Monday (21-Dec-09) the weather warmed up and melted some of the ice on the roads. We took ourselves to Montemboeuf to do a bit of shopping. Spar had boudins blancs on sale, so that turned into dinner, with some roasted potatoes and steamed cabbage. The accompaniments would have gone well with a German sausage like bratwurst, but weren't quite the thing with these. Good, but not quite right. We now know that we both prefer boudins blancs to boudin noirs.
For lunch on Monday, I made a little soup with chicken stock from the freezer, a batch of frozen) spinach gnocchi, and a handful of small farfelle, farfellini, I think they're called, all topped with some grated Parmesan. Wasn't half bad. Next time I might halve the gnocchi while they're cooking.
Tuesday (22-Dec-09) was gray and drippy. I used some defrosted lamb bits to make Lamb Vindaloo (Q&E, p33). Made it nicely hot with 4 tsps cayenne. Really tasty for very little effort.
Wednesdsay (23-Dec-09) was drippy again in the afternoon. We did a monster grocery shopping. For dinner we had some yummy Oven-Baked Catfish (MC) with panga, orzo with parsley and lemon, and steamed broccoli and carrots. Not the best go-togethers, but it was all good. Panga is only €.89 per 100g here; in NL it was about €1.75 as I remember.
Thursday (24-Dec-09) drippy in the afternoon again. Went to the market in the morning. They had better looking dried figs than I got at Ecomarché. :-( For dinner, made Farfelle with Cauliflower and Turkey Sausage (now MC). Served with a big salad. A bit of Chaource after, and a chocolate-bottomed macaroon.
Christmas Day (25-Dec-09) we woke to sunshine after many gray and drippy days. Took a nice walk and made a nice dinner for the two of us while Ed set the table — the first time we've eaten at the dining table since we've moved. (The living/dining room is serving as a construction depot, with boxes and shelving waiting their fates, so it's not really an attractive place to be, but the dining corner is reasonably tidy.) For starters, we had a bit of feuilles de chêne and vinaigrette accompanying a slice of the foie gras wrapped with dried magret and the foie-gras-stuffed figs. Ed finished off the extra salad while I brought the main course to the table. I made Roasted Quail with Port Wine Sauce, a recipe I collected in 2000, using the cailles chaponées we bought at the marche de Noel last Sunday. The recipe called for "partly boned" quail, which I realized after a bit of web-searching, should have the bones out of the chest. I didn't bother to do this and just roasted them a bit longer. They came out fine, and the stuffing and sauce (port and dried figs) were really tasty. These were accompanied by the last of the truffled risotto and some sautéed veg (red onion, carrot, broccoli, and zucchini — clean out the bottom of the fridge stuff). For dessert we had Bill Hatcher's Amaretto Poached Pears (MC) over vanilla ice cream, seriously yummy, although it makes an enormous amount. Lots of dishes to wash, but a nice meal altogether.
In the evening, I started another batch of yogurt in my new yogurt maker, this time using full-fat UHT milk. Also order another set of jars for it.
During the day Saturday (26-Dec-09), I made a batch of apple-plum butter. Also put the chicken for tomorrow's dinner on to marinate. For today, we decided against a big meal, and I made a big salad instead. :-) For afters we watched the first episode of Civilisation while nibbling on a bit of chaource and bread.
The yogurt with UHT milk is fine. Now we can stock up on this to have it ready to make yogurt. I also ordered another set of pots, since it gets fiddly when you're needing to make more and have no spares.
We went to a concert Sunday (27-Dec-09) evening, so we had our main meal in the afternoon. I very loosely followed a recipe clipping from BH&G for Tandoori-Style Chicken. I butterflied the chick and cooked it at a very high temperature, as suggested in Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. The chicken was quite nice, so I'd do this again. Served with Indian Mashed Potatoes (Q&E, p90; MC) and Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic, and Green Chilies (Q&E, p83; MC). Have lots of nice leftovers now to use up.
Made some broth from the quail carcass; might cook up some broccoli stems and make a soup out of this. Also made a batch of herb salt. Didn't have dried celery, so used ground celery seed instead. Should be OK, I guess.
There are lots of leftovers and use-me-ups now, and I really ought to start on the Cooking Italy backlog next week. Need to think about new year's dinners (eve and day) too. Maybe some Cooking Italy things.