Monday, September 29, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Sep-14: On the plan for tonight's dinner was a half recipe of Maltagliati with Aubergine Sauce (PastaCarlu, p32; cookbooker). Maltagliati means "badly cut," so it's handcut into random-ish shapes. It's actually pretty good with chunky stuff, but I think maybe I should just roll it to 5 rather than 6, since it could be hand-rolled, rather than machine-rolled. When I cut into my eggplant, I discovered it wasn't good. Broccoli was the only other veg in the fridge, so I used that instead. The veggies took a looong time to cook, so I added a bit of water and steamed them for a bit before finishing the sauce. Then a salad using the last garden tomato of the season. (There are some flowers now, but I expect it's too cool at night now to set fruit.)

Tuesday/30-Sep-14: Dinner was a half dose of Chicken in Red WIne Vinegar Sauce (web). Did this with chicken thighs. Really easy and tasty. For sides there was a carrot version of Broccoli Timbales (BEFCC, p58), there not being enough broccoli left to do it. No sauce for us. It's a recipe for four, but we usually eat two timbales. Serving a meal French-style, these would make a nice starter, the bit of sauce would dress it us a bit. And some orzo.

Wednesday/1-Oct-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was a half recipe of Spaghetti with Halibut & Lemon (web), kind of ceviche with spaghetti. And mashed potato mixed in there too. One of those recipe I'm glad I tried, but don't need to do again. Followed by a nice big salad. And three squares of chocolate with hazelnuts (finishing off the package, don't you know).

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/2-Oct-14: Went to make dinner, got started in plenty of time, only to discover that the "stew" wanted to cook 1-1/2 hours in the oven. Yes, I should have read the recipe more carefully when I chose it, but given the ingredients, it's really unexpected. So, finished assembling this while making something to be eating in real time. And tomorrow will be easy.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Savoy Cabbage and Sausage Pasta Sauce (MarCuc, p176; cookbooker). Fairly simple and quite good, the sauce being onion, garlic, sausage, and cabbage, bound with cream and topped with parsley and Parmesan. Had a bit of brie that was on special this week for afters.

Friday/3-Oct-14: What I assembled last night and popped in the fridge was Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses (web). It was okay, but nothing special. A lot of fussy cutting-up of the eggplant, that's just going to be buried in the not-really-stew. (It's more like a casserole.)

Saturday/4-Oct-14: Yogurt on overday.

Party tonight that included dinner.

Sunday/5-Oct-14: I cooked up 500g of chickpeas during the day, some for dinner and lots for the freezer.

Dinner was Crusted Cornmeal Chickpea Potpie (web; cookbooker). An interesting idea that didn't quite work. Might be worthwhile tinkering with. (See cookbooker for details.) Then a simple salad.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Sep-14: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Pasta with Tuna and Olives (VeryBest, p210; cookbooker). My can of tuna was the same size required in the recipe for four, so I make all the sauce but only half the pasta. The olives should have been coarsely chopped rather than halved, but otherwise it was quite good. Easy and fast. Then a big salad.

Tuesday/23-Sep-14: It was supposed to be an IHCC dinner, for which I cooked a batch of chickpeas this morning, but I turned out to have missed a somewhat important ingredient, so made a quick change to Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry (web), which was OK, but nothing particularly special. Lots of veg, chickpeas, sweet potato, peas, and tomatoes, which was nice. A big dose of lime pickle helped the flavor. Served over rice.

Wednesday/24-Sep-14: Shopping today. Then a dinner buffet at an acoustic open mike event at a nearby restaurant.

Thursday/25-Sep-14: I was up early and off to an all-day mosaic "taste" class that included lunch. Good fun but tiring. Got home quite late. Had a small sandwich and fruit and off to bed.

Friday/26-Sep-14: Yogurt on overday.

In the afternoon I made some Homemade Sausage (30MinPasta, p161; Handybook). Lots for the freezer and a small amount for a coming dinner.

After that, I made myself at Pineaujito (web). I was a bit dubious about this idea, but it worked pretty well.

For dinner there was Sriracha Garlic Tofu with Mint (web), along with rice and Thai Carrot and Radish Salad (web). The main was quite good, but emphasized the crummy tofu we get here. Also, it should be cut slightly smaller, maybe in spears or somthing more interesting than cubes. Good flavor, though.  The salad was also good and went with the tofu very well. I haven't found any "sweet chilli dipping sauce," so used slightly less sriracha and added a dollop of plum jam. No lettuce, just served it plain. All good stuff. We split a magnum classic after. (I'd have really liked just a spoonful of pineapple sherbet, but there was none available.

Saturday/27-Sep-14: Before dinner, I made some Chipotle Brownies (web). (This is a recipe from Family Circle. I eventually managed to find the recipe there, but it was such a miserable experience that I wouldn't recommend their site to anyone.) I had only 1/2oz of semisweet chocolate (instead of 3), so I used a total on 4-1/2 oz of unsweetened chocolate. To compensate I didn't seriously reduce the sugar measure as I usually do. Instead of chocolate chunks added at the end, I had the tiny French chocolate chips, which are really quite good. We had these for dessert and good they were.

The main was Salmon with Curried Cabbage (web). (You'll find this recipe lots of places. Some of them will say it serves four, which is not possible. It's meant to serve one, and that makes sense. I doubled it.) I got this recipe from EAT-L, and didn't realizethat it was meant to be cooked in the microwave (duh) . So I sautéed the cabbage bit in butter and oil, then did the salmon under the broiler. Served with trio rice. Pretty good.

Set a pair of kip filets to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.

Sunday/28-Sep-14: Dinner was Grilled Tandoori Chicken (web), which was very easy to assemble and surprisingly good. I used kip filets, but I expect any bits of chick would work fine as long as they have a good long marinade. Cooked on the grill outside, thank you Ed. Served with Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148) and Turmeric Rice (Q&E, p100). Both of these are tried&true recipes.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Sep-14: Yes, it was my birthday. We had lunch out. Only a small salad for dinner.

Tuesday/16-Sep-14: Dinner was Spaghettini with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Herbs (web). And a small salad for after. For dessert we had popcorn at the movies.

Wednesday/17-Sep-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was Pasta with Sardines (web). First time I've ever cooked with fresh sardines. Smelly things they are. The dish was not bad at all, but nothing I need to do again. Then a big salad.

It was Oscar's turn to stay out after dark tonight. Computers shut down about 10pm because of thunderstorms.

Thursday/18-Sep-14: Dinner was Tarte de Tomate (TLProvFr, p50 in the hardback, not in the recipe book). At the grocery, I had the choice of Swiss Gruyère or French Gruyère, both lait cru, for €20.xx or €12.xx per kilo. I'm cheap so chose the French one, which was quite good enough! I did not use the recipe for pâte brisée in the book, but my now standard one from Judith Jones, Tart Dough (Tenth, p256). Whenever I make this I make a double dose and put half in the freezer. I don't make the prettiest crust every, but it's yummy, flaky, tender, all those things. The last extra one turned into this very tasty tart. I do think there was too much cheese (1#). Fresh out of the oven, it was difficult to serve because the cheese was so runny. I would do this again with about 300g or maybe even 225/250 (1/2#) instead of 450g. The grated parmesan on top was a nice touch, but the extra butter was overkill I think. A very nice combination of tastes, the gruyère, tomatoes, and basil. A keeper, if modified. Served with salad.


Computers shut down again at night because of forecast thunderstorms.

Friday/19-Sep-14: Tonight's dinner was meant for IHCC, but I don't feel like writing a post, so this will have to do. We had Delectable Pork in a Mustard Spice Mix (SpiceKitch, p88) accompanied by Yellow Rice with Potato and Cumin (SpiceKitch, p64) and Peas with Whole Cumin and Mustard Seeds (SpiceKitch, p48). Have made everything before; just see that it's exactly 16 years to the day since I made the exactly the same dinner! It's still good, and easy, but takes a bit of clock time simmering, made longer because one of the burners very annoyingly doesn't like to stay like. Ed says we shouldn't wait so long next time.


Saturday/20-Sep-14: Didn't feel like cooking this evening. We had the leftover tarte de tomate, more or less at room temp. Still tasty. More convinced that it was too much cheese. For a side, I lightly cooked some a roll-cut carrot,  then some broccoli. Chopped a shallot and a bit of parsley, added that to the sieve and poured the broccoli over that. It was surprising good for minimal effort.

Sunday/21-Sep-14: No cooking again today. Soup from the freezer. Followed by chocolate mini magnums. Then ironing.

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Sep-14: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Curried Quinoa Salad with Lentils and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (web). It was pretty good. I only partly followed the recipes. Soaking quinoa? Nah. Soaking my oven-dried tomatoes? Ditto. Otherwise it was quite good.

Yogurt on overnight, as I remember. There were thunderstorms and all computing was shut off.

Tuesday/9-Sep-14: Lunch out today with friends. No interest in food in the evening.

Wednesday/10-Sep-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was a half recipe of Filets de Sole Bonne Femme (TLProvFr, p38), which was not as good as it should have been. The sauce was too heavy. I looked in my Larousse Gastronomique and it seems the sauce shouldn't have had cream, which makes sense to me. Just the thickened fish cooking juices (wine and water). Served with some boiled, parley potatoes and broccoli.


Two squares of hazelnut-chocolate each after.

Thursday/11-Sep-14: Yogurt on overday.

Shopping yesterday, I bought a 5kg box of plum tomatoes for €5. They're meant for preserving, but many of them are just as good as what you buy to eat. Have been busy seeding and cooking those down. Eight little ziplocs with 1 cup each. We're pretty well set for tomato sauce/purée now.

Dinner was Californian Chicken Salad (MC; web). I've had this recipe for ages; collected it before I started recording when and where I got it. (The web link is a copy of what I have.)

Sophie's got something wrong in her left hindquarter. Off to the vet tomorrow.

Friday/12-Sep-14: Started chicken stock rather late today since we went to the vet with Sophie in the morning. Will boil it up again tomorrow and maybe again on Saturday before freezing it.

Dinner was planned for IHCC, but I forgot to bring my camera down. Think my commitment to this is getting low. The next chef is someone I've never heard of, Diana Henry. Definitely a miss. Time to get back to seldom used books.

The unphotographed dinner was Red Lentils with Turmeric and Mustard Seeds (30MinCook, p232; cookbooker). We shared a classic magnum for dessert. Then walked Pogo. Then fed Harriet.

Saturday/13-Sep-14: Dinner was Hot Aubergine and Cheese Sandwiches (30MinCook, p35; cookbooker). Then a salad. No dessert needed.

Sunday/14-Sep-14: Yogurt on overday.

Finished off the chicken stock today. Froze up 12 cups altogether. Didn't have enough lids for my freezer tupperwares, so had to do some 3-cups and some 2-cups.

Dinner was Chicken Kebabs with Thai Chile-Plum Glaze (web). Easy and good. Served with brown basmati rice and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (Delightful, p58). A tasty dinner. No dessert.

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Sep-14: We did our shopping today, a day early, hoping we would find some goat's milk for Harriet, but no luck. Went to the vet, then to stop at a nearby goat farm.

Dinner was Cilantro and Lime Salmon (web; cookbooker). (This the same same site whence the yummy Blueberry Zucchini Bread. Need to pay them some attention.) I made all the sauce for half the salmon and used the extra on steamed broccoli. Broiled the salmon. And some polenta. All good. Aimed for some vanilla yogurt at the shop, but came home with vanilla fromage frais. Nevermind, this is good too.

Tuesday/2-Sep-14: Seeded and chunked the two kilos of coeur de boeuf tomatoes I bought yesterday and simmered them most of afternoon. Buzzed after dinner. Tomorrow I'll heat them up again, then freeze them up in one- and two-cup lumps.

Did the sauce for a roast chicken, but then we ended up being out chasing down goat's milk and vermifuge for Harriet and it was too late to roast. Ended up with Zucchini, Walnut, and Feta Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce (CL/may14, web, cookbooker), with a bit of mixed lettuces on the side to help with the sauce. Good stuff.

Wednesday/3-Sep-14: Finished off the tomato sauce (purée?) this morning. Boy, did it smell good! Two kilos of tomatoes made just over four cups of sauce. Into the freezer with that.

Dinner was Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust (MoreFast, p99). I made this before and the chickie turned out to be tough and stringy. This one was delicious. Served with Haricots Verts in Walnut Oil (Lunch, p216) and Clothilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes. For dessert we had another pair of vanilla fromage frais cups.

Thursday/4-Sep-14: Dinner was Pasta and Goat Cheese Casserole with Black Olives (web; cookbooker). It was good. Then we split a magnum classic.

Friday/5-Sep-14: Lunch at a restaurant with friends followed by a tour of Villebois-Lavalette. A nice outing, but nothing happened in our kitchen.

Saturday/6-Sep-14: Dinner was more or less a half recipe I collected from EAT-L: Fesenjan Persian Chicken Stew with Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce. I used bone-in chicken thighs instead of boneless. It was good stuff. Lots of sauce left. I'll make myself a little soup from it tomorrow perhaps. Made a Persian pilaf from the web and found a Persian cucumber salad on the web. Only vaguely followed those recipes. Vanilla fromage frais for dessert.

Sunday/7-Sep-14: Yogurt on overday.

Ed had lunch with his Rochechouart choir. I made myself some soup from the leftover sauce. It was better last night. In the evening we had popcorn and fruit and watched an episode of New Tricks.

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