So, this last week, I didn't do much in the kitchen other than make a mess. I made up for it this weekend, making some tasty suppers for the hubs and myself (HRH is choosing to stick to a diet of peanut butter & Nutella® sandwiches, Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish, and Craisins®).
couples - get this book!
I elected to make the red wine version, as we had almost all the ingredients (I substituted dehydrated orange slices for the lemon wedges, but that was my only sub).
|Pretty shanks, snug on a bed of onions|
|Red wine and balsamic vinegar make the sauce|
oh, so very rich and (dare I say it?) decadent.
|Tomatoes and basil give the shanks even more love.|
So by the time the allotted three hours had passed, I think everyone in the house (except HRH, who was sticking to her special diet STILL) was chomping at the bit for
|Oh, dear heavens, someone hold me;|
isn't that insanely yum-a-licious?
(insert Emeril joke about smell-i-vision here)
|You know you want some.|
And speaking of future dishes, I actually used a bit of it in tonight's supper, which was a lighter, simpler fare. I had gone to my favorite local bookstore, Changing Hands, to acquire Peas and Thank You, a vegan cookbook (yes, I realize the irony of that statement in the same blog post that talks about lamb shanks, but whatever). I'm looking into Mark Bittman's "policy" of going vegan until dinner/supper time, so I'm really needing a collection of good recipes to sustain me (one can live on chickpeas only so long). Alas, they were out (but will have it for me by Friday), so I picked up a used copy of Mr. Bittman's Kitchen Express (to my family members - I would really, really, really also like to get his books How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, in case you are wondering what to get me for Christmas/my birthday/no reason).
Flipping through the pages in the store as I am wont to do (I also read the entirety of Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, which I purchased for HRH), I found, in the summer chapter, a zucchini and dill soup. Ooooooh - that sounds yummy. And we just happen to have gotten a ginormous zucchini from our CSA this week that needs to be used up (and I'm already planning a sweet bread - not sweetbreads, please note - with the summer squash).
|Ready to meet its maker in the form of Julia,|
|What did I do to shred things before Julia came into my life?|
What IS IT about the smell of onions cooking in a little bit of butter that makes me want to stop right there and eat that for dinner?
|Just a touch of cracked pepper|
The end result was something appropriately rich (I used a splash of half-and-half when I pureed everything) but still clean and fresh with the addition of the dill right at the end. The soup reminded me a touch of vichyssoise, but it was lighter (well, after all, there wasn't any potato, and I didn't use cream). All we had with it was some chewy bread dipped into avocado oil and some chardonnay, and it was a lovely evening meal - something that I will place a gold star next to and make again.
I can only guess that this will be better the next day, and I have two servings to help me get through this first week of classes (I am notoriously bad about forgetting to have lunch).