I’ve finally started reading On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (1984). It’s not really recipes but more a book about the science, history, and nature of individual ingredients.
It’s inspired me to occasionally pick a single ingredient and prepare it several different ways to compare side by side. Taken to a ridiculous extreme for a solo dinner on a busy weeknight, I cooked brussels sprouts and kale four ways each (roasted dry or coated with oil, boiled, raw, raw soaked in lime juice):
Without salt or any seasoning except for olive oil, to try to really compare. It was fascinating. I’m not going to write a lot about it now, but this may become a new occasional evening project…
Seared a delicious half-pound Five Dot Ranch ribeye 4 minutes on each side in a cast iron skillet and set aside to rest.
Deglazed the pan with red wine, added a pat of butter, and fried (very thin-sliced) three cloves of garlic, a cippolini onion, and a beet.
Yeah, that was good.
A nice breakfast at home after a long week:
Poached eggs, spinach, nettles (good!), bacon, first peas of the season, and a dressing of olive oil, black pepper, poppy seeds, fresh horseradish, and orange juice.
A quick, satisfying dinner during minimal-starch month (and after a weekend of salt-depleting exercise).
I’d shopped with Niçoise salad on the brain, but ended up making: salmon rubbed with salt, white pepper, and sesame seeds, broiled for 8 minutes skin-side-up, on a bed of butter-sauteed lettuce, celery, and black olives, topped with chopped up crispy salmon skin and a poached egg.
A quick salad-as-mostly-healthy-meal for visiting family: kale (salted raw, let sit, then rinsed), celeriac, smoked salmon, broccoli, lemon-garlic-olive oil dressing (using a smokier heirloom garlic with less bite raw), and grilled haloumi cheese. It worked.
(Campari-soda with meyer lemon as apertif, and the still-amazing Dandelion Madagascar chocolate for dessert)
For dinner: bread, cheese (Humboldt Fog and a Neals Yard cheese that wasn’t their cheddar), mixed greens with roasted peaches and radishes, and a bowl of figs.
Followed by lentil soup based on the version I liked so much earlier this year, involving sweating the lentils, shallots sauteed in bacon fat, nora pepper, and this time a dried ancho pepper for a little extra kick. I did the “add a big bunch of spinach a few minutes before serving” thing again too:
It was a good day for food (and, alas, my first time cooking in a few weeks).