What is cooking?
- Candy Sep 30, 2005 06:22 PM
We have had a wonderful cold front come through and the heat and humidity are gone, the heat will be back next week but right now I am enjoying the chill in the air and some fall food. Last night I made braised chicken in Madiera, a root vegetable ragout and baked cheese grits. Tonight is is pork roast with baked sweet potatoes and broccoli with hollandaise. Tomorrow is meat loaf, and then unfortunately the temps will be back in the 80's
Has anyone else been inspired by some of these cool crisp days? If so what are you cooking?
I don't know about cool and crisp -- it's 106° and about 7% humidity here between the Castaways and the Topanga fires...
.so tonight's dinner is sausage and pepper sandwiches and raspberry fool.
yep... have to agree with Das Ubergeek... not quite 106, but we're still firing up the grill on a regular basis and enjoying a last few dinners on the patio.
so these days I'm mostly inspired by trying to find something to make out of my abundance of zucchini.
last night I made some grilled chicken with a mustard/herb sauce and some cheddar/scallion/zucchini bread. we're having re-runs for dinner tonight. :)
When it was a bit nippy here at the beginning of this week, I made a creamy roasted vegetable soup w/ eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers (seen below). Also made a warming bowl of pho ga for the first time! We grilled last night since it was so balmy and nice, but forecast calls for rain by Sun. and I plan to make pho bo soon.
Like what Das Ubergeek says, still a bit hot here in SoCal for braises and all, though that seldom stops me if I'm in the mood. I'm cooking for the in-laws tomorrow night, and was mulling over warm-weather meals that could still be done in one dish, preferably in an oven, and then I remembered some KILLER seafood enchiladas I invented back around the last glacial period...so I dug out the recipe and shopped for the stuff. It *has* been a while, though, so I'll wait until the verdict is in before posting the recipe...
Last week: 91 degrees, This week: low of 42! Gotta love Kansas weather! I've been on a comfort food kick with Shepherd's Pie, Beef Stew, and a chicken, artichoke, and brie soup. Also made a pumpkin ice cream pie that was awesome! Been craving some hot apple cider, so I might have to get some this weekend!
I am in the middle of the nicest week of weather since last year. Tonights menu was a mix of summer and fall ideas though. Started with a taste-off of 3 variations on the Falling Apple cocktail I am developing for the holiday season. Then started with fennel crusted halibut on vegetables (Corn, onion, corno di toro peppers, braised artichokes, almonds and pomegranate) with harrissa and barigoule cream. Fairly summery with end of summer vegetables but pomegranate and artichokes showing the season. Followed this up with a roast pork loin stuffed with sausage, fennel and whole figs (which are still available in NorCal). ALl washed down with a nice Brundlmayer Gruner.
Last night: baba ganoush w/pomegranite molasses, fava beans, pita, cucumber salad, rhubarb pie.
tonight: purchased tacos, cocktail of green cactus fruit juice, mezcal, lime, a worm.
A big pot of chili today, made w/black beans, chorizo, a 3lb chunk of top round, 1/2 a bottle of burgundy, crushed tomatoes, 4-5 serranos, a head of garlic, a large red pepper, a shot of good balsamic and a sack of chili spices. Finished w/grated Cheshire, sweet onion and a slab of cornbread...man!
Last night, for the first time, I cooked a Middle Eastern dinner, primarily Lebanese (using a cookbook found in a used bookstore called Mountain Lebanese Cookery) for a group of nine. We had:
Hummus (some of it with a lamb/pine nut topping)
A Feta/tomato/Zatar/olive oil dip
Eggplant dip (purchased)
For the dinner itself:
Chicken with sumac (baked with onions and pita bread)(apparently the Palestinian national dish)
Kefta loaf with hardboiled eggs inside (beef, with a tomato/onion/potato pureed sauce)
Green beans stewed with tomatoes and onions
Yogurt cucumber sauce with spearmint
Lentils (cooked to a mush, served with parsley, scallions and radishes)
Brown basmati rice
For dessert, I served melon, with pistachios and a plate of figs/dates/dried apricots on the side, as well as a plate of candied ginger slices I had sitting around.
I would definitely make again the feta dip, hummus with lamb, the chicken, the kefta loaf & the yogurt/cucumber sauce.
Now I have to go clean up!!
Recipe (I kind of doubled it - two chickens, but not quite doubling - maybe 50% more of - everything else).
4 loaves pita
1 cup onions slivered in thin crescents
S&P to taste
5T+ ground sumac
3-4 lb chicken cut in 6 pieces
1/4 cup or more olive oil
Layer bottom of 10 x 14 pan (I used a larger roasting pan) with torn up pieces of pita (opened to be one layer thick). Spread onions over bread. Salt & pepper liberally and sprinkle 2 T sumac on top. Add chicken pieces. Sprinkle 3+T sumac on chicken, salt & pepper, drizzle w/ olive oil, add remaining bread, drizzle more olive oil.
Bake at 450- 500 degrees for about an hour, checking regularly that bread isn't getting too dark - cover w/ foil if necessary. The funny part is that the sumac turns the skin a funny color, so I kept thinking the chicken wasn't cooking until I poked it with a knife.
Baked the Kefta earlier. Reheated both at about 350 degrees to serve - took Kefta out, turned up oven a bit to get the pita really crisp again.
And yes, it was a feast - especially for my Iraqi friend whose family lived in Beirut for many years after fleeing the Bathists. We're having leftovers for dinner.