Thursday, February 24, 2011

Delicious homemade lunch in a jar

I love glass jars and use them in place of plastic as much as possible. They are perfect for bringing lunch to the office, which I am all about doing these days, now that I am trying to get ready for beach season - which IS coming at some point this year!

The best thing is that I make one big delicious dish at the beginning of the week and then fill up the fridge with ready to go lunches in cute little glass jars. It makes stumbling out of the house a few minutes shorter everyday.

Last night I made corn-quinoa rotelle with a delicious veggie packed tomato sauce.

For the sauce:

- one onion, chopped
- garlic, chopped (I like it so I used a few cloves)
Saute the garlic and onion in a little olive oil over a medium flame, until soft and translucent.
Remove from heat and scrape into a mixing bowl or similar.

- one box of mushrooms (about a pound or so), coarsely chopped
- one red pepper, deseeded and chopped
Add a little olive oil to the pan you sauteed the onions in and let the oil get hot.
Add the mushrooms and red pepper
Saute until the mushrooms are brown and the pepper is soft.

- kale, a small bunch, washed and chopped into small bits
Add this to the mushroom and red pepper saute with a little sprinkle of water
Stir until wilted.
Add all this to the bowl with the onions and return pan to heat.

- ground turkey
Cook about a pound in the pan, making small chunks with the end of your spatula.
At this point I seasoned the turkey with salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, and some dried cranberries.
Cook thoroughly then add to the bowl with everything else.

Now, here is the part I should have put in earlier...

I had the pasta already cooked and after draining it, I put it back into the cooking pot and swirled it with a little splash of olive oil and some frozen basil cubes. Then I dumped in a can of diced San Marzano tomatoes and this is what I added all the sauteed stuff to. This is not really a sauce proper, more like a superior pasta salad-y thingy.

If you wanted to make this a casserole, you could stir in some cheese at this point and bake it. But I have been eating casserole like it's candy lately and just wanted a nice pasta dinner.

It was very nice. And then today, it was a delicious lunch. Hooray for delicious lunches on slow moving winter days.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I might not have a kitchen, but I still have a stove.

Which is important because I am having the worst ever canning jones.

A few weeks back it kicked in while in Aruba. We ate at Madame Janette's, outside in the glorious fresh air, in January - as we kept reminding ourselves. The meal was decent, actually it was quite the meal and I could have gotten away with just having the appetizer and for me to say that.... well you get the drift.

At the start of the meal, we were given a small dish of pickled onions. I am pretty sure that is exactly when the canning craving kicked in. I love a good pickle. Seriously, all penis jokes aside, if it's pickled I will eat it.

These were vinegary, spicy, and peppery - I could not pile them high enough on my bread. At least I think it was for my bread, who knows. I never know what to do with sauce at the table on its own, like in an Indian restaurant - I just smother the crackly bread with the three little sauces you get. The staff is meanwhile smothering their laughter at the girl who is putting jam on the corn-on-the-cob, metaphorically speaking. But I digress.

Oh, well wait, one more thing: whenever I travel outside of my home state, the first thing I want to see is the supermarket. Aruba was no exception. Did you know that most of their supermarkets are Asian? Yep.

Anyway so back to Madame Janettes. Remember? For dinner, and the onions? Right.

So the ET's Hubby also loves the pickled onions and asked if I could replicate them in Boston. I said I would try. The spiciness was hard to pin down, which is where the supermarket near the hotel came into play.

It turns out that the Madame Janette is a hot pepper, not some wild island Madam. And there is a hot sauce made from these same peppers. I figured that that is what gives the pickled onions their piquancy.

So I brought back some of this Madame Janette in a jar and will add it to my next pickled onion batch.

Ahhh hahahahahah Madame Janette in a jar.... I am so funny!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I haven't starved to death....

...yet anyway.

But seriously, the little house in the big city is STILL under construction. It is ridiculous how long it takes a person to renovate a house! I am totally over my budget and way under budget in the motivation department. It goes in fits and spurts - a lick of paint here, a dollop of joint compound there...

I really thought at this point I would have a lovely new kitchen, but that realistically cannot happen until the top two floors are done as the plaster dust will just overwhelm everything.

Which has already sort of happened, which is why I am not cooking as much. If a recipe needs more than one or two pans, I am out of luck because I have stored everything in boxes because I was thinking I would be a little farther ahead than I am currently. Oh well.

And thank goodness for beef pho, because I really think that is all that is keeping me alive right now.