Happy….well, you know
January 1, 2014
2014 is, in fact, proceeding apace here at Chez Brockwell. Amazing Grandchild 3 spent the night and he and I ushered in the New Year, both sound asleep (albeit I was racked out on the couch). I woke up at 12:30, toasted the event with the last of my mimosa, and went to bed.
Started out the year with good coffee and a bit of a splurge on breakfast — ouefs en cocotte, baked over a layer of grits with fontina cheese, and topped with a dab of bacon jam as well as the cream. Baked just long enough to set the white and leave the yolk runny, and I stirred it all up together, which is why you have no photo of it, because, well, it didn’t look quite photogenic to start with (mostly white, in a white ramekin), and it did not look particularly pretty stirred, either.
I made a single serving of grits in the microwave, and when they were done, stirred in an ounce of grated fontina and pat of butter. Cracked an egg on top; contemplated two, but decided one would do. Dotted about a tablespoon of bacon jam around the egg, and poured a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream over the works. Baked it for 15 minutes in a 350 oven.
Perfection. About 500 calories worth. But the FitBit says I’ve still burned more calories than I’ve taken in today, so I’m doing OK.
Lunch was cottage cheese and pineapple. Because I love me some cottage cheese and pineapple, and I’m going to try to eat more regularly and healthily this year. And for dinner, there will be black eyed pea cassoulet, potato salad, baked pears with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and Crittenden County Jail slaw. There’s also pulled pork barbecue if anyone wants it; I picked up a pound at Demo’s, the barbecue joint down the street from me that’s pretty decent ‘cue, with a notion to make barbecue and sweet potato hash last night, but after a late lunch, I didn’t want any. If no one eats it tonight, we’ll have the hash tomorrow.
I am presuming I will feed Child C and Future Son In Law when they come pick up the grandchild. If not, we’ve got a shit-ton of extra food here (like THAT is any surprise?).
The cassoulet is one I’ve made before, albeit never with farm-made JV Farms smoked sausages, and I’m looking forward to how those taste. I soaked my peas for a couple of hours, and then cooked them with a diced-up slice of country ham left over from Christmas dinner and some pimenton de la vera. Once they were cooked — only about 20 minutes, and just a tiny bit still al dente — I stirred in a can of diced tomatoes, more pimenton de la vera, some Hungarian paprika, and some kosher salt. Poured that over in a casserole. Seared the sausages and arranged them on the top, and slid it in the oven. It needs to still be pretty soupy when it goes in the oven, as it’ll dry out as it bakes; once it gets a little bit dry, it gets a bread crumb topping (panko, because that’s what I have handy) and finishes baking.
The slaw I’ve detailed before, but to save you looking it up, it’s a head of cabbage, shredded; about 5 or 6 carrots, shredded; a cup of cider vinegar (I was out and so wound up using white wine vinegar), a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of celery seed, a half-teaspoon each of dry mustard and white pepper, and a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric. Heat that and put it over the cabbage and carrots (and onions and bell pepper if you like ‘em; I don’t), pop a top on it, and leave it on the counter several hours, shaking it up occasionally. Then it can go and live in the fridge almost indefinitely, and makes a great tangy, crunchy counterpoint to all kinds of rich dishes.
Potato salad and cornbread will round out the meal, because, well, I love potato salad, and it’s my favorite comfort food, and one ought to have some comfort food on New Year’s, right?
I may well wind up not making the beer candied bacon and potatoes with caviar; I’ll save those for when the Memphis Guinea Pig comes to visit, since he missed all the holiday goodies.
Or until you ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em finally show up to visit.