Last Week I Cooked….

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersBeef ragu with pinci (from Pasta by Hand). (Or, wormy pasta if two-thirds of your household works on a farm.) These were far and away the most rewarding recipes I’ve made from this book. The ragu was on the stove for close to 4 hours, but that was mostly hands off. The pinci were easy to shape and took about half an hour plus the dough resting time, which is much faster than other pastas I’ve made from this book. (I also learned my lesson not to double these recipes unless you have a ton of people to help shape). The ragu is finished with butter which made it ridiculously luxurious. Indulgent for sure, but well worth the effort.

Minestrone. I just read An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler (more on that soon) which inspired me to make the most of my crisper contents. This was a basic minestrone with onion, celery, carrot, kale, and chickpeas. The real revelation was making a salsa verde with garlic, shallot, parsley, and olive oil in the food processor. It added such vibrancy to an otherwise ho-hum soup.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersBaked potatoes with broccoli, chourico, and cheddar sauce. While the potatoes baked I crisped up the sausage, boiled the broccoli, and made a cheddar sauce based on Joy the Baker‘s but I used all milk instead of the beer. Pretty much everything I could want on a loaded baked potato.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersRoasted salmon, haricots verts, and celeriac-yukon mash (from Bowl + Spoon). I think this is the first time I’ve cooked salmon. I usually prefer it smoked or raw, but it was my roommate Annie’s birthday and she requested salmon (and I don’t say no to cooking challenges). I think I left it in a wee bit too long, but I liked the shallot mixture on top a lot. The celeriac potato mash was a nice base, but my favorite part was the green bean and fennel salad alongside. The lemon dressing cut all the licorice flavor from the fennel, which made it much more appealing to me. All around a lot of benefits from stepping out of my cooking comfort zone.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersFajitas with chipotle orange chicken. I marinated three chicken legs in a mixture of chipotle en adobo, garlic, and the juice of one orange and one lime for about an hour. I roasted them in a 450F oven for 40 min, and then broiled peppers, onions and a jalapeño. Served on tortillas with some cooked pinto beans, avocado, and salsa.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersOld-fashioned banana cake. This was also for Annie’s birthday. The recipe was very similar to banana bread (which, let’s be real, is actually cake), but gussied up with some cream cheese frosting. The AWESOME penquin toppers I made from an Oh Happy Day printable. Party penguins are the greatest.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersWhole wheat sourdough toast with butter, honey, and smoked ghost pepper salt. I think this was the fanciest thing I ate all week. Simple perfection. (Regular salt and a few chili flakes would definitely work in place of the super special salt.)

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