Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I cooked this week, Episode 12

Well, I made up for the previous week by cooking up a storm this time. Best news of the week? There is an awesome farmers' on Wednesdays that's larger and closer to my apartment than the one I go to on Sundays! Unfortunately it only runs through October, so I need to make the most of it!

Episode 12, August 23-August 29

Chicken stuffed with chevre and sage and pan-grilled corn
Goat cheese chicken, pan-grilled corn, and peaches

I've been making this chicken recipe since my first year of college: pound some chicken breast thin, spread with goat cheese that's been mixed with herbs, roll up the chicken, bread it, and bake it. I used crushed TLC 7 grain crackers for the crust this time, and we could have use more of them (hence the patchy effect), but the chicken was still delicious. The corn I "grilled" in my La Creuset dutch oven in a bunch of butter, which was fabulous. We enjoyed fresh peaches and some out of season grapefruit on the side.

Corn-zucchini-lentil stir fry
Corn and zucchini "stir fry" with lentils

We had a cob of corn leftover from the previous dinner. I cut the kernels off the cob and sautéed them in bacon fat with some zucchini. I added half a can of lentils at the end, to give the dish some protein, and topped with some cayenne pepper. Not a bad lunch.

Chicken enchiladas with red sauce and red cabbage slaw

I can always tell when my husband really enjoys something I've cooked because it's the only time he eats more than I do. It was true with the ribs a few weeks back, and it was true with these enchiladas.

Enchiladas - a cross-section

My mother recently gifted me two cookbooks by Diana Kennedy, who is probably the leading expert on Mexican regional cuisine. All the recipes sound wonderful, but some of them are a little intimidating, so these "enchiladas sencillas" sounded like a great way to get my feet wet ("sencillo" means "simple"). The sauce is tomatoes, serranos, and garlic with creme fraiche; the enchiladas are filled with shredded chicken and diced onion; and it all gets topped off with a little cheese (veggies and chicken and from farmers' markets). MAN these were delicious, and true to their name they were pretty easy to make. The slaw is red cabbage, carrots, scallions, and cilantro, with an olive oil-lime-garlic-mustard dressing. Crunchy!

Lamb-bulgur burgers with feta and pan fried brussels sprouts
Lamb-bulgar burgers

Inspired by last week's chicken burgers, I decided to make naked burgers again, this time with some ground lamb I bought at the Wednesday farmers' market. I used a Mark Bittman recipe as a starting point and bulked up the patties with bulgur, since I had a bunch left from the tagine. I also added a bit of crumbled feta to the patty mix. Next time, I'll skip the bulgur, but they were pretty good. I have a couple extras in the freezer. The brussels sprouts were from the Sunday market.
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Chicken quesadilla

I had tortillas, chicken, and cheese leftover from the enchiladas, so I made myself a quesadilla for lunch. I added some canned hatch chiles that I had in the cupboard.

Breakfast tacos
Breakfast tacos

To use up the last of the tortillas I purchased, we had breakfast tacos for a weekend lunch. I made scrambled eggs with creme fraiche and cooked some bacon. We piled these onto the tortillas with some cilantro and store-bought mango-peach salsa. (No egg scare for us--we buy local small production eggs at the market!)

Eggplant ricotta and garlic bread
Eggplant ricotta and garlic bread

This dish would be more accurately titled "Ricotta eggplant" as it ended up a little heavy on the ricotta side. Imagine lasagna, except that instead of noodles you have slices of tomato and roasted eggplant. Pretty good, but I didn't use enough oil on the eggplant slices when they went in he oven so they were a little dry. The garlic bread, on the other hand, was surperb. I used a baguette I purchased from the bakery stall at the market and prepared it the way I learned to make garlic bread in elementary school:

1. Slice the bread almost all the way through but leave the slices attached.
2. Melt butter with minced garlic.
3. Spoon garlic butter in between the slices and pour over the top.
4. Wrap in tin foil and bake briefly.
5. Unwrap, tear off slices, and enjoy!

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