Weeks 7 & 8, 2022

Whew, where the heck did the past two weeks go. I’m in rehearsals — which I just realized I haven’t actually written about. Ok, more on that this week. Anyway, six hours of call on a Sunday definitely gets in the way of my sharing recipes with… all five of you… esp. as Sunday is Hampton’s Friday and last week he was in bed by the time I got home. Luckily, Food Network’s Tournament of Champions is back as of tonight, so Flat 493 is awake for the next two hours (minus commercials. And, ok, maybe just the humans.) so here we go!

Mon 2/14: fish tacos — if you remember from Week 6, we meant to do fish tacos… and the fish didn’t thaw. So, take 2. We usually keep frozen cod on hand and this timing was perfect. We did our own seasoning and slaw, but I do love an apple slaw so we’ll probably be back.

Tues 2/15: French country sausage, leftover butternut squash, grain, arugula salad. We had the butternut squash leftover from last week’s attempt at making ravioli, so Hampton rewarmed it after cooking our fave Smoke City sausage. He also made the end of a bag of quick-cook farro and we tossed some arugula with a random tangy goat cheese vin in the fridge. So easy and tasty before I ran back out the door.

Wed 2/16: Roast Chicken with Marsala, Sage, Mushrooms, and Creamy Polenta. We had half a tube of polenta and the end of a pack of mushrooms and also sage from those aforementioned ravioli, so why not. Also, we are trying to embrace chicken breasts for… health? As we cover it in cream sauce…? Granted, it was Silk, which I bought for this week’s lunch soup and needs to be used up.

Thur 2/17: pinchos morunos, grilled artichoke slaw, roasted potatoes. We were cooking for our favorite personal chef this night. No pressure…. It was to be nice out, so Hampton and I already decided to grill and this recipe scaled really well for another couple. A few weeks back we saw a rerun of Guy’s Grocery Games where some lady made “pinchos morunos”. We looked it up, and it’s a Spanish pork kebab with Moorish spices. Much like when we made tacos arabas the other year, pinchos morunos were created by non-Muslim people — aka pork eaters — finding joy in Middle Eastern spices.

We used this recipe as it was from an actual Spanish chef and adapted out some of the cayenne for smokier and less spicy chile de árbol we had on hand as Hampton is not a huge spice fan. We prepped this sauce the night before and added some creme fraîche into the mix the night of.

For a side, we combined two other ideas from Spain on a Fork, garlic artichokes and garlicky cabbage. We tossed canned artichoke hearts on the grill with a dousing of oil, sautéed up the end of the bag of slaw mix from Monday’s fish tacos, and combined it all with a Hampton-made garlicky, vinegary vinaigrette. Not gonna lie: I am real proud of this randomness. The char on the artichokes made just another cabbage slaw something special.

And, not to be left out: roasted potatoes. I wanted the salty skin and creamy insides to balance the richness of the spicy pork and tangy slaw. We sprinkled some ras al hanout to tie them in to the other foods.

Fri 2/18: fauxpenadas with soy chorizo and leftover butternut; rice and black beans; arugula. Because we’re only cooking for two, we STILL had butternut leftover. We also had some wonton wrappers, soy chorizo, and black beans. It was a no brainer to combine them all and finally try frying wontons to make fake empanadas. This might be Hampton’s favorite vegetarian meal ever. If we hadn’t added cotija cheese to the salad with tequila-lime dressing, it would have even been vegan.

Sat 2/19: Prosciutto-wrapped quail stuffed with ricotta, sage, and green olive; mashed potatoes; roasted Brussels. After a day of rehearsal, I wanted to do some fancyass cooking on a Saturday night. Hampton decided it was time for us to try quail. We used this recipe, but the quail we could get was not boneless, so we adapted a bit, like chopping olives into the filling. It was a success — but also, I don’t know that I *need* to cook quail ever again. Much like whole artichokes, it’s a lot of effort… But fun!

Sun 2/20: steak frites with horseradish cheese sauce, tater tots, arugula salad. I had a quick dinner break during rehearsal. Hampton seared up our fave bavette steak from Smoke City and doctored up some leftover Domino’s cheese fondue. Inspired by this recipe we did a while back, it was fun and easy and on the table when I walked in the door.

Lunches: Cream of Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Paprika, Cumin, and Fresh Dill. Not gonna lie… not my favorite meal prep. I blame the homemade stock. Hampton and I have agreed to taste and doctor stock before we freeze it moving forward.

Mon 2/21: pork belly stir fry. We had pork belly in the freezer and recently finally bought shaoxing wine, the one Chinese ingredient we didn’t have on hand, so a stirfry it was. We pulled from a few ideas, half-baking the pork before adding it to the wok and using lots of cabbage and some carrots along with canned bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and baby corn.

Tues 2/22: truffle gnocchi with prosciutto, arugula salad. Trader Joe’s truffle gnocchi is one of our new favorite freezer items. Hampton put this together with the last of the prosciutto from the quail on Saturday and some random cognac sauce in the fridge.

Wed 2/23: grilled portobello mushrooms with roasted Brussels and ricotta sauce. I was inspired by this recipe, but the mushroom caps Hampton picked up were not prime for stuffing. So we tossed the portobellos in some leftover marinated artichoke brine (I knew we kept that for a reason) and threw them on the grill with Fiery Honey Mustard-dusted sprouts. Besides spinach, we added some marinated artichokes to make a dip-inspired ricotta that was mixed with some couscous. I loved it. Hampton… is rarely going to love a veg meal. I was happy to have his leftovers for breakfast the next day.

Thur 2/24: out. I had a hair appointment this afternoon, so we met for a drink at Dogwood and then checked out the new food hall down the street. I am not trying to be at Roar when it’s busy, but am a big fan of the chicken Philly I got at Joey Correll’s. We shall return.

Fri 2/25: Garlic Butter Chicken Bites with Lemon Asparagus. We subbed thighs and served with leftover mashed potatoes. Easy peasy for a quick meal.

Sat 2/26: tamarind-glazed duck with charred cabbage wedges and carrots. Ok, yeah, I messed this up because I added the veg to the cold pan with the duck…. But also added more duck fat from the fridge bc I was afraid they’d burn. And I should not have done that. So they were a little flabby. As was the duck skin. Lessons were learned. But the new TJ’s tamarind sauce was a fun add. We also used some leftover tahini sauce to dress the veg.

Sun 2/27: shrimp wontons with chopped cabbage salad. So, based on alllll these recipes, and some from the previous week, we had wonton wrappers, cabbage, and canned Asian veg leftover. Before leaving for rehearsal, I sautéed up some frozen shrimp, diced it up with the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, and wrapped it up in wonton wrappers. Cabbage, carrots, and the leftover baby corn were chopped together for a salad. When I got home on my dinner break, we pan-seared and then steamed the dumplings and tossed the salad with Kewpie Roasted Sesame dressing. Easy, tasty, semi-light. Loving that we finally tried pre-made wonton wrappers and have found so many uses.

Lunches: leftovers. Not gonna lie, this will probably be more of the same going forward.

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