Not all the food...some of it...
Thick-cut rib eye, a slab big enough to serve two with a few bites still left over, on sale...this thing was so beautiful I hated cooking it. I should have taken a picture before I did. There's something awe-inspiring about the sheen of a good piece of meat, the thickness and marbling...it was tempting to go all Paleo and just eat the damn thing raw. Kosher rock sea salt, hand-ground black pepper, and garlic dry rub on it about 20 minutes, then slapped it on the Foreman grill until medium-rare/almost medium-done. Served with fresh-tossed salad.
Homemade shrimp salad (shrimp on sale)...it's been close to 100 degrees 'round here forever and one night I was just too hot (even with the A/C running...but I'd been out walking earlier that day) to cook. I didn't want to heat up the kitchen, I didn't want hot food in my mouth...so Publix had a pound and a half of shrimp on sale for under $10. I was like, "Awesome" and picked up a bag. Cooked 'til just pink, plunged directly into an ice bath, then drained with finely ground sea salt, hand-ground black pepper, a touch of garlic powder, a touch of red pepper flakes, mayo, celery stalk sliced fine with some leaves chopped up, fresh minced onion, a heaping teaspoon of pickle relish, about a tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice...so good. I ate it right out of the bowl I put some of it in, while Other Person ate it on a kaiser roll slathered with even more mayo, salt and pepper and lettuce leaves. Served with fresh tossed salad.
Rotisserie chicken...Other Person got off work so late I didn't feel like cooking. We still had to hit the store for other things so I picked up a rotisserie chicken. This was not my proudest cooking moment, as I made Past-a-Roni White Cheddar shells to go with it (processed foods are something I run circles around - as a general rule - in trying to avoid, but this particular flavor is hard to resist) and uh, another tossed salad. We eat a lot of salad, right, but really we don't. I can go months and make like, three salads altogether, and not even want those. I'm still fighting my childhood thing of hating veggies, though they're not bad once I eat them. With the heat, though, my salad consumption's gone through the roof.
Chicken and mushroom penne...this used up some leftover rotisserie chicken, some stock made from another chicken I'd cooked the week before, and some fresh baby portabello mushrooms about to cross the Great Divide. Sauteed mushrooms with jarred minced garlic, regular ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, crushed oregano, finely ground sea salt, and some cooked, chunked chicken in butter, added a touch of heavy cream, and served it over fresh-cooked penne with Parmesan. This was one of the easier meals I pulled off for it being pretty much from scratch.
Pork loin...there was a pork loin in here, somewhere...probably Thursday (I use regular loin, not tenderloin..with plain loin you get dark and light meat, and it cooks up more tender; almost impossible to ruin). Same kosher rock sea salt, hand-ground black pepper, and garlic dry rub, then in the oven until just past medium-well. Served with black beans and rice...cook jasmine rice, drain, add drained/rinsed black beans and toss together. One of the best side dishes I've ever come up with (if you don't like the rice/bean mixture so dry you can toss it with some olive oil or butter, which I do, sometimes).
Homemade French onion soup...the Pioneer Woman has taken something I normally only eat in restaurants because that's the only right way to have it and made it so it's all I ever want to eat again. She's also convinced me that adding chili powder to mac and cheese is a good thing to do (I wouldn't make her mac and cheese again after trying it a few months ago - too much flour, too mushy - but adding chili powder to mac and cheese is a truly brilliant food hack). We've made this three times in a month...first time I helped Other Person, who caramelized the onions in the oven as the recipe calls for. We used homemade chicken stock, and red wine instead of white, and it was just amazing.
The next batch Other Person made but didn't use Ree's recipe. It was not quite so good (thinner; used all beef stock and a lot of thyme). The next time I made it while Other Person was at work and used Ree's recipe, but caramelized the onions on the stovetop in a cast iron Dutch oven instead of in the oven-oven, to save time. Almost as good as the first batch, but I didn't have quite enough wine on hand and used less onions simply to use up what I had by making more of this soup. Cooked this batch with homemade stock made from the leftover rotisserie chicken and still have over a quart of it left over.
Shrimp curry...I took my go-to chicken curry recipe and substituted shrimp, which used up the rest of the shrimp from Publix. I always make a few changes...extra virgin coconut oil instead of vegetable oil adds a nice, mild hint of coconut...I add fresh garlic only right before the stock goes in...I use more of every spice and seasoning throughout the assembling and cooking process, and use garlic powder in addition to fresh garlic and ginger powder in addition to fresh ginger. I don't measure the yogurt (I use plain Greek, I can't even recall offhand what the recipe calls for) but I just add enough to make it look creamy and sort of light yellow. So good. There's still tons of that left over, too.
White clam sauce over leftover cooked penne...tonight I had cooked penne to get rid of and cherry tomatoes walking the Great Divide. Sliced them lengthwise and sauteed in butter with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, basil leaves, finely ground sea salt, hand-ground black pepper, fresh-squeezed lemon juice...separated the clam juice from the canned clams, added some cornstarch, whisked the juice, poured it in the pan, added chardonnay, brought it to a boil, let it cook a few minutes, turned it off, threw the clams in, and served it over the penne reheated in butter in the Dutch oven. This was amazing - but only until I added a can of Geisha baby clams along with a few cans of chopped clams and ruined the whole thing. I have to remember to use only chopped clams.
Other Person came into some fresh peaches from Georgia via a friend which got turned into homemade peach cobbler today...I'm dying over it. Other Person can bake, while I cannot (I mean, I can just look at the ingredients for any baked dessert and burn them. With my eyes. On contact. It's hopeless.). This cobbler's absolute perfection.
They also decided to make their first-ever homemade Yorkshire pudding. I'm not jealous or anything of their baking abilities, hell no, not me. Anyway, I had exactly enough leftover beef grease from tacos we made the week before (I keep all leftover oils/greases/stocks in the freezer) to complete the recipe. Are any of y'all English? Me and Other Person are part-Brit, and while OP enjoys some English food, I do not. Except for Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and English hot mustard, I can find no redeeming qualities to English cuisine. Yorkshire pudding reminds me why that's so.
First off, it's not pudding. Second, it's not bread or cake - more like a baked shell with grease on the bottom. While it's sort of delectable right out of the oven (I ate one half of a pudding on sight last night; we had two) the grease flavor is a bit much and of course the, "You'd think someone blindfolded made this" presentation leaves much to desire. But it won't kill anyone, which is the one dependable thing about English cuisine: it's just good enough to eat, and just bad enough you hope you never have to again.
Next recipe...I've done it probably dozens of times since my 20s but I don't have the recipe anymore. Given it's that Eat Salad to Survive time of year, there's an authentic Italian antipasto I've been making forever that I can barely remember how to assemble anymore (especially not the quantities it calls for) because somewhere in the last 10 years I lost my recipe. It was from an Italian restaurant in NY that published their own recipe book. The recipes dated back to the 1930s-1940s. One was for a really neat antipasto (the book also had a recipe for anchovy sauce over steak that I can still recall, but it's so rich I don't make it much anymore).
Main ingredients are...a small block of deli salami, a small block of deli ham - boiled is best (you can add any other deli meat, like cappicola, prosciutto, pancetta), a block of sharp or extra sharp Provolone (I prefer extra sharp, but it's hard to find), a fennel bulb, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes (I prefer cherry), cucumbers...dice up the above. Add red or white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano leaves, fresh basil...then saute a lot of fresh, crushed garlic in maybe four tablespoons (?) extra virgin olive oil (I use vegetable oil because the garlic taste comes out much more clearly; I suppose you could also use a really light/mild coconut, grapeseed or canola oil) until the garlic just starts to brown. If it gets too brown the oil's ruined (too bitter). If the garlic's too light the garlic flavor won't be strong enough (indeed, I threw out many batches of garlic and oil to get this right, way back when).
Scrape the garlic out and throw it away. This is not the fun part because at just-brown, the garlic sticks like glue. Pour the garlic oil over the antipasto, mix and refrigerate. It lasts almost a week and the flavor is indelibly, indescribably good.