Monday, October 27, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

Company gone. Back to a normal eating regime. Whew.

Dinner was, sort of. Chile-Lime Veggie Noodles (web). More or less the whole recipe for a generous dinner for two. Used shao-xing wine instead of sherry, only 1 teaspoon of sugar, and three eggs for the omelet part. Pretty good. We split a magnum classic for dessert.

Tuesday/28-Oct-14: Dinner was a half recipe of Summer Corn & Scallop Pasta (web). Pretty interesting and good. Out of whole wheat spaghetti (yesterday's dinner), so used linguine instead. Used canned corn.  Then a big salad. That was all.

Wednesday/29-Oct-14: Shopped today, then had a mid-day lunch of Baked FIsh with Kumquats and Ginger (Uncommon, p273), which is one of my two kumquat recipes. Served with haricots verts and shrooms. And some crozets, a kind French pasta, tiny squares, a bit thick. (Mine were nature, but the buckwheat version is traditional, I see. I'll get some of these, since that kind of earthy taste is sometimes nice to have.) For dessert, I bought some apricot pastry things which were tasty.

Thursday/30-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Arroz al Ajillo con Camarones (Garlic Rice With Shrimp) (web), which was pretty good. I made a halfish recipe. Cooked all the bacon this morning, so used lardons instead. My shrimp were frozen (thawed), but worked okay. I cut them in half lengthwise as she did. Having no green onions, I used shallots. Some parsley would have been nice for the color. Finished off the strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Friday/31-Oct-14: Made a triple dose of apple butter this morning, made it in the Dutch oven so it wouldn't spatter too much. Ha. Ended up giving the backsplash, utensils, and stovetop a thorough cleaning. Used most of a cheap sack of apples. Tasted pretty good.

Boiled up so artichokes for a meal coming up.

Getting the fresh pasta in on the last possible day, dinner was a half recipe of Tagliatelle ai Funghi Porcini (Lorenza, p91; cookbooker). Used shiitakes, since there were no cêpes at the grocery this week. Then a salad. Two squares of chocolate with almonds for after.

Saturday/1-Nov-14: An anniversary today, but neither of us wanted yet another meal out after the last weeks and at least two more coming soon. So, we had our dinner in the early afternoon, a halfish dose of Poulet Sauté à la Bordelaise (Sautéed Chicken with Shallots and Artichoke Hearts) (TLProvFr, p43; cookbooker).

Ed brought home two points of flan for dessert. Then we took ourselves out to a movie.

Sunday/2-Nov-14: For dinner, there was a half dose of Fusilli with Sausage, Ricotta, and Fresh Tomatoes (30MinPasta, p165; cookbooker) using Hazan's homemade sausage. Good stuff. Then a big salad. For dessert, I used the rest of the ricotta from the pasta sauce to make my version of Coffee Ricotta Mousse (MW@Home, p307), including cocoa plus Kuhlua instead of coffee and brandy. Good stuff for next to no work.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for October/no for November; #4 FotW: yes for October/no for November; #5 BREAD: none

Monday, October 20, 2014

IHCC Nigel Slater summary

Slater's cookbooks have been favorites since I picked up Real Fast Food on a sale table. I love the way many of his recipes are more like suggestions of what you can do. I also like that his recipes are frequently for two, so there's no need for scaling back. So, I was eager to do the I Heart Cooking Clubs Nigel Slater challenge. I started off well, but lost the oomph to do the special posts near the end, even when I had made the meal. Oh well. Even so, I actually cooked more with Slater during this time than I posted.

I've reshelved my Slater books now (the challenge books tend to sit out on the table while the challenge is in progress), but now find there's no longer room for them. The 30-Minute Cook that I got just before this challenge started has no place. And I've got three more of his books on order, Kitchen Diaries II, and Tender I and II. Where will they go? My cookbook space is really being stressed out right now.

My Slater books 
  • 30MinCook: The 30-Minute Cook, by Nigel Slater (ISBN 9780141029528). This is my newest Slater book and a real winner. [8 recipes]
  • Diaries: The Kitchen Diaries, by Nigel Slater (ISBN 9780007241156). A wonderful read and full of delicious recipes. Worth the price for the slow-roasted lamb leg that I've done twice now, but didn't include in these posts. [5 recipes]
  • FastPuds: Real Fast Puddings, by Nigel Slater (ISBN 9780141029511). Haven't found that much interesting here (we're not really dessert people), but loved the one I made [1 recipe]
  • RealCook: Real Cooking, by Nigel Slater) (ISBN 0140252770). Not my most used of Slater's books, but still good. [2 recipes]
  • RealFast: Real Fast Food, by Nigel Slater (ISBN 0879516429), cookbooker. My first Slater book, bought on spec from a sale table. [4 recipes]

Recipes I tried 

PostRecipeBook, pageRating
PostLamb Sirloin Chops with Yogurt and Mint
very good 
RealFast, p240+++
Fragrant Brown Basmati Rice
less successful, slightly odd instruction, try again 
RealFast, p203+
PostHerbed Salmon with Garlic Cream Sauce
very good and easy
30MinCook, p118+++
Lamb Hash
simply and good, tasty with the simples of seasonings
30MinCook, p179+++
Lamb in Spiced Gravy
a yummy, Indian-ish way for leftovers
30MinCook, p179+++
PostChicken and Rice Salad
tasty, vaguely Asian chicken salad
Diaries, p187+++
PostBroiled Potatoes
cheesed up for a main, or a nice side
RealFast, p173+++
PostGrilled Fish with Chermoula
yummy fast fish
30MinCook, p124+++
PostPancetta and Blue Cheese Risotto
good risotto
RealCook, p169+++
PostShepherd's Pie with Spiced Parsnip Mash
very good variation on shepherd's pie
RealCook p119+++
PostEscalope of Pork with Asparagus and Cheese
30MinCook, pxx+++
PostA Shrimp Omelette
with potted shrimp
Diaries, p195+++
PostChicken Livers with Vinegar and Onions
something to try again with proper chicken livers
30MinCook, p201+++
PostFusilli with Olives, Anchovies, and Capers
more yummy pasta
RealFast, p119+++
PostGoat's Cheese and Olive Aubergines
nice starter
30MinCook, p33+++
PostPork Chops, Mustard Sauce
good with and without the chopped cornichons
Diaries, p51+++
PostGoat's Cheese and Fruit
starter or dessert?
30MinCook, p92++
A Refreshing Salad for a Hot Day
as it says
Diaries, p231+++
PostChocolate Almonds
oh my
FastPuds, p133+++
PostLemon and Basil Linguine
lemony deliciousness
Diaries, p130+++

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

After cutting all the apples for an apple-cranberry clafoutis, I realized there were no eggs. Oops. Replan. Found Apple-Cranberry Crisp (web) and made that instead.

Dinner was, more or less, Eggplant Sauce with Tomato and Red Chili Pepper (ClassicItal, p161), not for the first time, with eggplant and cayennes from the potager. (Strangely the eggplant is producing again.) Then a small salad. The crisp was good.

Tuesday/21-Oct-14: Shopping today.

For a starter, there were some haricots verts in hazelnut oil with some garlicky sautéed oyster mushrooms. The main was Braised Ligurian Chicken (Essential, p491), a Jamie Oliver recipe, made with eight thighs instead of a whole chicken, so a halfish recipe by weight. A yummy sauce developed. Served with Italian Roast Potatoes (Essential, p300), which were a bit crispier than intended because I cut them too small. But good with the sauce from the chicken. Then we finished the apple-cranberry crisp, topped with some marscapone cream.

Wednesday/22-Oct-14: For lunch there was Hot Beer Soup (Heisse Biersuppe) (TLGer, p4). This is one of those glad-I-tried-it-don't-need-to-try-it-again recipes. Easy to make, a nice lightish soup. Cinnamon-sweet vs bitter. The sugar takes the edge off the beery bitterness, which made it more edible for me. Apparently this kind of thing was part of a medieval breakfast, but then I'd have expected it to have a heavier beer instead of a lager-type one. Oh well.

Thursday/23-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday. Lunch out today.

Dinner was Potato Soup with Cucumber (Feine Kartoffelsuppe mit Gurken) (TLGer, p5). This wasn't too bad at all.

Friday/24-Oct-14: Dinner was a repeat of Pancetta and Blue Cheese Risotto (RealCook, p169), with fourme d'Ambert as the cheese. Good stuff. Then a big salad. The three of us finished a package of Afrikas for dessert.

Saturday/25-Oct-14: Lunch out in Poitiers today before a wine tasting in the afternoon. Dinner was some fruit and toetjes that we bought at a boulangerie on the way home.

Sunday/26-Oct-14: Another lunch out today, in Angoulême before Bill's train. Just some fruit for dinner, then off to a movie. Whew, no more meals out for a while.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: yes; #5 BREAD: 0

Sunday, October 19, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Oct-14: The start of a hectic week.

Dinner was Curried Shrimp & Potato Kebabs (web), sort of a half recipe, except we had seven shrimp each, since that's what was in the package. I used all the curry powder and halfish of the rest of the stuff. Served with some steamed broccoli tossed with pesto from a jar. Pretty good altogether. The sauce for the kebabs went will with everything. Two squares each of hazelnut chocolate for after.

Tuesday/14-Oct-14: Jim arrived this afternoon. For dinner we had Pork Tenderloin Diane (MC), an old favorite. I used up our potatoes making some simple boiled potatoes, with butter and some frozen parlsley, since my parsley had kicked the bucket. And some carrots loosely based on Glazed Cumin Carrots (MC). We getting pretty vegetable-less the house now. And no shopping tomorrow.

Wednesday/15-Oct-14: We had our anniversary lunch out tomorrow. For dinner we had fruit and popcorn.

Using our tomatillo harvest, all five ounces of it, I started some Tomatillo Jam (p31, Tomatillo), leaving the fruit (vegetable?) to macerate in sugar overnight.

Thursday/16-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

Finished off the Tomatillo Jam. Probably a bit too gingery, since I neglected to round down in my recipe cutback. We'll see.

Lunch out today. Only munchies in the evening.

The VPG I'm reading has an article on The rabbit: a meat to rediscover. Must be a city magazine. Rabbit is certainly eating frequently out here in the country. People keep rabbits for food. It's available in the grocery stores. It's served in restaurants.

Friday/17-Oct-14: Jim left this morning, then we went to Limoges to pick up BIll. In between I put Chicken Vindaloo (p114, IndianSC; cookbooker) in the crockpot. Lunched at at frairie, then back for a vet appointment for Oscar, whose right eye has gone wonky again. Conjunctivitis perhaps.

For before-dinner munchies I made more Spicy Cucumber Wedges (p172, MJ1). For dinner we had the vindaloo, which was okay, but nothing special. And some basmati rice. And some Green Peas in a Creamy Sauce (p87, Q&E), an old favorite. For dessert we had some strawberry ice cream with a wedge of a chocolate tart bought at the frairie; strange combination, but both were good.

Saturday/18-Oct-14: Tried a dab of the tomatillo jam for breakfast. Interesting, a trifle too sweet perhaps.

Lunch at the Phoenix book sale. Dinner at the fête du vin in St Sornin. Not even going to run the dishwasher tonight.

Sunday/19-Oct-14: Today was the over-60s dinner at Mazerolles, a multi-course treat. Bill actually felt like eating a sandwich. Ed and I had only fruit.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: 0

Monday, October 6, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Oct-14: We had lunch out today with friends. In the evening there was only popcorn.

Tuesday/7-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

VIsited a health food store and Grand Frais after my quarterly visit to the ENT today. Result: impulse buys, meaning replanning of next week's menus.

Dinner with Easy Marinated Griddled Chicken (web), which was good enough, if nothing spectacular. Served with some butternut squash gnocchi from the freezer with sage butter sauce and steamed broccoli. That was all.

Wednesday/8-Oct-14: Shopping today.

The first of my impulse buys appeared as dinner tonight as Pappardelle with Zucchini Blossom Sauce (web), interesting but nothing special. Then an old favorite Cold Beetroot with Cream (Pomiane , p180). For dessert, I had a small third of a magnum classic and Ed had the rest.

Thursday/9-Oct-14: The last time I made jam a couple of months ago, I re-used Albert Heijn jars. At least one of them sealed! It could have happened before, but we happened to be sitting in the room and heard it pop. Just remembered that this morning. Why?

So, IHCC being through with Nigel Slater, I've put my books back on the shelf. And they don't fit. I got one new book just before this challenge started and I guess that's the odd one out now. But I've got three more on order, waiting for the paperback editions due out later this year. Where are they going to go?

For a munchy while dinner was finishing up, I made Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172). The main was Fish FIllet in an Indian Way (30MinCook, p124), which was tasty, but a bit odd. The fish weren't really fried as described, but simmered in the sauce resulting from the yogurt and the cilantro sauce. As sides there were a half dose of Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (Q&E, p88) and Turmeric Rice (Q&E, p100). We didn't think we wanted some for afters, but later decided that a bit of brie would be nice. Seems odd after an Indian-ish meal, but it worked.

In last week's shopping, I bought a cabbage. We've had three meals from it and there's still a chunk to use. I miss our Dutch greengrocer who would sell us a half cabbage or whatever.

Friday/10-Oct-14: Another impulse buy from Tuesday, a half recipe of Leek and Chanterelle Tart (Sunset, p298). The chanterelles we know in English are called girolles in French. I bought chanterelles jaunes, which have orange-yellow stems and brown caps. These were cheaper than the girolles, but still good. A nice tart, easy to assemble. Then a big salad. No dessert.

Saturday/11-Oct-14: Nothing in the kitchen today. We went to Poitiers for a concert and an overnight.

Sunday/12-Oct-14: We'd intended to go to another concert this afternoon and a pizza afterwards, but neither of us slept well last night, and we didn't feel like going out. So we ate from the freezer.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes/; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: 0