Monday, February 25, 2013

This week in the kitchen

Monday/25-Feb-13: Busy morning in the kitchen. Started yogurt. Started Authentic French Bread in the ABN so we'd have bread for lunch. Started Alice Hart's No-Knead Sourdough Loaf (web) to bake tomorrow.

Found my missing Galloping Gourmet spurtle! I noticed a spatula slipping down the left side of the stove and grabbed it. Then thought to pull out the cabinet to see if anything else was there. Why, yes, there was GG! All that crawling around on my knees for naught.

Dinner was Nigella's Slow Roast Pork Belly (web). While still not a favorite food (the cut is way too fatty), this was much better than Jamie's recipe that I used previously. He starts cooking hot and ends slow, whereas Nigellas starts out long and slow and ends hot. This meant the cracklings were actually crispy. Altogether better, but don't need to do this again. As she suggested, I served with some pasta. And some Haricots Verts in Olive Oil, since I'm out of walnut oil, still waiting for our bottle from the nut-shelling. Now, what to do with the leftover meat, I wonder?

Tuesday/26-Feb-13: Finished off Alice Hart's bread today with success! This is very similar to Lahey's recipe that I've not been too successful with, but it's half whole wheat and half regular bread flour. No idea why "sourdough" is in the title; this is nothing like sourdough. It's just a regular, very good, whole wheat bread. The dough had more form than Lahey's does for me, Lahey's being more of a puddle, while this held together reasonably well. I did use maybe a tablespoon less water than aksed. It's a hit, though. Alice Hart's bread uses weight for the flour, whereas Lahey's measures in cups. I'll have to weigh my cups and see how this goes. It's a bit hard to get into the idea to starting bread almost 24 hours ahead of time, assembling it in the afternoon, so you can dump it out for a 2-hour rest in the morning and bake around noon. Hmm...

We went to Angoulême in the afternoon to look at faucets and cork floors for the kitchen. Back in time for dinner. Which was a half recipe of Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese Sauce for Pasta (MarCuc, p168) with home-made tagliatelle. Yum. For afters, we finished off the little bit of goat cheese that was left.

Wednesday/27-Feb-13: Made the meal plan and list for shopping today, then for various reasons it was too late to go, so first dinner for the week is off-plan. Oh well.

Defrosted some duck scallops, floured them, then sautéed. Made a pan sauce by deglazing with sherry, then adding some chicken broth (from powder), and some chopped green olives. Pretty good. Warmed up the polenta disks that I impulse-bought last week, and made a sort of purée of steam-sautéed chard with lots of garlic. Not a bad dinner at all.

Thursday/28-Feb-13: I did the shopping today while Ed was in choir practice. Takes a bit longer with just one person, especially in an unfamiliar store.

A dinner for IHCC tonight. That was Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry (WorldVeg, p189) with rice and Raita (MJ1, p162). For afters, I had a couple of spoonfuls of pineapple sherbert from the freezer.

Friday/1-Mar-13: Dinner was sort of a half dose of Stir-Fried Green Beans with Pork and Garlic (web), made with some of the left-over pork belly (lots of fatty treats for Pogo and more into the freezer than I used tonight) instead of ground pork and fish sauce instead of soy sauce. Used all the spices with half the pork and green beans, which made it a bit salty but not overly so. Over rice. Tasty. This is from a Jaffrey book that I still don't have. Do I need one more, I wonder?

Saturday/2-Mar-13: Early appointment with a kitchen guy in Angoulême today for the sink counter. Home for lunch. Didn't feel like cooking what was on the meal plan. Instead made an old favorite, Warm Broccoli and Potato Salad (MDSalads, p15). Now what am I going to do with the pâte brisée that I defrosted?

Sunday/3-Mar-13: Yogurt on overday. We were off to the annual Fruits de Mer lunch today. Ed and I pretty well finished off this platter for two.

No need for further food, although we did have an apple, a carrot, and some cherry tomatoes later.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 IHCC/COOKBOOKS: yes, #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for February; no for March, #4 BREAD: yes for February; no for March

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