Monday, September 27, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Sep-10: Very late dinner tonight. Leftover Mediterranean Turkey/Pintade Casserole. The right oven is acting flaky again; it took about 45 minutes before it decided to start warming up. Served with Green Bean Amandine (MC). Made a tasty combination. Classic Mini-Magnums for dessert. Why do they make any others?

Tuesday/28-Sep-10: Shopped this morning. Bought a bunch of zucchini, grated it, sacked it up in 2-cup amounts, and froze it. Bought some flétan, that's halibut, on promotion. I'm wondering if these promotions are because they got a lot so they put it on sale, or it's yesterday's leftover? There was a beautiful chunk of tuna on sale, at about a third of the price last seen in the Netherlands.

Dinner was Halibut with Caper Salsa Verde (Cooking Light, mar10). I wonder how many times I've actually used the fish prescribed in a recipe? It was OK, but nothing special; won't keep the recipe. Accompanied by some trio rice and steamed carrot sticks. Store-bought semolina pudding was dessert.

Wednesday/29-Sep-10: Made up some of Hazan's Homemade Sausage (30MinPasta, p161) this morning and froze two lots of 9.5oz. I'm amazed how at the cheapness of the sauté du porc that I used to make it. It must be the trimmings off bigger pieces of good meat. Only two bits needed much trimming of fat and connective tissue.

Dinner was Angela's Oven-Friend Chicken with Aromatic Spice Rub (soon to be MC). I cooked four thighs for the two of us, and froze the bigger half of the rub. These were cooked in the oven in a shallow pan, like the Chicken Canzanese from Cook's Illustrated that I made at the beginning of August. This really is the way to get a nice crispy skin on. Accompanied by Grilled Sweet Potato Planks, collected from EAT-L, which weren't so successful; edible but not a keeper. For dessert, we at the last pair of semolina puddings.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/30-Sep-10:
Used some frozen lamb to make a half dose of Rice with Ground Lamb, Green Beans, and Garbanzo Beans (Bombay, p226). It was good enough, but didn't have as much flavor as I expected from all that went into it. Can't think that cooked lamb rather than raw ground would have made all that much difference. It's was a nice one-dish meal, though.

Friday/1-Oct-10: Dinner was a web-collected recipe, Roasted Mayonnaise Chicken with Chipotle (soon to be MC), a half recipe made with a pair of thickish boneless pork chops. It was good, although there wasn't as much sauce left in the pan as I expected. Served with polenta. Followed by a big salad. Then some cheese. Then some digestive cookies. Yum.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Sep-10: Away.

Tuesday/21-Sep-10: Returned home today. Shopped a bit after picking up Pogo. Big salad for dinner after a lunch on the road. Nice to be home and have our four-legged friends around.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/22-Sep-10: Filing away to-be-tried recipes this morning, I managed to put away the recipes I'd chosen for the next couple of nights. Oops. Not feeling much like cooking somehow, a bit hard to get back into the home-routine after being away for a while.

Pulled out another shrimpy recipe since I couldn't find the intended one and "broke in" a pair of our new Gien pasta dishes this eve with a very late dinner. The recipe I looked at was Seafood Linguini with Mushrooms and Garlic Cream Sauce, but I was so free with it, that it's a bit insulting to say that's what I served. It was good enough, but I was too lazy to make a salad. A bit of St. Felicien for afters.

Defrosting the pintade that I stuffed in the freezer before we left for tomorrow's dinner.

Thursday/23-Sep-10: Picked the pintade and used it to make Mediterranean Turkey Casserole. Misplaced my copy of it, but found two copies on the web, but still don't know what magazine I got it from. Oh well. Instead of defrosting mozzarella, I used some of the pyramid goat cheese. The whole thing was quite good. It made eight servings. We had two, two are in the fridge, and four are in the freezer, making me wish I had a vacuum packing thingie. One day ...

Have some pintade stock brewing on the stove.

Friday/24-Sep-10: Dinner was the frozen bits of Cornmeal and Italian Sausage which were still quite good. A salad of rucola afterwards, followed by the last of the St. Felicien, and then some Old-Fashioned Crumb Cake (soon to be MC).

With some searching, I found the recipes I misplaced yesterday, accidentally filed with something else.

Saturday/25-Sep-10: Made up the tomatillo sauce from a can of tomatillos this morning and froze it for making enchiladas or some such.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to make a meal plan, since I seem to be cooking completely off-piste these days.

Tonight we had Indian Baked Spiced Fish (MC), this time with ray, defrosted and marinated during the day. This wasn't as good as it has been. Maybe ray wasn't the right fish. As a side, there was Potatoes and Green Peas with Cumin (Bombay, p164), which was very good, and easy to make. The recipe was supposed to serve 6-8; I was a bit short of potatoes, but we ate it all. Followed by more of the crumb cake. Nice tastes in the mouth.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/26-Sep-10: Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak (Cooking Light jun10, soon MC) with a pair of Toupargel's bavettes (9oz). Made a quicky salad with avocado, red onion, radish, lime juice, and whatever came to hand. Served with steamed broc, topped with butter and olive oil with garlic slices and red pepper flakes. All good. Still working on the crumb cake.

Nobody wanted to go to the boulanger today, so bread on overnight. Cornmeal English Muffin Bread (BigGerman, p151).

Monday, September 13, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Sep-10: Yesterday I put a pintade (guinea hen) on to marinate with the rub from Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub (Eating Well mag clipping, soon to be MC). Today I sliced the potatoes we scavenged from a harvested field, tossed them with a bit of olive oil and some S&P, and set them on the bottom of a baking dish. Put a grill over that with the spatchcocked bird. All in a very hot oven. Turned the pan around after 20 minutes; took it out after another 20 minutes. Meanwhile I made A small halfish recipe of Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), which we've had many times now. A late lunch, but good.

Yogurt on for overnight.

Tuesday/14-Sep-10: Seeded about 4 kilos of tomatoes today and turned into plain old tomato sauce. Five ziplocs with about 2 cups each are a-freezing. Still have close to 2kg more to deal with.

Mme B brought us a sack of aubergines, so dinner was Eggplant Steak with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers, Feta, and Olives (MC), a trusty, quick dinner. Served with a sort of pilaf of trio rice with some sautéed shallots and shrooms.

Wednesday/15-Sep-10: Lunched at La Bonnieure today. Not much happening in the kitchen for the rest of the day.

Thursday/16-Sep-10: Dinner at Sally and Mike's this evening. Not much happening in the kitchen for the rest of the day. Oops, too late to start yogurt.

Friday/17-Sep-10: Off for a short trip. Popped the pintade in the freezer to deal with upon our return.

Saturday/18-Sep-10 and Sunday/19-Sep-10: Away from home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Sep-10: Toupargel delivered this morning and I stowed that all away. The freezer is quite full now.

We lunched at La Bellonne on our way to St. Amant sur Boixe, where we found the museum with the medieval art closed. Off to see the Roman theatre, then home. In the evening ... we can't remember what we ate, but there was some very nice store-bought flan for dessert.

Yay! I got a tied-for second prize from CookbooksEtc. With the Amazon gift certificate, I'll probably I'll get myself the Olney book that was #1 on the Guardian list of cookbooks. And I get a CookbookEtc apron and at least one other cookbook. I really need more cookbooks. :-)

Tuesday/7-Sep-10: A very unforgettable lunch in La Rochefoucauld. Then off to Cognac to see the Otard distillery in François I's chateau. Stopped at a tea shop, then came home and had a dinner of odds and ends: the end of the rillettes (canard), pâté from Puymoyen, olives, cherry tomatoes from the garden, cheeses, some very good stuffed grape leaves from a jar.

Wednesday/8-Sep-10: This morning, I seeded another 11 tomatoes and set them on to slow-roast. These must really be similar to sun-dried tomatoes, without the sun and no oil. Left these roasting while we took Bill to the train and shopped at Géant, hoping to find some pasta I was looking for, but weren't successful. I did buy a pasta called cavatappi, which is not at all like the De Cecco cavatappi. Pasta like that was called something like spiraaltjes, but of course that's Dutch.

After we came home I seeded more than 2kg of tomatoes and made a tomato sauce loosely following Elizabeth David. Simmer with an onion and some carrots for a long time. For dinner I took a cup of this and buzzed it smooth, then served over linguine with a couple of the roasted tomatoes and some basil and lots of Parmesan. Yum. Followed by a big salad. Blended the whole pot of tomatoes, then cooked a bit longer to thicken. Tomorrow I'll freeze up 1-cup amounts.

Mme B brought us more still tomatoes today, so there's another couple of kilos more to be seeded and cooked down.

Thursday/9-Sep-10: Froze up 4 (large) 1-cups of tomato sauce. Dinner was beef pot pies with the leftover bits of Pot Roast of Beef Braised in Amarone Wine. Much better than Swanson's indeed. A small salad of lettuce with chopped, seeded tomatoes beforehand. Vanilla ice cream and some defrosted berries after.

Friday/10-Sep-10: Ed brought home fish&chips (bought from a Dutch vendor who's in Montbron on Friday evenings) for dinner with Sally and her father-in-law, Ken. I made a scrumptious chocolate bread pudding that I found on the web (soon to be MC, and boy do I have a stack of MC to do right now!). Oven is acting weird again.

Saturday/11-Sep-10: For dinner, I cooked the little white eggplants in Hitomi's yellow curry paste and added some leftover beef bits. Over rice. For a side, there was a small Cucumber Salad (Delightful, p51), the cool sweet/sour of the cucumbers complemented the spicy meat sauce. Dessert was, yes, chocolate bread pudding with a bit of cream.

Sunday/12-Sep-10: Mme B brought us yet more tomatoes; I haven't weighed this batch, but it looks bigger than the last batch. In the next days we'll be busy seeding, preparatory to making more tomato sauce to freeze. Tomorrow she'll bring aubergines! Hummus to freeze perhaps?

Have a pintade (guinea hen) defrosted, but decided not to make it tonight. Instead put it on to marinate for tomorrow. Tonight I made up a risotto using frozen asparagus and frozen cooked shrimp, garnished with some fine slices of the frozen slow-roasted tomatoes; very pretty and not bad at all. Then a big salad with a big, fresh, seeded tomato, some red onion, and an avocado. Made a dressing with the tomato juice and lemon that I'd squeezed onto the onion and avocado. Quite yummy all. And more bread pudding, of course.

CookbooksEtc Ingredient Contest 2010
  1. 23-May/28-May: strawberries — Balsamic Strawberries with Arugula and Goat Cheese
  2. 29-May/4-Jun: cheese — Spinach-Stuffed Anchos
  3. 5-Jun/11-Jun: whole wheat flour — Ned and Crescent's Favorite Multigrain Pancakes
  4. 12-Jun/18-Jun: ground pork or pork sausage — Curried Rice Noodles with Ground Meat
  5. 19-Jun/25-Jun: blueberries — Tarte Amandine à la Myrtille
  6. 26-Jun/2-Jul: salmon — Almond-Crusted Grilled Salmon with Garlic Sauce
  7. 3-Jul/9-Jul: potatoes — Potatoes and Peas in a Yoghurt Sauce
  8. 10-Jul/16-Jul: elbow macaroni — Macaroni Salad
  9. 17-Jul/23-Jul: tomatoes — Eggs Baked in Tomatoes
  10. 24-Jul/30-Jul: dates — Date and Onion Salad
  11. 31-Jul/6-Aug: butterscotch chips — Chocolate Chip Cookies and the oven disaster
  12. 7-Aug/13-Aug: pecans — Peppered Pecans
  13. 14-Aug/20-Aug: mango or peaches — Grilled Shrimp with Green Mangoes and Red Lime Sauce
  14. 21- Aug/27-Aug: cornmeal or Italian sausage — Cornmeal and Italian Sausage

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strawberry Gelato

Cooking Italy Assignment
Strawberry Gelato, p610

Choose your gelato. Ok, the strawberries were looking especially good at the shops, so I chose those. This is about as simple a frozen dessert as you could find. Purée the fruit in the food processor with the sugar, whip the cream slightly, combine, cool (per ice cream maker's instructions), and freeze.

I put the mixture together on Tuesday evening, expecting to freeze it for dinner on Wednesday after picking Bill up from the train station. But his train was delayed leaving the Netherlands, so he arrived here very very late and we didn't take the time to freeze it. I did this the next night, after it chilled two days in the fridge. Never mind, it was yummy.


The recipe says it serves 4. These would be very generous servings. We had the 3 largish servings shown here, plus another 3 servings, a bit smaller, served with slices of a nice cake we bought at a foire during the day.