Monday, April 16, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/16-Apr-18: In the morning, I used some leftover (flat) prosecco, topped up with a bit of white wine from the box, and a store-bought pie curst to make a Wine Tart (Secrets, p89). Only mildly successful. The pastry, which was one of the top-rated brands, is like leather. There is a reason to make it yourself.

Our meal was Chorizo Chowder (web). This was tasty, but I thought it was too fat, even thought I used less butter than asked for the veggies. We added some pyramid goat cheese at table. Some kind of creamy stuff makes it nicer.

Tuesday/17-Apr-18: Our meal was a halfish dose of Tajine of Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Pears (BirdHand, p58). This was only so-so compared with the other dishes I've made from this book.


Served with Moroccan couscous, a mix from a health food store. As sides there were some steamed asparagus with lemon juice and Courgette and Fresh Coriander Salad (Meze, p85). I liked this salad, but Ed who doesn't like raw zucchini on principle didn't much care for it.

Wednesday/18-Apr-18: For our meal we had leftover chorizo chowder. I tossed in leftover brown rice to stretch it and give it more substance. Worked well. Accompanied by egg salad sandwiches made with arugula pesto (from the freezer), minced red onion, plus dab of mayo and yogurt. Not bad. Wine tart for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/19-Apr-18: Shopping today. We're later than usual for the next couple of weeks while Ed has practices for an extra choir concert at the beginning of May.

Our meal was a half version of Garlic Butter Salmon (web). I packed these up in aluminum foil rather than parchment paper and Ed cooked them on the grill instead of in the oven. Yummy stuff. Served with orzo and steamed broccoli. Some delicious store-bought chocolate mousses for dessert.

Friday/20-Apr-18: A bit of replanning today, since Cath will come for dinner tomorrow before a concert.

Today we had Chicken Karhai with Mint (MJ@Home, p78), with Mushroom and Pea Curry (MJ@Home, p191) as suggested, and plain basmati rice. All was good.

Saturday/21-Apr-18: Cath came for a meal before we went to a concert. I made a 3/4 recipe of Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables (web; cookbooker). Especially tasty, it was. I used casareccia as the pasta, since spaghetti wasn't right for this dish. My veggies were not done in 2 minutes, but the shrimp were. Fished them out (all but one, poor baby) to finish cooking the vegetables. For a 3/4 recipe, I used all 6oz of pasta. Probably the recipe makes way too much sauce. I was making a 3/4 recipe, but used less than half the yogurt (I admit it, I didn't measure) and adjusted the rest of the ingredients to match. Except for the freshly ground pepper, which I used a lot of. Made up a salad of sliced cucumber and tomato as suggested, with added mint. For dessert, I made up some vanilla ice cream and we ate it all topped slogs crème de cacao.

Sunday/22-Apr-18: We had Judy's Dal Soup (EAT-L) for lunch. No online source, since it was a recipe copied from a friend. Easy and tasty. Served with store-bought naan, Kheer ka raita—Yoghurt with cucumber and mint (MJ1, p162), and an assortment of chutneys and pickle.

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

Monday, April 9, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/9-Apr-18: This was a day for using up leftovers. I defrosted some chipolatas, and we had them with leftover cauliflower salad, hominy, roast potatoes, and sweet potatoes. A nice mix. Finished the St Felicien for afters.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/10-Apr-18: Another day of using up leftovers. Stir-fried rice. Had MW@Home on the counter, but didn't really use it. Sloshed together stuff for a sauce. Cooked some eggs. Onion, garlic, green bell pepper strips, peas. Leftover rice from last Friday. Good it was.

Wednesday/11-Apr-18: Shopping today.

Our meal was a half recipe of Stir-Fried Beef with Five Peppercorns (HomTravels, p126), using the last faux filet I defrosted for Sunday. This was good stuff, easy to make and tasty. I didn't much like the suggested noodles as accompaniment; rice would have been better. As a side, there was Broccoli in Fragrant Wine Sauce (HotWok, p156). This was nice, as usual. For dessert, I finished my chocolate Easter bunny. Ed finished his in one big session many days ago.

Thursday/12-Apr-18: Cath came to eat today before we went off to see a little art exhibit. We started with a mâche and beet salad, as in BEFCC, but with the dressing from Pomiane's beet salad. For a main with had Whitefish en Papillote (BestPC, p60), with lieu noir; brown rice on the side. When we got back we had coffee, tea, and Cath's apple&blackberry crumble.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/13-Apr-18: Our meal was Spanish Supper: Chicken Morcilla and Sherry (BirdHand, p10). I used only three thighs, since that was in a packet, and but boudin noir made it extra. I tossed in two artichoke hearts left from yesterday. Served this with polenta to soak up the juices. For a starter we had beets and mâche with the rest of Pomiane's dressing. Tastily stuffed we were.


Saturday/14-Apr-18: Our meal was Spinazie Omelet met Zalm en Cottage Cheese (web). More or less. The picture here looks more like a pancake than an omelet, while mine looked more like scrambled eggs. Nevermind, it all tastes very good together. Next time, think I would make two single omelets, fold the thinly sliced spinach (or arugula) into the omelet, then top with cheese (I used pyramid goat cheese), pine nuts, salmon, and chives. Followed by Tomato and Cucumber Salad (BEFCC, p24), which was a nice dish.

Sunday/15-Apr-18: Our meal today was a halfish recipe of Nigel Slater's Aubergine Ragu with Cream and Parmesan Lentils (web). I used a whole eggplant, which was fine for the two us; everthing else was close to half. More shrooms wouldn't hurt. Thought Slater's lentil-cooking time was a bit short, but maybe mine were old? Good and filling, your basic brown meal.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

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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Monday, March 26, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Mar-18: No soup tonight. I defrosted some bird sausages and grilled them. Served with the leftover orzo risotto with cabbage, which reheated very well. Then a salad. Then the rest of the butterscotch pudding.

Yogurt on overnight

Tuesday/27-Mar-18: Greek tonight, after checkups at the dentist. There was Shrimp with Fennel, Green Olives, Red Onion, and White Wine (O&C, p346; cookbooker), about a third recipe. I used AH fish stock from the freezer and topped it up with wine. Easy and quick, this was very tasty. It's a little unclear to me how to serve it. There's a tasty bit of liquid with it, so you can't just plop it down on a plate. I served over bucatelli, but a shorter pasta or rice might have been better.


Served with Greens Salad with Hard-Cooked Eggs and Fried Garlic (O&C, p268; cookbooker). This was easy to prepare and very tasty. The Fried Garlic Topping (O&C, p481) was a nice touch.


We finished with a bit of a very nice St Maure cheese (on crackers, ssh!), followed by a fruit salad with kiwis, pears, and pomegranate seeds.

Wednesday/28-Mar-18: Shopping today. Bought the first gariguettes that I've seen this year.

For our meal, we had Pan-Fried Thai Fish (RealCook, p41) with lieu noir. Quite good it was. A bit odd Slater asks for shredded lemon grass. Hand-cut "shredded" was a bit too chewy. Usually lemongrass is minced, but I wonder if he means microplaned? Shakes of soy sauce and rice wine? I used 1/4 teaspoon and suspect that 1/2 teaspoon would be better. Served with Mom's Cabbage Salad (MaiPham, p96), this time with cuke slices. For afters, we finished the St Maure, leaving the strawberries for tomorrow.

Thursday/29-Mar-18: Our meal was a half recipe of Gnocchis au Gorgonzola et Pesto de Roquette (VPG; web), that's gnocchi (store-bought) with a pesto of arugula, walnuts, and gorgonzola over gnocchi, broccoli with a good slog of cream. Pretty good, although the pesto tasted of rancid walnuts to me, while Ed thought it was fine. Then a salad. Then gariguettes and cream.

Friday/30-Mar-18 — Sunday/1-Apr-18: Off at Bach à Pâques festival. Nothing happened in the kitchen, we hope.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: O&C
This month: #4 PASTA: yes for March; no for April; #5 BREAD: no for March; no for April; #6 GUESTS: no for March; no for April
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Monday, March 19, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Mar-18: Soup for our main meal today. We had Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (web); the two of us ate a half recipe which should serve three. Quite good and easy. For dessert there was Banana Mousse for Two (HandyBook); no idea where this recipe came from but it's good and fast.

Tuesday/20-Mar-18: Greek today. There were Beef and Rice Meatballs (O&C, p376), with Avgolomeno Sauce (O&C, p475). I made a 3/4-ish recipe with 350g of 5% beef, using brown rice. I've made avgolomeno sauce before. It's one of those custardy kinds of sauce. I found it easier this time than I remembered. It seemed not to set until I turned the heat up just a tad (left front, weakest burner). Served with The Single Vegetable Salad (O&C, p189) using asparagus and the Oil and Lemon version of Greek Salad Dressing (O&C, p190), which is just a lemon vinaigrette (with no mustard). Also some gramigne, a small pasta shape we've become fond of, toss with garlic oil and parsley.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/21-Mar-18: Shopping today. There was some nice-looking tuna (thick and same-thickness) on sale. Bought two huge steaks, tossed both my planned dishes, and found something else. I made Grilled Tuna Marinated in Chermoula (MedHot2, p105; chermoula, p70). I've made the same recipe before from Kremezi's earlier book MedHot (p48), which has 1tbl less olive oil in the chermoula. I did that again. Only used about half of the chermoula, so froze the rest for later use.

I bought a small cabbage today, thinking of a stir-fry accompaniment for Asian-ish fish. In Kremezi, I found a cabbage variation of Orzo "Risotto" with Fresh Favas, Lemon, and Feta (MedHot2, p171). I later realized this is meant as a main course, so we have lots of leftovers there. It was good, though.

Some little store-bought custards for dessert. Chocolate Liegeois. Very good.

Thursday/22-Mar-18: Our meal was Grilled Chili-Lime Chicken (web), cooked under the broiler. Accompanied by Spiced Roasted Potatoes (RealCook, p256) and followed by a salad. I made the salad with Penzey's Sonoran Spice, rather than curry powder, since it seemed a better match for the chicken. This is a really nice, easy way to cook potatoes. We pigged out on chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Friday/23-Mar-18: Leftover Broccoli Meatballs with Garlic-Tomato Sauce for our meal today. Still good, but it wanted quite a bit of salt; I'd forgotten.

Made some Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies from an ancient newspaper clipping. Would have been better in a 8" square rather than a 13"x9" pan. Taste okay, even if thin.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/24-Mar-18: Dinner out tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen,

Sunday/25-Mar-18: Our meal was Shrimp Pasta with Spinach and Sundried Tomato Cream (web), which was good enough, but nothing special. For dessert I made Mr. Food's Butterscotch Pudding (web). We had tonight's part warm rather than cooled. Easy and tasty. (Who is Mr. Food?)

Munched the chorizo for tomorrow's meal while preparing tonight's dinner. Replan needed.

No looking good for having guests this month. Can't arrange the oomph to organize.

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Mar-18: Our meal today was Yellow Split Pea Soup (O&C, p159; cookbooker). Now, yellow split peas are only marginally more interesting than green split peas. I'm not sure why I thought adding some olive oil, an onion, and some chopped garlic was going to do something special. No, just some (quite well-cooked) yellow split peas. I made two of the suggest toppings, Pickled Red Onions (O&C, p159; cookbooker) and not-too-Wilted Cilantro Topping (O&C, p148; cookbooker).


These were good enough, but the best topping was some healthy slogs of Chipotle Tabasco. Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Tuesday/13-Mar-18: I had lunch out today. Ed fended for himself.

Wednesday/14-Mar-18: Shopping today.

Our meal was a half recipe of Stir-Fried Prawns and Scallops in Black Bean and Tomato Butter Sauce (HomTravels, p88). This was pretty good, although the scallops shrunk a lot; I'll try to avoid that brand in the future. Served over basmati rice, with Mom's Cabbage Salad (MaiPham, 96) made with the end of a chineeskool. Ed thought this was a five-star cabbage slaw, even though I forgot to add the cucumber and mint leaves. Oops. Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Put a pair of skate wings on to marinate overnight.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/15-Mar-18: Our meal was Pan-Fried Skate with Vinegar, Dill, Shallots, and Tomato (O&C, p341). This is only the second time I've cooked skate, more successful than the last time, but not sure I need to do it again. This is fairly easy, and the sauce was quite tasty with the fish.


For a side, I heated up some of the Yellow Split Pea Soup and topped with Pickled Red Onions, when went with the skate sauce quite well. And there was Fried Eggplant with Feta and Basil (O&C, p276), which was good, a nice addition to one's eggplant repertoire.


Friday/16-Mar-18: I ate lunch out with a friend, while Ed fended for himself. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/17-Mar-18: I made a full recipe of Broccoli Meatballs with Garlic-Tomato Sauce (web). I used half the amount of canned tomatoes and still had plenty of sauce. Formed as patties instead of balls. They were good. Served with brown rice. Ice cream bars at the film later.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/18-Mar-18: Discovered this morning that I'd defrosted the wrong bits of chicken for what I'd planned to cook. Oops. Quick replan.

Because there was an eggplant in the fridge wanting to be used, I made Clay Pot Chicken (O&C, p417), made with four thighs in a cast iron Dutch oven. This was quite tasty, although the veggies kind of disappeared. (I forgot to take a picture.) Served with orzo. Followed by a big salad.

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

Monday, March 5, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Mar-18: Our meal was Nigel Slater's Carrot and Cardamom Soup with Herb Ricotta Dumplings (web). The soup was tasty but disappointing as a whole. I made a half recipe, which turned out to be skimpy for two, and the liquid wasn't deep enough to cook the dumplings properly. We each had a hard-boiled egg to supplement the meal.

Tuesday/6-Mar-18: Dinner was Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce (web), an instant hit. This was exceedingly yummy. Ed thought it was a trifle salty; I didn't especially, but will be careful salting the chicken next time. Served with orzo, dressed up with lemon juice and parsley, and steamed asparagus. (Lately asparagus has been appearing in 400g packets rather than 500g. With 500g, you can get a side for two dinner; with 400g you either have one meal with abundance or two skimpy ones.)

Wednesday/7-Mar-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was chili from the freezer, filled out with hominy also from the freezer, and some guacamole, accompanied by Cayenne Cornbread (BigGerman, p182). We were stuffed.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/8-Mar-18: Off to Audilab today and finally got my hearing aids straightened out. Then a quick trip to Leclerc to pick up frozen spinach which I seemed to be out of unexpectedly.

Our meal was a half recipe of Gratin de Pomme de Terre, Saumon et Épinards à l'Aneth (VPG; web). This was quite good, and easy, but takes some wall clock time. Cut my potatoes on the mandoline to get them really thin; another 5 minutes cooking might be nice to be sure they're done. Served with a salad, then some store-bought rum-raisin riz au laits.

Friday/9-Mar-18: Roasted a chunk of potimarron (a winter squash, we'll pretend it's pumpkin) for tomorrow's meal.

Leftover pizza for our meal.

Meanwhile, I made Yogurt Cake with Ouzo-Lemon Syrup (O&C, p520).

Saturday/10-Mar-18: Pasta today, yay! I made a half recipe of Creamy Pumpkin Sage Fettuccine (web). This was pretty good. For the pasta, you essentially replace one of the eggs with 2tbl of pumpkin purée and a pinch of turmeric. Pretty color; easy to handle. The sauce is pumpkin and cream, stirred into sautéed minced sage leaves. Simple and good. Then a salad.

Sunday/11-Mar-18: It was supposed to be a quickish meal today, but I failed in that. We had Chicken Neo-Avgolemono (O&C, p409; cookbooker). This was edible but disappointing.


Served with a pilaf, Baklar Enginar—Artichoke Hearts with Broad Beans (Meze, p77), and Jazar Atariyah—Spiced Carrots (Meze, p76). The artichoke/fêve dish was disappointing. The carrots were good. Both of the meze dishes were supposed to serve 6; I made a third of each recipe. A single serving of the artichoke dish was once bottom and a dab of favas. A single serving of the carrot dish was two carrots.


Made up some Pickled Red Onions (O&C, p79) for tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

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