Monday, January 1, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Thanks so much to Blogger for losing what I had written for Monday and Tuesday. Sigh.

Monday/1-Mon-18: Cath stayed for breakfast (oatmeal/porridge), but went home before the winds got too bad. So we had our meal just for two.

We finished off the polenta crostini with salmon left from last night for our starter.

Our main was Abbacchio alla Cacciatora—Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce (TLItal, p77). The "alla Cacciatora" part really means "hunter-style" and I'm not sure what hunters have to do with anchovies. Anyhow, the minced fishies are added to the sauce at the last minute to deepen the flavor; the smell is gone in the first minutes of cooking and they don't make it fishy tasting. Quite yummy it was. Not sure about the serving 4-6 part though. I let the butcher sell me a boneless roast made from the shoulder. This was a bit lighter than I asked and it involved a lot of waste bits, so I ended up with much less than I intended. Still the two ate it all, and I can't imagine the whole amount serving six. Three, or maybe four skimpy servings would do. It was very good whatever.

Served the stew over the last of the pici (very fat, supposedly hand-rolled, spaghetti-ish stuff) we brought back from Tuscany. On the side there was Broccoli alla Romana—Broccoli Braised with White Wine (TLItal, p35) that I've made several times now.

Served this with a bottle of Chianti from Leclerc's not-so-vast selection of Italian wines, which included two Chiantis and two Lambruscos. We weren't too impressed.

More three kings' cake for dessert. Just enough for breakfast left.

Tuesday/2-Mon-18: Made up some artichoke hearts with green tapenade and goat cheese for a starter. (More we missed on New Year's Eve.)

Our main was a halfish version of Quick "Corned" Beef & Cabbage (web). This was okay, but didn't scratch the corned beef itch. It did, however, use up the huge supply of cabbage we had on hand. My tummy wasn't feeling well so I didn't eat much. We have lots of beef in the fridge for another meal.

Wednesday/3-Mon-18: As I left for French this morning, the car wouldn't start, and when it did, all the warning lights were on, including some I'd never seen before. Didn't even get out of the hameau before coming directly home. Then the washing machine got a call-customer-service error. Not a good start for the day.

Monday I accidentally defrosted a jar of soup when I meant to defrost a jar of stock. Oops. So tonight we had soup for dinner, puréed spinach, zucchini, and broccoli with some noodles added. But first we had the last of the artichoke hearts with green tapenade and goat cheese. Cookies for dessert.

Ed thinks the car problem is a loose, damp battery connection. The car started after the connections were cleaned, dried, and tightened. And the washing machine problem seems to have been a problem of overloading, when Ed decided to add two towels to an already full load.

Made my meal plan and list today. Haven't really made a list of cookbooks for my cookbook bonus goal, so have nothing planned for this week. TLItal isn't unused and neither is ClassPasta coming later in the week. Maybe I can make a quick change, or maybe I just won't count this week. TBD.

Thursday/4-Mon-18: Yes, made a quick change to one of my xmas gifts. Shopping today. Oops, car not fixed. Luckily the carpark at the Leclerc is on a hill, so we pushed the car down the hill to start it. Drove over to Brico Leclerc to buy a car battery. Turns out the current one is over seven years old. About time, you might say.

The fish selection was strangely diminished at the market today. I ended up buying swordfish rather than lieu noir or another white fish. Dinner was a halfish recipe of 20-Minute Fish Curry (MadeIndia, p131) with swordfish. Let me say that it isn't 20 minutes when you have to deseed 7 ounces of cherry tomatoes. It was good though. Had lots of broccoli stems to use up. Found the recipe for Cauliflower Cachumber (MJ@Home p240) and made that with grated broccoli stems. Very yummy although the texture would have been nicer if I'd used the box grater rather than the big microplane. And plain basmati rice. No camera downstairs, so no picture.

Friday/5-Mon-18: Earlyish meal today. There was Sautéed Chicken in Lemon Cream Sauce (MC), with a yummy sauce. I've made the before but didn't note when. Served with smashed potatoes, trying to use up the stash (recipe suggested egg noodles), and steamed snijbonen (runner beans?) in chunks.

Looked for some marrons glacés in the sale of xmas goodies yesterday, but there were none. Instead I got two half-price packets of dark chocolates. We had 3-1/2 each (one layer) from one of the boxes for dessert.

Saturday/6-Mon-18: Our mail meal was a half recipe of Farfalle al Salmone Affumicato (ClassPasta, p121; cookbooker) using the smoked trout option since I had that needing to be used. Used mafalda corta pasta. I liked this, Ed not so much. Served with a big salad. For dessert, we finished another layer of dark chocolates.

Sunday/7-Mon-18: Roasted a chicken today, using the "bricking" technique. The recipe was Za'atar Rubber Butterflied Chicken; the recipe is no longer at the site where I found it and I've not turned up another copy. Oh well. Do like the bricking technique, though. Chickie is spatchcocked, then cooked skin-side down in a oven-proof skillet, weighted with another skillet. I used a cast iron skillet topped by a saucepan full of water. It takes 20-25 minutes for the skin to get nice and brown. Then you turn the chick over and finish cooking without the "brick" in a 450F oven for 10-20 minutes. In tonight's recipe, the za'atar rub was added after turning the chick over, but a tasty rub under the skin would work fine also.

Made some trio rice, then realized I had potatoes to be used up, so made Tunisian Potato Salad with Cumin (MedLight, p117), which Ed liked a lot. Also served with Spicy Carrot Salad (MedLight, p114), an old favorite, although the garlic seemed especially strong tonight. Have put the rice and bit of leftover carrots together for the next days.

Ed bought another galette des rois today—another one with a Harry Potter fêve. We haven't found it yet.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

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