Monday, June 20, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Jun-11: Yogurt on overday.

Barbecue dinner started with broiled artichoke bottoms, green tapenade, and goat cheese. Then there was Lemon Pepper Chicken (MC), thighs that had been marinating overnight. Then there was Zucchini with Cilantro Sauce (MWLowFat, p335) and Rice and Bulgur Pilaf (MC). The pilaf was good in spite of the fact that I was out of brown rice—I remember that we went to buy some, only to find the shop closed, to re-open shortly with a under new owner, then it seems to have gotten lost from the list. Oops. For dessert there I made some vanilla ice cream with raspberries.

Tuesday/21-Jun-11: We all had lunch today at Le Terminus in Angoulême, a lovely fishy restaurant across from the station. Then we walked them across the street and saw them off to Charles de Gaulle airport for their trip back to Houston. Nice visit, sad to see them go.

Wednesday/22-Jun-11: A fruitless trip to Bordeaux today, harumph. Dinner was a repeat, Spaghetti all'Amatricia with Eggplant (MedHot, p77), still good. Followed by a simple salad. Then some mini-charlottes with red fruit from the boulanger where we got bread this afternoon.

Thursday/23-Jun-11: Missed the window for an early meal today, and no time to eat between Ed's return from choir practice and a bit of grocery shopping and my going off for line dancing. So, I defrosted the Slow Cooker Carnitas that I froze with the cooking juice and the remains of a corn salad. I had some creative ideas in mind when I froze it all, but ended up just warming it up and plopping it on the table. Tasty, but the cooking juice was a bit too salty. Served with on avocado's worth of guacamole. With a seeded and chopped tomato included. Lekker!

Friday/24-Jun-11: Lunched at a restaurant with friends today. Tonight we had fruit and finished off some goat cheese.

Saturday/25-Jun-11: Yogurt on overday, but it got a late start (I forgot to push the start button) and was turned off for a while while Ed did some handiwork in the area. Will put it in the fridge as late as possible tonight, but wonder how it will turn out.

Had our main meal mid-afternoon today. Ed brought home two nice Label Rouge chickies on sale yesterday; both big guys, one's in the freezer, the other I used for Chicken Tagine with Olives, Zucchini, and Honey (Cover&Bake, p203; cookbooker), a variation on Chicken Tagine with Olives and Lemon. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but the intro says you can substitute a whole, cut-up chicken, while reducing the cooking time so as not to dry out the breast parts. (It also says to discard the wings, but I left the first joint of the wing on the upper half of each breast bit, since it's fairly meaty and Ed likes this bit. It's all going in the stockpot in a few days, so nothing will go to waste.) I was a bit puzzled why, if it takes 75 minutes to cook 8 thighs, it takes only 45 minutes to cook 8 parts of the whole bird. So I ignored the timing, and indeed the breasts were a bit dry, but the thighs and legs were gorgeous. I would not use a whole bird (or, rather, mixed white/dark meat) for this again. This is the kind of recipe where you can let it cook away for quite a while and it seems silly to worry about the time for the sake of the white meat, when the dark meat takes so much better to this kind of treatment. (The recipe also says that you can replace the lemon peel with preserved lemon, but it's too early for that. My lemons are still preserving themselves.)

For a starter, I mixed the leftover Rice and Bulgur Pilaf with lots of lemon juice (it needed more than I expected) and a dab of olive oil, plus a coarsely grated carrot and some chopped cuke and a goodly dash of ras el-hanout. This was quite tasty.

Sunday/26-Jun-11: It's getting close to 100F here today (and should go over tomorrow), so it was a cold lunch today. I used some surimi to make a cold crab-like salad loosely following a loose recipe from EAT-L (dressing of mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, old bay, celery seed). Steamed some zucchini chunks to give it some color and vegetable matter. Served over mixed lettuce. Pretty tasty. For dessert we had some popsicle sticks from the news sacks. There must be a knack for getting into them that I haven't got yet. Tasted nice anyhow.

Neither of us wanted to go out in the heat to the boulanger, so I've got out the bread machine and put together some Whole Wheat with Bran (BigGerman, p81) (WW/Rapid/Med/—).

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: no, #3 MIDDAY: yes
This month: #4 PASTA: no yet

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