Monday, August 27, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Aug-18: Late start for a Monday.

Dinner was Fragrant Sea Scallop Cakes (web). These, and the sauce, were very tasty. (And I've ordered the book whence the recipe came, David Tanis' One Good Dish.) For a veggie salad, I made (more or less) Spicy Thai-Style Zucchini Carrot Salad (web); this was very nice. And there was trio rice. All was tasty. We each had a mini ice cream bar for dessert.

Tuesday/28-Aug-18: Changed dinner plans to have an easier meal. I made Chickpea & Chorizo Fideos (web; cookbooker). Oops, no whole wheat spaghetti, I used gramigne instead. (This has become a favorite pasta for dishes like this, or as a side.) Used extra fort chorizo, making the sauce a big spicy; a bit of red pepper flakes might have been even nicer. The whole recipe might have served three; four would be skimpy servings. Then a salad. Then a pair of chocolate-covered madeleines each.

Wednesday/29-Aug-18: Yogurt on overday, because I didn't want to start it during the electrical storm when we might lose power. Doesn't seem like we did, but there was no internet or phone when I got up. Shopping today.

Dinner was Four-Spice Salmon (web). This was easy and really good. The spices (coriander, cloves, cumin, and nutmeg) are mixed and spread over the fish, which is cooked simply, spice-side-down and then spice-side-up. Lots of combinations of tastes could be used, I think. Served with eggplant slices sprayed with oil, rubbed with store-bought garam masala, and grilled on the stove's pan, topped with a yogurt-garlic sauce. And some trio rice. More madeleines for dessert.

Thursday/30-Aug-18: Busy in the kitchen prepping for tomorrow's meal.
  • Made up some ground roasted cumin. I was out and need it for tomorrow. (Don't really use a recipe: toast it and grind it, that's all there is to it.)
  • Made up a one quarter recipe of Chaat Masala (MJFlavs, p263).
  • Made up a one third recipe of Punjabi Garam Masala (MJFlavs, p270).
  • Made up the stuffing for Beet and Feta Samosas (MadeIndia, p48). These will be made up with filo for easiness. Thought these sounded healthy and odd, but recipes from this book have generally been successful. We'll see.
  • Put lamb cubes on to marinate for Lamb Kebabs (MJFlavs, p226).
Didn't get everything done I'd like, so will have to cut back for tomorrow. Oh well, enough is enough.

Dinner was a smash-up from the freezer. I defrosted some Coconut and Pumpkin Soup, added a bit of chicken stock from the fridge, some chopped acorn squash (from the potager), and some cooked shrimp (from the freezer). Pretty good it was. Made up a salad with the couscous left from Sunday. Some ice cream bits (a cup for me, a bar for Ed) for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

While I'm sitting here typing, Ive seen a little mouse come out from behind the wood burner. Ed moved the live trap there, and she took the bait without tripping it. He rebaited it. Cats are here, but worthless.

Friday/31-Aug-18: Hit the floor cooking today. Well, sort of ...
  • Shelled and peeled pistachios for the dessert.
  • Made Onion Relish (MJ1, p174)), an old favorite.
  • Made Carrot and Onion Salad (MJ1, p171), an old favorite.
  • Last minute decision to make two chutneys for starter.
  • And other stuff.
Mike and Sally came to share a yummy Indian dinner.
  • For apéro, with the pineau we bought at the Massignac marché des producteurs:
    • Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172)
  • For starters:
    • Beet and Feta Samosas (MadeIndia, p48; cookbooker)
    • Fresh Green Chutney (Q&E, p113) and Fresh Red Chutney with Almonds (Q&E, p114)
    • Carrot and Onion Salad (MJ1, p171)
  • For main:
    • Lamb Kebab (MJFlavs, p226)
    • Cachumber—Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172)
    • Khili Hui Khichri—Rice with Yellow Split Peas (MJ1, p150)
    • Relish tray with home-made Lime Pickle, home-made Tamarind-Date Chutney, store-bought mango chutney
  • For dessert:
    • Kaye's Lazy Kheer, store-bought rice puddings, spiffed up with ground cardamom and chopped pistachios.
Everything was extra yummy, even if it's the cook saying so. The beet samosas were surprising good. I had forgotten about the red chutney and happened to have half a red bell pepper needing something to do; it's really good, so I need not to forget it again. The rice with yellow peas was a first, but not a last. The lamb kebabs were delicious, the meat very tender from marinating in yogurt.

Saturday/1-Sep-18: For lunch we ate last night's leftovers. For dinner, there were Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Sandwiches with Basil and Black Olive Spread (BigFlav, p267). Shh, don't tell, the Black Olive Spread is tapenade. This was good, a bit similar to one I did last week. Liked that sauce better than the tapenade effect I think. Still, the whole idea is good.

Still haven't decided on a cookbook for September. Will postpone Mexican books until later the the year, giving me a chance to stock up on necessaries. September and October are difficult, though. Waiting for inspiration.

Sunday/2-Sep-18: For dinner there was Grilled Poussin with Grilled Leeks, Garlic, and Rosemary (Thrill, p196). I used coquelets instead of poussins, which I think means they were young males rather than young females. Still good. The leeks were a nice idea, but should have been bigger ones I think, and I should have left the root end attached so they held together better. Served with Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Molasses Glaze (Thrill, p304) as suggested. These were good, if a bit of trouble.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, August 20, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Aug-18: Back to the barbecue tonight. Dinner was a half recipe of Rosemary-Grilled New York Strip with Smokey Eggplant Relish (License, p135). The rub was delish. The bbq chef hasn't mastered steaks to order; mine was on the far side of medium, while his was barely medium. Too bad, since the setting was so good. The eggplant relish is similar to one I made last week, where you grill the eggplant, then chop them up and mix them with a dressing, this one based on balsamic. The extra dressing on the plate was good with the steak. Served with Roasted Peri Peri Potatoes (web). I made a halfish recipe, which fit tidily in the toaster oven. Definitely a keeper recipe. Ice cream for dessert—a mini Häagen-Dasz cup for me, a mini Magnum for Ed.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/21-Aug-18: Late morning today. The hornet man came while I was still outside eating breakfast. (Ed wasn't up yet.) The day proceeded slowly and dinner got very late. But it's a keeper.

We had a halfish recipe of Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine (web). I had intended to make pasta, but didn't really feel like it, so used fresh pasta from the freezer. The sun-dried tomatoes were my oven-dried ones from the freezer. Good it was. Followed by a salad. And some chocoloate covered madeleins.

Wednesday/22-Aug-18: A day for using up the bounty of the potager and the fridge. We had Spicy Eggplant and Broccoli in Ginger Sauce (MaiPham, p164). I've made this before with just broccoli; this time it was also with the little white eggplants from the potager. Also used up a red bell pepper from the fridge. We thought it was only so-so this time. Over rice, of course. For dessert, there was Gâteau Renversé aux Mirabelles Caramélisées (web), aka Mirabelle Upside-Down Cake, made in my 9" cast iron skillet. Tasty it was, although it didn't want to turn out of the pan. I used only 75g of sucre de canne (instead of 100g). Put this on the bottom of the pan, and added a sachet of sucre de vanille to the batter. Served with crème fraîche as suggested.

Thursday/23-Aug-18: Dinner at a marché des producteurs, in St Auvent, with Cath, Hannah, and Jem. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Friday/24-Aug-18: Started Mirabelle Jam (MesConf, p96) with plums that Cath brought us. They may or may not be mirabelles.

Dinner was Panfried Cod with Tomato-Mint Yogurt Sauce (BigFlav, p96). I used lieu noir for the fish. Dredged in cornmeal and fried, the fish was nothing special, but the sauce was extra yummy. As suggested, served with Uncommon Carrot Salad (BigFlav, p212) and Parsley Salad with Bulgur, Mint, and Tomatoes (BigFlav, p216). The carrot salad was good, but didn't especially go with the meal. I've made the other salad before; didn't use nearly as much parsley as asked, so it was more a bulgur salad with lots of goodies. Since the fish sauce had lots of tomato, I didn't add any to this. It was good, and went well with the fish's sauce. Some chocolate-covered madeleines for dessert.

Saturday/25-Aug-18: Tonight we had Chuletas: Thin Grilled Pork Chops with Simple Tomato Relish (License, p147). The pork chops were good. The tomato relish was good, but yesterday's was better. Served with All-Purpose Rice and Beans (BigFlav, p262), with red beans instead of black. That's a super recipe and could be eaten as a veggie main, maybe with long-grain brown rice. For dessert we had ice cream cones at the cinema.

Finished off the Mirabelle Jam. It made 2-1/2 AH jars.

Yogurt on overnight.

Have been enjoying cooking from Schlesinger and Willoughby this month. Ed has suggested Mexican for next month. Problem is, I haven't found a good source for tortillas. I'm willing to make them a couple of times, but still I wonder how much Mexican I can make without them? Still, would be

Sunday/26-Aug-18: Cath stayed for a barbecue dinner after we visited the Marché des Potiers in Montbron. When we returned we stopped for some pineau and stuffed grape leaves. For a starter we had little terrines lined with smoked salmon, filled with a blend of avocado, cream cheese, lime juice, shallot, dill, and cilantro; I made these up before we left for the marché. The main was Chicken Skewers with Cucumber-Garlic Yogurt Sauce (web). The chicken was tasty but seemed a bit dry. The cucumber-garlic sauce was good, although I used only about a quarter of the yogurt asked. For dessert Ed grilled some peaches and I made some crème fraîche ice cream as a go-with. We ate well.

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

Monday, August 13, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Aug-18: Dinner was Sweet and Spicy Lo Mein Noodles (BigFlav, p274). I made a whole recipe, which serves four; the two of us ate about two thirds of it. I was worried about using the raw veggies, but they provided a pleasant crunch with the noodles. It's puzzling to me why the recipe has you make so much sauce and then uses only one cup. I made a half recipe of the recommended Sweet and Hot Sesame-Spinach Condiment (BigFlav, p362). This was an interesting idea, but way too salty, even though the soy sauce was low-salt. I used the max amount of Tabasco and neither thought it that hot. We were full.

Tuesday/14-Aug-18: Yogurt on overday.

We had lunch near Ed's archery lesson. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/15-Aug-18: Somebody (who, me?) forgot that this was a holiday, so there was a quick rearrangement on the meal plan.

For dinner we had Grilled Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches with Black Olive Relish and Fresh Mozzarella (License, p39). I made a whole recipe; we are well-filled, but the two of us ate almost all of it. I thought the black olive relish might be too strong, but it all went together well. A pair of chocolate-covered madeleines each for dessert.

Thursday/16-Aug-18: Shopping today.

For dinner there was a halfish recipe of Creamy Salmon Spaghetti (Ainsley2, p54). This was interesting because the fish isn't really cooked, as a thing by itself. Cream, garlic, and tomato paste a brought to a boil, then the heat is turned off and the first is added. Worked amazingly well. This is added to just-cooked spaghetti (I used whole wheat) with some grated Parmesan for serving. Good enough, but nothing special. We had our starter after, insalata caprese with home-grown tomatoes,  two tiny Beefsteaks, no especially tasty. Then a salad. For dessert, I made some cherry tart things, very loosely based on this recipe. I made four to use up half the left-over filo I had. Very nice they were. I used ground almonds between the layers of filo. Added some almond extract to the mascarpone mixture as shown in this recipe, but that wasn't needed at all. Use nine (frozen) cherries per tart, rather than the skimpy three in the recipe. Good stuff, although a bit hard to eat.

I see that I've really not been keeping the lists of cookbooks I'm reading and recently read up-to-date. Started VegSups today. It looks really promising.

Friday/17-Aug-18: For our meal, I made a half recipe of Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Pesto (web), served on a bed of lettuce. This was good, almost very good. Needed some zing, tabasco or some red pepper flakes perhaps; maybe some feta too. For afters, I had an ice cream cup and Ed had a mini Magnum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/18-Aug-18: Nice dinner with Laura and Ralph tonight. Took a bottle of Château Larou Les Complices.

Nothing much happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/19-Aug-18: Early meal before a play in the early evening. We had Crab Salad with Fennel (PatSalads, p90), which was good, but not a keeper.

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

Monday, August 6, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Aug-18: Again the meal planner wasn't thinking very well last week. I made Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza (web; cookbooker). An unusual pizza, but quite good. Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding for dessert.

Tuesday/7-Aug-18: Whew—cooler today.

Yogurt on during the day.

Finished off the list. We probably won't shop tomorrow, but Thursday.

Dinner was Grilled Lamb Skewers with Apricots (License, p116). Well, it was supposed to be lamb. I seem to have defrosted beef (faux filets/sirloin). Easy recipe, but with a bit of chop-chop. Tasty. A little odd to make so much "rub" that doesn't really rub in well. Also odd that you take the meat and fruit (including parboiled garlic cloves) off the skewers and mix with a vinaigrette. Ed had the fire too hot, so two of the skewers burnt pretty badly. Still all tasted good. Served with Moroccan couscous. Grilled some eggplant, one store-bought and one from the store, but that burnt pretty badly. Finished the Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding for dessert Stuffed we are.

Wednesday/8-Aug-18: Finished off the limoncello today. Here it is with the lemon peels soaking.


We ate at the Massignac Marché des Producteurs; nothing else happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/9-Aug-18: Shopped today. Got off late, so dinner was extra late. We started with an insalata caprese. Our main was Summer Prawn & Fish Filo Pie (200Budget, p186), which is kind of a fish pot pie with scrunched up filo on top. Very good, a one-dish meal. Then we had some chaource. Then some Clafoutis aux Abricots (VPG) to use up the apricots I bought last week for Tuesday's meal. (Couldn't find this on the web, but scanned it and pinned it.)

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/10-Aug-18: Dinner was Grilled Duck Breast with Peach-Green Grape Chutney (License, p209). The duck breast was salt-and-peppered, then grilled. The chutney was super, easy to make and went perfectly with the duck. Served with some pasta and Chile-Coated Grilled Summer Squash and Zucchini with Honey-Lime Dressing (License, p239). Used two zukes, one from the potager, one from the grocery. Pretty good, although the "rub" didn't stick as well as it might have.

Saturday/11-Aug-18: Leftovers tonight—the rest of the pizza. With a salad. Followed by the rest of the clafoutis. We're stuffed.

Sunday/12-Aug-18: Dinner was a half recipe of Grilled Pork Loin with Indonesian Chile-Coconut Sauce (Thrill, p146). Ancho chiles don't exactly taste of Indonesia to me, but the sauce was delicious over the boneless pork chops, which were flattened and quickly grilled. Served with Spicy Cucumber Relish (Thrill, p232). This wasn't as good as other versions of this salad that I've made; not sure why. Then there was, more or less, Sweet Potato Hash Brown with Bacon and Onions (Thrill, p300). Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

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