Monday, May 11, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/11-May-15: The plumber came this morning to fix the water heater, which should solve the leaking/dripping problem and reduce our water usage, which went up in the last year.

Really didn't feel like making what I'd planned for tonight's dinner, or even cooking. So I made Mushroom Risotto from a "mix" that I won recently as part of gourmet basket. (Still have to add broth and stir stir stir, but no chopping.) That and a salad and the rest of the butterscotch pudding.

No ants in the kitchen today. Fingers crossed this plague is over. Instead we have bees getting into the hosue somewhere.

Tuesday/12-May-15: Dinner was Mormon Split-Pea Soup (TLWest, p19), about a 2/3 recipe with all the meatballs because that's all the split peas I had. A pretty good split pea soup. Mini magnums for after.

No ants or bees today.

Wednesday/13-May-15: Shopping today. Can't figure out why we're spending so much on food this year, but we're well on the way to setting a record.

Our main was Pepper-Grilled Swordfish with Preserve Lemon Oil and Wilted Chard (Raising, p43; cookbooker). First time I've used this book and my, my was this good! A sauce of (seeded) tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes, preserved lemon, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Served on a bed of chard, well, there was no chard this week, so I used spinach instead. As go-withs there were oven-fried sweet potatoes and haricots verts. The sweet potatoes were tossed with cornstarch before tossing with olive oil and some of the Moroccan spice mix Jody&Steve brought us. The potatoes were crisp when they first came from the oven, but soggy, as sweet potatoes tend to be, when we sat at table. The fish recipe said not to use the pulp of the preserved lemons, so I chopped that up and tossed with the green beans; that was a really nice touch. Altogether a very good dinner. For after we had some store-bought riz au lait, a new brand for us, very good.

Thursday/14-May-15: Yogurt on overday, with a new starter. Seems to have worked okay.

Wanted an easy dinner tonight, so I defrost what I thought was crayfish in a sauce. No sauce, but looked like they'd been frozen in a block of water. As suggested, I made a sauce of tomatoes (five of them, peeled, seeded, minced) and cream. Added some home-made cajun rub. Needed something. Added some oregano. Needed something. Added some piment d'Esplette. Turned out pretty good. Served the sauce over polenta, then we peeled the crawdads and added them on top. Not bad, if more work than expected. Then a simple salad, feta, watnuts, croutons. Then the last two riz au lait.

Friday/15-May-15: Ants are back, eating on the pears sitting in a basket on the kitchen counter. Sigh.

Finally did something from Japan. Dinner started with Toriwasa—Chicken and Parsley with Horseradish Sauce (TLJapan, p30). Pretty good it was, but lots of improvising required.   I thought I had a little bottle of sake stashed away. It's either very well-stashed or non-existent. After a bit of research, I used dry vermouth instead. Opened my tin of wasabi powder to find it covered in mold. Used some ancient horseradish powder instead. I should horizontally slice chicken breast into paper-thin slices? Uh, no. I did some fairly thin vertical slices, then made shreds, more or less. I wonder what kind of green would be used in Japan instead of flat-leaf parsley? Besides the chicken slicing, all was easy to do and the result pretty tasty. (That's a rice bowl, not a big as it looks.)

Our main was Asian-Style Frittata (MW@Home, p295). A bit of red pepper flakes didn't hurt. Some ice cream and strawberries for dessert.

Saturday/16-May-15: Went off to a fête du pain in the early afternoon, but could find no trace of it. Stopped at Intermarché to buy some bread, and some hanging baskets from the lady across the street.

Ha, went to cook dinner and discovered that the pork chops should have marinated a long while, maybe overnight, and that they would cook an hour. Pork chops? Quick replan brought us Pork Chops with Red Pepper Grits (MC, CL) which is fast and good. Have made it quite a few times now. As a side there was Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148), which I really ought to make more often. It's very easy and tasty and takes minimal attention for the last bit.

Sunday/17-May-15: Yogurt on overday. The new starter seems to have done the trick. Knock wood.

Lunch with friends today. Where I learnt that we're not the only ones having ant problems this year. Nothing further happened in the kitchen today.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #5 PASTA: no; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: yes for March/April; no for May

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