In the fridge is some cooked chicken, a couple of lbs of ground beef and some left over mashed potatoes. I need a weeks worth of food, part fun, part necessity, part challenge!
SUNDAY WEEK COOKING:
In the pressure cooker, the backs, bones, skin and any 'other' bits from the roasted chicken pieces in the week. I have a giant container of beautifully cooked chicken and now, the otherworldly parts will do my bidding.
I added a couple of small carrots, a large celery stick, some herbs duProvence and some thyme, a bayleaf and I covered it all with water, time 15 minutes pressure. We will have chicken stock.
MEXICAN STYLE BEEF
In the dutch oven while the stock does it's stocky thing.
Sweat a couple of onions, some carrot, celery, garlic in some bacon fat (oh yes)
When the veggies are soft and lightly colored, add the 2 lbs of ground beef you got on sale for $1.00 and brown it dark.
Add a little flour to seize the fat and tighten the meat up and then throw in a can of tomatoes with chili and a small can of tomato sauce. I added some of the chicken stock to make it soupier, after all, it is going to cook a while.
Season with salt, pepper, cumin, taco seasoning, chili powder, a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some Worcestershire sauce.
Throw a lid on it and put it in a low oven, 275, for a while, maybe a couple of hours hour or so then we'll look.
I keep this concoction on hand for the week. It will be put in soft tacos one night. It will be combined with nibblets, put in a casserole dish and covered with cornbread batter and baked then served upside down with dollops of sour cream and gratings of cheese. It will be added to some additional meat and made into mini meatloaf (baked in a muffin tin) and served with mashed potatoes and and a tomato based 'gravy'. It will be rolled in tortillas with some cheese and refried beans and baked with plain tomato sauce on it. It will be mixed with rice and eaten in a big bowl.
I like my mystery Mexican style meat mixture :)
Stock is strained, drained and separated.
In the pressure cooker, I tossed a little bit of bacon fat, and 2 cups of rice. I fried it around a bit until the ends looks a little translucent. It truly keeps the grains separate and this is 'in the week' rice so I need it separate.
To the 2 cups of rice I add 2 cups of the stock and 2 1/4 cups of water, lock and load, 8 minutes.
DING! 8 minutes later, release pressure and spread it out on a sheet pan to dry, then bag it.
COCONUT CHICKEN CURRY
In the pot; large pieces of 3 onions, garlic, ginger. Fry until they look delicious in a little, um, bacon fat? No, I use peanut oil for this.
Toss in some pre-made curry paste or powder and fry fry fry. IF you don't have any prepared paste or powder then add cumin, tumeric, fennel seed, corriander seed, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar. I always add a little of the fresh spices to my powder anyway to fry around. It matters.
Pour in some coconut milk or cream (I just found coconut cream sold in mini tetra packs!) Then add more of that chicken stock. Shred in some of the cooked chicken and a few large potato chunks. Be sure the liquid covers all the good stuff by at least an inch. Adjust the stock/coconut milk ratio to your own liking, I like it heavily coco-nutty (yes, that is a word!).
Simmer until it all thickens and the potatoes cook. I toss frozen peas in during the last 5 minutes but you can keep it green free if you like. A little chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon freshens it up nicely too at the end.
Shred some of the leftover cooked chicken. Add a blob of mayonnaise, a little dijon, a little tarragon and a little tyme. Sprinkle a little curry powder in. Add one rib of celery chopped fine and one shallot, also chopped fine.
It's going to make a fine chicken wrap/sandwich in the week with crispy romaine. I'm making ciabatta tomorrow so it'll be a hearty sandwich for sure! I may add tomato and bacon and make it a club!
In a bowl, throw in the left over mashed potatoes, there's about 2 cups, a drained can of salmon, bones and skin removed, liquid reserved. Add some chopped scallion, salt, pepper, some sauteed shallot and an egg. Mix it all in and then add fresh bread crumbs as needed to make it just combine and stick together.
Form into 2-3 inch sized balls and throw it into the fridge to set up.
Dip the balls into a couple of beaten eggs then into panko bread crumbs and flatten into patties at this point. Put them on a tray and throw them into the fridge or freezer. Ready to fry up, in a little peanut oil butter combo. You can bake them too. Whenever the mood hits I am fishcake ready, I like Heinz beans in tomato sauce with them and buttered, thinly sliced, homemade white bread.
QUICKIE CHICKEN FRIED RICE
I'll beat 2 eggs with a pinch of salt a drizzle of soy and a splash of water and throw it into a hot hot wok and fry it fast then remove it.
Add fresh peanut oil in the hot wok then add grated ginger and garlic and shush it around. Add some cole slaw mix (I have some in the fridge), and fry it around then add a couple handfuls of cooked rice. Season with oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy, pepper, chili garlic paste and toss/fry until it's beautiful. Taste taste taste. Add shredded cooked chicken, see how that's being stretched out?!?! and the scrambled eggs and some frozen peas.. Fry Fry Fry quickly for a moment or two, drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over it, toss about and tip into bowls. Eat greedily with Rooster sauce on the table.
Everything holds well, saves well and freezes well so I'm good.
I have a few things to do to each meal to get it ready, make a salad, add a veg, make some bread or naan or tortillas but really, we'll be laughing this week. It's noon on Sunday and I am done, I think I'll have my husband take me to the movies. That way we spend time together but really, don't have to say a thing... perfect.