It Was a Very Good Meal…

Dinner

Looking to finish off some food, I prepped whitefish for Chris and the last of the sweet italian turkey sausage for myself.  Honestly, I’m glad to see the end of that stuff — it just doesn’t really make me happy.

His dinner: whitefish, broccoli, mashed potatoes.

Knowing that none of my knives are sharp enough to take the skin off the whitefish properly, I coated the opposite side with a mix of lemon juice, mayonnaise, and seasoning salt, topped with crushed corn flakes, then placed it skin-side down in a hot non-stick pan with a light coating of olive oil.  When opaque about halfway through, I slid my fish spatula under it and sure enough, the skin stuck to the pan and came off easily, just like last time (except now, I intended this to be the result), so I flipped it onto the cornflake coated side.  In hindsight, this was entirely too early to turn the fish.  The cornflakes ended up NOT sticking well and I had to leave it on that side for a little too long for the fish to finish cooking, which meant that they burned.  I squeezed a wedge of lemon over the ‘bare’ side, tossed on a bit of extra salt & pepper, and prayed that it’d taste okay.

Broccoli I cooked normally — one-third to one-half inch of water in the bottom of a frying pan, generous portion of butter melted therein, salt & pepper, bring to a boil, toss in the broccoli and cover, reducing heat to very low.  This results in a beautifully steamed veggie after two-three minutes.  I served half to him and kept half to myself — then squeezed more lemon juice over my half, because it’s sooooo good.

Mashed potatoes did not get overcooked this time since we didn’t lose power and I could keep a better eye on them.

Altogether, Chris says he enjoyed this dinner.  I really wanted to bake the whitefish but since my apartment seems to lose power anytime I use the oven as well as stovetop burners, I decided against this.

My dinner: breakfast hash with turkey sausage, potatoes, onion, mushroom, and egg.

Since I was already boiling potatoes for Chris, I scooped out a nice handful of them when they were half-cooked and used these, along with the onions, to make homefries using the same method as on January 27th, except I added some sliced mushrooms as well.  When these were done, I took them out, wrapped them in tinfoil, and set aside so I could use the same pan to brown my sausage in.  The sausage was NOT easy to break apart with a spatula or fork, so I ended up using them both to break it down.  I browned it, then tossed it generously with hot sauce, salt, and pepper, before tossing two scrambled eggs atop it as well.  The eggs I swirled around the pan, then added in the homefries and tossed everything together.

This is honestly too large of a meal to be eating for dinner.  I NEED to cut down on the size of my dinner portions.  But, with (even more) hot sauce added, this was really satisfying and tasty.  In fact, the least encouraging thing about it was that there was too much sausage.

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Lunch

Since I still had two of the Sweet Italian Turkey Sausages from Longo’s left, I decided it was high time to finish at least one of them off (the second I am still planning to cook with potatoes in a hash!)  I just wanted a sandwich, so I decided to cater to my Polish roots and do something with cabbage.  Longo’s also sells half heads of cabbage for 79 cents (woot!)  so I had one of those tucked in the fridge.  I sliced some off into super thin strips and tossed it into a frying pan to sautée until soft with some butter.  The sausage I removed from its casing and smushed around into a patty shape, then seasoned one side with cayenne pepper and the other with salt and pepper, rubbed both sides with a small amount of olive oil, and tossed it on the George Foreman grill to cook.  I’m out of rye, so I used two thick slices of French bread.  When the cabbage had softened up, I mixed some paprika and hot sauce into it.

The sandwich turned out really well!  In retrospect I should have sliced my cabbage up a bit more rather than leaving the strips so long since it made eating a bit messy.  I also think that toasting the bread would have been a good idea, and I found myself wanting some sort of condiment to complement the flavours I had — but since I’m not a fan of ketchup, mayo, or mustard, I don’t really know what I could have used.

Dinner

All I knew when I started to think about dinner for tonight is that I wanted caramelized onions (I cooked them using Elise’s method and they turned out fantastic).   Since I had chicken breast thawing in the fridge, I just had to come up with something on the side.  I ended up going for mashed potatoes, but I think that a nice green salad would likely have been a better idea.

The chicken breast I pounded thin (with the bottom of a frying pan!), put salt & pepper on both sides, and left to marinate in some Paul Newman’s Balsamic dressing for two hours.  If I had been cooking just for myself, I would not have marinated it in this and would have cooked it up with a real balsamic glaze, but Chris doesn’t seem to be too much of a fan of the balsamic glazes I’ve churned out before and I didn’t want to make his differently from mine.  I started it in the oven once the onions had been cooking for about 30 minutes…. and three minutes later, our apartment lost power.  Again.  Two burners on along with the oven seems to be too much.  Our landlady is sending someone out to look at the stove, I presume on Monday, although we’ve had problems with it in the past and really they ought just to replace it but they’re probably too cheap for that.  I ended up finishing the chicken on the stovetop, in the pan I used to caramelize the onions (deglazed with a bit of butter).  I hadn’t wanted to cook it on the stovetop since I wanted everything to finish at the same time, but the onions stayed just warm enough by being wrapped in tin foil and set to the side.

Mashed potatoes were a little watery, but I blame that on losing power and being completely unable to see what was happening with them (or anything).  I tossed the last of my cracked black pepper cream cheese and regular cream cheese into them, although it probably only amounted to two tablespoons or so altogether, along with a generous amount of milk & butter, and sliced the tops of some green onions in for colour.  Chris loves mashed potatoes and he was quite happy with them… I found them to be too damned grainy, despite trying my best to make them creamy.

Presentation-wise, I put the potatoes down on the plate and spread thin, then topped them with the caramelized onions and put the chicken breast on top of that.  This was not a great idea and if I made this again, the onions would go on top of the breast.  Since it was pounded so thin, you couldn’t see the onions at all and it made for a kind of bland looking plate.

Dinner

Bought some “Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage” at Longo’s and felt inspired to do pasta tonight.  Small shells, homemade tomato sauce, sautéed mushrooms, roasted onions and Texas toast garlic bread.  The onions were coated with a mix of olive oil & balsamic vinegar before being roasted, which I was really excited about; however, the breaker to our apartment blew twice during this meal and during the blackouts, half of my onions burned, which was a complete bummer.  Not only that, but the pasta ended up getting soggy from sitting there in the water by itself.  The sausage came out of the casing easily (which is good as I assume the casing was pig) and so I ended up cooking it in little pinches, that while looking tiny in the pan ended up really large in comparison to the shells; in the future I’d break the sausage down QUITE a lot more.  I don’t know how much fat the sausage put off, because I couldn’t see anything in the pan and I assume that what of it there was got sucked back up into the meat before I put the mushrooms into the pan to sauté, as there definitely wasn’t any there for the mushrooms to cook in and I had to add some olive oil to pan for them.

The onions, what few of them ended up in the sauce, were really delicious.  I think that as a simple roasted veggie side dish, the balsamic & olive oil will be a winning topping.  The sausage was alright and would have been much better if it were SPICY — as it stood, they were just really bland pieces of meat with a kinda funny texture that did not add anything to the dish.  Mushrooms were cooked perfectly.  The Texas toast came from Longo’s, $3.99 for 16 pieces, and Chris remarked on how much he enjoyed it.  I cooked it on tinfoil since I didn’t want to make a baking sheet dirty.

Late edit/update: Got a nasty bellyache and had some unpleasant toilet time a few hours after dinner.  Not sure if this is related to Braxton-Hicks contractions, the sausage, or the fact that I had both ice cream AND a giant bowl of popcorn for dessert.  Guess I’ll know when I finish off the two sausages that remain — I’m thinking a generously spiced sausage & potato hash w/eggs would be a reeeeeally tasty breakfast.  We’ll just see if it makes for an unpleasant lunch.

Breakfast

Started with parboiled potatoes that I’d tucked away in the fridge for this very purpose two days ago.  I was a little worried that the potatoes might be gross because it took so long for me to get to them, but no worries.  Last time I tried to make these, Chris complained that they were slightly undercooked although I didn’t notice any such thing, and I also added my onions way too early and ended up with little burned black onion slices scattered throughout.  I made it my goal this time to keep the potatoes crunchy, not burned, and perfectly cooked.  I cut them fairly small and sautéed them in as little canola oil as I felt comfortable using.  Covered the pan often with my wok lid (since I don’t have a lid that fits my favourite frying pan) and refrained from shaking it around until one side of the potatoes was perfectly golden brown.  Then I added my diced onions, a bit of butter, and tossed everything.  Kept covering it off and on with the wok lid (to keep in the steam and cook everything faster) while still trying to maintain crispiness.  These turned out PERFECTLY in my opinion.

Sunny-side up eggs were the protein in this meal.  At least, that was the goal, but they ended up being fried eggs (I think if I had kept the wok lid on the pan, they could have been safely sunny-side up rather than “burned on the bottom”).  I kept Chris’ yolk watery and cooked mine thoroughly … yay for being pregnant.  I’m totally looking forward to being able to swipe my homefries through egg yolk again — YUM!

Dinner

Bought whitefish at Longo’s to try something new.  Skin still attached and the filet had pinbones in it, which were a total pain in the ass to take out — however, it smelled really pleasant and had no fishy odour at all.  Chris wasn’t hungry so I only made one portion.  I scored the skin and put salt & pepper on both sides, then sautéed it skin side down in some oil for several minutes until the edges were opaque.  Upon flipping, the skin detached and had to be scraped off the pan.  Added sesame oil and soy sauce to the fish, then for a side dish in the same pan tossed in matchstick-cut carrots and broccoli with a few dabs of butter.  Whitefish is much more delicate than what I’m used to (although I handled it somewhat roughly because I expected the skin to be attached still).  Ended up coming out with a decent flavour, very very soft.  Dressed it with lemon juice and a generous dash of salt but the prevalent flavour was soy sauce.  Will definitely cook with this fish again, but not the same ‘recipe’.

For a side dish I went with broccoli (always a favourite!) and matchstick cut carrots.  Both were sautéed with butter.  Since I cooked them in the same pan as the fish, I ended up with some of that soy sauce & sesame oil flavour.  In the case of the broccoli, it mostly soaked up the lemon that dripped off the fish on the serving plate, which is a taste that I really like but Chris can live without.  The few spots where the leaves browned against the pan were tasty.  Not sure if I prefer it to my normal steaming method.  Will make again.  As far as the carrots go, the spots where they browned & caramelized were really tasty.  Nice texture altogether, too.  On their own, they probably couldn’t stand as a side dish (not that I’d want to cut that many damned carrots anyhow) unless maybe I sliced the carrots into discs?  Will definitely make again, regardless.  Chris totally missed out on these!