Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kitchen Duty part II

I've spent so much time in the kitchen the last two days, I've actually almost forgotten what I had for dinner last night. After some thought (and putting away the rest of the box of pasta), I realized it was whole wheat spaghetti with butter and Parmesan as aside to a wonderful piece of skin-on salmon. The salmon got a bit of lemon pepper on the flesh side, then was put skin side down in a very hot pan coated with olive oil. Let it sit for five minutes until the skin is crisp, then turn it over for a few seconds. The skin should be crisp, the inside still pink (unless you are one of those people who likes your fish really well done).

It was annoying me that I couldn't remember at first what I ate.

Today, I don't have that problem.

Prep for several dishes began shortly after breakfast (toasted pieces of yesterday's English muffin bread topped with peanut butter). It always seems most efficient, when I'm doing several dishes, to do all the prep work for everything all at once (and it usually keeps me from saying to heck with it and stopping halfway through the plan). Dice an onion. Chop up the rest of the bread. Shred two different types of cheeses (really, it takes only a minute or two to shred cheese from a block, and then it has none of the cornstarch coating that keeps preshredded cheese from sticking together - and makes it gummy when it melts). Peel and slice potatoes. Boil the huge pot of water for the brine.

Once the water cooled, all sorts of good stuff was added to it, and the pork tenderloin (two smaller ones, I found when I opened the package) were put in it to soak for half a day. The linked recipe is the brine I used; if you make pork chops rather than tenderloin, a half hour is all they need. Soak too long, and the meat starts to deteriorate.

A potato gratin was meant to accompany the pork (this was all planned for dinner). Last grocery order, I bought half a dozen russets. They must have been "baking" potatoes, as each was pretty darn big. The two that were left filled up my regular size gratin dish. My standard is a variant of this dish. No leeks, but some shallots in with the cream. Not Gruyere (at least not if I have to make a special trip), but lots of Swiss. It's easy to make, especially if you have a mandolin to help slice the potatoes thinly.

The bread, if you will recall from yesterday, was made to be the basis for a new-to-me breakfast casserole. The other ingredients are sauteed pork sausage, cheddar cheese, eggs and milk.

Naturally, I didn't have any pork sausage, but I did have a pound of ground turkey, as well as a magic ingredient: Penzey's breakfast sausage seasoning. Used that with the turkey, and it was delicious. It is this recipe, though I also added sauteed onion...I had a couple of corner nibbles when it first came out of the oven (it's meant to be cut up and frozen for future breakfasts) and it is really good.

In the end, dinner was some of the potato gratin, some of the pork, green beans and a rather sizeable glass of Stag's Leap Aveta Sauvignon Blanc. There are leftovers of everything. There are two tiny lamp chops in the freezer that may be dinner tomorrow, with the potatoes. The pork can be sliced for sandwiches, or, if I do a bit of grocery shopping later for spinach and berries, my favorite salad.

tomorrow will be spent deep cleaning the kitchen. The A/C annual service is Tuesday, and part of what he has to check is attached to the furnace...which is in the closet in the kitchen. Eh, it's supposed to rain off and on all day, anyway.

My legs and feet ache from all the standing. The kitchen is so small, you sort of stand in one place and pivot, or take just one step from side to side. No chance to really stretch your legs. Must remember to take an Advil before bed so I can move in the morning.

In between things, I've been reading and sewing. I'm machine quilting a baby quilt for a coworker. The batting I'm using is wool - very soft and fluffy, but I think I underestimated the warmth factor. Good thing this baby is due in late September.

On that, I'm off to bed. Trying hard to maintain regular bed/rise times over this vacation. I did get up at the usual time this morning, but after half an hour of wandering around online, went back to bed for an hour. Don't want to do that tomorrow.

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