Monday, February 7, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Feb-11: Well, I've looked for my old snickerdoodle recipe and it seems to be missing. Did find some other ones I've saved. A puzzle.

Dinner was Roasted Cauliflower Pasta (CLmag, oct10), tasty, fairly quick and easy. I used the end of our gemelli and some fusilli for the pasta instead of penne. Actually we thought the green fusilli would have been quite pretty. Followed by a salad of mâche and beets. Then Yogurt and Fresh Pear Coffeecake, an old favorite. (This might need to go to MC.)

This quote from Auberge of the Flowering Hearth (current reading) surprised me. Why did I not know that the House of Orange is from Orange in France?
The name of this chicken dish [Hochepot de Poule du Prince d'Orange] is part of European history. The original recipe came from the town of Orange, near Avignon. Before the sixteenth century, Orange was an independent principality belonging, not to France, but to the kings of Holland. (The Dutch royal family still calls itself the House of Orange.") The original "hochepot" of Orange was transferred to Holland, and today the Dutch national dish is "Hutspot." [p36]
Very much enjoying reading this book. De Groot stayed in the auberge when he went to France to study chartreuse and fell in love with the cooking there. About a third of the book is a discussion/appreciation of the auberge, its menus, the area, history, etc. The rest of the book is recipes.

Tuesday/8-Feb-11: Yogurt on overday. Off to a movie in the day. Dinner was Spinach with Blue Cheese and Pasta (RealFast, p152; cookbooker), using up my extra frozen spinach. Very good for minimal effort. Followed by a salad and some coffeecake.

Another good quote from Auberge. At communal dinners here, we frequently see (and even join in) adding wine to the almost empty soup bowl. Haven't seen anyone add wine to a full bowl, but maybe we're not eating in the right places.
At the Auberge, we all followed the Dauphiné tradtion of faire chabrot with the wine. As the large bowls of soup were served, absolutely piping hot, each guest added a little wine from his glass and stirred it in for the dual purpose of cooling the soup and sharpening its flavor. Then, when all the solid vegetables had been eaten and nothing remained in the bowl but bouillon, one added a little more wine and it was permissible to lift one's bowl to the lips to drink the last few delicious mouthfuls. [p70]
Wednesday/9-Feb-11: Ed's gotten my cold, so neither of us are feeling very chipper. Dinner was Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken (EWmag, soon to be MC) with chicken thighs, rather than strips of boned thigh. We had the intention to bbq, but Ed discovered that the necessary gear is closed in by the stacked wood on the kitchen porch and asked me to bake it instead. It was still quite good. The recipe suggested brown rice with some rice vinegar and sliced scallions stirred in as a side, which I did sort of. And some frozen green beans with a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. And off to bed.

Thursday/10-Feb-11: Finished the coffeecake for breakfast—pear and yogurt, it has to be healthy! Shopping this a.m. Dinner was leftover lasagna. Ah, the Lasagna Effect, Ed said. Amazing how lasagna is always better the second night. Salad after. And a dab of H-D Vanilla Pecan ice cream for dessert. Meanwhile, I made up the "brew" for an ice cream to make tomorrow. So far, it did not make up as the instructions said, so we'll have to see how it goes.

This quote from Auberge was especially interesting since we just had a tartiflette dinner, where reblochon stars, last weekend.
The word reblocher means, in the local dialect, to milk the cow a second time within the same hour. It is this second milk, with a slightly stronger flavor than the first, which is used to make the Reblochon. [p84]
A surprising thing (to me) in the book, is that the menus are planned in such detail. Even the aperitif is chosen to complement the meal. I have very much enjoyed meals with a wijn arrangement, where the wine is chosen for each course, but the idea of including the aperitif in that is really a surprise. Even the cheeses are chosen to go with the entire meal. I can only imagine what a treat it must have been to eat at this auberge!

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/11-Feb-11: Start dinner tonight with something for a pair of sickies, chicken noodle soup made with broth from the freezer, farfallini, and chicken from picking the carcasses. Then there was roasted veg (cauliflower, broccoli, snijbonen, shallots, garlic) over brown rice and topped with a bit of feta. Simple and not bad at all. Then a bit of goat cheese. Didn't feel like making up the ice cream. It will wait another day.

Saturday/12-Feb-11: Went to the boulanger too late today—no bread to be had. Got two croissants and two pains aux chocolate for breakfast. Either we'll go back in the morning for real bread or the bread machine will be back in business.

Dinner as Banh Mi Burgers, a recipe from EAT-L, loosely followed. Instead of chopping the cuke and carrot for the pickle, I cut strips with a veg peeler, more in line with pics I found on the web. These didn't need to marinate all that long, since the strips would get a bit soggy if kept too long. Also made up some Lime Chili Mayo I found in another recipe, a strange mayo without oil. Well, I added some, but it remained thin and never got thick as mayo should be, either before or after the oil. It tasted good enough. There were four patties, and I griddled some split pitas for bread. For the second round, we broke into the sriracha sauce I bought recently—pretty good stuff.

While we were eating, I put the Rice Gelato (Scoop, p70) that I started on Thursday evening in the ice cream maker. Turned out pretty tasty, if a bit strong on orange flavor to my taste. Ed didn't mind this, though; he doesn't like the grittty rice texture.

Sunday/13-Feb-11: Made Light Wheat Ricotta Bread (4Seasons, p57) during the day. Not bad at all, with a nice dense texture. Also made the broth for a soup for dinner, but when dinnertime came around, I didn't feel like dealing with the butternut squash. So we had posole from the freezer instead. Then some more of the rice gelato, which still tastes a bit too orange for me, but has a lovely creamy texture surrounding the gritty rice.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: yes, #3 MIDDAY: no
This month: #4 PASTA: not yet


  1. The book sounds terrific! I've been through Orange (can't remember if I stayed there) but I did know about the Dutch connection. One of the results of aristocratic marriages (German prince marries French aristocrat or the other way round)

  2. interesting about the reblochon. i'd never heard that.

    my first encounter with snickerdoodles was an earthy-crunchy recipe with wheat germ in them - from some 1960s recipe book of my mother's. they were excellent, but in a class by themselves, what with that hippie ingredient.