Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chicken Tagine

As Che says of Evita's world tour in Andrew Lloyd Weber's masterpiece "Evita,", this was "a qualified success." On the one hand, I was brave and browned the chicken in my earthenware tagine right on the stovetop; the chicken browned, the tagine didn't crack, so all was well. Then I took the chicken out and briefly sauteed some cut-up potatoes and brussels sprouts, added the chicken back and popped on the tagine top for about half an hour. What resulted had ups and downs. Ups: the chicken was perfect, and where the potatoes and sprouts cooked properly they were delicious. Downs: a lot of the potatoes and sprouts didn't cook properly and were a lot closer to raw than I would have liked. Next time I'll add a cup of water before I put the lid on and see what happens.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hash

Of leftover ribs, spinach, and brown rice. Extremely good.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cooking for One

I've almost forgotten how to do this, despite having done nothing but for most of my adult life. But circumstances in the last weeks led to a number of for-myself-only meals, and I remembered the freedom of cooking without reference to anyone else's taste (or tolerance for sheer weirdness). Not that I do anything all that weird. Last night was an impromptu frittata of spinach, with a large sardine mashed up in the egg. Mmm mmm good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sort-of Snickeroodles

Friends, I have invented the perfect cookie for me. Let's observe:

I/2 C butter
1/2 C coconut oil
1 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t salt
1/t nutmeg
Zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs
2t baking powder
2C whole wheat flour
3/4 C kamut flour

You just put them together the way you would any other cookies, then bake for eight minutes at 400 degrees. Seriously, every pleasure-center in my brain registered a direct hit with these babies; I may never make another cookie again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lamb Chops

with spinach and quinoa.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunny Hat


Here's what I did with the remaining skein of yellow yarn. The stitch pattern is from a book by Barbara Walker, who basically invented modern knitting.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunshine Scarf


Fresh off the needles. The thing about knitted lace is that the magic happens in the blocking. "Blocking" refers to soaking a piece of knitting and then drying it flat pinned in the shape you want it to assume. It's important to any knitting, but crucial in lace. When lace comes off the needles it looks like a big blob of yarn; after blocking, it is open and drapey and beautiful. One of these days I'll remember to take pre-blocking pictures for comparison and I'll show you what I mean. The pictured scarf is a wool/silk blend I got in LA.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chicken with Preserved Lemon

Wow. This had all the earmarks of disaster: missing ingredients, timing off, quantities dicey, but was, in the end, a triumph of triumphs. It's from Authentic Moroccan Recipes by Fatema Hal, and features a chicken browned in oil with salt, pepper, ground ginger, and caraway (should have been something called "nigella seed,"), then simmered in water with saffron (I didn't have any) and a preserved lemon (I had some). As I sat there reducing the sauce at the end, I thought, no way is this ever going to be good. Then I started eating it (over brown rice) and simply couldn't stop. I would never have been able to pick out the ingredients in it if I hadn't made it; together they became a flavor all their own.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cod

with blood orange sauce! I was just sauteeing the fish in butter, when I got inspired and threw the juice and zest of a blood orange into the pan (after taking the fish out) and reducing it until syrupy. Majorly good. We had it with brown rice and broccoli rappini (the latter of which showed up in a subsequent dinner, with red cabbage, over pasta).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frittata

The frittata rule seems to be this: the more days' worth of leftovers you throw into it, the better it will be. Last night's had multiple evenings' worth of chicken, cabbage, apples, spinach, and some fresh parsley for good measure, and was delish. We had it with brown rice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fried Chicken

with brown rice and spinach. There was *nothing* wrong with that meal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sauteed Flounder

with quinoa and a "salad" of sauteed bacon, cabbage, apples, and goat cheese. That last is an imitation of the salad we had over the weekend at our favorite restaurant, Chez Fonfon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Meatballs!

How I love them. These were made according to my Moroccan cookbook, with cilantro, paprika, and onion, though I did substitute buffalo for beef. I am, apparently, the sort of person who has buffalo on hand.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lamb with Chestnuts and Cinnamon

What a success. My mother got a tagine (Moroccan, conical-topped, earthenware cooking dish) and a number of Moroccan cookbooks for Christmas. I was so taken with them that I ordered the books and a tagine of my own. The tagine is not here yet, but the books are, so last night I took Authentic Recipes From Morocco, by Fatema Hal, for a test run with the above-named dish. Lordy, was it ever delicious; spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric (because I didn't have saffron), and orange zest (because I didn't have orange blossom water), it was rich and deep and mellow and I couldn't get enough. In general I have been convinced for a long time that I have much to learn from the school of spices-in-savory dishes school of cuisine; this recipe suggests I'm right. For those who don't like chestnuts (hi Mom!) it would have been just as delicious without them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve Calamari

fried, with roasted brussels sprouts and a glass of Lillet Blanc. We went to bed at ten, but the meal was a little celebration all by itself.