Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thinking out loud

Never mind me, I'm thinking out loud. My fridge is pretty full, and there are a number of fruit, vegetable and dairy issues that must be dealt with ASAP. So pardon me while I do a little thinking out loud (which doubles as a lesson on menu planning for locavores, so I hope it's not too boring.)

Dinner tonight: beans and greens and things (calypso beans, braising greens, chorizo, green garlic), salads (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and cukes from market; arugula and snow peas from garden; penzey's peppercorn dressing). Broccoli as a side dish? Asparagus? Will I ever spell broccoli correctly on the first try?

MUST DEAL WITH WHIPPING CREAM BEFORE IT EXPIRES! Should I get ambitious and make Alice Water's cream biscuits? This will involve turning the oven on, eek. Make Chantilly cream for strawberries, turn the rest into butter? That's a plan.

Strawberries: Must deal with older berries in fridge, either via jam or granita. I think granita will win given the heat. Slice fresh berries for dessert (with Chantilly cream and Jeni's honey vanilla bean ice cream, *swoon*.)

Other meals this week: chicken legs with Penzey's BBQ seasonings. Potatoes, roasted in toaster oven with rosemary? Pan-fried with onions and paprika? Sliced on the mandolin and pan-fried? Use either asparagus or broccoli (I forgot to mention that I got some early broccoli from the Clintonville market, wheee!)

Stir-fry greens: beautiful, and I need to use them before they wilt. Maybe with another bean dish? With carrots? In a weird veggie melange with potatoes and carrots? As a side dish for the chicken? OR, I could defrost the short ribs and do them Asian style (I think I still have scallions) and do the greens in a lime/sesame sort of a way. Remember to look at the new horde of Asian sauces in the cupboard.

Spinach: I keep forgetting that I buy this. I love it in pasta salads with grape tomatoes and pine nuts. Also could do the spinach salad with bacon dressing from Alton Brown.

There's also a small chicken in the freezer to defrost, and tons of ground beef. And a couple of steaks. Maybe steaks with mashed potatoes and asparagus? Save broccoli for this?

Edited to add: Risotto! Totally forgot about that. Save enough asparagus for this. Make stock from mushroom stems and assorted vegetable bits.

EDITED YET AGAIN: So let's see what I've actually cooked. Monday was a whiff as I wasn't feeling well. Tuesday we had bbq chicken legs, boiled potatoes with butter and parsley, and broccoli and asparagus with homemade butter. That cream I mentioned got turned into Chantilly cream and honest-to-goodness butter! We also had strawberries and cream with Jeni's honey vanilla bean ice cream.

Wednesday we had a weird Asian noodle salad with shrimp and local snow peas (back yard), mushrooms (shitake and oyster) and scallions. My noodle sauce fu needs some work - everything I had on hand was salty, so I ended up using just a drizzle of sesame oil, some ginger soy sauce and lime juice. Dessert was some of the fabulous strawberry granita I made the other day.

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