Friday, April 18, 2014

FFwD: Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snap Peas, and Garlic en Papillote

I'm going to keep this pretty short. The doctor put me on some medication yesterday because of some respiratory problems I'm having, and it's making me veeeery sleepy. I don't like it. Anyway, I'm going to blast out this post and take a nap, since my Mom is here to watch Charlie.

I was so happy to find bok choy, that I didn't care that it wasn't "baby." The size did complicate things a bit later, when trying to wrap the vegetables up in a foil pouch.
 I wound up folding them over onto themselves into a great heap. Didn't look great, but it worked. I couldn't find sugar snap peas, so I used snow peas, and I couldn't find the onions Dorie specified, so I used shallots. The peas worked fine, the shallots were a mistake. Maybe if I'd cut them into smaller pieces. They were bites of raw onion. No bueno. 

All in all, the vegetables came out okay. I liked the orange zest + mint action. I felt it needed a bit more oomph to make me want to cook it again, though.

I also made up a recipe: the Vegetable Barley Soup with a Taste of Little India. I remember that a lot of people said the soup could use a protein component, so I added rotisserie chicken. I loved it.
This is the chicken soup I want when I'm sick from now on. I added a lot of extra homemade garam masala and turmeric, and thought it tasted perfect. Loved it, loved it. The barley sucked up the liquid super-fast, though. By the time Matt got home from work, there was no broth left in the pot. Woops.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FFwD: Ginger-Pickled Cucumbers

Once again, I cooked a make-up recipe for French Fridays with Dorie. The scheduled recipe is Quiche Maraichere, which I cooked and posted about during one of the club's freebie weeks in 2011. (For the record, I think this quiche is awesome.)

The savory dishes that I missed were often skipped because of lack of motivation, so it's no surprise that I'm not loving most of these catch-ups.

Last night, I made Ginger-Pickled Cucumbers. I'm not a huge pickle fan, and nothing about this appealed to me. It's so easy to make that I could hardly get away with avoiding it forever. Just salt some chopped up cucumbers to pull the water out of them for a half hour, then mix them up with rice wine vinegar, hot pepper flakes, and ginger. Let them chill for a few hours.
If gingery, vinegary cucumbers sound good to you, you'll like this recipe. I ate what I served myself, but have no desire to make this again. Check another one off my list.

On an unrelated note, I just want to say that one of the reasons I love Around My French Table so much is that I've gotten my picky boy to eat more food from this book than any other single book I've used. I cooked two of my favorites this week, after far too long of a gap--Beef Cheek Daube and the Swiss Chard Pancakes. Charlie gobbled both. High five, Dorie!
He's eating swiss chard, I tell you. SWISS CHARD!
He hadn't had those pancakes since we moved to Italy, so I'm glad to find he still likes them.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Taking It Back

I can't do Giada's Feel Good Food. I just can't. There's not much in there that excites me, or even sounds decent. I've been trying for a while now to make myself cook a few things, but I get depressed every time I look at the book. Not really depressed, just an "Oh my god I'm on a diet" kind of depressed.

Let's just pretend this never happened. (waves Jedi hand).

FFwD: Tuna-Packed Piquillo Peppers

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe is for a basic cake called Visitandine. I'd posted about this cake a long time ago, when I'd been working on Around My French Table without any knowledge that there was already a cooking group dedicated to it. I wasn't overly in love with it, so I figured this was a good opportunity to make up another recipe.

I've been stalling to make Tuna-Packed Piquillo Peppers for months. I've had the ingredients on hand for ages, and could have cooked it with the group, but was so uninspired that I let it slide. Might as well get it over with.

Instead of stuffing roasted red peppers (I couldn't find piquillo peppers) with the tuna/caper/olive/lemon zest and juice/parsley combo, I sliced the peppers and piled everything on top of arugula.
Not bad, not good. It just is.

Check it off the list.