Monday, April 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Apr-17: Early meal today before we went off to a concert. We had Shish Taouk—Lebanese Chicken Skewers (web). Put the chicken to marinate last night. Pretty good, although I think thighs might have been even better. Served with orzo, roasted asparagus (two spears from the garden, the rest left from last shopping), and a grated carrot salad. That was all.

Tuesday/18-Apr-17: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/19-Apr-17: Shopping today. The salmon I'd planned uses up something else, but tuna was on sale. This meant a bit of last-minute replanning so we could have both.

Tonight we had grilled tuna, somewhat overdone, my fault; with steamed asparagus and tagliatelle with sautéed mushrooms. For dessert we did serious damage to our chocolate Easter bunnies, previously neglected.

Thursday/20-Apr-17: Early meal today. We had Baked Cheddar Polenta and Salmon with Crushed Pea and Garlic (web). Pretty good, but a bit long on the polenta. I love the stuff, but I'm stuffed. Some strawberries and cream for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/21-Apr-17: Dinner was a half recipe Gratin de Brocoli, Pomme de Terre et Merguez (VPG). (I haven't been able to find a copy of this online, unfortunately.) Quite good for a throw-together kind of dinner. Cooked potatoes, broccoli, and merguez are tossed together with a bechamel sauce (homemade here, rather than store-bought as the recipe asked), then topped with gruyère (some aged comtè instead), baked for a bit, then put under the broiler to brown. Yum. Made a salad but the half recipe was more than enough for two, so the salad goes on till tomorrow.

Saturday/22-Apr-17: Up and out early this morning to go to the Saturday morning walk-in hours for our doctor (nothing serious). After we got home and ate breakfast, I made Seviyan ki Kheer—Vermicelli Pudding (MJ1, p192), a recipe I've made repeatedly, trying to get it just right. This time I followed Jaffrey's timing for cooking, rather than volume. And it worked! I used raw brown sugar rather than white, so the color was a bit tan. I used ground cardamom rather than crushing or grinding seeds, which didn't give as nice a flavor. Still, it was altogether very successful.

Had an itch for Shrimp Biryani but couldn't remember from which book I made it not too long ago. Found a recipe online (web), which turned out to come from a book I have (MJ@Home, p214), the very recipe I've made. Did it again. Yum. Served with Cachumber—Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172). And kheer for dessert. Lekker!

Sunday/23-Apr-17: Early meal today (the better to work on ironing). We had a half dose of Grilled Chicken Breast with Satay Sauce (CL dec16; web). The chicken was good, but neither of us were impressed by the satay sauce. Something missing there. The published go-with was Cucumber, Carrot, and Orange Salad (web), which was good, but the sauce lacked a bit of something; more vinegar needed perhaps. And a bit of buckwheat crozets on the side. Followed by the uneaten salad from Friday, and then by the rest of yesterday's kheer.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Apr-17: Back from Bordeaux this afternoon, collecting Pogo and the cats along the way. Dinner from the freezer, a beef stew we didn't much like the first time and it didn't improve in the freezer. Made a salad, but we didn't eat it. Tomorrow's lunch perhaps.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/11-Apr-17: Oops, the salad has to wait another day. Our lunch was Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos (web) from the freezer. Again, made the Vaguely Vietnamese Carrot-Cabbage Slaw as a go-with. Next time should do all the shredding with the cuisinart. All good stuff, though, and we're full.

Wednesday/12-Apr-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Mahi Mahi with Curry-Yogurt Mayonnaise (Desperation, p283; cookbooker), with tuna instead of mahi mahi. Served with roasted asparagus, trio rice, and the salad we didn't eat on Monday. For dessert, some store-bought suisse pastries.

Thursday/13-Apr-17: Defrosted a varkenshaas (aka filet mignon du porc or pork tenderloin), marinated it in some defrosted charmoula sauce. Also used that to flavor some slices of eggplant. Grilled on on the bbq. Served with a half dose of Mambo Rice (web), which was pretty darn good, and a made-up salad of avocado, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. All was good. We're full. (And I drank too much wine. I won't tell if you don't.)

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/14-Apr-17: We went to Angoulême to do some errands today. Both had omelets for lunch. Then we didn't feel like dinner, so I'm off plan for the week now. Harvested the first rhubarb of the season and made Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake (MC), pretty good stuff.

Saturday/15-Apr-17: Plans changed today. I ended up not cooking and we had a pizza after a movie. Serious replanning needed for the next days.

Sunday/16-Apr-17: Early dinner was Gramigne con Verza e Salsiccia—Cabbage and Sausage (Geometry, p135; cookbooker). Never heard of gramigne before, but found the exact thing labeled "short spaghetti" at the grocery. The whole dish was yummy. Followed by a salad. and the last of the Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.

Yogurt on overnight. Chicken on to marinate for tomorrow's early meal.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, April 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Apr-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Orecchiette with Ricotta, Broad Beans and Mint (Diaries, p194; cookbooker). Didn't use orecchiette, but my mini-lasagnas, malfada, I think they're called. This was good. First favas of the year. Then a salad. That was all.

Tuesday/4-Apr-17: A bit of a replan tonight since I had defrosted kip filets that I didn't really need. Dinner was Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry (web); I collected this recipe in 2014. My printed copy says to use broccoli or red bell pepper; having a red bell pepper needing to be used, that's what I did. Either broccoli or a combination of broccoli and red bell pepper would be fine. Turns out I didn't have enough cashews, but it could only have been better. Served the curry over leftover Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice from the weekend. Also had some asparagus and mushrooms that needed using. A quick search turned up Asian Asparagus and Mushrooms (web). This was easy and quite good. A nice meal altogether; we were full.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/5-Apr-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Visburgertjes (web), about a 1/2 recipe with 300g lieu noir. Good, they were. Served with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (Delightful, p58) and Cucumber Salad (Delightful, p51). For dessert we had some store-bought torsades, a twisted pastry with some tiny chocolate chips.

Thursday/6-Apr-17: Early meal today. We had Goan Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes (web). This is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe; I haven't yet found it in any my books, but haven't done an exhaustive search yet. Anyhow, it was very good. Did it in the pressure cooker; it wanted a bit more water than she says. I added some extra, but it should have been a bit more still, at least one cup altogether. Ground peppercorns with the first batch of spices rather than grinding them separately. Used the full 1tsp of cayenne; it was hot but a long way from too hot. Altogether good. For a side there was Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), an old favorite, still good.

Friday/7-Apr-17-Sunday/9-Apr-17: Spent these days in Bordeaux, a long weekend to see Yo-yo Ma perform with Kathryn Stott, with three good meals tossed in.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, March 27, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Mar-17: A bit of bad planning since we had shrimp two nights ago. But tonight, there was a half dose of Crevettes au Curry et Concombre au Gingembre (C&V, but irritatingly and unfortunately not findable on their site). A shame, since it was good and easy. Came with a nice little salad of shaved cucumber with a neutral oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, and sesame seeds (and I added a pinch of cayenne). For dessert there was, sort of, Peach Parfait with Amaretto Cream (MW@Home, p318); I used canned peaches and we ended up eating all of it. Yum.

Tuesday/28-Mar-17: Discovered we have a new mouse in the kitchen. This one likes a new mushroom-flavored pasta that I've recently bought and haven't tried yet. Likes it some much that he/she opened the sack, then wandered around inside it, pooping as he/she went. Had to throw the whole sack away, sadly.

Dinner from the freezer, West Indies Salmon Patties (MC; web), which were quite good. Served with West Indies Green Beans (web), also good, and Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pigeon Peas (MW@Home, p154). I made a half recipe with yellow split peas, which I cooked at lunch time, for the pigeon peas. I think this is meant as a main course because we have more left than we ate. Was tasty though. Mini magnums for dessert.

Wednesday/29-Mar-17: No sign of our latest mouse friend this morning.

Shopping today. After putting up the groceries, I made a Prune Cake (MC), an easy cake, using up some of my surplus of walnuts.

Dinner was Papillote de Cabillaud à la Courgette, Citron Confit et Sauce au Yaourt (VPG; haven't found on web). It was pretty good. Forgetting about the zucchini under the cod, I roasted some of the asparagus I bought today. Reheated some of the Caribbean Yellow Rice as a side.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/30-Mar-17: Early meal today, since we're out this evening.

Heard the first cuckoo of the year today.

We had Easy Smoked Sausage Skillet (web). This is from a Hillshire Farm ad in CL, I'd guess. Of course, there's no Hillshire Farm here; I used a morteau sausage. No frozen broccoli; used fresh and cooked that bit a bit longer which didn't hurt at all. Brown rice instead of instant rice. Turned out good. Serves 4-6? No. Three would be a good number. Four if you served it with a salad or some such. But it's pretty much a one-dish meal, so that seemed like too much trouble. Tasty it was.

Friday/31-Mar-17: Early dinner tonight. Sesame Eggplant and Spaghetti (BoldVeg, p180; cookbooker); a full recipe is dinner for two and that's what I did. Followed by a salad. We're both stuffed.

After an intense rainfall, we had water dripping in the living room and small puddle in the office. Looks like it's coming down inside the wall. Sigh. No damage, but annoying.

Saturday/1-Apr-17: Dinner was One-Pan Chicken Thighs with Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice (web). This was quite good, and easy to put together. I meant to cook up a batch of black beans, to use and to freeze, but didn't do it, so used canned. I think the recipe is meant for four, with only one thigh per person. That seems a bit skimpy; I usually serve two per person. I made it all; we ate four thighs; and there's a bunch of rice left. Followed by a salad. No dessert for me; Ed's having a mini magnum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/2-Apr-17: Ed was at choir practice today, and I defrosted the chest freezer; one of my favorite chores—not. But it's much easier when it's routine, rather than all iced up. Will try to keep to a 6-month schedule now.

Worked on merging and clearing out the "bird" part of my active stacks of recipe clippings today. Too many to try; every one looks good. Have to put on a throw-it-out hat to finish up this part. Almost 200 clippings in birds.

Dinner was Tournedos de Gigot au Citron Confit (VPG; web); strangely, while I got this recipe for VPG, the only on-line version I've found is from C&V, and it's the same recipe. Very odd. The idea is that you tie some slices of gigot up to make them look like tournedos. Well, ok. Topped with a sauce of chopped preserved lemon, lemon juice, rosemary pine nuts (too many), olive oil, honey, and S&P. Turned out pretty good, actually, if a bit of trouble to make. Served with steam-sautéed potatoes and shrooms with shallots and garlic; good stuff. Made too much, but Ed did an excellent job of finishing them off. Also had some Haricots Verts with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette (CL/jan-feb16; web), simple and tasty.

Haven't found further trace of our latest mouse. It's found its own way out or been eaten by a cat.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for March, no for April; #4 BREAD: no for March, no for April

Monday, March 20, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Mar-17: Early meal today. We had a half recipe of Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Red Currant Sauce (web). Used brown rice instead of barley for the accompanying mushroom pilaf. And a salad. Then a Haagen-Dasz ice cream cup for me and a mini magnum for Ed.

Tuesday/21-Mar-17: Pogo sick overnight. Cancel today's events. Plan a dinner using odd bits from the fridge. We ended up having a quarter recipe, more or less, of Pasta with Tuna, Asparagus, Broccoli and Peas (web). Pretty good stuff altogether. I had a mini magnum for dessert.

Wednesday/22-Mar-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Dilled Salmon Steaks for Two (MC; web). Good, fast, easy. I didn't serve with teh zucchini and tomato stew as suggested, but with Oven-Roasted Asparagus (web) and some trio rice. Some store-bought custards with caramel for dessert.

Pogo still sickly. Getting better we think.

Thursday/23-Mar-17: Earlyish meal today. We had a halfish recipe of Garlicky Chicken with Feta and Oregano (Screamingly, p30; cookbooker). This was easy and pretty darn good. As suggested served with Orzo with Lemon and Herbs (Screamingly, p47; cookbooker) which was good, if too soupy as given. And the rest of the asparagus, roasted.

Friday/24-Mar-17: Dinner was a half recipe of Chilorio, Mexican Pulled Pork (web), more or less. Used cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Used the pressure cooker, and it ran low on liquid, so the meat was sort of burnt to the bottom. We rescued what we could. What there was, was good. With my last good corn tortillas from the freezer, garnishes of onion, cilantro, and feta. Opened a bottle of what turned out to be pretty good salsa verde. (Have to remember the brand for when I order again.) Made a little avocado salad as a go-with. Good and we're full.

Saturday/25-Mar-17: Pasta day. There was Shrimp Dill Sauce (PastaMach, p135; cookbooker) over Dilly Pasta (PastaMach, p75; cookbooker), followed by a salad.

Sunday/26-Mar-17: Pogo betterish, if still not great.

Early meal today, our first eaten outside this year. We had The Most Delicious Meat Cubes (Q&E, p29), made with lamb. Have made this with pork before and without the pressure cooker. I think I managed to set the cooker for veggies rather than meat, but the meat was fine; maybe it would have been softer if I'd done it right, but this was not a problem. I added extra water and there was just barely enough to cook properly. If it had gone later, it might have been burnt as it was on Friday. Served with Indian Mashed Potatoes (Q&E, p90), which is yummy and I haven't made in a while. And there was Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148) to use up a bit of broccoli. All tasty.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, March 13, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Mar-17: Worked on clearing out unlikely-to-be-used recipes from the active stacks of clippings.

Off plan tonight. Used up the last of the cauliflower to make a half recipe of Roasted Cauliflower & Mushroom Carbonara. (Think this is from a Jamie magazine, at least it's from some British magazine,but I can't find it online unfortunately.) I didn't have enough cauliflower, so I used some broccoli too; and a box of shiitakes for the mushrooms; and a packet of lardons for the pancetta. Turned out pretty good actually. Was too lazy to make a salad as a go-with, so this is all we had.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/14-Mar-17: BookChatters in the morning; ENT, shopping at Grand Frais and Biocoop, and stop at pharmacy in the afternoon meant not much time for anything. Dinner was a half dose of Egg Curry (web), which turned out pretty good. Served with plain rice and Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148).

Wednesday/15-Mar-17: Change of plans today, since I wasn't ready with the meal plan and shopping list. Defrosted some duck sausages we got at a marché des producteurs last summer. Ed barbecued them while I made (more or less) Asparagus with Garlic and Balsamic Reduction (web). More or less, because I was short on balsamic vinegar—inventory failure. Also some buckwheat crozets. At Grand Frais yesterday, I not only scored some asparagus (from Spain), but also some blueberries from Morocco. Wasn't aware that blueberries were something brown in Morocco, in March, but they were delicious. I made a half recipe of Easy Blueberry Cobbler (MC 2BTried; web) in an 8" (or 9"?) square dish. Remarkably good for little effort. Ed wanted to eat it all.

Thursday/16-Mar-17: Shopping today. Dinner was Grilled Tuna Kebobs (web) under the broiler. Good, and could be done with swordfish or halibut. Served with trio rice and Harissa-and-Maple-Roasted Carrots (web). Made a halfish (maybe less, I didn't weigh) recipe of the carrots; started with a huge stack, but after roasting it looked like just one serving. They were good, though. That was all.

Friday/17-Mar-17: We were out early, early this morning for our 5-yearly bilan de santé. There before 8am; home about 11am. We both managed to keep going all day in spite of early start.

Dinner was definitely a hit. I made a third-ish recipe of Sautéed Veal with Sherry and Green Olives (EatingTog, p149; cookbooker), served with a some pasta. Made a salad, but we didn't feel like eating it. Instead we finished the blueberry cobbler, which was still yummy. This is really rather like a clafoutis, and is definitely a keeper recipe.

Saturday/18-Mar-17: Early meal today. We had Chicken Thigh, Sausage and Red Lentil One-Pot Roast (web). I goofed and defrosted some skinless boneless thighs, rather than bone-in ones, so we had a real mixture. The skin on the bone-in thighs was remarkably crispy. I'm not a skin person, but this was good. I used Toulouse sausages, which were pretty plain. Something a bit more zippy would be nice; not smoked, I think. De Puy lentils, rather than the red ones might be nice. Takes a bit of unattended wall clock time, but very easy to assemble and cook. Followed by yesterday's uneaten salad. Then I had a mini magnum.

Sunday/19-Mar-17: The bread machine made (with a bit of help) Cayenne Cornbread (BigGerman, p182). The poor machine isn't very happy; sometimes the paddle needs a bit of help to get around.

We had our main meal early today. Cayenne Cornbread along with Potato and Green Chile Stew (web), which was even easier because I used three chiles from a little can. Very tasty for little effort.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, March 6, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Mar-17: Another Big Blow today and we were without electricity for three hours. There was leftover meatloaf on the menu tonight, so we would still have eaten well in the dark. Served with peas and carrots (fresh carrot, frozen peas) and Spaetzle (MW@Home, p203).

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/7-Mar-17: Early meal today so we can go to a concert in Limoges this evening. We had Bangkok Shrimp, a recipes I collected from Betsy at EAT-L. She posted a shrimp version, but said  it was originally a beef recipe and that shrimp was recommended as an alternative. I found the beef version here, without the shrimp recommendation. The shrimp version uses lime juice instead of lemon juice, otherwise the same. This was yummy. I didn't have chunky peanut butter, so just used the regular stuff with some extra peanuts thrown in. Oops, no more carrots in house. Nevertheless, delicious. Served with Asian Green Bean Salad (web), also good. Seeded and chopped a regular tomato, rather than cherry tomatoes. Tasty meal we had.

Wednesday/8-Mar-17: Shopping today. We got there fairly early, i.e., in time for lunch, and the store was almost empty. Very strange.

Dinner was Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa (web). Good stuff. Salmon was rubbed with a mixture of salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder, ancho powder, and black pepper. Very simple salsa of avocado, red onion, lime juice, and chopped cilantro. All good. Served with polenta and two artichokes (impulse buy, on sale today) cooked in the pressure cooker, with a really simple dip of mayo and dijon mustard sprinkled with paprika. For dessert, some store-bought rice custards with caramel. We ate well.

Thursday/9-Mar-17: Dinner was disappointing, a half recipe of Daniel Boulud's Chicken Tagine (web). Took a long time to make and tasted pretty blah, not bad, just not interesting. Looked so promising. Over couscous. And a mini ice cream bar for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/10-Mar-17: Sorted through one of my ancillary stacks of recipes today; threw out some, need to throw out more.

Back to the pressure cooker with Mahur Jaffrey today, for Lamb Stewed in Coconut Milk (Q&E, p34; cookbooker). Yummy as usual, although it seemed to take a long time to assemble. As suggested, served with Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (Q&E, p88; cookbooker). And some plain basmati rice. For dessert I used up some frozen cherries to make a half recipe of Clafoutis aux Cerises (VPG); haven't been able to find it on the web, but that's ok. This is a seriously non-standard clafoutis recipe and didn't work at all. It was more like a skimpy pudding with lots of cherries. Tasted fine, but it wasn't anything like a clafoutis.

Saturday/11-Mar-17: Meant to make pasta today, but didn't feel like it after a couple of days of long prep dinner. Used tagliatelle from the freezer to make a half dose of Tonnarelli ai Gamberi e Funghi (ClassPasta, p104; cookbooker). Followed by a salad.

Sunday/12-Mar-17: Lovely lunch out before a concert. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no