I’m not sure if this recipe succeeded or not. To begin with, it is supposed to be spicy, so I left out the Sichuan peppercorns for the most part and didn’t used red pepper flakes. It’s got mustard greens in it, and wifey has been known to not appreciate the more peppery greens out there, and it has cumin. Hmm. Sometimes cumin works for her, mostly in Mexican cuisine, but this time…no.

Cumin doesn’t work in this dish‘, she said.

‘For you, at least.’ I chose to clarify. There are too many people in the world who like cumin, not to mention spicy, so thankfully her word isn’t the be-all for all cooks in the world, but regardless, it makes cooking for her at times a wonderful challenge. Cumin, curry, coriander, cilantro, spicy peppers, fennel…it’s all on The List.

Still, sometimes she likes cumin in my salsas, and get this–brussel sprouts are no longer on the no fly list; roasting them into nearly charred bits seems to do the trick. Consequently, if you are a friend of ours reading this blog and want to have yourself a reasonably excellent dinner, drop me a line and invite yourself over for dinner. I need more opinions!

Tonight was NOT Spicy Pork and Mustard Soup out of the latest issue of Bon Appetit, a copy of said recipe taken by camera phone at the local library, all clean and legitimately. Why spend $4.95 for one recipe?

Start with pork sausage and mix in some garlic, ginger, cumin, and salt and pepper. Do NOT use Sichuan peppercorns or pepper flakes to please the missus. Brown it, then add four cups of low sodium chicken broth, scallions, four cups of mustard greens, and let flavors combine. Pour the broth over a pile of egg noodles, or in tonight’s case, a convenient package of Filipino pancit noodles which worked just fine.

First pass: under seasoned. I added half a teaspoonful of Filipino Patis to add to round it out, and it helped measurably. I also added a few red pepper flakes to give it some heat as the original recipe called, at least in my own bowl, and it wasn’t half-bad. Again, its hard to judge as I don’t make this often…or ever, and I’m not sure what to compare it too. It was pleasing enough, for sure, and even my wife liked it–so long as I leave the cumin out and pump up the ginger and garlic. Leftovers enough for one more person–that would be me…tomorrow.

Regular readers will note that I originally planned to do duck breast tonight. Plainly, that got derailed.