Another week with some slight slacking off--my mother came to visit for several fun-filled days. Yet despite spending more time out of the apartment than usual and dining out more than usual, I managed to miss cooking only one weeknight meal. I'm also padding this post with a coupe lunches, because I had the photos, so why not.
Episode 6, July 12-July 18
Pasta "carbonara" with peas and pancetta
If you want to know why I put "carbona" in quotation marks, I suggest you read @Houston_Foodie's excellent series of posts about the definitive spaghetti alla carbonara (actually, I recommend it in general). My version was a hastily-thrown together substitute for the risotto I had planned but no longer had the time to execute, and despite its inauthenticity, was quite delicious. These may have been the last farmers' market peas of the season, as I didn't see any this past Sunday.
I've been following Smitten Kitchen's hummus recipe for awhile now, and I will go ahead and say that you owe it to yourself to go the extra mile and cook the chickpeas yourself. It's just not the same with canned. I had already cooked these--when I cooked the chickpeas for last week's tagine, I made twice as many as I needed so that I could later make hummus (I saved a cup of the cooking water, too). I diverge from the recipe by adding a little olive oil to the puree at the end, for flavor. I serve it with extra olive oil on top, plus a sprinkling of paprika and cayenne. This made a lunch or two, plus a few sessions of snacking during Mom's visit.
Unless your definition of "cooking" includes any meal that involves a chef's knife and a hot oven, this was really cooking. But it was a nice way to spend Bastille Day: toasty baguette, melty Brie, and juicy farmers' market tomatoes on the side. (Thanks to @hi_im_monkey for the suggestion!)
Scrambled eggs with shallots
This was a perfect Sunday morning brunch, thrown together in a few short minutes after returning from the farmers' market laden with fresh produce. I don't have much experience with gazpacho, but I really appreciated how it lets the fresh flavors of the raw veggies stand out. This NYTimes version is enriched with yogurt, and I liked it a lot. The cheese crisps are fun and pretty easy; I'll have to remember them as a garnish more often.
Roasted eggplant is one of my new favorite things. Maybe it's all the olive oil I used, but these came out creamy and buttery. Mmmmm. I'm still trying to decide whether the delicious crispy salmon is worth the preparation; I really despise getting splattered with hot oil. (Also? Never buy seafood from a FM vendor without checking on the price first--ouch.)
I should be back on a roll this week, as life settles back down.