Monday, March 28, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/28-Mar-11: For lunch we had open-faced sliced lamb sandwiches with leftover lamb and lamb juice augmented by some chicken broth. As a side, I cooked the ends of sacks of frozen peas and fêves, with some chopped mint and shallot. For dessert, we finished off the rum cake. (Not as much as it sounds, since we took the same amount up to Yvonne yesterday.)

An open-faced roast beef sandwich with gravy and smashed potatoes on the side. Real comfort food. The lamb wasn't half-bad either.

Ed cut into the lamb bone to get to the marrow, breaking my #2 knife in the process. :-(

Tuesday/29-Mar-11: Yogurt on overday.

For our midday meal there was Broccoli-Cauliflower Bake (web, now MC), a recipe intended as a side dish, but eaten as a main. It was surprisingly good. For dessert, we had Grand Marnier soufflées, straight from the freezer. (Thank you, Toupargel!)

Wednesday/30-Mar-11: Used up my last jar of AH's vleesfond tonight for Cooking Italy's Risotto with Saffron, Milanese Style (ClassicItal, p246). Served with a salad. Too late for dessert.

Thursday/31-Mar-11: For lunch there was a quickie soup from some defrosted chicken stock with a handful of mini bowties (farfallini) and some julienned carrots (thank you, mandoline). Accompanied by an open-faced sandwich with the last of the bread, thinly sliced onions (more mandoline) and some English cheddar, popped in the toaster oven until melted.

For dinner I defrosted some pork chops and some marinade. Served with trio rice and made the Italian Grilled Zucchini and Red Onion (MC) again; the zucch and onion are indeed better on the grill pan than under the broiler. The salad was good, but didn't especially go with the pork chop marinade. We split half of a petit Camembert for afters, then two Lindt truffles each.

Friday/1-Apr-11: Yogurt on overday.

Shopped today. Bought a leg of goat for the freezer. This seems to be goat season. Both of our local shops seem to have goat available at the same time. The rest of the year it's not visible. Don't know what I'll do with it yet but I know I occasionally run across a recipe.

First bbq this evening, really simple. Defrosted the last of our chipolatas, which were very salty; don't remember the others being like this. Then there was Bacon-Avocado Potato Salad (MC); good stuff. Also Gujerati Carrot Salad (MJ1, p170), an easy favorite. For dessert there was some vanilla ice cream on a sticky meringue cup topped with a crumbled chocolate rose.

Saturday/2-Apr-11: Dinner was Grilled Lamb Chops with Curried Couscous and Zucchini Raita (Gourmet mag, found on the web). My lamb chops were the last of a sackful from Toupargel, a bit uneven in size, but tasty. I made up half the coucous, using all the spices. This was still a bit underspiced; the curry was hot but there was not much flavor beyond that. The raita was good and complemented the couscous. For after there was the rest of the Petit Camembert followed by two Lindt truffles each.

I made up some "broth" for ice cream, half Nutella and half coconut milk, a "recipe" I saw somewhere. Very simple and possibly good.

Sunday/3-Apr-11: Lots of lamb bones; made lamb stock today.

Dinner was sautéed duck breast scallops with a sauce of red wine and chicken stock (from a cube). Served with the leftover cauliflower-broccoli casserole.

I clumsily managed to break the paddle on the ice cream maker as I was pouring in the mix. Something else to replace. The ice cream was good, though. Can't be beat for easy.

One wonders why I bother to make any kind of a meal plan. Definitely off piste tonight. In the morning, I'll have to give a thought about how best to use up all the stuff that needs to be cooked.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: no (unless risotto counts), #2 SOUP: for lunch, #3 MIDDAY: yes
This month: #4 PASTA: March yes, April not yet

Goals review:

#1) I had the feeling from last year that I was cooking a lot of meat and not so much vegetarian or fish. Instead, this is feeling like the easiest goal to reach. More challenging might be to serve each week (at least) one vegetarian meal, one fish, and one either veg or fish. Not sure if I'm ready to commit to that right now. Ah well, with last-minute change on Sunday's dinner, I didn't really make this goal this week. Unless risotto with beef broth counts. In Ken Hom's book on vegetarian noodles, he uses chicken broth and still calls it vegetarian. I could follow suit. ;-)

#2) This is being quite difficult. Seems I'm more likely to throw together a soup-for-lunch than to make a meal soup or a soup starter. That counts, the way I've worded the goal, but soup-for-main would be nice.

#3) Since I'm out for line dancing in the early evening on Tuesdays, this has been easier to keep to. It's still difficult to avoid eating after 8pm, especially since we don't usually finish breakfast till 11am or even later.

#4) It takes some focus to get this done, but we enjoy fresh pasta a lot, so it's not too hard.

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