Archive for June, 2008

Meat, Veg, Salad, Salad

Menu: Grilled ribeye with cowboy rub * roasted beet salad * lemon cucumber and tomato salad * eggplant relish

M fired up our grill for the first time since we moved to Austin, and we grilled four ribeyes so we could have leftovers. The “Cowboy Rub” is from Robb Walsh’s Texas Cowboy Cookbook: fresh-ground sea salt, fresh-ground garlic, fresh-ground black pepper, dried thyme, pasilla chile powder. M grilled them to rare.

The lemon cucumber salad was lovely. The farmers market yesterday yielded two lemon cucumbers and four green zebra tomatoes; I sliced them all into crescents and tossed it with lemon basil, olive oil, salt, and a splash of white wine vinegar. It was all yellow and pale green, very pretty.

The roasted beet salad is the usual, but it may be one of the last time it appears for a little while; Tecolote Farms’ last week of beets was yesterday. And the eggplant relish is leftover from our pasta/leftovers/fridge clean-out repast last night.

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June 30, 2008 at 1:26 am 1 comment

Pasta, Veg, Veg, Veg, Dairy, Fruit

Menu: Mini ravioli with squash, shells, and parmesan shavings * chopped roasted eggplant with red and yellow bell peppers and basil * sauteed spinach * ricotta-yogurt blend with blueberries

Really more of a Thursday kind of supper, where I’m cleaning things out and/or trying not to have to go to the store, but there it was a Saturday and we had no meat or fish thawed or ready in the fridge and it was time for dinner and we are trying not to call Mangia Pizza in these circumstances.

I’d been to the farmers market, so once again I had lovely small Italian heirloom eggplants. I roasted them in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, along with a red and two yellow bell peppers. I found half a box of dry-pasta mini-ravioli stuffed with squash next to a quarter-box of shells (why I kept a quarter-box of shells instead of cooking it, I have no idea), and cooked them together (same cooking times). The vegs finished roasting and I peeled and chopped them together in a bowl with olive oil, a splash of balsamic, and a handful of basil from the patio, intending to use them to dress the pasta. Then I remembered the parmesan shavings, so decided to toss those with the pasta instead and serve the eggplant and peppers beside for mix-as-you-go-if-you-like. And so I did.

Finished the meal out with another batch of sauteed spinach (same as the last seven times you’ve seen it here); quick, easy, nutritious, delicious.

For dessert, I came across the end of a small tub of part-skim ricotta, and mixed it with the end of a big container of Brown Cow vanilla yogurt. Served it with blueberries and it was also interesting, though next time I might drain the yogurt a bit first as the dairy mixture separated out just a little towards the end.

About to head to the grocery store to replace all of the used-up-the-tail-ends ingredients above, plus purchase marinade ingredients for either lamb chops or steaks for Sunday dinner…

June 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

Poultry, Starch, Veg

Menu: Chipotle-stuffed turkey burgers * sweet potato oven fries with chipotle ketchup * sauteed spinach

Burgers
Ground turkey
Sea salt
Garlic
Chipotle peppers in adobo

Mix pack of ground turkey with sea salt and garlic. Shape into patties; cut in half horizontally and place a small chipotle in the center. Grill until done. During last few minutes. add reduced-fat Mexican cheese on top to melt.

Fries:
Cook sweet potato oven fries according to package (I used Alexia frozen ones; 425 for 20 minutes).

Chipotle ketchup:
Chop two chipotle peppers in small bowl; add some of adobe sauce. Mix with tomato ketchup to taste; add 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.

Spinach:
Heat 2 T olive oil in large non-stick skillet/wok, on high. Add baby spinach; saute until wilted. Grind sea salt and garlic over.

Would I make it again?
Not quite the same way. The chipotle was too hot, though M liked it a lot. I might stuff cheese with the chipotle. I might just use the chipotle ketchup and leave out the pepper entirely. I’d also wanted to make a jicama-Granny Smith slaw or other salad, but ran out of time and energy. Big afternoon at work, pretty tired. So glad to sleep in in the morning.

June 28, 2008 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Fish, Legumes, Veg, Veg

Menu: Roasted salmon with green chile salsa, cherry tomatoes, and pepitas * Pink-eyed pea salad * Sauteed spinach with sea salt and garlic

(All the pieces of this supper have appeared before.)

Salmon:
Preheat oven to 450. Place remainder of Saturday’s farmers market cherry tomatoes (red and gold) in bottom of a small glass baking dish with drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place 2 salmon filets atop; spread Austin Slow Burn Salsa Verde over; sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds. Bake 17 minutes.

Pink-eyed peas
Reheat last of leftovers for M; have last of leftover at room temperature fr me.

Sauteed spinach
Heat 1 T olive oil in bottom of deep non-stick skillet or wok. Add 1/2 large tub baby spinach; stir. Grind garlic and sea salt over; stir-fry/saute.

June 27, 2008 at 12:44 am Leave a comment

Leftovers At Last

Headache, and M is working late. I just heated up one little leftover lamb chop and had it with leftover pink-eyed peas, cucumber tomato artichoke salad, and the last eggplant relish from several days ago. There are three chops left for M and plenty of peas.

June 25, 2008 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

Lamb, Beans, Salad

Menu: Lemon-Garlic Lamb Chops with Yogurt Sauce * Marinated Pink-Eyed Peas and Fresh Herbs * Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad

Lemon-Garlic Lamb Chops with Yogurt Sauce (from The Gourmet Cookbook)
I didn’t change this much if at all, so I’ll type it in as it is in the cookbook.

In Turkey, lamb – the meat of choice – is very often served with this simple yogurt sauce, a Mediterranean classic (the key is fragrant mint). To give the yogurt a thicker texture, we drain it before mixing in the garlic and mint.

Yogurt Sauce:
1 c plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chops:
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
3 T olive oil
4 1/2-inch thick shoulder lamb chops
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T water

Yogurt sauce: Set a sieve lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth over a bowl, add yogurt to sieve, and let drain at room temperature for 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. (Note: I don’t keep cheesecloth around, so I used a #4 unbleached basket coffee filter and it worked just fine.)

Chops: Stir together lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and 2 T oil in a shallow baking dish. Add chops, turn to coat, and marinate 20 minutes. (I have an Italian herb blend grinder; I used that.)

Remove lamb from marinade (reserve marinade) and season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 T oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook chops in 2 batches, turning once, about 4 minutes per batch for medium rare. Transfer to plates and cover loosely with foil.

Add reserved marinade to skillet with 1 T water, and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, for 1 minute. Pour pan sauce over chops and serve with yogurt sauce.

Marinated Pink-Eyed Peas and Fresh Herbs (from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table)
Again, I didn’t change this much, so here it is as Frank Stitts of Highlands in Birmingham wrote it.

This Southern take on a French lentil salad has become a regular staple in summertime, when peas are at their prime. It is a great barbecue side dish, easy to make, and holds up well for several hours. I like to serve it with creamed corn and fried okra as part of a vegetable plate.

2 pounds pink-eyes, black-eyes, crowders, or butter peas, or a combination, shelled
2 onions, quartered
1 ham hock or a small chunk of slab bacon
2 dried hot chile peppers
2 bay leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch sage, leaves removed and torn into small pieces
1 bunch thyme, leaves removed
fresh ground black pepper
hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula (my note: since living in New Orleans, Crystal is the hot sauce of choice)

In a large pot, combine peas, onions, ham hock, hot peppers, bay leaves, and salt; add cold water to cover by three inches. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer til tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the freshness of the peas. Set aside to cool in cooking liquid, then drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Discard onions, peppers, and bay leaves; if desired, remove meat from ham hock and reserve for another use (discard the bacon if that’s what you used).

In a large pan, heat olive oil with garlic, sage, and thyme until fragrant. Add peas along with reserved cooking liquid and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper and serve with hot pepper sauce.

(I spaced out and accidentally drained all of the liquid; I tried to make up for it with a few shakes of Pickapeppa sauce and soy sauce, plus some cane vinegar. The flavors were good, but the peas were slightly dry, only slightly, but next time I would pay more attention.)

Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad
Sunday evening’s recipe again, replicated successfully.

June 25, 2008 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

Headache, Grain, Dairy, Egg, Comfort

Menu: Polenta with parmesan, mozzarella, fresh basil, and egg

Over the course of the afternoon, my head felt variously like it was being impaled on a spike, caught in a bear trap, and caught in an industrial vise. Needless to say, I was not up for giving the lamb chops I bought yesterday the attention they deserve. M, meanwhile, had set up come-buy-our-old-stuff-off-Craigslist appointments starting at 6:30.

The stone-ground coarse yellow cornmeal I use takes 5 minutes to polentaize. Three cups of water, 1 cup of corn. Boil water, dump in cornmeal, turn heat down to medium low, stir, set timer, stir, turn attention to eggs (below), stir. When the polenta has thickened, stir in a handful of parmesan shavings and 2 handfuls of reduced-fat mozzarella. Be sure to turn heat to lowest or off.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray, cook two eggs. Crack one egg at a time into pan; turn heat down to medium, medium-high. Turn attention to polenta. After whites have set, very gently roll eggs over and take off heat. Let eggs sit in hot pan while serving polenta.

Spoon hot polenta into bowls. Gently lay an egg on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil and grind sea salt over.

At table, break yolk; spoon a little polenta over. Let hot polenta cook the egg just a little as you eat. Try not to think about your headache. Look forward to bed with a full comfy tummy.

June 24, 2008 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

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Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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