Monday, September 28, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/28-Sep-15: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Red Curry Shrimp (web). Good and easy except for peeling the shrimp, not a favorite job. Served with plain basmati rice and Karhai Broccoli (p148, MJ@Home). All tasty. For afters, I had a mini magnum and Ed had a classic one.

Tuesday/29-Sep-15: Lunch out today. Dinner unnecessary. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/30-Sep-15: Discovered today that my new dragonfly gadget to mark the bookshelf where I need to start cleaning has disappeared. :-( The last of the dinosaurs that I was using before crashed to the floor and died. This summer I bought a cute plastic dragonfly at a vide-grenier and now it's disappeared. Sigh.

Dinner was (sort of) Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion (web). Grated squash was add to the polenta while it was cooking and pretty much disappeared therein. The half recipe should have had 1/2 cup of polenta, but that seemed to me a small amount for a main course, so I used 2/3 cup. And had leftovers. Instead of Italian pork sausage, I used duck sausage we got at one of the marchés des producteurs this summer. Altogether quite good. Followed by a salad. And some squares of chocolate after.

Thursday/1-Oct-15: After lunch today, we discovered that an old butternut squash, from last year that had got stuck into the bottom cabinet over the old refrigerator and moved to the counter when that was removed, had gone bad. Oozed all over the counter. And soaked into the paneling on the side of the cabinet next to the counter. Yuck. Maybe we have an extra piece of paneling. Hope so because Ikea doesn't carry this stuff any more.

I shopped today while Ed choired.

Dinner was Shrimp Florentine Pasta (web; CL/jun12). Easy and fast. We liked it pretty well, although I wonder why the shrimp was cooked in butter and not in olive oil. Served with a some slices of a Beefsteak tomato, sprinkled with little basil leaves. Then some little store-bought tarts with the end of the cheesecake ice cream.

Friday/2-Oct-15: Haircut this morning. Had a hearing aid appointment later in the day, but had the wrong time. Changed to Monday. Meant to go to Leclerc after that appointment, but will have to go in the morning.

Dinner was Omelet with Fresh Goat Cheese and Mint (web) followed by salad. The omelets were made by mixing the cheese and mint into the eggs. I'm not sure they wouldn't have been better but mixing the cheese and mint putting that mixture on the omelet just before folding it, like you usually do.  Followed by a salad. And some mini magnums.

Saturday/3-Oct-15: Ed's choir is bringing bits for a post-practice and post-AGM meal. I made Leek, Potato, and Olive Pie (p92, O&C), which I've made before. Was good before, guess it will be okay.

Dinner was Fish Fillets Römertopf (MC; Römertopf brochure) with lieu noir. Pretty good, and easy. Served with roasted cauliflower and broccoli, using up the last bits of those, and some leftover polenta that I toasted under the broiler. Some mini mags for dessert.

Sunday/4-Oct-15: Dinner was, more or less, Risotto met Flespompoen (web). An interesting idea, but not a well-written recipe. Most sources recommend about 115g of arborio rice per person as a main. This recipes asks 350g for four. I used 230g. I cooked everything in olive oil, not butter. Celery? No, didn't work. Should have been onion. The first round of liquid added to risotto is usually some white wine, so I did that, then followed with the vegetable stock. The flespompoen (winter squash) was sautéed; it might have been better (and faster) roasted. I didn't add the rucola, although this might have been nice. Cream added at the end to make it creamy. Uh, no. Risotto is creamy because of the way it's cooked, not because cream is added at the end. Turned out ok. Might be a good recipe to play with a bit. Intended to make a salad, but didn't have time. Not really needed. I used up some sweet potatoes to make Sweet Potato Pudding (p123, TLAfrica). Good stuff. Had tonight's batch warm with a layer of cream on it. Tomorrow will be cold, as it ought to be.

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

Monday, September 21, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/21-Sep-15: Went to Planet Exotica for a (Groupon) day outing. Dinner was mostly from the freezer, some Indian-ish spicy sauce with cooked chicken added, served over brown rice, with Karhai Broccoli (p148, MJ@Home) for a veggie matter. I had one square of chocolate for dessert.

Had a quick look at some of my herb and spice books during dinner. Oh dear, an untapped source of recipes!

Tuesday/22-Sep-15: Yogurt on overday. Well, it started out that way. Ed went to work on the clock on the stove (and fixed it!) and had to turn the electricity off, but didn't think about the yogurt. Three hours or more I noticed that it was off. Tossed it all. This batch has gotten pretty sour, so I think we'll just buy some for the short term. Did notice that the middle jar was pretty far along in the cooking while the outer jars were not. So looks like the heat is not being spread as well as it ought to be. Think the next yogurt maker will not be Moulinex in spite of the investment we have in jars.

Dinner was Moroccan-Spiced Scallops and Lentils (web; Feb2009 Bon Appetit). Not sure where I picked this magazine up; it's not one I usually get. Made some couscous to go with it, but we didn't use them. Served with Crushed Spiced Carrot Salad (p78, Morocco), a favorite. For dessert, we had a pair of toetjes I got at the boulangerie after our dentist checkups.

Wednesday/23-Sep-15: Out this morning having a tour of a tannery. Leftover enchiladas and rice for dinner (yea, oven!), with some cilantro-less guacamole. That was all.

Thursday/24-Sep-15: Started on the next squash, making Squash and Cardamom Pie (p101, O&C) for dinner. (Using pine nuts, and coucsous instead of rice or bulgur.) Well, I thought it was dinner, until I put it in the oven and saw that it wanted to cook for an hour and a half. Quickly made a salad from the rest of the leftover couscous and called that dinner. It was good. Followed by freshly frozen Cheesecake Ice Cream (p62, Scoop; cookbooker). Yes, frozen cheesecake is what it tastes like. Good stuff.

Friday/25-Sep-15: Ed gathered some figs from the neighbor's tree, so I've been doing lots of figgy things.
  • Made a half dose of Sticky Fig Jam (p195, PutEmUp), giving two AH jars. Tiny sample tasted OK. This one has balsamic vinegar in it. Since the strawberry balsamic jam was so good, I thought this would be worth a try.
  • Made a half dose of Fig and Lime Jam (web; CL/jun10). Not sure about this one. It burnt on the bottom, so I only got one jar. We'll see how it is. 
  • Made a Fresh Fig Galette (web; CL/aug15). The crust was tasty, but wouldn't roll out at all. Instead of making a free-form galette, I pressed it into a big pie plate, folding the edges over like a galette. Pretty tasty.
  • Made Baked Figs and Goat Cheese (web) scaled down for two. This should have been our starter, but Ed was really hungry so we had it as our second course. 
Had the squash and cardamom pie for our first course. It was so-so. The squash is strangely sweet and there was a bit too much lemon juice perhaps. Not a winner. Slices of fig galette for dessert with a bit of cheesecake ice cream or cream.

Saturday/26-Sep-15: The fig galette was yummy for breakfast.

Shopping today, yes, on Saturday. Unexpectedly, it wasn't especially crowded, and everything was pretty well stocked. We walked out with vanilla yogurt instead of plain. Luckily I spotted it while we were packing up and I took it back directly and got the plain one I meant to get.

Dinner was Dorade Citron Vert et Piment d'Esplelette (VPG). Okay, but nothing special. Very badly written recipe. You chop up some new onions, but never use them. I even read the recipe aloud to Ed thinking I must have overlooked something. No. They wanted you to roast thin filets at 210C (400F) for 20 minutes. No.

Served with Salt-and-Vinegar Roasted Potatoes (web). This was a hit. This is similar to Dusolier' roasted potatoes, half-cooked by boiling (with cider vinegar in the water), then shaken (I added this), then baked. Yum. Also some Roasted Zucchini (web), with the zucchini sliced as Clotilde Dusolier suggests. Another keeper. Two out of three isn't bad.

Some mini magnums for after.

Sunday/27-Sep-15: The fig galette has been very good for breakfast these last days.

Oven-roasted tomatoes in the oven.

After considering how many veggies were in the fridge needing to be used up, I changed the dinner plans at the last minute. We had an assortment of dishes, served with pita breads. There was:

  • Aubergine & Chickpea Salad (sep11 Jamie; can't find on web). This used the eggplant from the potager. Made about half a recipe since the eggplant wasn't very big. Eggplant grilled, tossed with couscous, chickpeas, ras el hanout, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, and chopped cilantro. Good.
  • Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice (web). A nice-looking cauliflower jumped into my cart yesterday. Used the first bit tonight. This was good, not especially North African, but it went especially well with ...
  • Cilantro Zucchini Hummus (web). No chickpeas, so not really hummus, but delicious. I did not peel my zucchini and it was a prettier color than pictured. Yummy.
I was going to make another hummus also, using the chickpeas left from the eggplant salad, but discovered I didn't have a backup jar of tahini. Oops. Inventory fail. So that will wait another day. Didn't really need it, I guess, since we were quite full after eating and the leftovers are minimal.


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

Monday, September 14, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-Sep-15: Made a pair of Schlotsky's Rolls today, following a recipe that I got via EAT-L in September 1999! (Found the same recipe here.) Actually very much like Schlotsky's rolls. I really should get a pair of smaller pie plates to do these with. I used one pie plate and one cake tin about the same diameter, and they were both a bit too big. Really easy bread to make, no-knead and all that stuff.

Dinner was Broccoli Mac and Cheddar (web; cookbooker). This was pretty good. Then a salad. No dessert, since we'd had a bit of pomegranate molasses cake for lunch and didn't feel like more.

Tuesday/15-Sep-15: Lunch out today. Nothing much happened in the kitchen today.

Wednesday/16-Sep-15: Used the last my birthday tortillas to make cheese enchiladas, loosely based on Chile Queen Enchiladas (p58, TexMex). I used mimelotte and mozzarella as the cheese, which worked ok. And my variation on Mama's Spanish rice. No guacamole since the avocado was bad. That was all.

Thursday/17-Sep-15: We ate out at a quiz tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen

Friday/18-Sep-15: Shopping today. A small one for unknown reasons. Looked for some small pie plates. Found some foil ones that looked like a possiblity. When I picked them up, I discovered they were for escargot, and had little dimples on the bottom to hold them.

Noticed that Blogspot no longer supports plus signs (+) in a tag name, but does support ampersand (&). A while back they didn't support ampersands, so I changed everything to pluses. Now it's the other way around. Wish they'd decide. And hope they don't change again.

Dinner was Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes (web; not sure at all where I got it from). Kind of comfort food. Easy to make, mostly unattended once it's in the oven. I might use hot paprika rather than sweet paprika next time. Served with a big salad. Some squares of chocolate for dessert.

Made up a half recipe of Clean Eating Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (web) and put the salmon onto marinate for tomorrow night's dinner.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/19-Sep-15: Dinner was Clean Eating Baked Thai Salmon (web), which was pretty good and took no time to broil. Served with basmati rice, Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (p58, Delightful), and Cucumber Salad (p50, Delightful). All good. We split a classic magnum for dessert, then had a square or two of proper chocolate for the taste.

Sunday/20-Sep-15: Dinner was Greek Shrimp (p136, PastaMach) with Lemon Oregano Pasta (p65, PastaMach). The pasta was nice, but can't say it tasted of lemon or oregano. I used small shrimp (frozen) rather than the bigger ones, which wasn't the best choice. But it tasted fine. Then a salad. That was all.

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Sep-15: Deseeded a whole mess of tomatoes today. Put some back outside because there were too many for the pot.

There are 3-1/2 winter squash in-house (with at least two more on the vine). The biggest is pushing 4#, the smallest 2#. Tonight we've eaten three times off the partial squash, with about a quarter to go.

Tonight was Butternut Squash Pizza (web). Never one to follow a recipe too closely, I spread some pyramid goat cheese on the crust before topping with the roasted veggies. And added arugula/rocket/rucola instead of spinach, which wasn't to be found in the shops. Pretty good. Had the last two of the chocolate puddings I bought last week for dessert.

Tuesday/8-Sep-15: Yogurt on overday. Off to my ENT this a.m. to get a grommet in my left ear. Hope it stays put.

Dinner was Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives & White Wine (web), which is from a Bittman book, but not one I have. Easy, and I thought it was really good. Ed liked it not so much, but didn't say why. Served with Radish and Broad Bean Salad (p16, Otto), which we liked. This recipe was supposed to serve 4, so I though half would do. That would have been 250g of shelled favas (found some frozen at Leclerc last week). I stopped at 100g, which looked more than enough, and jiggled rest of measurements. Forgot to add the cumin; might have been nice. The Green Tahini Sauce (p272, Otto) used as a dressing was good, although I scaled it back so much, it's hard to know how close to the intention I was.

Wednesday/9-Sep-15: We were out all day for a wine-tasting trip that included lunch. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/10-Sep-15: Dinner was two Lamb Steaks with Garlic, Cumin and Black Pepper (p33, Screamingly), which were quite yummy. And really easy: moosh up the garlic, cumin, and black pepper with some olive oil and spread it on the steaks. As a side there was Lemon Roasted Sweet Potatoes (p140, Screamingly), which turned out to be a really good way to do sweet potatoes, roasted with some lemon slices and rosemary, topped with a bit of Parmesan when they're done. For dessert with had vanilla ice cream with Shirley and Terry's strawberries.

Friday/11-Sep-15: Shopping today.

Dinner was Catfish Corn with Corn Hash (web) and its go-with Tomato and Zucchini Salad (web). Used eglefin/haddock for the fish, which fell apart as these things do. The fish dish was okay, but nothing fantastic. We used a home-grown tomato for the salad (Beefsteak, I think, although they're not separated). We liked the salad, but I didn't add the sugar to the dressing. Why? Mini magnums for dessert. Then we walked down with Pogo to pick tomatoes and (only) one squash. Pogo wasn't to be found when we went back. He showed up at the front door a while later, just as we were going out to search.

Saturday/12-Sep-15: Starting to work on the birthday tortilla bonanza. Made some Chile Puree (p50, TexMex). Discovered I was completely out of anchos, so made it up with a mulato and pasillas for those (plus guajillos). Wasn't as bitter as it has been, so only a dab of sugar needed. Froze up two long 1-cup jars and saved another for good old cheese enchiladas in a few days.

Tonight's dinner was Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Radish Salad (EAT-L; web), served with some smashed avocado with lime juice and a bit of cilantro. Pretty good altogether. The chicken sat around for a while in some chopped up chipotles in adobo, then got grilled. A pretty good, quick way to do kip filets. The radish salad was nothing special.

Sunday/13-Sep-15: Seeded and cooked up another batch of tomatoes on today. Used some of the purée for dinner. Will freeze the rest tomorrow.

In the spring we had bees in the chimney. Now we've got hornets. Sigh. Started a fire, but now the room is swarming. At the end of the day, they seem to be gone. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Used up my stash of big pasta shells to make Ricotta Stuffed Shells (web) for dinner. Froze half for another dinner. Stuffing of ricotta, mozzarella, egg, and chives. For the sauce, I used the tomato purée left from the sack that got smashed by the freezer light last week, plus a bit of extra from today's batch. Quite tasty. Then a simple salad.

Made a Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake for dessert (web). Mixed all in the food processor. Used only 1/2cup sugar (sucre de canne) in the cake, rather than 3/4cup. For the icing, used only 1/2cup powdered sugar, rather than 1cup, with less cream. Didn't bother with the nuts, although they would have been nice. Also tasty.

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