Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Short Pause

25-27 February

Holt had to fly to UCLA for a conference on Medical Traditions today, and he'll be gone until Sunday.  Barbara had to go to a party for the prospective graduate students on Thursday, but otherwise, dined alone on hot dogs and sauerkraut, things that Holt can't currently digest.  So since Holt and Barbara couldn't have dinner together, we've declared the blog in respite until Sunday.

Chicken Legs and Spartan Salad

Wednesday 24 February

Our colleague Antonis gave us a precious bottle of olive oil made from his own trees in Lakonia, and shipped to Cincinnati.  This is Sparta!
Tonight, we used it to anoint a very colorful salad, with just salt and apple cider vinegar (which back when Barbara was in Greece, used to be the standard for salata choriatiki).

Served with reheated chicken legs, thighs, and wings from Sunday's bird, for a flavorful, light dinner.

Chili con Carne

Tuesday 23 February
Barbara's got a cold, so she wanted something warming and spicy.  She started the pinto beans soaking last night, then simmered them in the crockpot all day. 
Around 3 PM, she browned a pound of ground beef, then a couple of chopped onions, then sweated the spices in the fat: ca. 2 Tbsp. each of flaked and ground medium Chimayo chile, and 2 Tbsp. each ground coriander and cumin.  Finally she threw in a pound can of crushed tomatoes, and let it simmer for a couple of hours, pouring in a ladleful of bean liquid every now and then. 
Around 5:30, she poured the meat into the crockpot of beans, and just before serving, we salted it and added the secret ingredient: wine vinegar.  

It clears the head, but not quickly enough so that you remember to take a picture.

Campanelle with Asparagus, Fresh Salmon, and Cream

Monday 22 February

Tonight is the Lantern festival, and we're supposed to eat Yuanxiao, sticky rice dumplings.  But we had a beautiful tranche of roast salmon left over from Saturday, so we used it to make this variation on Pasta alla Saffi (including the vodka, of course). 

Thank you, Romans; forgive us, Chinese people.

Roast Chicken and Roots

Sunday 21 February
Our weekend standard, purchased from Bare's just about every other week.  We've been setting it out in the fridge to dry overnight, then dusting it with kosher salt and roasting on a shallow tray at 400º convect, until the skin browns and crisps and the internal temperature reaches 160º. 

Accompanied this time with tray-baked shallots and potatoes.

Mustard-Coated Salmon and Asparagus

Saturday 20 February
It's now Lent, so Kroger has lots of fresh fish, as well as asparagus, on sale; though we had fish and asparagus only this past Thursday, we couldn't resist.  So we got a pound of purple asparagus and a pound and a half of Atlantic salmon fillet (for a change from barramundi), cut the latter into three pieces (one unseasoned, for later), and baked it with a mustard and crumb crust, like this. But we baked it at 350º for 5 minutes longer, as our salmon was in generous rather than wispy portions, and our asparagus was not twig-thin.

The mustard coating goes very well with salmon, and at least it's not pesto this time.  And everything bakes on the same tray, which saves washing-up effort.