Saturday, March 5, 2016

Family lunch, good food, good company 6WS

Today we had a great menu and a great chat, good time.

Here's the evening before's makings of the chicken:  four thighs, skinned and boned, and pounded flat in a plastic bag, I love hitting stuff, and in the background the parmesan cheese, egg, and cooked chestnut, foreground the mushrooms with onion and garlic. The rest of the cooking happened this morning.All the stuffing ingredients mixed thoroughly, then the thighs rolled up over a spoonful or two, and the rest spooned over the chicken to roast.

So today the menu for lunch was tendli and broccoli soup, with wholewheat toast, then chicken thighs stuffed with mushrooms, fresh grated parmesan cheese and the last of the chestnuts, yay, with roasted sweet and white potatoes cut into fries.  Nice glass of red wine and homemade lemonade. Ketchup and homemade date and tamarind chutney.

 Here's the cast of characters before the chicken and vegetables were roasted. Soup is thawing, and the stuffed figs just sitting.
The roasted vegs were tossed in olive oil with black mustard seeds, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a pinch of that spice mix from Ottolenghi whose name always escapes me.  Stove at 400F, potatoes in for about 40 minutes, chicken in for about 30.

Lunch is served, or will be as soon as it's carried through


Lunch table ready for onslaught.  Soup's done, main course about to happen.

Dessert was twofold, figs stuffed with yogurt cheese (lot of stuffing happening this week) and homebaked shortbread donated by Handsome Son, himself a pretty good baker and cook. Fresh figs are a very short season, in September, so I buy the dried kind and steep them in boiling water for a while, to make them juicy and edible.

The bonus is that I have a couple meals leftover to use for myself in the next few days. 

Yogurt cheese is great to use where you might use cream cheese, and more interesting to my taste.  You just strain plain yogurt through cheese cloth or a linen napkin, in a strainer set on a bowl, and what remains in the cheesecloth after it's been in the fridge overnight, is the cheese, which you roll off the fabric and into a container.  The whey caught in the bowl underneath, is good to use in soup, very tangy.

The roasted vegs were tossed in olive oil with black mustard seeds, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a pinch of that spice mix from Ottolenghi whose name always escapes me. 

These rather elaborate meals have become great fun for me, and a good getting together time for our family of two, both cooks.  When the farm markets open, we'll have to move the time and day to let me shop.  But for the moment, it seems to be working well.

I like very much the challenge of coming up with a new three course menu every week, bearing in mind what we both like (except that Handsome Son loves meat, and I don't).  

It might have been a good idea to write the menus down, but I never bothered with it, seems a bit formal, like taking notes in the art studio, I don't do that either. 

One tip I gave myself yesterday, when it came upon me like a blinding flash: my freezer is made of metal.  This means I can attach notes to the lid with a magnet.  This means that the current recipe can be attached, and the list of what's on the menu with it. No idea why I never thought of this before, but some of us are a bit slow on the uptake. But it beats scrambling about in search of the bit of paper I made the notes on that the cat played with.

The other food related event I enjoy is to have a friend come to tea, every few weeks, let's not get carried away here.  Then I can bake a little something, but the main event is the talking. Very low key, just a nice cup of tea between friends. Tricky when she, it's usually she, can't do caffeine or gluten, since afternoon tea consists pretty much of that, but we can deal if we have to. And it seems to be well received. As long as the guest can deal with cats.  They're nice cats, but allergies don't respect that.


  1. mmmm - lunch at your house definitely looks good!

  2. Farmshare means spring on the way (6WS)

    When outside this morning held face to the warmth of the sun for 10 minutes. Still snow on the ground but I think it will soon be melted. fingers crossed!

  3. I should not read your blog when I am hungry! Gosh, everything looks so delicious. I just mucked out the slip stall, spread three cartloads of used bedding on the Upper West Side for Garden 2016, then crawled back to the house for a wash and a PB&J sammish. It was...okay ;)

  4. That looks like a particularly delicious meal.

  5. Come cook for me.



Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!