|Pickled Brussels--a little cloudy b/c I used dry mustard--|
ran out of whole mustard seeds
Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce and Braised Fruit
I recently learned that tomatillos are more of a fall variety--they don't set fruit in super hot weather. Hopefully you can still sniff some out at a local farmers' market; I used tomatillos from our garden, which are dwindling. I'm desperately plucking every last tiny one off the plants as I expect a freeze very soon. The dried apricots were my home-dried version. I love using cheaper cuts of meats/poultry and stewing/braising them into delicious hearty meals.
2 T. vegetable oil
8 chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 t. chipotle pepper powder
2 lbs. tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered (or halved if using very small ones)
1 cinnamon stick
1 lb. pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 c. dried apricots
1/2 c. dried cranberries or cherries
3 green onions, chopped
Heat a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Cook chicken until browned, about 5 min. per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add onion to pot; saute 2 min. Add garlic and chipotle powder; stir 1 min. Stir in tomatillos and cinnamon stick; return chicken pieces to pot. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 35 min. Add pears, apricots, cranberries/cherries and simmer until pears are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 min. Transfer to serving dish; sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve 2 drumsticks per person along with a ladleful of the "stew" that this creates.
|Ready to braise!|
|Dinner is served|
Red Kuri Squash and Shiitake Soup
Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia. She used the beloved rutabaga where I used winter squash and carrots. It's what I had on hand, but I'd love to try her variation as well.
2 c. dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. red kuri squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 c. carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 t. ground pepper
2 star anise
3 T. fish sauce
5 c. chicken or vegetable stock, divided
3/4 T. dried ginger
(If using fresh shiitakes, you can skip this boiling step.) Put dried shiitakes in a small pot, cover with water and boil 10 min. to rehydrate. Let cool them slice and set aside (reserve 2/3 for soup and 1/3 for garnish). Heat a stockpot then add olive oil and heat. Add onions, garlic, squash, and carrots and saute 5 min. Add pepper, star anise, and 2 T. fish sauce and cook, stirring for 1 min. Pour in 4 c. stock and bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer, covered, until squash is tender, about 20 min. Add 2/3 of sliced shiitake mushrooms and combine. Puree in blender in batches and return to stockpot. Season to taste with additional 1 T. fish sauce and salt. Thin to desired consistency with additional 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock. Serve hot garnished with remaining sliced shiitakes.
|"Put some candy in my nest!...Please."|
One last thought for the day...I've been pondering one of my long-time habits lately. Though I'm well aware that my daily productivity only happens because of the long, detailed lists laid out days in advance and revised and highlighted nightly, it never occurred to me until last week just how many lists I keep. I have (in NO particular order) my daily to-do, rainy day to-do list, mental to-do list, craft project dream list, craft projects currently underway list, list of things to have my eyes peeled for the next time I'm at a thrift store/rummage/flea market, holiday/birthday wish list, book wish list, list of books I'd like to read (sublisted as: Food, Cookbooks, Gardening, Kids/Family, Crafts, and Leisure...with parts of each of these lists living in my Paperbackswap.com account), list of movies I'd like to see (which now manifests itself as my Netflix Queue), lists of music I'd like to listen to, a personal list on the Milwaukee Public Library website of books I'd like to check out (also cross references some of my book lists), a list of home improvement projects sublisted by dream/long-term projects and more realistic repair projects, a list of restaurants at which I'd like to dine, a list of places Ben and I would like to travel (a "bucket list" of sorts), a list (or should I say spreadsheet) of what is preserved in both my upright freezer and basement pantry, a list of items I'd like to try preserving sometime, a list of short stories I'd like to write, a list of seeds I'd like to order/things I'd like to grow one day...which leads into my garden projects list, a list of skills I'd like to learn, a list of products I'd sew and sell if I ever made it to starting my own Etsy shop, a list of holiday gift ideas for my family, a list of date night ideas, a list of blogs I'd like to keep up with...which brings me just to the tip of my bookmarks list on my laptop... Anyway, you get the idea. I'm crazy about lists. Sometimes I wonder if they really help me function or if they just hinder my productivity because they can cause me to be overwhelmed. I believe it's the former. I'm curious if any of you keep lists and if so, what kind and how do they work for you?