Monday, August 29, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Aug-16: Much cooler today—hooray!

Dinner was Zucchini Onion Pie (web; cookbooker), a 70s-style recipe (remember all kinds of bisquik pies?), but still good. Served with some shredded cabbage tossed with sauce left from last week Viennese zucchini dish. Some young goat cheese, a bouygette, with crackers for after.

Tuesday/30-Aug-16: Shopping today, since the next days are busy. What a mess in the expanding Leclerc! No butcher for several days. (Thus no sale items from the butcher section.) Lots of departments mid-move. The new traffic flow is unclear. I'm assuming there will be a new entrance to the shop proper. The café where we usually lunch on shopping day is closing till mid-November.

Dinner was Asian Salmon and Noodles (web). This was okay, but nothing special. I used spaghettoni for the noodles. Leclerc hasn't had these (fresh noodles) for maybe a year, but they were on sale this week and I bought three packages. Two in the freezer and one for dinner. Ed had a magnum bar for dessert; I had one bite.

We walked down to the potager after dinner. Picked our first two tomatoes and one small eggplant. There's a strange looking cuke waiting a few more days, but no zukes to be seen.

Wednesday/31-Aug-16: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/1-Sep-16: A quick dinner tonight before going out to a concert. We shared a can of a "spicy" tongue stew, which wasn't bad, but spicy it wasn't. The ground black pepper in the mashed potatoes had more piquancy. And there was steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon juice. Not bad, all in all.

Friday/2-Sep-16: I really seem to be on an Asian noodle kick for some reason. Tonight we had Hot and Sour Soba Salad (VeryBest, p60; cookbooker). We finished off the bouygette of goat cheese for afters.

Saturday/3-Sep-16: Didn't feel much like cooking today, so we had the leftover Zucchini Onion Pie with a big salad. That was it.

Updated my kitchen goals page earlier this week. Not doing too well there. After a brief spurt working on my recipe backlog, nothing has happened since February. Haven't made pasta since January. Have only made bread once. Am managing to keep up with the Foods of the World. That's something.

Finished reading Twenty this week. A really good book. Now need to add lots of recipes to my to-do list.

Sunday/4-Sep-16: Ed said it was time for some Tex-Mex food, so that was today's meal. We had cheese enchiladas as Mama taught me to make them, using some of Robb Walsh's recipe for enchilada sauce (Chile Purée) that I had in the freezer. And Mama's Spanish rice, my variation made without tomatoes for Ed. And guacamole. That was all. Some fruit in the evening.

Yogurt on overnight. (And this isn't the first time this week, just the first time I've remembered to write it down.)

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Paprika Schnitzel and Zucchini with Dill Sauce

Again, most of tonight's dinner came from Time-Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Vienna's Empire. We had Paprika Schnitzel—Veal Cutlets with Paprika (p35), served with Zucchetti mit Dill—Zucchini with Dill Sauce (p64) and tagliatelle.

This time the veal was marinated in lemon juice for an hour before cooking. This lent a nice lemony taste to the meat, but it didn't seem to brown very well, even though I dried the pieces well before dredging with flour. After the meat is cooked, the pieces are removed to a warm place while the sauce is made. Onions are browed in butter, then lots of paprika is stirred in , then a bit of chicken stock is added to deglaze the pan, and finally sour cream (crème fraîche) mixed with flour is aded to finish it off. Quite edible.

The zucchini dish was good, but ... it calls for peeling, seeding, and julienning the zukes. I didn't peel mine, but I did scrape out seeds. In the end I thought this was useless. If it were to do this again, I'd make 1/8" slices of the washed zucchinis, then cut these into 1/8" strips. That would be just as nice, I think. The pile of bits is salted and left to sweat for a while. Mine were a bit short-changed in this area, but I don't think it made any difference. The strips are slowly cooked in butter, then the sour cream/flour mixture is stirred in. When the sauce is thick, add sugar, vinegar, and some chopped fresh dill. Nice flavors altogether. (Lacking guidance, I used cider vinegar, since that was pretty standard in the early 70s.)

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their August cookbook. And if you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?

Monday, August 22, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Aug-16: Used rhubarb from the potager to make Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake (MC). Think this is the first time we've actually had enough to do something with. Use my new Kenwood for the first time. Took the cake to Patrice and Wim's campsite, where we had dinner.

Tuesday/23-Aug-16: Back to Indian tonight. Dinner was Bhuna Chicken (web), which wasn't bad, but not a keeper. Served with plain basmati rice and Pan-Grilled Zucchini (p173, MJ@Home). Almost finished the Lime Pickle from the fridge. (Looking forward to trying one of the frozen jars, to see if that softens the rind.) For dessert we finished off the Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake, topped with a bit of cream.

Wednesday/24-Aug-16: Shopping today.

Two Indians in a row. Dinner was Easy Tomato and Coconut Fish Curry (web), with swordfish, which was on sale today. Added snow peas, cut in thirds, and the tiny red cayenne that's the first this year from the garden. Over rice. Good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/25-Aug-16: My goodness is it hot. Dinner was Paprika Schnitzel and Zucchetti mit Dill served with tagliatelle. Too hot for dessert.

Friday/26-Aug-16: Another hot day, melting. To add to the joy, I tripped at the top of the stairs carrying a stack of dishes to be recycled. Some scratches and one big gash. Didn't go for a stitch or two, but I wonder if it needs it? Will reconsider tomorrow.

Dinner was Tian de Tomates et Courgettes (web). I made a half recipe and cooked in two small, rectangular dishes. Ed's part had seeded tomatoes, mine didn't. Luckily my two little casserole dishes fit in the toaster oven, so I didn't have to heat the big oven. Really simple (except for the tomato-seeding) and very tasty. Then a simple salad with only croutons. Ed had an ice cream for dessert; I had one bite of it.

Saturday/27-Aug-16: Gash on arm seems to be doing okay.

It's just too hot. But we did get to eat dinner outside after two days of dining indoors because it was too stifling outside. Thank goodness for the bedroom a/c.

Dinner was Curried Chicken with Mango Salad (web; cookbooker). Served with brown rice as suggested. Very easy, quick, and tasty. I had a small HD cup of ice cream for dessert.

Sunday/28-Aug-16: There was supposed to be storms last night, but don't think we got a drop of rain. It is a bit cooler today, thank goodness.

Didn't feel like making what I'd planned for today, so I cooked up a bunch of rice and cooled it down and made up some fried rice. Strips of an "omelet," shrimp, and peas. Used some sauce from the freezer that I'd marked "stir-fry?". Was pretty good all in all. And plenty.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Wiener Schnitzel and Green Beans Paprika

Time-Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Vienna's Empire provided most of tonight's dinner. This time we had—couldn't not make this one—Wiener Schnitzel–Breaded Veal Cutlets (p36), served with Fazolové Lusky na Paprice–Green Beans Paprika (p58) and mashed potatoes.

Ed said this was pretty good as wiener schnitzel goes. It's your standard kind of breaded thing, dredged first in flour, then in beaten egg and water, then in bread crumbs. The coated cutlets sit in the fridge for 20 minutes, then get fried in lots of lard. Well, not here they didn't, instead it was a goodly bit of grapeseed oil. I considered serving with anchovy butter as suggested, but decided on lemon slices, which is how I've always had it.

The green beans were also a hit. Finely chopped onion is sautéed softly in a bit of butter. When they're very soft, a lot of paprika is stirred in, then a mixture sour cream (I used crème fraîche) and flour is added. After that has simmered for a bit, the green beans (haricots verts here), which have already been cooked, are added and heated through. Very nice. The green beans can be prepared ahead and the sauce prepared without much supervision at the last minute, so it makes a nice company kind of veg.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their August cookbook. And if you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?

Monday, August 15, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Aug-16: Had dinner at our Fête Patronale this evening (invited for 19:30, aperitifs served about 21:30).

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/16-Aug-16: Made Easy Peasy French Bread (web) for breakfast and lunch. Not bad. Think the cooking time is a bit short. I did mine for the full 20 minutes plus a bit and it could have used a bit more. Think my yeast may be giving up. Not unlikely since the jar is getting low and I haven't been making much bread lately.

In the process of bread making, I discovered we have a new mouse, or possibly the Polo mint mouse returned (Ed didn't take her very far away). This one's been into Polos and chocolate bars, and has discovered that nibbling packages can be fruitful—bread flour, whole wheat flour, pasta sacks, and, best of all, the popcorn sack. Wish the cats would get more interested in these visitors.

Finally broke down and ordered the recently top-rated Kenwood mixer from Amazon after the price dropped about €50. Yesterday the price went down another €10, thank you, Brexit. It should be delivered today. It's space is waiting, although Stuff has started to accumulate there, so need to put those things away.

Zucchini season has started. So, dinner was Elsie's Zucchini Pancakes with Sour Cream Sauce (CastIron, p124). The whole recipe is a main for two, but I should make only a half dose of the sauce. Altogether good. We finished off the Chocolate Sorbet for afters.

Wednesday/17-Aug-16: Yesterday's mouse was in the trap this morning; Ed took her farther away.

Shopping today.

My new Kenwood mixer arrived today in a huge box. With an Italian recipe book. Will unpack it on Friday probably.

Patrice and Wim came for dinner. Started with artichoke bottoms topped with green tapenade and goat cheese, then broiled. Our main was Garlic Butter Salmon (web), which used up one of our big zucchinis between the four of us, served with orzo. For dessert some Häagen-Dazs ice cream cups.

Thursday/18-Aug-16: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen. Except that the door to the freezer was slightly ajar all day (and night?) and there was ice running down the drawers so the door couldn't be closed properly. Turned off the fridge to defrost the freezer part and now the alarm is blinking. What a pain.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/19-Aug-16: Off for a haircut today. Longer hair is out. Shorter hair is in.

Dinner was Crème de Courgette Sauce pour Pâtes (web) store-bought spinach&ricotta raviolis. No salad, didn't feel like it. Some Mango-Minr Sherbet for dessert. Good, but the mint is getting a bit strong.

Unpacked the Kenwood mixer. It came with no attachments, but I didn't really expect that. It all seems to assemble easily. The cookbook is Italian, unfortunately, but has some possibly interesting recipes.

Saturday/20-Aug-16: We ate out with Patrice and Wim tonight. Nothing much happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/21-Aug-16: Another mouse, or the same one, has been busy in the kitchen again. Going for the same things, so I think the same little lady has made the trip bad yet again.

For lunch we had apples from one of our trees. Belle de Boskoop they are, and tasty of roses.

Dinner was Wiener Schnitzel with Green Beans Paprika and mashed potatoes.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Aug-16: In the morning, put chicken to marinate, using Basic White Wine Marinade for Chicken and Fish (Twenty, p294). Made Dilled Potato-Cucumber Salad (MC; web). Had planned to grill zucchini slices, but noticed box of shrooms in the fridge, so put Grilled Marinated Mushrooms (web) on to marinate.

Patrice and Wim for dinner. Ed grilled Butterflied Chicken with Lemon-Tarragon Butter Baste (Twenty, p295). And the mushrooms. All was good.

Froze up Chocolate Sorbet (Scoop, p120; C&Z's version here). That was good. So rich, you wouldn't believe it was a sorbet (no milk or cream). Yum.

Tuesday/9-Aug-16: Worked on the menu plan a bit today. Figured out that I can put off shopping till Friday, which is a bit relief since the next days (and weekend) are so busy.

Dinner was two A Two-Egg Masala Omelette (MJ@Home, p75), accompanied by Cucumber Salad, North Indian Salad (MJ@Home, p236), which is similar to the Spicy Cucumber Sticks that I make frequently, but with mint and without cumin. Yes, working on that cucumber backlog. No dessert.

Wednesday/10-Aug-16: Out in the evening, so we had an early meal, the leftover Schinkenfleckern and a salad. That's all folks.

Thursday/11-Aug-16: Both of us off for the doctor's open hours this evening. Pizza afterwards.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/12-Aug-16: Ate out tonight for Wim's birthday. Nothing further in the kitchen.

Saturday/13-Aug-16: Planned to go for a wine tasting today and pick up a wine packet I bought at a charity auction. But no, the car's muffler had come disconnected (broken pipe on the engine side). Ed took it to a local shop and got a patch. Still have to have it fixed.

So, I defrosted some duck breast bits. Cooked those and made Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce (HowTo, p165), which is good and really easy. Served with Dusolier's Roasted Potatoes and a vegetable melange of fava beans from the garden, half a red bell pepper, some haricots verts, and a tomato. All good. Mini magnums after.

Zucchinis from the potager are starting to accumulate. Need to start working on those.

Sunday/14-Aug-16: Late start today. Didn't make any of the markets, but went to a recital given by one of Ed's choirmates.

For munchies before dinner, I tossed the rest of the Lemon and Sour-Cream Dressing with some leftover haricot vert from yesterday. That was good, especially topped with some black pepper.

Dinner was Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken (web; cookbooker). I used leftover chicken from Monday's meal. Mini magnums for dessert, since I forgot to set the Chocolate Sorbet out.

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

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Schinkenfleckerln

More from Time-Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Vienna's Empire. I neglected to add a photo of the books with the my first post, so I'm making up for that here. (For those not familiar with the Time-Life Foods of the World series, each "volume" consists of a hardback book that describes the cuisine of the appointed area plus a spiral-bound recipe book.)

Tonight's dinner was Schinkenfleckerln—Little Ham and Noodle Patches (p54). This is typically served for a light lunch or supper, preceded by soup and accompanied by a salad. We skipped the soup, but had a salad as a go-with.

The recipe says it serves four and we will have four servings from it. The dish is very plain, no spices or fancy fixings, making it real comfort food. Finely chopped onions are sautéed, then broad noodles, already cooked, are sautéed a bit. (A total of 8 tablespoons of butter was asked for this sautéing. I used half that.) The skilletful of pasta and onions is stirred into a mixture of sour cream (crème fraîche) and eggs with some chopped ham and S&P. This is turned into a casserole dish that has been lined with bread crumbs, then baked.

Lacking anything I could call "broad egg noodles" that I could cut into 1" pieces, I boiled some (flat) lasagna noodles and cut them into squarish bits. After rinsing, those dried on towels while I did some other things in the kitchen before getting round to dinner.

We have enough for another meal. Not sure how cold, eggy noodles will do cold, so this will probably get reheated.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their August cookbook. And if you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Melons Stuffed with Cherries and Whipped Cream

More from Time-Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Vienna's Empire. Dessert for tonight's dinner was Melons Stuffed with Cherries and Whipped Cream—Gefülte Melonen (p81). (Stuffed with melon balls, too, but the recipe title doesn't indicate that.

This was a nice, refreshing dessert, but not as elegant in appearance as it should have been. Each person is served a half melon shell filled with melon balls and cherries that has been folded into sweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream.

Once upon a time, I did have a melon baller, but it seems to have disappeared along the way. So I used a small spoon to make "balls."

Cherries are out of season now, so I used frozen ones. The upside of that is that I didn't have to pit the cherries.

Whipping cream, that's another question. Cream with a high-enough fat content to make stiff peaks, simply isn't available here. I still don't understand that. But it's something all the English-speaking cooks I know complain of. The carton I bought even said it was good for chantilly (French whipped cream), but soft peaks is all you're going to get. By the time the fruit is folded in, it's fairly soggy. But it tastes very good.

I used only half the required sugar, and we both thought it was perfect.

This is definitely something that might get made again, but I don't think I'd serve it in melon shell, if since the filling doesn't "stand up" in a way that makes it attractive.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their August cookbook. And if you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?

Cookbook Countdown: Lemon and Sour-Cream Salad Dressing

This month I'm back to my Time-Life Foods of the World project, cooking from Time-Life Foods of the World: Cooking of Vienna's Empire. This wasn't one of my favorite books, reading-wise, and a lot of the appealing recipes are for more wintery weather, which isn't what we're having right now. There are several sauerkraut recipes that look good, but there was no sauerkraut in the shop when I looked last week, so those will have to wait till later in the year.

I started with a really easy recipe. This was Lemon and Sour-Cream Salad Dressing—Saur Rahmsauce für Salat (p67). Stir together sour cream, lemon juice (1/4 of the sour cream), a bit of sugar (I think I skipped this when I got distracted by pets coming in), salt, and freshly ground back pepper. (Of course, I made this with crème fraîche instead of sour cream, but I bet that's what you'd have in Vienna also.) Serve with fresh cucumbers or salad greens, as you see here, topped with croutons.

Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their August cookbook. And if you've got books on your shelf wanting to be used, why don't you choose one and join in?

Monday, August 1, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Aug-16: A bit of a confusing day. I forgot we meant to go to a movie tonight and Ed remembered. At lunch, we went through the yes/no routine and decided to go tomorrow, but I remembered that we were going today. So I got ready at the appropriate time, only to find Ed out mowing. Quick replan for dinner. First choice required lemons. None in house. Next choice was a half recipe of Skillet Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (365Mexican, p104). Pretty good stuff, easy and fast. Served over polenta, followed by a salad. Small ice creams for dessert.

Still haven't decided what to do with Cookbook Countdown. Should do my Time-Life cookbook (Viennese Empire), but I don't think I'll be doing that much from it, especially since sauerkraut isn't in season. Thought too late that I could do this Mexican cookbook, which is a hand-me-down that I've never used, but I didn't get a picture of tonight's dinner. Need to decide before too long.

Tuesday/2-Aug-16: So, this evening we made it to the movie. When we got back, I made sandwiches from the rest of the baba ganoush with cilantro-mint chutney, and a salad with the rest of our head of lettuce. That's all, folks.

I think I've decided to do only the Time-Life book for Cookbook Countdown this month, even though there probably won't be that many recipes. Sensible me.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/3-Aug-16: Shopping today.

We were thinking about going to a marché de producteurs this evening, but decided not to go. Instead we barbecued the aurochs merguez that we bought at the last marché de producteurs we went to. I made a potato salad, loosely following Joy of Cooking, potatoes with a lemon vinaigrette, and all sorts of bits, hard-boiled egg, cornichons, black olives, red onion, capers, cucumber. And some grilled eggplant slices, basted with olive oil and a bit of Moroccan spice mix.

Our cucumber plant in the potager has started producing seriously. Looking for cucumber recipes, as I now have three in-house already.

Thursday/4-Aug-16: Dinner was Salmon with Lime-Hoisin Glaze with Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw (web; cookbooker). Meant to serve with brown rice, but forgot my intention and made basmati rice instead. That's all folks. (I'd been munching all day, naughty me.)

Friday/5-Aug-16: For dinner we had the leftover broccoli-gorgonzola quiche, with a salad topped with Lemon and Sour-Cream Salad Dressing. For dessert, there was Melons Stuffed with Cherries and Whipped Cream.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/6-Aug-16: We had a picnic today before visiting an abbey. Then had an English tea after the visit. We almost didn't feel like dinner, but I made Spicy Garlic Seafood Spaghetti (web). In general this was good. But, spicy? I don't think so, even with the extra red pepper flakes that I added. And two cans of crab seemed a bit too much. We're full.

Sunday/7-Aug-16: I seemed to be in the kitchen all day, but it doesn't feel like I accomplished that much. Made the broth for tomorrow's ice cream. In the morning, I prepped the pasta for our dinner, Schinkenfleckerln. Served this with a salad, again using the Lemon and Sour-Cream Salad Dressing. Ed had an ice cream bar to finish up. I skipped dessert.

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