Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thank you Mark Bittman!

We've had a very active kitchen these past few days. It's the result of lots of good food (farmers market), good food going bad (I'm still shopping in group-house quantities) and a terrific cookbook we just bought (Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything).

On Saturday, we broke in our new cast iron dutch oven with the lamb shank we picked up at the farmers market. We stewed it with tomatoes, onions and olives. (Mark Bittman recipe #1.)

On Sunday, we used the bones to make stock. (Bittman recipe #2.)

Monday night, we had baked ratatoille, since the eggplant was on its last legs. (Bittman recipe #3.)
After dinner, I made bread dough using a very easy, no-knead recipe. (From a Bittman NYT article.)

Tuesday night, I baked the bread but had dinner at a Graduate Students Associate barbecue with Scott... no Bittman.

Tonight, we used the lamb stock and the fresh bread to make French onion soup. (Bittman #5.) Since the carrots were starting to go, we made curried bulgar with carrots and raisins. (Bittman #6.) We tripled the number of carrots it called for but still had a significant volume on our hands, so we threw them in the food processor along with some tahini and a can of pinto beans (which I accidentally opened instead of chickpeas) and some other stuff and made an impromptu carrot-pinto hummus. And we had half a watermelon left over, so we made a batch of really yummy watermelon soup. (Last time we made it with watermelon an cantaloupe, which is even better.)

Not sure what's next on the menu. We made enough food tonight to last us a week, and I'll be out of town next week, but I'm certainly looking forward to more culinary adventures in the months ahead. As much as we enjoy improvisational cooking, we have a lot to learn, and Mr. Bittman is teaching us quite a bit. (Many thanks to my mother, of course, who taught me everything I know so far!)

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