Monday, March 17, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Mar-14: Scratching an itch, tonight was Tamale Pie (OldLaurel, p299; NewLaurel, p307). Real comfort food. And some guacamole. Finished off by some double chocolate mini-magnums.

Tuesday/18-Mar-14: Shopping today. Picked the half chicken in the fridge and started some chicken stock after we got home.

Dinner was a half recipe of Baked Fish, Greek Style (Ackart, p24); have made this a couple of times, easy and good. This time I used oven-dried tomatoes from the freezer for the sauce. Worked fine. As a go-with there was Zucchini Parmesan Crisps (web), which is definitely a keeper. I bought a kilo of rattes today, which is a small potato and about the only potato available in small packages. Scrubbed up some of these, chunked in two or three, and boiled them up. Tossed with a bitter butter, some parsley, and lots of black pepper. Good stuff. For after, I had two more stuffed figs with a bit of port, while Ed had a pain torsade. (Two in the package; I had mine as an afternoon snack.) It's a twisted bread filled with chocolate chip-like bits, not too sweet.

Wednesday/19-Mar-14: Made some vegetable stock from MDSoups today, but left the lid ajar apparently when I went off to do something else and it ran dry. So ended up using vegetable stock for a cube for Quinoa Vegetable Soup (Vegpress, p50). Miscounted how many celery sticks I needed to buy, so there were all used in the burnt stock and none were available for the soup. Oh well. Used red quinoa, since that's what I have needing to be used. Pretty good soup, especially with a good dose of hot sauce at the table. For afters we finished off the stuffed figs and the old bottle of port and opened the new bottle of port. The old bottle is better we decided. (In NL the various kinds of port are labelled with the age. It's usually a good idea to buy the oldest you can afford. Here, there's no labelling like this, so it's a guess to find one you like.)

Half the soup into the freezer. We have lots of meals there needing to be eaten.

Thursday/20-Mar-14: Yogurt on overday. Used a new starter again since the last one didn't seem to be "taking." This could, of course, be a problem with the yogurt maker which has been behaving undependably, but we'll see.

Finished off the chicken stock and froze it up. It does make one a bit nervous pouring hot stuff into tupperware when they won't tell you what kind of plastic they use.

Observation: If I were ever to have a flat tummy, my jeans would falls off, since my bum is too flat to hold them up.

Dinner was two kip filets worth of Chicken Cafrael (web), more or less this recipe, but when I searched a bit, I found that most recipes used tamarind for the sour taste rather than white wine vinegar, so I did that. Nice tastes, and worth a bit more investigation to find a somewhat more authentic recipe perhaps. For a side there was a half recipe of Cauliflower, Peas. and Potatoes (TasteIndia, p114; cookbooker), using chou romanesco, rather than plain old cauliflower, since there was none of that at the shops. Weird stuff, but makes a pretty dish. More colorful than cauliflower would have been. (Cauliflower is apparently not very popular in this part of France; often when they have it, it's not especially nice. Lately they've been having the romanesco version more often.) Then there was Simple Buttery Rice (which was from MJ1, but I do it from my head usually). We split a magnum classic for after.

Friday/21-Mar-14: Dinner was loosely based on Creamy Garlicky Seafood Marinara (web), very loosely. For the veg, I used up the romanesco, added some broccoli and a julienned carrot. For the seafood there was the end of some small frozen shrimp, along some scallops. Cutting a recipe for cream of X soup way back, I made a sauce with (among other things) dried milk powder, cornstarch, chicken bouillon powder, onion granules, etc. Added water and some crème fraîche. Served all over pasta. Wasn't bad at all. We pigged out on some Lu Scholiertjes afterwards.

Saturday/22-Mar-14: Party tonight, given by our cat spa owners who have sold out and gave a final party this evening. I made a big bowl of guacamole. That was all that happened in the kitchen today.

Sunday/23-Mar-14: After finishing off the guacamole we brought home for lunch, neither of us felt much like eating, so I made a big salad and that was dinner. Finished off by mini magnums.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 FotW: no for March; #5 BREAD: 1

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