Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I found the easiest way ever to make meatballs.
Take one 1-lb package of Italian sausage meat (I used spicy). Add 1 egg and enough breadcrumbs to bind. (The sausage meat is already seasoned.) Bake, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Remove and add to tomato sauce. Simmer for an additional few minutes.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Leftover chicken = chicken salad, right?
Chicken salad is basically just cooked chopped chicken, some celery, some raw onion (I use shallots), and enough mayo to hold it together. Salt and pepper to taste. I threw in some pecans and an apple, too.
Then I took two thawed sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 6 rectangles, and baked those at 400 for 10 minutes. Layer and eat.
Warning: this is flaky and delicious. It will make a mess. A tasty mess.
Monday, June 10, 2013
My husband has been sick all week--some variant of flu, which means he hasn't been consuming much outside of water and NyQuil. The black bean soup I made last week was mostly untouched, so I put those containers into the freezer to save for another time. That also means I'll have to do less cooking for the week ahead--there's still some chicken curry left over.
So I thawed the last whole chicken in the freezer, and roasted it with the last of the potatoes. I made a mac and cheese with frozen spinach, made myself some wraps, and called it a day. Hubs can supplement that with fruit and salad, and if for some reason we run out of prepared food before I have a chance to make more, there are always the containers of soup in the freezer.
Added bonus: I can put off grocery shopping until next weekend.
at 9:43 AM
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Sometimes you have most of the ingredients of a recipe, but not all. Depending on how you feel about improvising, you have a few options. You can simply proceed without those ingredients, and see what happens; you can substitute something similar; or you can go out and buy those things. Almost always I'll choose 1 or 2. Occasionally I'll get a final result that's nothing like the original. But that's okay too, because it's usually still pretty good.
As happened with this chicken curry. I wanted something to use up two packages of chicken thighs, and I liked the idea of a curry made with yogurt. This is the original recipe. I had green cardamom and turmeric, but not the other more exotic spices. I decided to make it anyway. I skipped a few ingredients that I didn't have (cilantro, fresh ginger, black cardamom); it ended up more like a spiced yogurt version of chicken cacciatore.
But you know what? Still pretty tasty.
Friday, June 7, 2013
I don't normally feel like I know something about wine--I mean, I do, some, but I'm still learning the wine list at work and so usually I defer to the sommelier when someone has a wine question. However, I got to stump the sommelier this weekend.
When I got to Seattle, I got on the mailing list for Garagiste. They import small-batch wines, available to those on the email list. Typically I'll get 1-2 emails a day from them, with new wines for sale. I've bought a couple of things, here and there. The first of the orders arrived this weekend, so I made an appointment to go pick it up.
Oh. My. God.
The warehouse--which is utterly nondescript and in a weird part of town--also had a retail showroom. Meaning I could browse the shelves and buy more wine. And it was the most eclectic, most heart-warming wine collection I've seen in a while. Half the stuff on the shelves was stuff I recognized from the Craigie on Main wine list, stuff I thought I'd left behind forever because most of it doesn't get imported to the West Coast.
Naturally I had to buy some. I stopped myself at two bottles, because otherwise it could have gotten ridiculous, but I may have to go back next weekend and get some more.
One of the bottles I got was Susucaru 2. I won't go into the details, you can look that up for yourself if you're interested, but it's a funky, hard-to-find rose from Sicily. It's completely unfiltered, no sulfites or preservatives added, and it's incredibly lean. Super-acidic, lots of gunk floating it it, made from native Sicilian grapes no one's ever heard of.
I took it into work to crack open after service, and the sommelier and I had a good time geeking out over the bottle. It started off almost all acid, but the fruit opened up nicely after a few minutes and by the end of the bottle I found myself wanting more. The warehouse had more wines by that same producer (red wines); I want to go back and try those next week.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Succotash (traditionally a mixture of lima beans, corn, possibly black-eyed peas, and bacon) can be a meal in itself, especially with the bacon. I like it because it doesn't require any fresh ingredients: you can pull a bag of frozen lima beans and a bag of frozen corn out of your freezer and have something delicious to eat 20 minutes later.
I've made this succotash before, but this one had a bunch of fresh ramps added in--greens and all. The ramps gave it a great green-oniony element. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I love tabbouleh, but it's hard to find decent tomatoes ten months out of the year. Occasionally I'll make a no-tomato tabbouleh just to mix things up a little. This one has thinly sliced raw breakfast radishes and one raw yellow pepper, plus parsley and mint, minus the usual tomato and cucumber. I also added some pickled ramps, for onion flavor.
The great thing about tabbouleh is that you can make it ahead of time, eat it cold or at room temperature, or throw it into a wrap with some greenery. It's very versatile, very forgiving (you can leave it in a hot car), and very delicious.