13 April 2012

Cookery Catch-Up Or "Food, There Has Been Some"

I haven't menu-planned in over a month and my last few posts have all been about cooking challenges or The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook (which I still seriously , by the way), but I have still been cooking food as hungry people need to eat. While it's mostly been how-fast-can-I-get-a-meal-on-the-table type food, it's all home-made and that has to count for something, I think.

Leftover Lamb Stuff

Mom sent us home from Easter dinner with a packet of leftovers, including some really nice lamb. I thought about shepherd's pie, but felt too lazy even for that. So I made lamb "stuff" -- kind of, but not really, like the "goulash" my mother used to make from leftover pot roast:

First, I made Betty Crocker's "No-Drippings Gravy" with low-sodium beef broth, Penzeys beef base, dried parsley, and salt-free Italian seasoning blend. Then, I set the gravy aside and turned my attention to the rest of the dish.

I sauteed shallots, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper in olive oil until they were crisp-tender and then added in the lamb and thawed pearl onions. Let everything sizzle in the pan for a few minutes and then poured the gravy over it all and let it cook until the onions were tender and everything was hot. Seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper and served it over parslied rice.

Chicken Barley Risotto w/ Edamame

Betty Crocker's "Chicken and Barley Risotto with Edamame" was one of the recipes I tried for April's Cooking the Alphabet Challenge. Sadly, it was pretty terrible and we threw out the leftovers. I'm deeply embarrassed to write that as I have been conditioned to never throw out leftovers, but there was simply no way either of us would eat it again. It was bland. Horribly, horribly bland. And the texture was just unfortunate -- creamy/gooey with slightly crunchy edamame. It just didn't work.

Dinner Salad

Salad, it's what's for dinner! I seasoned chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and sauteed them in a very hot pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Then I set them aside and prepared two plates of tossed salad -- butter/bibb lettuce blend, cherry tomatoes, radish, celery, orange bell pepper, red onion, shredded cheese, hard-cooked egg, and garlicky croutons. Topped salad with chopped chicken, Cindy's Kitchen's Fresh Buttermilk Ranch (simply fab, darlings), and freshly ground pepper. Nomnomnom.