Monday, April 25, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/25-Apr-16: With Madhur Jaffrey's help, this evening I scratched that Indian food itch while building up Ed's hemoglobin. Dinner was Kheema Matar—Ground Meat with Peas (MJ1, p44) served with Peelay Chaaval—Aromatic Yellow Rice (MJ1, p153) and Pyaz Ka Laccha—Onion Relish (MJ1, p174), followed by Seviyan Ki Kheer—Vermicelli Pudding (MJ1, p192). All was good. I've made the ground meat before, also with beef. It's very easy and has lots of relatively unattended time. The Onion Relish, an old favorite, was a suggested go-with. I thought about making parathas, but made the rice instead. And the Kheer—I think I've finally got it nailed. The trick is to follow her timings precisely. Duh. If you cook it longer, it's still tasty, but is too thick. (Need less sugar than asked, though.) Had a starter of Charentaise melon with pineau, which didn't really fit and is a bit early, but was nice.

Tuesday/26-16: We ate lunch out today and then did a bit of sightseeing near Angoulême. When we got home, we had nibbles for dinner; there were tomatoes and radishes, and pâté, cheese, and ham with cornichons. That was all.

Wednesday/27-Apr-16: Made apple butter.

Tonight Ed's trying out with a new choir that's doing a concert in July. This choir meets on Wednesday evenings, so we'll be having our Wednesday main meal in the daytime for the next couple of months. Today we had Sriracha Lime Chicken Skillet (web) with Zucchini with Cilantro Sauce (MWLowFat, p335) and Coconut Rice (i.e., rice cooked with coconut milk and water). Pretty good all of it. I used bone-in chicken thighs instead of boneless ones for the "skillet"; this was fine. A bit of cheese for after.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/28-Apr-16: There was an earthquake in La Rochelle this morning, +/-5.0 depending what you read. Bill said he thought he might have felt it while I was in the shower. Shortly after that, I was sitting at the computer and an empty box fell off its perch; I thought it was Sophie (who routinely knocks thing off their perches), but she, but she wasn't there.

I went to the butcher to get beef for tonight's dinner and to the boulanger (who was actually at the butcher's when I got there) to get bread and croissants. While we all went to Montbron for the afternoon, I left Aiguillettes de Boeuf aux Oignons (VPG, web) in a low oven. Leaving Ed at choir practice, Bill and I did a little sightseeing then stopped for tea and coffee at a local shop. Then we picked Ed up and came home to find the house smelling quite delicious. Served the beef with smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. The beef was so-so, somehow drier than expected. For dessert, some magnums of various sorts.

Friday/29-Apr-16: We had lunch out before we took Bill to the train. Then we did our shopping. As long as Ed is in the extra choir, it looks like Friday will be our shopping day. Surprisingly it has been unexpectedly uncrowded.

Ed mowed today, and discovered that the tomatoes and eggplants we set out last week have all died. (Unhappy face.) They were looking very happy just two days ago. Maybe they froze. We had a night that went down to 1C near the house; maybe it was colder down below. There are no more organic ones to be ordered. Searching for regular ones.

Only fruit needed this evening.

Saturday/30-Apr-16: Dinner was Herbed Salmon with Garlic Cream Sauce (30MinCook, p118), with trio rice and steamed/grilled broccoli. This is a really nice way to make salmon; not the first time I've made it. For dessert, the end of the kheer.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/1-May-16: Ed found Sophie this morning with a gaping hole under her left front leg, so off to the vet with her. (Could be an ex-abscess, but it's hard to think we'd have missed just a big one.) Then on to Montbron to hear a friend's band playing. Looked for the bric-à-brac that was supposed to be there too. For the second time we couldn't find it. Drove all over the place and can't figure out where they hide these things. No signs to help. A Montbron weirdness.

For dinner, I used up the last of the thawed lamb with Lamb in Spiced Gravy (30MinCook, p179), made with less lamb this time and less water/stock. Really tasty. Served over/next to Indian Mashed Potatoes (Q&E, p50), an old favorite. For dessert, I made some vanilla pudding from my mother's pie filling/pudding recipe. (They're the same except the pie filling uses three egg yolks—the whites are for meringue—while the pudding uses one whole egg.) Made with sucre de canne (brown sugar), so the taste was good, but the color is a bit odd. Served with some sliced strawberries.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no; #5 FotW: no for April/half-May

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