Saturday, July 11, 2009

Simple Saturday

It is Saturday night and at our house, that is not usually dinner party night but "eat a simple dinner and get back to your sermon" night.  Today I'd picked roma green beans, and some ripe tomatoes.
I stemmed and cut the beans in half and cooked til just done. Chilled quickly.  I seeded and cut up a large tomato, finely chopped a garlic clove, and diced about a third of a large vidalia onion. Tossed chilled beans with the other veg and added olive oil,  a handful of fresh chopped herbs (oregano and basil).
 I cooked some penne and chilled and added to the other salad ingredients. When I serve it I'll squeeze a lemon over as a dressing. ( if you make a green bean salad, do not add the acid until you serve so they retain their pretty color)  Maybe add a few hot pepper flakes and a few greek olive pieces.  I'll put a serving on each plate, then place a oven roasted  half chicken breast on top. 

I think it will be delicious. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

under construction.. sort of

For about two weeks, our kitchen and family room floors have been in various stages of remodel. We've eaten out more than usual. Luckily, the very old original floor has now been blessedly covered with a new sub-floor. (Note on the photo the new pine boards positioned on the subfloor, and the very attractive mac and skype set up cords, etc.)  All this improvement has meant my trusty chopping block has been parked elsewhere, and I have lost important work space. 

My preparation habits have changed. I have become much tidier in food prep... less prep space means every inch counts. Things get put away immediately. Smaller cutting boards are used, my counters are narrow. Meals need to be chopped and dumped directly in to heat, no stages such as browning and de-glazing while one makes a tasty sauce.

Anyway, our vegetable garden is producing nicely  and I made the following for dinner twice this week, with variations.  I put about 2 C of white wine in a pot, and  an equal amount of water. I added some onion, chopped finely, and a couple of fresh tomatoes, diced up, and 3 or 4 smashed garlic cloves, a handful of kosher salt and a handful of chopped fresh oregano and basil and 1/2 a chopped jalapeno (including seeds) Let all that simmer for awhile. I then added a few diced zucchini and a pound of mussels. Also a glob of butter-like stuff ( I used smart balance)

Cooked til mussels were done, dumped the whole thing in to a big bowl and served at table in soup bowls. There is alot of broth so this is more like a soup that has mussels in it. We crunched on a good chewy, crusty baguette from our Farmers Market along with this. 

The variation for night # 2 was  not using the herbs and adding cumin and a bit of smoked papricka and a handful of frozen peas for a Spanish feel. 


This  #2 variation supper lived on as lunch today. Leftover broth and veg's became a soup when I added 1/2 freshly diced avocado.