Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday: pork with cider vinegar and almonds

Last night's main dish came from this week's Splendid Table recipe. Instead of using chicken breasts I substituted pork steaks, and I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. I'm sure the stock thing made a difference, but the dish was still quite good.

I now kind of have a craving for a meat dish made with a reduced cider sauce with a bit of cider vinegar added for balance.

To go with the pork we had oven-roasted potatoes and a big green salad.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday Hummus

I've been craving hummus for a while now and needing to use up the last of the bread dough provided a good excuse to fill that craving. I didn't do anything fancy, just hummus (chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon, olive oil, cumin, black pepper, and salt) and flat bread.

mmmmm, hummus.

of course we had a green salad too.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Squash

This was an improv inspired by the pieces of pumpkin-like squash in last week's biokiste.

Cook some minced garlic, minced ginger, and finely chopped onion gently in olive oil and butter until it's nicely aromatic and the onion has softened. Add some diced (1cm) squash, a pinch of salt, and a good few grinds of white pepper and continue to cook gently until the squash is about done. Add a bit of cayenne and some raclette spice and adjust seasonings. Serve over spaghetti topped with chives.

To go with this we had fennel braised in olive oil and beef bouillon and a big green salad.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday Miscellany

We had leftover yeast dough that I used for the crust of Saturday's Zwiebelkuchen, so last night I put some of that to work by making a couple flatbreads. After the flat breads were finished, I did four different toppings (each on half a flatbread): tomatoes, dried ham, a hard alp cheese, goat cheese with coriander (from Neuchatel). These I tossed back in the broiler for a couple of minutes.

As sides I did some spinach cooked with bacon and garlic and pan-browned cauliflower. Of course we also had a big green salad.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday Zwiebelkuchen

It's Fall again, which means time for local Suser, which means time for Zwiebelkuchen.

Since we live next to Alsace and I have this great new French cookbook, I started out from the AFK recipe for flammekuchen. Since that recipe only used 200g of onion and called for making sure that the onions take on any color, some modification was required. Then there was no recipe for the crust (supposed to get white bread dough from a bakery), so I needed a crust recipe. For whatever reason I didn't use a standard white bread recipe, but pulled something out of Le Menu. Then I read an quantity wrong and added much too much water, then we ran out of normal white flour. Hilarity ensued. To make a long story short I made up the difference with semolina. Which was satisfactory but nothing like correct.

Topping quantities: 400g onion cooked with some butter until they take on a bit of color, 125g frischkase, 125g creme fraiche, black pepper, salt, nutmeg, herbs de provence, marjoram. Spread this on the crust, sprinkle with cayenne, top with 150g smoked bacon cut into lardons, then bake at 200C until it's done.

It was a nice meal, even if the crust bore no resemblance to what it should have.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday's Thai

I was traveling all week, so there was no cooking.
Last night, to celebrate my return and help fight a headcold, I did Thai food: Tom Kha Tofu (heh), green papaya salad, and lettuce cooked with ginger and green curry paste. With that we had jasmine rice.

The soup was just my usual Tom Kha Gai recipe made with tofu instead of chicken.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday: Joe's Special, braised fennel

Tonight's main course was a batch of Joe's Special made with leeks instead of onions. To go with that I braised some fennel with fennel seeds with a bit of veal essence and a splash of orange juice.

We had these two really nice things with a pile of buttered brown rice (cooked in vegetable bouillon) and a big green salad.

Saturday: Quince soup, Veal steaks on cabbage

Quince are back in the market, so it was clear I needed to do something with them. I thought about doing the compote I made last year, but then I found a recipe for a quince and ginger soup in the Le Menu archive. That settled that.

The soup is pretty simple: combine 300g quince (rubbed, cored, then cut into 1cm pieces) with 150g carrots (peeled, large dice), and 2 minced shallots in some butter with a pinch of salt. Cook for a bit until the shallots soften. Add 8dl chicken stock and 2 Tbs microplaned ginger. Simmer until the carrots and quince are tender, then puree and add 2dl cream. Serve topped with chives.

We found half price veal steaks at the Coop, so those were our protein. I did these quite simply: seasoned and pan seared in clarified butter, then served with a sauce made from veal essence, shallots, and butter. We ate the steaks atop a bed of napa cabbage that I cut into chiffonade and then gently cooked with some garlic in rapeseed oil. The cabbage was cooked, but still had some crunch to it.

As a contrast element, and because I was curious to try them, I did a Zierapfel (crabapples) compote: Zierapfeln simmered in base of water, sugar, cloves, mace, cinnamon, disks of fresh ginger, lemon zest, and a bit of black pepper until they were tender.

Finally, I did another batch of croquettes to finish off our supply of mashed potatoes.

Of course all of this amazing food was accompanied by a green salad.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday Miscellany

Last night was a bit random: beans and greens served alongside potato croquettes.

For the beans and greens I used onion, carrots, dried salami, olive oil, lettuce, dill, and soisson beans. This I served topped with chives and parsley.

The croquettes were made from leftover mashed potatoes (I remembered to make enough for leftovers!) mixed with salt, black pepper, pimenton, and raclette spices. I formed this into cylinders, rolled them in bread crumbs, then fried them in olive oil.

Very good food.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday Vegetarian

The priority last night was using up vegetables, so I did a few vegetable dishes:

  • Spinach cooked with garlic, onion, carrots, peppers, and olive oil; served drizzled with a bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil
  • Some form of squash/pumpkin (from the biokiste, I can't identify the type) slowly cooked with butter and garlic
  • Mashed potatoes topped with aged Belper Knolle (a raw milk hard cheese that's quite different and very, very good)
A very nice meal.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday: Spaghetti with ground beef and pears

This Le Menu recipe seemed like a good "back from hiking, so it better be easy" meal, plus it used up the pears that were sitting around in the kitchen. Last time I did this I used tomato paste and cayenne instead of the called-for curry paste. This time I would have used curry paste, but we were out, so I added lemon zest, some chopped chili, a squirt of fish sauce, and some freshly ground coriander. The results were quite good.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday's stir fry

Last night I did a couple of stir-fried vegetable dishes: sweet corn (on the cob) steamed and then stir fried with red chilis and hoisin sauce; broccoli stir fried with onions, long peppers, garlic, and black beans with a sauce from Xiao Xing wine, black vinegar, and soy sauce.

With this we had jasmine rice and a green salad.

Pretty quick, quite simple, quite good.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday : fennel gratin

The protein was leftover meatloaf; to accompany it I tossed some baby potatoes with shallots and olive oil and baked them. I also did a gratin of sliced fennel, salt, and olive oil. This I topped with grated alp cheese for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Monday: Sauteed vegetables with pumpkin

Since we had some pumpkin leftover from Saturday's meal, I tossed that into a pot of sauteed vegetables.

The vegetables were eggplant, fennel, pumpkin, onion, and garlic. To this I added diced ham, bay leaf, herbs de provence, and a bit of chicken stock.

We ate this with sourdough bread and a big green salad.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday: Meatloaf with pumpkin

This was a recipe from Le Menu : a meatloaf (ground beef and veal brät, shredded pumpkin, onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, thyme, rosemary, parsley) served with a pumpkin-nut vinaigrette (diced pumpkin, chopped fresh walnuts, shallots, chives, rapeseed oil, white balsamico).

It was clear from reading the recipe that this was going to be a nice dish. I wasn't remotely disappointed. Again: vinaigrettes make really nice sauces for main dishes.

To go with the meatloaf I did green beans cooked with garlic and a pot of basmati rice.

Of course we had a big green salad as well.

A week of leftovers

Between the braised pork and the pasta with cheese, we ended up eating leftovers all week. yowza.