I put the kibosh on meat for approximately ten years. I can’t say that I missed it during that time (although the smell of bacon would always send me into a frenzy), and I certainly learned a lot more about food in general. It was a significant experience for me and I have an enormous amount of respect for others who follow this path (well, except the preachy ones…I sort of want to run them over with my car.)
My life changed quite a bit in 2002, and for various reasons I started incorporating chicken back into my eating habits. I never gave up fish, so what was the big deal about eating chicken again? (At least that’s how I justified it.) Then pig soon followed. Then cow. It wasn’t really a conscience thing, more like a natural progression.
I began to cook a lot when I started a family, and I discovered two things: meat is easy and I had been missing out on a lot of fabulous meals.
Other than the recent Pork with Orange Marmalade, my impression of recipes requiring so few ingredients has not been very favorable. The pork dish was such a nice surprise and I couldn’t imagine having the same success twice in a row. So, I put my expectations in check. Here I am, surprised again. This was not only as good, it was even better.
I haven’t made anything with teriyaki sauce in a long time and was reminded how much I like it. Of course I do – it’s sweet. I also love the shiny glaze it adds to the meat when basted on. This makes sense considering “teri,” the first part of teriyaki, means “luster.” If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own basic teriyaki sauce; all you need is soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
As for the filling, it was so simple. The combination of fresh spinach and crunchy water chestnuts was perfect, and any bitterness you might think spinach has, was completely masked by the sugary sauce. This was absolutely delicious; one of those dishes that your mouth wants more of, even though your belly says “no more vacancy.”
Every now and then I consider saying good-bye to meat again, but then along comes a recipe that jolts me back to reality. Like this one.
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