Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Two Weeks Of Dinners

I somehow managed to get way behind on this but I’ve still been planning and shopping and cooking.  Last week was pretty run of the mill.  The only new recipe that I tried was for loaded sweet potatoes.  YUM!  So good.  

My only complaint is that I halved the recipe for my family and that meant buying a liter sized carton of buttermilk just to use two tablespoons in this recipe.  Something I vowed not to do.  I was successful in my effort to use it up before it went bad (pancakes and biscuits) but I don’t think the recipe would have suffered much without it.  I don’t want to mislead you.  It’s not as if they were a revelation… something remarkable that I’ve never tasted before.  They tasted pretty TGI Friday’s but how brilliant to use a sweet potato?  I never would have thought of that.  There’s no butter and the buttermilk probably keeps the fat content down but I probably could have just as easily skipped the buttermilk and blended in a little extra sour cream instead.  What coud be bad about sour cream and bacon?  Honestly.  Too bad Chase isn’t into them.

This week I’m working my way through The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper and totally loving it.  I only catch the show if the stars align but I do subscribe to their email newsletter and really enjoy it.  People are always telling me about reading cookbooks cover to cover and I’ve never understood until now.  I think it’s simply that this is THE book for me.  It’s the right book for the way I cook.  Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the chapter on main dishes:

Some nights supper is a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, and the TV.  Some nights you debate whether to cook or not to cook for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is guilt, be it about health, money, or feeding the kids yet another frozen pizza.

All the dishes in this chapter had to… be made of basic cuts- chops, fillets, tenderloins, breasts, etc.- that are readily available at the market… [and] the recipes had to take a reinvigorated look at beloved traditions or offer unexpected variations on basic themes.

We think of these recipes as centerpiece meals, perfect for real weeknight eating but also expansive enough for the special guest or a party.

They totally get me.  I think I like it better than Everyday Food.  Without further ado:

Monday: I made lemon-garlic roast salmon on new potatoes.  It turns out that everyone at our house likes salmon so I’ve decided to go with it.  I was thinking I might treat us to steak this week.  Then when I got to the fish counter I thought that the salmon was a better deal.  I was wrong.  But whatever, it was good.  It’s the kind of meal that I probably won’t need to reference the recipe for again but would never have come up with on my own.  I might try the variation for chutney roast fish next time.

Tuesday: 21st century mac n’ cheese.  This is the way I usually make mac and cheese when I’m winging it.  I almost never make a creamy sauce for mac and cheese.  It was good but I was thinking it was a little too oniony.  I just realized that I kind of botched the recipe because I forgot the cream cheese.  I’ll have to try it again.  How unfortunate.  Meanwhile it was the perfect comfort food for yet another crappy rainy day.

Wednesday: Oven-roasted chicken cacciatora (sorry, can’t seem to find the recipe for this one).  I’ll make this tomorrow.  I don’t have any salami but I think I’ll sub in some bacon that I have in the fridge.  Again, how could it be bad?  You toss all the ingredient in a pan and roast it.  Couldn’t be simpler.  I think I’ll make some egg noodles along side.

Thursday: Scandinavian spiced meatballs with caramelized apples.  I LOVE swedish meatballs.  I’m kind of reluctant to do this one though since I’ve been eating leftover meatballs all week for breakfast.  I’m going to have to fudge it a little because I don’t have any ground chicken.  I’ll have to figure out whether to use more beef or to cut the recipe down a little.

Friday: Pizza night!

I’ve been really using the new food processor.  Really, a lot.  So much that now I have to stop writing to go eat up all the biscuits that I made last night.  Ham and cheese on a biscuit.  I’ll never pay Atwater’s 7 bucks for one again!  What are you cooking?

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