Monday, December 6, 2010

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Dec-10: In the morning, I steamed some thick slices of carrot and added them to the brine in a jar emptied of cornichons; we'll have some pickled carrots to munch on in the next days.

I ended up stuffing the lamb into the fridge last night, since temperatures continued to rise after nightfall. (All the snow was gone this morning.) Turned the leg into a super Indian meal, I must say. Not really elaborate, but very tasty. The menu:
  • Whole leg of lamb in a spicy yoghurt sauce—Raan masaledar (MJ1, p57). This is be a good company dinner, since most of the work was done the day before. The lamb had to marinate for a day before cooking. Cooking it just involves popping it in the oven and basting at bit at the end. Oops, discovered I left off the fried spices that I should have poured over the lamb before popping it in the oven. Now I see why I didn't have much oil to spoon off the sauce!
  • Gujerati-style green beans—Gujerati sem (MJ1, p102). This is an old favorite. It can be largely prepped ahead and finished off in the last 10-15 minutes.
  • Sweet yellow rice—Meetha pullao (MJ1, p157). This was a first, and an unusual rice-cooking method. The spices are warmed in ghee, the soaked rice added and cooked for a bit, then water is added and the rice is cooked until the water has been absorbed. Then sugar, almonds, and raisins are added, and the covered pot is stashed in a slow oven to finish the cooking. The rice grains were all very separate and had a nice texture. The sweet rice was different (I cut the sugar in half), but went well with the meat.



  • Onion relish—Pyaz ka laccha (MJ1, p174). This is another old favorite. I love how the lemon juice softens the texture and flavor of the onions.
  • Dessert was some (frozen and thawed) mixed berries with a bit of waffle and some cream. Not very Indian, but good.
Tuesday/7-Dec-10: Leftover potato-shroom casserole tonight, with a big salad of mâche and beets, followed by some Camembert.

Wednesday/8-Dec-10: Our lunch/dinner was an Omelette Sambal, a Malaysain recipe from a cookbook I don't have (Charmaine Solomon's The Curry Cookbook). I suppose I collected this from EAT-L. It's advertised as serving 4, but with 4 eggs, I thought 2 servings would do just fine. And it did. Served it with rice as suggested. Then we had some chocolate desserts from the freezer, cooked in the toaster oven.

Thursday/9-Dec: Made some lamb stock with the leftover leg of lamb bone. Wonder what I can make with that? Made some Gingerbread Scones (soon to be MC) in the afternoon. Definitely more-ish.

Dinner was some spinach and ricotta ravoli (from the freezer) a la panna. Served with a salad of mâche. We had our scone dessert before we ate dinner.

Putting some kip filets in the crockpot overnight to make the meat for some tomatillo enchilads in a couple of days. Yogurt in overnight too.

Friday/10-Dec: Shredded the crockpotted chicken; had just enough for the enchiladas. Froze the extra "juice" to use in chili or beans or some such. Froze the lamb stock, since I'm not sure I'll get that used in the next days. Shopped in the afternoon.

Dinner was salmon with a crust of sesame, mustard, and poppy seeds and topped frizzled leeks, a recipe from Vie Pratique Gourmand, a French cooking magazine (soon to be MC). This was quite good, although the disparity in size between the poppy seeds and the sesame and mustard seeds meant that the poppy seeds sifted to the bottom of the dish, so the first coatings missed them while the later ones had lots. The recipe called for two leeks to make the frizzle for four people. Since I was serving only two, I used a single leek, but this was easily enough for four and dominated the plate instead of just topping it. We both thought the frizzled leeks were a good snack on their own. Served the frizzled fish with some trio rice and some haricots verts topped with a bit vinaigrette (the last of the batch made in the empty mustard jar) to which I added a finally chopped shallot and some grated Parmesan. This was quite good although I didn't quite get the beans cooked well enough for Ed. Since I always en up buying too many green beans, I cut the leftovers into smaller pieces and added them to the carrots marinating in the cornichon juice. Some good munchies in the coming days.

Saturday/11-Dec: For a late lunch, I made Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas (MC 2BTried), a recipe I collected from EAT-L a while ago. I made the tomatillo sauce up in September, using a can of tomatillos that contained just the right amount, and froze it. Thursday night I dug out the crockpot and made up some taco chicken meat; I'd forgotten how good and easy that is. (Note to self: Do it again soon for some proper enchiladas.) For a Monkey Jack replacement I found some export-quality "Edam jeune," the kind with the red wax coating. I fear the Dutch only export cheeses they wouldn't eat themselves. Mixed this with a ball of mozzarella for a bit of the stringy texture. Acceptable, but I much prefer the Dutch hard goat cheese for this kind of thing. There's lots of goat cheese around here, but the hard kind is rarely seen. Meanwhile, both ovens refused to go; they've been kind of iffy of late and today they simply wouldn't fire up at all. (Called the shop to report the problem.) So I had to make the dozen enchiladas up in two small dishes that fit in the toaster over, once as enchiladas (today's meal), the other as layers (coming soon). For the first time in ages, I made Spanish rice with ... yes, tomato sauce. I'm not sure I don't prefer it without now, but Ed really liked today's version. I didn't salt it enough, though, since the way I've made it before had added salt from beef bouillon. Beforehand, I made up a big batch of guacamole, which we ate with corn chips while waiting for everything to finish cooking. Result: We were already pretty full when we started the meal proper. The tomatillo sauce was not very good. Unfortunately, tomatillos from a can taste like ... tomatillos from a can. Too bad. The rice was good though.

Sunday/12-Dec: Leftovers for dinner, lamb, rice, and green beans. I made a bit of raita (MJ1, p162) using one pot of yogurt, which was actually a good amount for two.

Yogurt on overnight. Lemon Ginger Bread (BigGerman, p169) on overnight, since all the boulangers we visited today were closed for some reason.

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