I recently finished writing up my February trip to Morocco. You can see all the photos and my comments on them at flickr:
Now for food, let's get right down to it!
Monday: I made enchiladas! We don't have good tortillas here (too far from Mexico, I guess) so we brought some corn tortillas back with us from the US when we came back from Christmas. After using a bunch for tacos, we tossed them in the freezer and I got them out this week for enchilada-making. For the insides, I used roasted chicken that tossed with a lot of lime, cilantro, and green onion, and something like this mole sauce for the top. I also got some tips from a Rick Bayless enchilada recipe -- warming up the tortillas in the oven before making the enchiladas really helped stop them from breaking up.
Tuesday: Leftover enchiladas. As sides, we served rice with tomatoes and butternut squash. I have always really liked butternut squash and Mexican food -- especially with black beans.
Thursday: Dinner in Geneva at Little India with S&N. We liked it, though the Geneva prices for Indian (30-40 CHF (about $30) per person) still seem a little steep, even after 2 years.
Friday: Friends arrive from out of town -- our first attempt at making rösti. It's a German/Swiss dish that they have a lot in the mountains. Basically, it's hash browns. And then you put stuff on it. We had an excellent one in Bern that was potatoes with a little bit of applesauce on them, then bacon, topped with melted raclette cheese. There was another good-looking version recently at the CERN cafeteria -- really nice, crispy potatoes with a creamy mushroom sauce on the top and hot sun-dried-looking tomatoes. At our place, we offered applesauce, cheese, a fried egg on top, some broccoli that we'd already cooked, and maybe a few other things. The potatoes came out OK, but not as crispy as I would have liked. I think I need more patience. :)
Saturday: Veggiefest! Vegetarians in the house! A bunch of people came over (maybe there were 12 of us?) and everyone made many excellent dishes including indian cauliflower and lentil ones. G&J brought chocolate chip cookies that had as bonus ingredients: almonds, dried cherries, and cointreau. I thought they were super-awesome. Rose was saying she enjoyed the indian dishes, did we know how we cooked them? The answer was ... no. Katrina, Toyo, and I were all seasoning and stirring as we went by, but this was one case where many cooks did *not* spoil the soup.
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the veritable dorade rose
These are some food thoughts from a few weeks ago... will catch up to this week soon, I hope:
Sunday: Anchovy pasta for lunch (something like this), dinner of barley cooked with savory veggie broth, topped with green onions, sides of butternut squash and broccoli rabe
Monday: A bunch of people came over for BSG watching, and we made Texas beef chili with cornbread and vinegar-y cole slaw, AKA "Brassica Mixta." I think we cooked the chili for about 5 hours on Sunday and shredded it on Monday. It was a hit!
Tuesday: Salted and pressed, thin-sliced, floured, skillet-cooked, oven-finished eggplant, chickpeas with a bunch of random stuff (red pepper, tomato, ginger, unsweetened coconut...) and rice. As I was cooking this and thinking about how I would describe it, I realized how little I use recipes sometimes these days. I used to use them *all the time,* so it's a pretty big change for me. I did glance briefly at a recipe using unsweetened coconut, to see if I should add it early or late (answer: late. toasted.) The eggplant dish is one we make with really fresh eggplants, and the salting + draining thing really does seem to matter. They turn out with the best outside-crispy, inside-soft texture.
Wednesday: Dinner at "O! Canada!" House, followed by Karaoke. On a Wednesday! I know. The Baum made some kick-ass food, including steaks with a lot of Roquefort sauce.
Thursday: Spoons and I went out to dinner in our own hood. We went to a vietnamese place I hadn't been to before. The vinegar-y salad was deeee-licious and the other dishes were good, too. All those hot, sour, salty, sweet flavors.
Friday: Pasta with some kind of a red sauce that we made quickly. I remember there was a little bacon involved. And salad. I made a few things to take to a housewarming party, including a big batch of Sidecars -- a great thing to make when you have just TOO MUCH Cognac around. Spoons and I tested a few different proportions -- 1 cognac : 1 cointreau : 1 lemon juice tasted best to us. 2 cognac : 1 : 1 was a bit too alcoholic (just drink the cognac, then) and 1 : 2 cointreau : 1 tasted too syrupy. We also added a little sparkling water to the finished bottle of drinks and shook it with lots of ice. It was enjoyed by many.
Saturday: Everything Italian looked amazing at the farmers' market, and I relized it's probably because it is a lot warmer there! I got a bunch of lovely greens labelled "minestra," which I thought was the name of the kind of greens, but it turns out that "minestra" means soup. Oh. Ok. For dinner we had fishes: dorade/sea bream baked whole with rice and the undetermined "minestra" green.
Here is a picture of our fish, "Veritable dorade rose Bretonne" which means "Genuine pink dorade from Britanny." This fish was OK, but it had a texture a lot like chicken breast meat.
I'd been looking for a while for a guide to choosing fish here, something like the awesome Seafood Watch in the US, but hadn't found a good one until I googled "dorade rose." I found this one, for the WWF Switzerland, which says to avoid Dorade Rose AT ALL COSTS. Oh. Well, now we know where to look. Sorry, Dorade Rose. We didn't like your chicken-texture that much anyway.