I know its been quiet on the blogging front, but its been a busy couple of weeks in the hungrywoolf kitchen. The new year brought a new stove which I’m still getting used to. I think it runs a little hotter than the old one and it makes all sorts of disturbing creaking and clanging noises when the oven is on, but at least you can’t put your fingers through the rust holes and it’s a lot easier to clean.
Also new is a shiny kitchen aid mixer and some fun extra toys: the ice cream maker and meat grinder attachments.
The picture shows focaccia dough which I partly kneaded in the Kitchen Aid. I used Nigel Slater’s recipe but left out the olives and used more herbs and garlic instead. It was as foolproof as Nigel said, and really delicious straight from the oven.
I also had my first attempt at ice cream in the Kitchen Aid, choosing a recipe from David Lebovitz’s book ‘The Perfect Scoop‘ for peanut butter ice cream. It was a decent first attempt and future plans include sesame honey ice cream and cafe au lait.
The most welcome new addition in the kitchen has been more storage space: a new shelf, which has considerably reduced the hazard of things falling out of the cupboard. Everything is less crowded and it is much easier to find herbs and spices.
Inspired by Robin Davis and the disarray of kitchen construction, I have been on a mission to use-up, reduce and turn-over. Targets include bags of rice and grains that have been in the cupboard for 6 months or more, jars that have been open too long, anything with freezer burn and all the things I bought thinking that I would use but haven’t. I made a list of all of the meals or dishes we could make based on what we had in the freezer and cupboard and was astounded at how long it was. Our stock pile of squashes from the fall has now been depleted (although there are a few pints of pumpkin puree in the freezer).
Given the weather, a lot of our meals have been soups, curries and stews. The picture is a thai red curry pumpkin soup, a hybrid of a Nigel Slater recipe and Heidi Swanson’s quick fix. Favorites have been Madhur Jaffrey’s chana masaledar (chick pea curry), spicy baked beans (based on the recipe in Earth to Table), and corn chowder made with corn I froze last summer. Not only have we saved a lot of money on groceries and eating out, but the process has been therapeutic. Next on the hit list is brown rice, I’m thinking mushroom pilaf.