This is my kitchen:
So now you know why I haven’t had much to say here lately. I just haven’t been motivated to cook. I have had to make do with worse before (two-burner hotplate, no oven), but, hey, I was in Europe! And somehow it’s so much worse when it’s actually YOUR kitchen. And unfortunately my kitchen is going to be less temporary than I had originally hoped.
Although I have only been able to unpack just a few items from my boxes and boxes of kitchen stuff, the real problem is the stove/oven, or range, or cooker, or whatever you want to call it. Based on the color (almond), I’m guessing it’s not as old as you’d think. But it’s still pretty old. And a little scary to use. Three of the four burners are slanted, but that doesn’t really matter since there isn’t really room to use all four at once anyway. I usually end up boiling pasta on the flat one and trying to sauté veggies on one of the others. Not ideal. And the narrow oven doesn’t cook evenly or have a window in the door. You get the idea.
Now that it’s technically fall, I’m a little tired of salads and yogurt all the time. There’s no way I’d try to do meat in the oven and casseroles/gratins wouldn’t brown evenly. So that leaves me making a lot of roasted vegetables. What else can handle uneven heat, tastes better with crispy, almost burnt edges and requires almost zero prep space?
I owe my standard variation to Kristin, who introduced me to adding fennel and apple along with the usual suspects. Unfortunately the fennel in the garden is nowhere near ready and fennel at the store costs $3/bulb, so I’ve been leaving it out. I usually just add whatever fall veggies I have along with shallots or onions, olive oil, S&P and herbs from the garden (thyme, bay, cutting celery, sage…).
My other variation, which has become one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables, is the Winter Vegetables with Horseradish Dill Butter recipe from epicurious. It’s perfect for turnips, which show up in my CSA share and which I have trouble eating up. And if you’re hungry just for cauliflower, the Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter, also from epicurious, is another of my favorites.