Saturday, June 28, 2014

Meatloaf with Carrots and Potatoes

Saturday 21 June
Barbara's meatloaf guidelines have become a lot looser here; we have no robot-coupe, and tend to throw in the things we have, rather than measuring and calculating amounts.  And you know, it still comes out tasting pretty good, though we miss our allspice.
We whipped up a panade with 2 eggs, a glugg of milk, as many breadcrumbs as we had or could grate from a soft farmhouse loaf, a squirt of tomato paste, a spoonful of dijon mustard, 2 chopped gherkins plus a pour of their brine, and a big squirt of ketchup.  We seasoned with pepper, salt, and thyme, then mixed in a pack of six Co-op "quarter pounders," a chopped red onion, and a chopped stalk of celery.  Moulded into a nice loaf shape, and baked at 400º F/200º C for a half hour, then reduced to 350º/180º.  Around the sides went two sliced carrots and 6 little halved potatoes.

The meatloaf came to the perfect 160º F by our instant-read after only 45 minutes, and we let it rest for 5 minutes before tucking in.

This probably had a bigger proportion of eggs and crumbs than usual, which may be why it stuck together better.  Perhaps when we get home we'll decrease the amount of meat we use to 1.5 rather than 2 pounds, and keep the 2 eggs and amount of milk, crumbs, etc. the same.  

Penne alla Stilton

Friday 20 June
One of our favorite pasta dishes is penne alla Gorgonzola - but the local blue cheese here happens to be stilton.  So tonight we adapted our recipe by melting the local product and the remains of a container of soft (i.e. cream) cheese in a pan of boiling double cream.  
It turned into a very good simulacrum of the Italian version, with no grated Romano cheese needed.

Sausages, Peppers, Onions

Thursday 19 June

After a lovely going-down party in the Dean's garden at Christ Church (featuring champagne and strawberries and cream, of course), we went home to our old Summertown standby: the Meat Joint's Gloucester Old Spot pork sausages, pan-fried with sliced romano peppers and onions.

Duck with Cherries

Wednesday 18 June
We're back to the Co-op's three-legged package of duck, again cooked according to the Alice Waters style. 
As usual, there were adaptations: orange juice and white wine made up our braising liquid, cherries were added toward the end of the cook time, and we served the duck on a bed of braised fennel.

Avocados Stuffed with Mackerel Salad

Tuesday 17 June
After the opening of the exhibit of Archbishop Wake's coin collection at the Christ Church Library, we walked home to a quick, simple meal with big flavors: three avocadoes stuffed with flaked mackerel moistened with mayonnaise, much as we had a couple of weeks ago.

Penne with Smoked Salmon and Peas

Monday 16 June

We bought a bag of fresh peas from the Summertown Farmers' market, de-podded them, boiled a bit, then added them to a pan of butter and double cream; boiled that down a bit, and tossed in some cooked penne.  At last, we showered in a 4-oz. packet of smoked salmon, torn into shreds. 

It had all the virtues of pasta al salmone, and the peas of paglia e fieno.

The Sunday Roast

Sunday 15 June
We stayed close to home, and in the evening welcomed Melanie and Sam back from their day's hike in Wales with some succulent slices of lamb smothered in mustard, garlic, and herbs, and the torpedo onions, carrots, and potatoes that had roasted beside it.  
Our excellent red wine was Domaine la Garrigue 2011 Cuvée les trois Cyprès Vacqueyras. 

And before they left at 2 AM, Melanie and Sam were able to make one last trip to the midnight kebab van.  Happy travels, guys!

Frittata and Salad

Saturday 14 June

After we got home from a grand day out in Salisbury (the Cathedral and Mompesson House), a sight of the Cherhill white horse along with a more lively local white horse, and an amazing walk around the Avebury stones (plus a drink of Avebury Well Water beer on top of the actual Avebury Well)

we went home and fixed a quick and practical frittata, made with zucchini, romano pepper, and onion, with grana and jarlsberg cheese.  On the side went a tossed (for everyone but Melanie) salad of rocket, avocado, zucchini, and tomato.