Monday, February 24, 2014

What we've been eating

Thanks so much for everyone's comments about the last post (on fb, if not on here) - although now it's possible that I have blown the entire story way out of proportion and everybody will read it on Wednesday and be like That's the big deal? and be all disappointed and send me hate mail. I think I'm ok with that - I don't get much personal mail, so I'll be excited.

Anyway! I posted a chocolate cake recipe a few weeks ago, but we've been eating more than just that. In fact, I've been trying out new cooking recipes just as much as baking ones, which is good news for my waistline (other than the cinnamon roll cake that B and I almost finished off singlehandedly - I didn't get any pictures of that, unfortunately).

In anticipation of possibly hosting another couple, I spent one weekend messing around with various courses.

As an appetizer, roasted garlic and avocado on baguette slices. No recipe for this - after roasting the garlic in the oven for about 45 minutes, I smashed the cloves with avocado and added a generous dollop of goat cheese, salt, pepper, and lime, then spread it on some lightly toasted baguette slices):

They were two bites of addictiveness.
As a main dish, I attempted my first ever rack of lamb with some roasted potatoes:

But I think B and I enjoyed the oven fried chicken with scalloped potatoes the following night better:

I used just a bit of butter in the pan for the chicken rather than the full amount of oil. The onions in the potatoes made these the best scalloped/au gratin/whatever I've ever tasted. Also, I only used bacon, left out the ham - there was enough flavor without it, imo.
And then for dessert, I made my first-ever chocolate souffle! I think it turned out like it was supposed to, but I realized after devouring it that I'd never actually eaten one before. But I have seen every MasterChef episode, so I'm pretty sure that makes me an expert.

Whether or not it turned out like a souffle is supposed to, it did taste good. So I marked it as a win.
The next night, to celebrate the return of berries to Zurich-area grocery stores, I made berry shortcake using my favorite baking powder biscuit recipe. Which, upon extensive searching, I realized I have never posted somehow. This is a terrible oversight on my part, so the recipe is below.

One of my favorite desserts, hands down.
Baking Powder Biscuits (recipe from my mother):
(Light enough for dessert, healthy enough for breakfast!)
2 c. flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (cold)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with pastry cutter (not too fine! Should look like big coarse bread crumbs). Beat egg with milk and stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Turn dough onto well-floured surface and knead briefly until the dough comes together. Roll to 3/4 of an inch and cut. Bake at 450F (220C) for 8-10 minutes until the tops turn golden.

Note: when I'm making the biscuits for shortcake, I often add in a splash of vanilla to the liquid and double the sugar. Because I'm naughty like that.

Then, yesterday, I made a rustic caramel apple tart, but I used pre-made crust, which made me feel like a bit of a cheat (although I did make the caramel from scratch - does that even out the baking karma?).

Definitely goes on the 'make again' list. Preferably with from-scratch crust next time. Although it might be good with puff pastry as well.
Delicious! It's been fun branching out to new types/cuts of meat - mostly dictated by what is on sale at the grocery store, as I take the 50% off stickers as personal challenges - and experimenting with how to make the ever-present potatoes here in Switzerland more interesting. And I think B also appreciates the expanding repertoire of recipes as well, although he still requests Mexican (by which he means guacamole and chips) about twice a week.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I was pretty nervous about it - even when I cut into it I wasn't sure if it was right (although it did look similar to the lamb that Ramsay doesn't scream about on Hell's Kitchen, which is my super reliable cooking source).