Monday, June 30, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/30-Jun-14: Had an urge for Penne all Arrabbiata, so that's what we had tonight. Made some very vaguely following the recipe in Top100Pasta, p38. My tomato sauce was made with one real tomato, seeded, and 1 cup last year's of tomato purée from the freezer. Good stuff. Then a big salad. Then double chocolate mini magnums. Then a long dog walk.

Tuesday/1-Jul-14: Had an ENT appointment today and did a bit of shopping at a health-food store near the hospital. Impulse-bought a packet of stuff for making pain au levain, a kind of sourdough bread. I thought it was the whole packet for a loaf, but on closer reading you use 25g of the 240g packet for one loaf. They give bread machine instructions too. Then we did our regular shopping.

Discovered that a cow has been in the South Forty and managed to break the top half off of Martha (a sweetgum). it was held together by a small strip of bark, so Ed wrapped it all together and put in a big stake to hold the top up.

It was Time-Life Scandinavian for dinner this evening. For dessert we finished off a box of chocolate roses.

Wednesday/2-Jul-14: Tonight I made a starter for IHCC. The main was (sort of) a half recipe or Orecchioni with Piquant Sauce (PastaCarlu, p28; cookbooker), an easy kind of a pasta sauce. I used pennoni, rather than orecchioni, which I've never seen; the picture in the book looks more like big shells. Then we had a small salad with the rest of the latest lettuce picked from the salad garden.

Martha looking surprisingly good. Some wilted bits, but large parts of the top look okay. This break is really a shame, since she was looking really well this year. Mama (pink dogwood) doesn't look too well at all, for no reason to be seen. Papa (pecan) is recovering well from last year's trauma. We wonder if there was a cow last year that caused that damage, but I think they were already tucked away for the winter.

Before I started dinner I made the shortcake from Berry Banana Shortcake (MC). We had a wedge of this with blueberries from our garden and vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Thursday/3-Jul-14: Yogurt on overday. Made a loaf of the pain au levain in the bread machine. Nice texture and tasty. It will be nice baked regularly, so that it gets a proper crust.

Oops I forgot to note that tonight's planned dinner needed some attention early in the day. Quick replan. Dinner was Tuna and White Bean Salad (MC), a recipe from Cooking Light, muchly redone. Broccoli instead of asparagus. Forgot the tomatoes. More oatmeal shortcake with blueberries and ice cream for after.

Friday/4-Jul-14: I was off all day at a stained glass workshop. Ate out for dinner.

Saturday/5-Jul-14: Made another batch of the pain au levain in the bread machine, this time half whit and half whole wheat. Oh dear, that was more-ish. And unneeded, since Ed brought home a bread yesterday after choir on Thursday and I didn't notice.

Dinner was Nigel Slater's Pepper, Tomato, and Basil Pasta (web). I didn't have the kind of pepper he wanted, so I used two bell peppers instead. It was really good. You roast the veggies, then take them out of the pan and toss the cooked pasta in the roasting pan and tasty oil. Ed is sicky, so didn't eat dinner and didn't tell me till I was almost ready to serve. I put his part in the fridge and we'll see if it doesn't make a good pasta salad sort of thing.

Sunday/6-Jul-14: This morning at breakfast Ed noticed that the concert I thought started at 17.00 (as originally advertised) now starts at 19.00. I'd planned a crockpot meal to be ready and waiting after the concert, but there wasn't enough time for it to cook to eat two hours earlier. Major replan, using the defrosted meat.

Instead, we had Ravi's Kerala-Style 'Bhuna' Lamb, Pork, Beef, or Veal (Kerala ka Bhuna Gosht) (100Curries, p112). Pretty easy to make, but lots of prep work. Once that's done it sits on a low fire for a long time largely unattended, except for an occasional stir. Good stuff. As go-withs there were plain basmati rice and Spiced Green Beans (IndLight, p174), an alternative to my usual Indian green bean side. For afters there was No-Cook Indian Ice Cream (Kulfi) (MC), which is a snap to make and pretty darn tasty.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for June, no for July; #4 FotW: yes for SCA, no for CRE; #5 BREAD: 0 for June, 0 for July

Monday, June 23, 2014

IHCC: Mediterranean Magic!

Ah, a Mediterranean dinner. For a long time, our favorite restaurant in Amsterdam for pre-concert dining was Mediterranean. One day I called to reserve only to find that they'd transformed into a French-ish steak-frites place. Mediterranean was passé, they said. Trendy or passé, foods from this area still provide some of our favorite flavors. And Nigel Slater frequently seems to agree.

Tonight's dinner was was a really simple one and one I'll do again, no doubt, since all the ingredients are usually on-hand from the pantry, the fridge, or the freezer. I made Fusilli with Olives, Anchovies, and Capers from Real Fast Food (p119). The sauce could hardly be easier. You chop up some black olive and anchovy fillets, slice some sun-dried tomatoes (I used oven-dried ones from the freezer), stir in some capers and warm it all in some olive oil. You can get the sauce and a salad ready ready while the pasta water is coming to a boil, then finish off the sauce while it cooks.

There is a small problem (I think) in the recipe as printed. It calls for "1 pound fresh or 4 ounces dried pasta" for two servings. I think most recipes call for four ounces of pasta per person. I usually make six to seven ounces for two. For this sauce, though, I think the full eight ounces for two would have been better. One, there would have been more for each of us (we liked it!) and, two, the sauce has strong flavors, so more pasta would balance it off better.

I used cascareccia instead of fusilli. Slater also suggests penne as an alternative. I'm thinking that some nice homemade fettuccine might work also.

Stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what Mediterranean treats other folks are making this week.

This week in the kitchen

Monday/23-Jun-14: Just looking through PastaCarlu and noticed where he says, "Making your own pasta dough will probably take you about 30 minutes for the actual preparation, but you will get quicker with practice." Well, yes, I have gotten quicker with practice. That means I can get cut pasta made in about an hour, not counting the cleanup. He must be some kind of speed demon. Ah, he's speaking only of making the dough, not the cutting, I see. So 30 minutes is probably more than enough.

A Mediterraneanish meal for IHCC tonight (RealFast, p119; cookbooker). Served the pasta with a big salad. Then we had some ice cream (the last mini magnum for me, the last classic magnum for Ed) as we walked to Barbara's to water plants.

Tuesday/24-Jun-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was remarkably like last Friday's fish dinner. Poor planning on my part. This time Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa Verde (web). The salsa verde was with green tomato (the first tomato in the garden), rather than tomatillo as you might expect. I did the fish like last week too. Cornmeal mixed with Old Bay blackening seasoning this time, and pressed into the fish (eglefin, haddock), which I then sprayed with olive oil before broiling. Works a treat this. Found some whole wheat tortillas to us. Pretty good, especially with a good sprinkle of chipotle faux-tabasco. For dessert, a slice each of tourteau fromager. Bought strawberries to go with the cake, but didn't feel like prepping them. Tomorrow.

Wednesday/25-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

Nothing happened in the kitchen today. We went to the marché des producteurs in La Rochefoucauld this evening, the first of the seasons. Had pigeon brochettes and pigeon sausages. Bought some of the sausages for the freezer.

Thursday/26-Jun-14: A busy afternoon in the kitchen. Poached four kip filets for meals in the near future. Froze up the juice to use as a light stock. Used the strawberries I bought Tuesday to make Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream (Scoop, p90) for the freezer. Made Easy Berry Cobbler (MC, Handybook) with the mixed berries we've been collecting at Barbara's while we water, along with a couple of the smallest strawberries and some frozen blueberries. Went to make dinner and discovered that the eggplants I bought were rotten. Seems to be a too frequent occurrence which I buy bio/organic produce. So instead of eggplant and zucchini, there was only zucchini in Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini Salad Recipe with Feta, Chickpeas, & Mint (web). This was good and easy, nothing fancy. The recipe says it serves six; this must be as a side dish. As a main, it was good for two, splitting one can of chickpeas and some zucchini. For dessert there was the cobbler, warm from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Friday/27-Jun-14: A keeper dinner tonight. I made a halfish recipe of Buckwheat Noodles with Green Beans & Toasted Sesame-Lime Vinaigrette (web) using one of the chicken breasts I poached yesterday. Made the buckwheat noodles from scratch (3/4cup buckwheat flour, 1/4cup tipo 00 flour, 1/4tsp salt, ~3tbl water) since there seem to be no soba-type noodles to be found in the area. The salad and noodles were extra yummy. For dessert we had some of yesterday's cobbler. Yay, we'll get three sittings out of it this time. Sometimes we eat it all in two sittings.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/28-Jun-14: Used one of my poached chicken breasts to make up some Curried Chicken Salad (Rosie, p34; MC) for tomorrow's proposed Open Gardens outing. (The weather's not looking too promising, so we might end up skpping this.) Froze the rest of them.

Dinner at the Fête de la Motte this evening. They had a tent set up to keep people out of the rain, but apparently didn't count heads well so there weren't enough seats. Probably too windy for the bonfire. We left early, not really having a place to park ourselves.

Sunday/29-Jun-14: Sally and I visited four gardens today, while Ed slept in. Both of us had chicken salad for lunch. Good stuff.

For dinner I defrosted some saucisses à l'Indienne and Ed bbq'd them. Pretty tasteless in spite of the curry powder. To be avoided in future. Served with New Potatoes with Cumin (Q&E, p91), followed by the world's simplest salad, lettuce and vinaigrette. For afters, we finished off the berry cobbler.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 FotW: no for June; #5 BREAD: 0

Thursday, June 19, 2014

IHCC: June Potluck!

And now for something completely different. My potluck this month isn't Nigel Slater. And it's not Madhur Jaffrey. Instead it's Mark Bittman, from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, a rather good vegetarian cookbook I don't turn to often enough.

There was broccoli to be used up, so I decided to make some Creamy Cauliflower (or Broccoli) Soup (p130). I've previously made the Indian Cauliflower Soup variation and I thought I'd give the main recipe a try.

First I needed some vegetable stock. I made a double-dose of One-Hour Vegetable Stock (p101) so I'd have extra for the freezer. This is a fairly straightforward stock to make and the result had quite a lot flavor. (Vegetable stocks are frequently pretty blah tasting.) You spend a bit of time chopping carrots, onion, potato, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. These are sautéed until they begin to brown. Then water is added along with some soy sauce, parsley, and freshly ground black pepper. I measured a bit short on the soy sauce (it was the end of the bottle) and added no extra salt. This simmers for 30 minutes or longer, till you're ready to deal with it. I used some for the soup then froze another five cups.

With the stock ready, the soup was then a snap to make. I heated some grapeseed oil (currently my sautéing choice, rather than butter or olive oil), then added a sliced onion, a chopped head of broccoli, and some chopped garlic as they were ready. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. When the onion has softened, stir in a good slog of white wine. (Feels like making a risotto!) Then add the stock and cook until the broccoli is tender. Use an immersion blender to buzz it smooth. Stir in a cup of cream or sour cream (I used crème fraîche) and serve. Not the prettiest soup I've ever made, but tasty nevertheless.

Check out this week's post at I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what potluck dishes other folks are making this week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/16-Jun-14: I planned a crockpot dinner when we thought we'd be out for the day. That didn't happen, but I'd already defrosted the turkey, so this morning I started Slow-Cooker Turkey Stroganoff (web), using two turkey filets rather than bone-in breasts. Turned out the filets I got had been brined or otherwise treated; I just hadn't read the label that closely and there was no clue in the name. Good thing, then, that I added only half the salt to the sauce. I was short on mushrooms (a 500g package was hiding in the fridge), so I served over mushroom pasta. It was pretty good actually, and might be worth making again with some unadulterated meat.

Before dinner I made some banana bread with smashed banana from the freezer using a recipe for Banana Cupcakes (SimpSups, p274). Baked into two smaller loaf pans at the advertised temp, but for at least twice the time. Still a bit damp on the bottom but quite tasty. Didn't frost.

Tuesday/17-Jun-14: Shopping today; nothing special, although they did have chicken livers. Some now in freezer.

Dinner was a half recipe of Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms (web), which simple and pretty tasty. I was worried about having enough thyme, but as soon as the pasta was added to the sauce the thyme smell bloomed. Followed by a big salad.

Wednesday/18-Jun-14: Off to Vallée des Singes for the day. Put Sicilian Lentil, Vegetable, and Pasta Soup (SlowItal, p32) in the crockpot before we left. When we were back six hours later, the lentils were still a bit crunchy. Poured the whole lot into a Dutch oven and simmered a while, then added the dilatini (the first pasta suggestion, which I thought might be too small, but was just right). It made a lot, so I froze the rest.  Some banana cupcake bread for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/19-Jun-14: For this month's potluck at IHCC, I made a some of Mark Bittman's vegetable stock along with some broccoli soup. It was good.

Friday/20-Jun-14: Stopped at the store today to get some fish (since we missed our fresh fish earlier in the week) and also found some pretty good looking corn on the cob. Dinner was a very loose interpretation of Po'Boy Sandwich (SimpSups, p172), served with Mama's Garlic Coleslaw (MC, HandyBook) and corn on the cob. I got blue ling for the fish, fillets which turned out to be quite bony, ugh. I rolled the fish in cornmeal and seafood seasoning, then sprayed with olive oil and broiled rather than frying. They turned out nice and crispy. Should try this technique again. Fish served on ciabattas, topped with coleslaw. The seafood seasoning I used (not Old Bay) was a gift from someone along the way, but was very salty. Decided to toss it. Dessert was two almond triangles from a boulanger, crispy pastry with almond paste filling. All pretty good.

Saturday/21-Jun-14: As a go-with for dinner, I made Cayenne Cornbread (BigGerman, p182) in the bread machine. Except that I forgot to add the yeast, duh. Actually it was better than I'd have expected with no leavening at all. Not going to make a sandwich, but it was good for munching and better crumbled in the soup.

The soup was Chile Bisque (H2CEV, p130), a recipe I spotted while looking at the broccoli soup. Sounded promising, but was almost too bitter to eat. I'll try to salvage the leftovers by adding some beans and corn. We split a classic magnum for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/22-Jun-14: Off to a concert this evening, so we had our main meal in the early afternoon. That was Broiled Lamb Leg Chops on Eggplant Planks with Mint-Yogurt Sauce (Essential, p549). I had only five little chops, so made a halfish recipe. The mint-yogurt sauce was a nice touch, but too sweet even though I cut back the honey. The eggplant slices were oiled, S&Ped, and had minced garlic pressed into the side that was down for the first bit of broiling. They were good. The lamb chops were coated with coriander seeds, black pepper, and salt; instead of crushing and grinding, I whizzed them all in my spice grinder. Broiled, then rested while the eggplant cooked. Served with some orzo. All good. No dessert.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: none

Thursday, June 12, 2014

IHCC: Budget-Friendly Dishes

There wasn't that much time this week to wander around looking for budget-friendly recipes. I did remember, though, that chicken livers were a significantly cheap menu item (about €1 for a tub that's more than enough for two people). I'm not actually a chicken liver fan, but DH loves them and I indulge him periodically.

In The 30-Minute Cook (which is currently my go-to book for those what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-cook-tonight moments), Slater has a section on chicken livers, with several good ideas. The recipe I chose was Chicken Livers with Vinegar and Onions (p201), which is a speeded-up version of a recipe of the same name from Paula Wolfert's The Cooking of Southwest France.

A problem was that I had no chicken livers in the freezer and there were none to be found at our primary grocery this week (both gizzards and hearts, gésiers et coeurs, were there aplenty). Today I asked DH to stop at another grocery following his choir practice to see if they had some livers. But I neglected to specify raw livers. He returned late, bringing a packet of ready-cooked livers in duck fat, making my theoretically cheap dinner somewhat more expensive at €2.50. So some quick changes were needed.

You start by slicing two onions thin, then sautéing them for 15 minutes in butter and olive oil until they're soft. (Since my livers came complete with duck fat, I reduced the butter here as much as I could.) Then add some chopped anchovies and sauté a bit longer. (In my rush, I forgot this step, but think it would make a nice addition. We're neither of us anchovy fans, but melted into a sauce like this they add a nice depth of taste. After the fishy smell has gone out the exhaust fan.)

Meanwhile, toss the livers with flour and sauté them in butter till golden on each side. I skipped this step and just added the livers, remvoing as much fat as possible, to the onions. Red wine vinegar is used to deglaze the chicken-liver-frying pan. After the livers were warm, I pushed them and the onions to one side and deglazed that pan, although there wasn't really much to deglaze. Finish the sauce with a knob of butter (I skipped this) and season with salt and pepper.

Slater suggests topping with a bit of chopped parsley and serving with toasted French bread. I used toasted French ciabattas. Does that count?

If I'd had raw chicken livers, this would have been a significantly cheap and tasty meal. Onions, butter, olive oil, flour, even parsley and anchovies, these are all found in the larder and add relatively little to the cost. Maybe it would have been €2 for the dish, plus another €2 perhaps for the ciabattas. (Yes, they're expensive, but they keep well in the freezer for when we're out of bread.)

I've added Wolfert's recipe to my short list, since I'm curious to see how this should really taste. Wolfert suggests serving this either a main or a starter.

Check this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs post to see how other people are being good to their budget.

Monday, June 9, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/9-Jun-14: For dinner I made a half recipe of Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad (web). Quite a good salad, fast and easy to make, but it only did for dinner because we also had sandwiches using the rest of the potted shrimp on ciabatta. A nice, light dinner altogether, and we each had a double chocolate mini Magnum for after.

Tuesday/10-Jun-14: Shopping today. No cilantro and the cilantro in the fridge was way past its use-by date, meaning a replan required for dinner. Which turned out to be ...

Grilled Fish Steaks (Q&E, p66), with salmon. Accompanied by New Potatoes with Cumin (Q&E, p91) and Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38). All good things that I've made before more than once. Made a pretty plate, but no camera was handy. For dessert with had some vanilla ice cream with raspberries fresh off the cane.

Wednesday/11-Jun-14: Dashing through the TLInd recipe book now. Should be done with India by the end of this week, but I'll have only one dish made. Others will come, I'm sure. These are some of the things that struck me from what I've looked at so far.
  • Like the coconut-opening instructions on p4. 
  • Impressed with the idea of making 1-1/2 cups of garam masala. Who's got a cup of cardamom pods around? Easy enough to cut back the recipe, I suppose. I've made garam masala, but being lazy I usually get a small packet and use that; if I haven't used it up, I replace it in a year. If I'm making something really fancy, then I'll make it up fresh.
  • Making ghee: they don't mention that the browned milk fats that you strain out can be used on your toast in the morning. I made ghee once in a class and am very happy that it's relatively easy to find, cheap, and keeps for ages at room temp. 
  • There are several snacky things I've never heard of ... chiura, bhelpuris. Wish someone would make them for me. 
  • If all goes well this week, I'll try lamb biryani later this week. Had an itch for a biryani, although I would have preferred a shrimp one. Think the spices might be too different for this substitution. Plus I've got just the right about of lamb in the freezer. Next time ... It is funny to me that there are two lamb biryanis (one with ground meat, one with chunked) and no others (that I've found yet). 
  • Sorpotel - Pickled Pork? Never heard of such. And sounds good too. Onto the list.
Dinner was an embroidery on Chile-Garlic Cabbage (web). Think this was meant as a side dish, but I made it as a main with about 6 cups of sliced Chinese cabbage. Added a packet of tofu (6-3/4 oz), cut in chunks and marinated in a sauce derived from Hagler. Stir-fried the chunks a bit, set them to the side, then stir-fried the cabbage. Added in the yummy sauce with the tofu and stir-fried a bit more. Served over wide rice noodles. Added lots more sambal at the table. Pretty good for a easy dinner. For dessert, some ice cream with crème de cacao.

Thursday/12-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

Planned to do a chicken liver thing tonight for a budget dinner for IHCC, but there were none at Leclerc this week; gizzards and hearts aplenty, but no livers. Forgot to replan the meal, so asked Ed to look for chicken livers at Intermarché after choir practice. But I neglected to specify raw ones, so he came back with a packet of cooked chicken livers in duck fat. So I did the best that I could and posted this about it. Served with a bit salad. We were full.

Finished my dash throught the TLInd recipe book today. I'll definitely be adding some more recipes to my short list.
  • I noticed a number of recipes that called for malt vinegar. I don't remember knowing about malt vinegar till I visited the UK and discovered fish-and-chips and malt vinegar flavored potato chips. 
  • There are more recipes for various sorts of raita/rayta than you usually see. I might try some of these since I seem to make the same one all the time. 
  • There are a number of interesting chutney recipes, but no pickle recipes at all. 
  • I wonder how many of the mail-order sources are still in business? I used to shop sometimes at Jamail's and Antone's in Houston, although I don't especially remember anything Indian at Antone's. Jamail's was a high-class grocery and had "everything." Didn't know either did mail-order, but why not? By the end of the 70s when I got interested in cooking Indian, there were proper Indian shops. I loved to go in these just for the smells.
Friday/13-Jun-14: Ate lunch at a restaurant following ophthamalogist visits. For dinner we had our usually lunchtime sandwiches and fruit. In the evening we went to a concert.

Saturday/14-Jun-14: This is (supposedly) the last day for the Indian Time-Life book. Just under the wire there was Shahjahani Biryani, Spiced Saffron Rice with Lamb (TLInd, p40). I made a half recipe with all the spices. The meat was good, but the rice was rather blah tasted too much (to me) of the cream and yogurt in the sauce. (The amount of water for cooking the rice was  not enough, but it was easy to add a slog more.) As go-withs there were  Gujerati Carrot Salad (MJ1, p170) and Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172), both old favorites. No time for an Indian dessert, so we split a Magnum classic.

Sunday/15-Jun-14: Ed was away most of the day for a choir concert. I planned a warm-weather salad, easy to have ready for his return. Too bad the weather didn't stay hot. We had a nice salad anyhow, a halfish recipe of Smoked Trout, Potato, and Arugula Salad (web). Used some of our home-grown lettuce for the salad, along with arugula. For dessert, we broke into our third chocolate bunny. Ed ate all of his half, with ice cream. I ate most of my half and am regretting it.

Yogurt on overnight.

I'm a little bit puzzled about how I'm complete my progress on goals. "Cookbooks" is easy. If I've cooked from and old cookbook or from Nigel Slater, I've done that one. But Foods of the World is hard, since the books run in month and a half overlapping periods. This week, I (finally) cooked from the India book, which was just finishing. Haven't yet cooked from Scandinavia. What do I put below? Maybe I should be showing both "current" books. Hmm...

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: 0

Thursday, June 5, 2014

IHCC: Let's do Brunch!

Thumbing through my Nigel Slater books and wondering what I could find that would be considered a dish for brunch, I came upon the June 15th entry in The Kitchen Diaries (p195) titled "A shrimp omelette." The whole entry for the date reads:
You can make a very nice little omelette by folding in a carton of potted shrimps, minus the butter topping, as it cooks. It is surprisingly filling and somehow, with a glass of white wine, rather decadent.
Ah-ha, I thought, an omelet sounds brunchlike and I need a light and quick dinner one evening. Potted shrimp, however, are not something I can get at my local grocery. A little searching around turned up a recipe at the River Cottage site, also from their Edible Seashore handbook (which I don't have). Potted shrimp are tiny shrimp that have been cooked in lots of clarified butter (I used ghee) and some herbs (mace, cayenne, and bay leaf), then plopped in a jar or carton and topped with a layer of plain, clarified butter. I couldn't find the teeninsy brown shrimp asked, but got some teeny regular shrimp that had been cooked and frozen. Once you've got the potted shrimp on hand, it's just a matter of making and omelet and filling it with the shrimp. Served with a salad, this was a fine, light meal, well-suited to brunch-time eating.

Check this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs post to see what other folks have found to eat for brunch.

Monday, June 2, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/2-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was a half dose of Zucchini, Caper, and Herb Linguine (web). Pretty good stuff. Then a small salad. For afters, there was some banana bread that I put in the oven before I started dinner. It was Banana Tea Bread (Essential, p655). The recipe from 1947 made a really nice banana bread. I used my cuisinart for all mixing. Used butter instead of shortening. Used slightly more than 1/2cup sucre de canne. More-ish.

Tuesday/3-Jun-14: Shopping today. Back on schedule for a while.

Dinner was Mirin-Glazed Salmon (web), except that it turned out I'm out of mirin. Somehow forgot to add it to  my Dutch shopping list. Substituted sherry. Was pretty good, might be worth doing again when mirin reappears on the shelf. Served with Broccoli in a Fragrant Wine Sauce (HotWok, p156), a favorite not made in a while, and some rice.

Wednesday/4-Jun-14: Lunch at a friend's going to a patchwork exhibition. Only sandwiches and fruit at dinnertime.

Thursday/5-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

A Nigel Slater brunch dish for dinner tonight, followed by a nice salad. That was all.

Friday/6-Jun-14: Grilled Chicken with Garlic and Lemon Butter (Diaries, p262), a recipe calling for "chubby poussin". Love reading Slater's recipes. I didn't make the butter bit, just marinated and grilled the birdies. They were good cooked under the broiler at a low temp, with the rack set on the bottom, but the marinade wasn't especially thrilling. Served with Clothilde Dusolier's Perfect Roast Potatoes (MC, HandyBook) and A Radish, Mint, and Feta Salad (Diaries, p195). For dessert I made up another half dose of the shortcakes for Strawberry Shortcakes (TLAmer, p90). Cut the baking powder back to 1-1/4tsp as suggested by Barbara. Much better, i.e., quite good. I made six shortcakes, we both thought that one each was too much; better would be to split one for two desserts. Poured marscapone cream over the berries.

Saturday/7-Jun-14: Dinner was a half dose of Alfredo Pasta with Cajun Spiced Chicken (web). Good stuff, and easy. Used a packet of aiguillettes de poulet (~225g) and some Cajun run I made up for something or other. Used about 1 teaspoon of this for my half recipe, which is about four times more than asked. Also spray the chickie bits with a bit of olive oil spray. Then cooked on the grill pan. Cut them in half to toss with the pasta and sauce. Followed by a big salad. That was all.

Sunday/8-Jun-14: Yogurt on overday.

Lunch with friends today. For dinner, we shared a plate of fruit plus some strawberries over the last shortcake.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: 0