Monday, January 31, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/31-Jan-11: I defrosted two coquelets for dinner overnight, but didn't have the time or oomph to cook them. Instead I defrosted two duck scallops for a quickie dinner. Sautéed the duck, then made a quick Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce (HowTo, p165). Accompanied by Dusolier's Perfect Roast Potatoes and Zucchini and Vermouth (Essential, p227). Finished off with some Lindt chocolate-hazelnut goodies.

Tuesday/1-Feb-11: Made Grilled Chicken in the Style of Vulcan (BigFlav, p171) with two spatchcocked coquelets; roasted in the oven rather than grilling. Sliced some potatoes and tossed these in the marinade along with a dab of olive oil and put these in the pan under the birdies. Very good. (Wonder what kind of stock these spicy bones will make?) Accompanied by Mama's Garlic Coleslaw (MC) made from the last of the Chinese cabbage; also very good. No afters needed.

Oops, nobody went to the boulanger today. Bread baking overnight.

Wednesday/2-Feb-11: Brr, cold in the kitchen today, 14C this morning. Yogurt going all day. Baked some snickerdoodles (at least 4.5 dozen!), a new recipe, to warm things up. Not what was asked, but I used a food processor to put it all together. They were ok, but I will compare to my very old recipe, when I find it, which I remember as better.

Dinner was Fusilli with Butternut Squash (30MinPasta, p145) followed by a salad of mâche. Used less than half of my squash. What with peeling the squash, I'm not sure this was really 30 minutes. Tasty enough.

Hmm...think this was candelmas. No crêpes in sight.

Thursday/3-Feb-11: Shopped today. Chipotle Baked Fish (MC) for dinner, with panga, a recipe we've liked before, but this time it seemed it seemed too hot (is there such a thing?) without any complexity of flavor. Odd. The panga fillets here are huge. In NL., I'd get two for 300-400g; here two are well over 500. I should ask for one big one, I think. Served with polenta and some steamed broccoli with garlic and red pepper flakes steeped in olive oil/butter. Followed by a salad, which we couldn't finish.

Friday/4-Feb-11: Starting to use-up double-bought frozen spinach, I made a half recipe of Lasagna Verde (MC) this evening. The recipe called for spinach and mustard greens. Last time I used kale (boerenkool) for a good part of the greens; this time it was all spinach. Good it was. For starters, I made, yet again, the artichoke hearts with green tapenade and little goat cheeses—an easy and tasty starter. These would be nicely presented with a toefje rucola and a bit of vinaigrette. Finished last night's salad. More snickerdoodles for afters.

Saturday/5-Feb-11: On a roll in the morning. Yogurt on overday. Chicken stock going. Ground roasted cumin done. A double dose of Herb Salt (Art, p172). Even thought of making up so pie crust, but am a bit short on butter, since I forgot to get this at the grocery.

Tartiflette dinner at Hameau Cruzeau tonight, an event sponsored by the parents of students in area school districts. The meal was lovely, but the event was spoiled by a mass of youngsters running riot. The stereotype (and what you usually see, I must say) is that French kids are exceptionally well-behaved. These were not. We all enjoyed the food, but were relieved to leave.

Sunday/6-Feb-11: Midday meal today started with Curried Green Pea Soup (TooMany, p155). This is a really good soup, Ed always asks for more, that can be on the table in less than 15 minutes. The main was Cuttle Fish and Rice, a recipe from the tin of cuttle fish in their own ink (calamares en su tinta), part of the clean-the-pantry project. It could hardly have been simpler: put water rice, contents of tin, chopped garlic, and capers in a pan, bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Top with some sliced roasted red bell pepper strips. Nice. Followed by a salad, with a vinaigrette using balsamic and red wine vinegars as Hesser suggests in Essential.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: yes, #3 MIDDAY: yes
This month: #4 PASTA: not yet


  1. I see you found something to do with the canned squid! Well done. I like squid but am indifferent to the ink and it's not something that would ever have made it into my pantry.

  2. The tin was a gift, but I was curious about it. I'd never noticed the recipe on the bottom. I was looking for the manufacturer's site, to look there for recipes, when I saw it. I had pasta in squid ink in Venice. One of those things I'm glad I tried, but I don't really need to have again. This was less overwhelmingly inky, though.