I admit to being a creature of habit. One of habits that has lasted for years is to plan meals ahead on Thursday and make out a grocery list, so that I can do the actual shopping on Friday. This schedule has the great advantage of leaving weekends free for cooking, reading, and whatever. So here are my ideas for cooking this week.
One night soon, just for me, shirred or baked egg. So easy, so good1
1 half slice good sourdough bread
A handful of baby spinach, cooked and drained
1 slice bacon, diced, cooked, and drained
2 Tbsp. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 large egg
1 tsp. cream or milk
Grease a small ramekin well. Toast sourdough and butter both sides. Shape toast into ramekin until it forms a lining in bottom of dish. Sauté bacon and drain, reserving a tsp. of grease to sauté the spinach. Cook spinach until just slightly wilted. Drain and cut into bite sizes pieces. Put spinach on toast; add cheese. Carefully break egg on top of cheese, being sure to keep the yolk whole. Add salt and pepper and pour cream or milk over egg to keep it from drying out.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, until yolk is set but still runny. Before serving, top with bacon crumbles.
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For another night, a quick tomato sauce for pasta:
Quick and rich tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
6 anchovy fillets
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes (or whole and chop them)
Sauté garlic and anchovies in oil. Don’t skip or skimp on the anchovies. When they dissolve into the garlic and butter, you won’t taste fish or anything strong. They just add a nice, rich earthiness to your sauce.
Drain the tomatoes and save the juice for another purpose, like a pot of soup. Add tomatoes to pan, bring to a boil, and then cook on medium until sauce is slightly thick.
Should provide sauce for a pound of fettucine or spaghetti or four average servings.
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And for Sunday supper, an easy pork roast without an oven.
Pork roast without an oven
A colleague served this one night, and it was delicious. I didn’t believe him when he told me how he cooked it, so I tried it. Now it’s a family favorite, perfect for the tiny kitchen without an oven. And uses a cheap cut of meat. Can’t beat that.
2-1/2 lb. Boston butt roast, untrimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. salt
Ask the butcher to cube the roast for you, if you have access to a butcher. Their idea of cubes is usually pretty big chunks, but it’s a start. You just have to cube the cubes until you get something the size you want—about an inch
Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the cubed meat and reduce to a simmer. Cook for at least an hour and a quarter, until all the water evaporates. The meat will look unappetizingly white, but cook it longer, stirring occasionally, and the cubes will develop a nice brown crust.
Serve with sauce below and lime wedges.
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed.
Salt and pepper—go easy on the salt, as the meat cooked in salted water, but I suggest at least a half tsp. pepper