FALL 2010. SWEET PEPPERS. 10.15.10
Around this time of year, something changes. It’s not just the leaves and the clocks. Suddenly, I want to make soup on Sunday evenings and cook with spices like cinnamon and allspice. I start roasting root vegetables regularly and finding ways to put squash where one wouldn’t think to look. Speaking of injecting good-for-you-foods in seemingly not-so-good-for-you dishes, you won’t want to miss this week’s “weekend splurge” – a cake (of sorts) that is full of secret ingredients you’d never expect.
In this sweet pepper-centric week, I introduce you to a few tried-and-true strategies that have allowed me to start cooking on Sunday and keep cooking all the way through the week when time and energy have dwindled. I cook the more complex items early in the week. I also like to make more than needed so we can use leftovers in dishes later in the week. The roast chicken on Sunday is a game-changer. Don’t be deterred by the instructions. Once you’ve tried it, you won’t need to look at the directions again. Finally, I introduce you to the idea of deconstructing dishes to make them more palatable to young, discerning diners. Somehow the individual elements are more appetizing alone than the sum of the parts. Try it and see if you have takers.
mid-week update: 10.18.10
Don’t toss those bones. If you made the roast chicken over the weekend, you may have already taken advantage of the leftovers by using them in a salad or lunches. But don’t let the fun stop there. You can make an easy and flavorful chicken stock with a few items that are probably lurking in your vegetable crisper and begging to be used before they turn into stinky mush. Check out the recipe for basic chicken stock and consider freezing some for later, when weekend soup-making becomes a winter survival technique.