Hello, friends! I’ve been kicking around a new idea, will you tell me what you think?
At this point there are so many recipes on this site that most of them are simply buried by time. (I need a recipe index, I know; the sidebar category search is rudimentary.) And although I’m posting new recipes daily here, I’m also always cooking my old favorites off-screen. I’m thinking that it might be fun to share more with you about my kitchen and what’s happening there from week to week.
Regular “What’s Cooking” dispatches would give me an opportunity to tell you what recipes I’m loving as the seasons go by, to tell you about delicious ideas that don’t rise to the level of being “recipes” themselves, and to show you how I fit these many individual recipes together as meals (and then repurpose the leftovers as more meals!). Hopefully this will give you some menu-planning inspiration and remind you, for example, that this is the week to roast a few pans of tomatoes to freeze for the winter.
I’m thinking that I’ll do these updates mid-week, as I’m regrouping between weekend cooking sprees. Also, “What’s Cooking Wednesday” is kind of cute, right? Don’t worry, I’ll try not to give in to the attraction of alluring alliteration. (Gah!)
Here goes. Tell me what you think.
What’s Cooking in the Emmy’s Kitchen: Last Week of September 2012
Part 1: In the Kitchen
Menu 1: I filled my 7-quart crockpot with a batch of black beans and froze most of them. A few cups went into a pot of seasoned black beans, which we ate with quinoa with corn and green onions (no feta this time), tomatillo salsa, and corn tortillas. Today I had leftovers for lunch with a pile of nearly-charred red peppers and onions; tomorrow we’ll finish the beans off as huevos rancheros. The leftover quinoa is destined for greens-stuffed quinoa cakes.
Menu 2: A friend who loves me came over and washed and sliced every bunch of greens from my CSA box (ruby chard, rainbow chard, collard greens, and mustard). We sauteed the greens with an onion and the chard stems, then cooked half of them into a Pound-of-Greens Frittata with gruyere. We ate the frittata with salad and dollops of sweet and spicy tomato jam (recipe coming this week). Thin slices of leftover frittata replaced avocado in my favorite tomato sandwich the next day. (By the way, we also tried some of your favorite tomato sandwiches from the comments on the tomato sandwich post, and especially enjoyed Nicole’s version with Vegemite.)
Menu 3: We had dinner with a few other couples here on Saturday and I made a big dish of baked pasta with roasted vegetables. I also took advantage of the last opportunity to make a couple of my favorite salads from this summer: a watermelon and feta salad and the grilled kale salad with ricotta and plums. We had a blackberry cake for dessert (it’s an almond-scented butter cake that also takes quite happily to nectarines, pears, peaches, plums…you get the idea. Recipe coming someday).
Part 2: Preserving Summer
This week we made and canned the excellent sweet and spicy tomato jam from the Food in Jars Cookbook (watch for a giveaway tomorrow!). We also did a batch of hot pepper jelly, which I had never made before, and I kept adding more chiles (and then red chile flakes) to taste enough heat. Later it occurred to me that perhaps the jelly becomes spicier with time? We’ll have to see how that one turns out!
I bought ten pounds of Roma tomatoes and roasted them to keep in the freezer. I freeze them in a single layer on a tray and then move them to a freezer bag or jar. This method ensures that the tomatoes don’t freeze into a solid block, so it’s easy to remove a handful at a time. Continue reading