Monday, October 26, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Oct-15: Travelled home from the Vercors today. Put a spinach-noodle casserole from the freezer into the oven for dinner. That was all.

Tuesday/27-Oct-15: Shop. Lots of veggies and fruit to restock the fridge.

Dinner was Orange-Glazed Salmon with Olive Quinoa (web). Not bad stuff. Some peas and shallots as a side. Some rice pudding from the shop for dessert.

Wednesday/28-Oct-15: Back in business—yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Baja Fish Tacos (web; cookbooker). I had a 250g package of coleslaw-ish stuff, looked like 4 cups or more. I made all the sauce (should have been doubled probably) with no honey, and this was more than enough. I made the Sazon by blitzing 1/4 teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, annatto seeds, garlic powder, coarse salt, and black peppercorns. Served with flour tortillas because I was too lazy to make corn ones.

Thursday/29-Oct-15: Another keeper for dinner tonight. A halfish recipe of Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans (web; cookbooker). This is a one-dish dinner, so that's all we had. Yum.

Friday/30-Oct-15: Picked up our kitchen tiles today. Hooray! Still have to get grout and the edge bits (there seeming to be no edge tiles here), but we're on the way.

Dinner from the freezer, big shells filled with herby cheese with tomato sauce. Then a salad. Then two squares of chocolate each.

Saturday/31-Oct-15: Big lunch at a Salle des Vins in St Junien today. Nothing happened in the kitchen today.

Sunday/1-Nov-15: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil Curry and Spinach (web). I used half the wild rice and half the red lentils with all the spices. Pretty tasty. Not sure the wild rice added anything special. Basmati would have been fine. It being a sort of anniversary, we finished a bottle of Fleuri as a go-with.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: no; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #5 PASTA: no for October, no for November; #6 BREAD: no for October, no for November  #7 FotW: no for Sept/October; no for November

Monday, October 19, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Oct-15: This was clear-out-the-fridge night, preparation for leaving on Thursday. For dinner we had lots of orzo, accompanied by:
  • Green Bean Salad (ClassicItal, p557). A really nice, simple way to do green beans. Should be done at the last minute or so that the beans can be kept warm till serving.
  • Zucchini with Tomato and Basil (ClassicItal, p534). A bit of clock-time, but easy to do and not demanding. Having no parsley, I sprinkled in some dried Italian herbs. Good stuff.
  • Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber (ClassicItal, p55). I've made this a number of times. It's still good.
Tuesday/20-Oct-15: Lunch was a take-off on Medaglioni de Melazane—Aubergine Medallions (VegCarlu, p202). No tomato purée, wrong cheese, still good. Chopped up some tomatoes (seeded, of course) and cooked till soft, then stirred in the last of the basil we brought along. Sauté slices of eggplant. Top with (pesto, not), tomato sauce, cheddar slices, and some grated Parmesan. Into the oven till the cheese was melted.

Had a super dinner out. Fixed menu, first time we've seen that in Italy. Soup, pasta, two mains (lamb and chicken), and dessert. Good and not all that expensive.

Wednesday/21-Oct-15: For lunch, I started out to make an egg and zucchini thing from VegCarlu, but it turned into a clear-out-the-fridge scramble-up. Red onion, the end of a salami, a bit of red bell pepper, the last zucchini, two little tomatoes, topped with eggs. Yum. Hope we have room for dinner tonight.

Nice dinner out at our favorite restaurant in Radicondoli.

Thursday/22-Oct-15: Checked out. Drove to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Then to Lucca. Walked 11,000+ steps today. Feet are tired. Lovely dinner out.

Friday/23-Oct-15: Walked almost 10,000 steps. Whew. Another nice dinner out.

Saturday/24-Oct-15: Drove all the way to the Vercors without an overnight stop.

Sunday/25-Oct-15: Day in the Vercors.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: no; #3 GRAINS: no; #4 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #5 PASTA: no; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: no for September/October

Monday, October 12, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Oct-15: Ate at another restaurant tonight. Good pasta; meat overcooked. Friendly place. We are astounded at the number of Americans in town. There were at least ten eating dinner at this restaurant, plus a Brit couple.

Tuesday/13-Oct-15: Picked the chicken. Made stock.

Dinner was a take-off on Chicken Fricassee, Cacciatora Style (ClassicItal, p330) served with fusilli. Instead of using pieces of raw chicken, I used most of the cooked meat I took from the roast chicken. Good it was. With a salad.

Wednesday/14-Oct-15: Bit of shopping this afternoon for bread and other supplies

Dinner was, more or less, Orecchiette con Broccoli (VegCarlu, p54). The pasta was fusilli instead or orecchiette, but it was still good. Easy stuff. And a salad. then we finished off the chocolate gelato.

Thursday/15-Oct-15: Dinner out.

Friday/16-Oct-15: Went to the market at Colle de Val d'Elsa. The non-food stuff was starting to close up as we got there, but we found one of the small ladles with holes, which turns out to be great for checking if pasta is cooked and probably works with beans too.

Watched a movie. Got too late to cook. Pizza for dinner.

Saturday/17-Oct-15: For dinner there was ravioli filled with nettle and Parmesan a la panna, cooked then finished off in cream. Yesterday at the market I bought a head of any unknown green, which we think might be chicory, the real stuff rather than the one that's also called Belgian endive or witlof. Used it to make a non-mixed version of Mixed Greens with Black Olives (Verdura, p321). (This is only the third recipe I've noted from Verdura, so I'll call this an unused book.) I boiled the greens till well-wilted, but later found by taste and research they should  have been cooked longer, so the dish was a bit strong. But still an interesting way to cook greens.

Sunday/18-Oct-15: As I was putting up dishes this morning, a small glass bowl exploded when I tapped its edge against the stack I was adding it to. Never had that kind of thing happen before. So much for not breaking anything.

For lunch I made chicken noodle soup with the rest of the stock, a bit of leftover chicken, a sliced carrot, and some orzo.

Dinner out, so that was all in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: no; #4 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #5 PASTA: no; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: no for September/October

Monday, October 5, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Oct-15: Dinner was Goat Cheese, Chive, and Chili Pepper Sauce for Pasta  (p167, MarCuc). This is getting to be our traditional night-before-we-travel dinner. Really simple, really good. Then a salad. Then the rest of the Sweet Potato Pudding, which was good cooled too.

Tuesday/6-Oct-15: As Willie sang, we're On the Road Again.

Wednesday/7-Oct-15: And again. 

Thursday/8-Oct-15: Arrived safely. Driving in Italy is crazy, by far the most stressful part of the trip. Found our "villa" easily after making a brief stop at a small grocery store. The welcome pack includes an enormous bowlful of  candy. Unpacked and explored.

Big salad for dinner to make up for two days of road food, with some very nice red wine from the family in an unlabelled bottle. Had to toss the salad in a big pot. No salad fork and spoon to be found; no big serving spoons of any kind. No bowl big enough to serve a big salad for two (or small for four).

Friday/9-Oct-15: Found a big grocery today and filled the (little) fridge. We suspect that they must eat a lot of risotto around here because finding a small (i.e., 500g) package of arborio or carnaroli was difficult.

Two tomatoes were damaged on the way home, so I stewed them with some zucchini for a side. The main was sautéed salmon, with some orzo as a side. The orzo was interesting because there isn't a sieve here. Put a dishtowel in the colander to drain it.

We've been in quite a few gîte-type things. This one has the most poorly equipped kitchen we've seen. As expected the knives are flimsy and useless; I knew to bring some, a chopping knife and a paring knife. There are dinner plates, salad/dessert plates, soup plates, coffee cups (big and small), and a few small cereal bowls, but no other small dishes. House sleeps four; there are four glasses. Nothing for baking a tart or cake, no casserole, no baking sheet. No serving dishes. Nothing to put things in (leftovers, etc.). No butter dish. (Have stowed butter on a salad plate with an overturned soup plate as a lid, taking a lot of precious counter space.) No kettle, electric or otherwise, so we boil water on the stove. Most of the pots and pans are very badly scarred "non-stick". Not to be used. One very thin skillet, newish. Two saucepan sort of things are decent, but no lids, although there's one around that will do. I brought a small peeler, because I figured the one provided would be too dull to be useful. Good thing I did, because there's no peeler at all and no paring knife. There is a cute mini dishwasher which does a respectable job with plates and cups and cutlery. We'll survive, of course.

Saturday/10-Oct-15: Rainy day. Dinner in Radicondoli. Getting started up the road in the wet was interesting. (It's first gear all the way up.) Wondering how we'll get up road when we leave with a fully laden car, especially if it's wet.

Sunday/11-Oct-15: Roasted a chicken with lemon and rosemary. Tossed fusilli (welcome pack) with the sauce. Corn on the cob, found at the big supermarket yesterday.

There is a strange utensil hanging over the stove, a small ladle with holes in the bottom. Couldn't figure out what that was for. Till I needed to check if the pasta was done. Perfect!

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: no; #3 GRAINS: no; #4 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #5 PASTA: no; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: no for September/October