Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22 - 25

We finally went to the grocery store!  We have actual food again...  on Friday I had to count the fruit snacks (that I usually just eat when I run) as, um, produce.  But no more!  

So, in celebration, we'll cook yummy stuff this week.  And I'll also post that German potato salad recipe that makes my mouth just water and water.

homemade bread:  I'm trying a recipe for crusty white peasant-style pot bread from my new favorite cookbook, Kneadlessly Simple.  You let the dough do a long slow rise (like, 24 hours...) and the slow time compensates for the lack of kneading.  There's science involved.  Then you heat up a dutch oven (love my bright green cast-iron enamel one!!!) and put the dough in.  It makes a big round ball inside the oven, and you cook with the lid on for most of the time, so the steam keeps the inside moist, then you take the lid off for the last 10 - 15, so it gets crusty and lovely too.  I'm excited to taste this version!

Venison fajitas:  saute onion, garlic, strips of venison steak, red pepper, mushroom, other veggies, etc.  Add fajita-like seasoning ( I think I've shared previously that my standard for fajita-like seasonings is anything red or orange that isn't paprika).  Add some liquid, simmer.  Steam tortillas, fill with stuff, top with avocado, tomato, cheese, sour cream, salsa, whatever.
(This is kind of a "whatever looks good when I open the fridge/spice rack) kind of meal.)

Roasted corn and goat cheese quesadillas.
Had these a few weeks ago, and the goat cheese flavor in there is really kind of wonderful.  They might be my new favorites.  

You saute an onion ("Really?"  you might ask.  "Really," I answer.).  Add some corn and cook for a while.  I don't know how long.  I don't think it really matters -- until it looks done to you.  Dump the onion and corn into a bowl, add a little log of goat cheese and mix it all together.  Spread on a tortilla, put some salsa in.  Top with another tortilla.  Cook in nonstick skillet, flipping when one side is toasty brown.  The joy of the goat cheese, besides the great flavor, is that it keeps all the other ingredients in place so there's no flying ingredients when you flip the quesadilla.

Another random dinner:  pasta with stuff in it.
Saute an onion, other good looking veggies.  Maybe some Italian turkey sausage.  Or scallops?
Cook some pasta.  When it's almost done, use a slotted spoon to put it right in with the veggies/sausage mix.  The starchy water makes a nice sauce and keeps the stuff sticking to the pasta.  Add pesto.  Season with salt and pepper.   Cook up for a few minutes until it's all rightly mixed.  Top with some lovely cheese.

I'm thinking leftovers or maybe take out.  It's shaping up to be an exhausting Thursday.

And now...  German potato salad!
This comes from Grill it Right, a cookbook Phil has had since college and the days of his indoor plug-in grill.

3 med. potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
4 slices bacon
1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 c finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 c water
1/4 c cider vinegar

1.  Cook potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain, cool slightly.
2.  In large skillet, cook bacon till crisp.  Crumble.  Drain, reserve 2 tbsp drippings.  Cook onion and celery in reserved drippings until tender (I know, it makes me cringe to write that, but we don't eat it very often, so it can't be that bad, right?)  Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard, pepper.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat, stir in bacon.
3.  Use a 36 X 18 pc of aluminum foil.  Fold in half so you have a double thickness 18 x 18 square.  Put potatoes in center.  Pour dressing over.  Bring 2 opposite edges of foil together and seal with a double fold.  Fold remaining ends to completely enclose potato mixure, leaving space for steam to build.
4.  Grill foil packet on the grill rack of a grill directly over medium to medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

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