Monday, July 30, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/30-Jul-18: Dinner was a half recipe of Creamy Prawn Curry (200Budget, p188). This was good, easy, and fast. Might have had too much shrimp, though. A half recipe calls for 300g cooked shrimp. I usually use half of this for the two of us, so we had a lot of shrimp. I made, more or less, the Spiced Coconut Rice that was a suggested accompaniment. I didn't have chopped creamed coconut; I just used the rest of the pack of coconut milk that I used for the curry, topped up with water. Then I made (sort of) Southeast Asia Broccoli from FoodNetwork. They won't show recipes from the .com site in Europe now, so I had to look at a cached version. This was good, but a bit salty from the fish sauce. It was good mixed with the curry and rice. For dessert, we finished the tapioca pudding.

Tuesday/31-Jul-18: I had the idea to sneak in some home-made pasta today. Cleaned off the counter and got out the recipe I intended to use, only to discover that I'd forgotten that it wanted a serious amount of parlsey and I didn't buy any last week. Easily discouraged, I used frozen tagliatelle to make a half recipe of Tagliatelle con Salsa di Noci—Tagliatelle with Walnuts and Marscapone (Top100Pasta, p12). Having no mascarpone in the fridge or freezer, I used cream cheese, which was the suggested alternative. This was quite good although it would have liked a little bit of the pasta water to loosen the sauce up a bit. Before the main, we each had an artichoke bottom with green tapenade and half a crottin de Chavignol, with the cheese melted under the grill. Following the pasta, there was a big salad of roquette/arugula. Then we each had a Rustic Cherry Tart (web), more or less. I had frozen cherries that needed to be used, as well as some squares of pâte feuilletée, which I used instead of making pastry myself. Pretty good this was. Ed has his with cream.

I didn't get the list made today, so it looks like we'll shop on Thursday instead of tomorrow. Start of new month means new cookbook-of-the-month, which takes some research that I hadn't done in preparation. Oh well.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/1-Aug-18: Finished the list today, whew.

Oops, didn't remember that the lentils for tonight's dinner needed to be soaked for 3-4 hours. So I precooked those a bit to make a quarter recipe of Palestinian Rice with Lentils and Browned Onions (WorldVeg, p404). Served with a half recipe of Pumpkin or Hubbard Squash Cooked with Bengali Seasonings (WorldVeg, p289). Used a good chunk of our first winter squash from the potager. (These were supposed to be acorn squash but clearly aren't. Picked two more this evening. Tomorrow we'll pick the first of the other sort of winter squash we have. Both these are burying the zucchini.) Unfortunately my mustard oil was a bit rancid so the dish had an unpleasant taste. Served with Sliced Tomatoes in a Tomato Sauce (WorldVeg, p303). This was good, but I overlooked the instruction about cutting the tomatoes into only three slices. It would have been better that way I expect. Little ice creams for dessert.

Thursday/2-Aug-18: Shopping today.

Our meal was Seared Salmon with Pesto Fettuccine for Two (web). This was possible because I found some refrigerated pesto, which turned out to be pretty good, at Grand Frais on my last visit. I'll freeze the rest of this up in small portions tomorrow. Couldn't find whole wheat fettuccine, so I used whole wheat spaghetti already in house. Ed barbecued the salmon, along with slices from the rest of yesterday's squash. This was pretty bland really, but worked ok. He thought thicker slices worked better than thin. For starters we had artichoke bottom with green tapenade and goat cheese, grilled. For dessert there was store-bought riz au lait with red currants.

Friday/3-Aug-18: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Le Filet de Poulet à la Crème Fraîche Chavroux. (This is from a new Chavroux product; I've not found an online source for the recipe.) First oddness, the recipe calls for filets de poulets, which are generally kip filets or skinless, boneless chicken breast halfs; but the photo shows what looks like a skin-on kip filet, with a bit of wing bone sticking out. Never seen a chicken breast like that for sale. I used kip filets. They are cooked in a 180C oven 10min on one side, 2min on the second; this worked fine, to my surprise. The sauce wanted 1.5 soupspoonsful of the crème fraîche. That wasn't nearly enough to deal with 150g of sliced mushrooms (mine were shiitakes). I topped it up as needed. Made some sautéed potatoes with the rest of the potatoes on hand. Reheated the peas and corn. Mini ice cream bars for dessert. We're full.

An interesting thing about the chicken dish is that the kip filets were cooked in the oven, 375F, 10min on the first side, 2min on the second. The kip filets were fairly flat, and fit into the largest dish that will fit in my little, old toaster oven. Interesting, rather low-fat, way to cook them.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/4-Aug-18: Using up one zucchini and a roasted beet, our starter was (more or less), Zucchini Beet Salad (web). I made a halfish recipe, one beet and one zuke (cut on mandolin rather than spiralized). This was good, but the half recipe was really too much as a starter for the two of us, and not quite enough for a main. Odd portions, but yummy.

Our main was Grilled Pork Skewers with Green Mango (Thrill, p158). The recipe serves four supposedly. A half recipe would have served three, but we managed to eat it all. Very tasty. Served with All-Purpose Rice and Beans (BigFlav, p262). Even though I used borlotti beans (have no canned black beans in the stash), this was still yummy. Stuffed we were. We drank a bottle of Brin (a Fronton, 100% negrette), which I liked better than Ed. Just wanting the taste, I finished with two tiny slices of Chaource which was on sale last week.

Sunday/5-Aug-18: The menu planner  needs a good talking to. A stir-fried Chinese meal on a super-hot day probably wasn't the best choice. But it used up some of the pineapple juice malingering in the fridge. And it was super-delicious.

We had World's Greatest Lemon Chicken (Chinatown, p73; cookbooker). I been told this truly was the best lemon chicken, and I think that was right. Really tasty. Served with plain rice and Hot and Spicy Wrinkled Beans (Chinatown, p106). I've made the green beans a number of times. It was still good.

Made some Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding (MC) in the morning. This one was only the French tapioca. Worked fine. Yay!

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no for Jul, no for Aug; #2 VEG/FISH: 4; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun, Thrill of the Grill, License to Grill
This month: #4 PASTA: yes for Jul, no for Aug; #5 BREAD: no for Jul, no for Aug; #6 GUESTS: yes for Jul, no for Aug

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