kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
1) Something you've cooked recently: This has been the week of the Great Chain of Leftovers. Last Sunday I made a meatloaf, which I ate in sandwiches and so on throughout the week. But on Friday there was still a pretty big hunk of it left and it needed to be used right away. That, plus my strong and unseasonable craving for pasta e fagiole (inspired by a TV commercial, of all things) led to an untraditional, even Frankenstein-ish but tasty hybrid dish.

I cooked some chopped vegetables--a large onion, a bunch of small red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (capsicums), and a couple of zucchini (courgettes) in a mix of bacon fat and olive oil until they started to soften. Then I added about six cloves of minced garlic, cooked it a bit more, then added the leftover meatloaf (broken into chunks), two tins of diced tomatoes, one tin of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, a couple of red-skinned potatoes cut into small dice, a piece of Parmigiano rind, a bay leaf, and just a bit of water to cover all the vegetables. I simmered this for a few minutes until the potatoes were almost tender, then added some ditalini pasta and a small head of escarole, chopped, and a tiny bit more water. Simmered again until the pasta was tender, then added a bunch of arugula that needed using and cooked just until the arugula had wilted. I ate this as a stew with a bit of oil drizzled over and some Parmigiano-Reggiano grated on top.

As you can imagine, this made an enormous pot of pasta e fagiole. So I ate some more on Saturday, and this morning, by which time the pasta had absorbed most of the liquid, I put some into a deep dish, layered it with mozzarella and parmesan, and baked it. The liquid sort of liquefied again on being heated, but it was still pretty nice.

Yesterday, finding myself in possession of a lot of nectarines and raspberries (both were on sale cheap), I made Peach Melba Squares, substituting 4 small nectarines for the peaches. I also used a lot more raspberries than called for, because I found a few moldy ones in the container and thought I'd better use up all the rest immediately. The result was that the cake is . . . let's call it very moist, shall we? I made a couple of other small changes: I let the melted butter brown a bit, because I'd seen a recipe for a brown butter nectarine cake and I thought the nuttiness of the brown butter would enhance the almonds. And I sprinkled a little bit of extra ground almonds over the top because I didn't have flaked almonds. Plus I didn't add the icing sugar at the end, because I found the cake sweet enough already. It is a very tasty cake, if perhaps a bit too buttery for me. The slightly tart fruit keeps it from being too cloying.

Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future: No concrete plans. I'm going to a friend's house on Tuesday for a potluck-and-Buffy-watch, so I need to think of something to bring. I've got some cooked chickpeas in the freezer so I might do some homemade hummus with pita bread, plus a melon salad. Bringing hummus is lazy, maybe, but I feel like its being homemade should let me off the hook? Plus, it's been hot and everyone will probably want salad-y things. Will think about it some more, anyway.

Something I vaguely intend to cook someday: It's been so hot--yesterday the temp topped out at 91F/32.7C--that I'm losing the urge to cook even summery things. I think the future holds a lot of salads--grain salads and cooked vegetable salads as well as the raw kind--and pasta, with the occasional lazy lapse into hot dogs or boxed macaroni and cheese.

2) I watched all three series of Shetland over the last week and a half. I wouldn't call it great TV, but I liked the characters a lot and the scenery-porn was excellent (though I was sad to find out that a lot of the series is filmed on mainland Scotland rather than on the Shetland islands). The mystery plots were ho-hum, but at least not full of sickening, "shocking" details like some modern mysteries. There was a canonical queer relationship for a recurring character, plus some unexpected slashiness for the male protagonist. And a plot development in S3 that at first seemed gratuitous and fail-y turned out to be handled well and meaningfully.

Apparently there's going to be an S4, and I'm looking forward to it. I've started reading one of the books the series is based on, but so far I like the TV show better.

3) Last night, having finished Shetland and being in the mood for some light relief, I looked for Netflix movies with Alan Rickman and found The Gambit, a caper comedy with Alan Rickman and Colin Firth and Tom Courtenay, written and directed by the Coen Brothers. Got to be a great movie, right? Alas, it was so terrible that after about 20 minutes I gave up. The jokes were dumb, hackneyed, and often imbued with stereotypes (repressed Brits, freewheeling American) and the actors looked painfully aware that they were in a bad movie. I looked up some reviews and found a tendency to blame the awfulness on Cameron Diaz, playing the above-mentioned freewheeling American, but she was no worse than anything else in the movie (though unlike the other actors, she didn't seem embarrassed so it was impossible to feel sorry for her).

Date: 2017-06-11 06:58 pm (UTC)
karmageddon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] karmageddon
I love that you have potluck and Buffy rewatch.

Date: 2017-06-11 07:52 pm (UTC)
executrix: (tassedegus)
From: [personal profile] executrix
A recent discovery for me has been beet hummus, and it's a great Imperial Purple color. If you have carrots but not beets, roasted carrot hummus would also be really good.

My experience has been that if you've never heard of a movie with a great cast, probably they're doing their best but against overwhelming odds.

Date: 2017-06-12 03:25 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I was surprised at how well Shetland S3 handled that particular plot twist and aftermath. The books I found quite different in focus (and the plots are often resolved differently) so I think for once I prefer the TV series! The scenery certainly helps.

That pasta sounds epic!

Date: 2017-06-12 05:16 pm (UTC)
halotolerant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halotolerant
Ooooh, I was considering watching Shetland after it showed up on the Yuletide list this year, and will consider it more strongly now! *adds to list*

I've been watching the new Handmaid's Tale. As a huge fan of the book, I think it's good but the book is better, but I'm glad it's on TV and bringing Atwood to a wider world. I don't like everything she does but I think her books are very good triggers to thinking about the world.


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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