Sunday, April 5, 2009


Ok, I admit it. Last week's entry was too long. It did occur to me that perhaps instead of one entry, it might have just as easily been five. Or at least three. But I know (thank you Statcounter) that lots of you (dozen) only come to see what's cooking on Mondays and you don't scroll. It's ok--really, it is--but for (the even fewer of) you who are curious about the week before, I felt like putting them all in one post was kinder. But maybe not.

So, a few changes. This week, menus first. Reviews second. And there were some GREAT links last week (and some losers) so hang in there.

I've had an unpublished post for months now that is all links to recipes I want to try. This week, since it's (hold me) spring break here, I thought I'd try a few of them. I'll try to list sources when I can.

Sunday: The Pioneer Woman's chicken scallopine, salad, asparagus. I may be the only one who eats it but hey. My efforts to impress my kids are not working anyway. Thanks to BooMama for pointing me to the PW recipe.

Monday: from Smitten Kitchen, chicken with almonds and olives, lemon quinoa-chick pea salad, sugar snap peas

Tuesday: Sweet 'n' Tangy Pot Roast as recommended by OrgJunkie herself! Figured we'd try to get this in before spring really comes in earnest, and we are supposed to have snow showers today. Good thing we have baseball tickets, right?! (World Champs t-shirts=worth the snow. W00t!)

Wednesday: freezer meal, courtesy of Trader Joe's and my impulse shopping; hoping to augment with this bulgar chickpea salad or kasha with onions from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything in the continuation of Eating Down the Fridge.

Thursday: Sweet-n-sour pork by Martha Stewart (c/o The Accidental Hausfrau), rice

Friday: Good Friday. We are supposed to fast, so I will probably wing it. I might make the onion quiche (since I have a ton of onions) and a ton of eggs (duh) from the new How to Cook Everything, but that seems a little self-serving as I am the only person who would enjoy it. The same thing is true for the fish dishes I want to try; my husband is hit-or-miss on fish, and my kids think it's "stinky" and accuse me of serving skink every time I make it.

Saturday: clean out the fridge day (leftovers). And for Easter, we're bringing macaroni and cheese (already made and in the freezer--go me!), carrot mousse, and sausage balls I made for Christmas but just excavated in the freezer doing the EDF challenge. (oops)

So. Speaking of the EDF challenge...we're still kind of living it here. Between the economy and the more thoughtful consumption the challenge inspired, I'm going back through both my piles of recipes I cut out to try later (and the cyber version I wrote about above), and going through my cabinets to see what is in there that I bought to try with some recipe that has either disappeared in to the pile or is gone completely. Hence, recipes that call for bulgar and kasha and all kinds of oddities (for us). Chances are, I didn't have to actually go purchase any of them. I have also recommitted to my favorite veggie stand, which routinely undercuts all my markets by orders of magnitude. (Lemons, 7 for $1; avocados, 79 cents each. You'd think you were in California.) I am sticking with the "bring in one bag, check out when full" mantra and finding less waste comes home that way too.

I made the day-ahead mashed potatoes from here and oh, my. I skipped the onion salt and the butter, actually, because despite using the suggested nine potatoes, the cream cheese and sour cream amounts seemed...luxurious, let's say. And, it was. And we all ate potatoes as though they were the only thing on the plate, despite some delicious peas and good turkey burgers (see below). But the potatoes? Clearly the big hit of that meal. Thank you, Cynthia Matzat, wherever you are!

The turkey burgers from last week were from a recipe from the paper. I was thrilled to use it since all it required me to buy was the turkey. They were certainly easy enough, and I discovered in EDF that I could have fed the squirrels all winter with the nuts I had, so it was a good way to work down the pistachios.(Of course, that night they announced a pistachio recall, but mine were from the freezer so I figured I was ok.) Predictably, the burgers were a little bland (but of course, in the world of my children, that works well), but I loved the cooking method and will try to use it in the future, especially since I now have the 12-inch not-non-stick skillet that The Splendid Table told me I needed. They were right. There have been at least three recipes (this, the amazing pears from last week, the braised leeks from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper) I've made that nothing else I own would have worked for. And meanwhile, don't use any pistachios, but maybe another nut would be good with these. Hazelnuts, maybe? I have a bag of those hanging around too. And at least the salmonella scare inspired more cabinet cleanout, right?

Pistachio-Crusted Turkey Burgers
makes 4 servings

1 lb ground turkey, formed into 4 patties [I made 5] (dark turkey eat, or a mixture of dark and light, will work best)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the burgers with salt and pepper to taste on both sides.
2. Place the pistachios on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Coat the patties with the pistachios on all sides, pressing in gently.
3. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place teh patties in the skillet; cook until nuts are slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, cook the other side.
4. Transfer skillet with patties to oven; bake until cooked through and interior of burgers are 165 degrees when measured with an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.


Raising Olives said...

Sounds great. I'm fascinated by people who are talented in the kitchen. Me? well my house is usually clean. :)

Thanks for your vacationing tip.


brandy101 said...

Not sure that I ever credited you for this but after reading about your endeavors, I was inspired to eat down our fridge and pantry...and they really are getting cleared out! The freezer, especially.

Also, ever since my surgery, I have, most weeks, been ordering grocery delivery online (I may have mentioned this before.) It is SO great for keeping me to a budget (I see a running total as I order - no impulse buys) and for keeping unneeded stuff out of the house (as I order I check the shelves to see if we actually need that item or not.)

I tried to go to a regular store, thinking that now that I CAN shop, it would be cheaper. I was surprised to find my weekly grocery bills are at least $40 less per week with the online shopping - plus no $ for gas, etc. I still pop in to TJs and a local *ethnic* store once a month for specialty items, but other than that I think I am going to stick with my online orders permanently. And not stockpile in the pantry & freezer as if it will blizzard for a week straight EVERY week.

Desmone007 said...

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