Monday, July 4, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/4-Jul-11: Finished off the peach butter this afternoon. Pretty tasty, but not much of it. Dinner at the quiz tonight. (We came in third, but aced the 4th of July section.)

Tuesday/5-Jul-11: Shopped this morning. Made Herb Salt (Art, p172), since we're almost out of this.

I checked the website for the magazine where I think I got the lost recipe and turned up one similar, but not the same. This one, though, uses up the surimi that's in the freezer. So, dinner was Tarte aux Poireaux, Surimi, et Curry. Lazy me, I used a store-bought pâte brisée, rather that a home-made one, which really is better. The tart was good. Then a salad. Then some store-bought tiramísu, from a new brand, Gű. Somebody has to give these new things a try. Edible, but only so-so.

Wednesday/6-Jul-11: Almost didn't bbq this evening because of the wind all day (and danger of fire), but that finally died down, so we had Spicy Grilled Peppered Lamb Skewers (BigFlav, p142), which is nice and tingly especially when you use half the rub with a third of the meat. Accompanied by lots of Dusolier's Perfect Roast Potatoes and some sautéed zucchini, maybe the last store-bought one for a while since those plants seem to be doing OK. Finished off the peaches and cream ice cream.

Thursday/7-Jul-11: Yogurt on overday.

I've finally subscribed to Vie Pratique Gourmand, a biweekly French cooking magazine, whose latest issue arrived today (although I saw it at the grocery two days ago). This issue's C'est la saison section is on melons. Wherein I learned there are two major sorts of melons, cantaloups (the orange-fleshed ones) and galia (the green-fleshed ones). Galia melons are favored by North Europeans, which explains why they were largely the only ones available in the Netherlands. Of the cantaloup group, the charentais melon (from the Charente, of course) accounts for 90% of the melons grown in France. I was very happy when these would occasionally show up at our Dutch greengrocers. They look like mini versions of the cantaloups as I knew them in the US, with more or less the same flavor.

Dinner was Eggplant with Hot Garlic Sauce (MC) using lardons fumées for the meat bit. Over rice. Tasty, especially with a squirt of sriracha. Finished with half a petit camembert.

Friday/8-Jul-11: This morning I was rummaging through books looking for recipes for long pepper and for preserved lemons. I found a similar, better written recipe for preserved lemons (NAfrica, p125) to the one I used. This one said to top up the jar with boiling water. I haven't been able to add enough lemon juice to keep the lemons immersed, so I implemented this immediately. It also said to remove the seeds after almost quartering them. I'd wondered about the seeds, but suppose you can remove them at cooking time. Might add a few more days to my lemons, since the top ones, no matter how the jar is sitting, aren't really immersed in spite of the addition of extra lemon juice.

We found more zucchini ready to use in our little potager. These are some big regular zucchinis and some globe zukes.

Tonight, with one of the big zucchinis, I made (very loosely) Kaye's Shrimp-Stuffed Eggplant (MC), which started life has a recipe from a Cooking Light book, but I've adapted for our use. This time I replaced the eggplant with zucchini. Pretty good, although I think I made a typo when I entered the recipe into MC because it tasted a bit too strongly of celery seed. For dessert we had some blueberry cheesecake from Gű. This was tasty enough, but also had a soggy bottom, so we probably won't get any more of these in spite of the coupons we have now.

Saturday/9-Jul-11: An evening randonnée (9km) with meal tonight, so nothing much happening in the kitchen.

Sunday/10-Jul-11: Yogurt on overnday. Spent most of the day moving from the old Cube to the new Mini; frustrating to have so many annoying problems to resolve, ones that have been reported for years, but still not resolved for Apple. Grr... More tomorrow.

For dinner I adapted a recipe from an email for a courgette/zucchini pasta sauce. This turned out quite good, and I'll enter it into MasterCook one day. For two people, chop about 250g of courgette and sauté in olive oil. Chop one big or two small garlic cloves, 2 anchovies (the recipe said 5 anchovies for 500g courgette; I used two, but one was big), and some basil. Add these to the courgette after about 5 minutes. Continue cooking and stirring until the courgette is done (it looks a bit transparent). At this point I puréed the mixture, right in the skillet with my staff mixer, leaving a coarse texture. Stirred in a glob of crème fraîche (sour cream would do), S&P to taste, and a pinch of cayenne. Warm through. Toss with about 6oz short pasta. Why short, I don't know. Maybe if you left the zucchini chopped this would be better, but puréed as I did, I think linguine would be nice too. I used some mushroom flavored things that were quite good. In fact, mushroom might be a good addition to this. Then a salad. Finished off the Camembert for afters.

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

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