Saturday, January 26

Rosemary Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Another recipe from Emiril Lagasse. I bought this book at Half Price Books a few years ago. I thought, hey, it’s cheap! And it has turned out to be our only can’t-fail cookbook. This is my go-to when I’m not trying to be a vegetarian.

Anyway, tonight I made rosemary roast chicken and vegetables. This is a very basic recipe. In other words, you don’t need a celebrity chef to tell you how to do this.

Get a chicken, put some garlic cloves and rosemary under the skin above the breast, put a quarter cup each of chopped onion, celery, and carrots inside the cavity along with a couple of bay leaves, rub a tablespoon of olive oil on the bird, lay on some salt and pepper, put it in a roasting pan on a bed of carrots, celery, potatoes, quartered onions, and maybe other stuff, with a cup of water and another dose of salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, and 350 for another hour.

We had gotten some root vegetables in our Local Box that we didn’t recognize. They’re the size and shape of radishes, but they’re white. I figured we should throw them in with the veggies and see what they’re like. They were awesome, like a cross between carrots and potatoes. My Google search suggests that these may be turnips! Anyway, a perfect wintery vegetable for a chicken roast.

Friday, January 25

Dinner in a Huff

Tonight I was in a lousy mood, but I was determined to at least cook something so the day wouldn’t be a complete loss. I made burgers. I am zeroing in on a pretty good formula, which goes something like this:

  • into two pounds of ground beef mash:
  • an egg
  • a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • a teaspoon of onion powder
  • a teaspoon of garlic powder
  • a teaspoon of Emeril’s southwest seasoning

I make six generous patties and sprinkle some salt and pepper on ‘em for good measure.

We also had a glorious salad from our Local Box, augmented by an organic red bell pepper from California we paid two fucking dollars for. Didn’t I say I was in a bad mood?

A Few Nights Ago

It’s hard to keep track, but on Tuesday night I grilled up some of our Bastrop Cattle Company grass-fed local (round) steaks. I also wanted to get rid of some new potatoes and a big ass pile of collard greens. I mashed the potatoes with salt, pepper, and buttermilk and stewed the collards in the Kashmiri fashion, which involves asafetida, chiles, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. The collard greens were more bitter than I would like, and the meat was a little tough (in the near future I want to get the Grassfed Gourmet cookbook). But boy, was this meal local!

We were on our way out the door to see The Business of Being Born so we probably spent about ten minutes eating dinner. Now we know what it’s like to be Graham.

Tuesday, January 15

Breakfast for Dinner

A broccoli, collard greens, and onion omlette with skillet potatoes and onions on the side.

The omlette was pretty good, but the potatoes were, to my chagrin, just OK. Still, breakfast for dinner is always fun, and it was hearty and wholesome.

Last night we had mushroom burgers

Not really worth blogging about, though they were a tasty meal!

In lieu of photos of our frozen food, check out this awesome slide show of families with their weekly groceries. I'm always interested in what's in other people's fridges and pantries, so enjoyed the photos on that level. But even more interesting is seeing the distribution of produce, meat, bread, and processed foods among people from all over the globe. The slides also include the families' weekly food expenditure (anywhere from $1 to $500) and favorite meals. I'd like the Italians to adopt me (no offense, Mom, but you know my feelings about pasta), but I'll drink with the Germans, thank you very much.

Sunday, January 13

Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup

After a few nights of leftovers/dining out, we returned to the kitchen with another offering from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I wouldn't exactly describe this soup as "lively," but it was tasty and wholesome, and a cinch to make.

Edited to add: The saffron yogurt gets more interesting after a day or two -- more vivid color, more complex flavor. If you're planning a weekly menu, making the yogurt a night or two in advance is a good idea.

Graham, of course, continues to resist nutritious lentils.

Here's Dean, enjoying O's and teething biscuits.

Wednesday, January 9

Sweet Potato Pot Pie

Dinner tonight was inspired by the abundance of sweet potatoes in our refrigerator. Thank goodness for 101 Cookbooks! Check out the many enticing recipes and downright pornographic food photography.

I made this recipe with two small modifications:
1) I used peas instead of corn, since that's what we had (corn would have been good, and slightly more in keeping with the spirit of the recipe, but the peas were fine).
2) We didn't have oven-proof bowls suitable for pot pie-ing, so I made it as a casserole.

This was prepped, assembled, and cooked in a reasonable amount of time, and it was awfully tasty. Very nice comfort food, and chock full of vitamin A!

It's evil how good puff pastry is.

Tuesday, January 8

Pasta & salad

Running late getting dinner together + needing to hit the grocery store = Pasta!

All the produce is local, so that felt good. As Dean could have told us from his sampling pictured below, the mustard greens are spicy! I like a leaf that packs a punch, but a couple of bites made my eyes water. Thank goodness for the cooling influences of romaine and radish micro-greens.

It's nice to eat pasta because Graham will actually share our meal, and not just our table. Dean ate a little baby dahl and mama grain. Mmm!

Local produce

Tuesday is Greenling day, and our local box arrived brimming with sexy greens, grapefruits, oranges, carrots, and potatoes aplenty.

Here, Graham shows off what real carrots, grown by real farmers, look like.

Baby gourmand Dean tries some mustard greens:

I've also updated the post below with a picture of the fish tacos we ate last week.

Monday, January 7

Cabbage Conquered

My mission tonight was straightforward, but not easy: to dispatch a head of cabbage without us having to hold our noses while we ate it. Lately it's common to find a big beautiful head of cabbage in our Greenling Local Box™ delivery, but they run the risk of going to waste in our fridge.

Madhur Jaffrey to the rescue! I made Turkish cabbage and seasoned rice from her "World Vegetarian." When done properly, this layered dish is supposed to slide out of your pan like a cake. I didn't even bother. I just stuck a spoon in it and said "I'm done! If you're hungry, you'll eat it."

It's got onions, pine nuts, currants (for which I cleverly substituted raisins), cinnamon, and dill.

This would have gone great with some braised lamb or something cool like that. Too bad I didn't have the energy or the food on hand. We are such a one-dish family!

Cabbage and Seasoned Rice

Foodie celebrity boyfriends

Age matters not when your celebrity boyfriend is none other than The Minimalist. We -- well, Zach -- made his Baked Eggs on Sunday. Ohmigod.

But then there's Michael Pollan, savior of local, real food, whose new book arrived today from Amazon. I could see Zach being very Pollan-esque in about 10-15 years, especially if we embark on a farming adventure and he gets to indulge his dream of building his own house/office/studio on the property. Lucky me!

Saturday, January 5

January 2-4

On the 2nd, we had leftovers from the first!

January 3rd, I made a dish I'm dubbing "Haphazard Fish Tacos." It went a little something like this:
Tortillas (flour, 'cause that's what we had)
Swiss chard
Breaded Tilapia fillets (bread crumbs from many-days-old French bread, plus chili powder and cumin)
Onions, carrots, cilantro, and pineapple sauteed in a little olive oil, lemon, and fresh orange juice

I served the tacos with wedges of sweet potato baked with paprika and cumin.

It was a pretty good meal, which indicates either that fish tacos are pretty hard to mess up or that I am a culinary genius.

January 4th the boys and I had pizza at my parents' house; Zach had a tuna salad sandwich.

Tuesday, January 1

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Happy new year! I made this Mediterranean salad today. It was mid-afternoon, and not meal-time, but I wanted to have some fresh food on hand.

I've done this a few times before. It's really simple and fresh-tasting. It would be perfect for taking to a pot-luck or a picnic of some kind.

Happy New Year! Chicken and Black-Eyed Peas

Chicken Pockets Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Chorizo, and Pine Nuts on a Bed of Southern-Style Black-Eyed Peas
from Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking

Easy to make, moderately time-consuming. This was a very tasty dinner (definitely the best black-eyed peas I've made). We used soyrizo instead of the real stuff; next time I think I'd use less of it, since the flavor was a little dominating. Otherwise a success!