Week Eight was a great week. I love that I can scroll over the list of recipes I cooked and be reminded of so many sense memories. This food was all delicious. In fact, with the exception of the Rum Raisin Truffles, I don’t think there is a single thing on this list that I wouldn’t make again. And the Rum Raisin Truffles weren’t bad, they were just way too much fuss and work for what the finished product produced. I choose to leave candy making to the professionals. The steak, the surprisingly amazing vegetable lasagna, the roulades (sweet and savory!), and the salmon, made Week Eight one for the books.
WHAT I COOKED
Ribeye Steaks with Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings, At Home
Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes, Cooking for Jeffrey
Provencal Tomatoes, Family Style
Roast Turkey Roulade, Back to Basics
Celery Root and Apple Puree, Back to Basics
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash, Back to Basics
Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream, Back to Basics
Salmon and Melting Cherry Tomatoes, Foolproof
Spinach and Ricotta Noodle Pudding, Make It Ahead
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, Back to Basics
WHAT I LEARNED
CORNMEAL CRUSTED ONION RINGS. For the second week in a row, I fried something in my home kitchen. Again, all credit goes to the heft and weight of my cast iron pot. These onion rings are everything. Worth the mess of hot oil and dredging station, but really, the process is not as bad as it sounds in my head. My method for disposing of oil also makes frying a bit more palatable. I leave the oil in the pan and let it cool overnight so that the oil is completely room temperature. Then I pour it through a funnel back into the bottle that it came in. On trash day, I toss it in the trash. As I’m typing this I am realizing that maybe there are rules against this, and somewhere in the back of my mind a bell is ringing that we are not supposed to throw oil in the trash but now I can’t be sure. If I am telling you to do something that is illegal or objectionable, please do not comply. And please tell me what the rule is. I like to follow rules. But I also need to know what else I am supposed to do with all of this oil when I fry. Thank you.
CHIPOTLE SMASHED SWEET POTATOES. These were, hands down, the best sweet potato recipe I’ve cooked so far. I made myself ill with the “one more bite” routine. There is something different and appealing about the way the smoky chipotle chili powder offsets the natural sugar of the sweet potatoes. If I were not already so behind on cooking with hundreds of recipes left to plow through, I would be making these three times a week at home. They are that good.
ROAST TURKEY ROULADE. In the moment, I declared this “the only turkey I ever want to eat again ever.” The process was kind of different (butterflying a turkey breast, covering it with stuffing, rolling it up, tying it, roasting it, then slicing it) but it was so juicy and full of all the flavors I want at Thanksgiving. In fact, true story, I used a cornbread-enhanced version of this stuffing recipe at my Thanksgiving table this year. Best stuffing I’ve ever made. Once this project is over, I will be sharing that recipe. Help me remember to do that? Cool.
PUMPKIN ROULADE WITH GINGER BUTTERCREAM. Speaking of roulades that won this week, this pumpkin dessert also was amazing and fun to assemble. The video is saved on my Instagram account. I’ve made one other roulade in my life, and I expected this to be more challenging, but it went really smoothly. I felt like I was channelling my inner Great British Baking Show contestant as I rolled my sponge into a tight perfect spiral. I think Paul Hollywood would have definitely given me a handshake on this one.
ROASTED VEGETABLE LASAGNA. I am compiling a list of “Most Surprisingly Amazing Recipes” which is a nice way to say, “These are the recipes I thought would not be that great but in fact turned out to be amazing.” I think my husband felt the same way. But his response said it all. “This is really incredible.” Simple words, but delivered with such earnest and sheer delight that something which usually centers on meat could deliver such a delicious eating experience.