Why: I snack a lot during the day at work. At night, dinner usually isn’t served until about 9, so after school snacks are a necessity.
What: I go through such phases, it would be useful to list out some ideas for reference during a rut. This is what’s on top of my head now. Mental note to add on. Suggestions are very welcome!
Jump through for the list… Continue reading
What: Yukon gold wrapped fish
Why: I was borrowing a copy of Bon Appetit from a friend, and it looked pretty good. Such a nice presentation, and I’m really into yukon golds lately. The recipe did not appear complex in any way, so why not?
Changes: It calls for potatoes cut very thinly with a mandoline. Based on the picture and the amount of potato called for, I figured I could handle this without a mandoline and just use a knife.
Complication: I don’t think those jerks even tested this recipe before publishing! S thinks I shouldn’t be so harsh, but even though I did not follow their instructions to use a mandoline, I really feel like their recipe was flawed. My first potato slices were way too thick and just wouldn’t stay wrapped around the fish. I had a little more success using a vegetable peeler to mangle scant tissue paper-like potato shavings which did stick to the fish. Unfortunately, they also stuck to the pan. I cursed my way through the whole ordeal and will block this from my mind as soon as this post is up.
Result: It was edible, but I was not pleased. Poor marks on the recipe, and poor marks to HT on the fish (Not to dwell on the pessimism, but we bought it the day before using, and it was way stinky).
Mind-palate cleanser after the jump…
Why: When we were in Middleburg, VA a few months ago, I picked up some Wades Mill (Raphine, VA) polenta. No less than two employees at Home Farm declared this polenta to be delicious, so I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. The nettles woman was also selling spinach this week, so that was the beginning of the ragout to top the polenta.
What: Spinach, cherry tomatoes, and chipotle sausage simmered in stock and ladeled over bowls of creamy polenta.
Complications: None, really. There was no recipe, so nothing to modify. I tried a new way of cooking the polenta in the oven, but I would hardly call that a complication.
Result: I don’t even know how this became so delicious… it could have been the superior polenta. This is also our favorite kind of Cibola sausage. Somehow, everything came together just right. It was so perfect, that I can’t wait for another polenta night!
My rough memory of a recipe after the jump… Continue reading
Why: Saturday was so beautiful we were inspired to officially declare the beginning of Grill Season 2009!
What: Our grill philosophy is to keep cooking as long as the coals are hot. When it’s super hot in the summer, we try to grill the whole week’s menu in one shot so we don’t have to use the oven or stove. That wasn’t a concern this week, but we still piled it on. First, S blackened slices of eggplant for eggplant masterpiece. Next, were skewers of creminis, grape tomatoes, and onion. Then a piece of lamb from the back of the freezer, a package of chipotle buffalo sausages, and finally some tuna medallions. For dinner, we had the tuna, veggies skewers, and couscous. The rest were for other meals.
Complications: When the eggplants were blackened, S left me to mind the grill while he went in to finish his masterpiece. S always manages the grill and I stand by, drink wine, and make little comments about fire safety. As much as I hate adhering to stereotypical gender roles, I think we can look the other way on this one. While he was inside, the dripping lamb and sausage fats caused the flames to shoot up, and then skewer ends caught on fire, so I frantically blew on them, which further ignited the flames. Everything ended up fine… but I definitely got a little nervous with all the fire.
Our Monday night cold plate is pictured here and that blob completely covered in yogurt is eggplant masterpiece. The recipe follows…
nettle picture from wikipedia
Why: A woman was selling bags of stinging nettles at the market. Nettles!! Such a creepy green (thanks, Salad Fingers), how can anyone walk by and not buy some??
What: A pureed soup of onion, potatoes, and nettles. I used a Chocolate and Zucchini recipe, soupe aux orties.
Complications: Nettles are a weed that apparently hurt when you touch them. I know nothing about them, and wasn’t inclined to test it out. S didn’t think he was familiar with them either, until I told him they were orties and a dark cloud passed over his face. Apparently he has painful childhood memories involving overgrown French backyards and a vocabulary lesson in stinging weed names. Once he got over that, he (amazingly) stuck his hand in the bag of nettles to test their potency. There was a moment of anticipation when I wasn’t sure what I was going to have to do when he started screaming… but then nothing happened. S wanted to go get our money back, but we were hungry (and the market was closed) so we made dinner instead.
Result: Pretty good, but I admit it was a bit of a let down. I didn’t think the nettle flavor was that distinctive, though the leftovers were more flavorful a few days later. The soup was a very pretty bright green color, though. Much more vibrant than any other pureed greens soup. The picture doesn’t do it any kind of justice.