Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Month of Intense Cooking

J broke her foot while we were in Perigord and has been quite immobile for more than a month. As a result, I have been preparing nearly all of our meals, every day, with rare outings and only occasional takeout. Quite different from our normal lifestyle, where we eat out two to four times a week and never eat lunch at home during the week.

So what to cook to keep life interesting and to avoid the feeling (no matter how true) of being shut in?

Well, it's summer, so we have been eating lots of tomatoes, corn and stone fruit and berries. And lots of homemade ice cream, including ginger, matcha, kinako (Japanese toasted soy flour powder), kuro gomma (Japanese black sesame seeds) and honey-rosemary, as well as homemade yogurt, to accompany the fruit. Few tarts and cakes in order to avoid using the oven in the heat (but see below).

For main courses, an eclectic mix of seafood, poultry, meat, pasta and vegetables, as we are omnivores. Among the best dishes were some old favorites and some new discoveries (recipes available on request, subject on rare occasion to copyright issues):
  • Roast Sicilian grilled pork loin
  • Broiled miso glazed black cod
  • Grilled (well, broiled) chicken with curried whole wheat couscous
  • Peel and eat shrimp with barbecue sauce
  • Skillet grilled thick barbecue pork chops
  • Baltimore style crab cakes Pan roasted lamb chops with za'atar
  • Pork tenderloin with balsamic peaches
  • Veal scallopini with capers and lemon
  • Iraqi yellow rubbed chicken thighs
  • Ostrich burgers
  • Spanish style shrimp with toasted pasta
  • Grilled fresh Tuscan tuna salad
  • Egg noodles with pressure cooked veal breast sugo
  • Thai ginger rubbed grilled salmon (with unbelievable salmon caught by our neigbor)
  • Moules marinière
  • Spaghettini with tomato conserva, pancetta and pecorino
  • Puy lentil salad
  • Lamb burger with crumbled feta and crispy fried shallots
  • Ostrich steaks with chimichurri sauce
  • Veal involtini with prosciutto and parmesan
  • Indian style cubes of boneless chicken breasts
  • Chinese chicken salad 
People often ask me what kind of food I cook and the above demonstrates why I can't answer.

I will deal with best appetizers and sides in a later post. I can't close this post without a picture, though, even if it is dessert, borrowed from yesterday's New York Times: fig cake.

Fig Cake from recipe by David Tanis (New York Times)

Bobby Jay


Amanda said...

I like your eclectic taste very much!
(I hope J's foot is healing very fast and well).

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Joan's foot is getting better. The fig cake looks delicious but your ice creams are what I want!


Bobby Jay said...

It turns out that ice cream is really easy to make.
My bible is David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, but I have many sources. I generally use the Philadelphia style, which just uses milk and cream, thereby skipping the only tricky part, which is making and incorporating custard. The results are different but, in my view and based on comments from guests, equally satisfying.

The City Cook said...

Bob, your month of cooking is inspiring!

Kate McDonough

Bobby Jay said...

Thanks, Kate. I feel like the anti-Julie and Julia, never sticking to the same source for more than a day. But the fun thing for me is finding new sources of culinary inspiration, derived from cultural diversity, interesting ingredients and varied techniques, all of which are, of course, related.