Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Marcella, Chowder and Me

This morning unleashed a storm of cooking since the chicken thighs I'd put in the fridge to thaw couldn't wait any longer, so I cut them into small pieces, and sauteed two thighs then added in the Marcella Hazan simple tomato sauce I cooked and froze the other day

and the other two thighs I sauteed ready to use with the plum sauce I made and froze.   

Six meals out of four chicken thighs.  I did add a chunk of thyme pesto to the simple chicken, and oregano pesto to the tomato sauce one, and a sprinkling of lemon zest on top to finish.  I never buy chicken breast, since I find it dry and not so interesting.

The other seasonings were equally simple:  fresh ground black pepper, shake of kosher salt, garlic, onions.

And lunch was a bowl of the seafood chowder I made the other day and never mentioned in here, very good, using part of the seafood mix I'd included in a seafood pasta dish I was living on last week, I added in some pieces of flounder to the chowder, too.  And a piece of homebaked bread to go with.

There was also some pasta left over from the seafood p. dish, so I added it into the chowder instead of the usual potato.   This is a Manhattan style chowder, more or less, a forgettaboudit one, not the elite New England style chowder.  And there are several more meals of it in the freezer.  In fact I've used up all my freezer containers at this point.

Fortunately I've trained myself to remember to label the containers, since the plum sauce, the tomato sauce, and the chowders all look very much alike when frozen.  I like having plenty of choice in the freezer since, though I do like to cook, I don't always like to cook, and do like a day off here and there.

And while all this was going on, I was rising a batch of bread dough, flours were ap, wholewheat white and oat.  The last batch was heavy in pulse food flours, lentils, split peas, and though very good, was a bit crumbly to cut.  It toasted nicely though. 

The original recipe is from the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, which I swear by, for great artisanal bread with minimal effort. You'll note all the little scribbled reminders on the favorite page.  And since I got the tip from Pepin about putting the dough into a nonstick big casserole, and found what a wonderful crust it gave, far better than the nonstick loaf pans I'd used, that's been my go-to pot.  You mix the dough up in it, rise in it, bake in it, and pop it out at the end, dust off the pan and it's ready for the next time.

In case you wonder how a lady living alone manages to get through all this food, I do have friends who also benefit from it, and Handsome Son can always count on a decent meal here.  So there's that.  But I'm happy to dine alone.  It's good company!


  1. I must get better about putting notes on freezer containers. It is surprising (sort of) how similar things may appear once frozen...for example, cooked rice and a block of lard.

  2. I used to keep a freezer inventory and record when pieces were used but then decided this was far too anal. Now I record date frozen which is sometimes a bit of a joke because if it is a favourite it will be gone by the following week so I sometimes wonder why I froze it in the first place!


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