Monday, November 28, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/28-Nov-11: A quickie grocery shop this morning, then off for a bit of touristing with Bill. Froze my turkey carcass since I don't have time to deal with it in the next few days.

Dinner was Steak with Cucumber-Radish Salad (CLmag/apr2011, soon to be MC). Good stuff. I used my regular beef marinade, which is similar to CL's but using soy sauce/tamari instead of salt. Salad, with mâche, is very good. I served with rice and roasted broccoli, but this was really a bit much. For afters we had a bit camembert and then store-bought tiramisus.

Tuesday/29-Nov-11: Made it to the boulanger too late for bread this morning. Made White Buttermilk Bread (MC). Did it on Rapid, which maybe wasn't a good idea since the buttermilk was quite cold.

Lunch was an old favorite, Mushroom Barley Soup (MC). Good stuff.

Dinner was Feta Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Breasts (web, soon to be MC). Very nice, would be nice for company. I did use only half the oil that was asked. Served with Dusolier's roasted potatoes. And a big salad of mâche. Followed by one tiramisu and two panna cottas with caramel. (That's one per person, not three each!) I'm full.

Wednesday/30-Nov-11: Lunch out with Bill today, then took him to the train station. No further food necessary.

Thursday/1-Dec-11: Busy cleaning up, putting away after Thanksgiving and company. No real plans for dinner, so I made Artichoke Spaghetti (Art, p59), an old favorite. Then a salad. Then some Camembert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/2-Dec-11: Shopping today. Had an Indian itch and scratched it with tonight's dinner. There was Shrimp Steamed with Mustard Oil (Q&E, p64), half the shrimp with all the sauce, served over plain rice. And Green Beans with Mushrooms (Q&E, p86), which I haven't made it a while, but is still good. Ending with a half dose of Caramelized Cardamom Apples with Pistachio Cream (Q&E, p122), hardly Indian, but quite good anyhow. Note to self: Don't cook apples in your cast iron skillet, even if they fit that best.

Saturday/3-Dec-11: Used up some pumpkin from the freezer and the last of a sack of cranberries to make a loaf of Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (MC). Yum.

Dinner was a Courgette and Chick Pea Filo Pie (web, cookbooker). Another hit from Nigella. Followed by a salad. And a little dessert with leftover bits of filo/phyllo and some cinnamon sugar.

Have turkey stock cooling in the fridge to de-fat and freeze tomorrow.

Sunday/4-Dec-11: The turkey stock didn't get de-fatted; that will be first up tomorrow.

Still on the using-up-the-preserved lemons quest, dinner was Chicken Roulade with Olives and Simple Preserved Lemons (CLmag, soon to be MC). Quite good. Made all the stuffing for an otherwise half recipe; probably this wasn't necessary. Served with plain couscous (good with the sauce) and North African Spiced Carrots, which we've had before and were good yet again.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Relish tray: pickled green beans, carrot sticks, olives, cherry tomatoes

Marinated Brussels Sprouts

roast turkey
Prudhomme's Cornbread Dressing
Sweet Potato-Carrot Puff
Cranberry-Port Relish

Morgon 2003

pumpkin cake

Another day of thanks. Bill came from Amsterdam, and we invited our new neighbor, Vanessa, and her two kids, 9 and 13, I think. They are vegetarian, so everything but the turkey was meatless. Served mostly old favorites. Looks like Brussels sprouts are becoming a tradition. Dinner was supposed to be six-ish, but I miscalculated the weight and thus time for the bird and it was just after seven thirty when we sat down. Vanessa brought an eagle feather and we passed that around, each saying what we were thankful for.

For the first time ever, I think, I managed to get a Thanksgiving starter on the table. It actually worked quite well. The turkey was out of the oven, resting. The casseroles rested in their still warm oven. Early in the day, we opted for bread from the boulanger rather than homemade rolls; otherwise, it would have worked well to pop the rolls in the oven as we served the starter.

The flowers on the table are camellias from the garden. Camellias from the garden in November? Yes. One shrub is blooming and the other two are ready to go. What will they do in the spring, I wonder? Here's the table, almost ready to start serving.

Relish tray
Nothing new here. I made my pickled green beans that I love and Ed doesn't. Company liked them too. Mixed olives from the shop.

Marinated Brussels Sprouts
Several years ago, I made this recipe a couple of times and we liked it, but I kind of forgot about it. The original recipe called for steaming the sprouts, but since I've had good luck roasting them lately, I did that instead. I used all the marinade for twice the sprouts, and that seemed fine. Served with arugula, topped with toasted walnuts.

Turkey was 4.3kg/9.5lb this year. I chopped some herbs (sage, rosemary, and thyme from the garden), grated some lemon zest, mixed with some salt, and rubbed under the skin. Stuck the grated lemon inside the bird. Followed my old Joy of Cooking instructions, used only a dishrag, rather than a dish towel, to cover its breast. Since I don't have a rack to fit in the casserole dish, I used some long bits of bread to help the bird balance. Neglected to take a picture. Tasted good anyhow.

Chef Paul Prudhomme's Cornbread Dressing
Because we had vegetarian guests, I made this with mushrooms rather than giblets. I've done this before and it works fine. And garlic broth instead of chicken broth. Really good stuff.

Sweet Potato-Carrot Puff
A double dose of this fit perfectly in the AH Wedgwood oval casserole. And it was a good thing I made a double dose, since the kids really liked it. A single dose is advertised as serving 8; I think 6 is more like it. There was only one small serving left.

Cranberry-Port Relish
Bill arrived earlier in the day, bringing three sacks of cranberries. Put two into the freezer and used part of the last to make this relish. Really easy, really good.

Sautéed shallots and 'shrooms to start the gravy made with garlic broth. Used two cups of garlic broth. Should have used more since we were quite out at the end of the meal.

Pumpkin Cake
I made this for Club Liseron last month and it was a big hit. Opting for an easy dessert, I decided to do this again. Used my standard cream cheese icing, which has been quite runny the last two times I've made it. Has the St Moret (cream cheese) changed? Could it be that the butter was frozen? A mystery. Well, the kids like the big puddle in the middle of the cake. You can see it's mostly gone here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/21-Nov-11: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli (CL, may11; cookbooker); served with basmati rice. Edible, especially with a big squiggle of sriracha, but not a recipe to keep.
Tuesday/22-Nov-11: Didn't get very far with turkey day prep today, only grocery shopping got done, and that was late in the day. Surprise—there were preserved lemons! I've never seen preserved lemons in a shop. A big jar with little lemons and some bigger lemons in smaller amounts.

Dinner was a half dose of Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken (EW site & mag), done under the broiler. With polenta. Followed by a big salad. Some store-bought flan for dessert.

Wednesday/23-Nov-11: Picked up the turkey this morning and left it in Barbara's refrigerator. Spent most of the day in the kitchen busy with Thanksgiving things. Since we've got vegetarian guests, I made a some Garlic Broth (MDSoups, p55) to use for gravy and the dressing. Made cornbread (Joy, p578) to use for the dressing. Put the Marinated Brussels Sprouts (MC) on to marinate. Decided not to make the sweet potato-carrot puff ahead, since there's no room in the fridge and it's too warm to store anything outside, so I'd have to take it to Barbara's. Instead I made
the Pumpkin Cake (MC). Munched marinated green beans throughout the day.

Dinner was Cheddar Cheese Risotto (web, soon to be MC). Used some mature Welsh cheddar from the freezer. No baby leeks, used aillets instead. Tasty stuff. Followed by a salad.

Thursday/24-Nov-11: Yogurt on overday.

Prepare the rest of Thanksgiving dinner. Sat around talking till midnight. Stacked the dishes, froze the rest of the garlic broth, fell into bed.

Friday/25-Nov-11: Four rounds of dishwashing this morning to finish cleaning up from last night. Last one included breakfast dishes.

Made Apple-Plum Butter (MC).

For dinner the three of us finished off the brussels sprouts salad, then had turkey tartines, open-faced turkey sandwiches topped with onion relish from a market and comté, grilled till the cheese was toasty. Then we finished off the pumpkin cake.

Saturday/26-Nov-11: Picked the turkey and packaged it up for freezing. Didn't freeze the carcass, but expect I should do that since it might be hard to make stock while Bill's here.

Lazy day otherwise. Went to Chez Cisseen's for fish-n-chips. Yum!

Sunday/27-Nov-11: Lunch at the Trapateau's ferme-auberge. No one interested in food this evening.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-Nov-11: For lunch, I made a half dose of Cauliflower and Walnut Cream Soup (SoupBible, p47; cookbooker), using up the rest of the cauliflower. Easy and good. Even Ed, who's not a cauliflower fan liked it.

Dinner was also fast and tasty. Spanish-Style Tuna and Potato Salad (CL, soon to be MC, cookbooker). Good, but more appropriate for the summer I expect. Some St. Felicien for afters.

Tuesday/15-Nov-11: Ed's birthday day, so we lunched out. Nothing happening in the kitchen all day.

Wednesday/16-Nov-11: Salmon for dinner, appearing as Dad's Famous "Pink Fish" (HEB, p148). Pretty good, if a bring strong with soy sauce. And rice. Then a big salad with an oriental dressing I made a while ago and didn't use. Otherwise pretty quiet in the kitchen, since we're both tired out from a long walk this morning.

Thursday/17-Nov-11: Best-laid plans for dinner, gone awry. Instead there was leftover sorrel-onion tart, still good. And a salad. Finished off the St. Felicien after line dancing.

Friday/18-Nov-11: Defrosted some turkey scallops for a simple dinner. Floured, sautéed, and topped with a lemon-caper pan sauce. Some trio rice and peas on the side. Some Lindt chocolates and breakfast cookies for dessert. That's all.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/19-Nov-11: Off to a commune dinner this evening. Nothing happening in the kitchen.

Sunday/20-Nov-11: Finished off our bread at breakdfast and no one wants to go to the boulanger. Made Whole Wheat with Bran (BigGerman, p81) (WW/Rapid/Med/—). What a high, beautiful, lovely smelling loaf came out!

This time of year, when the sun is low, is a big discouraging housekeeping-wise. All the dust, and spots on the floor that want to be mopped are clearly visible, as they aren't when the sun is higher. I'm startled at how dusty this house is. I dusted the bedroom well one day and the next day surfaces were dusty again. In Amstelveen, we had forced air heating, so I'm guessing the filter on that system removed much of the dust.
Put together the pickled green beans for Thanksgiving today.
Homemade fettucine for dinner with a half dose of Ligurian-Style Pasta Sauce with Zucchini and Carrots (MarCuc, p159). Pretty good but not my favorite of her pasta sauces.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Nov-11: Quiz night again. Nothing happening in the kitchen.

Tuesday/8-Nov-11: Dinner was Mushroom Stroganoff, loosely following a recipe from EAT-L, over noodles. Good it was. Then a big salad.

Wednesday/9-Nov-11: Busy day today. We had lunch out, so only fruit and cookies in the evening.

Thursday/10-Nov-11: For lunch I made a little soup with leftover mushrooms, leftover mushroom broth, the last zucchini from the garden (kind of a mini one), and some pasta. It was good.

For dinner I picked the meat from the chicken, heated it in the sauce, and served over pasta. Some leftovers still. Ed tried to toss the carcass, but we rescued most of it and popped it in the freezer for whenever I have another one to make broth.

Friday/11-Nov-11: Curried Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash for dinner (web). Nice vague recipe. Used some homemade Italian sausage from the freezer. No eggs mixed in; fried egg on top of each serving. Good enough. Think I might prefer it with real potatoes rather than sweet.

Saturday/12-Nov-11: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Lamb Rib Chops with Quince Jelly Glaze (somewhere on the web). Not bad. Quince jelly I made earlier in the year. We ate most of the chops (should have served four) and have some meat leftover for ... something. Roast potatoes and roast cauliflower as go-withs. Think I really prefer my meat without glazes and such.

A peculiar thing: I bought the package of lamb chops at the grocery store. When I lifted out the chops, I discovered a kidney hiding in there, a lamb's kidney I suppose. Why? What am I supposed to do with it?

Sunday/13-Nov-11: Lovely looking sorrel at the grocery store this week. Impulse buy. Tonight's dinner was Sorrel-Onion Tart (Greens, p244; cookbooker). Pretty good, but I think if I did this again, I wouldn't cook the sorrel, but just stir the slice greenery into the egg-cream mixture. Then a big salad. Then some Lindt chocolates for dessert.

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