I have been doing a lot of cooking lately - mostly new things - but in my hurry to get dinner on the table, I haven't taken pictures or made notes. I can tell you what I made because I am anal and have lists of every dinner I have cooked for the past several years - don't ask me why. Each week, I plan the dinners, make the grocery list and locate the recipes I need. Sometimes things change if I run short of time or what seemed like a good idea on Sunday is simply out of the question on Thursday, but in general, I know what is planned and I do it. This is so different from when the kids were little and I worked. Every night I came home and just stared in the refrigerator, willing an inspiration to spring out at me. If I had done this kind of planning then, my life would have been so much simpler and we would have eaten so much better.
This week we had lasagna with Caesar salad and chocolate caramel mousse on Sunday. Turned out it was an Oscar meal because I had forgotten about the Oscars when I asked Sarah and Ron to join us (it was going to be a very BIG lasagna). I used a lasagna recipe by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt who writes for "Serious Eats," one of my favorite food blogs. He suggested making the ricotta but I was able to find a whole milk ricotta with no weird stuff in it, so I used that. The Caesar salad has a dressing I do routinely, which includes anchovies, lemon juice, an egg yolk, lots of Parmesan, garlic, Dijon, Worchestershire and Tabasco, blended with a good Italian extra virgin olive oil. I have no patience with bland Caesar salad dressings - they need that zing! And the mousse is so simple - Fran's caramel sauce with some Fran's chocolate sauce blended in, a little Amaretto and a cup of whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks and folded in. Takes all of 10 minutes and tastes so good!
Monday I made hot and sour soup and some really tasty little pork/shrimp meatballs which were eaten with a spicy dipping sauce and daikon and carrots, wrapped in lettuce. Very good. The soup was OK but I think it could use some tweaking. The meatballs will be done again.
Tonight we had salmon glazed with pomegranate molasses. The salmon was seared in a frying pan until quite brown on one side, flipped, brushed with the molasses, and put in the 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes. It was perfectly done and had a really appealing flavor. I made a butter lettuce, bacon, and tomato salad with homemade croutons and buttermilk dressing. This salad is also good with avocado and really makes a meal in itself when the avocado is added. Hmmm. Could probably throw chicken or salmon into the salad and have a one dish meal. Have to think about that...
Bob is gone most of the rest of this week, so the eating will be less interesting. I tend to make something I like when he's gone and then just eat it until I finish it. Not sure what I will do this week, but it will be something simple. I have several books to read and I've been trying to get 10,000 steps a day in, so the non-cooking time will be used in other ways.
Next post will be the March Daring Cooks challenge later this week. It was a success, so stay tuned!