategize how to get a similar effect from the rice I had.

Next up were the Vienna sausage Octopuses, to which I added some ginger soy sauce to the saute for flavor and color and finally, I ignored the chicken recipe on the sheet and seasoned some boneless, skinless thighs with sesame oil, salt, pepper, paprika and a variety of other seasoning in the form of Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute (I love this product). I then prepared a breading of seasoned flour, seasoned egg wash and seasoned panko and fried them in peanut oil then just after they come out of the fryer, I hit them with a drizzle of honey. Are you hungry yet?

This morning, we assembled it all in these cute little Bento boxes that my daughter had and here's what it looked like:

The top box has the chicken on the left and the potato salad on the right, garnished with cucumber slices,

The bottom has the sticky rice cakes with nori.

The two boxes get covered then stack and have a decorative cover and elastic band to hold them. Here (to the right) is what it looks like closed up for transport along with some chopsticks. Pretty cute, eh?

1 comment:

Ray said...

Yes, I am hungry now. That looks delicious. I especially like what you did with the chicken.