Of note ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

22 May 2010

Of note

So right now my life is insanely busy. We're moving back to California. The movers are coming in three days. We've been running around frantically trying to see people before we go. It's all very crazy, and the food, in conjunction, has been either 1. restaurant/takeout or 2. made up of all the bits and pieces that we're trying to frantically eat before we have to throw it away. This actually means we've been eating pretty well, and certainly having an awesome time, but we're also about to go lie on the floor in the corner and sleep for two days while the movers cart all our stuff out of the house for us.

So! Here's what we've been making and eating to use up everything in the refrigerator.

Lentil-quinoa kibbeh: boil red lentils and quinoa to a fairly dry and mashable texture, mash together with chopped onion, curry powder, salt, pepper, ginger, and cumin, and make tiny patties with wet hands and/or a spoon. Bake them and put them in the refrigerator for random snacking. Then one day, when you want dinner but have no inspiration, put barbecue sauce on top of the kibbeh and bake them again, just unti they're hot through and the sauce is getting caramelizedy. Eat with black bean-cauliflower soup from the freezer and all the greens you have left in the house.

Used up: frozen soup, red lentils, quinoa.

Caramel corn: after you eat the soup and kibbeh, decide you are still hungry. Pop some corn. Make a sugar syrup with ref to the caramel corn recipe in Heidi's book: honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, pinch of salt. Toast some chopped almonds and sesame seeds in a frying pan, then mix everything together and turn out onto a sheet of parchment. Eat directly off the coffee table.

Used up: maple syrup.

Huge pasta bake: first, it's fine to bake linguine if that's all you have; just snap it into halves or thirds for optimal wieldiness. Make a sauce with all the vegetables you can scare out of the crisper: garlic, shallot, eggplant, red pepper, green pepper, frozen tomatoes, tomato puree, and chard leaves added right at the end. Season with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, hot pepper if you have and want any. Cook/drain pasta and preheat oven while the sauce is bubbling. Mix pasta and sauce together, throw it into a casserole dish, and top with torn mozzarella or any parmesan you may have lying around. Bake until awesome and crispy and browned on top.

Used up: linguine, vegetable contents of crisper.

Banana bread: I made the straight up recipe from the Joy of Cooking, using wheat flour, but clearly whatever recipe you like is the one you like. No nuts; instead, I threw in all the dried fruit in the freezer, which turned out to be blueberries and cranberries. Half the loaf was gone by the time it had been ten minutes out of the oven.

Used up: flour, dried fruit, and practically an entire stick of butter what with all the buttering slices of bread.

Finally, after you're done with making and eating all this, you may want to go hang out with Jen and John at the Brooklyn Inn.


management said...

When I read this entry, I realised that I had massive amount of lentils, and a mostly disassembled kitchen. So I headed straight for the lentils and attempted to make kibbeh. Oi. Not my most impressive cooking moment. First of all, I used eggs as a binding ingredient because, um, why not? And then there were no spices. And all of this unfortunate experimenting was preceded by a much more tragic experiment: The lentils had been seasoned with fennel. Oi. No bueno.

So my kibbeh was grodes. And there were no other spices besides the fennel.

On the other hand, I cooked the remaining lentil/egg mix with chunks of organic bacon, and that turned out to be really delicious. But I probably shouldn't try to take credit for organic bacon being delicious, right? Right.

But I did successfully eat almost everything in my kitchen before moving, which is great because I hate wasting food. I think I'm having oatmeal for dinner.

management said...

Oh, also this: I want to make a dinner from some friends of mine who are letting me stay with them. Here are my thoughts on the salad:

I was thinking about a variation on a salad that I use to order at my favorite Oakland restaurant: spinach salad with toasted walnuts, fine slivers of white Vermont cheddar, and pear slices.

What salad dressing/vinaigrette should I use? Is there such a thing as a cherry vinaigrette? If so, what should I use?

Your opinion is important to me on this.

management said...

And the main course will be chicken tikka masala with brown rice. I'm thinking about a third dish, but I want it to be restrained. I'm not so well-versed on restrained foods. Maybe just some fresh fruit.

eileen said...

that salad sounds great! I might go for an even crumblier cheese, like pecorino, but the aged cheddar would be good too. I'm not sure I've ever had a cherry vinaigrette, so maybe use fresh or dried cherries in the salad itself instead? I'd try to find a lemon vinaigrette for the nut/fruit combination. just use lemon juice instead of vinegar (which, uh, I guess makes it not a vinaigrette, but that's ok). make sure you use real juice from a real lemon! here's one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lemon-Vinaigrette-5763

you could also maybe use a bottled poppyseed dressing, like brianna's. maybe make a test salad and see what you like.

for kibbeh, here's where I got the original idea: http://redfox.typepad.com/hungry/2005/05/lentil-snacks.html obviously I do it a bit differently, but that's ok. it also seems that paula wolfert is a good resource here, which is no surprise considering all her mediterranean work.

for the third thing, I think fresh fruit is a great idea. maybe cut up a bunch of mangoes, considering the tikka masala? you can sprinkle slices with some red pepper flake if you like it that way, but plain mango is also clearly awesome. or get a couple of melons, chop them up, and fan out the slices on a plate. I think the key is to make sure there's Lots of fruit so people can graze on it while you sit around talking after dinner. another idea: since it's tikka masala, you could make a raita. remember that salad I made with the cucumber and dill and red onion and yogurt? like that.

the movers MOVED our oatmeal! and a bunch of leftover pulses and etc! I am very excited to unwrap them when they get here. instant kitchen!