Sunday, April 3, 2011

A knife a fork and memories/a light to see it all/you didn't leave me anything/that I can understand

The advent of work and kittens has given me less unencumbered time, so I'm a little behind in chronicling the Tiny Montgomery eats. A little weekend wrap up is in order.

On Friday, our friend Deb was coming over to meet the kittens and visit. I wanted to make something fairly simple for dinner, mainly because I was worried the kittens would be attempting to climb into our food (as they are wont to do). After I got done with work I ran to the grocery store and it was obvious at that point that the day was getting colder and gloomier so soup was on my mind. I had made chicken stock a few days earlier and chicken noodle came to mind. However, when gliding past the meat case, I saw a lovely meaty piece of beef soup bone and I was suddenly thinking of nice, comforting lentils. When I got home, I roasted the beef with some thyme to impart more flavor. After sauteeing some onions, mushrooms, and celery, I added the beef, water to cover, salt and pepper and a few sliced carrots. I used regular lentil and I like them to get rather mushy, so I left the pot to cook for a couple hours (at a very low heat). Then I removed the bones, shredded the now-tender meat and returned it to the pot.

I didn't feel like making a salad, but I did have half a cabbage and thought cole slaw sounded good. At first I was leaning towards an oil and vinegar dressing but my natural instincts took hold and I went with a traditional mayo/sugar/vinegar dressing and added a shredded carrot for some color.  To go alongside I baked some easy cheddar/chive biscuits (baking mix, milk, sour cream, shredded cheddar and chopped chives). They didn't raise as much as I would have liked, but they tasted good.
On Saturday night I was literally trapped  beneath two very needy kittens for, well, hours; when Steve got home at 9:30 I still hadn't even started dinner. Of course, I already had a plan of action: leftover lentil soup and a salad made with the leftovers from the earlier steakapalooza. It took about 15 minutes to get ready so all was well. Honestly, the ribeyes were better cold, on a salad, than they had been a few nights before.

It was such a beautiful day today I wanted to grill outside and a package of boneless pork country ribs was calling to me. Unfortunately, after trying to start the grill, it turned out we were out of propane. Quick change of cooking plans and the ribs were placed under the broiler of the fantastic new/old toaster oven. Have I mentioned how much I love that vintage toaster oven? It makes the absolute best toast, among other things. Anyway, I seasoned the ribs with a grill seasoning mix before broiling and then topping with some barbecue sauce. They were juicy and tender and really tasty. As our sides, I sauteed a red pepper and some broccoli with a little soy sauce until tender. And I halved new red potatoes and fried them face down till they were brown and crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. A little sprinkle of fancy ass pink salt and they were simple and perfect.


Holly said...

School me in lentils. I want to add more to my diet and reduce my meat intake, but I don't have the foggiest idea where to begin.

Cat Pick said...

Oh Holly, lentils are just about perfect! When I was a strict vegetarian, I ate a LOT of lentils and I never got tired of them. They cook in a flash (30 minutes or so) and you can make them as simple or complicated as you'd like. I prefer them fairly simple, with just onion, celery and carrot (though beef is a nice addition once in a while, or smoked sausage). I generally saute the vegetables in a little oil, then add the rinsed lentils and get them coated in the oil. Add broth or water (to a couple inches over the surface of the beans) and seasonings (bay leaf works well if you're in the mood), and cook for 25-30 minutes. Or less if you like them firmer. They also take well to cayenne or hot peppers added to the veg saute.

Then there are French lentils, which are smaller and prettier. They stay fairly firm after cooking and have this distinct peppery flavor. I love them cooked and chilled and made into a salad with olive oil, a little vinegar and sundried tomatoes. Yum!