Monday, May 27, 2019

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-May-19: Left the cats and the dog in their respective kennels and drove to Souillac with Bill for a mini-vacation along with too much good eating.

Tuesday/28-May-19: Sightseeing, the automata museum, and a drive through the countryside.

Wednesday/29-May-19: Homewards, with a stop at Sarlat la Canéda. Pick up cats. Munchies for evening meal.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/30-May-19: Start cooking for tomorrow's meal. Put the lamb leg for Whole Leg of Lamb in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce—Raan masaledar (MJ1, p57) on to marinate. Made Onion Relish—Pyaz ka laccha (MJ1, p174). Made Fresh Green Chutney—Hari chutney (Q&E, p113). Made up the broth for Plain Vanilla Ice Cream from the Waring Ice Cream Parlor booklet. Chopped up the peaches Bill brought and put those to macerate with much of the sugar.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/31-May-19: Big Indian meal for Andy and Sue and Bill, using up a leg of lamb from the freezer. Spent the morning and afternoon preparing bits, so it wasn't too much work at the end. For starters there was:
  • Baked Onion Bhajis (web), a new recipe from the web, highly rated. Think I let the onions get a bit too soft; I found them too sweet. And maybe they suffered from sharing the oven with the lamb roaster. Worth trying again.
  • Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172), an old favorite.
  • Fresh Green Chutney (Q&E, p113), also an old favorite.
  • Fresh Red Chutney with Almonds (Q&E, p114), a newer favorite.
For the main course there was 
  • Whole Leg of Lamb in Spicy Yogurt Sauce (MJ1, p57). Have done this before. Good stuff. Maybe a trifle overdone but still moist and tasty.
  • Shrimp Biryani (MJ@Home, p214), an old favorite. I doubled the rice to serve as our general side dish, then made half the shrimp for Sue, a pesca-vegetarian. This was way too much rice, so we have lots leftover.
  • Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), old favorite.
  • Cachumber (MJ1, p172), old favorite.
  • Onion Relish (MJ1, p174), old favorite.
  • Mixed pickle from the ginormous jar I bought recently.
For dessert there was vanilla ice cream with the peaches Bill brought from the Netherlands.

Not much new here, but all good.

Yay, no yogurt needed tonight!

Didn't get a Römertopf recipe made tonight. Think I'll continue with these books for another month, since I've still got lots of interesting things to make.

Saturday/1-Jun-19: Lunch out today, prior to the Cantique/Voci concert this evening. Afterwards, we munched on the lamb.

Sunday/1-Jun-19: Bill left this morning. For breakfast we had Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Chives (Twenty, p109). This were good. In the process, I managed to kill my glass double boiler.

For dinner I reheated some of the lamb in the yogurt sauce. Served this over some of the rice, along with the cachumber.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 0; #3 COOKBOOK: no
Cookbooks of the month: Römertopf cookbooks for May and June
This month: #4 PASTA: no for May, no for June; #5 BREAD: yes for May, no for June; #6 GUESTS: yes for May, no for June
This year: #7 PROJECT: no

Monday, May 20, 2019

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-May-19: Dinner was Crispy-Fried Prawns with Curry Spices (HomTrav, p84; cookbooker). These were quite good, if a bit salty. Served with plain basmati rice and Spicy Cucumber Wedges (MJ1, p172). Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/21-May-19: Dinner was a half recipe of Gigli with Chickpeas and Za'atar (web). Very ample servings they were. Good. And a plain salad with only croutons to dress it up. And some chocolate-covered madeleines.

Wednesday/22-May-19: Dinner was, more or less, Stuffed-Squid in Scrambled Egg Sambal Sauce (web). I didn't have medium squid, but used 200g, 13, small squid. And didn't make the "dried chili paste" from the previous recipe, but used sambal from a jar, finishing off the huge one that Bill brought us. This was a bit salty, but quite good. Served over rice. Meant to do something with snijbonen, but forgot. HD ice cream cups for dessert.

Thursday/23-May-19: Shopping today. Forgot something important for Sunday's meal, so will have to make a return trip in the next days.

Bought some of the first decent asparagus of the year; we had those for a starter, with lemon-butter. Dinner was Curried Salmon Steaks with New Potatoes (ClayCook2, p84; cookbooker). Really delicious this was. First thing I've made from this book. For dessert, I used up the filo to make a little tart with a blueberry and mascarpone filling. Yum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/24-May-19: Bill arrived today. For dinner we started with Lamb's Lettuce and Beetroot (BEFCC, p32) which is an old favorite. For a main there was Creamy Paprika Chicken (ClayCook2, p56), another good one from this book, along with a double dose of Spätzle (MW@Home, p203). Froze some spätzle afterwards. Dessert from the boulangerie.

Saturday/25-May-19: Lunch out followed by a lecture/tour at the Resistance Museum in Chasseneuil. Munchies for our evening repas.

Sunday/26-May-19: A bit of Mediterranean food tonight. Our main was Tunisian Chicken Tagine with Brik Pastry (MedClay, p100; cookbooker). This was pretty good. Served with Moroccan salads, a half recipe of Grated Cucumber Salad with Oregano (Morocco, p73), which we've enjoyed several times now, and Carrot and Golden Raisin Salad (Morocco, p77), which was new and good—even Ed liked it. Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Römertopf cookbooks
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes; #6 GUESTS: no
This year: #7 PROJECT: no

Monday, May 13, 2019

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-May-19: Leftovers for dinner, the broccoli and sausage phyllo pie, preceded by the artichokes with faux aïoli. All good, even the second time. Then some prize-winning Langres that was on sale last week.

Tuesday/14-May-19: For dinner there was a half dose of Chicken, Leek, & Preserved Lemon Pasta (web) which was pretty good. A half recipe, which should have served three or more, was good for the two of us. I used some whole wheat fusilli-like pasta and only about 250g for skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The thighs should be cut into largish chunks, rather than left whole. Very tasty, though. Then a salad, then some ice cream for dessert.

Wednesday/15-May-19: Dinner was a half recipe of Warm Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad (web). This would not have serve three, as advertised in my printed copy, but I see that the site has been updated to indicated only four as a main for the whole recipe. Really a nice main-dish salad and would be a good picnic side dish. Easy to make. I roasted all the cauliflower for another meal later in the week. Then some chocolate covered corn flake doodads.

Thursday/16-May-19: Shopping today.

Dinner was Pâtes au Thon, Basilic et Piment (VPG; recipe). It's a shame I can't find this on the web, since it was quite a good and somewhat unusual recipe. Then a salad. Then some wonderful store-bought cheesecake.

Friday/17-May-19: Eggplant-Cheese with Spanish Sausage (CPC, p163; cookbooker). This was good enough, but nothing I need to make again. A bit of grated broccoli-stem salad as a go-with. Then some strawberries and crème fraîche.

Saturday/18-May-19: My second clay cookery book arrived today. I found this one highly recommended on some römertopf-y sites. Quick look through resulted in many tagged recipes.

Dinner was Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce (web). My already roasted cauliflower bits weighed in at about 6oz, so I thought I didn't have enough. But I made all the sauce, and cooked about 4oz of whole wheat macaroni. Mixed all together for a yummy meal. Well, I though it was yummy, Ed thought it was ok. We each had a carrot stick before hand. And some strawberries and crème fraîche after. We're full.

Sunday/19-May-19: Late morning I put a trayful of Oven-Roasted Tomatoes (MC, HandyBook) on to cook. Found some tomatoes that actually said they were Romas, while usually I just use allongée.

Dinner started with Smoked Salmon with Dill-Mustard Sauce (VegHarv, p4; cookbooker). Good stuff this, and the extra sauce was good on the green beans that I served with duck scallops meunière. Served the duck with trio rice and steamed green beans. Then the rest of the Langres.

Haven't fixed on a cookbook for next month. Sort of thinking of repeating Römertopf  since a promising new cookbook has just arrived. Because of the busy-ness of the last week of the month. I won't be able to do a Römertopf recipe until Sunday, which is June.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Romertopf books
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes; #6 GUESTS: no
This year: #7 PROJECT: no

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Wines on vacation

In June we made a trip to the Toulouse area, meeting old friend from the US to stay for a couple of weeks at a gîte. This is the first time in France that we've done wine-tasting on our own, with Jody and Steve, but not as part of a group tour. We went to the tourist bureau's Maison de Vins for two AOCs, Gaillac (of which I was vaguely aware) and Fronton (unheard of). For my memory, I'll record the wines we bought.

Thu/21jun - Fronton Maison de Vins

We tasted 5 wines altogether, starting with a 100% Negrette, which we all were mildly attracted to. A very typical grape of Fronton, it's apparently a Marmite grape, people like it or not. Then we tasted 3 blends. Finally I asked for one more, something different. He chose another 100% Negrette, which was delicious. We bought that and one of the blends we tasted:
  • 3x Château La Colombière Les Frontons Flingueurs 2016
    Grapes: 100% Negrette (12.5%vol)
    This went well with spicy bbq chicken. Also with bbq'd pork chops with a Cajun spice rub. The last bottle went well with the main for our first xmas meal, Magret Wellington.
  • 3x Château Laurou Les Complices 2016, bio (organic)
    Grapes: Negrette and Syrah (12.5%vol)
    Took a bottle of this to Laura and Ralph's; don't remember much about that.
    Had a bottle with some bbq'd beef on skewers; Ed didn't like at all.
    Had last bottle with some very spicy Beef Vindaloo. Here it was okay, but our tastebuds may have been zapped.

Sat/23jun - Gaillac Maison de Vins

Here we tasted more wines, including whites. The Braucol grape, typical of Gaillac reds, has odd flavor; it goes better in a blend. We bought one each of our two favorite reds.
  • 1x Domaine de Brin Vendemia 2016 , bio (organic)
    Grapes: not on the label and not remembered (13%vol)
    With grilled pork with mangos, I liked this better than Ed.
  • 1x Michel Issaly La Combe d'Avès 2012
    Grapes: 50% duras, 50% braucol (14%vol)
    This is a beautiful rich dark red. Tasty with duck.

Mon/25jun - Gaillac winery Labourel

This was a tiny winery, seemed like a mom-and-pop kind of place, very simple, small production. Jody&Steve liked their fizzy whites. We liked these:
  • 2x white for aperitif Domaine Laubarel 2017. We've had both of these. I didn't note the meals, but it was very easy drinking.
    Grapes: blend of Mauzac and something else (12.5%vol)
  • 2x more complex white, Domaine Laubarel L'aubarèl 2016
    Grapes: 100% Mauzac (13%vol)
    Didn't note the first time we had this, but we liked it.
    Went very well with our new year's quail.

Mon/25jun - Gaillac winery Brousse

An attractive winery, well set up for tours. We bought only one bottle.
  • 1x Domaine de Brousse Le Terre des Sens 2015.
    Grapes: blend of Braucol and Merlot (13%vol)
    Enjoyed this with lamb chops and again with Poor Man's Paella.

Thu/28jun - Fronton winery Chateau St Louis

  • 2x Chateau Saint Louis Fronton 2016  a rosé, bio (organic).
    This was a gold prize winner at the Coucours Mondial des Féminalise 2017. We're really not rosé drinkers, but this one is worth drinking. We're sorry we didn't get more of this.
    Grapes: 50% de Pinot Saint Georges (aka Negrette), 25% de Cabernet Franc, 25% de Syrah
    I didn't note when we drank this, but we liked it so much I've considered ordering a 6-pack of this and the next one from Chateau St Louis.

  • 1x Chateau Saint Louis Esprit 2012, bio (organic)
    This was their second most expensive wine at €14.50 per bottle. We weren't offered the top one, another €4/bottle. This one was delicious, to drink by itself and with lamb shish kebab. Sorry we didn't get more.
    Grapes: 80% de Pinot Saint Georges (aka Negrette), 20% de Cabernet Franc (12.5%vol)
    Really enjoyed this with some Moroccan lamb skewers. Wish we had bought more.

Monday, May 6, 2019

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-May-19: Dinner was some of the leftover pork roast (froze up the rest of it), plus Clothilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roast Potatoes (HandyBook, web), followed by a big salad with some sorrel leaves from the potager. Then some chocolate-covered madeleines.

Tuesday/7-May-19: I had lunch out following BookChatters. Ed had leftovers for dinner, and I munched a bit.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/8-May-19: Dinner was a half recipe of Garlic Steak and Potato Foil Packs (web). I parboiled the potatoes and Ed barbecued the packets. The meat was way overdone, dry and tasteless, but the potatoes were good. Served with some steamed broccoli. Then some mini ice cream bars.

Thursday/9-May-19: Shopping today.

Dinner was Marinated Salmon Steaks (MC). For a starter we had insalatas caprese, to use up some out-of-date mozzarella. Not bad. Then the salmon with trio rice and peas/corn/red bell pepper bits. Not bad. Then some strawberries with cream.

Friday/10-May-19: Before I started cooking I went down to the potager to cut some rhubarb. Then I made Clafoutis de Rhubarbe à l'Amaretto (web), which was easy to assemble, and tasted quite nice in the end. Made a little starter of salad and beet and a creamy, garlicky dressing. The main was Sausage & Broccoli Phyllo Pie (web); this was good and a really good idea. Lots of veggies and tasty meat and seasonings could be used, all making a one-dish meal. Then the clafoutis.

Put beans on to soak in my new, used, big Romertopf.

Saturday/12-May-19: For a starter that was Grilled Artichokes and Lemons with Spicy Garlic Mayonnaise—Artichauts à l'Aïoli (VegHarv, p158; cookbooker). Found this a really nice way to serve and cook artichokes. We have another pair of halves for a meal in the next days.

The main was Tuscan Beans Bakes with Tuna and Lemon (Fagioli Stufai) (ClayCook1, p17; cookbooker). Thought about making half a recipe, but made it all and have frozen half the beans. First of all, a very good way to cook beans, in my new, used, larger Romertopf. Soaked the beans in the pot overnight, then two hours and a bit in the oven, with a one-time stir. Perfectly done. To serve, mix with a can of tuna, lemon juice, olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Some sliced red onion prettied it up a bit; some parsley would be nice too. Contrary to what you usually hear, the beans are cooked with salt, and came out perfectly.

I've had VegHarv for quite a while, but generally seem to ignore it. I noticed quite a few interesting recipes while looking for something to do with my artichokes, and we were very happy with that recipe.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/12-May-19: Dinner was André Claude's Omelette Verte, Ouverte (Fancy, p79), along with a big salad. The omelet recipe called for five large eggs to serve three people. I used five to serve two people. Ed said I should use six eggs for two people. Nicely spicy with some seeded chiles, topped with mixed herbs, tarragon, parsley, and chives tonight, the eggs are scrambled in the pan, rather than beaten on the side. Yummy.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Romertopf books
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes #6 GUESTS: no
This year: #7 PROJECT: no