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Entries tagged with food.cooking.stew 
25 August 2012 04:28 - "A triumph of your will"
rosefox: "Joy through making things happen" (accomplishment)
Today was a fucking epic rockstar day.

1) I slept. Not a ton, but it was good sleep and I got up feeling well-rested.

2) I did every single thing on my to-do list plus two things I had forgotten to list, and every part of the day that was about timing went like clockwork.

3) I bought plane tickets for the London trip!

4) I went to lunch with [livejournal.com profile] zia_narratora, and ate spicy curry, and my ear unblocked! And the curry was yummy and the conversation was too. Tea is such a lovely person.

5) I had exactly enough time for a haircut between lunch and workout, and Yelp led me to a great barbershop. My head is finally fuzzy again! Five weeks between haircuts is really way too long.

6) At my workout I did PUSH-UPS. And TRICEPS DIPS. And they felt so good that I did them again. And I still had enough arm afterwards to high-five Chelsea, the awesome trainer I've been working with. (I also had a less fun moment when I was doing a lot of core work, which means tensing my abs--those very same abs that I have carefully taught myself to deliberately relax as an antidote to panic attacks--while leaning against a balance ball. Being literally wobbly amplified the emotional wobbly and I had to take a breather. Chelsea was lovely and brought me water and then stepped out of the room so I could center myself. I sat there and thought, Well, I have paid $85 to have this studio for an hour, and if I want to spend 20 minutes of that hour crying I can do that. But I don't think that's how I want or need to spend that money and time, so let's keep going. We did and it was just fine. So I call that a net win.) Chelsea even gave me homework, so I can keep working out my arms in between sessions. I cannot even explain how exciting this all is. I never thought I would do another push-up, ever. Today I did thirty of them! From the waist, not full-plank, but still. Tremendous.

7) I edited 4000 words of the book I'm working on.

8) "At some point I must try Julia Child's chicken waterzooi," I said, and tonight I did, since J and X and I were dining with friends who weren't interested in fish. The creaminess of it reminded me of many years ago when Mi Cucina on Hudson & Jane was a good restaurant and served utterly sublime pollo y rajas con crema with wonderful crispy cubes of potato (if there's a name for those in Spanish, I don't know it), so crispy potatoes became our side dish. We drank Thomas Henry chardonnay, with which I promptly fell in love--glorious notes of caramel!--and sopped our bowls with French bread and it was very, very good.

Crispy potatoes )

Chicken waterzooi )

Both recipes supposedly serve four, so we doubled them. They just barely served six. Fortunately the waterzooi is intensely rich and we had bread as well as potatoes, so no one went hungry.

(recipes crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom)

Afterwards we went out for gelato. I am so full, my goodness.

Many thanks to our hosts [livejournal.com profile] d_aulnoy (who shopped) and [livejournal.com profile] schrodingersgnu (who helped with cooking) and our dining companion [livejournal.com profile] vschanoes (who cleaned), all of whom made delightful conversation as we stuffed ourselves. What a marvelous evening.

9) I briefly entertained the Gnubaby and felt only somewhat awkward and at a loss. This is an improvement over my usual interactions with babies. I am not a native speaker of baby, but X is planning to have one in a couple of years, so I'm taking every opportunity to learn. (This is an extra reason why I'm really looking forward to hanging out with my friends in London who are parents, and especially the poly parents.) The Gnubaby was getting a bit tired-cranky, but I distracted him by tapping his shoulders in waltz time, which worked very well. [livejournal.com profile] d_aulnoy says we can come over and practice baby anytime we like, and I think we may take her up on it once X is out of crunch mode at work and J and I are done traveling.

10) On the way home, J and X helped me sort out some of my feelings about charging for advice. More on that in another post.

11) I brushed the cats and now they are all sleek and soft. Well, Sam was already soft, but now she's softer. Java's getting lazy and arthritic in his old age and he doesn't always crane his neck all the way around to lick his back, so he gets mats there sometimes, and I like to brush them out. He tolerates it. Sam doesn't need the brushing, but she loves it and boofs the brush and purrs like a Harley and is all cuddly after. They are such good kitties.

And now I have stayed up far too late reading the archives of "Scandinavia and the World" because I sent the link to [livejournal.com profile] schrodingersgnu, so I will feed the kitties and pass the out.
3 May 2012 23:21 - "I just love success!"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Maybe ten years ago, maybe more, I had a bowl of waterzooi at Markt, a Belgian restaurant that at the time was in the Meatpacking District. (It's moved up to Chelsea and they don't have waterzooi on the menu anymore.) It was one of those life-changing culinary experiences. I eat seafood very rarely; I'd never encountered fish cooked with milk before. The broth was silky, the fish delicate and flaky, the strands of julienned vegetables eminently slurpable. Since then I've had many a creamy chowder, but none came close to the sublime richness of waterzooi, which incorporates both egg yolks and heavy cream (and, in Markt's version, lobster--definitely not traditional, but so delicious!).

On Tuesday we inaugurated our fabulous new blender by making cashew cream (pour boiling water over cashews, soak for one hour, drain, blend with cold water to desired consistency; we blended in a sauteed diced shallot for extra flavor). We made it quite thick and had a lot left over after making a really excellent pasta alfredo, so I'd been thinking about how to use it. Today I mixed some with water, leftover mashed potatoes, nutmeg, and thyme for the best creamy potato soup I've ever had. That made me think of chowder, which made me think of waterzooi. I hunted up a recipe that called for fish (though at some point I must try Julia Child's chicken waterzooi) and we set about adapting it for my dairy-free, low-salt diet.

Ingredients and recipe )

This recipe has a great cooking rhythm. There's just the right amount of time for cubing the fish and chopping the parsley as the vegetables cook, and for loading the dishwasher and separating the eggs as the fish simmers. It smells fantastic while it cooks, and one bowlful is a perfect meal. Even though we used low-sodium broth, it needed just the barest touch of salt to make the flavors pop. The two of us had a serving each, and the third serving is sitting in the fridge, where I suspect the flavors will marry gloriously.

It would be very easy to veganize: no egg yolks, more cashew cream to compensate, veg broth instead of chicken broth, tofu and/or mushrooms instead of fish. Maybe some day I'll try that. The vegetables could also be varied from the classic mirepoix; as I recall, the dish at Markt had long strands of zucchini and red bell pepper. Lemongrass, ginger, and a dash of hot sauce would give it a lovely Thai flavor, perfect served over rice instead of bread. It's a superbly adaptable recipe. I look forward to playing around with it.

(crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom)
7 November 2011 02:03 - "Chicken THIGH!"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Tonight we made chicken stew for dinner. When Josh suggested it, I wasn't terribly enthused, because I think of chicken as bland-ish and stew as bland-ish and had no sense-memory of flavors attached to the concept of "chicken stew". But now I do! It tasted like chicken pot pie without the pie, and it was delicious.

The recipe is straight from Cook's Illustrated as usual. We didn't cut up the chicken thighs before stewing them; why bother? Once the stew was done, Josh encouraged them to finish falling apart into shreds. Neither of our local grocery stores had celery root, so we substituted turnip. The thighs came in packages of eight, so that's what we put in, and it did not feel insufficiently chickeny even though the recipe recommends using twelve. We cooked it on the stove for longer than suggested, as a loaf of bread was occupying the oven. (Homemade bread is an excellent accompaniment to this stew, incidentally.) The recipe as given below has half as much garlic (for my sake) and onion (for Xtina's) as the original recipe; adjust as you see fit.

Chicken stew with winter vegetables )

Their estimate is that this recipe makes six to eight servings; we added just a bit of rice to stretch it to eight. It is very, very filling even in small quantities. We will definitely be making it again.
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Tonight's dinner: pork stewed in beer.

Recipe from The Nero Wolfe Cookbook )

We fried up the trimmed-off bits of pork and a few scraps of onion in the leftover butter. They were amazing and tided us over until 10 p.m. when dinner was finally ready. Now I remember why we used to shop in advance rather than attempting to shop and cook after work.

The pork was tender and succulent; the sauce was thick and rich and perfect for sopping up with chunks of bread. (I do think it could have used a bit more depth of flavor and perhaps a little sweetness; I blame that partly on using a fairly nondescript ale and partly on our geriatric bay leaves, which really need to be replaced. Next time, might add a little sweetish white wine, or maybe some white balsamic vinegar.) We have four small or two large servings of leftovers, and I think they will make excellent lunches.

Incidentally, the meat at Whole Foods is vastly superior to that at Fairway. I still love Fairway for everything else, but for charcuterie Whole Foods definitely wins.

We also bought veggies--Brussels sprouts, carrots, red bell peppers, green beans, another Vidalia--and chicken* and coconut milk. A few of the carrots were sacrificed tonight for maple ginger thyme carrots, since I didn't get to make them the other night. We'll turn the rest into curry on Thursday. Mmm, curry.

* Specifically, chicken thigh.

(Spent on groceries today: $58. Total since 8/7/08: $150. That's about the weekly budget I was hoping for, which is excellent. Now to curtail day-to-day spending on other things. Fortunately, with plenty of leftovers for lunch and doing freelance work at the library rather than at cafes, I don't have much that I want to spend money on.)

Since the carrot recipe has since vanished, here it is:

GLAZED CARROTS WITH MAPLE SYRUP
contributed by Shady Maple Farm

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb carrots, cleaned and sliced thickly on diagonal
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons grade A maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves

Directions:
Cook the carrots in salted boiling water for 5–8 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain thoroughly. Add the butter, maple syrup, ginger, and thyme to the carrots. Cook, uncovered, on medium heat until the syrup boils. Continue cooking uncovered until the syrup is reduced and thickened and the carrots are glazed, approximately five minutes.

*Ginger adds heat to this simple dish, while thyme adds flavor and visual appeal.
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