Mon 1/17: Farmer’s Pasta, salad. Continuing our icy weekend with baked pasta. Based on reviews, did 5 c. milk, 1/2 c. heavy cream, and a few more splashes of milk ‘til it felt right, along with fewer breadcrumbs. Reviews were right: it is hella heavy. The fresh herbs helped. Lessons learned.
Tues 1/18: pork tenderloin, chipotle/goat cheese sweet potato mash, arugula salad. We love a pork tenderloin. This was done super simply in order to use up sweet potatoes and arugula.
Wed 1/19: mussels w/andouille, salad. Used up one of our boxes of Costco mussels and random fridge sausage.
Thur 1/20: beet gnocchi w/crispy kale, horseradish crema, homemade pesto. This was to use up the beets from last week’s veg meal. It 100% makes a ton so expect to see these again. Also: how fun! We have never made gnocchi and Hampton bought ricotta for the baked pasta just in case, even though Giada didn’t call for it. I don’t like ramps, so we tossed the end of a bag of kale with some EVOO and crisped it in the oven. We had basil leftover from the Farmer’s Pasta, so Hampton made pesto. He also mixed up some horseradish and creme fraîche, other usual pantry ingredients, and nommmmmm.
Fri 1/21: tom kha thale. Hampton loves tom ka kai Thai soup and recently refound jarred base at our local Asian market; they had been out on previous visits. He paired it with dried mushrooms a friend had gifted us from a vacation in the before times we forgot we hadn’t finished, fresh mushrooms, and the end of a bag of Trader Joe’s seafood blend in the freezer, besides some carrots and frozen corn. Perfect for another unusually cold NC night.
Sat 1/22: pork sauerbraten, spaetzle, sauerkraut, arugula/beet/goat cheese salad. We get our pork tenderloin from Costco in two packs of two. So we always have to do two in one week. This time, to shake it up, we tried a take on a traditional German dish — because we still had ginger snaps from the last time we did this recipe and also the end of a bag of spaetzle pasta in the panty. Sauerbraten is usually beef, but pork can be subbed. We prepped the marinade on Thursday while the beet gnocchi dough rested. And promptly forgot about it while it cooled. So Friday before work, I reboiled it and added the pork. The leaner meat needed less marinading time and we simply seared it and tossed it in the oven and then reduced the marinade vs. the traditional braising. The salad also took us back to one of our fave Raleigh restaurants that apparently no longer exists but is coming back soon??!
Early in our relationship, Hampton’s sister, who was living in Charlotte at the time, wanted to visit J. Betski’s. I was afraid I would be that weird picky person who wouldn’t like anything. However, that night, I realized I was 100% over my childhood dislike of mustard and sauerkraut and so if nothing else came out of our relationship, at least Hampton gave me mustard, ‘kraut, and pickled beets.
Sun 1/23: Denver steak with cognac/morel sauce, mash, roasted Brussels. We had a random cognac sauce in our freezer thanks to a personal chef friend. I decided tonight was the night we used it because we also had in our fridge a random au jus and a leftover mushroom sauce from Christmas. I wanted a steak that was more than our usual bavette/flank and less than, like, filet mignon, and so ready for a heavy sauce. Our local butcher had the perfect option. When we found the leftover mushroom blend from Jenny for the tom ka kai, we also found a newer pack of dried morels from our Thanksgiving Wegman’s trip and they helped tie the three random leftover sauces together. The mash and sprouts were simple and perfect.
Lunches: leftover Caçoila and baked pasta. Crudités. Also, we were snowed in for two days, so I only packed three lunches. And one day had a big salad from the caf at work because there is only so much baked pasta one can eat in a week….