Monday, August 29, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Aug-11: Dinner started with a made-up sort of zucchini curry soup. Then some grill-panned pork chops rubbed with Angela's Aromatic Spice Rub from the freezer. Served with grits and some runner beans from Sally. Those really didn't do well; don't know if they were too ripe when they were picked or if I did something wrong. The idea of doing them with shallot-butter was nice, but the beans were pretty inedible.

Earlier in the day I made an apple tart using a Toupargel pâte sablée. Yucky pastry, sorry Toupargel. Spread the bottom with rhubarb jam, then lots of sliced apples (thanks to our new peeler/corer/slicer). Sprinkled the layers with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pretty good except of the icky crust. Also, this is the second thing in a row I've baked that was charred black at the center back. Don't know if I pushed the dishes too far to the back or if something else is wrong with the oven.

Tuesday/30-Aug-11: Dinner was a half-dose of Orecchiette with Pancetta (web, soon to be MC) accompanied by polenta-stuffed tomatoes. The pasta was easy and good (yes, it included zucchini), definitely a do-again. The tomatoes were inspired by a recipe from VPQ, and made a nice side dish. Cook 25-30g of polenta for every 2 people. Cut the top off and empty one tomato per person. While the polenta cooked, I sautéed the last bit of some lardons from the freezer, added a chopped shallot and then a handful of grated zucchini. (You could used any bits of leftovers here.) Stirred that into the cooked polenta and spooned the mush into the tomatoes. Topped with some of the herbed pyramid (goat) cheese, and popped into a 200C/400F oven for 20 minutes to brown. All good, but I'm very full.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/31-Aug-11: Shopping today. In the "bio" section, I found some stuff that purports to be tofu, but it looks weird, is good for ages, and isn't refrigerated. We'll see.

Dinner was Jean B's Shell Pasta and Black Bean Salad (soon to be MC). It's supposed to be better the next day. We won't know, since we ate it all tonight. Followed by last bit of some reblochon and then some cookies.

Thursday/1-Sep-11: Added a chopped chili to Cooking Light's wimpy apricot chutney, then made a starter/munchie with leftover brick surrounding goat cheese and chutney. Pretty tasty, but not sure how you'd serve this to company, since it's pretty messy as finger food goes and doesn't seem right for a plate. Oh well.

Dinner was Old Bay Roasted Fish and Vegetables (SimpSups, p164) with panga. Used Old Bay Blackening seasoning, rather than the regular stuff. A bit salty to my taste, but not to Ed's. Pretty good altogether.

Friday/2-Sep-11: Seeded 4 of our Beefsteak tomatoes today, big ugly things that they are, and made 1 cup of thick (and plain) tomato sauce. Will have to take some pictures of these one of these days.

Dinner was Penne à la Vodka (KnowHow, p245) , a half recipe of the sauce with almost the full amount of pasta. Quite tasty, with seeded plum tomatoes. Then a salad of mâche. Then some crème brulée from the freezer.

Saturday/3-Sep-11: I went with friends for an afternoon's outing to the Emmaüs charity shop in Angoulême. And came home with a set of pottery (15 salad plates, 15 soup plates, two serving bowls, and two platters all for €10) plus some tablecloths, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and an art book (that cost as much as the pottery). Now I need to find some solid blue dinner plates to go with the pottery; then we can ditch our old, very chipped Corning plates.

On the way home we stopped at a boulangerie to get bread. I also picked up two little quiches (one leeks, the other lardons) for a quick dinner since we were supposed to go out for a bat-watching trip this evening. The weather was not promising, so we skipped the bat outing that we'd planned to attend. We had a simple dinner of carrot sticks, some St Maure with the delicious bread I brought home, and some chocolate roses for dessert.

Sunday/4-Sep-11: Pizza tonight. A sauce of roasted red bell peppers from a jar. Grilled eggplant and zucchini. Mozzarella and goat cheese. Basil from the garden. Yum. Ed ate two quarters, leaving the leftovers in an awkward situation.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: yes #3 MIDDAY: no
This month: #4 PASTA: no

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