Category: Dinner

Salmon with rhubarb chutney

The tastiness. I got this recipe out of a west coast cookbook my mum got me for my birthday last year and that is so far woefully underused (but with a 100% success rate, so…).

The chutney is just 2 cups of rhubarb, 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 1/4 cup of raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar, which I used), a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar, cooked until a bit thick and the rhubarb is all broken down. Serve it over salmon that you’ve pan fried, skin side up for 5 minutes in a hot pan without moving it at all and then finishing it off in a 400F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. This ensures that the skin comes off easily when you’re eating it. Had it with some quinoa, steamed broccoli and a fruity gewürtztraminer for extra elegance

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Sausage with chickpeas and chard

I adapted this recipe from The Kitchn to become a make-ahead meal for a friend and I tonight. I subbed in Swiss chard for kale (since I love kale but hate washing it), and cooked it up with the onion, sausage and chickpeas this morning before I left for work. When it was time to eat, I just warmed it up in the microwave and served it with a poached egg on top. It was great but I’d love to try baking the eggs on top sometime too, as called for. Kind of like shakshuka but not really.

Garlic soup

I’d never thought of making this until a friend mentioned it several weeks ago. Saturday kind of felt like a soup-making day, so I gave it a shot. It didn’t turn out quite how I expected; I think I need to find a recipe with quite a bit more  butter in it. As it stands, this recipe is still quite good and is an excellent dipping sauce for pork tenderloin.

Ingredients:

Good-quality olive oil to coat soup pot
3 bulbs garlic, peeled and halved
1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
4 ribs celery, cut up
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups white wine
6 cups water
6 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of pot herbs, or more to taste (I use the Spice House brand)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
Black pepper to taste

In large soup pot, heat oil. Add garlic, onion and celery and cook over low heat, uncovered, until vegetables are browned and softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add liquids and spices and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2 to 3 hours until liquid has been reduced about a third. Let cool, then remove bay leaf. Using an immersion blender liquefy the soup.

Cool slightly, then pour into mason jars and refrigerate. When ready to serve, shake jars to mix ingredients. Pour into coffee cups or soup bowls, reheat and serve warm

Fennel & leek soup

This wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was still good; earthier than I thought it would be. In my experience though, pretty much anything that starts with “In a Dutch oven, melt butter…” tends to turn out well.

2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried savory
900 ml chicken stock
3 leeks, chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup heavy cream

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and fennel for 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and savory; cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add broth and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add leeks and beans, then simmer until everything is tender, about 10 minutes. Purée the soup and add the cream.

Speaking of stuff you shouldn’t eat…

Along with my husband and another couple, we performed a highly scientific taste-test of 3 varieties of Kraft Dinner a couple of weeks ago.  This sprang up from said husband and I coming upon the new cauliflower KD in the grocery store and wanting to find out if there was any difference between that and the regular stuff.  Like most things, we just had to take it that little bit further and involve other fun people who lack sanity in equal amounts.

The method: We cooked all of the macaroni at the same time so that everything would be at a similar temperature when served.  We used butter in all three batches (this was no time for calorie-counting).  We did not salt the water, nor add any external foodstuffs to the cooked pasta.  This was KD in its purest form.  Varieties used were Original, Spirals and KD Smart (with cauliflower: “A ½ serving of vegetables!”)

The madness: The three kinds we tried all tasted surprisingly different!  I’ll admit that going into this, I was convinced that they would all taste extremely similar, if not identical.

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On eating stuff that may not count as “food”

I like to eat.  I think this much is obvious.  I suppose I would label myself as a foodie, but not necessarily as a food snob.  Is McDonald’s awful in mind, body and soul?  Yes.  Is it sometimes pleasant to eat a burger that is completely homogenous in texture, from bun to burger and then back to bun?  Also yes…once a year or so.  This lends credence to my overall life philosophy of “If you admit that it’s crap, then it’s ok to consume.”  It works particularly well with music that I am too ashamed to admit that I listen to, even under the cover of anonymous internet darkness. Continue reading