Monday, December 26, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Dec-11: In anticipation of company tomorrow afternoon, I made some eggnog, using the Eggnog II recipe from my old Joy of Cooking. It's ripening in the fridge now.

Then I made Eggnog Pear Pie (VegTimes, soon to be MC; cookbooker). I forgot to turn the oven temperature down when I put the filled pie in the oven, so the edges are a bit black, but the rest of the pie is yummy. Why they call it "eggnog", I haven't a clue.

Dinner started with lots of salad and the rest of the foie gras-stuffed magret. Good stuff. Then Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken (MC), quite good. Lots of sauce left, which will be good over pasta with some meat and a bit of veg, I expect. Also roasted up some more Brussels sprouts along with the end of the broccoli in the fridge. Followed by a slice of pie.

Tuesday/27-Dec-11: Real eggnog is real good. Yum.

For dinner I defrosted some zucchini-chickpea pancakes to make a little starter, topped with crème fraîche. Then there was some (defrosted) Zucchini Garlic Soup, the bounty of the summer garden. Then some pear pie. We're full.

I didn't participate in the last Cook the Books, because I didn't feel like finishing the book. This time the book is John Thorne's Outlaw Cook, which I read a few years ago. I thought I might dash through it again, and picked it up again with that in mind, but couldn't get into it. (I was surprised to discover that I've actually made, more or less, a couple of recipes from it.) Plus it's a bit intimidating that Thorne is going to judge. Think I might skip this one too. The next one is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've actually never read this, or seen the movie, and Roald Dahl isn't going to judge it, so it might be just the thing to inspire a chocolate fantasy.

Wednesday/28-Dec-11: Improvised a soup for dinner. Meant to loosely follow a recipe for broccoli-chicken-cheddar soup, but didn't quite make it. Took some cheese out of the freezer and Ed thought he would hurry along the defrosting, but putting it in a pan of hot water. It now looks something like CheezWhiz, which is one of the most disgusting food products around. The broccoli seems to have gone off, so I cut up some zucchini lurking in the crisper. There was turkey broth defrosted for something that didn't get made. And a handful of noodles. And some meat picked from Monday's leftovers. And a small can of corn. And the rest of the evaporated milk that didn't get used in the eggnog. Not bad altogether. Then some more pear pie.

Thursday/29-Dec-11: Shopped today. Bought some aillets again; these seem to be like green onions, but garlic instead. And, my, does the refrigerator smell (good?) when you open the door now. No plans for using them.

Dinner was Sauced Potato Casserole (Tassajara, p214), with slices of a smoked sausage tucked in amongst the potatoes. Very nice on a cold night. Salad after. Then the last of the pear pie.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/30-Dec-11: Made goat broth today. Have frozen it for some future use.

Dinner was Leek Bread Pudding, a recipe collected from EAT-L and available all over the web. Good stuff. Could be a side at a big dinner too. And a salad.

Saturday/31-Dec-11: Lots of finger food for munching in front of the TV this evening (Damn Yankees). For round one, there were (clockwise from lower right) verrines with an avocado mixture on the bottom, whipped cream and fromage blanc on that, and strips of smoked salmon on top—this was good all mixed together; olives from the marché de noël; toasts spread with soft goat cheese mixed with lemon zest and topped with smoked salmon (had to use up that 2-slice package, didn't I?); about a third recipe of Smokey Eggplant Purée (MedLight, p93) to use as a dip for ...; carrot sticks; cherry tomatoes stuffed with what was essentially a bland tuna salad.

Round two was store-bought: tapas on sticks (lemon chicken and herbed pork), plus little pastry packets (scallops, provençale, tapenade, and goat cheese). We had only eight of a package of thirty, but that make a quick munchie when you need something.

Had a good long reading session today and finished off the second book in the Durant's history of the world. Only nine more to go!

Sunday/1-Jan-12: Lovely lunch at La Bellone today. Nothing happening in our kitchen, but theirs was quite busy.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: yes, #3 MIDDAY: yes (if restaurants count)
This month: #4 PASTA: yes

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