Monday, June 27, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Jun-11: Midday meal today, an old favorite. Warm Broccoli and Potato Salad (MDSalads, p15). This must be one of my most repeated recipes. The two of us eat all of the recipe made for 4. Yum.

The Whole Wheat Bread with Bran from yesterday is quite yummy.

Tuesday/28-Jun-11: Whew, hot weather over for now and today has had reasonable temps. So we had a barbecue. Spicy Pork Tenderloin (MC), with the tenderloin cut in five bits (tail and two sections sliced horizontally). Accompanied by a Nigella Lawson recipe, Watermelon, Feta, and Black Olive Salad (MC); such a odd combination, but it really works. And some corn on the cob Ed got at the shops. I puréed the rest of the watermelon to make sorbet in the next days.

Wednesday/29-Jun-11: Got back from Bordeaux today feeling kind of iffy in the stomach. Nothing in the grocery appealed for dinner (I'd planned to get something fishy). Instead we had rewarmed chicken tagine. I took the leftover couscous, added the curry sauce that came with the corn on the cob (yes, curry sauce with corn on the cob), some chopped cuke, shallot, red bell pepper, and chili pepper, along with a goodly squeeze of lemon juice. Not bad at all. Followed by a salad. A bit of store-bought ice cream with chocolate cookies for dessert.

A while ago, I read that French people don't cut their salad lettuce as served. They just use their knife and fork to fold it all up into a tidy bundle for sticking in their mouths. When we lunched at the bread fair, I happened to notice that this is indeed what happens. So we Americans were sitting there cutting our lettuce leaves into bite-sized chunks while our neighbors folded theirs.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/30-Jun-11: Needed an early lunch today before our respective afternoon and evening outings and didn't plan for this, so fell back to an old, easy favorite, Broccoli with Roasted Peppers, Olives, and Feta Cheese (Savory, p188), served over trio rice. After I got back in the evening we had a plate of fruit and some goat cheese.

Friday/31-Jun-11 (aka 1-Jul-11): Today counts as last month for the pasta-this-month-goal. I've been planning this for a while, but things keep happening to stop me making it, so here it is for last month. I made fresh taglitelle and served it with Fettuccine con Carciofi e Mozzarella (Lorenza, p91, cookbooker). Fettuccine would have been better, probably, but I just felt like the wider noodle. Not my favorite sauce, but not bad. Then a big salad of roquette. Then a half dose of Watermelon Sorbetto (Scoop, p112, cookbooker).

Saturday/2-Jul-11: Dinner was Shredded Zucchini Frittata with Parmesan (Bishop, p169) made with our first zucchini, of which I neglected to take a photo. Accompanied Mildred Schulz's String Beans and Potatoes (GreeneGreens, p346), with very fresh young haricots verts from the veggie lady who shows up at local bric-à-bracs; this was good, but not quite the right taste for the Italian-ish frittata. Then we ate up the rest of the Watermelon Sorbetto.

Made some apple-rhubarb butter for Barbara and David; it's their rhubarb, after all. Got ready for some peaches and cream ice cream tomorrow night (their peaches too). Might try some peach butter with some of the remaining, and maybe freeze up the rest.

Sunday/3-Jul-11: Yogurt on overday. Started some peach butter this afternoon to use up the rest of Barbara's peaches. It's in the crockpot overnight, so we'll see how that goes.

More of Barbara's bounty ended up in a half-dose of Mile High Blueberry Muffins (MC). Isn't it nice to have friends with a surplus?

I couldn't find the clipping with the recipe that I intended to make tonight, so I ended up doing something inspired by Merguez and Sweet Potato Hash at food52. I started the onions cooking while my sweet potatoes boiled till partly cooked. After they cooled a bit, I cut the sweet pots lengthwise into planks. I used the two-burner grill pan to grill the planks and 6 links (300g) of turkey merguez while the onion caramelized. When the pots were done, I cut the planks in half at the "waist". Then I cut the merguez links into three chunks each, 1.5-2" long, about the same as the half-planks of sweet potatoes (which were on the small side to start with). Tossed all these together with the onion and rosemary. It wasn't hash, I guess, since the bits were too big, but it was quite tasty anyhow. Followed this by a salad of mâche and beets and other stuff. Then peaches and cream ice cream (made with half cream and half milk and it was fine).

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

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

Monday, June 13, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Jun-11: We had our main meal at midday today, well, it was 15.30, but that's midday compared to 19.00, isn't it? For the main, there was a full dose of Cauliflower with Potatoes (MJ1, p109), from which there is a bit leftover for ... something. I'd originally planned a similar cauliflower and potato recipe from a French magazine, but it looked so bland, that I poked around in my books and came up with this one, which is pretty good. Served with plain basmati rice and the spiced up (not so) Spicy Apricot Chutney from Cooking Light that I've been trying to use up. At the last minute I thought the plate looked very bland, so I made Gujerati Carrot Salad (MJ1, p170), which is about as fast as you can make it and remarkably tasty. Since we ate the kulfi up already, we just had some chocolate chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

The lemons finished soaking today, so I put them up in salt. According to the recipe, 5 lemons should fit in a 1-pint/2-cup jar! I might have been able to force them into a 3/4-liter jar, but they look quite happy in the 1-liter jar I used. But they are only submerged in lemon juice when I mash down on them, otherwise they float up. I might get more lemons next time I'm at the shops at top up the juice. I've probably gone through 2 dozen lemons in the last weeks, what with the artichokes and this project.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/14-Jun-11: No one went to the boulangerie today, so the bread machine made bread for lunch and tomorrow's breakfast. Made up some juice for chocolate ice cream.

Dinner was Shrimp with Wild Rice, collected from EAT-L (soon to be MC). Took a bit longer than I expected to made, so we ate quite late. Good it was anyhow. And a salad, with the leftover cauliflower and potatoes, and beans from the Sunday.

Wednesday/15-Jun-11: An oldie-but-goodie recipe for dinner, Moroccan Lamb with Carrot Salad (MC). Used ras el-hanout in the rub, rather than paprika, since I've got a jar needing to be used up. Served with couscous, which went really well with the carrot-radish salad. Then some chaource. Then some chocolate ice cream. Yum.

Thursday/16-Jun-11: Midday meal today starring Chicken with Blueberry Sauce (EAT-L, soon to be MC). I used chicken stock, which is thawed and needing to be used up instead of beef stock, which might be better. But it was good. Served with some funny pasta bits and Zucchini and Vermouth (Essential, p227). Followed by a salad. Finished with faiselle and raspberries. All good.

Made some apple-rhubarb butter.

Friday/17-Jun-11: Shopped today. This week's impulse buy was four fresh sardines (gutted), which I'd never had before, let alone cooked. So, they appeared as the starter. The sardines are full of very fine bones (however could you fillet such small things), but the cooked bones were not a problem in the eating. Bought more lemons and added more juice to the preserved lemons which were "under water" only when I pressed down on them; they refused to stay that way.

Dinner was rather unplanned, and late because of that. I used them to make Grilled Moroccan Sardines (Essential, p424). This was quite a good way to do sardines. Fresh ones are much better than canned, less salty and not so overwhelmingly fishy. The marinade was quite good. They only took two minutes under the broiler, not two minutes on each side.

For the main I made Broiled Spiced Swordfish, Mangalore Style (IndLight, p157), which I've made before with tuna. It's quite good with with the swordfish. Easy too. Then there was Cauliflower with Fennel and Mustard Seeds (MJ1, p109), which was good. And Mushroom Pullao (MJ1, p152), which was also good, one of those things I need to remember to make more often. For afters, we finished off the chocolate ice cream, not very Indian, but good. nevertheless.

Saturday/18-Jun-11: Yogurt on overday; otherwise quiet in the kitchen. Picked up Sam and Pat in Bordeaux today. Ate at La Bellone this evening.

Sunday/19-Jun-11: Lunched at the bread fair in Condac. For dinner we had fruit and carrot sticks, topped off with Lu Petits Ecoliers (Scholiertjes).

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

Monday, June 6, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Jun-11: Out at a quiz tonight. (We were a close second.) Nothing happening in the kitchen.

Tuesday/7-Jun-11: Dinner was Penne all'Arrabbiata (ClassPasta, p56); it wasn't penne, but it sure was good. Then a salad. Then the rest of the cherries and cream ice cream.

Wednesday/8-Jun-11: Really didn't feel like cooking tonight and had an itch for pizza, so we went to Montbron. We ordered two different ones and asked to have half tomato sauce on only half of each. The other half was creme fraiche. And, they put a roll of pizza dough down the center to divide the halfs. Very nice.

Thursday/9-Jun-11: Yogurt on overday. Our midday meal today was Pat's Orzo with Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Fresh Basil (soon to be MC). Ed's happy, having had orzo twice recently. This was very yummy and easy to make. Followed by a salad.

Friday/10-Jun-11: Shopping the morning. Impulse buy: While looking for ziplocs, I found some plastic sacks for freezing sticks of "popsicle." You pour your juice or whatever in the spout and six rods form. Into the freezer and then cut off the ones you want. (Yet to decide if these are actually easier than popsicle forms. It is nice that you can use the entire liter of juice in one go.) One liter of juice (red berries) made three six-packs like this:


For our midday meal, I made some rice and a half dose of Spicy Cajun Shrimp (MW@Home, p255). While this was cooking, I halved and scooped out a pair of globe zucchini, adding the chopped up insides to the shrimp. Used this to stuff the zukes and steamed them for a bit, then served them with the rest of the rice, topped with the rest of the sauce. Pretty good combination. And a salad.

Picked the chicken and made chicken stock. Started the preserved lemons (Couscous, p31) again.

Saturday/11-Jun-11: Out at a petanque competition during the day, thus late dinner. Conchiglie con Broccoli e Zafferano (Conchiglie with Broccoli and Saffron) (Lorenza, p88), an interesting combination of sweet and savory with currants and anchovies (after the fishy smell dissipates, only the savory taste remains). Good, but strange portions as seems to happen in this book. I used half the pasta (still too much, should have used only 6oz) with all the sauce and it looked rather like the picture in the book. Then the rest of the kulfi for dessert, so the freezer is ice-cream-free right now; I'll have to remedy this.

Sunday/12-Jun-11: Oops, didn't get any ice cream brew made today, so we'll be another day without our cold treat.

Dinner was a quickie: Tuna and White Bean Salad (CL, apr11). A good hot weather salad, if a bit under sauced; too bad it's not hot. (I spend the day shivering in long-sleeved tee-shirt, sweater, and polartec vest.)

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