Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

The inevitable slowdown

Posted: January 22nd, 2009 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | 28 Comments »

This week, I have been…. uninspired. To say the least. I’ve cooked. I’ve done things. The recipes are mostly out of books. I’m just… not wowed lately.
On Monday, Fresh Direct stretched their delivery policies to the limit. Saying that they will deliver between 8 and 10 has meant in my experience, that they’re coming around 8:30, 9:00 latest. This particular Monday, Fresh Direct’s drivers arrived at, no joking, 9:57pm. Amazing.
So once we got the groceries, and tucked them away, I set about making dinner. Sauteed turkey cutlets marinated in lemon juice and herbs, and sauteed green beans.
The turkey was pretty straightforward – honestly, it was 2 lemons’ worth of juice, some thyme and sage, salt, and pepper, marinated for 10 minutes and then sauteed in olive oil.
As I’ve mentioned, I have a….problem with overcooked green beans. So I blanched them in salt water, shocked them in ice water, and then sauteed them in butter with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
The turkey breasts got to rest while I made a quick sauce of chicken stock, cream, and a little bit of butter. It was pretty tasty, especially a couple days later on a bed of spinach cold at lunchtime.

On Tuesday, we had miniature meatloaves with gorgonzola gravy, and proscuitto smashed potatoes. I was not wowed by this meal. From now on, I will make my own meatloaf, as opposed to following Rachael Ray’s recipes. Because this meatloaf was a lot like a hamburger and not much like meatloaf. It was very intensive and dirtied a lot of pots. I would recommend that if you make this, do not make 4 mini meatloaves, sear them, and then bake it. Make 1 big meatloaf and bake it. It won’t be a 30-minute meal, but it’ll be better. Then you’ll only dirty 1 frying pan, 1 saucepot, and 1 stock pot for the potatoes, and 1 cookie sheet for the meatloaf.

Oy. The meatloaves tasted a bit like hamburgers, only y’know…. made of veal and sirloin…. and drowned in a gravy that didn’t really have enough time to develop any flavor. This is a common complaint with Rachael’s recipes. I think this one is better done by oneself. Don’t follow Rachael’s recipe 100% if you’re making this. Use it as a guideline, and season. seriously.

Wednesday, yesterday, I made Baked Eggs with Bacon and Tomato Bread Salad.
This is another Rachael Recipe, but this one was pretty good. I tried to beef it up, so to speak, because I didn’t have a microwave to defrost the package of frozen spinach. So I added some sliced mushrooms, half an onion, and a couple garlic cloves to a skillet. When they were all nicely sauteed and stuff, I added fresh spinach, and some proscuitto shredded up. That all sauteed for a bit, before adding some chicken stock and cream. However, the double bulk of frozen spinach would definitely have soaked up more of the stock/cream than my 5-ounce package of fresh spinach did. Then, that mixture was seasoned (of course) and spooned into 2 small oval casserole dishes that will someday be used for creme brulee…. 2 eggs got cracked into each dish, the whole thing got covered in cheese, and it was baked for about 12 minutes in a 400-degree oven.

The salad was amazing. A couple slices of bacon, and some proscuitto, sauteed until crispy. 4 slices of bread, toasted up and then rubbed wtih a garlic clove and buttered. Then, cubed up, tossed with halved cherry tomatoes. The bacon drained and a quarter of an onion sauteed in the bacon grease and a little olive oil. Bacon tossed with the tomatoes and bread chunks. 2 tablespoons of balsamic went into the skillet with the onion and bacon grease. Then, a lot of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
The dressing got thrown into the bowl with the bread, bacon, and tomatoes… NOM!!!

Now tonight, I think we’re having pasta with burst cherry tomatoes, green beans, and garlic. Tomorrow, Fish & Chips. Saturday, Fried chicken. CHECKIT!!


28 Comments on “The inevitable slowdown”

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