Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday night ramps

Since I read Tamar Adler's brilliant book I have been a one-night-a-week cooking machine. Which means I have been eating both well and more or less healthily. 

Wednesday is my FTY delivery day so it makes sense to do most of the cooking as soon as I get home with the groceries. 

In this week's order I got two bunches of ramps. The taste of ramps sends me back in time to when I was a kid and I spent hours outside down in Hull pulling up small spring onions and pretending to be a survivalist in "the woods" which was really just a wooded lot. 

The ramps flavor is far more delicate, but then again, the spring onions I thought I discovered as a kid were probably not really onions at all and I really probably shouldn't have been eating them. But for better or worse, the scent of fresh onion means spring to me. 

Oh I am ready for summer already.

Anyway, I rinsed the leaves of the ramps and chopped them off. I sauteed them in a little oil to wilt them for a quiche filling, but ramp leaves would be lovely chopped into a salad. They have a light onion-y taste that gets the palate ready for summer salads. 

The bulbs I am going to pickle. 

Then I sauteed a big bunch of swiss chard, including the stems, and a bag of spinach. All this then went into a quiche. For some reason I am a big fan of swiss chard in quiche. 

This means quiche for lunch tomorrow. Because if I don't bring my lunch to work I will eat potato chips and cookies and call that a meal. Bleh. 

I also made a pot of polenta. Which I had for dinner with some black beans. 

And the delicious discovery of the night for me is fried parsley and garlic. Possibly I am the last person on earth to have made this, but I will be making this again. And again. And probably again after that. 

All it is a bunch of stemmed and chopped parsley sauteed in plenty of olive oil with a few tablespoons of chopped garlic and a big pinch of salt. The garlic will brown and the parsley will get crispy and the whole thing will be unbelievably delicious. I spooned a bit of it onto the polenta before topping it with the beans and it really pulled the whole dish together. 

Ahhhh, happy girl. That's me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My name is CalamityShazaam and I am addicted to books.

I love my Nook. Yeah, yeah, everyone has a Kindle, but I am in love with my Nook (thank you Evil Twinster) and I use it everyday.

Which is why I will never be able to save up for the moped I want. I love to read and instant access to an online bookstore is exactly like an unlimited supply of crack to a crackhead. Sometimes on Mondays I will look at my bank account and be like "oh snap! I bought WHAT?"

Eh, I suppose it could be worse, I suppose I could be addicted to actual crack.

Well so here is what happened on Friday - I downloaded Tamar Adler's amazing book " An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace" and then stayed up all night and read it.


Remember how last post I was all like "a-wah-wah-wahhhh I waste so much foooood wah"? Well this is the book that fixes that problem for me. I woke up on Saturday and started cooking everything in my fridge.

I made braised short ribs for Sunday lunch, two batches of beans, roasted onions, beets, and a bunch of other little bits and ends. Now everything in my fridge has a purpose, including that stupid can of Bud Lite Lime (yep KGLocal12, I am talking to you, right to yo' face!).

My personal opinion on this is that if you aren't comfortable cooking without a strict set of instructions, this is NOT the book for you. However if you want to learn how to use more, waste less, and eat more fully, well then, this IS the book for you. Also, if you love Laurie Colwin as much as I do, then this REALLY is the book for you.

I will post some photos at some point of some of the luscious bean dishes I have been making, but for right now, go get this book.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Another Sunday, another Sunday lunch

The ugly secret in my kitchen is that I buy ingredients with more ambition than actual execution. This is something I am trying to change because frankly it is a really sh*tty habit to have. My resolution has been to try to eat everything I buy, a hideously first world resolution, and because it makes me uncomfortable, I am breaking the habit.

I will buy dried beans and think "oh I will make a big pot of baked beans!" Or pick up a giant squash and think "ahhh squash and curry soup!". But the fact of the matter is I live on my own and I can only eat the same thing for three days, tops. On the occasion that I make soup, for some reason I make enough for seven people to eat for three days straight, which if you do the math means I am eating that soup for 21 days (I think, I am not great at math and I was drinking wine earlier).

This kind of gluttony and waste is getting on my nerves. So no more bullsh*t as La Mamman would say. 

Basically this means that now I get what I order from Farmers to You and allow myself to supplement with a box of pasta, some tomatoes, and fresh herbs when I need to, and everything else is stuff I have in the pantry already. Or in the freezer. 

For Sunday lunch this week I really used my imagination to pull diverse ingredients together to make a meal that  was edible. Truth be told I was a little concerned and was thinking that if all else failed I would get a roasted chicken and make a spinach salad. 

After some rummaging and a couple of cups of coffee, this is what I came up with:

Stewed lentils with cumin & onion
Spinach & Queso Fresco Quiche
Meme's Cake with raspberry filling
 Not surprisingly, there were no leftovers.