Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to cooking again!

Funny how you don't know how much you need some things until you can't have them. I learned over the past month that the title of this blog is more than a little true. Last weekend I finally got to start cooking again -- new working fridge and a little trust in it meant I got things restocked and could cook again. It felt like someone took a huge weight off my shoulders when I started puttering again. Nothing really significant, some great meatloaf (notes below), stone-grilled pita bread, tandoori chicken breasts, roasted cod with greek sauce, bean soup...well, maybe I did cook a lot! Meatloaf can be humdrum and I really think that putting an egg in it dries it out (and that's kind of why the egg holds it together). So I tried instead making about a cup of mixed ground carrots, celery, onions, zucchini, and garlic and adding that plus 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, a tablespoon of worcestershire, and 1/4 cup of water to 1.5 lbs of regular ground beef. It made a nice tender, not quite crumbly loaf. Glazed it with a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce to be a little traditional. I roast my meatloaf on a broiler pan so all the fat drains down, which I prefer to get a firmer but not fatty loaf. The pita bread was so good on Saturday that I made it again on Sunday. Easy enough recipe: 1T yeast, 1t sugar, 1.5c water, 1t salt, 1t oil, and 3.5-4.5c of bread flour. But it is just amazing that it really does puff up! I put a baking stone up on our gas grill and baked the breads on it (heated to about 550 degrees). It was fun and very rewarding. Stuffed with that tandoori chicken and yogurt sauce it made a very nice dinner that went well with a bottle of Spanish tempranillo rose.

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