Monday, October 28, 2013

This week in the kitchen

Monday/28-Oct-13: Dinner was Bengal Red Lentils with Spices (Sahni2, p329) over rice. This recipe  has been well reviewed at cookbooker, so I thought I'd give it a try. Very good, yes! Served with the end of the Spicy Eggplant Stew with Potatoes, Mushroom, and Chickpeas, which was still good, if slightly past its use-by date. Oh well, guess we'll survive.

Authentic French Bread in the machine overnight.

Tuesday/29-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Pork Tenderloin with Plum and Juniper Sauce (collected EAT-L). Lots of the red plums I bought for these were bad, so I used the last of the yellow plums we've been eating. There was lots of sauce left so I buzzed it and Ed will have it on his morning bread (instead of the apple butter that I've been deficient in making of late). With it there were some pan-fried potatoes and some steamed broccoli. Jus a square of almond-chocolate for after.

Wednesday/30-Oct-13: Shopping today, but before that, the new kitchen counters were installed!

Dinner was some haddock filets à la meuniére, with the flour spiced up with some seafood spice, not Old Bay, but something similar. Served with White Wine Vinegar Pan Sauce (HowTo, p164). And some roasted broccoli bits. And some basic-ricotta tortellni. Followed by a salad. Then a a bit of hazelnut chocolate for afters (Lindt, too sweet it was).

Thursday/31-Oct-13: Dinner was Spaghetti Carbonara with a Poached Egg (MC) with a big salad. Good it was.

Friday/1-Nov-13: Yogurt on overday.

Our 40th anniversary together today. We ate out. Fruit for dinner.

Saturday/2-Nov-13: Had dinner at a restaurant with friends before going to a karaoke "do" there. No, we didn't sing. Now we can say we've seen that, don't need to do it again.

Sunday/3-Nov-13: Made Apple-Plum Butter (MC) during the day today. Also cooked up some tomato sauce from the 2.2kg of coeur de boeuf tomatoes that I got on Wednesday. Those make four cups of sauce, now in the freezer.

Meant to make an Indian lamb and spinach dish tonight, but couldn't find the lamb in the freezer. I must have used it at some point and forgotten to take it off the list. Went to the local butcher yesterday afternoon to get some, only to discover that he's on vacation this week. But, there's lots of pork in the freezer wanting to be used up. Strangely there seem to be no pork and spinach dishes. Major replan required. Made Pork Vindaloo (Q&E, p33), an old and easy favorite. (One of these days I need to make a proper vindaloo again, even better, but more work.) I think this may be the first time I've made this using the pressure cooker, which does make it quick, but you miss the lovely smells from the simmering pot. Served with plain basmati rice and a half recipe of Diced Potatoes with Spinach (WofE, p53), using only half the spinach I bought. Also made a half dose of our favorite raita (MJ1, p162), but forgot to serve it. Tasty eating.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

This week in the kitchen

Monday/21-Oct-13: Worked a bit on the menu plan today; there are just too many good things to cook and not enough time to make them all.

Made a Pear and Chestnut Cake (Dusoulier2, p143) during the day.

For dinner I grilled the ostrich sausges that we got at a marché des producteurs in the summer. Served with polenta and the leftover broccoli and kumquat salad. Then a big salad. Then some yummy pear cake.

Tuesday/22-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday.

Picked the meat of the remaining half roasted chicken and made (more or less) Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches (CL jan/feb13; web); serve on some oval pitas. Pretty tasty. For dessert we split a Magnum classic.

Wednesday/23-Oct-13: Shopping day. Dinner was Fish and Broccoli Pie (web; cookbooker). Quite good it was. With a salad.

BTW, it's looking like cookbooker may die. Possibly it will be taken over by a user cooperative. Or not. Sad. We'll see.

Thursday/24-Oct-13: Dinner was Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass and Turmeric (MC; web). Served with Asian Cucumber Condiment (MC; MWLowFat, p367), some garlicky spicy broccoli, and rice. The chicken was good, as was the cuke dish, which I haven't made it quite a while. We split a Magnum classic for dessert.

Friday/25-Oct-13: Chicken Fried Rice (web; cookbooker) for dinner. Pretty good it was too. I essentially made a whole recipe with half the meat. We had some chocolate and almond squares for dessert.

Saturday/26-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday.

Tonight was a half recipe of Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Aioli (web*). Pretty good but more like hash than cakes—I just don't have the patty knack. For go-withs, there was a grated broccoli stem salad (with carrots, a bit of onion, chopped walnuts, and raisins) and a bit of pasta.

Hooray, it's fall-back night tonight!

* The recipe is actually from Family Circle, but you have to sign up to the site to see the recipe. Sorry, no.

Sunday/27-Oct-13: Twas time for the annual Old Folks dinner in Mazerolles today, aperitif, five courses, including an entremet. We're stuffed, and both have a headache. Did we drink too much wine perhaps? Or maybe it was the mix of pineau, white wine, red wine, calvados in the entremet (kiwi sorbet), and champagne. Early to bed with us tonight.

Vie Pratique Gourmand, the only French cooking mag I subscribe to, has been having a feature in each issue where they give you 20 or so ideas for things to do with a certain foodstuff. This week was cookies. Some possibly good, quickie desserts, including cakes made from cookies. Some weird ideas.

Been a chicken-y week, hasn't it?

Progress on goals
This week: #1 IHCC/COOKBOOKS: yes (although this is probably the last time Dusolier2 will qualify as seldom used), #2 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #3 PASTA: yes, #4 BREAD: no

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-Oct-13: Leftover night. Sliced the remaining pork roast and warmed it with the rest of the broccoli parmentier. For a starter we had a simple salad of mâche and rucola topped with a bit on goat cheese on toast. That's all.

Tuesday/15-Oct-13: Anniversary lunch out today. For dinner there was popcorn, carrot sticks, plums, and cherry tomatoes in front of an old movie.

Wednesday/16-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday.

Shopping today. Found a package of "homemade" croissants, like biscuits. Will try in the next days. The brand is good, but there are a lot of questionable ingredients for something that should be essentially flour and butter.

For dinner I grilled swordfish and served with Thomas's Green Sauce for Poached or Grilled Fish (MrLatte, p178). I liked this OK, but Ed not at all. Have tons of the sauce left. Maybe will freeze it up to use by the drab in salad dressing or some such. Accompanied by some trio rice and some Perfect Pan-Roasted Green Beans (HandyBook) and a little salad made of grated broccoli stems, suggested by Dusolier in a box on the Broccoli Parmentier page—grated (peeled) stems with raisins, sunflower seeds, and a yogurt dressing. Used walnuts instead of sunflower seeds. Successful salad. Two squares of hazelnut-filled chocolate for dessert.

Thursday/17-Oct-13: Finally got some pasta made for dinner. Tagliatelle, to go with Porcini-Style Shiitake Mushroom Pasta Sauce (MarCuc, p152). Tonight's mushrooms were oesterzwamen (or pleurotes or oyster mushrooms) with cremini. Nicer with porcini and shiitakes, but those aren't to be found. Strange that it's the season for cêpes, but they are not to be found in our grocery. As a starter  we had Smoked Salmon Salad with Dill (BEFCC, p35), a nice little salad, quick to make. Neither of us are fennel fans, but fennel and cucumbers are a good combination.

Friday/18-Oct-13: For dinner tonight, there was Tom's Brick Chicken (CastIron, p63). I've done this before; a nice way to cook a bird. I actually started out to make a half recipe of Twin Roasted Chickens with Garlicky Bulgur Dressing (GreeneGrains, p90), but decided I didn't want to stuff a bird. Instead I just made the stuffing on the side. Good it was. And, using up the kumquats I bought last week, there was Broccoli and Kumquat Salad with Olives (Uncommon, p271). We finished off by sharing a classic Magnum. The chocolate on these just isn't as good as it used to me. Too bad.

Saturday/19-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday.

An unexpected dinner tonight, since we originally planned on going to the Fête du Vin at St Sornin tonight, but decided against it. So, we had a more or less half recipe of Shocking Pink Pasta (Dusoulier2, p115). Shocking pink, it was, too, beets and cream. I took the lazy way and used the staff mixer, but probably should have used the blender, since it was the sauce was a bit grainy. This is one of those things I'm glad I tried, but maybe don't need to make again. Although, it might make a nice starter or side dish if you needed a bit of color or a talking point at dinner.

Followed by a salad, topped with some blue goat cheese. For afters, a bit of Morbier. Both bought today at the Marché du Goût at La Rochefoucauld.

I have used quite a few seldom used cookbooks this week, but I haven't done separate posts for them. Sorry, just seems like too much trouble.

Sunday/20-Oct-13: Lunch at 4pm meant we didn't get to dinner till really late. I didn't really plan anything for today, since I thought we'd be eating out. Wrong. So it was a last minute, what-can-I-do-to-use-up-stuff-in-the-fridge sort of meal. I more or less made Spicy Eggplant Stew with Potatoes, Mushroom, and Chickpeas (WorldVeg, p196). A really tasty recipe. We split a Magnum classic for dessert.

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

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ligurian-Style Pasta Sauce with Raw Tomatoes, Olives, Capers, and Anchovies

Marcella Cucina
Marcella Hazan
Harper Collins (1997)
ISBN 0060171030

Marcella Hazan's recent death was a stimulus to add some of her recipes to the menu plan. I've used this book quite a lot, so it really doesn't qualify as a seldom used book, but it's been a while since I cooked from either of my Hazan books, so it seems appropriate to post.

Made with raw tomatoes, this dish is really like a tomato salad served on pasta. You start by chopping together some black and green olives, capers, and anchovy fillets. Then you peel and seed a mess of tomatoes (just a bit of tedium!) and cut them into narrow strips. Mix these all together along with some julienned basil, marjoram or oregano, minced garlic, and parsley. Add salt and pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, toss everything together, then let the sauce sit for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. That's a salad, right? My sauce sat only for the time required to boil water and cook the spaghetti. It's hard to imagine it getting better.

The instructions say to assemble the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Since you're instructed to toss the spaghetti in the same bowl, small will definitely not do. It took the middle-sized bowl of the 3-bowl pyrex set to hold the sauce for a half recipe; the smaller bowl would have been too small. I put the pasta back in the pasta pot and did the tossing there.

Because of the tomato peeling, this is decidedly not a quick dish to make, but since the sauce can be made well ahead, it could make a nice company dish.

This meal in grateful memory of Marcella Hazan and the pleasure she has brought to the cooking and eating in our household.

This post is shared with October's Cook Your Books, where you can find lots of intriguing dishes folks have been making from their cookbooks.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Oct-13: Yogurt on overday. Boiled up and froze the chicken stock I started the other day.

Using up leftovers and odd bits, tonight we had Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Olives (MC). Not enough cauliflower, so added some broccoli. I think this was meant to be a side dish, but I stir the stuff into pasta. Good tastes.

Tuesday/8-Oct-13: Reaching a cookbook crisis point here. Looking for a missing book (which I later found on a completely wrong shelf), I gathered most of the cookbooks scattered throughout the house and started putting them away. In at least two places I don't have room for the books I have. May have to break down and, yipes, give away some books. Sigh.

Dinner was Spicy Sesame Noodles (MC) with shrimp, an easy oldy, but goody. Then a salad.

Wednesday/9-Oct-13: Shopping today. More raw beets on sale, so I bought some again; usually there are only ready-cooked ones.

Dinner was Maple-Miso Dijon Salmon (web), which was pretty darn good. Served with trio rice and a side of broccoli-mushroom-shallot-garlic. Leclerc has a small section of food just short of its sell-by date, heavily discounted, so I bought a pair of charlottes with red fruit for €1. The picture on the package showed the charlottes heavily covered with fresh fruit. What there was was a small spoonful of jam-like stuff. Edible. Barely.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/10-Oct-13: Dinner was Thai Chicken & Mango Stir-Fry (web). I had half the meat, but made all the sauce. This was fine, but a lot for two, although Ed doesn't mind eating more-or-less two servings, especially since the doctor said he was underweight. For dessert we had Easy Berry Cobbler (HandyBook), with blueberries and raspberries, and a dab of vanilla ice crea

Friday/11-Oct-13: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Ligurian-Style Pasta Sauce with Raw Tomatoes, Olives, Capers, and Anchovies (MarCuc, p134). Followed by a salad. And then the rest of the cobbler with ice cream. Oink.

Saturday/12-Oct-13: Continuing the Marcella Hazan theme, tonight's dinner was Roast Pork with Vinegar and Bay Leaves (ClassicItal, p419), using up a chunk of pork from the freezer. Served this with Baked Eggplant Slices (TooMany, p114), an easy favorite, and some especially nice fried potatoes. For the pots, I parboiled the potato chunks and drained them. Then finished off by frying them while I was finishing the rest of the meal. Stole the parboil idea from Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes and the finishing by frying from Hazan's Pan-Roasted Diced Potatoes. Whatever works. We split a classic Magnum for dessert.

Sunday/13-Oct-13: Dinner was Broccoli Parmentier (Dusoulier2, p134; cookbooker), a tasty dish with brown rice and lentils on the bottom and puréed broccoli on the top. The two of us ate more than half.

For dessert we had two little pear tartelettes I got at the boulangerie this afternoon.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 IHCC/COOKBOOKS: yes, #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: no, #4 BREAD: no