Mon 1/24: turkey/cheese frittata, arugula salad. Our friends at Well Rooted Farm gifted us extra eggs with this week’s order and a frittata to use up some deli turkey, bacon, and some random cheeses was perfect. Bonus: lunches! I always turn to this article for proportions. This was Hampton’s first time making a frittata and now that he’s more comfortable with the idea, I’m sure we’ll be doing them more often. ….as long as Kayla and Austin have plenty of eggs!
Tue 1/25: French Country sausage, Roasted Potato Salad with Dijon/Goat Cheese Vin, arugula. Hampton picked up some of our favorite sausage from our local butcher and it was perfect for him to have ready for dinner during quick turnaround between my day job and a rehearsal. This warm potato salad used up the end of the goat cheese in the fridge and was served over the end of a bag of arugula — my new fave type of side as mentioned a few weeks ago.
Wed 1/26: Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella, parsnip mash, glazed carrots. Thanks to the Kitchn, I was gifted some free Sunsweet Prunes, so it was the perfect time to try this classic ‘80s dish. I might have been in too much of a hurry tossing them marinade together the night before and so added in allllllll the ingredients instead of reserving the brown sugar and wine. Whoops. Just means we have to try it again! This was also our first parsnip mash and it was much sweeter than anticipated, so *everything* was sweet… and we know what to do next time. The leftovers were still great for breakfast!
Thur 1/27: Mushroom and Asparagus Grain Bowl. I try not to choose dairy-heavy veg meals because what’s the point of not having meat then — but this was definitely one of our best veg meals ever, possibly due to the butter and parm. I cooked the fennel down a lot longer than it called for because melty fennel is my favorite, but even so, we used quick-cooking farro and this came together in a flash with tons of flavor.
Fri 1/28: Bavette with Pickled Mushrooms and Navy Bean Mash. We adapted this recipe for our favorite cut, the bavette — again from Smoke City Meats. We could only get baby bellas but will 100% do this again so we can source fancier mushrooms then. Since we were doing grains on Thursday and Saturday, I decided to try a bean mash since we had some dried navy beans in the pantry. We soaked the beans overnight, so they cooked up in just a few minutes in the Instant Pot. We added some Better than Bouillon to the cooking water and used some of that to make the mash. Very fun and so easy.
Sat 1/29: Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breast, pearl barley with zucchini. Since we had asparagus from the grain bowls earlier and some random provolone in the fridge, I thought we would try stuffing chicken breasts. They weren’t as difficult as expected, even though awkward to handle. The extra cheese that melted out got put into the pearl barley, as did some leftover zucchini that was seared up real quick when the chicken came out to rest. Per a comment on the recipe, we made a quick lemon/wine/butter pan sauce after the zucchini seared. Which is doubly good because the chicken breast was definitely a little overcooked. Great flavor, though, and fun to try something new.
Sun 1/30: Sous-Vide Salmon with Fennel and Olives, roasted potatoes. Another weekend night, another new-to-us technique. We haven’t used the sous vide for salmon before. The good news is, ok, we dig this style. The salmon stayed nice and moist. I forgot to ask for edamame, so after cooking the fennel down a bit, we added kale. Based on wanting more brine with the marbella on Wednesday, I fried up some capers and larger caper berries. Unfortunately, I was a little gunshy, and pulled them out too soon. So while the roasted teeny tiny potatoes provided a nice and creamy texture difference, properly crispy capers would have made this dish perfection.
SO the bad news: the mandoline and I had a fight while slicing the fennel. This is not the first time I have battled the mandoline… and lost. A few summers ago, new to the cooking life, I was slicing beets for a salad and made a mistake. Hampton was working, and I was headed into tech as Babe in THE PAJAMA GAME the next day. I made the decision to drive myself to the ER, and told Hampton that since it was 8:30 on a Saturday night and it wasn’t a *major* injury, he should go home first to change. I neglected to tell him I was cutting beets. So I put the veg away and he got home and just saw the mandoline covered in red…. He almost hit the floor and needed the ER himself. As luck would have it, I was in and out of the ER pretty quickly that night, even if some of the official show photos show a bandage on one finger. Sadly, I can’t find one those pics now, so here’s me and my perfect leading man looking adorable.
Lunches: alternate beet gnocchi with horseradish crema and pesto from last week over zoodles; leftover frittata with crudités