Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday: lamb chops and risotto

Found some nice lamb chops at the Coop on Saturday and this is what I did with them:

Marinate the chops with lemon juice, olive oil, minced rosemary, chopped garlic, minced lemon zest, black pepper, and salt for a few hours. Cook the chops in the grill pan until they have some good color and are medium rare, let them rest a couple of minutes then serve.

To accompany the lamb we had risotto made with onions, garlic, diced yellow carrots, diced chard stems, white wine, and chicken stock.

For the salad I marinated some halved mini-mozarella balls and grape tomatoes in a dressing of minced onion, olive oil, white balsamico, mustard, salt, and pepper. This we ate over lettuce dressed with the same dressing.

Really nice food.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday dessert: Rhubarb crisp

I've been planning to do Bittman's rhubarb crisp recipe since I saw it online. We didn't get any more rhubarb in this week's box, so I picked some up at the market.

The only monkeying around I did with the recipe was driven by available ingredients: I replaced brown sugar with raw sugar (which is what brown sugar kind of wants to be anyway) and substituted sliced almonds for the pecans.

rhubarb is a really strange ingredient but still: mmmmmmm

Saturday: gnocchi primavera

There's a stand at the market that has various Italian cheeses, sausages, filled pastas, and gnocchi that look quite nice but somehow I rarely get stuff from. Yesterday I picked up some gnocchi in order to combine them with the eggplant from the box.

Cut a smallish eggplant into 1cm dice, salt it lightly and let drip for a bit. Prepare some spring onions by cleaning them and cutting them in half if they're big, then lightly brushing with olive oil and cooking under the broiler until they soften and take on some color; chop them coarsely. Cook the eggplant in olive oil with grated yellow carrot and a chopped garlic clove for 5-10 minutes, until the eggplant is about ready. While this is happening start cooking the gnocchi. To the eggplant add the chopped onions, a bit more minced garlic, and mixed fresh herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, parsley, and some unidentified member of the mint family from this week's box). Moisten with a bit of the pasta cooking water. Serve the vegetables over the gnocchi sprinkled with parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.

The gnocchi themselves were really good and this was definitely a very nice way of serving them.

This technically doesn't qualify as rule of five, but it almost works if you think of the herbs as one ingredient, and I made up the damn rule anyway. :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday: Kartoffelpfanne

An idea from Andrea to use some of the new potatoes from this week's box.

Cut unpeeled new potatoes in half or quarters, depending on size. Cook with olive oil until they take on some color and are almost ready to eat. Set aside. Cook diced onion, diced carrot, and chopped garlic for a few minutes in olive oil. Add diced kohlrabi and fennel chopped into bite-size pieces. When the vegetables are a couple of minutes from being done, add sliced wienerli, the potatoes, lemon zest, chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley, and a good grind of pepper. Let everything heat through and serve.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday Fish

Driven by the multiple bulbs of fennel and large quantity of lettuce left from the box:

  1. Fennel cooked in olive oil and a bit of water, dressed with lemon juice (from CPV)
  2. Stir fried lettuce with lemon zest
  3. Pan-roasted cod seasoned with salt, pepper, and piment d'espellete
All together quite a nice combination of flavors.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday Mezze

Yesterday I fired up the grill and did several small things with a mediterranean influence:

  1. Chicken marinated in a paste made from garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, dried chili, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil, then grilled on the slow side of the grill and finished with a couple of minutes directly over the coals.
  2. Roasted peppers with thyme, rosemary, and olive oil.
  3. Baba ganouj made from eggplant roasted whole on the grill.
  4. hummus
  5. a yogurt sauce made with grated cucumber, garlic, yogurt, salt, and piment d'espelette.
We ate this with lettuce and some flat bread and were pretty happy with our lot in life. :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday: asparagus

Yesterday at the market we picked up some local white asparagus. I did a very simple preparation: after peeling it well I boiled it in a stock made from water, sugar, salt, and the asparagus peels. The cooked spears then went onto a napkin and we ate them with salt, butter, and dried ham. Thought it took me a while to understand the appeal of white asparagus, I definitely get it now.

As sides I made a batch of brown rice and sone pan-roasted cauliflower with spring onions.

Together with a big green salad this all made for an excellent late-spring meal.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday dessert: pudding with rhubarb

A simple idea to use some old rhubarb: make a batch of the vanilla pudding recipe from Bittman and serve it topped with rhubarb stewed with a b it of sugar and lemon juice. Mmmmmmmmm

Thursday: burritos

This was to satisfy a craving that both Andrea and I had...

Marinate diced turkey breast in lime juice, oil, salt, ground cumin, and piment d'espelette for 30 minutes or so then cook in a very hot pan. Just before the turkey is done pour in whatever marinade is left.

Make a quick salsa from canned tomatoes (fresh would have been better), minced onion, lime juice, hot paprika, piment d'espelette, and diced red bell pepper.

Assemble burritos from rice, pinto beans, corn, turkey, broiled and chopped spring onions, sour cream, feta cheese, and salsa. Bake for 10 minutes or so then serve.

Not even remotely difficult, but quite satisfying.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday: venison salami hash

When we were in tessin over the weekend we picked up some venison salami that was a bit too soft for sandwiches but seemed like a good candidate for cooking. This was an improv to use that up.

Start by cooking some diced potatoes in olive oil until they take on some color. Set them aside. Cook diced carrots and sliced leeks in the same pan until the carrots start to soften, set these aside. Add some more olive oil to the pan and gently cook some piri piri chilis along with a few smashed garlic cloves until the garlic turns golden. Just before it gets there add cumin seeds. Add diced salami and ham and let cook until the salami starts to crisp. Add the vegetables and potatoes along with salt and pepper, mix well, and heat everything through. Serve topped with parsley.

As sides we had a big green salad and sone steamed kohlrabi.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday pasta

An idea created to use up lettuce... We had a lot from the biokiste.

Cook diced carrots, onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions start to soften. Add a tbs or so of flour and cook another three to four minutes. Add wilted, chopped lettuce and cook another couple of minutes. Add diced ham and cook another couple of minutes. Add light cream, salt, and pepper and simmer for a couple more minutes. Just before serving stir in a bit of piment d'espelette and nutmeg.

Served over whole wheat penne and with a big green salad, this made for a good meal.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday: bread

Another batch of bread. This time, as an experiment, I added 100g of millet to the mixture (150g rye, 300g wheat flour, 100g millet, 350g water, 1/2tsp yeast, 1.5 tsp salt). This didn't disturb the method at all and produced a very tasty loaf of bread.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday: spinach-ham lasagna

Start by making a bechamel. This time I used the recipe from Kamman with the variation that I used a brunoise of carrots, onion, and celery (root) and I didn't strain the vegetables out. When the sauce is about ready to be used add some piment d'espelette and nutmeg.

While the sauce is simmering prepare the filling: saute leeks, a bit of carrot, and onion in olive oil until the onions soften. Add a good splash of white wine and let it reduce to nothing. Add smoked ham (cut into match sticks) and cook another couple minutes. Add chopped wilted spinach, salt, and pepper and mix well. Take off the heat and add grated asiago cheese. Build the lasagna by layering sauce, noodles, and filling. Finish with a layer of sauce, top with shaved almonds and a good grind of pepper, then bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

I'm not quite sure where the inspiration for this came from, but it was a good idea regardless. :-)

Wednesday: Spaetzli pfanne

One of those "use up the vegetables... quick!" things.
Start by cutting some bratwurst into 2cm slices, browning the slices, then setting them aside. To that pan add diced carrot, onion, garlic, chard stems, and a bit of olive oil. Cook a while until the carrots start to soften, then add the chopped and wilted (in the microwave) chard leaves. After another couple of minutes of cooking, set the vegetables aside. Add fresh olive oil to the pan and cook the spaetzle until they take on some color and begin to get a bit crunchy. Stir in the vegetables and sausage, along with some raclette spice and black pepper, and serve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday pancakes

Kind of a random idea for a weekday night: make a batch of pancakes and eat them with whatever happens to be in the house. I used a basic batter with yogurt (no sugar), and went from there. For toppings we did canned cherries, cheese, ham, rhubarb-ginger jam, etc. One noteworthy variant was pancakes "tatin": I started by melting a bit of brown sugar in the the pan, topped that with a slice of apple ring and let that cook a couple of minutes before topping it with pancake batter and proceeding as normal. Mmmmmmm, caramel apple pancake.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday: trout

On Saturday Nik brought us a couple rainbow trout he caught nearby. Last night I tried to out them to good use, though it has been a long time since I did anything with whole fish.

I took a simple approach based on a combination of ideas from Bittman and Le Menu: I filled the cavities with the greens from some spring onions, dredged the fish through seasoned cornmeal, and then pan-fried them in some olive oil. I split the bottoms of the onions in half and cooked them split-side down in a hot pan until they took on a bit of color. Since I didn't do the best job the world has ever seen of flipping the fish (to put it mildly... the pan was a bit too small is my excuse), I removed the filets before serving.

I also made a tartar sauce by combining some home made mayonnaise with finely diced pickle, chives, some lemon juice, and a couple dashes of Tabasco.

To go with the fish we had steamed potatoes and sauteed asparagus; both of which turned out quite nicely indeed. The potatoes, in particular, were a good second vector for the tartar sauce.

Of course we also had a big green salad.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Saturday: meatloaf with rhubarb sauce

This was a recipe from last month's Le Menu: a meatloaf made with mixed ground meat, brät, grated carrots, onion, ginger, curry powder, chopped prunes, and bound with egg and breadcrumbs. While baking it gets brushed with a glaze made from apple juice, butter, and honey. The meatloaf is served with a sauce made by softening minced onion in a bit of butter, then adding apple juice, rhubarb, lemon zest, some vinegar, and sugar. Simmer until the rhubarb softens, then purée.

To go with this i did steamed vegetables (carrots and kohlrabi, cut into threads) and rice cooked withia bit of carrot and onion.

The meatloaf was quite good: it was borderline too sweet, but it didn't really go over the border.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tuesday soup

A nice soup to use the stock I made from Sunday's chicken carcass: cook sliced garlic with piri piri chilis in some olive oil until the garlic starts to take on some color. Add diced onion and small diced carrot and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add chicken stock and canned beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes then add lemon juice and bit of light cream (inspirations from Romania) and serve topped with parsley.

Together with bread and some chees this made a very nice meal.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday leftovers

To finish off the roast chicken from Sunday I took the leg and thight pieces and sauteed them in olive oil until they took on a nice crunch. As a side I did a batch of baked rice using the recipe from La Cucina de Mama.

Simple but good.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sunday: roast chicken and vegetables

I somehow don't end up making roast chicken very often, but last night it seemed like the thing to do.

I followed the technique from Bittman and roasted the bird in a skillet (actually in the grill pan, which was exactly the right size for is) surrounded by vegetables: potatoes, yellow carrots, onion, and celery root. After the bird was done, I made a sauce by adding white wine and a bit of cornstarch to the pan juices.

As a side I sauteed some chard stems with salt in olive oil. When they were about ready to go I added some pureed tomatoes and black pepper.

This stuff turned out very nicely.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Saturday: asparagus

After a week away, I was in the mood for a big portion of vegetables. Lucky for me that Andrea had picked up a bunch of green asparagus from the Alsatian farmers.

The prep was the usual: sauteed with onion (we didn't have any shallots) in butter.

Combined with a big green salad this was a very satisfying meal.