Last Week I Cooked…

Mushroom and asparagus risotto. This took me a bit longer than the allotted 45 minutes. I knew my pot would not be wide enough to brown the mushrooms thoroughly all at once, so I did a few batches in separate pans. I used a mix of cremini, white, and oyster mushrooms and then dried shiitake for the broth (because I already had them). The result was a nice, springy risotto, but I found I still missed the creaminess that comes from the constant stirring.

20170418_191727-1Root donburi (from Near & Far). I got this book out of the library and decided to try a different take on our usual rice and tofu bowls. To streamline the process a bit I roasted the sweet potatoes while I cooked the tofu in the pan. I was a little skeptical of the tofu since there is essentially no seasoning on it, but since it was in such small pieces it cooked quickly and then disappeared into the rice. Umeboshi plum paste was nowhere to be found in my area, so I just chopped the cucumbers and left them naked. This wasn’t my favorite tofu bowl, but I did appreciate the change-up.

20170504_191359-1Potato salad with egg and pickled celery.  This was a classic pantry potato salad, very similar to this one, with pickled celery instead of the scapes, parsley instead of dill, and a few spoonfuls of mayo added into the dressing. Consumed alongside some canned herring for a picnic dinner at home.

20170422_190935Chorizo tacos with cumin cabbage slaw, avocado, and cilantro sauce alongside rice and beans. When you start with Short Creek chorizo you don’t have to do a whole lot, but a bright cilantro sauce puts it over the edge. I used garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, salt, olive oil, and lime juice, and blended them in a food processor until smooth.

20170423_094110Breakfast tacos. Dinner tacos have become breakfast tacos multiple times recently. Once with black beans, scrambled eggs, cabbage, and cilantro sauce. Another time with chourice, sauteed spinach, scrambed eggs and hot sauce.

Pasta with lemon and ricotta. I came across this recipe while on a hunt to find a way to use up leftover ricotta in the fridge. It was a good use for that, but otherwise not a dish I would go out of my way to make again.

20170430_203634 (1)Chicche verdi del nonny (from Pasta by Hand). These are a lovely little gnocchi with spinach that are pan toasted. I made another potato gnocchi from this book that had a very easy, smooth dough. This one was much stickier, and I had to add more flour than was called for to make it easy to roll. I would err on the large side when forming your gnocchi, because pan frying them takes a while. These were certainly good (hard to go wrong with a brown butter sage sauce), but not as transcendent as the simpler gnocchi.

Stuffed simit (cover recipe) and red lentil durum with pickled peppers (from Soframiz). My consensus on this cookbook so far is everything in it is delicious, and also a ton of work. Just about every recipe has a sub-recipe, and some of those sub-recipes have sub-recipes. For the simit I made the dough, spiced almonds, and a spice mix for the almonds. For the durum I made yufka (flatbread), the lentil filling, tomato-brown butter sauce, and brown butter to make said sauce. Don’t make the mistake I did the first time I made the yufka…I rolled out the dough and layered them between parchment, but forgot to add extra flour. They completely stuck to the parchment, and I had to reroll each one. Just roll them and cook them right away (the amount of time it takes one to cook is how long it will take you to roll one). All delightful foods, but don’t make them after work unless you have a lot of energy.

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