October 25, 2013

Things I Made This Week / Food Diary

On Sunday morning, I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and had this all-of-a-sudden overwhelming urge to cook. Since I hadn't had that feeling for maybe eight years, I sort of lay in bed and stared at the ceiling until 10, trying to decide if this unfamiliar compulsion was maybe symptomatic of something else. Eventually I just got up and went to Whole Foods.

I haven't really cooked anything serious—beyond food you can boil or George-Foreman-grill—in nearly a decade. Mostly because I've been busy with work, but also because I'm lazy and I live in a studio apartment with a tiny kitchen and no extractor fan over the stove. First world problems, all of them, and all poor excuses. I'm also fond of telling myself that, as a single person in New York, it's cheaper to eat out than to try to gather a bunch of ingredients and make a meal. By and large, I still find that to be true, but it doesn't always have to be true, I guess. (I mean, part of my problem is that whenever I cook something, I will eat all of it. So that thing about getting a bunch of meals out of one big round of cooking doesn't really work out that well for me.)

Anyhoo. These are the things I made this week. Most of them are really simple egg or salad dishes (repeat ingredients). I ate out on Wednesday and Thursday nights, which I enjoyed (BBQ and seafood, respectively). But otherwise, I'm really enjoying this new-ish adventure and am finding myself craving home-cooked food more, now, than restaurant food. Also, I forgot how much I like cooking and how fast cooking a meal can be.

The first thing I did after coming back from Whole Foods was pan-fry some cod, because I was super-hungry, and fish takes two minutes to cook, plus is easily seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon.

The next day, around mid-morning, I scrambled up some eggs and ate them over spinach, with some flat-leaf parsley and mozzarella torn up over.

At lunch, I pan-fried some Mahi Mahi, which I had to try twice, because it took longer to cook than I expected.

And then I had an early salad of endive, frisee, and a few anchovies before going out.

I got home late from drinks and was super-hungry, so threw together a tomato, spinach, and anchovy pasta (fresh pasta from my freezer!).

After spending a few days in New Mexico earlier this month, I've become obsessed with Hatch green chiles. I'm so happy Whole Foods stocks them. I scrambled them into some eggs the next day.

I think I tried to make this chicken, garlic, and herbs dish years ago, but I didn't have the right pan at the time and it took forever. This time things worked out better. I made this in a small, experimental batch for lunch and had plenty of leftovers.

That night I went out for BBQ, so the next morning I was feeling pretty full, still, so I just had some scrambled eggs.

I was thinking about skipping lunch because I knew I was going out for dinner, but I was so hungry around 1, so I threw some mackerel over a spring leaf salad I dressed with Chianti red wine vinegar and some anchovies.

After a late seafood dinner out last night, I woke up this morning hungry, but didn't feel like making eggs again, so I ate some of the leftover chicken-garlic-herbs and had some green tea. I worked through lunch, so made some early-afternoon chicken stew (with Riesling), which I am probably going to be eating for the next two days, at least.

So far? The cooking experiment is going well. And it's a lot of fun to take a mental break from writing things and screens in the middle of the day to piece together a meal. The only issue I'm running into is that the novelty of preparing my own meals and making whatever it is I want to eat has led me to eat a lot more that usual. But I figure that will probably taper off as I get used to this routine.