Monday, May 24, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-May-10: For our midday meal I did up the rest of Cooking Italy's Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi this time with Sage-Butter Sauce (ClassicItal, p192), followed by a big salad.

Tuesday/25-May-10: We did a big shopping today with lots of off-piste purchases, including things like asparagus and souris d'agneau (an unknown cut of lamb, maybe the end of the leg, looking very meaty and at a very good price).

Dinner started off with Balsamic Strawberries with Arugula and Goat Cheese (H2CEV, p42, soon to be MC) for the CookbooksEtc ingredient contest. The same strawberries (with balsamic and black pepper, but no arugula or cheese) are offered as a dessert in SWFrance, but I opted to do this one for a starter. Unusual and surprisingly good. This would make a very easy and pretty company starter. We'll probably have it again before long.

The main course was Farfalle al Salmone e Zucchini (Lorenza, p123). It was tagliatelli instead of farfelle, but at least it was the black (squid ink) kind, unlike the last time I made this. I used smoked salmon; my notes don't really say I did this last time, and the ingredient list says only fresh salmon, so this may be wrong, but it was good anyhow. Ed raved about both parts of the meal.

For afters there was a bit of St. Nectaire, and quite good it was.

Wednesday/26-May-10: Made two lots of pâte brisée this morning, one for tonight's dinner and one for the freezer. Dinner was a tart with asparagus (first green ones of the season), goat cheese and tarragon, loosely based on a web find. I made it in my biggest round tart dish, 30cm, so it was quite thin. This meant that it cooked rather quickly, though. It was quite delicious. Followed by a big salad and a barely passable store-bought flan (good idea, didn't work, don't buy those again).

Thursday/27-May-10: Jamaican dinner at Chez Cisseen tonight.

Friday/28-May-10: For our midday meal, there was Shrimp-Stuffed Eggplant (MC), along with some polenta and a bit of rocket salad. Finished off the St. Nectaire for afters.

Saturday/29-May-10: Today we had an (unfinished) lunch in Villebois-Lavalette with Sally on our way to the orchid trip. Extremely slow service so that we had to leave before we were through, and the meal was not satisfying, the veal being very blah.

Sunday/30-May-10: For lunch with finished off the asparagus tart with our fruit. At dinnertime, both of us were still feeling unsettled in the stomach after yesterday's unpleasant lunch meal, so neither of us felt much like much like eating what I'd planned. In the end I quickly defrosted a pair of duck scallops, cooked those, and made a pan sauce of chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. For the veg there were steam/sautéed carrot strips and zucchini rounds with a dash of herbs de Provence. And, some orzo, which we always seem to have with duck for some reason.

CookbooksEtc Ingredient Contest 2010
  1. 23-May/28-May: strawberries — Balsamic Strawberries with Arugula and Goat Cheese
  2. 29-May/4-Jun: cheese
  3. 5-Jun/11-Jun: whole wheat flour

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