I confess there's not really a good cohesive theme for this box. I just got two things of free food product and decided to just throw something yummy together. Above you see my attempt at creative swirling with the cream in the soup but it just looks like weird modern art. I need more practice.
So part of being plugged into the food blog community I seem to get product samples a lot. By no means do they say, "hey you must shill for us" or obligate me to do so, but I figure it's nice if I find a product useful to put in a nice blurb at the very least, I like to let my bento eaters benefit as well. Kinda like the foodblogger events, I go, I write a nice entry about it. This is no different, but I figure it's important that I disclaimer that I did get free stuff, I'm using free stuff, and I've decided to write about the free stuff I got. I'm no professional so I'm in no obligation to disclose all this stuff, but I figure it shouldn't hurt to be upfront about such things.
So the main entree is a this great recipe I got here it's a Miso Marinated pork. The "blacked" bits is actually the miso and actually falls away. I should have wiped the pork a bit cleaner of the miso as it's pretty salty. I think when eating with the SooFoo (see below) it's actually pretty balanced. The pork came out very tender and the sweetness imparted by the sake really comes through. I highly recommend giving this one a try, it's so simple and fast you can whip up a bunch to serve various ways.
Since I lacked a cohesive theme, I just starting picking weird random stuff. I saw this soup on one of my google feeds the other day and said "why not". This is a Strawberry Lavender soup. The recipe was very vague on amounts so I basically did it by look, feel and taste from my experience of what I like. The lavender was actually present in the aroma of the dish, but didn't really come out in the taste (even though smell is part of taste) it's kind of hard to explain. Maybe I didn't use enough, but I thought that it was neat to smell something expecting one taste but get a completely different experience. I'll have to see how it played to my diners. More attempts and making art with cream, I need some lessons. (fail)
So I get this weird package in the mail and I pop it open out comes two bags of what you see above, it's called SooFoo. The product is a blend of barley, black lentils green lentils, brown lentils, buckwheat, long grain brown rice, oats, rye berries, and wheat berries (whew). I love grains and legumes and this looked like it would be quite tasty and a great starch component to the box. Instead of the recommended preparation which uses water I opted for chicken broth because I figure that would add a richer flavor to the dish. Let me tell you, yes I know I sound like a paid pitchman (but I have no fame or clout so it's ok), I love this stuff it's very tasty, I love the texture and it's actually really good for you to boot. It's got a nice nutty flavor and the different grains give different interesting texture to the final product. I'm not exactly sure how they found me, but I'm pretty glad I got a chance to try this stuff. They look to be just starting up, I hope they do well.
I got these wonderful sunburst tomatoes from my friend Lindsay. This product comes from the folks at Natures Sweet, it's a new product marketed as a snacking tomato. They weren't kidding it was like eating candy. No tartness as I expected from a tomato product. The perfectly spherical globes were beautiful to look at and (I think) really gave this salad an eye popping punch of color. I decided a great complement would be a salty component. I chose blue cheese and house cured pancetta. I felt like a sour component could be added with some champagne vinegar. Texturally, I cooked down the pancetta two ways the meaty parts cook thill just done and the fatty bits cooked crisp to give the bacon component of the dish a duality of textures. Finally some fresh basil and olive oil seemed like the right thing to toss in. The results was a mouth full of flavor explosion. Thank you produce fairy :) you're donation has been enjoyed by my bento eaters.
Lovely lunch and plenty of leftovers. Thanks to Lindsay from Apron Adventures and unexpected the fine folks at SooFoo that introduced their tasty product to me.
- Miso Marinated Pork
- Sunburst tomato salad
- Strawberry Lavender Soup