Monday, February 24, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Feb-14 - Tuesday/25-Feb-14: Travelling home from the Netherlands. The kitchen was empty.

Wednesday/26-Feb-14: Grocery shopping today; I made the list before we left. This week's sales have an American theme, with squares of sliced cheese like Kraft American, ready made hamburgers and hot dogs, and English muffins made in the UK. We bought a package of those, but passed by the other stuff.

Dinner was Afsha Mumtaz's Dry Masala Fish (Sookhi Macchi) (100Curries, p43), using cod that was on special today rather than a whole fish. Not bad, if not a favorite. Served with a short third recipe  Moghlai Spinach (TasteIndia, p36) (finishing off a sack of frozen spinach) and Simple Buttery Rice with Onion (MJ1, p149). Second time I've made this spinach; it's pretty good. The rice is an old favorite.

For dessert we had some store-bought salty caramel custards. I tripped up the step from the kitchen while carrying them to the table—ouch! Two bruised shins and very sore first joint on my left pinky. Sigh. The custards survived and were good.

Thursday/27-Feb-14: Yogurt on overday, during which time there was a power cut. Simple-minded yogurt maker machine doesn't remember it has been on when this happens and simple-minded people forgot that it needed attention. Not sure how this batch, with a new starter, will turn out.

Dinner was a half dose of Tagliolini with Prawns (Shrimp) and Zucchini (Courgette) (TopItal, p13) with, yes, homemade pasta. Tagliolini seems to be a "round" version of tagliatelle, however that would work. I used my fettuccine cutters and rolled only to 5, so it was fairly thick, nice and chewy. Then a salad. Then some mini magnums for after.

Friday/28-Feb-14: The English muffins were pretty blah. They had the taste and texture of plain white bread, in flat circles. What did I expect anyway?

Dinner was Moroccan chicken with olives from the freezer over couscous. As go-withs, I made half doses of Spicy Carrot Salad (MedLight, p114) and Tunisian Zucchini Salad (MedLight, p117). Both of these I've made before. We were full.

Saturday/1-Mar-14: Another Time-Life dinner, Arroz con Pollo (TLS&P, p59), followed by a salad, and then Natillas (TLS&P, p90) for dessert.

Put chickpeas and salt cod on to soak for tomorrow's dinner.

Sunday/2-Mar-14: Yogurt on overday.

Another Spain & Portugal dinner. There was Potaje de Vigilia (TLS&P, p6) from Spain, served with Broa (TLS&P, p83) from Portugal. The soup, traditionally served on Good Friday, is with made with salt cod, spinach, and chickpeas. Had 500g of chickpeas (instead of 1lb) and 360g of salt cod (instead of 1/2lb). Pretty good and lots for the freezer.

A long time ago Raymond Sokolov wrote an article on salt cod for his column in Natural History. That's one of the ones I'm sorry I neglected to save. Salt cod is a food that been used for hundreds of years all around the Atlantic. Mark Kurlansky has written a book about cod that's been on my read-me shelf for a long time.

The broa recipe attracted me when I first read through this recipe book, but I decided I didn't want to mess with zapping a chunk of my small portion of cornmeal (aka polenta) in a blender. But, when I was catching up on "exotic" shopping while we were in the Netherlands, I noticed a sack of fine-grain cornmeal next to my regular polenta. Aha, I said and added that to my overflowing shopping cart with the idea of trying this bread. The bread is about half and half cornmeal and regular flour, the highest percentage of cornmeal I've seen in a yeast-risen bread. Even though the grind is very fine, it still felt rather gritty to me while kneading. Generally an easy bread to made. Ed liked it a lot.

Another two of the natillas for dessert.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for February, no for March; #4 FotW: yes for February, no for March; #5 BREAD: none for February; 1 for March(!)

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