A MEAT FILLED WEEK
Lynn joined me for a week up at The Red House. That means I’ve fallen back into the routine of cooking bigger meals (sigh!) and inevitably the meals involved us eating some sort of animal. I have to say being with Nicholas for a week was a lot easier. We’d have an omelette for dinner or chick pea patties and a salad or a simple pasta dish and we were content. While Lynn always says I’ll eat whatever you make, I know if I say we’re having “salad” he’ll ask “and what else?”
When I started to think about all the chicken, pork and beef we had consumed in the last seven days we were at the house together, it made my head spin. Some days we had meat (or a meat product!) for lunch and for dinner! Some days he even made little amuse bouche hot dogs (topped with a potato chip no less) to try to get me to eat what he wanted to eat (which was hot dogs). Surely all the weight I had dropped being by myself and eating quasi-vegetarian coupled with the fairly hard physical labor I was doing would be in vain with all this fat I was consuming. (Actually, I got on the scale and haven’t gained or lost an ounce — could the scale be broken?) In any case, here’s a look back at the week’s meals.
Pork cutlets in a mushroom cream sauce with roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe. (At least we had a vegetable and I’m not talking about the mushrooms.)
Curried chicken salad with grapes. (Would he have noticed if I had just made a curried grape salad?
Chili made with chopped meat, black beans, red kidney beans, and onions. Granted I could have made a veggie chili using just the beans but the truth is I had two packages of chopped meat in the freezer that I wanted to get rid of. Once dished out on our plates, we topped the chili with sour cream, green onions and some chopped up cherry tomatoes that my very lovely neighbor, Sue, had brought over with some fresh basil. (Why if I made enough chili to feed four did we eat the entire pot with half a box of pasta to boot?)
Lynn ate the leftover pork cutlet (UCK!) and I ate some of the aforementioned tomatoes and leftover cheese and crackers. (As he was eating the cutlet, he kept pushing a forkful towards me asking “Are you sure you don’t want any of this?)
I was already on meat overload and convinced Lynn that I would drive back to New York City and/or pay $100 for a piece of salmon if need be. (Well, not really but you get the idea.) Luckily, we only had to drive five miles to the supermarket where salmon filets were to be had, on sale no less for $3.99 a pound. Besides the salmon, I also put some corn on the cob on the grill and some fresh carrots sprinkled with olive oil and oregano. Going through the August issue of Food & Wine, I came across a recipe for grilled watermelon with feta. That went on the grill too (the watermelon, not the feta). (Yeah, a decent and meat-free meal!)
We went out for lunch and since I had been raving about the fish tacos I had eaten at this restaurant a few weeks prior that’s what I convinced him we were both ordering. (Why then around us did I see everyone else eating burgers?
The original plan had been to put some steaks on the grill. Problem was the steak at the local supermarket was looking less than appealing but surprisingly the short ribs looked decent. I bought the short ribs. I wrapped them in tinfoil and put them on the grill for a little bit over an hour to slowly cook then made a nice sliced tomato, basil and mozzarella salad as a side dish. When the meat was done, I grilled some slices of Italian bread. (If the meat won’t kill me, all this bread I’m eating surely will.)
Why exactly did we have to have hot dogs for lunch? Just because they were in the freezer didn’t mean we had to eat them. Couldn’t we just have a salad? To entice me to eat one, Lynn made me an amuse bouche hot dog. This meant he took a hot dog and cut it in half. I had to take a picture of it because I didn’t think anyone would actually believe this story. The first half of the dog went down fine. To get me to eat the second one, he put a potato chip on it. Lynn had three hot dogs; I had “two” amuse bouche. Although impressed with the potato chip garnish, the spongy white roll stuck to the top of my mouth like the 61.7 pound container of spackle sitting in the dining room. (There is absolutely nothing else to say about this lunch.)
Well, let’s recap. So far we’ve had pork, chopped meat and short ribs. Guess it was time for chicken. I picked up some chicken thighs that were on sale, found a couple of chicken cutlets in the freezer and stuck everything in a bowl with some olive oil and spices. Everything got wrapped up in tinfoil and put on the grill. An hour later I went out to check the chicken and realized we had run out of propane. Luckily by then I’d also had two cocktails and the chicken looked reasonably done enough to eat. (Surprisingly, no one got sick that night eating partially cooked chicken.)
We went out for lunch and had fried halibut. (Interesting isn’t it that our lunches out consisted primarily of fish?)
After a day of sightseeing (Yes, we really weren’t working!) we decided to do takeout from the local BBQ place. The sampler platter consisted of “Texas-style” ribs (meaning they were really big) a good beef brisket with a side each of cole slaw and potato salad. Since I knew the sampler platter wasn’t going to be enough for Lynn, I also ordered a large pulled pork sandwich. (I’ll admit the BBQ was good and if nothing else I didn’t have to do any grilling or cooking the entire day.
We both had a kielbasa sandwich from the local Polish church which was topped with sauerkraut mixed with chunks of what looked like pork sausage or chunks of pork (I couldn’t tell) on a hot dog roll. The kielbasa was a tad strange so I tried not to look too closely at it as I was eating it. (What exactly were all those flecks in the “meat product?”)
We put some steaks on the grill and I made a salad with green beans, beets, leaf lettuce and fresh goat cheese. Also made half a bag of fresh spinach fettucine and tossed them with olive oil and butter. I loved the pasta and the salad. I ate as few slices of the steak as possible. (After this week, I really could become a full-time vegetarian.)
We were heading back to Long Island. Lynn has offered to cook for me the rest of the week. I will encourage us to have a lot of salad and grilled fish. What did we have for dinner when we got back? Chicken cutlets.