Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014


Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
with Mustard Vinaigrette

Arrosto di tacchino con pancetta ed erbe aromatiche
(Shane's Roasted Rolled Turkey Breast with Pancetta and Herbs)
Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Haricots Verts in Walnut Oil
Cranberry-Port Relish
Gravy
Buttermilk Bread Cloverleaf Rolls

Morgon 2005

Pumpkin Mousse

Another "light" Thanksgiving and no pictures this year. We had company and there were almost no leftovers.

We started with Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette (web), a recipe I collected from EAT-L, served with a bit of rucola. I'd been warned that the recipe made way too much vinaigrette, and indeed it would have. Also, I found the acid-to-oil proportion way off. I used equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil with a bit of mustard. It worked very well with the sprouts and arugla.

At Ed's request, we again had Shane's rolled turkey breast. This is delicious and makes a nice presentation, and it's not hard to make either. Couldn't find enough pancetta at the shop, so used some coppa. Doubt we could tell the difference. (I'm now almost at the end of the first roll of kitchen twine I bought, probably in the late 60s, maybe early 70s. There's maybe one more roast to tie with it.) Made a bit of gravy, thickened with potato starch, from the cooking juices. I love this turkey roll, but I miss the glamor of the whole turkey too.

As go-withs there were Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes (web) and Haricots Verts in Walnut Oil (Lunch, p216; HandyBook). Both were good. I like the haricots verts, but they're not a good dish for this meal really, since they need to be cooked in the interval between courses and take just a bit too long. Might try parboiling them ahead of time to shorten the final cooking time, then just finishing in the oil.

And, of course, there was Cranberry-Port Relish (MC), a recipe that came from VT originally, but I've reduced the sugar. It's a really good and simple-to-make cranberry sauce. So much better than the canned stuff.

I made some cloverleaf rolls, because that nice soft white bread is so good for soppy.

All with our last bottle of Morgon bought direct from the vineyard. Although Beaujolais isn't supposed to be drunk old, this was still very good. Beaujolais seems to go well with turkey.

And, finally, there was some Pumpkin Mousse (MC; CL86, p88), which is kind of a crustless, "light" version of pumpkin pie, pretty in parfait glasses.

Monday, November 24, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Nov-14: Dinner was a third recipe of Tatin Pomme et Magret (VPG). Can't find it online, which is too bad. A funny thing about VPG is that that sometimes, as in the case, provide a recipe, and then the house chef, Cyril Lignac critiques it. In this case, he said it wasn't interesting to mix the duck and the apple; you should just make the tatin and cook the duck separately. I took a sort of intermediate course. There were no aiguillettes at Leclerc (that's the small muscle attached to the back of the breast, as in a chicken breast), so I bought some slices of magret. I used these to line two dishes, filled them with the sautéed apple, then folded the sticking out bits on top. This baked for 30 minutes, then I plopped the dishes upside down onto plates and sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds. Pretty good this was, and easy. For a side there were some boiled potatoes and some sautéed grated zucchini (the last bit from the freezer) and peas, with a bit of garlic, homemade Mrs. Dash, and mint leave. All was good.

Tuesday/25-Nov-14: Tonight we tried out the new pizza van that's coming to Mazerolles on Tuesday evenings. Pretty good they were.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/26-Nov-14: Shopping today. Managed to come home without two of the veggies for tomorrow's meal. Ed went back for one of them, only later did I discover the second. Hope the market tomorrow will have that one. Don't know what happened. I remember weighing them. Maybe I put them in the wrong cart, or let them by the scale.

Made the cranberry jelly, roasted Brussels sprouts, and made tomorrow's dessert. The fridge is stuffed. Usually at this time of year, we can use the natural outdoors refrigerator for veggies and such, but it's still way too warm for that this year.

Dinner was Spice-Crusted Salmon (web) which was pretty good. I cooked it under the broiler, rather than in the oven, which caused some of the spices to burn, but we just scraped that bit off. Sides were polenta and steamed broccoli. That was all.

Thursday/27-Nov-14: Not haricots verts at the market. Ed brought some back from Intermarché after choir practice. They were the kind cut to the same length and packaged, and weren't in the best shape. Luckily I could retrieve enough to serve four from the two packages he brought.

Made a Pumpkin Cake (MC) while I was busy cooking, which we didn't serve in the end.

Friday/28-Nov-14: Ate out tonight.

Saturday/29-Nov-14: Dinner was Courgettes with Lemon, Caper Dressing (web), which could be a side dish or could be served as a side dish. It was fine over tagliatelle Then a big salad, using the rest of the roasted Brussels sprouts. Then we ate the last two pumpkin mousses. I'm stuffed.

Sunday/30-Nov-14: Dinner was 4-Minute Spicy Garlic Shrimp (web), a recipe I collected from EAT-L, but found on the web. Four minutes, it's not, but it is pretty fast. I made up some Montreal seasoning, which I've never heard of. Used frozen shrimp, so I just marinated them in the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes for a good long time, then heated the skillet and dumped it all in. Served with rice and steamed broccoli. More pumpkin cake for dessert. (We've been having in for lunch.)

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Nov-14: Leftover roast chicken for dinner tonight, along with some steamed broccoli. That was all.

Tuesday/18-Nov-14: DInner was Baked Chickpea Burgers (web), not bad for a veggie burger, if a bit dry. I ended up with eight, rather than six, patties. We ate four and I've frozen the other four. No bun, just patties on a plate. Mostly topped with sriracha. Then a big salad*. Here, there Then some mini magnums.

The burgers asked for some Mrs Dash seasoning, so I found a recipe on the web and made up a quarter of that. Still have some left.

*Big salad: In NL, I'd buy 75g of frans sla, mixed lettuces, for a side of dinner salad. Here, the best I can do is a 100g sack of lettuces. Haven't seen a place where I can get the amount I want.

Wednesday/19-Nov-14: Yogurt on overday.

Shopping today. Meant to buy salmon, but it didn't look very good. The tuna looked good, though, and we haven't had any in a bit, so that was our fish for the week. In the veggie section there were some really nice-looking (big) cauliflowers 2/€1.99; I bought 1/€1. (Cauliflowers at Leclerc often look like they've had a hard life.) All meaning a replan of the week's menus. Oh well.

Dinner was an old favorite, Balsamic-Glazed Tuna (MC; web). The recipe is from a 1999 Cooking Light; I just found it on the web. Definitely a goodie. For a side I roasted the end of a broccoli, along with some of the cauliflower bought today; all sprinkled my faux Mrs Dash and tossed with a small slog of olive oil and some chopped garlic that's be odorizing the fridge for a few days. And some crozets nature, tossed after draining with a bitter butter, parlsey, lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper. For dessert, we each had a little pot of store-bought caramel au fleur de sel Guerande. Pretty good, if not a favorite.

Thursday/20-Nov-14: Made some Chocolate Zucchini Bread this afternoon, using a recipe I collected from EAT-L that was very similar to another recipe of the same name from EAT-L, but using less zuccchini and more vanilla.

Dinner was Spaghetti Carbonara with Poached Egg (MC), good stuff, followed by a salad, followed by some Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

Friday/21-Nov-14: Working some more on the cauliflower, tonight's dinner started out to be Tuna-Cauliflower Casserole (MC), but ended up a bit different. When I looked in the pantry, I discovered there was only one can of tuna, instead of two—inventory failure. Ok, I'll use a can of crabmeat with the tuna. Picked up the tuna can, the lid pushes in and pops out in a kind of funny way. Hmm... And when I popped the lid, liquid erupted. Never seen that with a tuna can before. Didn't quite know what to make of it, so I tossed it. The casserole looked a bit skimpy, not to mention pale, so I added some strips of roasted red bell pepper from a jar. Usually we eat all this casserole, but tonight we didn't. Guess we'll have some for lunch one day soon. Followed by a big salad.

Saturday/22-Nov-14: Made up about a third recipe of Kaye's Pickled Green Beans (MC), in anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner, although it's not sure we're going to do one yet.

DInner tonight was a Moroccan lamb dish from the freezer, served over couscous, along with halfish doses of Spicy Carrot Salad (MedLight, p114) and Tunisian Zucchini Salad (MedLight, p117). We were full.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/23-Nov-14: And, using up that cauliflower, tonight we had a half-dose of Cauliflower Paprikash (MJ@Home, p202), with paprika flown in fresh today from Hungary (a joke probably only understood by Hilltop Herb Farm afficiandos). Well, not quite, but it was recently bought there as a gift and sent to us. Yummy stuff. And a big salad.

Progress on planning our Thanksgiving menu is slow. Sigh. Ed requests we repeat the turkey rollade, but what else?

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Nov-14: I meant to roast a chicken tonight, but didn't feel like messing with it when the time came around, so I made, more or less, Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp (web) which turned out to be pretty good. Then a big salad. Then some squares of dark chocolate with hazelnuts.

Tuesday/11-Nov-14: Yogurt on overday.

We went to an excellent Remembrance Day lunch in Montemboeuf today (shared with Le Lindois and Mazerolles for some reason). Neither of us were interested in food this evening.

Wednesday/12-Nov-14: Shopping today. Last week the holiday chocolates and sweet were in the place; this week the toy section has enlarged and been decorated. Much too early. Sigh.

Dinner was Lex's Roast Chicken (web; cookbooker) and quite good it was. As go-withs there were gesneden snijbonen (I think these are called runner beans in British English; in US English, no idea; in French, haricots coco). And some rosemary potato wedges based on Dusolier's Perfect Roast Potatoes, which were good, but unnecessary considering that the chicken came with a sort of stuffing. No dessert needed.

Thursday/13-Nov-14: Indian for dinner tonight. The main was a half dose of Bangladeshi Fish Curry (MJ@Home, p58; cookbooker). As advised, I served with plain rice, a dal, and a vegetable. The dal was Bangladeshi Red Lentils (MJ@Home, p195; cookbooker). The veg was an old favorite, Pan-Grilled Zucchini (MJ@Home, p173; cookbooker). (I must check, but I think the spices on this are the same as  the Spicy Cucumber Wedges from MJ1. Ed preferred the mushy cooked zucchini, while I prefer the crunchy cuke.) That was plenty of tasty dinner.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/14-Nov-14: It was a salad of leftovers for lunch: Puy lentils, snijbonen, potatoes, red bell pepper. All tossed with a vinaigrette with a touch of piment d'Esplette. Turned out pretty good and cleared the fridge of lots of bits.

Yes, it does sometimes happen. There was fresh pasta in the first half of the month. I made some Whole Wheat Pasta (Fancy, p77) cut as taglliatelle to replace the pasta in Maccheroni alla Chitarra con Tartufo dei Poveri (Geometry, p158; cookbooker). The required pasta is not macaroni as we know it, but a long skinny pasta cut on a chitarra, a "guitar" of strings. The sauce, not truffles but mushrooms, is interesting because all the ingredients are ground in the food processor and then fried as the pasta cooks. Then a salad. Then I had a bite of a classic magnum while Ed had the rest.

Saturday/15-Nov-14: Lunch out today. Not much thought of food for the rest of the day.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/16-Nov-14: Dinner was Roasted Carrot Turmeric Soup (web; cookbooker), not bad. I used half vegetable stock and half chicken stock, but I'll still call it a vegetarian meal.  As an accompaniment, there were Chickpea Flour Pancakes (MJFlavours, p81; cookbooker). I got the recipe in email, but seeing it was from Jaffrey, I checked my books and found it.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Nov-14: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Curried Leek Tart Tatin (Dusoulier2, p164; cookbooker), which was tasty and impressive. Unfortunatly I always forget how much wall clock time is needed for this kind of thing, so we ate fairly late. We started with a grated carrot salad, a classic French thing, which is (note to self) better when the carrots are grated on the box grater rather than the microplane). Then the tart. The tart was made with Yogurt Tart Dough (Dusoulier2, p199; cookbooker), which was quite tasty. Might be worth trying again for something else; there's also a buckwheat flour variation. Ed was so impressed with the tart, he thought it needed some photos. Here are the chunks of leek, browned on one end, topped with goat's cheese:


Tucking the pie crust around the leeks.


And turned out à la Tatin for serving.


Tuesday/4-Nov-14: An early main meal today since we're going out this evening. Using up some lamb shanks from the freezer, I made Roast Lamb Shanks and Lentils (TLAmer, p28; cookbooker). Served with Shredded Zucchini (MW@Home, p87), an old favorite.


Wednesday/5-Nov-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was a half recipe of Merluzzo Pasta Puttanesca (web). (I actually got this from EAT-L, but it was just a cut-and-paste job.) The pasta was good, an interesting variation on a puttanesca bianca sauce with the fish included. Too much red pepper flakes, this from folks who like it hot. Think regular anchovies would be better than anchovy paste. I used real olives, chopped, rather than tapenade. The rucola was a nice touch. Then a big salad. Then some store-bought tiramisús, following the Italianish theme.

Thursday/6-Nov-14: Yogurt on overday.

Comfort food for dinner, a nice Dutch stamppot met zuurkool en rookworst. Yum. Of course it's French sauerkraut and a French sausage, but the same effect. Then off to line dancing.

Friday/7-Nov-14: Dinner was a half recipe of Linguine with Shrimp and Porcini (30MinPasta, p99; cookbooker), a really nice pasta. Then a salad. That was all.

Saturday/8-Nov-14: Dinner was Tangy Stir-Fried Pork (MC), using up the rest of my kumquats. My varkenshaas (pork tenderloin) was huge, so there was lots of meat, but it was tasty. Served with rice and a broccoli-mushroom stirfry. Chocolate mini mags for dessert.

Sunday/9-Nov-14: Ed's choir gave a Remembrance Day concert this evening. We had pizza afterwards.

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