Friday, November 30, 2007

Biokiste 30

The little bag in the center contains some really nice, very peppery cress... that's going to be fun to use.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday: garbage soup

Tonight I made garbage soup to finish off some of the stuff in the fridge.
I sauted some onion, garlic, carrot, and celery with cumin seeds in a bit of olive oil until the vegetables started to soften. I added some chopped grünkohl and sauteed a bit longer. Then I added diced ham and turkey and some turkey stock. I made the stock a bit more interesting by adding chopped chipotle, soy sauce and a bit of tomato paste. After this came to a boil I added leftover cooked rice and cooked until the greens were basically done. Just before serving I added some canned black beans.

We ate this with some corn tortillas Andrea picked up in Zurich.

footnote: Andrea correctly points out that I shouldn't really count it as "finishing off" leftovers when I just created a whole pot of leftover soup.

Tuesday: la la la leftovers

Last night I used up the last of the leftover stuffing and some of the turkey by doing a "stuffing casserole": I mixed diced turkey with the stuffing and then baked the whole thing in a buttered gratin dish. I served this delight topped with gravy. :-)

We also finished off the vegetables and had a big green salad.

Monday: break from leftovers

I couldn't take another night of Thanksgiving leftovers, so we took a little break on Monday night.

Dinner was: sauerkraut (from the biokiste) cooked with some smoked ham with rice on the side and some of the steamed vegetables from Saturday (ok, those leftovers were allowed).

oh, and a green salad.

Straightforward, and good.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday: "Thanksgiving"

We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday with a few friends. It wasn't a big group (total of 6 of us planned, actually 5 there), so I couldn't go completely overboard with food. Consequently things remained pretty calm and collected all day.

Things I made:

  1. Three types of spiced nuts:
    1. cashews with B&vG spice rub
    2. almonds with olive oil, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne
    3. pecans with molasses, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon (a hint), a big of mustard, and some butter
  2. Turkey - filled with apple, onion, sage, and thyme, covered with butter, salt, and pepper then roasted following Bittman's method (breast down for the first hour, then flipped; stock in the bottom of the pan). Once again, the bird cooked quicker than it seemed like it should have. It was done in 2.5 hours instead of 3-3.5 hours. ah well... I was monitoring it pretty closely so it wasn't all dried out. [4.5kg bird, more than enough]
  3. Stuffing - basically the same as last year (Ruchbrot, mushrooms, onions, celery, sage, thyme, parsley). [1.5 loaves of bread, more than enough]
  4. Mashed potatoes [1kg potatoes, ok for 5, borderline for 6]
  5. Mashed sweet potatoes (cooked in the pan) [4 sweet potatoes, borderline for 5]
  6. Gravy (made by reducing the pan juices with some additional stock and a splash of vermouth then thickening it at the end with potato starch; this was probably my best gravy ever).
  7. Roasted green beans [1kg, plenty]
  8. Steamed mixed vegetables (kohrabi and zucchini matchsticks, orange and yellow carrot threads, red carrot rounds) [1.5 kohlrabi, 2 zucchinis, 2 each big orange and yellow carrots, 3 smaller red carrots]
  9. Green salad
We outsourced the dessert to Nik and Ewa this year: they brought an apple crumble and a chocolate mousse.

It's lucky this was good food because we have LOADS of leftovers.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday: slow-cooked tuna, mashed squash

For this one I kept it very simple: I seasoned a piece of yellowfin tuna, poured some olive oil over it, then put it in on a plate into a cold oven, which I set to 130C. When the tuna was just cooked through we ate it with the olive oil poured over the top.

I also mashed the remaining half of a roasted butternut squash from Wednesday and of course we had a big green salad.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday: chicken and cabbages

This week's biokiste contained sauerkraut (a totally different style from what we get at the market) and the first grünkohl (essentially collard greens) of the season. I was very happy to see both. :-)

I did a very simple preparation with the grünkohl: Dice some smoked bacon and render it. Chop the grünkohl into small pieces, saute those pieces in the bacon fat with some olive oil and a pinch of salt until the greens darken. Add some chicken stock, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes until the grünkohl is tender.

I had made chicken stock on wednesday night (for Saturday's thanksgiving meal) and reserved the breasts from the chicken. Those I served last night: Pound out the chicken breasts, season them, top with a bit of sauerkraut, and then roll them and tie with kitchen string. Let these sit around until just before dinner time then brown them on all sides in a bit of peanut oil, deglaze with vermouth, add a bit of stock and let them cook until cooked through (another couple minutes). Serve with the pan sauce poured over.

We also had the leftover squash/celery root/potato puree from Wednesday night. That might even have been better the second night.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Biokiste 29

This week we have an assortment of mixed salad greens, grünkohl, sauerkraut, and some more veggie goodness.

Wednesday's mixed bits

This started with the butternut squash remaining from last week's biokiste. After a bit of looking through cookbooks, I decided to go with a recipe from CPV for a puree of squash (delicata in the recipe), celery root, and potatoes. All vegetables were from the biokiste. I pretty much followed the recipe here aside from using milk instead of cream and steeping the garlic cloves in the milk instead of baking them with the squash. I ended up adding a bit too much liquid so the final consistency was more like polenta than mashed potatoes, but it didn't make any difference at all... this stuff is fantastic.

For a main dish, I did braised beef chunks:
Season some beef chunks (400g) and brown them well in olive oil. Add a couple diced onions, a diced carrot, a stalk of celery (also diced), and a coarsely chopped clove of garlic. Cook until the vegetables brown a bit and start to soften. Deglaze with some dry vermouth and add some chicken stock and a stalk of thyme. Cover and simmer until the beef is fork tender. If necessary, thicken with some potato starch before serving.

We also had a big green salad.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday: Beet Rösti

There were beets in last week's biokiste that really needed to be used up. We aren't big beet fans; sometimes they're good but sometimes they just taste too much like dirt.

Steve and Dianna recommended the recipe for beet rösti from Bittman a couple years ago, so I figured we ought to finally give that a try. The final result: very happy. The combination of beets, rosemary, and butter is quite a nice one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday: Pork with leeks, mushrooms, and tomato

This was an improv to use up some of the stuff in the fridge.

I started by seasoning and nicely browning a piece of pork faux filet. I set the pork aside, added some chopped leeks and mushrooms to the pan with a pinch of salt and cooked until those started to brown. I then added a splash of white wine, a bit of chicken stock and some pureed tomatoes, a good grind of pepper, and a couple piri piri peppers. Once this reached the simmer, I put the pork back in, covered the pan and let it simmer until the pork was almost done. I removed the pork again and covered it, then cooked for another five or so minutes to thicken the sauce. Just before serving, I sliced the pork and added it back to the sauce to reheat.

We ate this with leftover grain "risotto" and carrots with leeks from Saturday.

Oh, and a green salad.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday: Chicken smothered with leeks

For last night's dinner Andrea requested some kind of stew or braise; I did some improvisation and we ended up having chicken smothered with leeks and carrots.

I started by browning some chicken leg quarters well. These were well seasoned and then they went onto a bed of sliced leeks in the Römertopf. I surrounded the chicken with sliced carrots, a few bay leaves, and a couple cloves and then topped the whole thing with more sliced leeks. I poured over a bit of white wine, put the top on, and put the topf in a cold oven, which I set to 180C. I let the whole thing cook for 2-2.5 hours until the chicken was falling off the bone and the leeks were melty. After pulling the chicken out, I stirred a couple spoons of creme fraiche into the liquid in the topf and used that as a sauce.

As sides I made dried green beans with bacon, grain "risotto", and a big green salad.

It was very good food.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday: Pumpkin soup and spaghetti

Andrea's parents are in town, so we're not doing anything particularly exotic this weekend.
Last night I did a pumpkin soup with glazed chestnuts (recipe idea from FSToS) using the pumpkin from last week's biokiste and roasted chestnuts (it's that time of year!).

As a main course, I made a quick meat sauce (ground meat, onions, tomato, a bit of milk, and herbes de provence) which we ate over spaghetti.

Of course we also had a green salad.

Thursday: omelet with chard, raisins, and pine nuts

This was a recipe from this week's Weeknight Kitchen. I pretty much followed along except for substituting the cheese (Gstaader Bergkase instead of the monterey jack that was called for) and using normal raisins instead of golden raisins. The chard and onions were from the biokiste.

Andrea, oh she of little faith, was skeptical about this one, but that skepticism was misplaced. As usual! :-)

I also made some bratkartoffeln [biokiste] and we had a big green salad.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Biokiste 28

This time the box was pretty light. Well, except for the beets, which are aren't super enthusiastic about. Time to try again to find a beet recipe we like.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday: Root vegetable and bean stew

This originally was going to be an attempt at garbure, but then we didn't find confit, so it changed... Let's call it a stew of root vegetables, beans, and pork that was inspired by garbure.

The vegetable content was turnip, celery root, potato, and leek [all biokiste]. For flavor, there was garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, salted bacon, and some sausage (bratwurst vaudoise). Oh and chicken stock. And black pepper... don't forget the pepper.

As an accompaniment I made spinach with hazelnuts and sour dried apricots. I toasted the hazelnuts in butter, tossed in the apricots (cut into strips), and then tossed the whole thing with cooked spinach [also biokiste].

what great food this was.

We also had a nice nüssli salad.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday: beans and greens

There was escarole in last week's biokiste that has been waiting for a week to be turned into beans and greens.

I started by browning some garlic in olive oil, added diced carrot and onion and cooked until the veggies started to soften, added some chopped chorizo and let it cook a bit, then added the escarole (coarsely chopped), mixed well to coat the escarole, then added some vegetable boullion and let cook until almost done. Finally I added the beans and let them heat through.

we ate this with a squeeze of lemon, some fresh parsley, and some good olive oil.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Biokiste 27

Plenty of root vegetables this time: celery, turnip, carrots. plus some pumpkin and chard

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Monday night meatballs

To go along with the leftover sauerkraut from Sunday, I made some quick meatballs from ground beef, finely chopped landjaeger, and some minced onion. I browned these nicely and served them as is.

I also did some sauteed fennel and we had a green salad.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday night: Roasted fish with sauerkraut

This is a recipe from BittmanWorld that I made with nile perch fillets and sauerkraut from the market. The combination of fish, paprika, and sauerkraut isn't one I would have come up with -- this is why I have cookbooks! :-) -- but it works quite well.

As sides we had some pan-steamed spinach, the remains of the roasted squash, and some boiled potatoes with butter.

oh, and a green salad.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday lunch: Wurstsalat

This was intended to be a Siedfleischsalat from an interesting sounding Coop recipe. Unfortunately Coop had no more Siedfleisch, so I used the same dressing with cervelas to make a Wurstsalat.

The combination of horseradish and yogurt is nice for this application.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friday's leftovers

sheesh, lots of leftovers.
This time it was split-pea soup. To go with the soup, I roasted some diced squash with sliced leeks [both biokiste].

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday's leftovers

Last night I sauteed some large shrimp in butter and we ate them with the leftover caramel sauce and rice from Wednesday.

The shrimp weren't spectacularly flavorful, but the dish was still not half bad.

On the side we had a green salad and some mixed pickles I made a while ago; I brightened the pickles up with a bit of lime juice and sesame oil.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Biokiste 26

Nice big head of escarole this week along with some of the cool red-skinned carrots.

Wednesday: Chicken with fish-sauce caramel

I started this by browning a couple of chicken leg quarters in peanut oil, pouring off the fat, and then letting the chicken sit covered in the warm pan while I made the sauce. This was done by caramelizing some sugar to a fairly dark caramel, adding fish sauce and cooking for a couple minutes, then adding some water to dissolve the remaining caramel. I poured this over the chicken and let it braise in a partially covered pot until the chicken was done and the sauce had reduced some. I then added fresh lime juice and let things cook another couple minutes before serving with rice.

I also sauteed some spinach [biokiste] that I served tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce.

excellent food.