Monday, August 7, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Aug-17: A bit day today. Went to the préfecture to exchange my Dutch driver's license for  a French one. Then went to visit Vanille, a bichon-cross doggie needing a new home. And brought her home with us. We've both felt how odd it is getting using to a new being in the house. Pogo must have caused the same feeling, but we don't remember. She hasn't worked things out with Sophie and Oscar yet. To avoid disputes in the night, we'll probably close the cats out of the bedroom tonight, which is a bit sad.

Dinner was, more or less, Gratin de Saucisse, Pomme de Terre et Petits Pois (web). I made a whole recipe (serving 4), so we can have it again later in the week. The proportions in the recipe are a bit strange: one chipolata per person, two potatoes for four, etc. It would be better to half-cook, boil, the potatoes, since some of them were a bit crunchy. Used crème fraîche and cheddar for the topping. Needed lots of pepper. But good. Then cantaloup sorbet.

Tuesday/8-Aug-17: Lunch out today. Nothing furthered happened in the kitchen today.

Wednesday/9-Aug-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Baked Cheddar Polenta and Salmon with Crushed Pea and Garlic (web). Not bad at all, but way too much polenta. I made two packets, one for each or us. I put the extra polenta in another little dish to do something with soon. Blueberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/10-Aug-17: Leftover chipolata gratin for our early meal, with some leftover zucchini salad. Then a regular salad. That's all.

Made up some croutons with a bit of leftover bread, loosely following the recipe in Art.

Friday/11-Aug-17: It was Tuna Cutlets (web) for dinner tonight. Really tasty (Indian), but the mixture was ready to make patties. I added some of the egg and some besan, which helped a bit. So, not so pretty, but still yummy. Served with trio rice and Pan-Grilled Zucchini (MJ@Home, p173), which has become a favorite. Blueberries and vanilla ice cream again for dessert.

Saturday/12-Aug-17: Very nice dinner out with Patrice and Wim (for Wim's birthday). Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/13-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today, Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto (web). No spiralizer, so I used the fat julienne blade on my mandoline. Made about a half recipe, which should serve 8, but seemed like a skimpy 2. Tasty, though. Started with an insalata caprese, sort of, with the first tomato of the season, not as ripe as it should have been, and basil from the sandbox garden. Then a salad.

Yogurt on overnight, and chicken to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/31-Jul-17: Dinner from odds and ends in the fridge tonight. Sautéed onions, mushrooms, garlic, and a quarter of a cabbage. Added some tomato sauce, a bit of chicken stock, and some tomato paste. Served over brown rice. It was good, and better after grinding on some red pepper. Some mini Haagen-Dasz cups for dessert.

Tuesday/1-Aug-17: More odds and ends today. The lovely Indian tomato-cream sauce over pasta. Some corn on the cob Ed bought at Intermaché last week. A salad. That was all.

Made some ground roast cumin, since I'd used the last that I had.

Wednesday/2-Aug-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was lieu noir, marinated with Marinade for Grilled Fish (MC). That was boring boring boring; can't think why I bothered to save it. And a side of graminge, the funny "short spaghetti" I bought for a dish in April; might need to get some more of this if they still have it.

Starting to attack the burgeoning zucchini surplus from the potager, we had Zucchini Chile-Cheddar Mash (web); an instant favorite. I made the whole recipe with a single zuke weighing in just over one pound. We loved it, but couldn't finish. It wants a can of chopped chiles (mine are hand-chopped), so hard to cut it back.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/3-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today. There was Spiced Lamb Pilaf (web); I think this is really a biryani, but I won't tell if you don't. Tasty, but ... the amount of rice is way too much. Other recipes use 2 cups of basmati rice to serve four. We ate all this, but were stuffed. With less rice, the lamb and peas would shine more instead of being buried in rice. Also, she seems to toss the water that the lamb was cooked in; I strained it (to remove the spices, although I'm not sure that was needed) and topped it up with a bit of water for cooking the rice. Served wth North African Zucchini Salad with Garlic, Chili Paste & Caraway (MedHot, p32). We've liked this before but didn't eat much today. First, too much rice; second, I got a bit sloppy measuring the vinegar so it was sourer than it needed to be. OK for me but not for Ed.

Friday/4-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Scallops with Lemon-Basil Sauce (web). As suggested I served with Buttery Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan Cheese (for two: 4oz angel hair, 1/4cup Parmesan, 1tbl butter). Now I see that the scallops should be served atop the pasta; I served them "with" the pasta, next to it on the plate. Still good, though.

As a side, there was, yes, zucchini, as Zucchini Chunks with Citrus and Mint (web). This was easy and good.

Saturday/5-Aug-17: Made up the broth for Cantaloupe Sorbet (Scoop, p111). Of course I added some pineau (vieux) to the mix.

Dinner was a third recipe of Huevos Façon Cocotte aux Olives et Xipirones (VPG; web). (Xiripones seems to be squid in Spanish.) Interesting, not bad, but don't need to do it again. Served with my embroidery on the Salade de Haricots Blancs aux Épices (VPG) that was recommended as a starter. This turned out pretty good. For two, a drained can of white beans, most of a smallish red onion, thinly sliced, and some chopped parsley with a dressing of sesame oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, paprika, and ginger. Easy and tasty. Some mini magnums (one classic, one white) for dessert.

Sunday/6-Aug-17: It was supposed to be fresh pasta today, but I didn't feel like it. So we had Marcella Hazan's famous tomato sauce (from the freezer) with store-bought spaghettoni (also from the freezer). And a salad full of goodies. And a Haagen-Dasz mini cup for dessert.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for July, no for August; #4 BREAD: no for July, no for August

Monday, July 24, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made a recipe that Jacky posted on Facebook recently, Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing (web). Well, I sort of made it. I didn't have enough orecchiette, so I used malfada. Rather than all shrimp, I used the end of two packages of shrimp and scallops. No buttermilk, so I used yogurt. And a bit more lemon juice to cut the taste of the mayo. It was good. I made a whole recipe and we ate it all. Yum.

Made a salad, but we didn't eat that. Back in the fridge for tomorrow.

I defrosted a packet of pâte feuilleté squares yesterday and turned them into a little dessert today. An apple chopped in smallish bits, some walnuts, and some mixed dried red berries, mixed with cream cheese, a dab of honey, some cinnamon, some quatre épices, and a slog of kirsch. Made little packets of them and baked for 25min or so. Pretty good for minimal effort.

Tuesday/25-Jul-17: Froze up 16cups of chicken stock today.

Early meal of Cilantro Lime Chicken (web). Easy and very yummy. Served with some plain couscous, livened up with some Moroccan spice mix. (Probably wrong continent since the chicken came from a Malaysian site.) Then yesterday's salad. Then the last two apple packets.

Wednesday/26-Jul-17: Both of us slept late today, so we didn't get to shopping till really late in the day. A full store, but all the check-out counters were going so that part went fast. Tuna was on sale, but they were out, so I bought so tuna and replanned when we got home.

I'd defrosted some tomato sauce for the planned tuna dish, so instead we had Salmon in a Tomato-Cream Sauce (MJ@Home, p56), which we liked a lot last time I made it. No cilantro for the sauce today, but it was still good. Served with plain rice and plain peas, but it all went together well.

Thursday/27-Jul-17: Lovely bbq with Cath&Doug and their daughter Alison and her daughter Sophie this evening. I took Isla Bonita Pork Tenderloin (MC), with three huge varkenshazen. And Pineapple-Apple Coleslaw (TooMany, p59; MC), an old favorite that I haven't made in quite a while. Every was good.

Friday/28-Jul-17: Leftover cheese enchiladas for our main meal, with some pretty spicy guacamole, and a bit of coleslaw. Some chocolate cake from last night for dessert.

Did no cooking for tomorrow, which is a shame.

Saturday/29-Jul-17: Yogurt on overday.

Made two salads for a wedding dinner this evening, both old. There was Greek-Style Lentil Salad (WorldVeg, p630) and Zucchini and Feta Cheese Salad (WorldVeg, p640). Unforuntately, not as many people attended the dinner as were expected so we have gaboons of leftovers.

Sunday/30-Jul-17: Zucchini salad for breakfast. Lentil salad for our main meal, along with the leftover pork from Thursday. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Jul-17: Replanned a bit today. For an early meal, we had rabbit ragu from the freezer over spaghettoni (also from the freezer). The ragu was still delicious; have added it to the Do-Me-Again page. Served with Cucumber Salad with Dill Vinaigrette (MC) over the last bit of mixed lettuces. We were full.

Roasted the rhubarb to make rhubarb ice cream in the next days. It came out of the oven just as we sat to eat, so I set the dish on the plate warmer to keep the sugar from cooling itself solid.

Tuesday/18-Jul-17: Very nice lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/19-Jul-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Cajun-Style Blackened Catfish (MC; I got it from the old recipezaar newsletter, here it is on the web). Good. Maybe a trifle salty. Served with Sweet Potato Fries (web), which were about as good as these things get (sweet pots being too soggy to get really crispy) and some steamed gesneden snijbonen. All good. While we ate, our ice cream freezer made up some Refreshing Rhubarb Ice Cream (web), which was tasty, but had a texture that made you think there was gelatin there.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/20-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had grilled boudin noir with mashed potatoes and rhubarb compôte (I had been calling this chutney, but it's not really) from the freezer. With Radish Salad (web), a yummy salad. Next time it might be try fennel seeds instead of the caraway, as suggested by a reviewer.

Put off marinating the chicken for tomorrow till too late; had to replan for something that could be done.

Friday/21-Jul-17: New haircut today finally. Still undecided.

Dinner was Chicken with Mustard (web), which was good enough, but doesn't need to be done again. Served with rice pilaf. Then a salad caprese. And the rest of the rhubarb ice cream for dessert.

Saturday/22-Jul-17: Cheese enchiladas today. Good, in spite of problems. The package of tortillas in the fridge wasn't well closed, so they were dry and crumbly. I thought I had a unopened tube of crème fraîche, but it was half-full and moldy. I used what we call pyramid cheese instead; this is a soft goat cheese, similar-ish to crème fraîche, and worked well. Served with Mama's Spanish rice, with no tomatoes. All my avocados were bad, so I made a little side salad of tomato and cilantro with the bowl scrapings of the enchilada topping. All was pretty good.

Sunday/23-Jul-17: The new haircut is another failure.

Yogurt on overday.

We were out playing with archery all day. Dinner from the freezer, Broccoli-White Bean Soup, thinned with some chicken stock and broccoli bits added for something to bite on.

Started a huge pot of chicken stocks; there were three pretty full gallon-sized ziplocs full of bones in the freezer. And a sack of veggie bits in the fridge's freezer.

Funny I've used no cookbooks this week.

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos (CL; web). I sort of made a whole recipe, that should serve four, for the two of us. I used two kip filets as asked, and had much more romaine; even so, I made only half the dressing, using yogurt instead of buttermilk and feta instead blue cheese (because I forgot to buy this, duh). It was good, but I'll do it again when I'll remember to buy the cheese.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/11-Jul-17: Dinner was Rice Salad with Tuna & Avocado (PatSalad, p57). Made about a half recipe; wasn't obsessive about measuring. Maybe a bit plain, but very pleasant. I used short-grain brown rice rather than white.

Wednesday/12-Jul-17: Shopping today.

I recently read somewhere about Nicolas Freeling's The Kitchen Book, and got myself a copy. Actually the copy includes two books, The Kitchen Book and The Cook Book. He's known for the van der Valk mysteries. I didn't know that he worked as a chef for 15 year. Started reading this today. Really enjoying it.

Dinner was a sort of half recipe of Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula Salad (web). I had half the salmon, but probably had close to all of the salad part. Very tasty. The salad part could be good with a kip filet on top.
  • Roasted some red bell peppers for tomorrow's dinner. 
  • Set some yogurt to draining for tomorrow's dinner.
  • Put some lamb cubes on to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.
Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/13-Jul-17: Made Chile Puree (TexMex, p50). Put it up in three AH jars (two in the freezer), although four probably would have been all right; we'll just have lots of sauce for the next batches of enchiladas.

Our main course this evening was a two-thirds-ish recipe of Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (web). Ed grilled this outside (after the rain finally stopped). I used shaoxing wine instead of sherry. Yummy meat. This was billed as a "marriage of Middle Eastern and Chinese influence," so I chose the side dishes from  book I haven't used before, but clearly need to pay some attention to.

There was Shredded Beets with Thick Yogurt (EastMed, p30) with a 250g beet. This is supposed to be a sauce or dip. I think it would be a fine small salad. I thought it was very tasty; Ed liked it a bit less.

And a half recipe of Grilled Red Pepper Strips with Pomegranate and Cumin (EastMed, p154), another small salad. We liked this a lot. It might be pretty to do it with a mixture of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.

And a two-thirds-ish recipe of Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce (EastMed, p155). Instead of baking the eggplant slices, I put them under the broiler. They could have been done a bit longer. Nevertheless, quite tasty.

Finally a third recipe of Rice Pilaf with Noodles (EastMed, p233), which was a nice change from plain rice. I didn't soak the rice.

Friday/14-Jul-17: Bastille Day today. For dinner we had Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Avocados (web). This was pretty good. I called the recipe dinner for two and used 7oz of tagliatelle (the end of a package, and no fresh stuff in the freezer). A bit of an odd combination, but it worked fine. Shrimp, avocado, artichoke hearts, chives (I used a whole can, about twice what was asked), and green olives, with a vinaigrette of white balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil.

Saturday/15-Jul-17: Pasta day today. Made Hazan's regular pasta with 1 cup flour and 2 eggs (actually I add quite a bit more as I knead, since it's fairly damp when I start). Cut as fettuccine on 5; tasty. By accident, after I roughly mixed the pasta dough, but before I started kneading, the dough rested for a bit. It was nicer to knead with this pause.

For a sauce, there was Arugula Purée with Walnuts and Goat Cheese (PeV, p39). Pretty good. I made a whole recipe and have two more lumps in the freezer now.

Sunday/16-Jul-17: Off to a vide grenier today; didn't buy anything.

Dinner was Chicken & Corn Salad (PatSalad, p99). Easy and tasty. Two of us ate what should have been for four.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Jul-17: An unanticipated consequence of our frequently eating early meals is that we don't work a big crossword daily. Our stack is growing.

No early meal today. We had Skillet Chicken with Rhubarb (web). I made a halfish recipe with four thighs. It was quite good. Served with trio rice, a cheap one with more white rice than anything, and carrot coins. Good stuff.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/4-Jul-17: The stove man came early today to have a look/listen to the strange noise. Of course it wouldn't make it as aggressively as it did last week, but it did give a buzz. He had a look, said it definitely wasn't in the gas line. Might be a screw. I was unclear if he actually tightened something or not.

Used the newly fixed, silent oven to make Flourless Chocolate Cake (web), partly to use up some of my inventory of ground almonds.

For our main meal, we had Craig Claiborne's Ultimate Hamburger (Tabasco, p88). I found the same recipe, minus the Tabasco sauce on the web. Really easy. Essential you just sear, then cook some plain hamburger patties, then top with a pat of butter (I think it's a good idea to do this in the pan, so the butter can be soaked up when you toast the buns), and a little sauce made of (for each patty) 1/4tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/8tsp Tabasco sauce, 1/2tbl lemon juice. Sprinkle on 1tbl chopped parsley. You might add a slice of onion. Extra yummy.

For sides there were Mama's Garlic Cole Slaw (MC&HandyBook) and some corn on the cob. For dessert there was, of course some extra yummy Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Wednesday/5-Jul-17: Shopping day today. Some nice looking swordfish was on special, so I bought some and had to chance the meal plan.

I made Tandoori Style Striped Bass Fillet (MJ@Home, p43) with the swordfish. It was yummy, if a bit salty. I defrosted some spinach to make Spinach with Garlic and Cumin (MJ@Home, p169), easy and yummy. And then some Curried Brown Rice (MJ@Home, p220). All were good. Then some Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream.

Oops, I forgot to buy bread at the store. So we'll have breakfast from the freezer tomorrow.

Thursday/6-Jul-17: An easy meal today. We had the leftover Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart, along with a salad, followed by more Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream. Not too bad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/7-Jul-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Gemelli ai Fagiolini (Geometry. p115). Shh, I used casareccia instead of gemelli. Good stuff. A whole recipe was a nice main for two—haricots verts puréed with cream, cinnamon, and a bit of garlic. Simple and surprisingly good. Served with a big salad. Then the end of the Flourless Chocolate Cake with some cream and raspberries. We ate well.

Saturday/8-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made a half recipe of New Potato and Chorizo Tortilla (web). Good stuff. The potatoes need a bit longer to cook than the recipe says; maybe it would be a good idea to boil them half done first. Anyhow it was good. Followed by a little salad of grated carrots. And the last half of the watermelon. (We ate the first half earlier this week, but I neglected to record it.)

Sunday/9-Jul-17: Ed's choir sang today. We had pizza afterwards. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Jun-17: Pasta day today. I made Greek Shrimp (PastaMach, p136), served over Lemon Chive Pasta (PastaMach, p67). I added the grated rind of a lemon to the pasta and used 3tsp of frozen chives. It had a strange translucency, almost like rice noodles. Not sure why. But chewed nice. Then a salad.

Tuesday/27-Jun-17: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/28-Jun-17: The stove got fixed this morning, at no small cost. But now I have two working ovens and the wok burner lights itself.

Shopping day.

Dinner was Chicken Posole Salad (web; cookbooker). This was very tasty. For two people I used two small kip filets (250g total) with all the spice mix; saved a bit of the mix for cooking the hominy. Need at least 1cup of hominy. Used a whole avocado between us; no sharing one between four. Halved the vinaigrette. A very tasty, easy salad. I had a mini magnum for afters.

Put fish on to marinate for tomorrow.

Thursday/29-Jun-17: Indian meal night. We had Monkfish Kebabs (30MinInd, p70), which were pretty good. As go-withs there were Jeera Potatoes (30MinInd, p85) and Peas with Whole Cumin and Mustard Seeds (SpiceKitch, p48); both of these we've enjoyed before. Everything was good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/30-Jun-17: I missed an eating-out on Wednesday evening, so we had lunch out today.

To use up some of the store-bought rhubarb, I made a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, from my 2BTried cookbook in Mastercook. Good it is. Went to use the newly fixed oven and found it makes a strange noise when it's turned on. Now I have to manage telling them that on the phone.

Saturday/1-Jul-17: Starting to use the tortillas I ordered. Tonight we had Soft Tacos or Tostadas with Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa (MexLight, p206). Used cooked chicken from the freezer. Didn't make salsa verde, but finished off a nice bottle of the stuff, topped off with a can of "salsa verde" that was only puréed tomatillos. Topped with crème fraîche instead of yogurt. Pretty good stuff for as easy as it was. Rhubarb Upside Down Cake for dessert.

Sunday/2-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart (VT,jul/aug16; web). This was pretty good. The curious thing is that the recipe I collected from the magazine is titled "goat cheese", while the one online is titled "taleggio". Same picture and other details are the same. Curious that. Some strangenessese in the recipe. They say one pound of zucchini, sliced, makes three cups; nope, it was four cups. And 10oz mushrooms, sliced, makes 2-1/2 cups; nope, that was more than 4cups. The volume measures are better. No madeira in house, so I used dry sherry. Tasty mushroom like shiitake would be even better.

Then a salad. Then the rest of the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

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