Pork Chops (Provided by Joseph, form the pig that is in his freezer in my basement)
So there is a clear difference between the breeds of hogs and the taste of the meet. It is not even fair to compare your standard breed to the vast majority of the heritage breeds that I've tried. Good stuffs. If I'm not mistaken, it's a Berkshire pig that he got butchered for him (as opposed to the Hereford, I normally buy). They were quite good. simple pan sear, salt and pepper. I'm looking forward to tasting when Joseph starts smoking some of the rest of the pig parts (bacon, etc). I served with corn and apple sauce.
The tostadas, from lat week, except for with chorizo
Worked well, probably even better. Good stuffs.
Shepherd's Pie (with pork, not lamb)
delayed until today. I didn't get home early enough to make this on Tuesday, so today it is!
I really think that Cook's Illustrated may need to go through and revisit some of their older recipes.
Not as spicy as you might think, but not a bad combination of ingredients to make a chicken salad. I had those on Joseph's jalapeno bread (so good) and Shannon had it on the wheat ciabatta.
We had a little birthday celebration for Shannon...Imagine that, 29...again! So many 29s, it's like the counting stopped :-D We had Chocolate Orange cake, and many desserts for the game night that was closely related to her birthday. I did miss out on the chocolate stout cupcakes...which I wanted to try, but got taken away before I got a chance. Good birthday. We also went to Wasabi Chi for her birthday and had some quite good sushi.
Having never made this before, I was concerned as to how it would turn out, especially since I took it to a group dinner. But I was worried for nothing. They turned out fantastic, and instilled into me a clear desire to make sure I save and use parmigiano reggiano rinds. It just had this savory under note like nothing else. Went over well at the group dinner and was quite nice as the last of it using it for lunch later in the week.
Carne Adovada (tacos)
So I wanted to make this a bit spicier then the recipe called for, I don't have any chili powder so I used a combination of ancho and jalapeno powder. I clearly used way to much of the jalapeno, not only did it make the air in the kitchen quite difficult to breathe, but made it a bit too spicy. Even so they made some pretty good tacos. combined with all the other things cooled it off a bit.
When talking with Brett at the cheese shop, I was buying cheeses and prosciutto for this and when I vaguely described what I was doing, he said it sounded good already. And it was...good stuffs., pretty easy to put together.
Simple, and good, and very quick.
I made enough for Joseph and he decided to go to bed instead (totally justified). These were pretty nice cut in half (cooked in 8" pan) and toasted the next day, as well as straight off the pan.
Diced pork tacos
Easy, quick, done. Good use of the other gigantic pork chop. Though the cooking (covered in ancho powder) did leave us both coughing in the kitchen. The
So I skipped the olives (know your audience, and mine doesn't like olives), I refuse to buy "fresh" tomatoes this early, and I added some chèvre. The cucumber was clearly a bit under-ripe. That being said, ti was a pretty good combination of flavors, a bit dry, but that's easy to blame on the cucumber and lack of tomato.
So they didn't have the yellow curry paste, so I bought green, I had some red at home, would it really be the same thing? Probably not. Anyways, it was fairly easy to make, though I started later then I should've I think, because we ended up eating late. A good selection of vegetables and some chicken. Good stuffs.
Delayed until tomorrow (taking to wild game party).
They should've just called this chili, or some version of chili. I would've liked to try this with the green chorizo, but did it with the chorizo I get from Crooked Gap (good stuffs). This came together easy, but took time to prepare. Not to bad.
Sausage and Egg on mini Ciabatta
So the idea here was to use the cooking rounds that I have to make an egg patty. The sausage was quite good, but it ended up being a fried egg on top. The rounds didn't sit down as I expected. They started to slowly leak out of the side. I didn't want to weight it down, since it was stainless steel holding in the egg, on a non-stick pan. Didn't want to mess up my pan, so I just let them go out. Anyways, good, but not exactly the presentation I wanted.
Pork Chops...or pork chop tacos...I haven't decided yet.
Pork sandwiches! So there were surprisingly large butterfly chops. I used one, cooked it up using salt and pepper, then after resting a bit, sliced them for sandwiches. That and some sun chips and you have a meal. Worked out well. Now I have another pork chop to do something with. Probably tacos.
Pork Burgers (for real this time)
Yay! I'm starting to really enjoy having sauerkraut on more things. Maybe it is me aging or maybe I just found a really good kraut? Who knows, but anyways, most of my burgers now are topped with kraut.
Green Onion Sausage Pasta
Sautéed an onion until it was a bit soft in a bit of olive oil. Added the green onion sausage, cooked it until it was mostly not pink, then added some red pepper flakes, some dried oregano a bit of pepper. Then added two cans of diced tomatoes, and a small can of tomato paste. Stirred it up and let it simmer while the pasta cooked. I used rigatoni pasta. Once it was cooked I drained it and added it to the sauce to mix it all together. Turned out pretty well.
I admit, I have been feeling rather uninspired lately. I'm finding the magazines (except Lucky Peach) kind of boring. I look at things and think more about the effort involved, then how good it will taste. Usually going out to eat at one of the very nice places in town fills me up with wonder again, but even though the last big meal we went out at (Valentines) was fantastic, I'm still left with a blah feeling inside. It could be entirely related to the whole situation going on, or maybe related to not be able to do that tour of the DTFM. Who knows. I've decided I'm going to spend some time with the Momofuku Milk Bar book. I've had some of their products, which have been fascinating in thought process themselves, let alone having the beautiful taste.
The restrictions that were self imposed due to budgetary constraints, are starting to be lifted. I still keep an eye out and have vetoed some dinners because you come to the "you want me to buy what now?" type of reaction.
- Black Bean-Chorizo Stew
- Sausage and Egg on mini Ciabatta
- Pork Chops...or pork chop tacos...I haven't decided yet.
- Pork Burgers (for real this time)
- Green Onion Sausage Pasta
This week a sad thing happened. I ran out of my garlic stash. Usually I try to build up enough garlic (that can age) to make it through the winter, however at this time I clearly ran short. I wouldn't suggest it, but I did replace some of the garlic needs with roasted garlic (dried) from AllSpice. Which was acceptable.
Last week, because I menu planned on Saturday, I got to the grocery store early. Unlike other weeks where sometimes you have to time between church, sports ball, and etc, it was just almost empty. It made for a nice experience.
I delayed this because I thought it would take a long time to make...it really didn't. I suppose deboned chicken thighs would've tasted better, but who knows. Pretty good, nice meal.
I didn't want to delay the meal to much, by having to put things together to take over to the Hettingers to bake. So I put it together the night before. This turned out pretty well. When I was cooking down the onions, I thought, maybe this needs more time, since it was still exuding water from the onions. And I really should've cooked it longer, because the meatloaf (warm) didn't hold together as well as it should've. Even so, a satisfying experience. I also made some mashed potatoes there too.
This took a while to come together. But was so worth it. A simple set of ingredients, but combined with purpose. Sausage and chicken made to flavor the chicken broth, then to imbue the rice with that flavor. Good stuffs. I'm looking forward to the leftovers.
It was quick. Maybe needs to be a bit brighter (tomatoes?). I had forgotten to pick up some sour cream and didn't feel like leaving the house to get it, so we just topped it with some crackers and shredded Prairie Breeze. I also intended to take some roasted peppers out of the freezer and use that, but also forgot.
Every once in a while you get that strong craving for a thing, this fit that need. It certainly didn't have the best combination of ingredients to make an amazing chicken salad, but was still pretty good.