Monday, April 2, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/2-Apr-18: Back from Bach à Pâques today, following an enormous Easter lunch and a concert. No interest in food this evening.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/3-Apr-18: First dish from BirdHand tonight. We had a half-dose of Hot Italian Chicken with Peppers and Chilli (BirdHand, p28), and good it was. The skin was crispy. The technique is similar to one I saw in a Cooks' Illustrated article about ensuring crispy skin. As I remember it involved first browning the chicken, then baking skin-side-up in a shallow dish, which allows moisture to escape. Worked well here. The bell peppers went really well with the red wine vinegar/balsamic vinegar sauce. I made all the sauce because I was afraid too much would evaporate in the oven leaving the pan dry. Probably 3/4-ing it would be okay for a half recipe. (I puzzled why she listed 1 fluid ounce of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, which are the same to my American eyes. Then I realized my book is British, and an imperial fluid ounce is only 1.9 tablespoons. Not that I'm going to worry about a tenth tablespoon in a recipe like like this.

Served with another variation on Nigel Slater's Spiced Roast Potatoes (RealCook, p246). This is a really good technique that makes some nice roast potatoes fairly quickly. Finished off with some of Mom's Cabbage Slaw which followed the chicken surprising well.

Wednesday/4-Apr-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was Salmon Skewers with Tamarind Sauce (web), a recipe I collected ages ago. Good it was. Served with brown rice and the rest of Mom's Cabbage Slaw. Then some St Felicien for afters. Then I had the ears of my easter bunny; Ed had his ears earlier in the day.

Thursday/5-Apr-18: Our meal was a halfish recipe of Asiago Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (web). Parmesan instead of Asiago. Oops, forgot to get spinach; used arugula/roquette instead. Malfada instead of penne. Good. Might be nice to add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes instead of penne. Whole wheat would be nice for the color. Used lots more roquette than required for a half recipe. More again would have been better. Tasty.

Put lamb on to marinate for tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/6-Apr-18: Mmm, wij hebben lekker gegeten vanavond, maar geen photos. Nancy&Neil filled in for our planned guests, who were unable to come. For our apéros we had Spicy Cucumber Wedges—Kheere Ke Tukray (MJ1, p172), which is easy to make and always a nice munchie.

For our starter, there as Asparagus with Ginger (web), which would have been really nice if I'd managed to turn the fire off when it was done. Instead I just put the lid on and forgot to turn it off. The asparagus were overdone when I noticed. Too bad, because they would have been quite good. I toasted some almond slivers for garnish, rather than adding them to the cooking asparagus.

The main was Maharani's Favorite Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder (MadeIndia, p113; cookbooker). Despite some weak instructions, this was extra yummy. Served with Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric, and Lemon (MadeIndia, p191) as suggested, which we've enjoyed before. There was also Simple Buttery Rice with Onion (MJ1, p149) and Cachumber—Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172). I bought some naan to serve, but we didn't really need it.

For dessert, I cheated. I bought some plain rice puddings (no vanilla flavoring), stirred in a bit (~1/16tsp) of ground cardamom into each, then topped with some chopped pistachios. It was good—Lazy Lady's Kheer.

Saturday/7-Apr-18: Dinner at Cath's tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/8-Apr-18: Ralph Gillard come to dinner tonight (Laura is in the UK); Cath came too. No real starter, only olives with prosecco.

For a main there was Ancho- and Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Loin (MC), a really yummy pork dish. There wasn't enough for three (Cath can't eat spicy stuff), so the two of us has some faux filets, marinated for a bit in my usual beef marinade. Then there was mashed sweet potatoes with chipotle and some plain ones for Cath. And some of Nigel Slater's Spiced Roast Potatoes (RealCook, p246); this needs to go in the HandyBook. And some hominy. Followed by a salad. Then Apple Frangipane Tart (MC), topped with crème fraîche. A nice evening.

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

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