26 February 2007: Cooking continues

Hi chaps. I've been a tad busy the last couple of months, so posting's gone through yet another lull. Doesn't mean we haven't been cooking and eating good stuff (though I have to say we've also thoroughly investigated all the possibilites offered by pasta + jarred sauce + salad).

Best recent eating: duck tacos at Dave and Carolin's on Friday night. Four legs of confit duck in the pan to cook until they're browned and falling apart like carnitas. Shredded meat piled into taco-sized tortillas, topped with black beans, hot sauce, crumbled feta, coriander leaves, fresh lime and pomegranate seeds. Very fine indeed.

My lunches have also been kicking proverbial buttock recently. Every second weekend I spend a couple of hours cooking up 10 serves of some reasonably healthy vegie-and-pulse-enriched meals to partition out into tupperwares for the freezer. Then each weekday morning I just move one tupperware from the feezer into the fridge, grab the one from the fridge that was removed from the freezer the morning before, and head to work, looking forward to heating up lunch in the lab microwave. Obviously I'd love to be making fresh lunches each day, or eating some cool leftovers from the night before, but if it's a choice between tasty frozen stuff and leftover pasta, I'm going to take the freezer.

This doesn't always work out - there was the time I made wholemeal pasta with red lentil sauce as a freezer dish, which reheated to a truly disgusting slimy wholemeal paste with red lentil sauce - but this week both the things I made worked out to my 110% satisfaction.

Lunch 1: Tender and tasty braised cabbage, originally stolen from Molly, on top of Puy lentils tossed with a bunch of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, seed mustard and a dash of apple cider vinegar. This cabbage was so so good, I ordered the book the recipe came from, All About Braising, within 10 minutes of the first bite passing my lips. It's truly inspiring: I now have a long list of braising recipes to try as soon as possible, including another starring cabbage, this time braised savoy cabbage with St Marcelin cheese.

For my lunch recipe archive purposes, I should note that, although this combination was delicious, it needed more protein to keep me from getting hungry a couple of hours later. Next time, I'll either mix some crumbled feta or other salty cheese through the lentils, or perhaps add some fish on the side.

Lunch 2: Brandon's chana masala (another Orangette recipe!), spinach and sweet potato curry (with spices and method broadly adapted from this recipe of Redfox's) and brown rice. This is, if possible, even better than the braised cabbage - I am really happy with the way both of these curries turned out. I am almost regretting the inevitable turn of the fortnight, with its new lunch options - something that I can very rarely say, given my usual food-related neophilia.

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25 February 2007: Dublin snapshot

I've written the Dublin entry for Johanna's Culinary City Snapshot series, over at the Passionate Cook: check it out here. Please feel free to add other suggestions (or corrections, if you disagree with me!) in the comments there.

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