Monday, February 1, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Feb-16: Nice dinner. Last night I put Hot, Salty, and Sweet Pork Chops (MJ@Home, p134) on to marinate, using all the spices for half the pork chops. Cooked them tonight, again making all the sauce, which then took a bit longer to boil down to syrupy. Very good. Served with plain basmati rice and a half dose of Carrots with Cilantro (MJ@Home, p149). Also very good, although her cooking time for the carrots was way off. Altogether a yummy dinner. With mini mags for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/2-Feb-16: Went to the ENT today, and stopped at Grand Frais for a spot of shopping. Chinese New Year is coming right up so all the grocery stores, including Grand Frais, are having Chinese-ish specials. I bought some shrimp-filled dumplings on impulse. We had half of those as a starter, with a made-up dipping sauce that turned out pretty good (some soy sauce, a bit more of rice vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, some finely chopped garlic, and some dried ginger—me being too lazy and too rushed to grate up some fresh ginger).

For a main we had P.F. Chang's Garlic Noodles (web). I made this a while ago and still had some of the stir-fry sauce in the freezer, so made it again, this time with fresh tagliatelle. Turned out pretty good. I'm full.

Wednesday/3-Feb-16: The internet guy came this morning. No problem in the house (surprise); he said he would trace the line out looking for problems. So far so good. But it's not really raining, so don't expect problems. Fingers crossed.

Shopping today.

Dinner started with the rest of the dumplings I bought yesterday, with their two sauces and the one I made, which remains the favorite. The main was Winter Squash-Bulgur Pilaf; this is a magazine clipping that looks like it came from Cooking Light, but I can't find it on their site, so it might be quite old. Anyhow, it was a side for four that we ate as a main for two, topped with the remains of the dumpling sauces (me) and with sriracha (Ed). Pretty good by itself, but after the really tasty stuff, a bit bland.

Thursday/4-Feb-16: Spent most of the day in the kitchen today. Made apple butter. Boiled up some potatoes for tonight's dinner. Went to package up some tortillas I just ordered for freezing and found one of the packages was moldy. Took a picture and mailed the company. They  apologized and will replace, but with a small package (15 vs 20), since that's all they have now. Made a half dose of Mango Chutney (TLCarib, p91); instructions were a bit goofy—you made up some tamarind juice and do nothing with it. And what kind of chile do they want? I used a smallish Mme Jeannette (haberno) from the freezer. Fish for dinner is sitting with its spices. Made the go-with sauce, but see I missed a step in prepping it. Oh well.

Ed got back late from the doctor, after going early to the walk-in hours. His latest blood tests showed low hemoglobin, and it was slightly low several years ago. So, more tests. And eat more ... boudin noir, beef, liver, etc. We rarely eat beef, but should eat in three times a week. Yuk.

Nice dinner. (No beef.) The main was Grilled Halibut with Indian Spices (web); this is apparently from a David Tanis book I don't have, but is on my Someday list, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes. This dish made me think I might have to indulge fairly soon. Fish was good, the yogurt sauce was good. Served with Potatoes with Black Pepper (MJ1, p113) and Tomato, Onion, and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172); have made both of these before and enjoyed them.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/5-Feb-16: Lovely morning. I sat outside in the sun to shell the favas. They were very generous.

Spent some time looking for recipes using boudin noir and beef, since Ed's supposed to eat iron-rich foods three times a week. Might be hard to reconcile this with the goal of eating vegetarian or fish three times a week.

Dinner was based on Marinated Rack of Lamb with Coriander and Honey (Otto, p104). I used lamb steaks rather than a rack, since that's what was in the freezer. It was good, but the marinade/sauce was way too sweet, and I didn't use all the honey because it was the end of the jar and I didn't want to open the next one. Lots left over, but didn't save it. Served with Clotilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes (web), an old favorite, and a dish of sautéed radishes and favas, flavored with Pernod, loosely adapted from something I found on the web. Good dinner.

Saturday/6-Feb-16: Tonight's dinner was Poulet Sauté Boivin—Sautéed Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Onions and Potatoes (TLClassic, p52). (I'd meant to do a soup, too, but found it too much.) I made a half recipe using four good-sized thighs instead of a whole, cut-up chicken. And I had to buy a bouquet of four artichauts violets, and used all of them; no idea how them compare to "young artichokes" in size. Used fond brun de veau made from a powder and skipped the glace de viande. And, no, I didn't shape my potatoes into balls. In spite of all those things, it was good and we were full.


I think I prefer the six-week periods we're doing with the Time-Life books now, without the overlap. Even though it's slower, we'll finish this year, if I manage to keep it up. Have gotten the next book out now, and there's still a week to go with this one.

Sunday/7-Feb-16: Finished off first big pass through desserts today. Next time I'll make a pass through tossing ones I think I'll never make. Good progress.

There was a Dutch stamppot for dinner tonight, smashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and smoked sausages (Montbilliers). Good, but we both thought the sauerkraut was a bit tasteless.

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

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