Monday, March 28, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/28-Mar-16: Home from Bach this afternoon. Dinner was pork paprikash from the freezer, served over Spaëtzle (MW@Home, p203). Then a big salad. No dessert since we're both still working on our small chocolate bunnies that travelled with us.

Put chicken onto marinate for tomorrow night. Made a whole dose of the marinade and froze the extra for another time.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/29-Mar-16: I forgot to mention last week, that the kitchen tiling is progressing very well. All surfaces have been done and the bits and pieces are going back in place. All that really remains is refinishing the untiled part of the window surround. And then Ed opened the window over the sink and the trim tile on one side fell off. Oops. He's got in back in place today, to be regrouted before long.

Dinner was Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken (web), which is a winner of a recipe. I made the whole recipe of marinade and froze half. It would be good with pork chops also, we both thought. I broiled rather than barbecued, but that's what the recipe suggested. Serve with brown rice that had been mixed with a bit of rice vinegar (as directed) and asparagus with light topping of lemon-butter-shallots. A mini magnum for after.

A half-cup measure has disappeared, a mystery. Makes the set, one I've had a long time, incomplete. Sigh.

Wednesday/30-Mar-16: Shopping today. Before that, we took Pogo's baby sitters to lunch today, so nothing much happened in the kitchen, except some popcorn and fruit for dinner. 

Grouting has been finished again. Kitchen looking very nice. The salt, pepper, and timer shelves are back in place. With the cabinet raised to a decent level, there's no longer room for the tall, green S&P set, so they have to sit to the side, by the stove. This will work, I think. (I've had these forever. Bought them in Foley's bargain basement for 50¢, or maybe less. Don't use the salt shaker that much, but the pepper grinder is actually a really good one. Both very ugly.)

The window tiling is finished, again, and we hope the trim stays in place this time. The rest of the window surround still has to be finished. The coffee and tea shelves are back in place beyond the dish drainer. We plan on having only plants on the window ledge now, herbs and whatnot, plus a ceramic jar with vegetable peelers. We both were tired of walking over to the Ivar pantry for these, so have put them in a handier place at the left of this shelf.

And, yay, at the end of the peninsula, the switch for the lights and the electric outlets are back in place, tucked up under the cabinet. Behind these is the transformer than runs our American appliances, blender, food processor, etc.

The window surround still has to be finished and lights put under the cabinets left and right of the sink.

Thursday/31-Mar-16: Yay, found the missing half-cup measure in a flour bin.

Made two doses of Tart Dough (Tenth, p256), one for tonight, one for the freezer. Did a minor defrost on the kitchen freezer, whose door was ajar for a bit and was mightily frosted up.

Dinner was Beefsteak Pie (TLNewEng, p52). Good it was. I think the size of casserole dish asked is too big; I used one step smaller and it was fine. We will indeed get 6 servings from the recipe. The pie takes some time to assemble, but is fairly easy to make, and a lot of the time is unattended. I found this recipe a bit unusual because the onions are piled on top of the beef stew part under the pastry. Next time, I would cut them thinner (than the 1/4" asked), and maybe halve them. And maybe just stir them in right into the stew bit at the end.

Adding more veggies wouldn't hurt, but I just plopped some steamed haricots verts on the side.

Friday/1-Apr-16: Dinner was a half dose of Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli (web), which served two as a main course (instead of four). Easy and not bad at all. The sausage I used wasn't really Italian; instead it was an herbed country sausage. I added some red pepper flakes just to zing it up. It was good. Then a salad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/2-Apr-16: Ed went to a movie this evening, so we had our main meal at lunch, leftover beefsteak pie, along with some broccoli stem salad and a regular big salad.

Neither of us are feeling very good. Colds coming? They're certainly going around. Hope I have the energy for tomorrow's planned meal.

Sunday/3-Apr-16: Yup, didn't feel like making the dinner planned, so we had Pasta with Zucchini, Smoked Salmon and Cream (web), which was good. Then a big salad. Then some ice cream and fresh strawberries.

We were puzzled why the fridge freezer continues to frost up even after I did a bit of defrosting. Ed finally noticed that the door was catching on the cabinet next to it. Seems like when he put it back into place after finishing the tiling, he got it too close to the cabinet. Oops. Might have to repeat my defrosting next week.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no for March; no for April; #4 BREAD: no for March; no for April; #5 FotW: yes for Feb/Mar; no for Apr/May

Monday, March 21, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/21-Mar-16: Jiggled the plan. Dinner turned out to be Cornmeal and Spice-Crusted Scallops (CLmag; MC) which I seem to have last made in 2009. Substituted cumin for the coriander. Served with garlic mashed potatoes made with a bit of soft goat cheese instead of butter, and some steamed broccoli. Made a yummy sauce of crème fraîche with a chipotle in adobo, garlic clove, lime juice, and salt, which went well over everything.

Tuesday/22-Mar-16: Dinner was Slow Roasted Rosemary Leg of Goat (web) with a 1.4kg leg. The rub was yummy. The advice to put in potatoes for the last hour didn't work at all; potatoes take longer than an hour at such a low temperature. In fact, even the carrots weren't done-done after about four hours. (In the next days, I'll boil up and purée the sauce, carrots, and potatoes that we didn't eat, along with the remains of a jar of beef stock. All making a sort of potage like they serve here frequently as a first course. Into the freezer with it all.) The two of us ate all the meat, and we're quite full of that. Tasty though. Goat is a a nice meat.

Wednesday/23-Mar-16: Shopping today.

Dinner was, more or less, Restigouche Salmon (TLNewEng, p35). I didn't use salmon steaks, but one dos de saumon for the two of us. Didn't use the extra butter at the end for basting. The fish already seemed fat enough from the vegetable oil (grapeseed) in the marinade. And the cooking times were way off. I broiled 3-ish minutes on the first side and 2-ish on the second side, about half of what was asked. Served with steam-sautéed potatoes. Then a salad. Then some little puddings from the store.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/24-Mar-16: Working on Ed's hemoglobin again, we had Boudin Noir and Sautéed Apples (web). This was thick slices of a large diameter boudin, cut at the shop. It seems not as strong tasting as others maybe (or maybe we're getting used to the taste) and maybe had a bit of spiciness, since we both felt a tingle and I didn't even pepper this. Quite good. Served with trio rice and broccoli with onions and oven-dried tomatoes. Ed thought the boudin tower needed a photo. (Yes, same plates as last night.)

Friday/25-Mar-16: Replan for tonight's dinner since I didn't have the time or oomph to do what I'd planned. Defrosted some duck scallops, floured and seasoned, then sautéed. Made some Port Wine Pan Sauce with Dried Cranberries (HowTo, p161) as a topper. Didn't have any seedless raspberry jam or red currant jelly to make this, so used a bit of confit de airelles, a kind of cranberry jam sort of thing. This turned out good. Served with trio rice and asparagus.

Saturday/26-Mar-16-Sunday/27-Mar-16: We were off at the Bach à Paques festival in St Maixent l'Ecole. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no; #5 FotW: yes for February/March

Monday, March 14, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-Mar-16: Dinner was an easy one, Shrimp in Green Sauce (Essential, p430; cookbooker). Only about a third of the parsley was the flat kind, since I bought curly parsley last week. And shallots instead of scallions. Still good. Served with polenta. And mini mags for after.

Tuesday/15-Mar-16: We had a Groupon lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen this evening. Except for yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/16-Mar-16: Shopping today.

Had wanted to make something from this month's Time-Life book tonight, but there was not swordfish on offer. Instead we had Thon à l'Ail Arrantzaleak, Sauce Pipérade (BistoWells, p142). Pretty good this was. The tuna was broiled then served with a garlic sauce (lots of garlic, sautéed, then with red wine vinegar added) which was surprisingly good with the fish. And a Basque pipérade, which was good, but not the best I've had. Then a salad.

Thursday/17-Mar-16: Dinner was Spaghetti with Anchovies, Garlic, and Red Pepper with Lemon-Caper Broccoli (web). This is a magazine clipping, "Cook Once, Eat 3x"—I didn't keep the other bits. The lemon-caper broccoli is a nice side, could be used any only time: a bit of oil, a bit of lemon juice, cooked broccoli, chopped shallots, chopped capers, S&P. Voila! The pasta was simple and yummy. Then a salad. Then some gariguettes (yes, this week again) with vanilla ice cream.

Friday/18-Mar-16: Dinner out tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/19-Mar-16: Dinner was Chicken Supreme Dijon (MC), one I haven't made in a long while. Good stuff. All the sauce with just two kip filets. Some brown rice and steamed broccoli on the side. Mini magnums for after.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/20-Mar-16: Trying to get back into the business of cleaning kitchen shelves . Did the left Ivar section today. Discovered that a mouse has been busy with the food umbrellas we have. The last one with daisies has been deflowered. The other one umbrella-style one has been chewed. (Have one more of those still in its plastic wrapper.) What on earth can be interesting about these? Think this is fairly new work, so need to keep an eye out there.

Half recipes of all. Dinner was Steak au Poivre (Essential, p573; cookbooker) using rumsteaks that were pretty thin, so they didn't spend any time in the oven. Used black peppercorns, long pepper, and red peppercorns for the coating. As suggested, served with Mashed Potatoes Anna (Essential, p294; cookbooker) and Haricots Verts with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Essential, p231; cookbooker). All good.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no; #5 FotW: no for Feb/Mar

Monday, March 7, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Mar-16: Dinner was Beef Baked with Yoghurt and Black Pepper (MJ1, p50). This was really tasty, but some of the beef wasn't as tender as it should have been. Would probably be a good one to put into a slow cooker for the long slow cook. Served with the suggested Mushroom Pullao (MJ1, p152), which is a good rice pullao. And then there was Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148), which really ought to go into the Handy Book as often as I make it. Mini-magnums for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/8-Mar-16: Dinner with friends tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/9-Mar-16: Shopping today. Dinner was Broiled Salmon with Creamy Lemon-Dill Sauce (CL; web). I had half the fish, but made all the sauce to top some asparagus, first French ones of the season, I think. Served with trio rice. Then a salad. Then some ice cream with strawberries, the first gariguettes of the season. Yum.

Thursday/10-Mar-16: Working on Ed's hemoglobin again tonight, there was Foie de Veau Poêlé (SaveurFR, p218), liver with a sauce of shallots, cognac, and chives. Well, it wasn't repulsive as liver can sometimes be, but still not a favorite. We both think we like boudin noir better than liver, but I'll try again. Served with Straw Potato Cake—Pommes Paillason (BEFCC, p52), good, but a bit too greasy. Other recipes have you seriously dry the grated potatoes; this one has you mix them with melted butter. Good, but ... Then a salad. Then some ice cream and the rest of the strawberries.

Friday/11-Mar-16: Dinner was shakshuka, a smerge of several recipes, mostly Ottolenghi's. Pretty good stuff. Used some tomato purée from the freezer, augmented by a real tomato, chopped. For dessert we split an espresso magnum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/12-Mar-16: We had our main meal early today, since we'll go to an earlyish movie late. Working on Ed's hemoglobin again, we had Easy Thai "Weeping Tiger" Beef (web). Not really tiger's cries, but still pretty good and definitely easy. Had two nice little rumsteacks; 3min each side under the broiler gave medium, so slightly less time might be better next time. The amount of marinade was good. The amount of sauce was about double what it should have been. I put the rest in the freezer, although I'm not sure how well it will keep. Ran out of fish sauce (new bottle, but small), so the sauce was a bit lemony. It went really well over Stir-Fried Celery Cabbage (Kuo, p389), which is a tried-n-true recipe. (Makes me want to plan a proper Chinese meal from this book, which has always led to yummy meals.) I had a mini mag for dessert.

Sunday/13-Mar-16: A bit of a cleaning-out-the-pantry dinner tonight.  I made the stuffing for Uszka (TLQuint, p18), tortellini sort of things that should have been in in the Christmas Eve Beet Soup xmas before last, using the mushrooms that I got ready, then ended up freezing. (Yes they've been in the freezer a while.) Used the stuffing to fill some empanada like things made with squares of pâte feuillittée. These were ok, much better with the bit of broccoli stem salad that I made. There was also some steamed asparagus with the rest of the creamy dill sauce, and some of Pomiane's beet salad, made from memory. An odd lot, but pretty good altogether.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no; #5 FotW: no for Feb/Mar