I see this is a milestone edition, #150. The only conclusion I can draw is I’ve finally hit upon a surefire way to make sure I stick with something: Let it be meat.
A little music, maestro!
I bless the day I found food I want to stay around food And so I beg you, Let’s go and eat.
Don’t take this bacon from one If fat must cling to someone Now and forever,
let it be meat.
Each time we eat, love I find complete love Without this meatloaf, what would life be?
So never leave me starving Tell me that’s beef you’re carving And that you’ll always
Let me go eat.
Ahem. Excuse me. Here’s what we had this week:
SATURDAY Sugar rub chicken thighs, brats, chips
Damien made supper. Good stuff. Chicken rub recipe card below.
SUNDAY Cuban sandwiches, cole slaw, mangoes
Something I’ve been thinking about for a while, Cuban sandwiches. Damien roasted the pork in a low oven, and then I sliced it and layered it on sourdough bread with mustard, Swiss cheese, ham, pickles, and more Swiss, and then grilled and pressed it. YUHM.
The cole slaw was very basic, just cabbage, mayo, vinegar, sugar, and pepper. I just needed to not serve chips or fries for once. The mangoes were good.
Overall, too much sweet in this meal, but I somehow forced myself to eat it.
MONDAY Sausage, mushroom, and cheddar omelettes, home fries
I occasionally make omelettes to order, which is a pain in the neck, but it’s the only way I can come up with a decent omelette for me and Damien: By screwing up many, many other omelettes first. It seriously takes at least seven tries before I know what I’m doing. The first one, I’m like, “Hurr? Is the egg supposed to be in the shell or out of the shell? And is this a pan that one operates with one’s elbows?”
But by the time I get up to the adult omelettes, I am clear: You let the pan heat thoroughly before dropping on plenty of butter; you tilt it to spread the egg out evenly; you sprinkle your fillings on the side that’s less cooked, so you can flip the more-cooked side over more easily; you wait a little bit longer than you think you should have to before folding it over; and you approach the folding part with confidence, even arrogance. Eggs know when you are frightened, and they retaliate by splurting, damn their eyes. Ha!! Because “ei” in German is “egg,” and . . . that’s not a joke. Never mind.
The home fries or oven potatoes or whatever you want to call them are always a hit: Scrub and cut potatoes into wedges, cut some onions into big wedges, and mix it all up with olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, paprika, whatever. Roast ’em up.
TUESDAY Zuppa toscana, apple pie
Tuesday was, of course, (ptui ptui) election day, and the sky wept. It was drizzly and gusty and miserable and so were we all, so it was a good day for soup. It’s such a simple recipe, and you can add whatever you like. I liked olive oil, sausage, onions, red potatoes, plenty of kale, mushrooms, chicken broth, plenty of pepper, and half-and-half thickened with flour. (Recipe card below.)
After I made the soup and read some political commentary, I felt an urgent need to make some apple pie. I used the Fannie Farmer crust recipe, and had some help from my trusty pastry assistant.
Fannie Farmer is usually an honest gal and a straight shooter, but when she says “enough dough for a nine-inch two crust pie,” she’s lying through her teeth. I know this, and yet that’s the dough I made anyway. So I ended up making an open-face apple pie and covering the apple’s nakedness with ice cream.
Thanksgiving is coming. Do you know the pie crust secret? You chill the butter and then grate it on a cheese grater. This makes it so easy to incorporate into the dry ingredients without overworking it. Of course some of us prefer to overwork it.
I don’t really have an apple pie filling recipe. We peeled, cored, and sliced apples until it looked like enough, then added some flour, sugar, and cinnamon and a little salt, then stirred it up and piled it into the dough in the pan.
Then we added some dots of butter on top.
I covered the pie with a metal bowl for most of it so it wouldn’t dry out, and then took it off for the final ten minutes or so to brown up the edge crust.
You know what, let’s call it a galette. That galette got et.
WEDNESDAY Grilled chicken on salad greens with almonds, feta, and cranberries Dominos
Guess who splurged on boneless skinless chicken tenders to cook up easily, and then never put them in the freezer? Hillary! I mean me. I did it. And it went bad. So I sent Damien out for pizza. We all agreed that whatever it is they sprinkle on their crusts (it’s garlic salt), it’s delicious and wonderful. It’s garlic salt.
Spaghetti and meatballs
I have five pounds of ground beef, but the moths had gotten into the breadcrumbs. That’s what I get for laying up for myself breadcrumbs on earth. So I used what panko crumbs I had, and then made up the rest with an entire jar of parmesan cheese. Yeah, I’ll be doing that from now on. Yuhm.
I make my meatballs in the oven on a pan with drainage (this is an old pic, but it demonstrates how much grease you miss out on when you cook the meatballs this way)
then I transferred them into the IP on slow cook with the sauce, and let it simmer all day.
I also threw in a bunch of leftover sliced mushrooms and some leftover sausage, and life was good, at least while we were eating.
FRIDAY Quesdillas with jalapenos and scallions
Actually, we’re probably headed to Applebees, since my son is in Mama Mia and I remember how important the after-show party at Applebees is, but I sure don’t want to drive into town and back one more stinking time.
Someone remarked that she’s impressed at how often I let the kids help out in the kitchen.
This is something of an illusion, like when you take a picture of yourself on the rare days your hair looks awesome, and then years later you look through pictures and think, “Aw, my hair used to look so awesome all the time!” I will let the little guys grate cheese or mix stuff occasionally, and I will lean on the older kids to finish up meals if I’m out of the house, but in general, I find it very stressful to have kids in the kitchen when I’m cooking.
However, I remember how it was The Fun To Crown All Funs to cook and bake when I was little, so I do force myself to do it occasionally.
We do soul cakes once a year, and I approach it as an activity for the kids that I help with, not as a baking project that I let them help me with. Soul cakes is a good recipe to do this with, as they really aren’t very good, so the stakes are not high. They are basically thick, soft cookies, and have a mildly spicy, cider-y taste. They’re not bad, but they’re just, you know, brown. Sift a little powdered sugar on top and eat them hot.
Anyway! Here are some pictures of the kids making them, which I am posting to make you feel like an inferior mother. They are pictured wearing their church clothes. Usually they dress in stained rags with trashy sequins and immodest Walmart leggings with holes in the knee. Still feel bad? Blame Hillary, why the shit not.
Mix dry ingredients together. Rub all over chicken and let marinate until the sugar melts a bit.
Light the fire, and let it burn down to coals. Shove the coals over to one side and lay the chicken on the grill. Lower the lid and let the chicken smoke for an hour or two until they are fully cooked.
Squeeze the sausage out of the casings. Saute it up in a little olive oil, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. When it's almost done, add the minced garlic, diced onion, and sliced potatoes. Drain off excess olive oil.
When onions and potatoes are soft, add flour, stir to coat, and cook for another five minutes.
Add chicken broth and half and half. Let soup simmer all day, or keep warm in slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Before serving, add chopped kale and sliced onions and cook for another ten minutes (or set Instant Pot for three minutes) until kale and mushrooms are soft. Add pepper. Add salt if necessary, but the sausage and broth contribute salt already.
This makes a creamy soup. If you want it thicker, you can add a flour or cornstarch roux at the end and cook a little longer.
Lots of pretty summer food this week! Here’s what we had (carbs at the end). I struggled mightily with the photos in this post. If they turned out sideways or upside down, it’s because WordPress is evil, and no other reason.
Burgers, chips, salad
No pics, but mighty tasty, cooked on the grill.
Grilled clams in wine sauce, grilled chicken, grilled corn; ice cream and berries
This was a glorious meal. Damien went out for chicken and corn to grill, and discovered that clams were a dollar a pound, so he bought many pounds.
Here cleaned the clams, then made this sauce:
Coarsely chop a big onion, and saute it lightly in a little olive oil and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper. Once cooked, add a 1/4 bottle of white wine and two sticks of melted butter.
Then put the clams on the grill and let them cook, without turning them, until they pop open. Then put them in a bowl and cover them with the sauce.
You guys, they were so good. I’m predisposed to any kind of seafood, but the flavor of that sauce was out of this world.
The chicken was also fabulous! A sweet char on the outside, juicy on the inside, and the combination worked well. Really good outdoor food.
Here’s the rub he made, for 20 chicken thighs:
1.5 cups brown sugar 1.5 cups
.5 cups white sugar
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs garlic powder
salt and pepper
Then he grilled it all!
The corn, you can grill right in the husks until they’re charred, and it comes out so very sweet and juicy.
We buttered it and sprinkled it with chili lime powder.
Look at the carnage. Look at that lake of butter and wine! I completely shamed myself with the number of clams I scarfed down.
We had it with cans of Narragansett Beer, Made On Honor.
Dessert: vanilla ice cream with blueberries and strawberries. Oh sweet, sweet summertime (almost).
This meal looked nicer in person, I promise. I put a pork shoulder in the crock pot with a can of beer, half a jar of jalapeno slices and juice, some minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Possibly an onion.
I really wanted to use my new used food processor, but all the recipes for broccoli slaw that I found online started with “take one bag of broccoli slaw,” and people who write stuff like that should feel bad about themselves. I guess they can follow up with a cake recipe, with first ingredient: cake. Then they can mentor some young people and advise them that the best way to find a job is to make up a resume in which they describe their current successful career. Bah!
So I took slaw matters into my own hands and made this:
I fed into the food processor:
Half a head of red cabbage
one pound of broccoli, stem and florets
two cored green apples with skin on
Then I mixed that up with:
1/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup white sugar
chili lime seasoning
It didn’t strictly need the sugar, with the apples in there, and I’ll probably skip it next time. I thought it went very well with the pulled pork, and Damien liked it, too. The rotten kids wouldn’t even try it, even though I told them about the sugar.
Sausage, mushroom, and cheese omelettes; hash browns
Normally, I can make omelettes. The trick is not to turn it too soon, but the real trick is to have a decent pan, either nonstick or stainless steel. Then I go through a stage of self-recrimination where I demand to know why I thought it would be quick and easy to whip up twelve omelettes to order. But normally, I can make omelettes.
Well, not today! The damn things just wouldn’t hold together. This was the very best one I made, and it’s a tough little beast:
Then Damien came home and had pity on me, so he made his own. Guess what? This is how his turned out:
I think it was the eggs. I think they froze and then thawed, and they turned against us. We need this entire generation of eggs to die out before we can ever have omelettes again.
Chicken ramen with sliced pork, mixed vegetables, sriracha sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, and a little dulse (seaweed), with crunchy noodles. Good stuff.
I took some boneless pork chops and sauteed them in olive oil. When they were almost done cooking, I gave them a good dousing with soy sauce, then finished cooking, and sliced them thinly.
Chicken drumsticks; homemade tortilla chips with corn and bean salad
We had to be out around dinner time, so I made the food ahead of time and served it cold. The drumsticks, I just drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them.
I still have a ludicrous backlog of tortillas, so I cut them into triangles, tossed them with olive oil, and sprinkled them with chili lime powder. I spread the triangles in shallow pans and baked them for . . . I dunno, a while. A good idea, but the execution left something to be desired. These really need more room, and more shuffling around, then I had time to give them. Still, not bad. I made them as a delivery device for this pretty corn salad I made:
I mixed together:
12 oz sweet corn
a can of black beans (1.5 cups)
a bunch of chopped cilantro
a 10 oz Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chili, lime juice and cilantro
1/2 small red onion, diced (1/3 cup)
plenty of salt, pepper, and chili lime Taijin seasoning
and probably 1/4 cup of lime juice
and set it to cool in the fridge for a few hours.
I thought it was really good! Lots of flavor and crunch, and a refreshing way to eat vegetables. Sweeter than I expected. I would not be ashamed to bring this to a potluck, either.
Tuna noodle casserole
Shh, don’t tell the kids. We’re making steaks and eating them all by ourselves, in honor of the Sacred Heart.
Here come the carbs!
ketchup 1 Tbs 5g
15 chips: 16
mixed greens: 1
1/2 deli roll (L’Oven Fresh center split deli roll): 19.5
10 steak fries: 36
ketchup 2 Tbs: 10
2 Season’s Choice hash browns: 42
ketchup: 2 Tbs, 10
1/4 cup cheese: 1g
1 package Top Ramen, chicken flavor: 26
Pork cooked in olive oil and sesame oil: 0
soft boiled egg: 0
1/4 cup mixed asian veg: 2
CHICKEN, CORN SALAD:
2 medium tortillas, 16 chips: 48
olive oil: 0
Tajin seasoning: 0
chicken, oil, salt, pepper: 0
bean and corn mix:
12 oz sweet corn: 64
black beans,1.5 cups: 72
10 oz Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chili, lime juice and cilantro: 15
1/2 sm red onion (1/3 cup): 16
salt, pepper: 0
lime juice: 0
Taijin seasoning: 0
Makes about 4.5 cups;
64 + 72 + 15 + 16 = 167
18.55g per half cup
1-1/4 cups dry egg noodles: 38
cream of mushroom: 1/2 c : 11
1 oz chips: 16
1-1/2 cups corn flakes: 39