Cooking odds and ends

June 2, 2017

mango chutney

Mango chutney. Which I’m going to try out, one of these days.

It was something of a food-centric day. Albeit I don’t have any pictures of any of it yet, so here’s a picture of something I made a while back and never posted about because I haven’t had occasion to use it yet.

That is mango chutney. From the box of mangoes I bought at Sam’s t’other day, when I was craving mangoes. Mangoes don’t last long, and I didn’t want to lose them, so — chutney. When I made it, I was planning on cooking Indian one night soon, and I haven’t done that yet, so I’m saving the chutney until I do. We will report on that, then.

Today, though, I did bestir myself to make granola, as I have been out for weeks; to make pimiento cheese, because I felt like it, and watermelon tomato gazpacho, because I had watermelon and tomatoes that needed using and that just sounded good. And I went shopping, and went by a couple of meat markets I don’t normally frequent, and bought some breakfast sausage and some interesting smoked meats.

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Stuff accomplished

February 12, 2017

So what it was 70 degrees. Soup and pimiento cheese was GOOD.

So what it was 70 degrees. Soup and pimiento cheese was GOOD.

I NEEDED a kitchen day. It had been way too long. And without time in the kitchen I get twitches. And other assorted involuntary motions. And that builds, and it eventually winds up like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

You don’t WANT me to stay away from my kitchen too long.

So today (now yesterday, as this was written last night), I started out with cleaning the damn thing, as I’d left the remnants of last night’s dinner (the first I’d cooked in what feels like ages) out on the stove. OK, that’s gone and those dishes are clean. Then it’s a shopping trip — liquor store, Aldi, Kroger. Fred’s for cleaning supplies (because I am still successfully avoiding WalMart).

And I got into the kitchen. Not as much as I’d wanted to get into the kitchen today, but then, my reach always exceeds my grasp. Sometimes by a whole lot.

I’d planned to make some bread dough for some rolls for Sunday dinner. Didn’t get that done. No matter; it can happen tomorrow morning (Note: it did!)  if I get up early enough. I’ve already set a pork roast to marinate in Cajun spices (the Who Dat’s proprietary blend), and I’ll put that in to braise in some Abita amber tomorrow. Will mix up some rolls, let them rise, cook some potatoes, maybe cook some beans or peas, and some frozen corn.  It’ll make dinner, anyway.

And I made an Instant Pot of vegetable beef soup and a quart of pimiento cheese. A pint of the cheese goes to Child A’s boss, who loves the stuff; the other pint stays with me, with the prospect of pimiento cheese and bacon sandwiches this coming week.

Speaking of bacon, Wright’s was on sale for $4.99 for a 24-ounce package at Kroger today. I bought four of ’em. Can’t beat that price, and I had a coupon for a dollar off one package.

The vegetable beef soup was a pound of stew meat, a quart and a pint of tomatoes, a half-pint of tomato sauce (all home-canned), two bags of frozen mixed veggies from Kroger, and two envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. It’s damn fine soup. It made, as it has a way of doing, a boatload of soup, so that’ll go in containers to either freeze or have later this week. Because, after all, I have pimiento cheese!

I had in mind to make bread, to replace that honey buttermilk bread that I have frozen in slices that I just do not like.But I didn’t get there. Perhaps next week.

The pimiento cheese is my old standard, sharp cheddar, Velveeta (or the Aldi knockoff thereof), mayo, a splash of cider vinegar, some sugar, some seasoned salt, some cayenne a jar of mostly drained ripe pimientos. A quart of finished product is at the outer limits of how much cheese one large (4-oz?) jar of diced pimientos will go. That would involve close to 8 oz each of Velveeta and sharp cheddar, if you’re keeping track. Or measuring, as you know I do not.

In the interest of being lazy, I went with some Louisiana hot sauce instead of cayenne. Didn’t get enough of it in there. This lacks a bit of heat. Still good, though.

Not a whole lot of cooking, but I did grocery shopping, too, so I figure that counts. Other than having forgotten the  Worcestershire sauce and the Dijon mustard, I managed to stock up on what I was out of.

So, upcoming days will feature some homemade bread, a braised pork roast, maybe some Vietnamese caramel fish (because I’m in the mood) and some Hello Dolly bar cookies, because I have been fixated on those, too.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em be thinking, too about what a sista can cook when it’s 75 degrees in February. This weather does not lend itself well to the braises and stews I love so much.

Lunch at home

August 24, 2016

A lunch that's damned hard to beat.

A lunch that’s damned hard to beat.

One of the good things about working from a home office, in addition to being able to cook things that take a long period of inactivity punctuated with periodic tasks, like breadbaking, or doing laundry, is that you get to rummage through the fridge for what can be a great lunch.

Like the one above. I mean, homemade pimiento cheese, bacon, and a backyard tomato, on homemade wheat bread. Just doesn’t get much better than that.

As an aside, one of the great things about being a Southerner is that you’re brought up with pimiento cheese. Not that nasty grocery store kind, either; the real, honest-to-god stuff with cayenne pepper in it that is the stuff of wonders. I need to get my gas grill bottle refilled so I can grill burgers with pimiento cheese on top, come to think of it.

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