Monday, April 26, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Apr-10: For lunch today we had the leftover lamb sticks, in pitas with the green chutney. Yum. For dinner there was Mediterranean Barley Salad (Cooking Light mar10, soon to be MC). This was supposed to be a salad for four, but we ate all as dinner for two. Also yum.

Tuesday/27-Apr-10: We had a lovely lunch today at L'Aromate in Angoulême, before seeing the Russian Opera and Ballet. The usual sandwiches and fruit with a crossword in the evening.

Wednesday/28-Apr-10: A few weeks ago I bought some meat that I thought was pork, but turned out to be veal, sort of ribs, but not really. Cooked them like Karen Koning's Ribs (MC) and they were quite tasty. Roasted the last of the cauliflower and some broccoli, and made some of Dusolier's roasted potatoes tossed with cajun spice that I made up a while ago. For dessert there was Avocado Ice Cream (soon to be MC), not really an ice cream, but quite good. The ice cream maker may have died. It went Click and stopped, no grinding to a halt. Suppose we'll have to replace it soon.

Thursday/29-Apr-10: Had some pizza off the van in L'Arbre for dinner. Not half bad. Ed's no-tomato one was especially good with chevre and potato slices.

Friday/30-Apr-10: Midday lunch was Pork Chops with Hot Garlic Sauce (MC), with the chops cooked on the griddle for the new stove. Worked quite well. These were accompanied by smashed sweet potatoes and a big salad of mâche.

For the rest of the day, I cooked for tomorrow's picnic. Made the lemon version of Barbara Allen's Pound Cake (MC); this seemed to need lots of extra time to get done. Then a double dose of tuna salad (MC). Then a single dose of Curried Chicken Salad (MC).

Saturday/1-May-10: A picnic with more than enough to eat! The pound cake wasn't done in spite of the extra time. Don't know if I misread the thermometer, misread the required temp, or what. Puzzling. Nevertheless, the lemon tasted quite good with the avocado ice cream, which was more like a sauce by the time we ate. The tuna salad and chicken salad were good. Bits of these leftover.

Sunday/2-May-10: Shopped in Montbron this a.m. with a store-full of Dutch folks. No bread, all the veggie bins were empty and there was little in the way of birds or fish.

For lunch we had tuna salad sandwiches to finish that off. At dinner time, I still wasn't hungry. Threw together a pasta dish with broccoli and a cream sauce with bleu d'Auvergne. Not bad at all. For dessert with had slices of lemon pound cake with more avocado ice cream.

Monday, April 19, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Apr-10: After the big meal yesterday, neither of us felt very hungry tonight. I made some ravioles au Chèvre de la Drôme (tiny raviolois, typical of the Drôme area), with a sage-butter sauce, followed by a big salad. Some chocolate-caramel cookies and a chocolate bonbon after.

Tuesday/20-Apr-10: After all day at Vallée des Singes, I made a quickish dinner of fried rice, very loosely following the recipe in MW@Home, marinating some frozen cooked shrimp instead of tofu along with a goodly dash of red pepper flakes; adding onions and peas to the mix. Made an omelet sort of thing in the wok first before cooking the veggies, then cut it in slices and tossed it in at the end. 'Twould be pretty criss-crossed over the servings perhaps.

Wednesday/21-Apr-10: Dinner at Steve's tonight meant no cooking here.

Thursday/22-Apr-10: For midday dinner, I made Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Olives (soon to be MC), a Cooking Light side dish that I turned into a main by adding pasta. It was quite good. Ed thought it would indeed work as a side dish, maybe for a picnic. The recipe suggests serving it with sautéed fish or roast chicken. Followed by a salad, and then Ed rushed off to choir practice.

Friday/16-Apr-10: Another barbecue this evening. Beard Kabobs (MC), chunks of salmon marinated in olive oil and lemon juice, with mushroom caps on skewers. Grilled slices of eggplant and zucchini to go along; made some steam-sautéed potatoes too. Finished up with little pots of store-bought caramel pudding. Nice dinner.

Saturday/17-Apr-10: Whew, a busy day today! First we drove to Campsegret for the Phoenix booksale, came home, ate dinner, then went to an organ concert in Montbron. Dinner was Scallop Piccata with Sautéed Spinach (Cooking Light, nov09), more or less, followed by some camembert. No spinach on hand, so I used mâche instead. Served with a side of linguine. Good enough, but not good enough to save, I think.

Sunday/18-Apr-10: Had our main meal at midday today. Made Lamb Sticks, a recipe that I got from Kim Harrington's Food Blog. As a side, I made Cauliflower, Peas, and Potatoes (TasteIndia, p114). Accompanied by some lime pickle, which was good with the cauliflower, and Fresh Green Chutney (p113, Q&E), which went well with the lamb instead of the yogurt-dill sauce in the recipe. Ended with the last of the store-bought caramel pudding. Yummy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Apr-10: For dinner, I made Cream of Broccoli Soup (CC1, p124) to use up broccoli stems and a bit of broccoli. Ate up the rest of the cayenne cornbread. Made German Crumb Cake from an EAT-L recipe. Tasty, although recipe was odd in saying it would fill two 14x9 pans, when the half recipe barely filled my 8" square.

Tuesday/13-Apr-10: Ed made pancakes from scratch this morning, with a recipe out of his head. And good they were! Still a man of surprises!

Made some Buckwheat Bread (Big German, p38) with only a bit of the whole wheat flour asked. Used regular white flour instead. It was taller than usual, and good.

Midday lunch today with Chicken and Olives (MC) and Yellow Rice with Sofrito (now MC). Followed by a big salad and ended with another bit of German Crumb Cake.

Wednesday/14-Apr-10: Quiz supper tonight meant no cooking.

Thursday/15-Apr-10: Sandwiches and fruit at midday, plus the end of the German Crumb Cake.

Dinner started with some unsuccessful stuffed artichokes. I'd seen some chokes that had been cut vertically, then cleaned and stuffed, so I tried this. Baked them in the oven. I much prefer the hollowed out ones that have been steamed on the stovetop. The stuffing was good though. Used the rest of the Buckwheat Bread and the last bit of the dried ham.

For our main course, there was Cold Roast Chicken with Leeks Vinaigrette (Secrets, p246), with the other half of the Devil's Chicken. This was such a pretty dinner that we thought it needed a picture. This salad would be nice as part of a buffet dinner perhaps.

Started a pot of stock with the chicken bones.

Friday/16-Apr-10: For lunch we had the leftover pizza, somewhat warmed up.

For our evening dinner there were filets of flétan noir, some sort of flatfish, à la meunière, with a simple pan sauce. These were accompanied by some steamed haricots verts and trio rice, combining the end of one box and the start of another. Made extra rice to add to the bit I've already saved for some fried rice soon.

Saturday/17-Apr-10: Midday dinner today, with two Cooking Light recipes, both keepers. A bit of a light meal, but that's not too bad since tomorrow's a repas de chasse.The main was Baked Eggs en Cocotte with Onions, quite nice it was. For a side, there was Haricots Verts with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, using the rest of the beans that I steamed last evening. This was quite nice and would be good on a buffet, since it can be made ahead.

Sunday/18-Apr-10: Attended a repas de chasse today. No further food necessary.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

Cooking Italy Assignment
Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms, p247

This was an assignment that I skipped last December, a really good risotto, made with ingredients that I usually have around the house. A lovely mushroomy flavor, all from dried porcini (or cêpes, en français). An interesting feature is adding Parmesan to the mixture just before serving, as a seasoning, rather than as a cheesy ingredient.

I made a half recipe, using a jar of Albert Heijn's vleesfond, topped up to 2-1/2 cups, instead of Hazan's meat broth. In contrast to most risotto recipes I've used, this recipe has no wine; instead, the meat broth is the first liquid added. After the risotto has cooked for about ten minutes, you add the soaked, formerly dried mushrooms and about half of their soaking liquid.

The remaining shroom liquid is used to finish the risotto. The half recipe, followed by a big salad, made a nice meal for the two of us. (These are salad plates, so the potions are not as big as they might look in this photo.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Apr-10: We had a big lunch at the wine and cheese fair today, so only fruit and chocolate bunny for dinner. After two days of having our main meal during the day, Ed agreed we might try to make that a regular thing. So tomorrow ...

Tuesday/6-Apr-10: Our lunch-time dinner was Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms (ClassicItal, p247), quite yummy, followed by a big salad, and ending with the bits of Reblochon that we couldn't finish on Sunday. We took advantage of the sunny day to work in the garden. For dinner there were pretzels, our regular fruit plate, and more chocolate bunny.

Wednesday/7-Apr-10: Chili for lunch-dinner today, along with Cayenne Cornbread (BigGerman, p182). Moved lots of stuff into the new freezer, including another round of chili. Dinner/supper was fruit and more chocolate bunny.

Thursday/8-Apr-10: Didn't get our main meal made for noontime today. It was use-up-veggies day today. I made a half recipe of Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber (ClassicItal, p55, I really need to get this into MC before long). For the globe zucchinis, I made a stuffing with bulgur, garlic, onion, the chopped innards of the squash, and some chopped cooke shrimp (only had big ones in the freezer); italian spices, parsley, and some lemon juice. Steamed these for 15min. Amazingly good for little effort.

Friday/9-Apr-10: Lunch/dinner of pasta/fusilli with broccoli, roasted red bell pepper strips, and Greek olives, followed by a big salad. Some store-bought caramel pudding after. (No frozen leaf spinach at Intermarche today. Too bad for the spinach gnocchi and scallops that were on next week's menu.)

Saturday/10-Apr-10: Devil's Chicken (MC) on the bbq this evening—first of the year and first dinner al fresco. Accompanied by potato salad and Zucchini Matchstick with Yogurt Sauce (VCE, p423). Finished off the store-bought caramel pudding for afters.

Sunday/11-Apr-10: A pizza loosely based on Red Onion, Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza (Cooking Light mag, nov09) followed by a big salad and the last of the easter bunny.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter dinner

Neither of us felt much like company and I didn't feel like a big production number, so we kept Easter dinner fairly simple this year.

The main course was Cooking Italy's Roast Easter Lamb with White Wine (ClassicItal). As a go-with I made some haricots verts, more or less following Hazan's recipe for Sautéed Green Beans with Parmesan Cheese (ClassicItal). This was very good and is a nice company dish, since the beans can be prepared ahead of time and quickly finished at the last minute. I also made yet again Clothilde Dusolier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes (MC).

After the main course, French style, we had a bit of salad and a morceau of Reblochon. Finally we each had a cup of store-bought tiramisu. Well-fed, we were.

Roast Easter Lamb with White Wine

Cooking Italy Assignment
Roast Easter Lamb with White Wine, p408

This is actually assigned for next week, but it seemed to me that Easter Lamb ought to be done for Easter dinner. I actually made this for Easter ten years ago. Maybe it ought to become a tradition.

This is a strangely titled dish in that the meat is actually braised, or pot roasted if you will, on the top of the stove, rather than roasted. The result is wonderfully tasty and tender meat, but isn't what you expect from a roast.

The recipe calls for 2-2.5 pound of lamb shoulder to serve four. My shoulder was 1.63 kilos, more like 3.5 pounds. I didn't think about the size at the shop, so I had to cut it into pieces to fit into the pan.

The meat is first browned with some garlic and rosemary. (My rosemary plant is looking pretty puny and just starting to grow for the year.) Actually I should have cut the arm bit off the shoulder also, since it was impossible to brown the "armpit" properly.

This simmers away for two hours with some white wine, and some additional water as needed, with the meat being turned occasionally. (I added another slog of white wine at some point, but don't tell Hazan. ;-)

Although there was quite a bit of fat on it, this was quite a tasty bit of meat. The two of us ate the largest part of it. I've got a biggish chunk in the freezer now, but the meat would have been a bit skimpy if we'd had more than one person over for dinner.