Another leftover lunch. This was the Italian Sausage and Eggplant Strata from “Well Fed”. I’m not sure that it was that much different the next day despite the rumors that it improves, but I think my layering was off. It wasn’t even across the pan so it was less lasagna/strata like and more like a pile of sausage and eggplant in a pool of tomato-y eggs. All recoverable. I stole some of Geoff’s sugar snap peas for my side veggie. I’m really sad that I can’t eat raw carrots anymore.
For dinner I decided to give in to the cauliflower “rice” thing. I was thinking it would be a great option to go with my panang chicken curry. The old low-carb recipes always had you grating the cauliflower which I might have tried once, maybe. There’s no way I’m going to spend the time to grate an entire head of cauliflower these days. So when I saw the recipe called to throw it in the food processor I was sold. I followed the recipe as written, but didn’t have pre-steamed broccoli or the fancy chinese bbq pork. So I threw some fresh broccoli in to a pot and microwaved it* for a couple minutes while I pan seared some chicken thighs covered in chinese five spice powder. Since I was at it, I also pan seared the other half of the package of chicken thighs with some greek blend seasoning. Both pans went in to the oven to finish cooking and then to rest on the counter while I caught up on Downton. When Geoff got home I sautéed the up everything as per the recipe. I added in three diced slices of compliant bacon with the chopped chicken which was good a choice. The bacon created a texture more like the chinese bbq pork would have. If I’d had some pineapple chunks I probably would have added that too.
Geoff is not a big fan of my mashed “potato” attempts with parsnips, celery root, or cauliflower so I was ready for him to dislike the “rice”, but he said that the cauliflower didn’t taste like anything and was definitely rice-like. Considering he’s pretty veggie averse (other than broccoli and asparagus) I think that was a huge success. He ate a huge bowl of mostly veggies with no criticism.
So I’ll definitely start ricing the cauliflower for the panang chicken curry and I will certainly make the “fried rice” thing again. It might become a new staple.
Today was a bit of a wreck of a day so I didn’t end up getting any lunch. I did finally realize I had an emergency larabar in my purse around 5:30pm so I ate that. I wish I’d remembered it sooner. By the time I got home it was well after 7pm and I was pretty cranky. I tried making the Chicken Paillard from the “Nom Nom Paleo” cookbook, but the coating didn’t stick and kept burning. It was a total fail. The shining spot was the spicy mango-peach salsa I found at the grocery store. It had some serious kick and great texture. Geoff really like my “guacamole dressing” which was a whole avocado pureed with cilantro, lime juice, and a little garlic paste. I thinned it with avocado oil.
Day 20Another crazy busy day where I inhaled half my lunch before I even remembered to take a picture. I was still finishing off the Italian Sausage and Eggplant Strata leftovers. All I had to go with it was some nori.
After work I had to run the errand that had fouled me up on Monday evening (day 19) so I hit up the grocery store before heading home. When I got home Geoff had made dinner of braised beef top round steak. The dish was quite spicy which didn’t seem like him. As it turned out, he had accidentally used the poaching liquid I’d saved from making the buffalo chicken. It was chicken bone broth that had a jalapeño simmered in it. That’s where all the heat came from! I guess I need to start labeling the jars of bone broth. I think he’s recipe was more successful than the last time I tried to sear the top round steaks.
I had to take the day off to do the final walk through at the new house. Provided it went well the plan was to head to the title/escrow office and sign papers. I wasn’t due at the house until 2pm so I spent the morning doing statistics homework. I had a large bowl of homegrown mushrooms that I had harvested and needed to do something with. Since Geoff hates mushrooms I decided to cook them up for lunch. I sautéed the mushrooms with chopped onions, chopped celery, thyme, bay leaves, and then added some chicken bone broth and pre-chopped chicken thigh before letting it simmer for a little bit. It made a light but satisfyingly earthy dish.
I had picked up some seafood the previous night when I did my grocery store run. I’ve been really craving seafood lately. I decided to make a bit of a lazy cioppino. If you aren’t familiar with cioppino, it’s a San Franciscan classic dish. It’s essentially a tomato based seafood stew. It’s goes great with San Francisco sourdough. Normally I use chopped or whole tomatoes and cook down them down for the base, but this is where I cheated. Geoff isn’t a big fan of chunky tomatoes and I bought a flat of organic tomato paste.
- 4 slices of prosciutto (or regular bacon), chopped
- 1 TBSP fat (I used bacon fat, but ghee, coconut, or olive would be fine)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 small cans tomato paste
- 1 quart bone broth (I used chicken, but fish would be ideal)
- 1 bottle clam broth/juice
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 pound of raw peeled, deveined, and detailed shrimp
- 2 fillets hardy fish (I used cod), cut in to bite size chunks
- about 1 cup lump crab meat, optional (I used local dungeness)
- chopped green onions for garnish
- salt & pepper to taste
First I sautéed the prosciutto in a stock pot on medium heat. I happened to have half a package of prosciutto leftover, but you could use regular bacon or skip the meat all together. Once the prosciutto was crispy I added the tablespoon of bacon fat and the chopped onions and sautéed until the onions were soft and a little golden, 3-5 minutes. Then I added the tomato paste, bone broth, clam broth, fresh thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. I let the soup base simmer while I prepped my shrimp and fish while also running spelling words with the niecelet, probably 15-20 minutes. Spelling practice definitely made me miss my wine 😉 You can adjust the thickness of the soup to your preference with more broth or just water, the point is mostly to get things melding. I then added the shrimp and fish to the soup and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. I checked a piece of the fish and a shrimp to make sure they were cooked through. Then I ladled the soup in to bowls and topped it with a handful of lump crab meat and chopped green onions. To add some spice to my bowl I also laced it with Frank’s Hot Sauce. A drizzle of a nice finishing olive oil would also be tasty.
Since Geoff wasn’t due home for a few hours I used a spider (slotted spoon would work) to pull all of the cooked seafood out of the soup and put it in the freezer to chill quickly before moving it to the fridge. I didn’t want the seafood to keep cooking because I knew I’d have to reheat everything when he got home. When he did arrive I just got the soup base simmering again before dumping the chilled seafood back in. A few minutes later everything was warmed through again and ready to serve.