Charlie was sick to his stomach all night. Around 5:30 this morning, Matt got sick, too. I figure it's only a matter of time before I'm taken down, so while I'm exposing myself to contagion, snuggling with wee man on the couch, I might as well catch up on a few recipes that I've neglected to post about. If I'm lucky, it'll distract me from the annoying voice of Annie on Little Einsteins. In general, I really like this show (and am always surprised and delighted when I'm listening to Ben Folds and Charlie announces, "That piano sounds happy"), but seriously. Annie has to be a producer's daughter or something. Her voice is nails on the chalkboard of my brain.
Last week, I made Roasted Lamb Chops with Charmoula (pg 62 of The Epicurious Cookbook). This was easy (score: 1). Blitz cumin seeds, parsley, mint (which I couldn't get my hands on), cilantro, garlic, paprika, salt, cayenne, and lemon juice in a food processor. Still running the machine, add olive oil. You're supposed to marinate the lamb in this mixture for 4-24 hours. I only marinated mine for the time it took me to prepare the rest of the meal. Still good. The recipe instructs you to place a rack on a baking sheet and roast the chops in the oven. My cooling racks are coated with something, so I wasn't about to put them in the oven. I grilled the chops on the stove instead. This seems faster and more straightforward to me, anyway.
Conclusion: I seem to love every lamb recipe I come across, and this one is no exception. Delish!
I've only had creamed spinach out of a can, and never liked it. This homemade version is rich and nutmeggy and cozy. I added a can of while beans to it, just for kicks, and Matt said he loved it with the beans, and didn't think he'd like it as much without the beans, for textural reasons. I could eat it either way.
Conclusion: Loved it. Dangerously delicious.
Back to Epicurious, I made Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeno (pg 220). In hopes that Charlie would taste some, I toned down the heat. Instead of using an entire hot pepper, seeds and all, I only used the flesh. I don't think including the seeds would have changed my opinion of this all that much, though. It was kind of bland. I might feel more favorably toward it if I wasn't already in love with Nigella's black bean soup from How to Eat. Nigella's is more time-consuming (though not that much more actual work), but it's also a lot more flavor.
Last night, I made Salmon Cakes (pg 25 of TEC). A few things concerned me during the process, but it all turned out ok. The salmon in my freezer had skin on it. I worried that it would be hard to cut the skin off, but it really wasn't. Then, after I was midway through cutting my second fillet into bits, I felt bones. Nooooooo! the fillets were supposed to be boneless. I felt around, picked a few out, and hoped for the best. Fortunately, I didn't find any while I was eating them.
The raw salmon is mixed with torn up bits of pita bread, mayo, an egg, coriander, cayenne, and lemon zest (though I used tangerine zest, b/c that's what I had). There's also supposed to be chives in there, but I didn't have any. Then you just make patties and cook them in a little oil for a few minutes. I worried that they'd fall apart. I worried that they wouldn't cook through. Everything worked perfectly.