Monday, June 21, 2010

What I cooked this week, Episode 2

Episode 2, June 14-20

Red lentil soup and blue cheese-scallion biscuits

Red lentil soup and blue cheese scallion biscuit

Blue cheese scallion biscuits

The title is misleading--the biscuits came first. I had blue cheese leftover from last week's salad, and remembered this Smitten Kitchen recipe for blue cheese biscuits with scallions. Biscuits do not a meal make, however, so I fell back on this lentil soup that I first made during the winter of my first year of college. The original recipe calls for French lentils, but I've almost always made it with red. It's really hearty and thick, so much so though that even a self-proclaimed soup-hater like my husband enjoyed it. My biscuits did not turn out as pretty as Deb's, but they were fluffy and delicious.

Salmon and leek quiche

miscat 051

Another recipe in the interest of using up a leftover ingredient, salmon in this case, this quiche from Chocolate&Zucchini was pretty satisfying. I had a little less of both salmon and leek than the recipe called for, so I added another egg. I really enjoyed the creme fraiche filler (especially since we got to use Bellwether!). Yes, the crust is frozen.

Pancakes and bacon, with blueberries

Pancakes for lunch

Weekend brunch. Pancake batter was too thin/my pan was too hot, resulting in thin, overcooked pancakes and the smoke detector sending the kittens into hiding for a good hour. I think I'm giving up on pancakes until I acquire an appropriate skillet. The blueberries were huge and juicy, at least.

Gougeres with Parmesan


Finally got around to making pate a choux. Michael Ruhlman has an excellent video demonstrating exactly how simple pate a choux is to make, as well as a couple different preparation. MAN is it simple! You have no excuse not to go make some delicious pate a choux right now! I went with perhaps the simplest preparation, gougere, and topped them with a little grated cheddar. Expect a post mid-week with step-by-step directions, or just go watch that video. And buy a copy of Ratio.

White chicken enchiladas

white chicken enchiladas

When I found out we were leaving Houston, by first thought may very well have been "But WHERE WILL I GET ENCHILADAS?" I'm sure I'll find good enchiladas here in San Francisco, but this recipe from the Pioneer Woman was really satisfying in the meantime. Not gonna lie, this one takes some preparation time (and a whole lotta dishes), from cooking and shredding the chicken (another young brown hen from the farmers' market!) to creating the chicken filling and cheese sauce, to filling the tortillas (I used flour, Tex-Mex throwback). Worth it, though. "Sticks to your ribs" is probably an apt description.

I got some extras out of it, too (not just counting leftovers). I've got a container full of chicken fat for rendering, and a whole bunch of...

Chicken stock

Chicken stock

The enchilada recipe called for poaching the chicken to cook it, so I started with the water leftover from that, already full of chicken flavor. I returned the bones (stripped of meat/fat/skin) to the pot, along with onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cooked it for a little longer. My last experience trying to make stock did not go well (too much fat, and then I froze the whole lot, instead of in portions, leaving myself with one giant stocksicle), but I'm optimistic this time.

Berries and whipped cream

Blackberries and blue berries with fresh whipped cream

Yeah, not a lot to this one. Cream, sugar, vanilla. And actually, I kinda wish I hadn't made the whipped cream at all; the blueberries and blackberries were so good on their own they really didn't need it. Consequently, I may or may not have ended up eating the whipped cream out of the mixing bowl with a spoon.

I tried a lot of new things this week, and they all turned out well! I'm especially looking forward to using the stock in a future recipe and trying more preparations of pate a choux.


Kevin David Anderson said...

You ever think of opening up your own bakery and or eatery?

Ayn said...

Thought about it, but not anymore. I've had bad experiences before when I mixed hobbies with business, and I have enough friends in the food industry to feel pretty sure that it is not for me.

I'll take your question as a compliment, though! =)

Ayn said...

Have heard enough about working in the food industry from friends, that is.

Kevin David Anderson said...

well your pictures always make me hungry.

maybe one of those exclusive 4 table only places - that I can't afford.

L said...

I got to eat one of those biscuits!!! It was delicious!