victorthecook: (Default)
What should we have for dinner? Serving a formal dinner for 6 with 12 courses is easier in a lot of ways than getting dinner on the table regularly. At the least, it involves a different set of skills. It also involves the thing I'm worst at -- sustained modest effort over time. True confession: A lot of the time, I don't get the job done properly.

Shopping helps. I get staples in bulk about every 3 months, simply because I really hate grocery stores. Produce I get from the farmers' market in season, or from the deli/specialty grocer down the street. Meat I tend to buy in quantity and freeze in small packages. (Some of that is that [livejournal.com profile] ocelotn thinks meat is a sort of seasoning. If she eats 4 ounces of steak, it's a red-letter day). So anyway, I tend to have lots of pasta and rice and bread and potatoes in the house.

I plan the meal around which starch we'll have. Once I've picked that, the question is what to serve with it. So, bread often leads to sandwiches. In summer, a baguette, split, with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzerella, and basil leaves makes a fine meal for two. You could serve hunks of bread alongside a bowl of squash soup in fall, made with onions or leeks, frozen butternut squash chunks, and some canned chicken stock Maybe reduce a little white wine, and throw in some pepper. Swirl a little sour cream in with that, and you can take pictures. If you need something more hearty: I make a batch of chili every couple of months and freeze the leftovers. A quart of chili is more than enough for two, and thaws in a few minutes in the microwave or a saucepan. Serve that with some hearty bread, a bottle of hot sauce for the table, and perhaps sour cream, and you're done.

Next time, I'll give examples with a different starch.

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victorthecook

June 2011

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