This year made...
.... Lamb Pitas
.... Grilled Pork with Pineapple Salsa
.... Steak with Spicy Cilantro Sauce
(note to self: there is no blender available in a gaslit location)
.... Boursin and Fennel Seed Risotto
.... Special Fried Chicken
Once again, this summer, had the privilege of spending a week at the family place in the mountains. This year, the cooking was even more challenging due to the oven not lighting, thus limiting the available heat sources to four burners on top and the small grill I borrowed from my dad. However, with some searching of this blog's archives, I was able to come up with some tasty dishes, though I was once again taken by surprise by some of the appearing/disappearing gear -- this year, no liquid measuring cup to be found. And the local super-market was getting set to close (to be re-opened later this year as an independent or so I hear), so I'm glad I planned ahead and brought many ingredients with me as pickings were sparse.
The night I arrived, my family was conveniently preparing steak, and I had brought along the ingredients for the cucumber relish. It appeared to be much enjoyed by all. And my sister made these great fried-potatoes. A couple more family meals (like barbecued chicken, for which I made a sort of stir-fried summer squash with bread crumbs and parmesan) and then I was left to my own devices for a few days, during which I ate crab claw meat in butter sauce, and made a salad with some leftover porkchop that had been grilled.
Once my guests began arriving, the cooking kicked into somewhat higher gear. I served pear stuffed pork chops, djaj metisha mesla, risotto style orzo, and a marinated London broil. Again, I was reminded of how things cook differently on a gas stove as opposed to electric, especially when one is attempting to reduce. Also, I have to admit the photography is trickier by gaslight.
This month's Is My Blog Burning? is being hosted by foodgoat. I had hoped to participate in the last session but various things prevented me from getting to it in a timely fashion. This time I was determined, but initially found myself stumped by the theme, which was simply - "orange" (the color, not specifically the fruit). After coming up with an preliminary list of foods that met that requirement, I set out to research a menu. Last night, three courses were served (recipes included elsewhere on this blog -- see links below). I had a great deal of fun and felt this theme really stretched my creativity. I got to try out dishes with three different orange-focused ingredients, including carrot, the ubiquitous orange itself, and cantaloupe. A very bright repast.
Everyone has to eat.... but some people are a *bit* more involved with it than others. Selections courtesy of a recent thread on eGullet.org, some ideas about how to know when you have a "problem"....
* when you plan vacations around where to eat and not what to see
* when employees at small ethnic markets greet you by name
* when you're accused of reading cookbooks like novels, and not only don't deny it but are confused as to how anyone could do it differently
* when your coworkers greet you on Monday morning by asking what you cooked over the weekend
* when your mother calls *you* for cooking advice
* when someone asks for driving directions and all your landmarks are restaurants
* when you have a spreadsheet for restaurants you want to try
* when grocery shopping isn't a chore -- it's a highlight of the week (and you find an ingredient for something that has you jumping up and down in the aisles)
* when you travel and take your own knives and cooking equipment along
* when it actually costs more to cook at home than eat out at a mid-range restaurant
* when your clothes are basic jeans and tshirts, but you spare no expense on cookware and kitchen accessories (e.g. Wusthof, KitchenAid, All-Clad)
* when you have a blog solely dedicated to food/cooking