Monday, July 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Jul-17: Replanned a bit today. For an early meal, we had rabbit ragu from the freezer over spaghettoni (also from the freezer). The ragu was still delicious; have added it to the Do-Me-Again page. Served with Cucumber Salad with Dill Vinaigrette (MC) over the last bit of mixed lettuces. We were full.

Roasted the rhubarb to make rhubarb ice cream in the next days. It came out of the oven just as we sat to eat, so I set the dish on the plate warmer to keep the sugar from cooling itself solid.

Tuesday/18-Jul-17: Very nice lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/19-Jul-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Cajun-Style Blackened Catfish (MC; I got it from the old recipezaar newsletter, here it is on the web). Good. Maybe a trifle salty. Served with Sweet Potato Fries (web), which were about as good as these things get (sweet pots being too soggy to get really crispy) and some steamed gesneden snijbonen. All good. While we ate, our ice cream freezer made up some Refreshing Rhubarb Ice Cream (web), which was tasty, but had a texture that made you think there was gelatin there.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/20-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had grilled boudin noir with mashed potatoes and rhubarb compôte (I had been calling this chutney, but it's not really) from the freezer. With Radish Salad (web), a yummy salad. Next time it might be try fennel seeds instead of the caraway, as suggested by a reviewer.

Put off marinating the chicken for tomorrow till too late; had to replan for something that could be done.

Friday/21-Jul-17: New haircut today finally. Still undecided.

Dinner was Chicken with Mustard (web), which was good enough, but doesn't need to be done again. Served with rice pilaf. Then a salad caprese. And the rest of the rhubarb ice cream for dessert.

Saturday/22-Jul-17: Cheese enchiladas today. Good, in spite of problems. The package of tortillas in the fridge wasn't well closed, so they were dry and crumbly. I thought I had a unopened tube of crème fraîche, but it was half-full and moldy. I used what we call pyramid cheese instead; this is a soft goat cheese, similar-ish to crème fraîche, and worked well. Served with Mama's Spanish rice, with no tomatoes. All my avocados were bad, so I made a little side salad of tomato and cilantro with the bowl scrapings of the enchilada topping. All was pretty good.

Sunday/23-Jul-17: The new haircut is another failure.

Yogurt on overday.

We were out playing with archery all day. Dinner from the freezer, Broccoli-White Bean Soup, thinned with some chicken stock and broccoli bits added for something to bite on.

Started a huge pot of chicken stocks; there were three pretty full gallon-sized ziplocs full of bones in the freezer. And a sack of veggie bits in the fridge's freezer.

Funny I've used no cookbooks this week.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, July 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos (CL; web). I sort of made a whole recipe, that should serve four, for the two of us. I used two kip filets as asked, and had much more romaine; even so, I made only half the dressing, using yogurt instead of buttermilk and feta instead blue cheese (because I forgot to buy this, duh). It was good, but I'll do it again when I'll remember to buy the cheese.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/11-Jul-17: Dinner was Rice Salad with Tuna & Avocado (PatSalad, p57). Made about a half recipe; wasn't obsessive about measuring. Maybe a bit plain, but very pleasant. I used short-grain brown rice rather than white.

Wednesday/12-Jul-17: Shopping today.

I recently read somewhere about Nicolas Freeling's The Kitchen Book, and got myself a copy. Actually the copy includes two books, The Kitchen Book and The Cook Book. He's known for the van der Valk mysteries. I didn't know that he worked as a chef for 15 year. Started reading this today. Really enjoying it.

Dinner was a sort of half recipe of Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula Salad (web). I had half the salmon, but probably had close to all of the salad part. Very tasty. The salad part could be good with a kip filet on top.
  • Roasted some red bell peppers for tomorrow's dinner. 
  • Set some yogurt to draining for tomorrow's dinner.
  • Put some lamb cubes on to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.
Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/13-Jul-17: Made Chile Puree (TexMex, p50). Put it up in three AH jars (two in the freezer), although four probably would have been all right; we'll just have lots of sauce for the next batches of enchiladas.

Our main course this evening was a two-thirds-ish recipe of Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (web). Ed grilled this outside (after the rain finally stopped). I used shaoxing wine instead of sherry. Yummy meat. This was billed as a "marriage of Middle Eastern and Chinese influence," so I chose the side dishes from  book I haven't used before, but clearly need to pay some attention to.

There was Shredded Beets with Thick Yogurt (EastMed, p30) with a 250g beet. This is supposed to be a sauce or dip. I think it would be a fine small salad. I thought it was very tasty; Ed liked it a bit less.

And a half recipe of Grilled Red Pepper Strips with Pomegranate and Cumin (EastMed, p154), another small salad. We liked this a lot. It might be pretty to do it with a mixture of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.

And a two-thirds-ish recipe of Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce (EastMed, p155). Instead of baking the eggplant slices, I put them under the broiler. They could have been done a bit longer. Nevertheless, quite tasty.

Finally a third recipe of Rice Pilaf with Noodles (EastMed, p233), which was a nice change from plain rice. I didn't soak the rice.

Friday/14-Jul-17: Bastille Day today. For dinner we had Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Avocados (web). This was pretty good. I called the recipe dinner for two and used 7oz of tagliatelle (the end of a package, and no fresh stuff in the freezer). A bit of an odd combination, but it worked fine. Shrimp, avocado, artichoke hearts, chives (I used a whole can, about twice what was asked), and green olives, with a vinaigrette of white balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil.

Saturday/15-Jul-17: Pasta day today. Made Hazan's regular pasta with 1 cup flour and 2 eggs (actually I add quite a bit more as I knead, since it's fairly damp when I start). Cut as fettuccine on 5; tasty. By accident, after I roughly mixed the pasta dough, but before I started kneading, the dough rested for a bit. It was nicer to knead with this pause.

For a sauce, there was Arugula Purée with Walnuts and Goat Cheese (PeV, p39). Pretty good. I made a whole recipe and have two more lumps in the freezer now.

Sunday/16-Jul-17: Off to a vide grenier today; didn't buy anything.

Dinner was Chicken & Corn Salad (PatSalad, p99). Easy and tasty. Two of us ate what should have been for four.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, July 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Jul-17: An unanticipated consequence of our frequently eating early meals is that we don't work a big crossword daily. Our stack is growing.

No early meal today. We had Skillet Chicken with Rhubarb (web). I made a halfish recipe with four thighs. It was quite good. Served with trio rice, a cheap one with more white rice than anything, and carrot coins. Good stuff.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/4-Jul-17: The stove man came early today to have a look/listen to the strange noise. Of course it wouldn't make it as aggressively as it did last week, but it did give a buzz. He had a look, said it definitely wasn't in the gas line. Might be a screw. I was unclear if he actually tightened something or not.

Used the newly fixed, silent oven to make Flourless Chocolate Cake (web), partly to use up some of my inventory of ground almonds.

For our main meal, we had Craig Claiborne's Ultimate Hamburger (Tabasco, p88). I found the same recipe, minus the Tabasco sauce on the web. Really easy. Essential you just sear, then cook some plain hamburger patties, then top with a pat of butter (I think it's a good idea to do this in the pan, so the butter can be soaked up when you toast the buns), and a little sauce made of (for each patty) 1/4tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/8tsp Tabasco sauce, 1/2tbl lemon juice. Sprinkle on 1tbl chopped parsley. You might add a slice of onion. Extra yummy.

For sides there were Mama's Garlic Cole Slaw (MC&HandyBook) and some corn on the cob. For dessert there was, of course some extra yummy Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Wednesday/5-Jul-17: Shopping day today. Some nice looking swordfish was on special, so I bought some and had to chance the meal plan.

I made Tandoori Style Striped Bass Fillet (MJ@Home, p43) with the swordfish. It was yummy, if a bit salty. I defrosted some spinach to make Spinach with Garlic and Cumin (MJ@Home, p169), easy and yummy. And then some Curried Brown Rice (MJ@Home, p220). All were good. Then some Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream.

Oops, I forgot to buy bread at the store. So we'll have breakfast from the freezer tomorrow.

Thursday/6-Jul-17: An easy meal today. We had the leftover Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart, along with a salad, followed by more Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream. Not too bad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/7-Jul-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Gemelli ai Fagiolini (Geometry. p115). Shh, I used casareccia instead of gemelli. Good stuff. A whole recipe was a nice main for two—haricots verts puréed with cream, cinnamon, and a bit of garlic. Simple and surprisingly good. Served with a big salad. Then the end of the Flourless Chocolate Cake with some cream and raspberries. We ate well.

Saturday/8-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made a half recipe of New Potato and Chorizo Tortilla (web). Good stuff. The potatoes need a bit longer to cook than the recipe says; maybe it would be a good idea to boil them half done first. Anyhow it was good. Followed by a little salad of grated carrots. And the last half of the watermelon. (We ate the first half earlier this week, but I neglected to record it.)

Sunday/9-Jul-17: Ed's choir sang today. We had pizza afterwards. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 26, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Jun-17: Pasta day today. I made Greek Shrimp (PastaMach, p136), served over Lemon Chive Pasta (PastaMach, p67). I added the grated rind of a lemon to the pasta and used 3tsp of frozen chives. It had a strange translucency, almost like rice noodles. Not sure why. But chewed nice. Then a salad.

Tuesday/27-Jun-17: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/28-Jun-17: The stove got fixed this morning, at no small cost. But now I have two working ovens and the wok burner lights itself.

Shopping day.

Dinner was Chicken Posole Salad (web; cookbooker). This was very tasty. For two people I used two small kip filets (250g total) with all the spice mix; saved a bit of the mix for cooking the hominy. Need at least 1cup of hominy. Used a whole avocado between us; no sharing one between four. Halved the vinaigrette. A very tasty, easy salad. I had a mini magnum for afters.

Put fish on to marinate for tomorrow.

Thursday/29-Jun-17: Indian meal night. We had Monkfish Kebabs (30MinInd, p70), which were pretty good. As go-withs there were Jeera Potatoes (30MinInd, p85) and Peas with Whole Cumin and Mustard Seeds (SpiceKitch, p48); both of these we've enjoyed before. Everything was good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/30-Jun-17: I missed an eating-out on Wednesday evening, so we had lunch out today.

To use up some of the store-bought rhubarb, I made a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, from my 2BTried cookbook in Mastercook. Good it is. Went to use the newly fixed oven and found it makes a strange noise when it's turned on. Now I have to manage telling them that on the phone.

Saturday/1-Jul-17: Starting to use the tortillas I ordered. Tonight we had Soft Tacos or Tostadas with Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa (MexLight, p206). Used cooked chicken from the freezer. Didn't make salsa verde, but finished off a nice bottle of the stuff, topped off with a can of "salsa verde" that was only puréed tomatillos. Topped with crème fraîche instead of yogurt. Pretty good stuff for as easy as it was. Rhubarb Upside Down Cake for dessert.

Sunday/2-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart (VT,jul/aug16; web). This was pretty good. The curious thing is that the recipe I collected from the magazine is titled "goat cheese", while the one online is titled "taleggio". Same picture and other details are the same. Curious that. Some strangenessese in the recipe. They say one pound of zucchini, sliced, makes three cups; nope, it was four cups. And 10oz mushrooms, sliced, makes 2-1/2 cups; nope, that was more than 4cups. The volume measures are better. No madeira in house, so I used dry sherry. Tasty mushroom like shiitake would be even better.

Then a salad. Then the rest of the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for June, no for July; #4 BREAD: no for June, no for July

Monday, June 19, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Jun-17: Still no news of Pogo. :-( And another excruciatingly hot day.

An earlyish meal. I completed my round of pressure cooker recipes in Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking with Pork or Lamb Vindaloo (Q&E, p33), using pork today since we had lamb a few days ago. I've made this recipe a number of times, with and without the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker gives wonderful meat, but I do miss the enticing cooking smell. Served with plain basmati rice and Pan-Griled Zucchini (MJ@Home, p173), another old favorite. For nibbles, I made Seasoned Radishes (MJ@Home, p6), but I seem to be the only one who likes them. A shame. Ed bought some chocolate custards for dessert when he went to get milk and bread. Not bad.

Tuesday/20-Jun-17: Lunched out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen. Hot hot hot.

Wednesday/21-Jun-17: Bill left today. Lunched out before catching his train. Shopped after that. Nothing much happened in the kitchen. Hot hot hot.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/22-Jun-17: Early meal today. We had a half dose of Roerbak van Pangasius met Rode en Gele Paprika (web). Didn't use panga, but lieu noir instead. Very good for how easy it was. Served over brown rice. That was all.

Friday/23-Jun-17: The horrible heat is over—hooray!

Early meal today. Made a half dose of Brown Rice Salad with Apples & Walnuts (PatSalads, p54). Easy and quite tasty, although I thought needed a bit more lemon. Mini magnums for dessert

Cooked up a pound of hominy, some for a coming meal, the rest for the freezer.

Saturday/24-Jun-17: Nothing much happened in the kitchen today. Dinner out at a cancer charity event.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/25-Jun-17: This turned into use-up-leftover-bits-of-bread day. Not planned, but it happened.

I bought a batch of rhubarb shopping this week, thinking our rhubarb was about done for the year. Discovered yesterday there's plenty more still to be harvested. Started on the store-bought bit, by making some Rhubarb Bread Pudding, a recipe I got from EAT-L.

Last summer I collected recipes for Aubergines à la Bonifacienne within a few weeks of each other, from two different magazines (C&V, VPG)—two recipes, the same but different. For our meal today, I smerged these: Steamed the eggplant halves, rather than boiling (ugh). Used about 90g of dryish breads, soaked in milk. Used 200g of tomme de brebis (rather than 75g or 250g, since the package was 200g). Added two sprinkles of cayenne. Baked rather than fried. The recipes both called for 2 eggplant halves per person. This was actually quite a bit. Might be better to get bigger eggplants (mine were bio and smallish, the two were 500g; usually they're about 350g each), and serve a half per person.


Easy to make: Remove the flesh from the steamed eggplants, coarsely chop, then mix with the soaked bread (liquid squeezed out). Then stir in an egg, the grated cheese, a minced garlic clove, some chopped basil, S&P. Stuff this into the eggplant shells and bake for 30min. Pop under the broiler for 5min to brown the top. Yum.

Not sure who or where Boniface is and what the connection with stuffed eggplant is.

Then a big salad. We're stuffed.

A while later we had some Rhubarb Bread Pudding with a bit of ice cream. Good stuff.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 12, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Jun-17: We had our main meal early, leftover chiles rellenos casserole. Still good it was. With a bit of mâche and some guacamole.

All day house cleaning, ironing, getting ready for Bill's arrival tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/13-Jun-17: BookChatters, then finish up cleaning. I made dinner (midst a big thunderstorm and open skylight) while Ed picked up Bill. We had Ginger, Soy and Garlic Chicken (web) from the bbq. A bit salty (too much soy sauce?) and nothing special. Chicken did have a nice texture. Served with a made-up salad of soba noodles with roasted bell peppers. This was pretty tasty, but needed a bit of salt.

Wednesday/14-Jun-17: Off to the thumb doctor this a.m., then home. Finished off the shopping list while Ed took a nap. Then lunch at Chez Steph. Followed by shopping.

Put lamb on to marinate for tomorrow's meal. Made Apricot Chutney (web), to replace the apricot chutney from the book that we didn't like.

Thursday/15-Jun-17: Early meal today. Ed barbecued Sweet Milk-Marinated Grilled Lamb with Sweet and Hot Apricot Condiment (Thrill, p151). We didn't like the Sweet and Hot Apricot Condiment last time, so I served the Apricot Chutney I made yesterday. Yummy stuff. Served with the recommended Sweet Potato Salad (Thrill, p302; cookbooker). This needed a bit of tweaking but was quite good, a nice change from potato salad.

Yogurt on overnight. Put what's probably the last of our raspberries on to macerate and prepared "broth" for ice cream.

Friday/16-Jun-17: What a day! Bathroom flooded, with plumbing apparently blocked between there and the fosse. At the time we were discovering this, the delivery man cam with the new dishwasher. The door was inadvertently left open and Pogo went walkabout. We've scoured the neighborhood, but he hasn't returned. We're hoping that since he was out without his collar (just been brushed) that he was picked up as a stray and we'll find him at the pound tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Back to Time-Life for dinner this afternoon. We had Geschmorter Schweinsbraten mit Kapern—Braised Pork Roast with Paprika, Capers and Caraway (TLVienna, p38). I cooked the meat a bit long, spending time looking for Pogo, so it was a bit too done, but the sauce was yummy. Served with potatoes boiled in their jackets and peas&shallots.


For dessert with has some raspberry ice cream, again made with the mascarpone cream. Yum.

Saturday/17-Jun-17: Pogo still hasn't returned. We visited the fourrière, hoping to find him there, but no luck. Have papered the area with flyers now.

Nice dinner. Made Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt (web). Had slightly over a kilo of thighs, so upped everything that much. Really yummy and easy. Some lemon tarts from the boulangerie in La Rochefoucauld for dessert.

Sunday/18-Jun-17: Still no Pogo.

We're not overly happy with the new dishwasher. The usability part is ok, but the baskets feel unsturdy and they don't stay on their tracks very well. And the top drawer for silverware, which I loved in our old machine, is difficult to fill. I'm sure the machine holds fewer dishes that our old one. Kind of wishing we had spent the money to replace that one exactly.

We ate out for lunch today, so nothing much happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 5, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Jun-17: Change of plan today, since I forgot to defrost the lamb yesterday and will have that tomorrow. Ate from the freezer today instead, some yummy carrot soup. That was about it in the kitchen.

Tuesday/6-Jun-17: Dinner was Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (Yang Rou Chuan) (web). I didn't take the meat off the chops, but used the spice mix as a rub and cooked them under the broiler. Extra delicious. We probably ate three people's worth of meat between us. This rub would probably be good on other meats. I didn't use the oil and Shaoxing wine. Accompanied by plain rice and a half-dose of Hot and Spicy Wrinkled Beans (Chinatown, p106), which we've enjoyed before. No dessert necessary. Ed thought it would be nice to finish the bottle of wine we started. I'm a bit tipsy.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/7-Jun-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Warm & Spicy Fish Salad (PatSalads, p95), which I've made before and is still good. I used rocket/arugula/roquette instead of spinach for the salad, and probably more than they intended. For dessert I made some raspberry ice cream. Raspberries from the yard. Vanilla ice cream made with with part mascarpone cream and one part cream cream. Yummy stuff.

Thursday/8-Jun-17: With my French teacher's help, I finally managed to get our new dishwasher ordered. It will be more than a week till it arrives, but at least that's in progress.

Dinner was Rhubarb Khoresh (Roden, p360), a kind of beef stew, with rhubarb from the garden (maybe the last for this year). The stew was one of those glad-I-made-it-don't-have-to-do-it-again things. It's strange that the garden rhubarb is almost gone, but I still haven't seen it in the store. Served with plain rice, Beet Salad (Roden, p68), and Michoteta—Cream Creese and Cucumber Salad (Roden, p65). I've made both of the salads before. Both are good, but the one with feta and cuke really scratches my itch. Then some of the raspberry ice cream.

Friday/9-Jun-17: Found traces of another kitchen mouse, another one that especially likes cantuccini. Sigh.

Dinner was Chiles Rellenos Casserole (CL90, p147). It's the first time I've made this in quite a while. Used a big can of poblanos. Quite yummy. Then a salad. Then we finished off the raspberry ice cream. Yum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/10-Jun-17: Early meal today, a half recipe of Bang Bang Shrimp (web). Pretty good stuff, and fast and easy. I substituted smoked paprika for regular, which was a mistake. Served with a big salad.

Sunday/11-Jun-17: Mouse was in the trap this morning. Ed dropped him off (possibly too close to the house) on his way to singing this afternoon, so we had a fast dinner from the freezer. Mongolian Beef, served over rice with a side of broccoli. Okay and filling.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no